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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

291 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 113
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 24
Gots: 71 | FT: 5
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 113 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Manoftyr:
Photo of Manoftyr
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a beautiful, nearly opaque black with only the faintest of red-mahogany highlights, a finger and a half of head rises and quickly recedes but leaves dabs of lacing along the rim, considering the barrel aging I'm surprised to see this much head at all. Sparkly, crisp little bubbles of carbonation leap to the top of the luxurious liquid sitting in the snifter before me; this looks to be a real treat I'm awaiting.

Aroma-The unmistakable scent of peat and highland park Scotch whiskey leap out at the nose balanced on a substantial blanket of sweet, darkly fruitlike malt. The Scotch is in no way overpowering but it makes its presence firmly felt achieving a truly brilliant balance, it's not as though you're just smelling Scotch with the beer as an afterthought; it's all one carefully wrapped package.

Taste-Amazing; dry yet subtly-sweet and toasty malts are the first to greet you on the palette with but a curious hint of peat on the edges, then, the scotch breaks forward in full force mid palette with all its complex and peaty goodness. The finish dials back on the scotch at first letting some more sweet malts come through and then *bam* right on the end of it you're left with an exit performance of smokey peat leaving you with a snappy, dry kick and 'for me at least' lust for another sip.

Mouthfeel-Plush with ample carbonation, I'm especially impressed given how I've found most barrel aged beers to lose something in the way of mouthfeel plushness; this is a clear exception, and the mouthfeel is structured perfectly for the flavors.

Drinkability/Overall-Brilliant, utterly brilliant, an absolute masterpiece of a beer; had I the money and it being avilable I would drink it be the gallon, this is fantastic.

Manoftyr, Mar 25, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Very black showing a hint of deep garnet on the edges. The head is very thin but is long lasting and made of a fine medium brown bubbles.

S: Moderate whiskey and malt aromas that well balanced, the smoky and peaty scotch notes blend well with the beer although the light roast and bit of chocolate notes are more stout-like than old ale. There isn't much in the way of hops. There is a light note of stone fruit in there as well. Alcohol is evident and soft.

T: A smooth and palate coating beer with a moderate whisky flavor and a light malt sweetness. The malt has a slight raisin character along with bringing a touch of cocoa and little roast.There is a moderately-light hops bitterness. Some moderately-light oak character comes through as well. The balance is slightly bitter. The finish is medium and the aftertaste is a long lingering whisky flavor blended with a moderate alcohol.

M: Full bodied and slightly slick with moderately-light carbonation.

O: A heavy, sipping beer with layers of flavor and a great balanced whisky character.

BottleNo. 72188
& Date: July 2011

MadScientist, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

tbryan5, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of ricksrealm
4/5  rDev -5%

ricksrealm, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of FadetoBock
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

FadetoBock, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Working my way up the ladder.
Bottle #05835
Bottled Feb 2009
Black color, tiny tan head.
Aroma of raisin bread and whiskey.
The whiskey aroma was more peaty in the taste. Still the raisin bread was there.
Pretty smooth and mellow.
Nice beer. Will drink more of these.

lordofthewiens, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of bellce0
4.25/5  rDev +1%

bellce0, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
4.25/5  rDev +1%

ImFlyerThanYou, May 17, 2014
Photo of xdefeatsy
4.25/5  rDev +1%

xdefeatsy, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of fionn13
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

fionn13, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +1%

bpfrush, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +1%

chickenm, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours completely black with a two-finger brown large-bubbled head that recedes quickly into a thin ring around the glass.

Smells of whiskey with hints of smoked/roasted malts. As it warms hints of chocolate come out.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although chocolate flavors have more of a presence. Whiskey flavors kick things off, and just before they seem overpowering give way to roasted malts and dark chocolate. There's a mildly bitter ending, then the whiskey flavors linger for a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. This was the second day the cask was tapped so there was almost no carbonation, but what little there was served its purpose.

Drinkability is good. I feel like I could drink a lot of these in a cigar-smoked filled room with my own in my hand, but in normal conditions one is enough.

Overall I thought there was a bit more whiskey influence on the 18 year than in the 12 year, but other than that they seemed very similar.

glid02, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
bottle 07696
Date Feb 2009

A- The jet black body supports a fizzy light tan head that is creamy until it fades to a thin ring. This beer is a bit to dense to see any carbonation except for the random bubble that pops at the surface.

S- The blend of smoke and barrel oak lets a few notes of toffee and caramel bled through before the smooth black roasted malt finishes the nose.

T- The smoky taste if full with a mescal quality and some slight saltiness to it. Then a thin black malt roasted flavor peaks through before the smoky oak flavor finishes with a slight bacon quality.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel and a bright little fizz with just a touch of alcohol that only comes through when warmed a bit.

O- The nice rich smoky flavor has no band-aid or off qualities at all and is supported by a smooth stout with some flavors developing a bit as it warms. Very nice sipper.

rhoadsrage, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5%

acurtis, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.25/5  rDev +1%

ONovoMexicano, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml black foil-capped bottle. Now I'm into Ola Dubh territory where I've at least had the chance to try the eponymous whiskey malt - here's to ye, Scotland's famous son.

This beer pours a mahogany-tinted black oil colour, with very slight reddish edges, and one skinny finger of thinly creamy and bubbly tan head, which dissipates rather quickly, essentially leaving a few specks of paramecia lace around the glass.

Wafting from the glass is a lovely Highland Park malt aroma analogue - caramel and vanilla cream malt, soft smoked peat, and an agreeably mild ocean air's bounty of salt spray and iodine. The taste kicks off with a solid bittersweet chocolate tinged caramel malt, a hint of dilute treacle, ashen peat, real vanilla, supermarket honey, a drug-store medicinal acridity, herbal tea leaves, and a soft musty, weedy hoppiness.

As the weak head seems to have given up the remainder of the bubbles, the carbonation is quite innocuous at best, leading to a very smooth, and somewhat creamy medium-full weight body. It finishes with a big barrel sweetness flourish - caramel, vanilla, and oaken woodiness, only slightly offset by the underlying alcohol and musty seaside edge.

Having previously enjoyed the 18 year old Highland Park whisky, I'm delighted to find the same beauty in this spin-off project from its countrymen - all the weight of a well-made, generous malt, blended into a world-class cocoa-heavy porter, and still full of an island character delivered with the deftest of touches. Sublime, aye, this is.

biboergosum, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Middle of the pack enjoyment of the series. Must do a vertical one night. Pours black, wiskey smoke aromas. Milk chocolate taste, a little more bitter at the end of the bottle. Bit more than medium mouthfeel. Whiskey is right there.Good drinkability.

Sammy, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of dertyd
3/5  rDev -28.7%

dertyd, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of phirleh
4.25/5  rDev +1%

phirleh, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of let8it8grow
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

let8it8grow, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of woodchip
4.25/5  rDev +1%

woodchip, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of markcp
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

markcp, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of aztraz
4/5  rDev -5%

aztraz, Feb 02, 2013
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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.