1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

264 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 264
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 22
Gots: 59 | FT: 3
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)
View: Beers (34) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by IronDjinn:
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a 330 ml brown bottle, black foil around the cap and neck, best before date on back label says SEP 2012.

Poured into a tulip glass, body seems more of a dense opaque brown than black, although it could be a trick of the eyes. Tight spongy beige head with stoic retention.

Raisins, wood and whisky hit the nose first, after a while it's just the wood and the whisky.
Sounds simple, but it's very enchanting.

Sweet raisin up front in the flavour, it rolls into a rich dark malt that unveils a plush carpet of rounded chocolate, then wood, then bittersweet alcohol from the whisky. Rounded alcohol warmth on the finish and aftertaste, quite smooth.

Smooth texture as well, medium-light mouthfeel, minimal carbonation.

Very enjoyable, the base beer is tasty enough (would make a decent wee heavy on its own), and the cask aging shines through with an excellent choice of whisky to add that special extra element. This one's a winner, I just wish they weren't so expensive--however you DO get what you pay for.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 05:51:10 | More by IronDjinn
More User Reviews:
Photo of mille_K

Czech Republic

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

07-09-2014 20:47:28 | More by mille_K
Photo of humpty1602


4/5  rDev -5%

07-01-2014 10:50:42 | More by humpty1602
Photo of LambicPentameter


4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes after drinking on 4/11/14. Enjoyed out of a 330 mL bottle with a black foil sleeve around the neck and cap. The label reads that it was bottled in February of 201?--unfortunately, the final digit has been obfuscated by the label being slightly ripped. That said, based on where I bought this bottle, I'm going to take a wild guess that this is a 2013 bottle, rather than a 2014 bottling. But really, who knows? Poured into a large snifter style glass.

Appearance - Definitely imparts the appearance of the base beer's name--engine oil--but the kind that you remove from your engine, rather than put in. Dark brown that looks black in the glass. I only know it's brown based on the coffee coloring that I can see in the stream of liquid as I pour it into the glass. An aggressive pour yields just a bit of head--a half finger at best of mocha colored suds that dissipate to a ringlet around the edge of the glass and a swirly film across the top. Lacing is nonexistent.

Smell - Wonderful blend of aromas, with notes of dried dark fruits like dates and figs combining with sweeter elements of salted caramel and molasses. There is also a fair amount of subtle bitterness that takes the form of baker's chocolate and roasted malts. Behind the sweet and bitter components, there is a more peaty characteristic, with some leather and light smoke--but nothing even close to approaching what you'd expect from a smoked beer. Just some wisps of char and spice.

Taste - Continuing where the aroma left off, the taste brings in notes of dark caramel, bittersweet chocolate, more dark fruits, and smoke. The molasses and toffee are still there, and I'm a little surprised at just how sweet it is, though I suppose I shouldn't be, based on the aroma and flavor profiles that are working together here. Some strong impressions of port wine come through on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied, with low carbonation and a viscous feel on the tongue. Lingering sweetness is the predominant aftertaste.

Overall, just a fantastic beer, especially for those who like scotch and sweeter beer offerings that lean towards the port wine side of things. That said, it's classification as an Old Ale is curious to me, especially since the base beer is a porter. Perhaps it's simply one of those beers that truly defies classification. Either way, it's delicious.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2014 17:00:22 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of beernads


3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

06-21-2014 00:42:29 | More by beernads
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +1%

06-20-2014 14:24:56 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of corysmith01

New York

4.25/5  rDev +1%

06-17-2014 04:06:59 | More by corysmith01
Photo of heygeebee


3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From Leura. BB Feb 2014.... Yep outta date.

A - pitch black, oily, head fades quick to leave a ring film and spotty lace. Not so good.

S - tons of vanilla, hint smoke, spirit.

T - all malts, roast, smooth, vanilla, choc notes. Somewhat dry in finish.

M - smooth, little alcohol,

O - Harviestoun doing what they do best, well made traditional BA dark ales. Would love to do a 12/16/18 comparison. I really do not know how tho stands up in that regard, tho certainly not way above.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2014 12:30:00 | More by heygeebee
Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818

New York

4/5  rDev -5%

06-09-2014 00:11:37 | More by ArsMoriendiOU818
Photo of CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.25/5  rDev +1%

06-05-2014 17:33:32 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of ImperialStout


4.25/5  rDev +1%

06-05-2014 01:00:47 | More by ImperialStout
Photo of alostplot


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

06-02-2014 23:37:21 | More by alostplot
Photo of khmel


3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A black, opaque pour with a bit of translucence around the edges. Pours a dense, tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to a ring. Doesn't have the "thick" look.

S: Smokey malt, hints of whiskey.

T: Smokey malt, leather, definite whiskey flavor in the finish. Really nice. 4

M: Incredibly smooth and creamy. A whiskey slippery almost. Medium to light body but glides down. A little alcohol warmth in the finish, but not dry. The mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer. You don't even want to swallow it it's so nice.

O: Really great! This beer is solidly outstanding and will be greatly appreciated by whiskey lovers.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2014 19:19:42 | More by khmel
Photo of radlleb


4.25/5  rDev +1%

05-21-2014 04:20:37 | More by radlleb
Photo of zonker17


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

05-20-2014 02:51:04 | More by zonker17
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1%

05-17-2014 19:21:43 | More by ImFlyerThanYou
Photo of vhmf1978


4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

05-12-2014 01:03:54 | More by vhmf1978
Photo of tobelerone


4.25/5  rDev +1%

05-11-2014 04:09:59 | More by tobelerone
Photo of davidwhatshisnam

New York

4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

05-03-2014 21:36:24 | More by davidwhatshisnam
Photo of Kroehny_Loves_Hops


4/5  rDev -5%

05-01-2014 14:19:11 | More by Kroehny_Loves_Hops
Photo of drpimento


4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Whoa; another masterpiece in this line. Love it. Thick, sultry, and luscious. Love it. Thick, sultry, and luscious. Body is a touch on the soft side, but I can't help but think it fits perfectly here. The tinges of whisky and peat meld seamlessly with the palate and other dark flavors. In spite of its richness, could see having another. Finish is much easier and cleaner than I expected. Sumptuous beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2014 07:12:23 | More by drpimento
Photo of Pug


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

04-26-2014 14:07:49 | More by Pug
Photo of Davidc117


4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

04-17-2014 18:44:54 | More by Davidc117
Photo of kmoen


4.25/5  rDev +1%

04-17-2014 03:23:19 | More by kmoen
Photo of afsdan


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

04-17-2014 01:59:40 | More by afsdan
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.