Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

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1,457 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,457
Reviews: 746
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 112
Gots: 110 | 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: 1,457 | Reviews: 746 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - near black with fluffy mocha head retained at a thin consistency
S - rich malt, licorice, coffee, tobacco, and chocolate
T - grainy and smoky malts and cola give way to bitter coffee and chocolate, alcohol sweetness, and chewing tobacco like undertones, with some floral hop balance
M - thick yet well carbonated, smooth and very full finish
D - a hearty beer complex in flavours, a great example of a porter, though definitely not for the faint of heart

Photo of EagleTalon
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a thin, dirty tan head and deep ruby black color. Aroma is chocolate, creamy malts, vanilla extract and sweet alcohol. Flavor is a perfect blend of Malt sweetness, caramel and vanilla and chocolate malts. Good thick mouthfeel. Very easy to drink for a dark ale--no tongue fatigue from lingering roast or hop bitterness. This is a very well made old ale that really drinks like a good cream stout.

Photo of Sharkophile
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass, appears pitch black with a big frothy tan head.

S: Smells great with some caramel and roasty notes and a light hop.

T: Nice and simple, underlying caramel sweetness with some chocolate and coffee roasty flavors and a simple but satisfying dry bittersweet finish.

M: Nice medium to full body with good carbonation. Very creamy mouthfeel.

O: An impeccably balanced porter. Simple and knows what it wants to do and does it damn well.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a thick, viscous opaque mahogany red with a thin, tightly packed tan head with reddish hues. The lacing was spotchy and broken.

S: fruity with dark fruit, roasted malt and bitter chocolate with some dried molasses.

T: a nice roasted malting with a light charred woodiness. Dark fruit (raisins, plums), dark chocolate bitterness and light burnt malt. A touch of coffee roast and a dry bitterness rounds things out. A hearty, robust dark nature beer full of flavor and body.

M: creamy and full, viscous in nature leaving a dark roasted coating behind.

D: A great hearty drinking beer and must try.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint.

A - Pitch black, only a finger of head, not much lacing.

S - Nice roasty smell, fairly low alcohol smell.

T - Delicious. Flavors of coffee, hint of chocoloate, roasted nuts.

M - Not super rich or creamy, but extremely well balanced, fine aftertaste.

O - A really good example of this style. I could drink a bunch of these. It seems that these beers have different lables (black ale on mine), but tasty all the same. Very enjoyable.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle split with eat - thanks Colin!

Pours a nice dark brown with a little light around the edges, two fingers of foam pop up and leave a big bubble collar and some light lacing.

This has to be considered a classic of the style. Coffee, bitter chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, charred wood, a bracing grassy bitterness that has a faint citrus note in there, nice toffee and brown sugar sweetness, slightly thin body but at 6% this is a supremely drinkable, loaded with flavor porter you would gladly session. Really very nice, this is what the style was meant to be.

Photo of dsa7783
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single, 11.2 oz bottle copped for $3.99 from Total Wine and More in Union...
"Viscous, Chocolatey, Roasty" on the front, white logo sticker...
Heard a lot of good things about this particular beer, so I was eager to give this one a shot...
Pours a jet-black, and as the name suggests, an engine-oil hue, dark as night, with a modest-sized frothy tan and slightly reddish head which left a substantial amount of lacing...
Chocolate, roasted malt aroma bursting with cocoa powder...
Very thick, rich, and creamy taste loaded with sweet chocolate, vanilla, butter cream, butterscotch, dark espresso, and rich latte...
Excellent all-around taste, this one really lived up to its hype, and could easily be construed as a rich porter or a flavorful stout with such a strong suggestion of chocolate flavors...
Top-of-the-line ultra-rich and super-thick creamy mouthfeel...
Easy level of drinkability despite the hefty and thick flavors and aroma...
Excellent stuff...
Definitely recommended...

Photo of DaveHS
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark chocolate brown with a thin, dark tan head. Moderate soapy lacing.

S-Roasted malts, lactic sweetness.

T/M-Roasty and rich, with a pleasant, creamy mouthfeel and a surprisingly bitter finish. Almost no carbonation. Lush and silky, not too sweet. The roasted malts linger in the finish.

D-A very good porter.

Photo of lochef81
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This porter pours a very near black mahogany that only lets light in around the edges. The head is small, tan, and very short lived with some lacing. The aroma is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. It is dark and roasty with notes of cocoa nibs, coffee, some fruity esters, and lots of malt. The mouthfeel is just what is promised...oily. This would probably be more drinkable if it had just a touch more carbonation to add a little smooth creaminess. The flavor is once again lots of chocolate as well as some dried fruits, European yeast, a little butter coffee on the tail, and a lot of malty sweetness. I do prefer my porters on the drier side but for a sweet one, this is quite good.

Photo of FosterJM
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

51st review on BA
bottle to pint glass
Had at Lucky Devils in Hollywood

App- Black as night with a very small 1 finger head that was very tan.

Smell- Malt, smoke, Burnt quality and some roast cocoa nibs.

Taste- Doesn't drink at all what I thought. Its lush and smooth.

Mouth- Silky, smooth and rich. Paired well with dessert.

Drink- If I was having a second round of dessert or it was cold out another would have been ordered. Very good porter.

Photo of horndecker
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wonderful imagery conjured by the name and presentation.

It's the color of cherry cola, or perhaps walnut stain, with a short but fine tan head which leaves some little islands of foam and clumps of lace. Pour very carefully or you'll find heeps of sediment and wee yeasties filling your mouth.

The aromas are of espresso, cocoa, taffy and syrup, a little wildflower honey, and soy (in a nice way). Later a hint of banana.

The first sip brings a slightly bitter mineral wash followed by large roasted malt and fruit - figs maybe. A beautiful balance of flavors and aromas.

It has a medium smooth body with fine carbonation filling the mouth. A really nice old ale, with mucho emphasis on the malt and yeast.

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – A fairly black color overall, with a nice dark red accent on the edge. A creamy head that retains a ring around the very edge of the glass. Good lacing.

Smell – Chocolate, roasted malt, maple, and molasses. Very nice.

Taste – Taste is similar to the smell; chocolate with a subtle sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Smooth, velvety feel. Lightly carbonated. Feels nice!

Drinkability – Very drinkable. This went down easy. I think this is an underrated porter.

Photo of srandycarter
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black. No head. Thin ring. Ultra thin sheet of lacing.

S - Cooked fruit, dark, prune-ish. Deep sweet malt mixed.

T - Nice thick even coating of roasted malt and cocoa, with something sweet mixed in.

M - Great coating, carb, good balance.

D - Nice offering. Like it.

Photo of Sark
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- thick pour ends with a two finger light cream colored head, color is as dark as the name

Smell- immediately hit by chocolate and coffee with caramel. The hops are almost non-existent

Taste- roasted as it smells, light toffee sweetness but undeniably bitter big chocolate finish

Mouthfeel- full bodied with a silky smooth mid-mouth and little toasted astringent after bite

Overall- save this for dessert, not the main course. It's filling and all worth it.

Photo of TippySelenoid
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured black with little carbonation. It had a caramel colored head that sat nicely for a while but then shrank considerably.

It smelled like caramel malts and chocolate.

This beer tasted like semisweet chocolate. It had a nice bitterness that wasn't from hops, but more like something from exceptionally dark chocolate. It also had some nice caramel flavor.

This beer had a nice body. It was pretty thick, but nothing chewy.

This beer was preeminently drinkable. I had to slow my drinking down because I could have polished this off way too quickly.

The bottle caps are also nice with the cartoon mouse. The bottle I had was different from the one pictured. I appreciated that the bottle says, "Viscous, Chocolaty, Roasty."

Very Nice.

Photo of ccrida
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle (newest release, L8 186 B 10:11 stamped on bottle) poured into my Meantime snifter, Old Engine Oil is pitch black with a large tan head, tight with a few larger bubbles, pretty long lasting, leaving decent lace,

Smell is milk chocolate and lactose, a little pruney, very slight roast, not to exciting or even really my taste.

Taste is full and rich, robust for sure, heavily toasted grains, some cured fruits and chocolate, a touch nutty, with a nice, if subtle smokiness. Not sweet like the nose, more complex and very good. In spite of all the flavors, it's smooth and rounded, reminiscent of a well aged RIS, minus the patience and bruising ABV!

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side, creamy but with a dry finish. Super smooth actually, almost cask like.

Drinkability is pretty good, a very tasty, full flavored old ale that is clearly in porter and stout territory. Harviestoun basically could have called this any of the three, and with the smokiness, could have even gone with Wee Heavy. Regardless, it's a damn good dark ale (which is actually all the label claims, "Black Ale"). I like that it's so robust without being over the top ABV wise. Pretty nice price for this rarity to boot, $3.50.

Photo of Buildscharacter
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pouring out exactly as the name sounds, I knew this beer was going to be a winner. It's super thick and smells of burning wood, oak, maple, and roasted vanilla.

The taste is of scotch, burned...well charred wood and just overall a strong malty character. This is a supurb beer that I enjoyed quite a bit. I don't think that I could drink all that many of them, but it's quite good. I took off for appearance because it didn't hold it's head for anything.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours an opaque black body with a thin film of tan head. Smells roasty and malty. Tastes very roasty with nutty and earthy hops toward the finish. Full rich mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Fairly drinkable, though definitely more of a sipper, which is to be expected for the style. A tasty solid ale.

Photo of Converge
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger-and-a-half of thick, frothy mocha head. Black as night. Nice lacing no surprise. The head eventually died down to a tan cream on-top of the beer.

S - Roasted malt, caramel malt, dark chocolate, and some dark fruits. I also detect a touch of hops. Simple, but really nice.

T - A little disappointing upfront, with not a lot going on at first. Finishes with a roasted malt flavor with a slight bitterness. Not nearly as smokey or burnt as I expected, but rather sweet and creamy, with a lot of vanilla, dark and milk chocolate, and rich caramel. I do find this a little off putting however, as I thought this beer would have a lot more smokiness and bitterness to it. The bottle is a few months old, but it also reads "MAR 2012" on the neck. Still, this porter boasts a rich, creamy flavor profile that I find really appealing. After starting out almost skunky, this beer warms up with a fantastic taste. Towards the end I begin to pick up some smokiness, especially in the aftertaste. Some dark fruits are also present in the warmer taste.

M - Couldn't be much better here. Almost no carbonation, with a thick, creamy mouthfeel that just slides by your palate and taste-buds like silk. Perfect for this style, nice and semi-viscous with a creamy, low-carbonation feel.

D - One of the better beers I've tried to date. Really complex flavor profile and near-perfect mouthfeel with this porter. I do detect something slightly off-putting, almost skunky in the flavor still, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying this one thoroughly.

Photo of rtepiak
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice and dark. i like the dark ones, near black brown. stout but thinner. quite a creamy head. latte in color. nose is a good malt and fruit. the taste is bitter to compare to a stout. i can't really figure to coin it as anything other than a stale bitter, tobacco like. soft chocolate. buttery. the gentle fruit works great with the bitter quality. a soft leather and chalk also. great stuff. i think it may become a winter regular at 3 bucks a bottle.

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black body with medium tan head. Good lacing.

S- Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, hint of coffee.

T- Almost exactly as it smells, roasted malts come through with some chocolate. Very well balanced and very delicious, almost no alcohol comes through.

M- Smooth and light with very little carbonation.

O- Very good simple classic porter.

Photo of bobsy
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours black with a mocha head that dissipates to leave a few wispy remnants on the surface. The aroma is very fruity, slightly bitter and dark. The flavour leads with a hit of fruit, before melting into caramel, dark chocolate and a slight coffee bitterness. The mix going on in this beer reminded me a little of Anchor Porter. The palate wasn't as I expected - the image of engine oil suggested a very thick, almost syrupy, liquid. Instead the body was medium-light, but with a creamy undertone that suits the beer well. Carbonation was practically non-existent, which I think is a good decision based on the flavours going on here. The lighter body and low carbonation made this a very easy drinker, and the glass was empty all too soon. I could easily have had another.

Photo of mcsquint
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this 11.2oz bottle at Gomer's in Lee's Summit.
A - Pours black and opaque with a thin but creamy head.
S - Aromas of chocolate and coffee
T - This is very tasty. Flavors of chocolate,cocoa and coffee. Very well balanced. Finishes more like a porter.
M - Full mouthfeel with minimal carbonation.
D - While this is not a session beer, it is very rich and flavorful. As it says on the back of the bottle it would be good 'after dinner'.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle (no date I could interpret, but I think I see a 2009 on here) poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Completely black (even when held up to the light). 1/2" Tan head upon pouring dies down to some foam at the edges and thin skin across the top. Islands of lacing here and there. If you look really closely at the edges of liquid towards the end of the glass you can get dark cola brown as the color of the beer.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts dominate here but I think I can detect some very faint floral notes at the end. The smells become less dominant as the beer warms up, but still quite nice.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate up front, roasted malt in the middle, and then a good bitter finish. Nicely balanced and lingering bitter finish is quite good - like that of a good dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick - very little carbonation on the tongue but that's not a bad thing here. Just a bit creamy.

Drinkability: Good by itself or with a meal, but it's so intense in it's bittersweet flavor that I think I could only have one an evening or I'd burn out my tastebuds.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Black with some ruby hues, nice one-finger head died to a nice cream film.
S: Roasted malt, dry, subtle like Eddie Fitz, creamy oats, very stubtle fruit (bananas, blackberries, raspberries).
T: Toffee with a dry burnt characteristic, burnt hoppiness that is slightly green and resiny lingers; there is some vanilla and fruits.
M: Creamy and frothy, yet thin and dry.
D: Especially good.

Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,457 ratings.