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

Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest AleOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

175 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 175
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9%


Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 01-04-2012)
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by UCLABrewN84:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, marshmallows, vanilla, cocoa powder, and milk chocolate. Taste is much the same with char-like and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic smell and some really nice flavors. Definitely a step above normal Old Engine Oil in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 09:52:18 | More by UCLABrewN84
More User Reviews:
Photo of kmoen
kmoen

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%

04-17-2014 03:17:34 | More by kmoen
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 09:50:20 | More by dgilks
Photo of eddsan
eddsan

New York

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

04-10-2014 22:00:44 | More by eddsan
Photo of Mikeluzzjr
Mikeluzzjr

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

04-08-2014 00:55:16 | More by Mikeluzzjr
Photo of threedaggers
threedaggers

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

03-30-2014 20:05:07 | More by threedaggers
Photo of BrazilianAussie
BrazilianAussie

Brazil

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

03-22-2014 02:29:19 | More by BrazilianAussie
Photo of Sirwootalot
Sirwootalot

Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 02:54:38 | More by Sirwootalot
Photo of OldTime
OldTime

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

03-17-2014 19:42:39 | More by OldTime
Photo of oso
oso

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

03-13-2014 06:27:30 | More by oso
Photo of Brinks
Brinks

Alabama

3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

03-12-2014 18:42:19 | More by Brinks
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

03-09-2014 22:16:12 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of dank203
dank203

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours thick dark black, not too much head. Aromas sweet coffee, chocolate, roasted barley, smoked meat. Flavors balanced with dark chocolate, creamy sweet malt and bitter coffee flavors. Feel and boldness of imperial stout with sweetness and drinkability of a porter

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 00:47:00 | More by dank203
Photo of DougT
DougT

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 21:59:58 | More by DougT
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing simple label and branded silver/black pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Texas bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery's reputation and the beer's current 93 rating. Reviewed as a porter since the label description claims this is simply "Old Engine Oil brewed up to 9% alc./vol" and Old Engine Oil's label identifies it as a porter. I guess there's an argument to be made that this is an imperial porter, but I wouldn't make it.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half-finger wide head of nice tan colour. Has decent creaminess and thickness. It's not the rich dark tan with a shiny complexion and an even consistency I've come to expect from the very best porters and stouts, but it's pretty appealing. Unfortunately, head retention is bad (even considering the high ABV) - only about 30 seconds. No real lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes, but there is a slick clear brandy-like coating that I've come to associate with the booziest of brews (Sam Adams Utopias comes to mind, for example).

Body colour is certainly a dark black, but I don't know that "blackest" is fair (insert racial jokes here). It's opaque, but it isn't a jet black in the way something like Alesmith's Speedway Stout is. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears a bit undercarbonated.

Overall, it's a good appearance for a porter and I'm looking forward to my first sip. Admittedly, it's not unique or special for a porter. Pretty standard fare in terms of style conventions.

Sm: Finally, a porter aroma with roasted barley! I was beginning to think breweries weren't doing that anymore. I love the roast and I'm praying it's there in the taste as well. Dark malts, cocoa (with a bit of bean-y earthiness), light cream, marshmallow, chocolate, and chocolate malts. It's a damn fine aroma for a porter, albeit not a horribly complex one.

The roast is absolutely a highlight and has me craving the first sip.

A mouthwatering aroma of average to above average strength.

No yeast character, hop profile, or alcohol is detectable - something of a feat at 9%.

T: Damnit. The roast is substantially less prominent in the taste than it was in the aroma; so much for my high hopes. I mean they did print "roasty" right on the label...

Aside from the disappointing lack of roasted barley presence, it's a nice flavour profile for a porter. Dark malts, chocolate malts, cocoa, chocolate (probably milk chocolate), malty sweetness, marshmallow, and a kiss of char/burnt character. I don't find any yeast character, hops, or alcohol - they all get subsumed by the apt maltiness.

It's relatively simple for a porter, but has a fair amount of complexity in general. (See beers like Ballast Point's Victory At Sea for an example of why this is "relatively" simple). And admittedly this is a pretty standard (dareisay basic) build for a porter. But in that sense it's kind of a classic build; this is very much an almost archetypical English porter, and for that I really like it. The simplicity wouldn't bother as much if I'd just been given the roast I was promised.

It's balanced, sure, but as abovementioned, it's fairly simple. Cohesive but not gestalt. I definitely like it, but I saw the potential for it to be great. I wish the taste would deliver on the aroma. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Not particularly nuanced or intricate. Good amplitude.

Mf: Viscous? I guess; I mean it's thick, but I wouldn't call it syrupy. Heavy and full-bodied, with a powerful presence on the palate. It's got strength without being boozy or hot. Well-carbonated. Slightly creamy. Overall, the texture complements the taste well, but there's room for improvement.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, or harsh. Unrefreshing.

Dr: It's a good beer that could have been great. The absence of the promised roast in the flavour profile really disappointed me. I could absolutely drink my way through a few of these in a night, and it evokes a classic porter feel, but I can't shrug off the feeling of wasted potential. Unfortunately, the unreasonable price point means I won't be buying this again in spite of its obvious quality (I had to double-check the label because the unreasonable pricing had me convinced the Shelton Bastards were involved). Well worth trying once, and I'd love to see how it develops with age. Good work from Harviestoun.

Solid B

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 03:31:21 | More by kojevergas
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4/5  rDev -5.2%

02-14-2014 03:12:56 | More by oline73
Photo of nasa60
nasa60

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

01-27-2014 02:43:04 | More by nasa60
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 14:33:54 | More by papat444
Photo of Azpittil57
Azpittil57

Illinois

4/5  rDev -5.2%

01-24-2014 00:41:51 | More by Azpittil57
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jvillefan

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%

01-21-2014 01:52:50 | More by jvillefan
Photo of Griffith
Griffith

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

01-20-2014 03:53:46 | More by Griffith
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

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

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 14:30:08 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

01-14-2014 03:50:39 | More by zonker17
Photo of jtoledo04
jtoledo04

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

01-11-2014 18:48:59 | More by jtoledo04
Photo of turbotype
turbotype

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.2%

12-13-2013 23:17:53 | More by turbotype
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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.