1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

225 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9%
Wants: 35
Gots: 27 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 01-04-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 225 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TR0219
2/5  rDev -52.6%

TR0219, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of facesnorth
3/5  rDev -28.9%

facesnorth, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of NSK79
3.25/5  rDev -23%

NSK79, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of Cobrabob428
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

Cobrabob428, Friday at 07:00 AM
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.

JohnGalt1, May 08, 2012
Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Doppelbockulus, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Mikeluzzjr, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of bark
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

bark, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of kniretsew
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

kniretsew, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of tommyguz
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

tommyguz, May 08, 2013
Photo of sbricker
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

sbricker, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
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

kojevergas, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A black pour with a big, dense chocolate brown head. Retention is excellent. Lacing is quite heavy as well.

S: Smoked meat and roasted malt up front. Touch of chocolate.

T: A ton of hickory smoke. Bitter coffee and roasted malt along with a touch of chocolate. Smoked meat pervades in the aftertaste.

M: Fairly thick mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy.

O: A pretty decent porter but way overpowered on the smoke. I much prefer the normal old engine oil.

Dope, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
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

ThisWangsChung, Friday at 04:08 AM
Photo of nickfl
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of medium brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles quickly and leaves average lace on the glass.

S - Dark, sugary notes of molasses, licorice, and smoky caramel.

T - Smoky caramel and dark brown sugar up front. Some more intense dark sugar in the middle with notes of cola and licorice. Finishes with smoke, green hops, molasses, and lingering sweet caramel.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - The aroma is full of promising rich malt character and while those characteristics come across in the flavor profile they don't have the sort of complexity I might have expected. The sugary character is cloying in the end and while there is some hop character for balance it could use a little bit of roast to help push back against the sugar.

nickfl, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of HoppySeb
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

HoppySeb, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

ygtbsm94, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of ROGUE16
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

ROGUE16, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of kaelingirl
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

kaelingirl, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Brinks
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Brinks, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

spycow, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of Abe_Froman
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Abe_Froman, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of jwat
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

jwat, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

JAHMUR, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

strongaf, Sep 30, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.