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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

349 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 349
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.56%
Wants: 71
Gots: 81 | FT: 6
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)
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Ratings: 349 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DigitalHype
DigitalHype

Arizona

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle No. & DATE: 21921/Sept 2007.

Poured into a burgundy wine glass. A very light head. It disappeared almost immediately. Even with an aggressive pour. This had a consistent, very dark, coffee-like color.

Fairly intense smokiness on the nose. I know these were oak casks. But, I'm getting sandalwood.

The nose was a bit misleading. Not as heavy a mouth feel as expected. Moderate carbonation.

Flavors of smoked salmon, and campfire. Did I mention this was smokey?. I thought alcohol was perfectly balanced here.

This was a wonderful brew. And one I'm sure I will enjoy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 02:57:16 | More by DigitalHype
Photo of berserker256
berserker256

Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got bottle # 06996/Sept. 2007. This may be one of the most beautiful beers I've ever laid eyes on. Black as the country night with a thin hickory-colored head. Aromas of smokey Scotch barrels, plums, and chocolate jump out at me. It's a low carbonated warming brew that has the perfect overtone of fine Scotch whiskey in its flavor. Smokey roasted chocoalte greatness. I'm glad my uncle gave this bottle of beer to me because I probably would have never paid $11.99 for it. It's close to perfect.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 18:50:40 | More by berserker256
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer comes boxed and covered in costume jewelry. Bottled in September of 2007.

Nice pour into stemmed glassware. Very dark, nearly opaque, but there are some ruby hues and there's almost no head.

Smells like a middle of the road beer that's been phenomenally aged. Big, giant nodes of whiskey and mesquite against light porter malt.

Tastes very good. Big, wonderfully complex whiskey woodiness with an aftertaste like a light, blended scotch. Somewhere in there you got a lightly sweet, medium fruity aged porter taste and an end of straight-up mesquite. Nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 04:45:32 | More by mynie
Photo of Lupe
Lupe

New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle No. 06522 / Sept 2007

Pours jet black with tight brown fluffy head. Decent retention and some lace left behind.

Dark roasted malts upfront with notes of smoke, wood, vanilla, and Scotch. Lighter on the whisky aroma than the other 2 versions.

Flavor is similar to the aroma, dominated by roasted malt, and coffee. Vanilla, faint smoke, and some woodiness come in. The whisky is not assertive at all, leaving me wanting a little more. Amazingly smooth flavors that blend well.

Medium-full in body, super smooth, and just a little chewy. Very stout-like in flavor and mouthfeel, with less assertive roasted bitterness. Easy to drink, but you will want to savor and enjoy.

I would have liked some more Scotch flavor, especially after having the 16-year version which is my favorite of the 3. Don't get me wrong, this is one damn good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 21:58:31 | More by Lupe
Photo of cvfish
cvfish

Louisiana

4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a jet black color that produced a brown fluffy head that retained well and produced a nice lacing

S - Smells like scotch upfront, with some vanilla beans and smokey, roasted chocolate malts and coffee beans

T - Tastes lines up with the smell, scotch is one that hits upfronts followed by some vanilla, chocolate malts, and ground coffee beans, along with some earthy notes

M - Silky smooth, low carbonation, and light bodied

D - Very good savory beer, enjoy it like fine whiskey, slow and steady

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 20:03:22 | More by cvfish
Photo of phantomwyse
phantomwyse

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mobile 1 with an effervescent head.

S: Vanilla, cocoa powder, coffee, oaked scotch, chocolate covered raisins.

T: Italian roast coffee that's been brewed for a while, truffles, and of course, some mellow scotch character -- which is entangled with a bit of vanilla. At the end, there's some subdued alcohol lingering.

M: Slightly viscous and leaves a milky coating. No carbonation.

D: Flavorful and enjoyable, but not a multiple beer brew.

I've been enjoying my boxed beer discoveries as well as beers aged in a variety of whiskey barrels, so I was excited for this offering. However, I was a bit disappointed. I was anticipating a more pronounced scotch flavor that just never came together. A highly touted beer that I'm not sure is worth commanding the high price.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 15:23:00 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of wescj
wescj

Tennessee

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This cask was tapped at Aromas in Athens, GA on 12/8/08. Was served a half pint in a pint glass.

Color is a solid black, fringing on dark brown. Very much like molasses. There's a half inch of bubbly, khaki colored head. Not much retention, but what's left of it leaves a pretty sticky lace.

Smells scotchy, with some undeniable peate. There's also some vanilla and roasted malts, such as chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits as well.

Initially, it tastes like there's a decent amount of scotch actually in the beer. The initial flavor makes me question whether there is actually a boozy presence on the palate, or if the seemingly strong alcohol taste is simply deriviative of the whisky. Give it a second sip, and some complexity chimes in: roasted malts (again, chocolate and coffee), some woody notes, and a touch of sweetness. Ends on a smoky note, which leaves a mildly dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Light carbonation.

This beer isn't "drinkable" in the sense that Budweiser uses the word. It's definitely a sipping beer, and the 8oz I was served was more than enough. That said, the beer does go down pretty easy after the palate warms up to it. Excellent beer, all around.

Serving type: cask

12-09-2008 04:02:52 | More by wescj
Photo of rayjay
rayjay

Hawaii

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!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 08:31:51 | More by rayjay
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black as all. Not much head, thin lacing.

S - burnt malt, cocoa, coffee.

T - bitter Choc milk, cofee.

M - medium to full, fair coating, good carb, fair balance.

D - Nice beer.

Had this on tap and it was much better, nicer appearance and creamier experience.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 04:26:25 | More by srandycarter
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a great pitch black in color with a great tan head and nice bit of lacing. It has a wonderful scent, part coffee, part whisky, part malt, part hop, a near perfectly balanced scent that ends towards the Scotch side. Wonderful taste, the whiskey flavor is there, and unfortunately dominates, but it's still a very good old ale, nice and thick with deep malt and burnt flavors. It goes down wonderfully smooth.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 15:08:35 | More by JamesS
Photo of 100floods
100floods

California

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is bottle 06642, bottled in september 2007. Obama just won a historic election. This is my celebration beer of choice.

the bottle opened rather easy. It gave way to wonderful, dare i say blissful chocolate and alcohol aromas that mixed together oh so well. I can definitely tell it's whiskey i'm smelling, but the sweetness aspect gives it almost a bourbon characteristic.

it pours an ink black with no head, only a little mocha/dark tan lacing. Pouring it into a glass allows the sweeter, dare I say a hint of roasted malt, to kick in.

The mouth feel has a mild, lesser carbonation, more than I would have expected for a beer thats more than a year old. It gave way to a clean finish that gave way to a little alcohol burst, but not much, and left a slight dark chocolate, dry, feeling for a moment. After letting it sit for a bit, the whisky aspect really starts to shine. I'd like to feel more of an oily residue, but you can tell it was there.

Although this is the first time I've had this beer I can imagine it has changed signifigantly. I have has the 12 and 16 year old versions when they were fresher and I imagine this one had more body to it. Certainly not a bad beer, but I think this would have been even better younger. Don't mistake this for complaining. I think all the aging did was thin everything out. Well worth the wait though.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 05:49:58 | More by 100floods
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 07394/Sept 2007.

Black with just a ray or two of light penetrating the edge, trimmed with small, tan-brown, lacy froth.
Finally! More Highland Park signatures on the nose. The 12 and 16yo expressions left me wanting. This doesn't. Plenty of plummy, anise-rich, fudge and espresso maltiness, but now the Sherry wood and honey and peat and subtle maritime elements of HP show up in the nose of this beer.
It enters with a tidal wave of toffeed fudge, fading slowly to reveal espresso, bitter cocoa shavings, anise, sassafras, liquorice, molasses, chicory, cigar smoke, and peat smoked malt. The 30yo barrels bring a load of sherry to this, turning it quite vinous, but also imparting honey-vanilla candied notes, furthering the smokiness, and adding the trademark salty north island rugged coastal notes. I couldn't really taste the HP stamp on the 12 or the 16. I can honestly say I do here. Maybe it just takes 14 more years of barrel seasoning. The other two I thought needed an accompanying dram to be truly satisfying. I don't think that here, the whisky (or at least the sherry) is already present and accounted for, but as is always the case with Scotch, it doesn't hurt...I just don't think it adds anything, and quickly overpowers a glorious beer.
The mouthfeel is a rich medium, and as with the others, seems like it could support a somewhat larger beer, as this (again, similar to the others) thins as it travels through the mouth.

The other two I thought to be good, whereas this is special. None are cheap, but this one gets into the scary expensive realm. Considering that you get some real taste of a fairly rare $350+ whisky, it may oddly be the best bargain of the three.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 09:31:52 | More by cokes
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

drank this with all three reserves side-by-side, the 12, 16, and 30.

bottle 15845/Sept 2007

A - pours a motor oil, RIS-esque black, with a thick caramel colored head, that fades into a retentive ring(Same on all three)

S - the whiskey notes are prominent moreso in this one than the other two, that subtle rich alcohol sweetness, overlaying chocolate, caramel and toffee aromas

T - buttery-er than its counterparts, rich long potent aftertaste, warming all the way down, dark chocolate and affiliated sweets reside in the background of the aftertaste

M&D - takes a lot out of ya, a thick and complex sip, flavors float in and out as you try this, trying to get them all takes away from this beer, just drink it, its pretty tasty, smooth, rolls down the gullet, warming, too strong fro some, a strong alcohol bite, but worth it, the best of the three

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 17:34:55 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle (#21251/Sept 2007) poured into my Delirium snifter, Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 is an pitch black with a light brown head that settles to a thick collar and leaves decent lace. After having the 12, I decided I wanted to have the 16 and 30, but for true contrast, I poured them at the same time, so this review will focus more on the differences. The etching kept the head lasting for a very long time, whereas the 16 in an un-etched snifter had zero head after 10 mins. I have to give it an extra 1/2 point, even though it's clearly just the glass.

Smell is more like the 12 with the vanilla and chocolate, with some lactose, but without the heavy smoke and more booze.

Taste reminds me a lot of an oak aged milk stout, not as boozy as the 16, with a more pronounced scotch character, but so similar, I can't say it's worth double the price. Still, it's a decent brew, but I'd like it smokier, with less alcohol burn. It wasn't my favorite of the lineup, but smoother, and with more vanilla then the 16.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, oily but not as thick as it looks, smooth and drier. The best of the reserves for sure, at least in this category.

Drinkability is ok, a tasty beer, but for the price and rarity, it's pretty much one an done. I liked it more then the 16, a little sweeter, but not worth double the price! I'm sure some of that went to the individual boxes and stupid medallion. Perhaps there's subtlety that a scotch connoisseur would notice that I didn't, but I rarely drink hard alcohol, and if so, mostly bourbon. Still, I highly recommend serving them all at once as a vertical tasting, bouncing back and forth to pick up the subtle differences of aging the same beer in barrels that held the same spirit, but for different lengths of time.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2008 06:15:52 | More by ccrida
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 01:27:56 | More by nlmartin
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a pricy bitch at $15.99, but for beer aged in 30yr highland park casks...

Pours a deep dark brown with some small ruby highlights, damn near impenetrable. good off white/light tan head. Nose is peat and smoke with some chocolate. A touch of scotch. Flavor is huge with roasted peat malt, some smokiness, smoked malt, defenite peat and some chocolate notes that dance across the palate at different times during each sip. Slight dark fruit and a bit of cherry. The scotch barrell flavor is very apparent just before and throught he finish. Scotch and wood are clear in the flavor on the end. Mouthfeel is rich and viscous, and low in carbonation, in a good way. Drinkability is hampered a bit by the huge richness here, but is quite good for the style and the abv. Great scotch flavor here without the great sctoch burn. Overall a cherishable brew that i think will be excellent with a bit of age. A truly unique brew, and one i will revisit when i feel like a rockstar. A solid, well crafted old ale, that is a real treat when one can afford it. The scot in my lineage smiles with each sip. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 03:06:53 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For my 33rd birthday, I figured I would put down this nice sipper right before bed. In honor of 30 + 3 years I bring you Ola Dubh 30 year reserve.

A: This one is boxed and packaged nicely. It better be as I plopped down 20 clams for this one. It pours as dark as any beer known to man with a huge 3 finger espresso colored head. The retention is ridiculous with foam hanging around for the duration. nice thick chunks of lace are left behine.

S: Nice smoked peat aroma up front with a kick of booze coming next. These aromas are big and bold so you really have to swirl the glass to pick up nice hints of chocolate, molasses, and bitter coffee.

T: Similar to the aroma with the peat and booze coming at you right from the start. A smoky boozy oaky taste comes next and really lingers. Some chocolate drizzled boozed soaked dark fruit rounds things out...ahh wait, I just caught a hint of vanilla.

M: Medium in body rather enjoyable.

D: Not one you would pound, but a true gem for when you want to sit back, relax, as you watch life pass by.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2008 19:18:27 | More by tpd975
Photo of slayer3604
slayer3604

California

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- I had to hold this mother up to ninety lights to see a red hue through it. BONGGGG. The bottle itself comes in this nifty little box, and there is a celtic letter "h", the fact that theres a fake brewmaster signature on the bottle is sexy, not to mention the bottle glass is just as devoid of light as the beer itself.

S- Brown sugar, smells like cashiews taste, caramel and a light degree of splenda

T- smoooth smooth and a bight of roasted caramel/malt and a slight hop bight.

M- silk silk silk. I cant believe how awesome this beer is.

D- Will definately have this beer again. its so elegant and sexy i might just age a bottle a year or so...but 18 bucks for 12 oz is pretty gnar.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 07:31:46 | More by slayer3604
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip creates a three finger thick, nicely browned, concentrated tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, in fact it is just about black in its opaqueness but does show a hint of ruby to it around the edges it held up directly to the light. The Whisky is noticeable in the aroma as I pour this (spicy and boozy), but really starts to shine once I focus on the nose. A rich, peat driven, salty, smokiness broods with deeply roasted malts that provide a burnt smokiness of their own as well as espresso like roast character. The peat-smoke combines with the sweeter side of the malt aromas to give this an intense, focused, rich, concentrated, dark malt aroma. The barrel is certainly the dominant note in the aroma, but I like the dimension that the peat-reek brings to this beer.

Sweet malt notes of burnt caramel up front meld into a smoky, salty peat character that continues to carry a bit of malt sweetness through to a finish that takes on a burnt grain note that seems to get just a touch of a burnt vegetal note. Dusty cocoa flavors play quite a prominent role up front, but then this morphs into a rich mix of concentrated dark malt and peat smoke. I like how the peat smoke mixes with the roasted grain character in the finish; flavors of smoky, roasted coffee beans, . By American Stout standards this has a very light roast character, this is definitely a good thing in my book as it allows for other complexities to come through. Underneath the peat there is some dark fruit notes that struggle to be noticed at times, but definitely contribute with flavors reminiscent dried prunes and dried figs that have been left under the broiler long enough to lightly char. The heft of this beer is not overly heavy, nor is it thin, but it might help if it had a touch more richness to it; it does have enough heft to allow this to coat the palate as it facilitates the sipping quality of this brew.

The flavor is much more balanced between Barrel influences and the base beer than the aroma is, though I would still say that the peat might be the most distinct part of this beer (though the dark grain is really right up there).

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2008 17:38:43 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 'rare firkin' as part of Beer Geek Week at the Capital Ale House in Richmond. Presented in a Three Philosophers chalice.

A: Opaque black, a sandy and creamy topping of head. Nice stick, recedes back to a bubbly coating.

S: Notes of chocolate and vanilla, deep scent of the whiskey barrels. Some soft dark fruit aromas - primarily date or perhaps plum. All of the aromas are subtle and not overwhelming. A wonderful medley, and very pleasant to go over and over.

T: Deep roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the woodiness and scotch flavours providing a fumey alcohol touch (a scotch I may have to try, for that matter). Rich and full, quite an excellent beer.

M: Minimal carbonation, as the serving style will offer. A creamy, medium-heavy body.

D: Though the alcohol is certainly there, it's modest and blends well with the other flavours. An excellent evening sipper, and I'll need to go out of my way to pick up some more

Serving type: cask

08-29-2008 21:36:27 | More by Proteus93
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 01:58:52 | More by champ103
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 07576. Pours an opaque dark brown body with a surprisingly sturdy tan head that leaves some delicate sheet lacing on the snifter.

Aroma is baked chocolate, smokey peated malt, Scotch whiskey, vanilla, and old oak logs.

Exquisitely smooth on the palate with a subtle carbonation and nearly full body.

Taste is complex, as expected. Chocolate, vanilla, and Scotch whiskey notes open the door to nuances of anise, raisins, and walnuts. Dark roasty bitterness adds complexity. A fireplace smokiness seals the deal.

The Scotch whiskey is a bit more prominent in this one than in the 16 year edition and this one is a bit more complex, as well. A real pleasure to sip.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 23:16:37 | More by merlin48
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a opaque dark brown. nearly no head after the intial stir settles.
the aroma's got caramel, dark chocolate, nuttiness. slightly more pronounced coffee and nut character than other editions. just a touch of peat smoke lingers at the end.
the taste has chocolatey and some slight dark fruits, cherry again, as in the others. wood aging makes itself apparent with nutty vanilla oakiness. the scotch character i find to be stronger in this than the 16, with a very pleasing peaty character. this one in particular tastes like it has just a bit of scotch poured in.
the mouthfeel is full with soft carbonation. quite creamy as the others in the series are, but this one seems drier, which i think i really enjoy in this beer.
good drinkability in a sipping context, especially with the slight dryness when compared to the others. this one stings the wallet a bit, they've made it worth it though, i like this one the best of the three (figures).

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 00:38:09 | More by kmo1030
Photo of JMBSH
JMBSH

Colorado

3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rounding out the last of the Ola Dubh Special Reserve series is the 30 year. Bottled September 2007 with a bottle number of 7220, I have to say that the 12 month tasted better. This one is like the others in a lot of ways. The color a nice dark ruby to almost black. Light to no carbonation to be seen with a head that goes away quickly.The scent of whisky/oak is there but is actually lighter then the others in the series. This time the sweetness seems closer to raisins then the other with molasses. You can taste the whisky mostly on the back of the tongue and back of the throat. A very nice beer but the 12 month is my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 01:14:15 | More by JMBSH
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one from Bitterbill, let's see how this stacks up to the 12..Cheers Bill!!

Pours ebony with 1 pinky of mocha/brown head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Nice boozey whisky notes & touch of leafy hops, along with dark fruits

T: Dark fruits, chocolate & a hint of peaty smoke up front. As this warms, I get plums, roasty malt in small amounts, & a bit of coffee. Finishes dry with some leafy hops, plums, brown sugar & a hint of licorice. Almost pulled a 4.5


MF: Smooth as all get out! Low carbonation,nice warming, slickness & stickyness. More malt depth would be helpful

Drinks pretty easy, but the dryness & complexity will hold you back a bit. I liked the taste of the 12 better, but this one rates a bit higher, due to the lovely smell

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 04:19:57 | More by russpowell
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 349 ratings.