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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

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

1,371 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,371
Reviews: 731
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 104
Gots: 88 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,371 | Reviews: 731 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by graybayou:
Photo of graybayou
5/5  rDev +20.8%

graybayou, Nov 02, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

oberon, Jul 15, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

RoyalT, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

cam477, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of byaeger
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

byaeger, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev -3.4%

beerhunter13, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

DanGeo, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -3.4%

tectactoe, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of ExtraStout
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ExtraStout, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

OhioBobcat, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Zakk, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Tiernan, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

hopsleeroy, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of dolivaw
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

dolivaw, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

tbryan5, May 04, 2014
Photo of sgoodship
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

sgoodship, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev -3.4%

SkiBum22, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of JacobMutberg
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

JacobMutberg, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of tuckevalastin
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

tuckevalastin, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of FadetoBock
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

FadetoBock, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

lordofthewiens, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

csmartin6, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of warnerry
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

warnerry, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of WuAnquo1
2/5  rDev -51.7%

WuAnquo1, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of sponberg
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

sponberg, Aug 23, 2002
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Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,371 ratings.