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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

227 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 227
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
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
Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ViragS
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

ViragS, May 02, 2014
Photo of MonicaC
4/5  rDev -5.2%

MonicaC, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of kmoen
4/5  rDev -5.2%

kmoen, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of dgilks
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

dgilks, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of eddsan
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

eddsan, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Mikeluzzjr, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of threedaggers
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

threedaggers, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of BrazilianAussie
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

BrazilianAussie, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Sirwootalot
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

EDIT: PAIR THIS BEER WITH SHARP CHEDDAR. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO IT ALREADY. I could almost cry it's so delicious.

Sirwootalot, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of OldTime
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

OldTime, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of oso
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

oso, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of Brinks
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Brinks, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

ygtbsm94, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of dank203
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
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

dank203, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of DougT
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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.

DougT, Feb 28, 2014
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 oline73
4/5  rDev -5.2%

oline73, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of nasa60
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

nasa60, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of papat444
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

papat444, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Azpittil57
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Azpittil57, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of jvillefan
4/5  rDev -5.2%

jvillefan, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Griffith, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

RJT

RonaldTheriot, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

zonker17, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of jtoledo04
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

jtoledo04, Jan 11, 2014
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.