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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest AleOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

81 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 275
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.49%
Wants: 38
Gots: 47 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 01-04-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 81 | Hads: 275
Photo of Tone
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, alcohol, slight euro yeast, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an English Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of chocolate, slight euro yeast, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, body, feel, and blend. (446 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle.
Pours black with a small but semi-durable head.
Thick body with low carbonation.
Exceptional, rich dark roasted grain aroma.
Light hops and alcohol esters are more evident in the flavor. (204 characters)

Photo of khmel
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A pitch black pour with a super-dense tan head and medium retention.

S: Smokey malt, sweet dark bread.

T: Bitter roasted malt, smokey, sweetness and a hoppy bite at the end.

M: Medium-thick body, creamy, low carbonation with a hoppy alcohol bite. (252 characters)

Photo of OldManMetal
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a case of the name suiting the beer to a T: it is pitch-black and viscous like burnt crankcase oil, and the monolayer-thin creamy tan head that reluctantly forms immediately dissipates to the faintest of rings. The nose is all dark malt, predominately bitter chocolate with lesser amounts of dark toffee and hints of molasses and coffee; alcohol notes are also very prominent. On the palate, it is pretty straightforward: bitter light chocolate up front, which broadens to include bitter coffee and a hint of molasses. The finish is darkly malty, washed over by a chocolate bitterness that seems to stay forever. The full body has an expectedly thick texture, and a surprisingly prickly mouthfeel and finish due to some very lively carbonation. (752 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with little head but nice spotty lace.
Aromas muted, but taste kicks in with a major choc hit... All mellow roasts as well.
Seriously old school brewing. Nothing fancy just well made English porter with attitude.
May not appeal to the hipster market.
Whole is greater than sum of the parts. (308 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a one finger high, beigebrown head.

Nose: Caramel malt, roasted malt, fudge, cream, nuts, milk chocolate, rye bread and coffee.
Taste: Soft, silky taste of coffee, chocolate, licorice, dark bread, hops, tobacco and dark berries.
Body: Full, complex yet smooth body with medium carbonation. A little bit of bitterness. Dry ending. This is excellent!

Beatiful, dark, smooth, oily taste and yet so drinkable! I love this beer! (452 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and I first thought without any foam but it does show up after several seconds. Small and tannish, near zero lacing.

Big roasted malt nose with some coffee and chocolate, leans towards the bitter side vs sweet side.

Dark chocolate and that hugeness of roasted malt I mentioned in the smell dominate. Good coffee notes and hop bitterness from the UK hops.

Very smooth mouthfeel.

Big brother to the regular Old Engine Oil and just as enjoyable. (461 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a small dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, raisin, plum, light licorice, light smoke, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, raisin, plum, light licorice, light smoke, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/spicy hop and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, raisin, plum, light licorice, light smoke, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice robustness, balance, and complexity of big dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English imperial porter style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of big dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,662 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Heavy Seas tulip (post-MAGFest bottle)

A: Pitch black with a light mocha head and some lacing.
S: Sweet roasted malt that is definitely British in nature.
T: Nicely roasted with a medium sweetness to it. Some charcoal in there but not a real heavy roast.
M: Rough carbonation that dies down a bit, but that might be while it's cold.
O: Deliciously dark. One of the better porters I've had. (425 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The aroma is very rich and is akin to brown sugar, cocoa, dark coffee, and rye bread. The body is opaque and essentially black; the head is deep tan. There is lots of roasted malt in the flavor (more burnt coffee than chocolate) without being dry and astringent. It also tastes of burnt bread crust, prune, and molasses, as well as bitter, grassy, spicy hops. There is some booziness, though not that much considering the 9% ABV. It is velvety and incredibly viscous with only minimal carbonation, making it very smooth.

Entirely deserving of its name, this full-bodied beer is rich, thick, and intense. The aroma is fantastic; and the flavor, though considerably boozy and bitter, is complex and delicious. (709 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is slightly less than a finger high, and mocha in shade. While the texture is quite creamy, it doesn't retain very well. Only a tiny bit of lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: Wow, big dark chocolate is coming through. There's an undercurrent of ashy roasted malts, tobacco, and peat as well. Combined with the roastiness, it almost seems like a good mocha. While there's no doubt this beers smells incredibly nice...I'm not sure it smells any bigger or better than the regular Old Engine Oil. (3.75)

Taste: Surprise, surprise, dark chocolate is the biggest flavor of this beer. Hops surge up on the aftertaste, creating a nice tobacco note. Between the beginning and end, sweet caramel and brown sugar seem to tie everything together. There's one thing missing in order for me to give it a 4: some more roast flavor. Subtle coffee flavors float around, I just wish they were beefed up a notch. Still a quality porter, though. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: While the feel is more slick and oily than viscous (appropriate for a porter, however), it certainly has a thick richness that gives it good decadence. Because it's decadent, it's not the most drinkable. But really, who cares? This is a nice one to savor. Carbonation remains gentle throughout. (3.5)

Overall: This is an excellent porter, much like its little brother. At first, I don't think there's enough to differentiate this from its little brother, until I focus on its bigness in comparison. It's pretty much a bigger, richer Old Engine Oil - and that's no bad thing. (3.75)

3.7/5: A rock-solid night capper loaded with chocolaty goodness (1,692 characters)

Photo of Samp01
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a rich black with a thin brown head. Aroma is of sweet chocolate and caramel malt. Taste has a nice sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malt flavor with some roasted espresso bean bitterness. Palate is a full rich slightly viscous body, smooth and slight sticky mouth feel with good mild carbonation. The finish is sweet mildly roasted caramel and chocolate malt with some mild roasted espresso bean bitterness for balance. Overall this is a very good full flavored rich and tasty brew, enjoyed. (501 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with a luscious, creamy head that sticks close to the surface. Smells deeply malty...dark bread, coffee beans, cocoa, nougat, and a soft plum and berry fruitiness. First sip is notably creamy smooth and features chocolate, coffee, molasses, and tobacco with a slight smoky char underlying it all. Plush and somewhat chewy in texture, it's not really heavy so much as beautifully soft and creamy. Sweet, but not cloyingly so. Excellent...I feel classy drinking this. Funny how you sometimes find the best beers on the lowest shelves covered in dust. (559 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours pitch black with a slight head that laces and retains less than normal. Light nose of chocolate, roast and dark fruit (dates, figs, raisins) with a touch of coffee over a light rich malt sweetness. Medium bodied with a very slick, approaching creamy, texture. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence on the finish. The excellent flavor profile is quite complex yet balanced. Alcohol is noticed on the first sip, but then becomes well hidden. It begins with a rush of dark chocolate sweetness and roast over a light coffee background, then the dark fruit flavors predominate the middle. The finish is a slow fade of the flavor profile where the spicy hops become evident and leaves a nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat. (748 characters)

Photo of cottonkoozie
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%

Pours pitch black, no reds around the glass. Very dark, too dark to see carbonation.

Aromas of chocolate and coffee. Sweet roasted malts. little bit of alcohol. Mostly coffee and chocolate malts.

Flavor is excellent. Much like the smell, the malts dominate. Coffee, chocolate, deep roast flavors but not quite burnt, which is very nice. I nice bitter finish. Alcohol flavor comes through but works well.

Overall and excellent beer. The name is spot on, color and viscosity is right in line with burnt engine oil. Definitely worth a try. (553 characters)

Photo of Wobbly
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%

A remarkable beer from a great brewery. The texture has velvety richness to it, but remarkably drinkable. Bouquet of chocolate and iron. Flavor profile is very complex, with an iron like flavor giving way to deep malty and chocolate flavors. One of my favorite porters. b (271 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not the blackest pour, but almost there, one finger tan head, pretty quick to a sticky lace and a thin film.
Smell of salty roasted malts and extremely rich dark chocolate with a raisin here and there, sweet, creamy, lots of sweet spices (big vanilla, toffee, faint licorice), bit of pecan nuts, bit of coffee, bit of alcohol. This should be very very tasty.
Oh yea! Creamy chocolate up front, with cappuccino notes, nice toffee, cinnamon, brown sugar, cocoa powder, sweet oily nuts (Macadamia, Brazilian nuts), vanilla and a hint of coconut. Dark fruit undertone, with raisin, juicy plum and some fig. Sweetness dominates, but there's a strong robust dark maltiness, especially towards the end, with smokey burnt grains, bit of wood ash and charcoal. Finishes with a mix of lingering sweetness and roast, mild bitterness, rich aftertaste.
Smooth, but a bit light bodied, not very.. "nutritious". Alcohol nicely hidden.
This comes very close to the very top, would have been better if it kept the rich roastiness of the regular Old Engine Oil (actually, if the alcoholic sweetness didn't cover it up). Still, a huge English porter. (1,131 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ruby black with a cappuccino head.
Fresh earth, carob, sweet tobacco, and brown sugar nose – sweet.
Char, treacle, black Twizzlers, then whiskey, wood, vanilla, and some coffee liqeuer.
Brownie end and roasty, dry linger.
Medium to light, a bit hot, slightly hot.

Doesn't really meld – wood is just laid on top of the base beer. Cuts too dry and loses the smoothness of OEE. (384 characters)

Photo of slackattack
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours the color and viscosity of...you guessed it...old engine oil. Nice tan milk chocolatey looking head. Aroma is dominated by the smoky, toasty malt, and it smells damn delicious. Coffee, dark chocolate, and amazing are the major flavor notes, this thing is chewy like chocolate syrup. I don't want this bottle to end. I want to stop this review and enjoy it, soooo bye. (373 characters)

Photo of utfiero
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color- black hole, no light escapes its grip. No head.

Aroma- burnt coffee with pear and Christmas cake (like rum coffee with fruitcake).

Taste- Wow! This is superb! Starts smooth as silk with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, pear brandy, finishing long and lingering with perfect hop dryness blended with roasty perfection.

Tasted in Scotch glass on 6/13/14. Also tasted it's little brother "Old Engine Oil," and this is truly a grown up, aperitif of the original. (470 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle at 45 degrees into imperial pint glass
Faint toasted malt aroma
Head small (1.5 cm), light brown, frothy, rapidly diminishing to irregular ring with varying size bubbles
Lacing sketchy – few islands of small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor is light, roasted malt; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl; flavor ends with no bitterness, just slightly sweet.
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

This is an excellent porter, creamy, sweet, lightly roasted. It is just a joy to drink – the only down side is the poor head and lacing which detract from the appearance. (588 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black hue with a one finger Khaki head and some nice sporadic clingy lacing,the smell is roasted nuts,fruity hops and a real ashiness to it aswell,the feel is full bodied with above moderate carbonation and has tastes of milky chocolate,dark peated ashy malts,fruity earthy hops and finished with a taste of bitter coffee and overall quite a nice blend of bitter and sweet and would drink again cheers. (415 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 330 ml bottle (code says 262/11) into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces a finger of mocha-colored head that fades to cap after a minute. I get no lacing. The beer is ebony in color and still-looking. Pretty standard stuff.

S-The aroma is full of roast and chocolate flavors. There is a heavy dose of cream, as well. Another sniff reveals toffee and molasses. There is just a hint of char and bitterness. Alcohol is pretty well-hidden.

T-The taste is also a creamy mixture of milk and dark chocolate, molasses, caramel, and malted grains. There is a little bit of dark fruity sweetness from the alcohol and a touch of bitter smoke flavor.

M-The viscosity is quite high and the lazy carbonation does just enough to keep my palate interested. Really nice.

O-I really enjoy this beer. It is substantial in both taste and feel. The creamy flavors pair well with the thick mouthfeel, but there is just enough char and roasted flavors lurking underneath to keep this beer from feeling lopsided. A very solid effort with an outstanding mouthfeel. (1,053 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black. Engine oil isn't wrong. Small creamy tan head. Pretty good.

Intensely toasty and roasty. Nice nuttiness. Sweet. Good.

Sweet and toasty. Big bitterness too. Great rounded complex flavour. Mmmmm.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Sweet.

Great beer. The flavours just work and it sings. Big beer but subtle too. (339 characters)

Photo of Sirwootalot
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I've reviewed a new beer, but this one is amazing enough to compel me to.

Pours engine-oil-black (what were you expecting?) with a luscious, thick 1.5 inch malt head that fades after a few minutes. It yields absolutely nothing to the light, and truly is the "blackest ale" I have ever seen; maybe one of the blackest things ever. It's mesmerizing to look at, beautiful even.

The smell is rich but not cloying or intense - molasses, bitter cacao, and roasted nut dominate, with hints of french roast and cigar. The second this beer hit my tongue was a magic moment. It's dominated by rich roasted malt, with a strong wallop of not-too-sweet toffee and detectable british hop funk. The taste quickly fades to an almost herbal, vegetabley core (peat smoke perhaps?), and leaves a sticky, syrupy finish that refuses to go away even after several minutes. The high alcohol is nowhere to be found until you start to feel it, and it goes down dangerously smooth and easy for how potent it is.

Overall, I wish I had saved this for a slightly more special occasion or had a nice dinner to pair it with - as it is, I'm drinking it on my first night off in two straight weeks on a grumbling stomach. Maybe that's special enough - this is a new favorite, and one I'm sure to buy for special occasions in the future.

EDIT: PAIR THIS BEER WITH SHARP CHEDDAR. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO IT ALREADY. I could almost cry it's so delicious. (1,450 characters)

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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.