Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +6.4%
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.
06-13-2014 22:13:28 | More by utfiero
4.09/5 rDev -3.3%
11.2 oz bottle at 45 degrees into imperial pint glass
Faint toasted malt aroma
Head small (1.5 cm), light brown, frothy, rapidly diminishing to irregular ring with varying size bubbles
Lacing sketchy – few islands of small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor is light, roasted malt; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl; flavor ends with no bitterness, just slightly sweet.
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation
This is an excellent porter, creamy, sweet, lightly roasted. It is just a joy to drink – the only down side is the poor head and lacing which detract from the appearance.
06-12-2014 22:07:24 | More by Ozzylizard
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
4.45/5 rDev +5.2%
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.
05-17-2014 00:59:54 | More by spoony
4.46/5 rDev +5.4%
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.
04-15-2014 09:50:20 | More by dgilks
4.48/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
03-20-2014 02:54:38 | More by Sirwootalot
4.58/5 rDev +8.3%
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
03-06-2014 00:47:00 | More by dank203
4.38/5 rDev +3.5%
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.
02-28-2014 21:59:58 | More by DougT
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
4.29/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
01-26-2014 14:33:54 | More by papat444
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.