Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev -10.5%
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.
02-23-2013 04:41:04 | More by bobhits
4.2/5 rDev -1.9%
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.
12-19-2012 02:12:23 | More by thecheapies
4.48/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
12-01-2012 03:11:52 | More by KickbacksSteve
4.15/5 rDev -3%
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.
11-20-2012 03:25:30 | More by hardy008
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
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.
09-17-2012 01:42:46 | More by 51mmz0rz
3.63/5 rDev -15.2%
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
08-27-2012 01:06:13 | More by TheBeerologist
3.38/5 rDev -21%
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.
05-06-2012 22:24:37 | More by DavoleBomb
4.43/5 rDev +3.5%
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.
04-22-2012 06:23:43 | More by dansmcd
3.68/5 rDev -14%
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.
04-14-2012 07:18:49 | More by AgentMunky
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
95 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.