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

269 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 269
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 37
Gots: 43 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 78
Reviews by RonaldTheriot:
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve has a very thick, dark beige head, with a soapy top, lots of lacing left behind, and an absolutely black appearance. The aroma is strong and pungent: rich, sweet, dark-roasted malt, black cherry, chocolate powder, burnt sugar, and even a slight vegetable smell. Taste is of all those with a hefty bitterness to compliment the sweetness. Mouthfeel is heavy and viscous, and Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve finishes dry, rich, somewhat powdery, heavy, smooth, and delicious. Overall, this is a wonderful beer!

RJT

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Verk, very dark brown and opaque. A creamy dark brown head with good retention.

S: Moderately-strong chocolate and coffee aromas but a moderate dark dried fruit hit my nose before I even poured a glass. There is a soft alcohol sweetness and an inviting roasty/fermentation type of a smell that has me excited to try a sip. Some moderate dark roasted grain character as well.

T: A rich, dark malt flavors of chocolate, coffe with moderate sweetness balanced by some bitterness from the dark grains and a low hop bitterness. The balance somewhat sweet. There isn't much of the hops coming through but a low spiciness and fruitiness that is hard to distinguish what comes from the hops and what the grains and yeast bring. There is a low prune and raisin fruitiness. The is a light burnt character from the grains. The finish is medium and the aftertaste is of coffee and dark grains.

M: A creamy medium-full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A smooth beer with rich dark grain flavors of chocolate and coffee mixed with some dark fruit, a little spice and a burnt toffee character. A great after dinner beer that would pair well with a vanilla custard and fruit compote or any rich chocolate dessert.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as oil pitch black with a nice thicket of mocha tan head forms fine even lacing down the sides of my glass. This is basically an imperial version of their standard Old Engine Oil, I would call it just that an Imperial Porter. Aroma is creamy with dark chocolate, sweet underlying molasses, mild fruit complexity some hints of raisin. Herbal spicy hops are evident. Flavor is big with dark chocolate, roasted malt complexity, a hint of coffee. A touch of alcohol with dark ripened fruits blended in really a very smooth big dark beer can't tell that it would be 9% abv. Mouthfeel is medium bodied mellow carbonation this beer works well, I'm glad it wasn't aged in whiskey barrels I've had enough of their beers aged in whiskey. They need to send more of their standard and seasonal lineups stateside, seems like they know how to brew a really good beer. Overall my kind of big dark beer roasted malts big flavors with almost no harsh qualities, highly enjoyable definitely grab some. Only 4.99 a bottle really worth it for the abv and flavor quality.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a sticky tan head that fades to a film but sticks to the glass in sheets.

S- The mellow dark toffee aroma has some smooth black roasted malt smells in the finish. Even though the aroma is smooth, it is full.

T- The mellow roasted black malt has some toffee flavors and an inky note comes through as it opens. There is a papery oak flavor that supports the malt aswell. The hop bittern note in the slightly sweet finish leads to a hint of a slightly tart hop flavor. There is a smokey black malt flavor that lingers in the aftertaste.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat really noticed.

O- This beer has a nice complex dark malt flavor that is also well blended and very drinkable. There is a bit more carbonation as the beer warms but it has some nice character.

Photo of joeseppy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black stallion pour with a grandiose tight mocha one inch head.

Rich black roast American coffee and Whoppers. Molasses, sweet cream and licorice noted as well.

Rich blend of hop fruity bitterness, malt and coffee. As it comes up in temperature, a more burnt quality stands out. Delicious cold or warmer.

Leaves my lips sticky with rich malt sweetness. A milky creaminess and yet so freakin clean. Leans toward more a stout thickness.

Overall a steady porter to lean on. My first impression was this is darn close to Ten-Fidy. Nothing over bearing and just a delight to spend time with. Truly decadent and worth every cent!

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served off the hand pump @ Trapp Door in Emmaus, PA into a 10oz glass.

A- Pitch black (really is "Blackest") with a very creamy thin tan head. This beer is truly barely opaque.

S- Rich, dark chocolate, molasses and raisins. Alcohol is well hidden considering the 9%ABV.

T- Home run of a porter we have here. The sweetness and bitterness is played nice. Roasted cocoa and dark malt are exemplary.

M- Perfecto off the cask. This beer is meant for casks.

O- This beer is a very good example of a cask english porter. Very flavorful, robust, and truly a treat. FYI- $9 for a 10oz pour; $4.50 on T-Fr from 4pm-6pm during Happy Hour. Happy Hour @ Trapp Door is rocks.

Photo of Corkpuller
4.94/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of a wooden cask at TJ's Anniversary event. In a supreme lineup of dark beers including Parabola, Velvet Merkin, Everett, Bourbon County etc....this beer reigned supreme.

Rich, Dark and unctuous and not overly sweet. Hugely complex nose of dried fruits, roast and torrefaction. Dense but incredibly dynamic palate leads to a finish and aftertaste that just won't quit. the aftertaste is so long that it delays follow up sips, but just as the beer begins to fades the palate turns dry and begs for another glug.

The balance is such that the beer becomes more aromatic in the mouth than the nose. - an amazing feat for a dark beer of this volume.

An utterly fantastic experience.

Photo of bashiba
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep dark brown with dark mahogany highlights and a thin ring of dark tan head.

The smell is a mixture of light smoked peat, a bit of anise, and a touch of sweet alcohol.

The flavor is very black and bitter, a nice bit of sweetness starts to creep through after you get through the smoke and roasted barley flavors along with the moderate earthy hops. It seems to get a bit sweeter as you go with a touch of oatmeal and caramel malts coming out along with a Worcestershire fish oil type flavor as well that seems to give a very english like flavor, could be black treacle?

The mouthfeel is thick and oily, very heavy leaving a long lasting tongue coating.

Pretty nice big porter, has a great English quality to it along with a nice range of flavors.

Photo of DougT
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Guinness pint glass.

Absolutely black with a 2 finger dark, frothy tan head with light tan edges. Melts away into a full layer of foam with acceptable lacing.

Smells of chocolate, malt, and roasted grain.

Sweet up front, chocolate, a little coffee then bitter into the after taste. Some yeast and hops notes in the middle. Well balanced. Some alcohol burn, but only as the other flavors wash away. The taste of chocolate lingers throughout.

Full bodied, creamy, smooth, with enough effervescence to keep it interesting. Coats the mouth and tongue and engages the whole palate.

Very good beer. The flavors are quite tasty and the experience worth the price of admission.

Photo of Bung
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. very dark brown/mohoghanny pour, just a ring and a few wisps light tan.

Aroma, heavy earthy chocolates. Lighter malt and anise.

Taste, Some earthy malt and dark chocolate. Mostly do instead by a heavy roast and anise however. Actually works pretty well, just more RIS, as others have pointed out.

Heavier than mid bodied, but enough carbonation. Just about creamy. Only a little warming. Good, definetely worth a try, though I prefer the regular as well.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of Samp01
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a lot of lacing left behind on the glass. The brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and some molasses. It tastes like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and some burnt/charred malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating, and has a good amount of carbonation. I can't tell this is a 9% ABV beer at all, the alcohol is hidden very well. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd certainly buy this again in the future. Definitely worth trying!

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Bier Thirty last week, I think I paid about $7ish. Poured into my slim tulip... short lasting dark brown head.. big bubble lacing is okay at best... the brew is pretty much black except for the most remote ruby highlights near the stem.

Nose shows a bit boozy light dark malt.. not nearly as "black" as I would expect..

Flavor is more dark.. but odd. Something that I associate with fermented out molasses.. background char that is sweetened a bit by dark raisin... some pronounced cocoa with warmth.. Palate dies off pretty quickly.

Body seems thinned out by EtOH.... carbonation is pretty solid but goes away quickly on my tongue..

Not sure that I would identify this as any type of "porter"... Strong ale, probably... or a damn boozy porter, I guess too.

3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5/3

Okay... glad I got a chance to try it, but I want Harvieston to bring back the Special Reserve... I would like to try that again.

Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Guldan Draak flute. Pours a very dark red brown, appearing pitch black in the glass. Nice half finger fine light brown head slowly dissipates into a film and ring with little lacing. Pleasant aroma of roasted and dark malt, molasses with hints of chocolate and coffee. Taste is dominated by roasted malt with light dark fruit, coffee and chocolate. Finishes roasty with a moderate suggestion of smoked meat that similar to Rauchbiers, but with more of a burnt quality. Not very complex, but flavors are well integrated and very pleasant. Medium to heavy bodied with creaminess. Light on carbonation, but enough to contribute to a good mouth feel. Alcohol is well hidden. A very nice smokey porter that is a pleasure to drink and savor.

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving a collar of large bubbles and some wispy lacing on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts and smoke in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark roasted malts and is accompanied by a very slight amount of bitterness and some hints of chocolate and smoked peat.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is incredibly drinkable—no traces of the alcohol whatsoever are present in the taste.

Photo of jmaharaj
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Doesn't seem pour as thick as I expected ut it is a deep deep black. A thin off-white head leaves a ring around the beer thnat lingers.
Smells lovely. Deep bitter coffee, burnt grains and a toffe scent that,despite the thickness of the aroma, doesnt feel sickeningly sweet. A sharp sting of alcohol sits on the top. I didnt expect much hops presence at all, but im getting some earthy and peppery hops. nothing huge, but something is certainly there.
Very tasty. A long beer with all the notes from the nose showing up well on the tongue. The toffee malts melt on the tongue, whirling with the coffe and a light chocolate flavor. Nothing here seems artificial. the hops dont show up with flavor, but they do dry up the beer pleasingly on the end. Wen everything else had had its say, the 9%alcohol kicks in with a comforting warmth.
Low carbonation, but that was expected. Sometimes even in thick stouts where its expected the low carbonation seems to produce a sappy beer, that isnt the case here. The beer feels thicker than it looks. Wonderfully viscous as it rolls over the tongue. Its a genuine sort of thickness, not tacky or oily. Thats what impresses me most about this beer. Its pretty big and flavorful, but it seems so well brewed, nothing seems added or out of place. Solid in every way.

Photo of mooseo
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into goblet.

A - Pours midnight black with a very thick, almost syrup-like consistency. Tan head quickly dwindles down to a thin film.

S - Dark chocolate, burnt roasted malt, coffee, sweet caramel.

T - Sweet dark chocolate, oak, caramel, light coffee notes. Mildly bitter, short finish with hints of dark fruit and wood. Good balance and complexity.

M - Silky smooth, medium-full body, just the right amount of carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O - Despite it's high alcohol content, this still tastes and feels like an English porter. The alcohol is masked, making this beer very drinkable. This is a well crafted, delicious porter. In comparison, this is definitely better than the regular 'Old Engine Oil' beer.

Photo of papat444
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle, no #freshbeer info.

Pitch black pour, dense brown foam that plunges and cascades into the rest of the body. Easily 4-5 fingers worth of head that really takes its time in receding. Sweet, rich milk chocolate in aroma, decadent with hints of darker chocolate. Flavor follows suit with a more semi-sweet chocolate presence accentuated. Like a dessert in a glass. The only qualm is the bitterness that kind of spoils the decadence of the chocolate profile. A small blip in an otherwise awesome brew.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy light brown head. Retention is very good given the ABV and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Lots of sweet malt chocolate, but also a large earthy component with a touch of mineral. Caramel sweetness and supple roastiness. Well put together. Booze is hidden well.

4.5 T: Much like the nose. Sweet malt chocolate, caramel, molasses. Vanilla, supple roastiness, and mineral. Booze is well hidden again.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light to moderate creaminess. Good here.

4.0 D: I find this to be the best of the series, beating out the regular OEO and all of the Ola Dubhs. More than solid all around.

Photo of shand
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

It's black. I'm not sure if I'd say blackest, it's not a Zhukov or a Hunahpu, but I sure can't see through it. The aroma is roasted with a huge coffee component. The taste isn't nearly as roasty, with sweet caramel flavors dominating the flavor. Dark fruits struggle though a bit on the opening, with a bit of that roast hitting the tongue in the middle, but the sweetness really rides through, on the edge of cloying. It's really quite good though, I'm just thankful it isn't in a large-format bottle. The mouthfeel feels a little bit thin at first, but it does a nice coating and drying thing at the end. The drinkability is decent. Overall, it's a pretty good beer, but I don't really think it's better than the base Old Engine Oil.

Photo of utfiero
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of OldManMetal
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.