Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 110 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by OSUBeerStudent:
4.65/5 rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
August 2010 bottle date into a snifter. Glad to get this one - still need a couple to try the complete collection, but I'll gladly skip the 18/30 for this.
A - Opaque, creamy brown/black. Fairly dense mocha head on pouring that sticks around a good bit. This gets the extra score over the others because it's persistent.
S - A very clean, woody, dark fruit and malt. The peat is definitely in the background here, letting the malt and wood itself take over. This is more on the roasty side than sweet for sure - the whisky is very much on the back, binding it all together.
T - molasses and dark fruit lead off with a bit of the wood from the barrel. The fruit feeds directly into the wood and whisky, which has a delightful but fairly subtle peat flavor. The finish is surprisingly dry and woody given the rest of it. Just excellent flavor here. I feel like this version shows off the base beer more than the others I've had, which is a definite positive in my mind. Really delicious beer.
M - Here's the real problem with this one. The carbonation is very (too) high. It's fizzy. The feel on the others was great, but this one is not. Very sad - makes it a bit harder to drink it, while the other components make it really good.
Overall this one was great. Not good, but great. The taste was fantastic, smell was great, appearance was fantastic, but the mouthfeel was a noticeable flaw. Besides that, though, this was definitely a beer to seek out. Even with the very high price (think I paid around $18 for an 11.2oz) I would definitely buy this beer again. Yet more incentive to finish the available ones.
Serving type: bottle
03-21-2012 03:41:48 | More by OSUBeerStudent
More User Reviews:
4.51/5 rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a snifter. This was bottled in January 2009, so has nearly 5 years of age since bottling. Bottle #51952.
Appearance: Pours black and leaves about a half finger of tan head which fades away relatively quickly to a rim around the glass.
Smell: Roasted malts, peat, big fudge, coffee, whiskey, oak, lots of dark fruits: plums, raisins, figs. Well balanced aroma with a lot of good flavors.
Taste: The taste is a bit milder than the aroma. Light fudge, roasted malts, mild whiskey, plums, figs, finishes with oak. Really mellow flavor - I bet the time in the bottle did this. Mild, tasty, smooth.
Mouth-feel: Really low carbonation, but some. Actually a surprisingly light to medium body (for the style, this is surprising). Finishes super smooth.
Overall: Very mellow old ale with really well balanced, pleasant flavors. The ABV is all but hidden. Everything in here is wonderful, and it is a real easy drinker. Definitely recommended if you can find it.
Serving type: bottle
11-26-2013 23:25:39 | More by Resuin
4.26/5 rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Jan 2009 bottling, coming up on 5 years old.
A: Pitch black pour with a small, dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly with great retention. Zero lacing.
S: Big peat and caramel notes. Hints of smoke when swirled, very mild though. Nice sweet chocolate backing everything up.
T: Peaty with lots of caramel up front. Vanilla too. Lightest hint of smoke mixing with lots of chocolate in the middle and finish. Spicy on the back end with more hints of peat and oaky vanilla. Kind of a chewy caramel lingering between sips.
M: Medium-heavy with a nice viscous, syrupy mouthfeel.
O: Hmph. I've had all of the Ola Dubh brews and I found them all to be surprisingly different. I didn't like the 30 very much but I liked the 18. The 12 was a little too mild on the barrel aging. This one is pretty damn close to "just right" along with the 18. This one is more complex though. Nice balance of flavors too. Really nice.
Serving type: bottle
09-11-2013 01:55:43 | More by Dope
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.