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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

78 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 78
Hads: 269
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 3.98%
Wants: 37
Gots: 44 | 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:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 01-04-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 269
Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black in color with hints of dark brown when held up to the light and moderate amounts of carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that reduces to a very thin patch covering the majority of the surface of the beer, a small thick patch, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts and burnt malts along with notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

T: Similar to the smell, this beer has a strong body of dark roasted malts and burnt malts. There are notes of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, licorice, and just a hint of caramel sweetness.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Silky smooth.

O: For such a strong porter, the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. I found this beer to be enjoyable but very much a sipping beer and not a session beer. (941 characters)

Photo of mooseo
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into goblet.

A - Pours midnight black with a very thick, almost syrup-like consistency. Tan head quickly dwindles down to a thin film.

S - Dark chocolate, burnt roasted malt, coffee, sweet caramel.

T - Sweet dark chocolate, oak, caramel, light coffee notes. Mildly bitter, short finish with hints of dark fruit and wood. Good balance and complexity.

M - Silky smooth, medium-full body, just the right amount of carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O - Despite it's high alcohol content, this still tastes and feels like an English porter. The alcohol is masked, making this beer very drinkable. This is a well crafted, delicious porter. In comparison, this is definitely better than the regular 'Old Engine Oil' beer. (727 characters)

Photo of popery
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with just a hint of dark coffee brown along the edges. Small tan head. The aroma is molasses, dark stone fruit, chocolate and roast. It's sort of a beery bittersweet chocolate flavor, sweet but with a good dose of dark malt backing it up. Mild herbaceous hops. The taste is luxurious dark malt. Sweet, rich chocolate leading into a gently bitter finish, roasty and hoppy. Thick, velvety feel. Fills the mouth. Relatively low carbonation. It's a very nice beer full of dark malt flavor. Good stuff. (509 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ours jet black with a brown-ish head. In the aroma, a light roasted malt and sweet chocolate. In the taste, a quite rich chocolate taste, and a small alcohol in the end. Quite smooth and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a note of alcohol and chocolate in the aftertaste. Quite nice, with rich chocolate and note of alcohol, yet smooth and tasty. (354 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich black hue whose edges suggest an extremely dark brown. Head is a thick finger of frothy dark tan foam. Quite nice.

Smell: rich, smooth aroma of creamy chocolate with a hint of vegetal hops. Not terribly complex, but well-crafted and enticing.

Taste: much deeper and more complex than the aroma. Chocolatey malt flavors provide a backdrop against which earthy and vegetal hops play; fruitier alcohol compounds provide good complexity. Bitterness is relatively high. There is plenty of sweetness here, but it is well-balanced almost to the point of being hidden by the bitterness and alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: big body with a good level of carbonation. The body and ABV make this a very silky drink, and the creaminess adds even more luscious texture. I love it.

Overall: this is a really tasty and chewy beer, although I must admit I would like a little bit less of the vegetal hop character present. Still, it's very good. (994 characters)

Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hard to believe this is a porter not a stout. Pours black and thick with a head that is thick and creamy and brown.

S: Smells surprisingly sweet, oaky and very roasty.

T: Chocolate, oak, alcohol really comes through. I think the alcohol seems to overpower some of the other flavors here. Otherwise pretty solid.

M: Sits pretty good. Gets a little sour as the bubbles take affect. Heavy body. Some good lingering notes.

Overall a really good beer but I'm not sure it's as good as the unaged version. The alcohol seems a little unbalanced but it is still much better than the average brew. (596 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy light brown head. Retention is very good given the ABV and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Lots of sweet malt chocolate, but also a large earthy component with a touch of mineral. Caramel sweetness and supple roastiness. Well put together. Booze is hidden well.

4.5 T: Much like the nose. Sweet malt chocolate, caramel, molasses. Vanilla, supple roastiness, and mineral. Booze is well hidden again.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light to moderate creaminess. Good here.

4.0 D: I find this to be the best of the series, beating out the regular OEO and all of the Ola Dubhs. More than solid all around. (714 characters)

Photo of soju6
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a black color with a thick head that fades slowly to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate, with some coffee and dark fruit to round it out. Very inviting rich aroma.

T: taste is similar to the aroma, with roasted malt and chocolate up front there is a bit of coffee and dark fruit to round it out with a mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Body is quite full, smooth and creamy. very well balanced. No hint of the 9% ABV.

O: Overall a very good beer that is not overpowering. Nice choice when you want something different. (551 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (543 characters)

Photo of JamesS
5/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
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. (931 characters)

Photo of acevenom
5/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (989 characters)

Photo of HamGlade10
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, nice tan head that lingers. This is a very drinkable brew. Very smooth, silky, not overly thick. Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate flavors, slight bitterness that lingers. This is a brew meant for a cask. Overall, a great beer, not overpowering, alcohol is very well hidden. (292 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased as part of a mixed six for $5.50.

Poured into my trusty Southampton pint glass.

Looked molasses brown from the bottleneck, looks black as night in the glass. Tight crema for head that's tan in color. Really wants to stick to the inner wall of the glass, but only does in little tangles. 4.0

Robust English porter aroma carries a rich and complex maltiness that is dark in roast and large in size. Hints of cocoa powder and dried fruits peek out at me through the nose. The ever slightest nuances of hops. Some ground coffee notes fill it out. 4.0

Fully roasted malts with a ton of grain, measuring out ample servings of peat, dark fruits, and bitter char. Coffee and chocolate flavors are darker still than in the aroma. More bitterness in the finish from an earthy English hop, but it's pretty subdued and blended with some mild sweetness from the grain bill. Detectable heat on the tail-end, as well, but balances out nicely. 4.5

Impressively smooth and velvety. Medium-full bodied with expressions of alcohol that, all in all, are decently masked. Carbonated to style and to my preference. In essence, dangerously drinkable. 4.5

I had the regular version of Old Engine Oil awhile back and really wanted to try this when I saw it hit shelves in my area. Only passed over it once before finally submitting to picking it up. Decent price. Better than decent beer. An English porter that I adore. 4.5 (1,422 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lNice imperial porter...

Presentation:33 cl brown capped bottle. Oval label with shiny copper frame, and the faded image of old cars among the borders. Front already starts to describe the brew, and the back notes expand the ingredients, and intent. Shows a faded code on the neck and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with deep dark brown edges, rich creamy head, good retention, nice surface memory and lacing.

S - Nice roasted nose, very malty with chocolate and coffee notes leading to a fruity bitterness…

T - …which hold their own very well in the palate. Rich roasted notes, chocolate and coffee, and that bitter/sweet note is slightly punctuated by a touch of charred wood. Fruity, slightly sour dash in the horizon over a floral hoppy insinuation.

M - Medium/full body with medium carbonation, which punctuates nicely a very creamy and smooth ride.

O - Quite a nice rich porter.

Notes: Solid through and through, maybe nothing special but hits all the notes of the style with great dexterity. A tad too expensive with the import and all, but a nice brew. (1,093 characters)

Photo of CityBoy1986
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (500 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very glad to come across this. I am a huge fan of everything Old Engine Oil.

A: Pours an impenetrable, opaque black color. A two finger tan head rises with good retention and lace. Looks awesome.
S: Earthy and slightly slick hops up front. Quickly followed by milk chocolate, smoke, and roast.
T: Follows the nose. Light hops up front. Though a great balance of chocolate, roast, and peat/smoke. I love it.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. So smooth and velvety. Like silk. Incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink.

After falling in love with everything that Harviestoun puts out, it is no surprise that I love this as well. Highly recommended. (663 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Old Engine Oil (Engineer's Reserve) | 330 ml. | 9.0% ABV | 2011

Brewer: Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Style: English Porter
Glass: crystal mug

Appearance:
Black as, well, engine oil, with an enticing cocoa head.

Aroma:
Roasty and chocolatey

Taste:
Deep roasted, almost burnt, malts hit you up front. A wave of warming alcohol soon follows. Grassy and spicy hops make an appearance towards the finish and into the aftertaste. The bottle says Harviestoun used Fuggles, Kent GOldings, and Galena.

Mouthfeel:
Delightfully smooth, rich, and thick. Engine oil indeed!

Harmony:
This is an amped up version of Old Engine Oil--and i like it. The extra alcohol gives it a manic quality and a pure intensity. I still prefer the deep, mellow flavors of the original.

Would I get it again?:
Yeah, though Old Engine Oil is preferable.

Bottled: ?
Served: January 28, 2012

Price = $5.99 at Whole Foods NYC (900 characters)

Photo of shand
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

It's black. I'm not sure if I'd say blackest, it's not a Zhukov or a Hunahpu, but I sure can't see through it. The aroma is roasted with a huge coffee component. The taste isn't nearly as roasty, with sweet caramel flavors dominating the flavor. Dark fruits struggle though a bit on the opening, with a bit of that roast hitting the tongue in the middle, but the sweetness really rides through, on the edge of cloying. It's really quite good though, I'm just thankful it isn't in a large-format bottle. The mouthfeel feels a little bit thin at first, but it does a nice coating and drying thing at the end. The drinkability is decent. Overall, it's a pretty good beer, but I don't really think it's better than the base Old Engine Oil. (780 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It appears just as the beer is described on the label; old engine oil. It's black in color, with a decent tan foamy head. It sticks somewhat to the glass, but not a lot.

S: I get some roasted scents, but it is overwhelmingly boozy.

T: I'm happy to say that it doesn't taste like strong alcohol. The beer tastes somewhat like a bourbon, but without the huge alcohol flavor. There are burnt flavors, along with chocolate, and oak. It tastes very good.

M: The beer relies heavily on bitterness and an oak body. It's a stronger side of a medium body, and has excellent mouthfeel.

O: I would drink it again and I would recommend it. It's a fine porter with a lot of body and flavor. The only negative that I found with the beer, was the strong alcohol scent. It's odd that it was hidden in the flavor (in a good way). (819 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (821 characters)

Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.