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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.05%


Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Nickls on 01-29-2009)
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 110 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Resuin
Resuin

Massachusetts

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
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

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
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark yet weak body. Relatively flat with mild carbonation.

Caramel, oak, slight smoke and a hint of peat.

Caramel, smoke, peat, with a floral hop finish. A bit of chocolate and molasses as well. A very light and understated beer, doesn't have the power one expects from a beer that costs this much, but at the same time inviting and lingering.

A bit of a bit from alcohol or something. Very very light carbonation and low body.

I can't recall the other versions of this well so I can't comment on how this varies. A mild body and unique mix of caramel and scotch notes makes this very exciting.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 04:41:04 | More by bobhits
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ola Dubh 40. August, 2010.

Pours about-black with a half-inch of tan foam.

Peaty, but chocolaty. Cream-like aroma with some spent espresso ground character and char. Extreme roast plus sugars. Snippets of caraway and caramelized fruit.

Enormous Scotch influence of smoky wood, peat, vanilla, some chocolate, floral notes, and burnt bread malts. Caramelly, too.

Drinks thinner than style would dictate, but it's not offending. Okay carb level still left in the bottle, so I'm satisfied.

Awesome old ale. Can't wait to try the 30 yr.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 02:12:23 | More by thecheapies
Photo of KickbacksSteve
KickbacksSteve

Florida

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 49393, January, 2009. Poured into a small snifter. Small head with low retention, as expected. Very, very deep mahogany, almost black body. Aroma is a mix of brandy, slight alcohol, overripe plums, dates and vanilla. Taste has a brandy quality, tongue coating, nice old fruit and slight molasses and vanilla. Wow. Quite a journey the liquid has taken to get into the glass and the wait was worth it.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 03:11:52 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 50688, dated January 2009.

Pours black with a one finger tan head, which fades pretty quickly to a thin disc, and leaves spotty lacing. The aroma has whiskey, chocolate, oak, vanilla, and dark fruit.

The taste is sweet, and has chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, vanilla, and oak. Not as much alcohol flavor as I expected, which is positive. No bitterness for balance, but it really isn't needed.

Full bodied with light carbonation, and creamy. Very smooth and easy to drink. Has a bit of a dark fruit aftertaste. This is nicely made, and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 03:25:30 | More by hardy008
Photo of 51mmz0rz
51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a generic tulip. Date is Jan 2009, num 54220.

A: Pitch black body. Head is very dense, medium tan color with great retention.

S: Aroma is slightly metallic, but with a definite alcohol and whiskey punch.

T: Wow, sweet, complex whiskey flavors. Slight barrel taste, but very well balanced. (I'm tasting this side by side with the 16, and they are very different).

M: Big mouthfeel, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A great tasting stout that screams "aged in a whiskey barrel" without being overdone.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 01:42:46 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of TheBeerologist
TheBeerologist

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 8/10/12

Shared a 11.2 oz bottle with a friend - poured into a Jackie O's munich glass

Pours a dark brown with a thin beige head

Smells of oak, vanilla and a bit of smokiness

This tasted of oak and smokey peat with a bit of vanilla. Beyond the Scotch there was very little here, not much from the base beer at all

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation - much thinner than expected though

Overall I was hapy to give this a try but would be hard pressed to spend $20 on an 11.2oz bottle again - I will be trying at least the 18 and 30 in due time though

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 01:06:13 | More by TheBeerologist
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Bottle #55737, bottled January 2009. I looked up how much the 30 year whiskey costs and the cheapest was just north of $300. The 40 year is just a fraction more at over $1,200 per bottle. And to think I thought this bottle of beer was expensive at $16.99.

3.0 A: Black color. Just about a finger of frothy light brown head. Retention is subpar and one lone, patch of lacing is left.

4.0 S: The 30 year Ola Dubh I had recently was from 07. I'm glad this one is from 09. The whiskey is more powerful. The base beer itself offers little aside from a roastiness and a bit of chocolate. The whiskey is where it's at. The 40 year is decidedly more earthy and "wild" than the 30 year. Mountain stream, ash, peat, mineral. There's also light amounts of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Really well integrated, but I think I liked the nose on the 30 a bit better. Still, this Highland Park stuff seems legit.

3.5 T: The base is again MIA save for some roastiness. The whiskey tastes like it smells, but could use a bit of power. Fresh running forest stream, ash, peat, mineral again. Coffee and chocolate gain some strength while the vanilla and oak stay in the shadows. Easily the most earthy whiskey I've experienced (most of which have been through beer). While this is tasty, both the base beer and the whiskey need some more strength for this to break past a 3.5.

2.5 M: Light to lighter medium body. Carbonation is a touch lower than what I'd like. Missing all creaminess for the most part.

3.0 D: Normally I'd give this a 3.5 out of general good will, but I can't since this is so goddamn expensive. It's not a bad beer, but it has plenty of flaws and the mouthfeel sucks.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 22:24:37 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of dansmcd
dansmcd

Australia

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Jet black and viscous, pour creates a tan bubbly head which drops to a thin creamy skin and then nothing (within about 30 seconds). A few strands of lacing.

S - Roasted malt, oak, smoke, chocolate, prune and scotch. Reasonably boozy aroma for the abv.

T - Sweet, smoky and roasted. Slightly woody with the dark fruits and chocolate flavours. Scotch is prominent.

M - Full syrupy, gloopy body with moderate carbonation. Superb to roll around on the tongue.

O - Really enjoyed this. For $20 a bottle it would want to be a standout, but I wasn't let down.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 06:23:43 | More by dansmcd
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into an Ommegang glass. From notes. Reviewed 9 July 2011.

A: No head. Very dark. Opaque with mid-dark edges clinging to the side of the glass.

S: Bourbony -- vanilla and wood-aged oaky excellence. It doesn't get much better than this in the nose. Sherry casked scotch? Tobacco (or something else)? So damn good.

T: Huh. Not that great. The endtaste is quite sweet, with a winey-round maintaste. Leathery? There is a huge amount of flavour in the taste, but it's not always very directed.

M: Really smooth, sweet, and nice.

O: Goodish, but not worth the price jump. Would I recommend it? No. Would I drink it again if offered? Hell yes.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 07:18:49 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of OSUBeerStudent
OSUBeerStudent

North Carolina

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
Photo of jbonapar
jbonapar

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in Halfiax NS, Canada.

Never knew this existed!

Poured a BLACK creamy thickness with a Thick coal colored head. Wow.

SMell is Oak. Whiskey. Vanilla. Slightly smokey and peaty.

Taste is dam fine. An oaky-sweetness hits the palate but quickly the sweetness fades and a strong spiciness takes over. The oak stays but then the bitterness comes in and is strong at the end...As the bitterness fades, the oak comes back.

What a fantastic beer. Complex, different and unique.

Worth trying for sure if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 23:16:18 | More by jbonapar
Photo of Stigs
Stigs

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, served in a small tulip

A - pours with a short lived finger of creamy yet loose, light khaki foam which settles to a thin film, leaving some lacing behind. the beer is mostly black, letting in a faint amount of light around the edges.

S - whiskey on the forefront, yet doesnt overpower scents of sweet caramel, raisin, vanilla, and faint minerals. warming opens up hints of oak, earthy smoke.

T - semi-sweet off the bat: caramel, light milk chocolate, and vanilla. turns to some faint earthy hops, slightly oxidized with bits of dark fruit and sherry. whiskey is present but dances in the background, finishing with a flash of alcohol and oak. smoke develops nicely as it warms to room temperature.

M - medium body alongside some moderate carbonation. after settling for a few minutes, body becomes a little richer with a syrup like quality that lingers after the swallow. alcohol burn is at a minimum, this one finishes fairly clean with some lingering vanilla sweetness.

O - yummy old ale here, whiskey aging (narrowly) adds another dimension. falls a bit short of being elite due to a somewhat lacking mouthfeel, and slightly oxidized taste. wondering if this one isnt best really fresh. would try again.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 05:12:33 | More by Stigs
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

single finger head with some scattered lacing on a jet black body without any light passing through. smokey and confectioners chocolate sweetness to the aroma. Incredibably smooth chocolate, toffee and vanilla flavor. Nicely complex with each flavor standing out. moderate carbonation and full bodied. Overall a very smooth and drinkable beer for its genre. Complex and memorable. An excellent beer though not very much like olde ales I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 05:36:00 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours with one finger of medium brown foam on an opaque, black body. The head settles quickly and leaves light lace.

S - chocolate, oak, and dark caramel with a background note of vanilla.

T - bittersweet chocolate and caramel with a transition to toffee and a hint of raisin in the middle. Finishes with smoke, raisins, chocolate, and toffee as well as a lingering vanilla note.

M - medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - lots of influence from the barrel, but the caramel and chocolate shine through. There is a but more sweetness than necessary but it is still a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 05:33:10 | More by nickfl
Photo of Spadoof
Spadoof

Ohio

5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Name: Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40
Brewery: Harviestoun
Bottled on: January 2009
Purchasing Date: 12/22/11
Purchased From: Vintage Estate (Boardman, Ohio) [$20 a bottle]

Origin: 12 oz bottle
Serving Glass: 22oz Snifter
Serving Temp: 60F

*Tasted this one a while after the Special Reserve 16. Enough time to cleanse my palate.

Appearance: Pitch black body with a resilient mocha, caramel cap. Completely opaque. Wonderful!

Smell: As soon as my nose gets close to my glass, my mouth waters...Incredible. Its so balanced (even more so than the SR16). Deep, melted dark chocolate. Mature Scotch Whiskey. Vanilla. Oak. Slight Saltyness (Ocean mist)? Again, just incredible!

Taste: Complex, not complicated. Everything melds together beautifully. Deep, rich smokiness. The flavor from the scotch is great. Mature and full flavor. Solid malt, vanilla and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Again Spot on. Low carbonation and viscous.

Overall: While I'm sure others won't agree, I'm giving this a perfect 5/5. This was amazing. While I have not had this brew fresh, three years of aging has done something incredible to this beer. Outstanding, one of my all time favorites, my highest recommendation. Expensive though....

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 18:24:45 | More by Spadoof
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a taster glass. Thanks for sharing Chris! Bottle #50734, January 2009.

(A)- Pours pitch black with some tan bubbles. Not super thick, but this looks heavy.

(S)- Nice rich aroma of cocoa, prune, raisin, molasses, and oak. A great barrel character to it with obvious notes of the briney whiskey too.

(T)- Just like the smell in alot of ways. A briney whiskey oak character up front with chalky cocoa, raisin, and prune.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level and a solid balance. Great barrel/whiskey characters without being boozy at all.

(D)- Another great lineup in the Ola Dubh line. An extremely expensive bottle to say the least, but damn enjoyable. I still think the edge goes to the 30yr overall, now finally having every one in this lineup.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 19:13:46 | More by sweemzander
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

completely opaque except for just the smallest amount of reddish brown that peaked through on the sides when you held it up directly to the light, but still this was enormously big looking.

deep caramel smell coming off of this, literally took me by surprise. Nice aroma of oak and alcohol mixing and swirling around with it now, really starting to pick up steam the warmer it got. Warm oak infused notes of brandy like alcohol running over the tongue, so sweet and sugary. As you roll it around you start to notice there is a little bit of a bitter bite to this one. Way down deep under all of the malt, there was a subtle bitter hoppiness, very grainy and earthy, but it was there, and really pushed through on the finish. Long drawn out finish it was, The alcohol was so well blended, it was a deadly combination. Soo mellow and smooth, understated, it lured you in and would not let you go. The body was as rich and smooth as the flavorDeep dark fruit now coming through for me, really started to actually dominate the scene all together. Huge raisin and plum notes giving it that sweet but yet tart dark fruit flavor we all come to love. A spicy touch in the back perhaps, but here comes that little bit of bitterness to wrap it all up.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 18:53:17 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #28897

Near jet black, ring of bubbly off white head, light lace. Smell is iof roasted malt, peat, oak with bold whisky notes, vanilla, black liquorice, light anise scents. Taste is of roast malt, coffee, oak with subtle whisky but less than the nose indicates, lots of malt, mildly bitter and very complex, more whisky tones in the finish. Light carbonation, silky and creamy feel, full bodied. Very good stuff here, tasty and complex, truly amazing stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 01:15:37 | More by peensteen
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund

Norway

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Bottle No. 40857, January 2009. ABV is 8.0%. Pitch black colour, big tan head. Intense and lovely aroma of fine malt whisky, notes of oak and peat, hints of vanilla and dark chocolate. Strong flavour of dark malts and fine whisky, peaty and oaky notes, also notes of coffee, hints of liquorice and tar. Moderate bitterness in the finish. Pretty brilliant stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 00:03:46 | More by Sigmund
Photo of JizackFH
JizackFH

New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a really dark brown color that has some ruby highlights. It has a finger of tan head that falls down to a thin film resting on top of the body of the beer. The head's retention is pretty good and it leaves some spotty scattered lace behind.

S - The smell starts off with some smoke and bourbon barrel. There is some roasted malt character as well as some caramel, vanilla, fig, raison, dark chocolate, and some booziness.

T - It tastes of roasted malts, bourbon, and smoke right away. There are some nice flavors of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. The booze is definitely present, but I don't think that it's too much. The finish leaves some lingering bitterness, smoke, and booziness on the palate.

M - This has a medium to full body and low carbonation. It goes down easy, and it has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some roasted bitterness and some nice background sweetness. There is some alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - This has good drinkability. It is a sipper for sure, but it is definitely an interesting and good tasting beer. I think this has just right amount of smoke flavor. It is definitely there, but not overpowering. Overall, I thought this was a nice old ale, and I would definitely buy another bottle of it.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 08:14:17 | More by JizackFH
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel tulip and reviewed with my buddy Sam.

A - Pours a deep Ebony colour with an off White tanned head that stays the course. Very oily in appearance.

S - From the bottle it has a miriad of aromas including milk chocolate, molassis, toffee and vanilla. Molassis more pronounced once poured as is the vanilla.

T - The woody flavours hit up front with some serious vanilla, coffee and milk chocolate. The finish is a little smokey and the vanilla lingers on. So very well balanced overall.

M - Medium to Full body with minimal carbonation makes this beer so very smooth

O - I just love the complexity of this beer, and what it has to offer. The woodyness is present but not overpowering. As a fault I would have liked to have seen a little more Whiskey in the flavour.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 13:46:25 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ola Dubh 40 emerges from the practically ancient barrel black as night with no room for highlights what so ever. As for carbonation, that train obviously left the station long ago. The liquid is flat and no amount of swirling can bring back what extended barrel aging and nearly three years in the bottle undid. So what, it still looks great.

The beer itself may only be 8% but it's absorbed enough alcohol to make one dizzy. The other side of that, of course, is that the depth in the aroma seems to be endless. It's not so great as to be inappreciable by human noses, mind you, but it packs plenty of black licorice, smooth spice, smoke, and macerated coffee beans.

The brewery figured I'd have until April of 2012 to enjoy this beer at peak performance, but I've got to believe that it's best days are already behind it. A lot of its roasty, stout-like flavours are diminished and the whiskey notes aren't as prevalent as they are in the other offerings. Unlike HP 40, this one won't hold up indefinitely.

There are common threads that run through every beer in this series. All share, to one degree or another, the taste of scorched earth and peat, oceanside brine, heather and earthy honey, but Ola Dubh 40 has much more smoky wood character. It brings the barrel right into your living room, but tempers it into a silken texture.

After trying every other offering in the series, I wasn't convinced that the more expensive bottles were more complex beers. Ola Dubh 40 was the first $20 beer that I wondered, not if I would be worthy of it, but whether it would be worthy of me. Turns out, I prefer the 16, 18, and 30. If I buy another Ola Dubh, it won't be this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 02:59:54 | More by biegaman
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 51442 Dated: Jan 2009

A: Dark black in the glass. An aggressive pour gives it an almost tapioca tan head. Lots of fish eyes, that gently pop into a thick foam.

S: Molasses and roasted notes come out right away. This smells syrupy with notes of vanilla, and oak. There is a touch of chocolate in there, like a rich creamy cocoa. There is a nice atmospheric smell, and well as a touch of short bread.

T: The first thing I got was a touch of peat. The peat is followed by oak, vanilla, and whisky. The finish is smooth with notes of chocolate, licorice, and peat smoke.

M: Thinner that you would expect, the carbonation is just about right. While the body is thin, it definitely coats your mouth with an almost oily texture. I think this gives it a bit more of a substantial feel to it.

O: Overall this is one damn tasty brew. A lovely balance of beer and wood, with just a touch of peat in it. Delightful.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 00:24:19 | More by Beejay
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.