Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
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Ratings: 1,342 | Reviews: 730 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by demcorhip:
3.73/5 rDev -9.7%
A pretty plain looking beer. An average pour gave a thin tan head that pulled a disappearing act. Since there is no collar i expect no lacings. It does look like old engine oil, almost black, and lets very little light through, even at the edges of the glass.
Smells a bit better than it looks. Milk chocolate, some hazelnut, a hint of booze, as well as a hint of darker fruits, raspberry, blackberry and plum. A touch of earthy leafiness is also present.
Hazelnut but mostly milk chocolate come through on the tasting. More bitter roasted flavours come through in the middle leading to the finish, like a dark roasted coffee that has oxidized due to sitting on the heat element. Finishes with a hint of earthy and decaying leafy hops.
A somewhat viscous medium bodied ale. Some residual sweetness and hints of toffee add richness and counterbalance the roasted malt. Very smooth, as advertised on the label, enhanced by the creamy mouthfeel and mild level of carbonation. Just a touch of hops.
Pretty drinkable stuff, the one thing that detracts is the more bitter roasted notes that muddle things up slightly. Certainly recommended for fans of dark, chocolaty brews. All in all this is an approachable, chocolaty brew that would serve well for those looking to get into the darker styles of beer.
02-14-2009 22:22:45 | More by demcorhip
More User Reviews:
4.03/5 rDev -2.4%
I must say I had never heard of this until now,pours a deep brown with some nice ruby hues with a great creamy head that sticks very well.The aroma is a little caramelly and dry.A taste of unsweetened chocolate and some fruity notes with a slight dry finish.Very impressed with this beer.
07-15-2003 14:25:02 | More by oberon
4.18/5 rDev +1.2%
Appearance Black as night in the body with a nice, full head that went down slowly and laced the glass.
Smell This has a tight aroma. After it warms a bit, the burnt malt and toffee character come out nicely. Other faint smells include coffee, chocolate, and milk shake.
Taste Definitely milk shake with a dash of coffee. This is well-blended and complete. The milky chocolate flavors mix with the coffee and a bit of candy, maybe Heath Bar meets Hershey, and a wonderful dark malt backbone. Everything is even-keeled though and very nice.
Mouthfeel No carbonation and very creamy smooth. This is full-bodied but even. No sharp edges to this ale.
Drinkability Wonderful to drink at any time and in any season.
10-20-2003 01:25:32 | More by RoyalT
4.38/5 rDev +6.1%
Found this at City Beer in S.F. and plunked down $5.69 for the 11.2 oz bottle. I had to know. What'd I have to know? How the base for Harviestoun's amazing Ola Dubh tasted (I've had the 12, 16, and 30, the last of which was on tap--possibly cask--at Blue Palms Brew House in LA) like. It tastes like awesomeness.
To quote Spinal Tap, "How much more black can you get? None. None more black."
Impenetrable by light, the old engine oil moniker is fitting, not merely boastful. Sometimes I like to go for liquid coal and this is the go-to beer for such occasions.
Syrupy, roasty, velvety, and to quote someone less famous (my friend Jeff from Montana), "richer than 3 feet up a bull's ass."
If no Ola Dubh is available, go for this, especially as a chaser for your top shelf single malt of choice.
09-30-2008 04:56:33 | More by byaeger
4.13/5 rDev 0%
Had this at BBC in Franklin, MA. It pours very dark, almost black. The head was creamy tan but small and dissipated rather quickly. There is some light lacing as well. Smell is of malt, chocolate, and maybe hops. The hops definitely come through on the taste, it's somewhat bitter with a hint of chocolate and malt. Smokey like a Porter usually is which is why I'm a Stout fan. The mouthfeel is pretty good but not the best. Drinkability: I'd take it if I had it, but I'm not sad that I don't. Definitely not bad, but at the same time it's nothing special.
04-14-2012 01:12:40 | More by ExtraStout
3.85/5 rDev -6.8%
Thanks to Chemmie for this one!
A-Black body with very little white head, not as thick as the name suggests
S-Roasted grain, ale fruit flavors, earthier hop/yeast
T-Roasted Falvor with some bready malts, very mild hop nice bitter aftertaste, some sweetness would have helped.
M-A little bit thin on the body with decent carbonation
D-I could go for another
Interesting beer, but not what Iwould expect out of an Old Ale.
08-07-2008 20:10:04 | More by hopsleeroy
4.47/5 rDev +8.2%
This was my first sample of this style and a pretty darned good way to start. Not sure if all the Old Ale style is porter-like but this one certainly was for me. I shall explore further!
A: Black of course but there is a hint of a golden walnut brown at the edges when the head clears. Head is short lived but is coffee stained and leaves a slight lacing
S: I just couldn't wait for it to be poured (bad boy) and got a good whiff of blackberry from the bottle. When poured, it was the same but then I recognized the malt, chocolate and coffee. As the drink progressed, it definitely took on a more acidic fruit smell but wasn't too dominant.
T: Frickin' delicious. Fruity acidic start aided with some carbonation with a big dominant syrupy roasted malt middle. It ended with a bitter coffee, chocolate bitterness and the hops were there but oh so slightly. This is an artfully balanced brew for sure. A very fulfilling taste for me.
M: Lovely round creamy buttery smoothness. A wee bit of carbonation livened things up just a tad. The bold taste made me expect a thicker body but it was lighter than expected. Don't misunderstand me, the mouthfeel was not disappointing at all, just not what I expected.
D: I think I could drink quite a few of these. Very satisfying evening drink. It's not a session beer but it isn't intended to be. For me, it's a trip back in time. I am currently reading A History of Suds and Civilization from Mesopotamia to Microbreweries by Gregg Smith and I can just imagine being at an old Inn drinking one of these. Read the book - you'll get what I mean.
10-14-2008 02:44:51 | More by sgoodship
4.2/5 rDev +1.7%
A: Pours thick and as dark as night with barely any tan head
S: smells of sweet chocolate and caramel as well as a roasty coffee like malt
T: The taste is very roasty and a bit bitter. Hints of chocolate and caramel are noticable but roasted coffee dominates.
M: Medium to heavy bodied with decent carbonation. Not the smoothest beer in the world but not much heat comes through either.
D: Above average drinkability for a dark beer
Overall, this is a good beer to drink once in a blue moon. Worth a try if you enjoy the style.
03-11-2010 23:39:05 | More by tuckevalastin
4.43/5 rDev +7.3%
A great beer! It was an opaque black with a thick, sticky, coffee-colored head. Aroma was sweet, dark cherry, a little chocolate. Wonderful taste: dark roasted coffee, chocolate, tiny bit of yeast. A very smooth beer. Not too high in ABV, so easily one to have a few of. My wife, who usually prefers wheat beers, liked this a lot.
08-09-2006 22:43:14 | More by lordofthewiens
4.35/5 rDev +5.3%
No bottle date, but I've had this for probably 6 months.
A - Pours very deep brown/blacvk with just over two fingers of brown head. Head has great retention and leaves lots of lacing.
S - Milk chocolate, some bitter chocolate, lots of roasted malt. A bit of dark fruit.
T - Starts off with sweet coffee and fruit, with milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate coming midway. Finish is roasted malt, somewhat bitter, and a faint sweetness. Very nice.
M - There is a viscous aspect to the mouthfeel, but overall it is medium, and alternates between silky and roasted bitter dryness.
O - Very nice English porter. A bit pricy, but I would still pick this up occasionally.
03-10-2012 00:42:02 | More by warnerry
4.22/5 rDev +2.2%
Nigh-on opaque (like, umm, old engine oil...) with a tan head that leaves lace down the glass as it goes.
Interesting aroma - toffeish, dark malty smells waft from the glass. The flavor starts out with a rounded sweet coffee-chocolate-toffee flavor, then from out of nowhere a strong apricot fruitiness comes into play mid-sip. Not a "sorta like an apricot a little bit" flavor - more like a "take a bite!" flavor that really compliments the rest of what's going on. This goes away almost as quickly as it came, leaving a finish of chocolate and coffee that becomes slightly moire bitter on its way down. Very complex, and very, very good.
Note: The second pint I had a month or two later did not exhibit the apricot flavor that was there the first time, but every other flavor note remained. Odd.
08-23-2002 07:40:38 | More by sponberg
Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,342 ratings.