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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

368 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.56%
Wants: 77
Gots: 87 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Every bottle of this extremely limited Ola Dubh 30th Anniversary Ale has been individually numbered. Our ale has been aged for up to six months in first fill sherry butts, formerly used to mature Highland Park's award-winning 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. These hand selected butts add subtle whisky notes to what is already a complex ale with its chocolatey mouthfeel and distinctive bittersweet finish. The high ABV has been deliberately created to stand up to, and blend with, the intensity of flavor created by the infused wood.

(Beer added by: rallison on 02-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 368 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +17.4%

tbryan5, Mar 23, 2013
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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

BigJK, Nov 16, 2011
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5/5  rDev +17.4%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
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5/5  rDev +17.4%

bluesplit63, Oct 07, 2012
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5/5  rDev +17.4%

stantheposterman, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of rayjay
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptional! Complexity is infinite, with delicately proportioned flavors and aromas throughout. Tons going on here, lots of deep richness, but completely mellow and tamed.

A deep transparent brown. Eloquent foam and sticky lacing. Not much sediment. Almost considered brite beer, and hardly a black beer.

Lots of pete smoked malt, mellowed alcohol, floor malts, roasted black and brown malts, noble hops, and dusty charred wood. Some pipe tobacco and cherry wood fireplace, and hints of sweet crystal malts.

Drinkability is among the slickest I've ever had. Although its exceptionally complex, it's very difficult not to gulp down. Absolutely delicious, and boarderline thirst-quenching.

Great powdery chocolate lacing. Velvety texture and carbonation.

A real treat. The smooth whiskey really shines through without being strong. The polar opposite of most US barrel-aged imperial stouts.

This is a world-class beer brewed and aged to perfection. Very traditional and proper, yet still big, bold, and rich. Worth every penny and always welcome in my cellar. One of the best beers I've had!

rayjay, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of drperm
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased Fall 2008. Tasted 13 August 2009.

Appearance: Pitch black: thick, viscous, opaque, with just a hint of sand-tan head. Like a black old ale.

Aroma: The most amazing black-beer nose I've ever experienced: Tar, tobacco, sorghum molasses, raw honey, freshly cut grass, and....coconut? Incredible.

Taste: Wonderful bitterness. 70% cocoa dark chocolate, coffee, nutmeg, tobacco, sorghum, Scotch whisky, toasted malt, cardamom. Heavenly.

Palate: Finishes like a thick, beery single malt Scotch. Just a hair too sweet on the finish, keeping it from a 5.0 score for me.

Overall: If I pay $15 for a 12 oz. bottle (in a box), I want it to taste like this. SO much smoother than the 12-yr. version I had in November. Food pairings? Only the deepest, richest, multi-layer chocolate extravagance. Or a top-shelf cigar.

Stunningly highly recommended.

drperm, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pitch black with a small tan head that forms on first pour. The foam recedes, but is easily rejuvenated with a swirl of the glass. Light lace is left behind.
S: A wonderful woody, smoky, and peaty aroma. Lots of roasted malt with some chocolate, coffee, toffee, and a hint of vanilla. A warm booze/scotch character that lets you know you are in for something special.
T: Follows the nose pretty closely. Again, a great peaty and smoky malt character. Tons of chocolate and toffee. A bit of coffee. Just a touch of warming scotch flavors that is very welcome. Amazing.
M/D: This has a full body that is velvety smooth. A decadently rich and creamy beer. An incredibly smooth and easy to drink Old Ale.

I have been waiting to try this for a while. I love all the Old Engine Oil and Ola Dubh beers. This one is just exceptional. Everyone is a treat. Though this one blows the rest away IMO. There seems to be much more complex subtle flavors and more peaty and toffee malt which I can't get enough of.

champ103, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of nlmartin
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was served lightly chilled in a goblet.

Appearance: What can I say I am a sucker for dark beers. The body of the beer is nearly dead black. The head is a mocha brown color. The head started 3 fingers high. This resolved to about a half finger high. Rings of foam remain behind on my glass.

Smell: The beers aroma kicks my nose around with a smoked peat moss aroma. Boozey scotch tones hemmorhage around the aroma. Roasted malts produce chocolatey smells, burnt caramel, oakey vanilla, molasses and brown sugar kick about my glass and assault my nose. It keeps improving as the beer gets warmer. The beer is very mellow smelling. First rate and well done.

Taste: The initial flavors on my palate are smoked peat. Tones of vanilla and burnt caramel come out. Roasted chocolate, molasses, oakey character, very nice boozeyness about the scotch. The beer is very mellow and sublime. This is simply first rate.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The carbonation is low. This works out very well. The mouthfeel of the body is silky smooth. The body is in the middle of the full bodied category. I wanted to treat this beer as a sipper. I really wanted to take my time a savior this beer. I am distressed at my lack of control. This beer is really something special.

nlmartin, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of zaphodchak
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Normalish pour yields minimal orangey head that recedes into almost nothing, body is deep ruddy amber.

Nose is incredible, plenty of wood and peat, with some caramel. A scotch that smelled like this would be a nice one.

Taste is... amazing. Peaty, smoky, complex. This has truly absorbed the essence of the scotch casks in which it was aged. Torn between scotch and beer, why not choose both?

Mouthfeel is impossibly creamy; carbonation is imperceptible, but lends an extra substance and creaminess to the body.

Outstanding, scotchy, little more to be said. It's complex but defies adequate description in human languages. What more can I say?

zaphodchak, May 11, 2011
Photo of athensbeermaster
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I found this on tap at Beachwod BBQ @ Seal Beach.
The bartender poured this beer the right way. A good two-three finger head dark tan in color with a dense body with huge head retention. The nose had a big aroma of a very nice bourbon. The Taste starts with a dark roasted coffee flavor that quickly fades into a big juicy dark plums and black cherry fruit mid palate. The finish ends with a smoky sweet caramel note. Wow what a great day this was thanks to the people who brewed this gem.

athensbeermaster, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of nriech
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my! This one brought me out of my reviewing duldrums just because it was so intense.

On tap at the Midlothian Capital Ale House in VA. Only 9.50 for a good goblet pour. The aromas were so intense. The aromas were strong of good scotch and coffee. The tast was almost undescribable. This is the perfect balance between beer and actual alcohol. All of the great aromas and tastes from the best scotches, with the drinkability of a beer meld together here. If you find this, get it and dont look back. The whiskey flavors stay mellow and subdued, but never leave the pallate. I dont know what else to say, Im still hyped from drinking it. Thanks CAH for getting this one on tap!

nriech, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of Contagion
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The coloring is a dark black, like the Gaelic name given it; it's very much reminiscent of black oil. No light passes through, but there is a slight reddish color at the edges. This beer is darker than most that I have experienced. In fact I'm going to say this is the darkest beer that I can recall seeing. A thin tan head formed and slowly faded. It left a nice ring around the edge of the beer and the glass.

The smell was a heavenly mix of rich chocolate malts enhanced with the woody and smoky peat scent of a proper Scotch in the back ground. As it warms a mild caramel scent opens up and compliments the beer even more so. The flavor is much like the scent. A rich roasted chocolate malt flavor and smoky peat flavors mix to a delightful flavor that makes one want to go back for more. There is a gentle bitterness in the finishes that rounds of each sip. Caramel and coffee malts become more noticeable as the beer reaches room temperature. The 8% ABV isn't noticed in the flavor at all.

This is a smooth, full bodied beer. A touch of a viscousness that coats the tongue and mouth locking the flavor. It is definitely a sipping beer.

This has to be the most flavorful and enticing beer I've ever drank. The flavor combinations mixed with the perfect blend of smells really makes this beer something that I could find myself craving. However, at $14.99 a bottle, I think this would be a special occasion beer and definitely not one you buy in bulk for a party. If you can get your hands on a bottle of Ola Dubh, I'd recommend giving it a try.

Contagion, May 15, 2009
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.