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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,242 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1242
Reviews: 722
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001)
View: Beers (30) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,242 | Reviews: 722 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason


4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 long neck gold foiled brown bottle with no freshness date. Blurb about the beer on the back label.

Appearance: Hmm … the colour of refined engine oil, nearly black with dark ruby hues. After a hard pour the brew formed a dense cake like head that left a spider web like trail of lace most of the way down the glass.

Smell: Sweetened coffee, toffee with a ghost like maple syrup nose. Fruitiness wanders from vague maraschino cherries to sweetness of a lemon.

Taste: Remarkable smooth, with a creamy and brawny fullish body and a slick velvety mouth feel. Huge flavours of caramel and slightly buttered toffee, coffee and unsweetened bitter chocolate. Hops are quite interesting, bitterness is spot on to balance this huge strong armed malt palate. Mild cherry fruit within the sweetness, the roasted barley and hops have no problem of making it disappear though. Floral hop flavour creeps in lending an earthened leaf like flavour. Residual sweetness is plenty but it is not alone as the roasted flavours ride deep into the finish.

Notes: A big dark beer to remember, had it on cask and I am pleased that it is easier to obtain now that it is imported in bottles. The likings of an old ale with a more than sturdy malt back bone to hold up against the heartiest of meals, lamb stew with parsnips and fennel paired with a loaf of multi-grain beer bread would do be just fine. 6.0% abv.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2001 01:17:14 | More by Jason
More User Reviews:
Photo of Wobbly


4.75/5  rDev +15%

04-19-2014 14:56:40 | More by Wobbly
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: There's that namesake - pours a viscous black with a creamy tan head. Little to no retention.

S: Rich and fudgy - brownie batter, vanilla, rum raisin scents waft up thick from the glass. Dense residual sugars here, backed up with notes of toffee and burnt toast.

T: Starts to style: slightly metallic, bready, with a hearty flavor of chalky chocolate. Caramel and bittersweet cocoa tones thicken it even more, then it takes an interesting turn - a crisp dryness, starting with herbal pine and lemon rind, starts a burn. It climbs slow to a strong bitterness of tannic grain husk, surprisingly intense for a porter. Finishes with that tight dryness gripping the palate, with some porter flintiness, as well.

M: Thin body with a little carbonation adding some creamy texture. That dryness that picks up toward the end of the palate breathes some new life into the drink, keeping it from staying too thick and one-dimensional.

O: A great porter - I could drink this all day. Too bad it would be an expensive six-pack...still, as a single bottle with dinner, it can't be beat.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 05:02:45 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of nyrblue2

New York

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

04-19-2014 00:08:04 | More by nyrblue2
Photo of kmoen


4/5  rDev -3.1%

04-17-2014 03:17:15 | More by kmoen
Photo of Dave2234


4/5  rDev -3.1%

04-16-2014 03:44:53 | More by Dave2234
Photo of DubCo21


3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

04-16-2014 02:40:32 | More by DubCo21
Photo of 22Blue


3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

04-16-2014 00:50:37 | More by 22Blue
Photo of MalibuKenny

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

04-14-2014 17:44:58 | More by MalibuKenny
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. A real looker, a very dark black brew with a ruby red halo at the bottom of the glass and a supple, sumptuous latte tan colored head that looks rather like sponge toffee. Aroma is dark roast coffee and bitter chocolate, with a faint fruitiness that recalls sour cherries along with a little burnt toffee or perhaps maple sugar. Palate is much the same, creamed coffee, unsweetened baker's chocolate, a whiff of sour cherry, and earthy, near-piney hops that add a unique additional element to the more expected roasted elements. The uber-dark appearance and protruding smooth mouthfeel belie the rather thin body and relatively easy drinkability for such an opaque brew. Coffee flavor outweighs the chocolate and other components and alas, the finish is a tad husky and astringent to my palate. Skews toward the dry and roasted rather than the sweeter regions of dark beer territory, probably due to a lack of crystal malts. Still, worth sampling for the porter/stout aficionado.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 22:48:08 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of patre_tim


4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown almost black, you can see nothing through it. Only a slight deep amber hue of a half millimeter on the extreme edge of the glass. 2 fingers of tan brown head that leaves a sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, espresso, earthy and woody, light smokiness.

T: Very chocolaty, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate and black coffee. Not as intense as the nose. Sort of goes flat in the middle and becomes like a stout.

M: Thick and chocolaty, medium low fine bubbled carbonation.

O: Great Smell, good taste, great name and label. Intense on the nose, a little lacking in taste in comparison. Still a must try.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 15:15:28 | More by patre_tim
Photo of xKALECx


4.75/5  rDev +15%

04-12-2014 04:45:42 | More by xKALECx
Photo of brutalist


4.5/5  rDev +9%

04-09-2014 01:26:31 | More by brutalist
Photo of cwguy5

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

04-07-2014 04:10:30 | More by cwguy5
Photo of dmorgan310


4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

04-06-2014 23:34:35 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of Dirty25


3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

04-02-2014 16:19:36 | More by Dirty25
Photo of ThisWangsChung


4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. There's slightly less than a finger of mocha-colored head, and its retention is poor. Only slight hints of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Wow. Just, wow. The level of dark chocolate on the nose is amazing: it's so rich and defined, but never overpowers the other notes. There are also touches of umami, roast, coffee, and salt which helps to enhance its chocolate showcase. It genuinely smells fudge-like; later on, I'm even getting a touch of fruitiness. Honestly, this is one of the best, most complex noses I've encountered in a while.

T: There isn't much of a drop-off from the aroma to the flavor. A twinge of fruit esters open it up, quickly transforming into a roasted coffee flavor. It's a bit charred finishing, but more chocolaty than anything. There's also some lingering tobacco flavor post-swallow. Not the most complex, just awesomely roasted and impressively big-tasting for 6%.

M: The general feel is more slick than creamy, but there's still a nice softness to the palate. It's still light and well-attenuated enough to inspire easy drinking, with the gentle carbonation helping to dry it out even more.

O: This is fantastic. It's richness really belies its ABV. Hell, I'd even consider it a benchmark for the English porter (or even the American porter, for that matter). Shame it's kind of pricey and not offered in 6 packs...

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 20:53:41 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of GCBrewery


4.75/5  rDev +15%

03-30-2014 21:49:38 | More by GCBrewery
Photo of lonewolfcry


4/5  rDev -3.1%

03-29-2014 16:21:40 | More by lonewolfcry
Photo of Metalmaniac915


4.75/5  rDev +15%

03-29-2014 02:57:37 | More by Metalmaniac915
Photo of dcmchew


4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almost completely dark, one finger head that doesn't last for long, going to a very thin lacing.
Roasted malts with a whif of chocolate on the nose, classic for its style, tho with a clear juicy dark fruit, like fresh dates and dark cherries, faint smoked plums also.
Rich malts, roasted, with some light toffee, espresso coffee and dark chocolate. Lower dark fruit than in the smell, more raisin-like, dry figgy. Cocoa powder and low licorice. Flavorful hops bring a mild bitterness, enhanced by the roast (lingering in the aftertaste, not very "charred" tho).
As it warms you get a tastier dark/sweet chocolate.
Not as oily as the name suggests, but light and more than mildly carbonated. Works out fine, better actually, it's actually very easy to drink.
This was tasty and well crafted, perfectly balanced, wouldn't give it a pass.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 13:01:59 | More by dcmchew
Photo of ckollias


4.5/5  rDev +9%

03-26-2014 01:23:35 | More by ckollias
Photo of ZCW

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.1%

03-23-2014 15:44:56 | More by ZCW
Photo of Anatole


3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

03-23-2014 14:51:54 | More by Anatole
Photo of thecheapies


4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out with a glug-glug-glug, and a massive three fingers’ worth of beige head. This beer is black, as the bottle indicates. It’s true, folks. She’s dark and all kinds of sultry. Lacing is fantastic. Retention… same can be said for it. Looks like a real beer, man.

Smells of good English porter roast, oyster cracker dust, super-dry cocoa, and seawater. Has a richness without being gluttonous or showy. Well-defined and crafted.

Awesome porter flavors. Doesn’t give up on being too “UK” and punch out with caramel or fruity notes. Has a great char and roasty note with a slight salinity. There’s definitely a little bit of dry earthy coffee and a touch of chalkiness that implies cocoa, but doesn’t give it away. Almost a vegetal flavor of peat, but without the kiss of smoke. It might be there, but it’s hard to say.

This is the mouthfeel that porters dream of… silky, yet hefty body and a hoarse carbonation that gets swept into the liquid. Awesome.

Yes, Old Engine Oil does it for me. A classic that needs recognition for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 06:43:30 | More by thecheapies
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Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,242 ratings.