1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,398 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,398
Reviews: 735
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 109
Gots: 94 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Engine Oil Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,398 | Reviews: 735 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice bottle received from Vaison as a bonus in a recent trade. Thanks!

Poured into a goblet-style glass. Pours a dark black with some chocolate brown on the edges. A thin tan head caps it off. No lace. Scents of baker's chocolate, faint coffee, nuts. Chocolate is the main player in the nose. Semi-sweet smelling.

The mouth is creamy and smooth. Very mellow finish, but not flat at all. Well-done. Nice creamy milk chocolate flavors jived well with faint bitterness, and the mildest of hop backing. Well-balanced. Not complex, but wonderfully executed. Easy drinker for the cool evenings upon us now.

Onenote81, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of Cris4545
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Cris4545, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of mjgrady
4/5  rDev -3.4%

mjgrady, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Best before March 2012.

A: Dark brown with a finger of creamy, off-white head. Matte and completely opaque. Pretty lacing.

S: Vanilla beans, roasted barley, mild coffee, bittersweet chocolate.

T: Milk chocolate; some pleasant bitterness -- both hops and coffee. Sweeter malts have a floral feel. Vanilla notes. The aftertaste is light and more bitter than sweet. Overall, well-balanced and quite nice.

M: Creamy-smooth. Luscious. Slightly carbonated.

D: A velvety, bittersweet, full-bodied, balanced porter. Pretty good, but not as good as the Ola Dubh which uses this beer as a base. Recommended.

AgentMunky, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of ManekiNeko13
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a nice example of the style, but I get none of the syrupy viscosity or sweetness others talk about. I'll stick to lambics.

Color is a lovely mahogany, head is a nice brown foam, good carbonation, strong bitterness prevails for me. Smell is definitely of hops, which I'm not a big fan of. Occasionally, I return to the style to see if my taste buds have changed, but alas, they have not.

ManekiNeko13, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Slatetank, May 16, 2013
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -3.4%

wrightst, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of archi348
4/5  rDev -3.4%

archi348, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of bckayaalp
4/5  rDev -3.4%

bckayaalp, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Latarnik, May 25, 2014
Photo of caljrjr
4/5  rDev -3.4%

caljrjr, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of johntfox
4/5  rDev -3.4%

johntfox, May 21, 2013
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Engine Oil is indeed a black and viscous looking beer but there is a bright and piercing splint of maroon that prevents it from appearing quite as thick or gloopy as actual car engine oil. Despite the flashy undertone, the body is opaque even when held directly into light. Its head is airy and well spaced out but remains persistent throughout the tasting.

This particular bottle may not have been aged in whiskey barrels like its compatriots the Ola Dubhs or the since retired Special Reserve, but it kind of smells like it has anyhow. Charred oak, roasty residuals, spent tobacco and plenty of dark, bitter-sweet chocolate abound. These scents stick to the insides of the nostrils and make a heavy, lasting imprint.

The taste is fervently malty and offers a dazzling array of sweet and roasty qualities. It carries the flavour of heavily scorched, sugary-sweet dark caramel and is complimented by intensely toasted malts, a chunk of chocolate, black coffee and a hint of dark cherry. It has the dark roasty flavours of a porter with the sweet complexities of a barleywine.

The beer uses an unusual hop, Galena, a Washington state native renown for its extreme bitterness. I wouldn't consider the beer overly bitter - as mentioned I find it generously malty - although it does possess some bite. More contribution appears to be had from Worcester Fuggles which are said to be the source of this oily, very anise seed-like flavour.

The beer is medium bodied. It has the roasty, chocolaty flavours of a porter but not the same kind of breadth or body. That said, its sweetness makes up the difference. Flavours of coffee and licorice make the beer considerably rich; it may be only 6% but I'm sipping this as slowly (and deliberating on it just as much) as I would a beer twice its strength.

Call it an old ale, call it a porter or a stout - call it whatever you'd like, this is a fine beer. It is rich and gratifying, a fulfilling beer worthy of always keeping on hand in the cellar. And it's a little like the old model Ford car on its label; it's big, loud, chunky and above all else, reliable. They simply don't make 'em like this anymore.

biegaman, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of CasanovaCummins
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours like, well, engine oil. 40W to be precise. Nice sloooow pour. The color is fantastically dark and I like the deep brown head bubbles.

Initial nose reminds me of an old pier, or an old rusty anchor. Metallic and mineral. Tiniest hint of burnt coca nibs.

This is bitter and almost inert. Lots of Iodine on the short, sharp metallic hoppy bitters. The floral aspect takes a while to emerge.

It leaves the mouth dry, almost like licking iron. The warmer this gets, the better it gets. A real sipper here.

CasanovaCummins, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Franz4
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, label says "black ale" rather than "Porter" which was pictured.

A- Can't see anything through this dark blackness, head settles to a thin ring

S- roast and slightly smoked peat come through right away, nice combination.

T-Smoky with a touch of sweetness in the back, toffee-ish, very nice.

M- Lighter body than I expected given the color, makes the beer more drinkable

O- overall a very nice brew, I'd have this one again and I would especially be interested in trying some of the other versions.

Franz4, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
4/5  rDev -3.4%

tbeckett, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.4%

zestar, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev -3.4%

TheBeerAlmanac, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -3.4%

whartontallboy, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of unclekeith
4/5  rDev -3.4%

unclekeith, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Pug
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Pug, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great name for a beer. Pours a virtually opaque deep, dark brown with a tan head from a brown bottle. Some vinous or fruity notes in aroma along with roasted malt and even some alcohol in the end. Definitely can taste some roasted malt, and is a bit estery in the middle. Not bad, worth a try.

Drew966, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark as night black hue which leaves a one finger khaki head and sporadic clingy lacing,the smell is milk chocolate with fruit and nut,milky mocha and sweet malts,the mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and has tastes of dark cocoa,milky bittersweet mocha,a touch of fruit cake,sweet dark malts and finished with a mix of dark belgian chocolate and herbal fruit punch and overall i like this drop and prefer it then most of the oak aged versions cheers.

ADZA, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev -3.4%

IanSpindler, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev -3.4%

uturn, Mar 13, 2014
Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,398 ratings.