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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.

163 Ratings
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 Georgiabeer


4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask, gravity poured at the Brick Store Pub. I'm a great lover of whisky or whiskey laced beers, at least via the barrel, and this one is no exception. Superb, and my favorits of the series after the 30 year cask. Pours black with no head, but no worries here. Smells of peat, the barrel, and whisky. Very smooth and balanced and not in the least bit hot- compared to say, the 18 which was quite so. The taste is beautifully balanced with lots of restrained whiskey character. Briny, smooth, peaty, malty, and simply whiskyish. Wonderful. Ultra smooth in the mouth and deliciously drinkable.

Serving type: cask

05-06-2009 03:02:14 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an smooth, opaque black with no head at all.

Nose is chocolate, smooth, a hint of peaty acidity, and a very subtle, mellow roasty underpinning.

Taste is rich and so mellow - smooth milk chocolate notes, with a tiny bite of acidity, a very subtle peaty smoke note, and an earthy, organic finish. Very unique beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but with that round, silky, gentle fluffiness that comes from well conditioned cask. Superb.

30 on cask is still my favorite, but this one is still a gem. Several of my favorite barrel-aged beers are Scotch aged, and this one reinforces that streak.

Serving type: cask

04-09-2009 18:58:35 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of gford217


4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Brick Store.

Arrives ink black in the glass with only a few bubbles around the top, all of which recede quickly to nothing and leave no lacing.

The aroma is big on this one and dominated by the scotch barrels. There are some sweet malts in the background.

The taste is a little different as the sweet chocolate malts come out more as well as some dark fruits. The scotch is present but not as dominate as the nose and the taste, overall, is like a scotch-soaked chocolate dessert.

The mouthfeel is very slick and smooth with almost no carbonation and plenty of barrel presence.

I really enjoyed this one, especially the taste which was very well balanced given the barrel aging. Very tasty.

Serving type: cask

02-21-2009 05:45:54 | More by gford217
Photo of bhalter8


4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The run of casks leading up to the Ola Dubh 40 yr at the Brick has been fun. 40 yr was certainly an exciting pour. Looks very similar to the 30 yr in that it is an ink black, this one has little to almost no head though. Very low carbonization, as well, it really looks like ink, really... The whiskey smell is apparent, with some sweet malt hints. A very warming feeling as soon as it hits your mouth, the whiskey is once again significantly present. There is some , maybe caramel, sweetness in the background that provides an interesting dynamic to the whiskey. I enjoyed drinking this to start off my evening at the Brick, but the strength of it, and the whiskey, makes it more of a beer that stands on it own. Definitely a distinct, and delicious flavor.

Serving type: cask

02-21-2009 03:30:37 | More by bhalter8
Photo of glid02


4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the glorious Brick Store Pub in Atlanta.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a large-bubbled tan head the recedes very quickly into a thin ring around the glass leaving no lacing.

Smells of whiskey with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. The whiskey isn't overpowering though, which is impressive.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Whiskey flavors are at the forefront, although it still retains a good amount of "beer" flavors. Light chocolate flavors and roasted malts are there, along with simple sweet malts. The ending holds a bit of alcohol burn along with whiskey flavors that stick around for a bit.

Mouthfeel is interesting. It has the tiniest amount of carbonation, but it manages to not taste flat.

Drinkability is good - at least for me. I'm a fan of whiskey, and I could sip on this beer for quite a while.

Overall this is one of those Sam Adams/Calagione "extreme beers" that pushes the limits of what beer can be. The whiskey flavors are as intense as any beer I've had, but it still manages not to go too far over the threshold. Be sure to give this one a shot if you can.

Serving type: cask

02-21-2009 00:40:36 | More by glid02
Photo of ATLbeerDog


4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gravity Pour from a 40L Steel Cask at The Brick Store Pub - Pours pitch black almost completely opaque with a small one finger head that immediately recedes. Smells mostly of whisky with some burnt roasted malts in the nose. First sip is tangy with a rush of whisky being by far the most dominate flavor. There is chocolate and a tad of coffee along with some burnt malts and dark fruits all a supporting role. As it warms, some vanilla and smoke appear adding to the beer's complexity. There is absolutely no carbonation present and the beer is fairly light bodied. I sipped this in a vertical of Old Engine Oil, 12 Year, 30 Year, and a shot of 12 Year old single malt Highland Park Whisky. The difference between the 30 and the 40 year versions were minuet.

Serving type: cask

02-20-2009 15:36:40 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of LittleDon


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

8 oz. pour into a snifter. Dark brown to black with no head or noticeable carbonation. Yeasty nose with hints of whiskey. Sweet, caramelized malt taste and medium-heavy on the tounge. Aldehydes in the finish with hops barely present.

Very interesting beer. The whiskey barrel aging is evident in the nose, but not overly so. Sweet, but not cloying. The taste reminded me of the sweetness found in dark bread. The finish was complex, with cabernet notes. Might have had a second if it wasn't so expensive ($16 US) and this isn't a style of beer I usually drink.

Serving type: cask

02-20-2009 12:53:48 | More by LittleDon
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap/cask at Mahaffey's the other day.

The beer pours a blacksih brown color with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is attractive, consisting of molasses, peat, light chocolate and vanilla. The peatiness in this beer is very dominant in this beer and is almost too much of a good thing. Nevertheless, like the 30, it adds some additional comlexity to the aroma that is attractive and intriguing. The beer is pretty delicious on the palate, with the flavors replicating the nose. The beer has a very soft, plush mouthfeel, with a long, creamy finish. Alcohol is pretty well disguised and I had no problem knocking back a couple of 5 ounce glasses.

A nice beer, though I'm not sure it's any better then the 30. Unless they were priced similarly, I would probably always get the 30.

Serving type: cask

02-16-2009 19:29:37 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of bonbini26

New Jersey

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

On cask @ the Rattle n Hum 02-07-09

A - black as night pour with very little carbonation, barely a head that fades quickly

S - Whiskey, vanilla, oak, charred smoked smell

T - Def. taste the whiskey but its not overwhelming, then the smokiness of vanilla and oak, no carbonation, almost on the sweet side

M - no carbonation at all, silky smooth

D -Def. a sipper, stands up to any whiskey barrel ale i've had before

Serving type: cask

02-08-2009 10:12:11 | More by bonbini26
Photo of Nickls

District of Columbia

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

(From notes)

A - Near jet black appearance, with brown highlights and hues around the edges. Poured with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated. Looks very dense.

S - Emphatic (in a good way) whiskey aromas with definitive vanilla and oak aromas as well. Really great in this dept.

T - Whiskey dominates at first, but the vanilla comes into play wonderfully as you continue. Some earthiness and almost savory characteristics as well

M - A little viscous and oily, but not as heavy as the other aspects of the brew might suggest. Very muted carbonation (on cask), but suited the brew very well

D - Very drinkable in that the overall complexity of the brew demanded another sip. Very easy to sip and enjoy.

Overall, this was a fantastic brew. I would highly recommend.

Serving type: cask

01-29-2009 14:33:08 | More by Nickls
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.