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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.

1,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,349
Reviews: 731
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 106
Gots: 84 | 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: 1,349 | Reviews: 731 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of popery


4/5  rDev -3.4%

A: Black liquid with a mocha head that leaves good lacing.

S: Well-balanced aroma that is nutty, fruity and english-hoppy all at once. The hops are mineral/herbal. The malt is chocolatey and nutty. There are some interesting fruit notes lingering in the background.

T: Well, I don't have nearly enough experience with old ales to speak with any authority, but this is quite good. It doesn't exactly blow me away. It reminds me of a good porter more than anything else, but it's still quite enjoyable. The chocolate malt is assertive and bold. There are roasted notes and dark stone fruit notes, which for me is the biggest departure from normal porter territory. There is more bitterness than I was expecting and a mildly ashy flavor that I enjoy.

M: It could be a tad creamier and thicker. I bet the beer is better from a cask, but that's probably true for most British beers.

04-09-2009 04:41:38 | More by popery
Photo of DarthGuitarHero


4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-05-2014 19:21:09 | More by DarthGuitarHero
Photo of dragomni


4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-02-2012 23:21:26 | More by dragomni
Photo of smitty1080


4/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours dark with a creamy head. It appears a dark red when held up to the light. I can definitely smell a bit of chocolate. The chocolate continues in the taste with the accompaniment of hops. With the light carbonation it finishes with a bit of fruit and slight slight burnt taste.

09-04-2003 23:21:49 | More by smitty1080
Photo of TrickkyGangsta


4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-05-2011 21:15:20 | More by TrickkyGangsta
Photo of jfcaa193


4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-19-2012 03:35:39 | More by jfcaa193
Photo of CellarGimp


4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-21-2013 11:46:31 | More by CellarGimp
Photo of admh1972

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -3.4%

08-23-2014 18:46:55 | More by admh1972
Photo of Sturmthis


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-02-2013 00:34:37 | More by Sturmthis
Photo of szmnnl99


4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-22-2012 21:06:36 | More by szmnnl99
Photo of rhhjr

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-19-2012 01:30:26 | More by rhhjr
Photo of RWNewhouse


4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-16-2013 04:43:22 | More by RWNewhouse
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-11-2013 00:07:50 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of diverite


4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-24-2013 18:26:33 | More by diverite
Photo of JizackFH

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Had this on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 on 4/7/11.

Reviewed taken from notes.

A - This beer pours black in color, and has a decent light tan head on it. The head leaves some decent lacing behind.

S - It smells of dark roasted malts and chocolate. There are also notes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. Quite a nice smelling beer.

T - This starts out with a nice sweet roasted malt flavor. There are nice notes of coffee and chocolate. I am also getting nice flavors of vanilla, caramel, and a touch of dark fruits. The finish has some lingering roasted bitterness.

M - It has a medium body and the carbonation is on the lower side. It goes down smooth, and leaves some lingering roasted bitterness in the mouth.

O - There is good drinkability here. It has nice flavor, and I could easily drink a few of these in a night. It's sweet, but has a nice bitterness to it. I would definitely try this one again.

04-11-2011 12:03:14 | More by JizackFH
Photo of South2NW


3.99/5  rDev -3.6%

12oz bottle poured to oversized snifter

A: pours a dark cola brownish-black with a thin, light tan head. Minimal lacing.

S:nice and roasty. Dark chocolate, roasty coffee/espresso.

T: bittersweet chocolate and espresso. A bit of smoke, too. Dry and bitter finish.

M: thinner than I expected/hoped for. Lower side of carbonation. Would've preferred a slightly thicker beer.

O: definitely a great beer. Glad I picked this one up to try it.

07-29-2014 03:59:13 | More by South2NW
Photo of bishopdc0


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

The beer is dark with a thick hea that recedes to thr edge of the glass

The aroma is roasted malt thru annd thru and is wonderfull like dark chocolate icecream

The taste matches the aroma but mix in coffee at thr end its wonderful starts with a chocolate malt and a nice creamyness then a dryer. Roasted coffee flavor

Mouth is very nice doesn't dry to much

01-30-2011 01:26:10 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of morimech


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

I could see the correlation with a Scotch Ale. It has a roasty, smokey, peaty, and slightly burnt flavor. Not quite old engine oil in color and viscousity unless it is somewhat fresh and hot engine oil. Very small head forms and quickly settles to a thin cap. Very little lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is likewise that of a Scotch Ale. Maybe it has something to do with the region it is brewed. Roasted malt is the dominant aroma along with some smokiness. Not overly complex in aroma or flavor. Medium body with nice carbonation makes it pleasant to drink. I was a bit let down by this beer. I was expecting something much more complex. Without the benefit of barrel aging, Harvieston's Old Ales lack the little extra something to take them to the next level.

12-12-2009 21:39:43 | More by morimech
Photo of metter98

New York

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

A: The beer is near black in color (when holding up the glass to the light only a slight trace of amber is visible near the bottom edge of the glass) and poured with a thin head that quickly dissipated into lacey patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are faint aromas of dark roasted malts and burnt coffee beans in the nose.
T: The flavor is dominated by roasted and burnt malts with hints of chocolate and coffee.
M: The beer feels heavy-bodied on the palate and there is dryness in the finish. It doesn't feel as viscous as it is billed up to be.
D: Drinking this beer wasn't that difficult, it seemed to be something like a hybrid between a porter and a stout.

05-02-2010 04:14:58 | More by metter98
Photo of BMoney575


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

Sampled on 3-22-09

Pours very dark red, black unless you hold it to the light. A clingy off-white head cling to the sides.

Smell is malty, roasty, but with a subtle fruity burnt-sugar quality. Not very strong, but enjoyable.

Taste is subtle like the smell at first, roasty and smoky, but then big-time hops push through. The hop edge is a little plasticy and very bitter, kind of out of place.

Mouthfeel is good, a nice balance of thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, the hops definitely keep thing balanced.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer more and more as it warmed up. A solid choice.

03-22-2009 20:10:27 | More by BMoney575
Photo of DocSeven

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

A: A very dark brown which appears pitch black unless held to a light, and even then it is opaque nearly throughout. Very little head, khaki colored, fades quickly. No additional carbonation bubbles observed. My first Old Ale, so unsure of how inviting it looks relative to other beers in the style, but it certainly doesn't look like a cold bubbly refreshing drink. The name does it justice.

S: Smells great with a chocolatey/coffee flavor. Hints of fruit, like a prune aroma.

T/M: Taste is more of the smell, tastes almost like what molasses smells like (but not what it tastes like, thank goodness). Aftertaste of strong coffee. If this is like other beers in the Old Ale style I can tell I will enjoy trying other similar beers.

D: Don't be scared off by the label/name claiming how "thick" it is. This isn't a one-and-done drink if you want to have a few. I don't know if it's my style for a session beer but would be able to have 2 or even 3 of these in a row without issue.

07-27-2009 01:43:03 | More by DocSeven
Photo of jslot38


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

European styled 11.2 ounce bottle. States it is a great after dinner beer... perfect, I just ate dinner.

Appearance: Not quite black, but pretty close. A dark hue of brown, bistre perhaps. Covered by a dark wheat colour head that quickly diminishes to a small covering.

Smell: Sensous chocolate and dark roasted malts. A touch of toffee and a bit of caramel. A touch of coffee lingers in the background.

Taste: A traditional stout flavour, very basic but well balanced between chocolate and a touch of bittering hops. Backed with biscuit there is a good touch of chocolate and a bit of toffee. Some deep mocha lingers.

Mouthfeel: The back of the bottle questions why it would be called old engine oil, and I think the answer lies in the mouthfeel. The sharp carbonation is quickly cut off by a great slickness... as you might expect engine oil to be like.

Drinkability: Would certainly drink a few of these, very basic with some good flavours and an above par mouthfeel.

Notes: A good beer all the way around. Solid smell, solid taste and solid mouthfeel.

11-03-2006 01:42:34 | More by jslot38
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

11.2 oz bottle

Old Engine Oil pours a very DEEP brown color, one shade from black, some small slivers of reddish brown highlights. It sports a thick 2 finger mocha brown head with some sticking and very good head retention. Big nose of roasted malts, chocolate and toasted peanuts, black coffee notes and a slight metallic funk. While tasting, chocolate walks up and pummels your tongue, with its sweet semi-coating body, lots of good bright carbonation, a slightly warming and drying alcohol finish along with a gentle hop twang. Im trying to relate it to a definitive style i am familiar with, it strikes me as a cross between a dunkel lager/stout/porter hybrid, very unique and very tasty. Its got a light/medium body that gets a bit sticky at times but not offensive. Great beer from a great brewery.

08-30-2008 14:35:19 | More by ATPete
Photo of Derranged

New York

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

I had this recently, but the bottle had a different label than what is shown on this site. This was poured from a 12 ounce bottle into what appeared to be a snifter just under 12 ounces.. Don't know what it's called.

Pours black with a tan head. Smells a bit like roasted chocolate. Tastes malty and bitter. Goes down easy, its smooth and not too carbonated.

Overall this is a good beer. Its a bit more bitter than I normally perfer, but I can drink this all night.

04-03-2010 12:52:07 | More by Derranged
Photo of Ralphus

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

My bottle of Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil came with some high expectations. The fellow at the cash register had been talking it up since early fall when the first porters arrived. And when I finally got around to trying it I was expecting a little more of what I'd come to enjoy in other offerings..

It pours as dark as one is led to believe it might be but without the head and no lacing either. It didn't look that impressive so I gave it a smell.. there's some coffee, dark chocolate and even hints of red wine in there. But I wouldn't rank it as great.. maybe even not all that noteworthy. Certainly other beers of this style have performed similar feats.

In tasting we find some sweetness up front - but it's very short lived. Being quickly being dominated by the roasted barley and slightly acidic hops at the back end. There is balance but it's transitory in nature instead of a constant play between flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth but a little on the watery side. It may have the look of old engine oil but surely it does not have the consistency. The one area I will give the beer credit towards though is that it ends better than it starts. Each passing mouthful is a little more enjoyable than the last and before you reach the end of your first glass, you'll already be thinking about your second.

02-12-2009 02:25:46 | More by Ralphus
Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,349 ratings.