Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,550 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,550
Reviews: 762
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 125
Gots: 141 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,550 | Reviews: 762
Photo of maximum12
2.13/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Doesn't appear as thick as the bottle advertises, but it is dark dark. Smell isn't much to shake a stick at, faint malts & alcohol.

I have to admit not much reaction to this. It's dark beer, without much character. I get some odd hops coming off of it, & the malts...I suppose there's water in this thing too, but not
much else. I'm not feeling it.

Not really even average. Everything from the nose to the taste just reeks of substandard weirdness. Nothing out of the ordinary, nor anything noteworthy for the style. I shan't try another.

EIDT: the warmer this got, the worse it tasted. No depth, no melding of the flavors...ended up drain-pouring half the bottle. I'm baffled as to the appeal of this beer.

Photo of clvand0
2.41/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a very dark color with a small tan head and little lacing on the glass. The aroma was a little hard to figure out, but malts were detectable. The body was really full and thick. I didn't find the flavor very pleasing, but it is interesting.

Photo of jsh420
2.59/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

pours almost pitch black with a 1+ finger head that left some lacing

smell was too much like a pils - cereal grains very weak

taste is like the nose a pils with some toast and chocolate

mouthfeel is very light and thin

drinkability - well i doubt i ever drink this again unless its free - high price tag for black pils = pass

Photo of madvoice
2.65/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this properly but got no head at all. Just a small gathering of bubbles at the top of the glass. I was a bit disappointed in that. Has a light chocolate/caramel aroma. Quite sweet. taste is initially quite sweet and chocolatey with a bitter aftertaste that lingers a bit. Very heavy in the mouth and very thick for a beer. Drinkable but not my beer of choice when it comes to the darker stuff.

Ok.. I had to edit my entry. I couldn't finish it. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't do it. The more I got into it the thicker and more oily tasting it got (yes I have had the unfortunate experience of actually tasting engine oil - the real stuff).
1/2 a glass got poured down the sink. After reading other reviews I really can't see what all the fuss is about. I don't think I'll get it again.

Photo of CaptFrothy
2.76/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Was purchasing Harviestoun's twisted and bitter and the clerk talked me into this. Looks good, black and lacey. Smells interesting, dark and mysterious. Taste is heavy on the smoke, really dominates and pushes everything else aside. Too much black patent malt for my t-buds, doubtfull I'll indulge again, tho it's impressive they've packed this much flavor into a 6% tipple, it's all smokestack.

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.87/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought at Cyclone Liquors.

2002 Vintage

Pours a nice little brown head and has a black color that you cannot see through. Head falls and leaves a almost no lacing behind. Smell is chocolatey great with some wonderful whiskey notes with some oaky smells. Taste is sour. Very sour, something is definetly wrong. Sour with some small flavors of roasted malts, but the dominant flavor is sour. There is some alcohol burn in the chest which is confusing for me considering it's a 6% beer. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but acidic with bite. Overall, I wouldn't have another one immediatly, but would give another chance. Actually I can't finish the bottle I have.

Photo of rvdoorn
2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle directly from Scotland. Poured into a the Molen sniffer. The beer pours a very dark black color with a short-lasting light brown head, leaving a messy lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, leather, coffee and some hints of red fruit.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, liquorish and bitter coffee. Very short and bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation. Beer has even less body than a European lager.

Overall: Disappointing beer. Feels like drinking bitter water. What a shame. Highly overrated in my opinion.

Photo of TerryW
2.93/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I don't understand where this brew is scoring some of its high marks. The two bottles I worked my way through were unremarkable and frankly offered up a somewhat odd taste.

Subtle aroma, some dark fruit, some chocolate, but not as interesting as some other porters I've had. Unusual sour taste and mouthfeel.

Disappointing.

Photo of jdaelhousen
2.94/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Being a big fan of dark porters, I had high expectations for this beer that were unfortunately not met.

Everything up to the point of tasting the beer was a great experience. The pour was smooth, about 1/4" of head, and the smell of the brew was fantastic. It smelled very strong, with a chocolately aroma.

The taste of the beer however was just ok. It didn't blow me away. The worst part of it was in fact its aftertaste. Once I was half way through, I was actually glad that I only had 1/2 bottle left as the aftertaste left a mildly stale taste in my mouth. Overall, Engine Oil wasn't terrible, but if I was going to spend 4 bucks for a bottled porter brew, I would look elsewhere.

Photo of gonzo46and2
2.97/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark black with hardly any head. Appears to be thick, syrupy, viscous. Aroma is dark malts with an emphasis on chocolate. Bitter dark chocolate. Taste mostly reflects the aroma. Mouthfeel is slick and oily with soft carbonation. Not a bad beer but I wasn't that impressed.

Photo of RBorsato
3.04/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown-light black with ruby red highlights and a nice tan head. Color was the best this had going for it ... A light alcoholish aroma but more prevalent was the powerful fruity (gooseberry?) type aroma ... not pleasant.

Tasted a maple syrupy and molasses type sweetness (maybe Black Treacle?). Also, any chocolate tones were more like the bitter unsweetened dark chocolate used in baking.

Body was bit on the light side of medium which certainly didn't balance out the strong flavors for me although there was a slick, oily texture true to the name.

A disappointment to me after much anticipation...

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.05/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On cask at Rustico (Ballston).

The beer is black with a quarter inch of off-white cap that holds steady for several minutes. The aroma brings milk chocolates, roast, malts, biscuits, brown bread. The flavor is sweet and chocolaty, followed by mild roast and sweet breads. A bit lacking actually. Not bad at all, but the flavor kind of drops off. Thin body and a bit too sweet. Eh...

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.08/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: true to its name this looks like very old engine oil - jet black, very nice dark brown head that retains well; good lacing
s: definite hints of whiskey, coffee & chocolate as well
t: coffee flavor dominates, with minor contributions of anise, chocolate & whiskey; turns bitter at end
m: surprisingly medium body, slightly creamy, burns the nose at the end, decent carbonation
d: appearances were deceiving here - not nearly as heavy as i would've thought & didn't get much whiskey flavor. too bitter for me, can't say i'll be picking up another of these

Photo of kurtissellen
3.09/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kind of offensive green olive smell at first, then when it warmed up I got a little fruity sweetness, pours dark black and vicious in nature, small light brown head that fades and leaves a ring. Tastes of coffee and smoke, and leaves a dry chalky feel. Overall not to impressed.

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.09/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz Bottle was purchased at Joe Canal's Liquor store in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ.

Appearance: Opaque black or very dark brown. Light tan head about 1/4" thick, slowly disovled. Little visible carbonation. Nice lacing left on glass.

Smell: Slight chocolatey aroma with hint of coffee.

Taste: a slightly sweet malty start with chocolate and coffe tastes fading quickly. Gave way to a dry , hint of alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Not as much body as I was expecting. A little chalky.

Drinkability: Good but nothing spectacular. Rather spend the money on a Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout in the same price range.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A--Poured a near black with only a thin layer head in my 16 oz. snifter.

S--Roasted malt, cocoa, marshmallows, earthy hops

T--Light roasted malts, truthfully not a whole lot else going on with this beer. It tastes like a watered down porter and is somewhat generic. Its very average, not anything special

M--Medium bodied, washed down clean with a slight ashy aftertaste

D--Nothing to separate this beer from the pack. Just a nice drinking but boring ale.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2 oz. bottle into a nonic.

A- Very deep brown/mahogany. Pours with 1/2 finger of brown head, which fades quickly, leaving thin, incomplete cap.

S- Vinous alcohol notes offset by some malty/fruity sweetness.

T- Roasty maltiness mixes with slight notes of dark fruit/plum and molasses, offset somewhat unfortunately by hints of wet cardboard that mar an otherwise interesting blend of flavors.

M- Moderate/low carbonation. Surprisingly thin/watery and quite drying. Strikingly lacking in the viscosity that I was expecting. Big disappointment in this department.

D- Not great. Didn't much want to savor this one, and it wasn't close to sessionable. One and done.

Future outlook: Pretty big disappointment. This brew is supposedly age-able, but perhaps my bottle's Old Engine Oil was just too damn old...I'll probably try this again, but only if I'm certain the bottle is fresh enough.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured jet black, name says it all. Had a nice tan head on it with some good carbonation. Nose of chocolate, toffee and tastes the same and perhaps some black liqourice. I have better Old Ales. Looks better than it tastes but still an ok brew. I am used to my Old Ales being a little stronger I suppose.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours with very little head over the dark brownish red liquid. What little head does show does not last long or leave much lacing. Pretty average looking beer.

Smell: Light roasted aroma with a touch of caramel and fruits. Not much volume to the smell.

Taste: Moderately interesting coffee toast to it with some toffee and faint floral hop flavor. No bitterness to speak of with mostly a sweet malty base flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: There's not much to say about this beer. It's average and even boring for the style. Perhaps it took a hit on the journey across the ocean. I don't know. But I won't be having another one of these. It lacks any sort of complexity or depth.

Photo of Rutager
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown with a finger of frothy tan head.

Smell. Some sweet, dark roasted malts, grassy hops, and a slight metalic smell.

Taste. Sweet dark roasted malts again, slight fruity taste along with just a touch of acidity, a bit of chocolate and some bitter hops that linger.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with medium-low carbonation.

Overall. I wasn't a big fan of this one. Some bitter flavours, especially in the finish that I did not enjoy.

Photo of bultrey
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eh, I don't know. OK beer, I guess. I had this on draft at the Blind Tiger, and I'm reviewing from notes taken over a month ago, and here they are, word for word:

"Weird flavor, like fermented beans. After I said that aloud, Schoolteacher told me that it was brewed with beans. I don't know if I believe him, but I trust my palate."

I wouldn't seek it out again, but it's got a cool name.

Photo of tar
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this beer to improve greatly as it was allowed to warm up a bit. Pours a nice thick looking opaque black (much as the name suggests that it should), with a thin light brown head. Strong aroma of coffee and chocolate, with some unpleasant astringent acidity as well. Initially finished with an unpleasant bitterness--although this was smoothed out greatly as the beer was allowed to warm, and the chocolate and plum flavors were allowed to come out. Not a bad beer, but not anything special and probably not a beer I'll look for in the future.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just some very short notes on this one, sorry.

A: BIG cola like head on this, opaque black body, not much else worth describing though.

S: Sugar, cooked grain, brown sugar. No Alcohol.

T: Dry, roasted, no hops or alcohol. Sort of bland, I could see why they wanted to age this in barrels.

M: Dry and Light.

Photo of goochpunch
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a very dark ruby (nearly black) with a frothy tanned head that leaves very intricate lacing on the glass. Nose is fruity with anise and strains of roasted malts in the background. Flavor is terribly sweet with some heavy handed licorice flavor going on. Molasses, dried fruit, and chocolate are found in the underlying flavors. Roasted malts round out the finish. Finishes sweet. Mouthfeel is relaxed in carbonation, sticky in the body, and a little slick. This is OK drinkability-wise, but there is too much licorice. I think I like the whisky barrel-aged version a lot better.

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.29/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours pitch black with a massive mocha head. Left no lacing.

S - Lots of roasted malts and plum, along with alcohol.

T - Roasted malt and dates up front followed by a small amount of smoked cherry.

M - Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, It wasn't bad. Definitely not a high class old ale though.

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Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,550 ratings.