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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.

82 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 279
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 15.73%
Wants: 39
Gots: 50 | FT: 3
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.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 279
Photo of JamesS
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a wonderful thick black with wonderful thick head and great lacing throughout. Great chocolate and roasted grain aromas with a nice earthiness underneath. Excellent flavors with great thick and sweet and coffee like roasted malts and a wonderful chocolate flavor with a great slight earthy hop undertone. Extremely smooth and great going down with no discernible alcohol heat. Best... Beer... Ever.

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Photo of slackattack
5/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of acevenom
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a two-finger length dark tan head that dissipates slowly. There is excellent head retention. Some lacing is left behind on the glass as the head dissipates. There are aromas of dark roasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, and molasses. There are lots of big flavors in this beer. Sweet dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, hops, and some dark fruits can be tasted in this beer. The alcohol is very well-hidden in this one. The flavors remind me so much of a good RIS, but I have to remember this is a porter. The body is medium and this is smooth and creamy. There is just enough carbonation to make this very drinkable. It goes down very easily. Despite the fact that this is such a big beer, it still feels like a porter. Overall, this is an excellent beer. I liked it better than the regular Old Engine Oil, which is also an excellent beer. This porter is big and bold, but doesn't forget it's a porter. This is a home run.

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Photo of Corkpuller
4.94/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%

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

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
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!


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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
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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Photo of Tone
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of drpimento
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at a good temperature and with a medium size, tan, foamy head that soon settled to some swirls and a ring plus some lace. Color (with the help of a bright light) is a clear, almost opaque brown black red. Aroma is a heavenly, volatile blend of coffee, malt, cocoa, dark ripe fruit, vanilla. Flavor's like nose, has good interplay between malt sweet & bitter, carbonic tang, and hop bitter plus a bit metallic. Body is good, full and decent carbonation. Finsih is like flavor, fairly long, and the barest hint of alcohol. Very good beer.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of dank203
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of utfiero
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma has notes of chocolate, roast coffee and caramel. It pours a deep sable with a thick tan head. Scrumptious flavor has chocolate, quality coffee and malt notes plus hints of licorice and caramel. Lip smacking! Thick, smooth mouthfeel has a good amount of fizz and leaves a smoky, slightly sweet finish. You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate this one.

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Photo of pkalix
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black, but brown. cant see through it at all.
smell is heavenly! roasty chocolate malts, cocoa, vanilla...
taste is very cocoa. very vanilla. very roasted malts.
i cant find this beer on the brewery's own site. i would love to see some more story on this. 9% abv and a great taste.

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Photo of jmaharaj
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Sirwootalot
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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.


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Photo of micromaniac129
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich and velvetty and lusious. Didn't get much of a foam cap even when vigorously poured into my glass.Basically just a strong collar.
The color is a super deep brown.
Very aromatic. smells along the line of a coffee stout. One can also pick up sutle nuiances of vanilla and oak. But overall the aroma is richly roasted malts.
Taste is fantastic, lots of roasted malts candied toffee, chocolate and rippening dark fruits. A tich of alcohol come through at the end.
Flows thick and smooth over the palette.
Easily one of the best beers I've had to date.

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Photo of spoony
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.