Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
3.4/5 rDev -19.6%
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.
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.
05-08-2012 05:36:43 | More by JohnGalt1
3.61/5 rDev -14.7%
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.
02-27-2014 03:31:21 | More by kojevergas
3.7/5 rDev -12.5%
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.
02-12-2012 05:51:13 | More by Dope
3.73/5 rDev -11.8%
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.
01-27-2012 01:13:36 | More by nickfl
3.88/5 rDev -8.3%
11.2 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
They're not kidding about this being the "blackest;" there is only a slight lightening of colour near the edges. The nose consists of chocolate, with some roasty and smokey hints. Just a bit of booze.
When tasting, the smokiness definitely takes centre stage. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.
Overall, it's worth a try, at least. I won't be adding it to my regular line-up as I could see myself tiring of it after a couple. However, it's a very decent brew.
02-26-2012 01:49:50 | More by CityBoy1986
3.89/5 rDev -8%
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.
06-01-2014 14:36:59 | More by ADZA
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.