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.

280 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 280
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 24
Gots: 69 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 280 | Reviews: 112 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Zimbo:
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4/5  rDev -5%

Bottle No 11646
Bottling Date July 2011
BB June 2014

Probably should have saved this for a year or two but my curiousity got the better of me.

Truly excellent smoky dark chocolate roasty nose. Black with the tiniest of red sparkles at the base of the glass. Raasonable darkish magnolia 1/2 inch head which diminshes over time.
Smoothrich roasty taste with some fizzy furry candy sugar in there. Chocolate dominates the initial flavours before the furry fuzzy takes a more prominent role followed by more earth at the end. A little bit too sweet for me and the body could do with some stuffing to harden it up but still pretty nicely executed and fine.

01-05-2012 14:55:04 | More by Zimbo
More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

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

02-02-2013 23:07:57 | More by MadScientist
Photo of tbryan5


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

01-09-2013 02:49:19 | More by tbryan5
Photo of ricksrealm


4/5  rDev -5%

02-12-2012 13:22:52 | More by ricksrealm
Photo of FadetoBock

Alberta (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

08-18-2013 15:40:11 | More by FadetoBock
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.22/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

08-12-2010 00:24:51 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of bellce0


4.25/5  rDev +1%

02-11-2012 01:57:03 | More by bellce0
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1%

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


4.25/5  rDev +1%

07-17-2013 00:53:16 | More by xdefeatsy
Photo of fionn13


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

09-11-2012 16:34:01 | More by fionn13
Photo of bpfrush


4.25/5  rDev +1%

11-16-2011 02:39:13 | More by bpfrush
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +1%

07-15-2012 01:42:25 | More by chickenm
Photo of glid02


4.22/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

02-07-2009 17:56:59 | More by glid02
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.1/5  rDev -2.6%

(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.

09-14-2011 22:00:38 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -5%

12-01-2012 22:16:23 | More by acurtis
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +1%

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

Alberta (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +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.

01-26-2011 02:32:38 | More by biboergosum
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -5%

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.

12-24-2010 03:58:36 | More by Sammy
Photo of dertyd


3/5  rDev -28.7%

04-06-2013 23:40:21 | More by dertyd
Photo of phirleh

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +1%

04-04-2013 13:07:40 | More by phirleh
Photo of let8it8grow


4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

11-14-2012 03:51:40 | More by let8it8grow
Photo of woodchip

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1%

07-06-2013 22:18:37 | More by woodchip
Photo of Doppelbockulus


4/5  rDev -5%

07-30-2013 23:34:27 | More by Doppelbockulus
Photo of markcp


3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

09-30-2013 18:53:46 | More by markcp
Photo of aztraz


4/5  rDev -5%

02-02-2013 18:58:31 | More by aztraz
« 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 280 ratings.