Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,454 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,454
Reviews: 746
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 112
Gots: 108 | 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: 1,454 | Reviews: 746 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of klikger
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Darkness tulip

A - Black, little head, good lacing

S - Prune, raisin, caramel, dark chocolate. Yum.

T - Coffee, cocoa, dried fruits, and a bunch of piny hops. There's plenty of hop bitterness and espresso beans on the finish. Very tasty beer.

M - Relatively low carbonation, good body for a porter

D - 6% and all this flavor? Give me another.

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

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours black with dark brown highlights and a thin dark brown head that dissipates into a film.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt.

T - Phenomenal. A lot of things going on here; toasty malt, coffee, big bittersweet, almost sour chocolate flavor.

M - Thick bodied, viscous, very low carbonation. Mouth coating.

Notes - Excellent, very complex aroma and flavor.

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

At first when pouring it in to my glass i get why it's nemed Old Engine Oli. It is so dark old satan would be afraid of drinking it on a stormy night. Even the foam is brown as dark chocolate.
Chocolate, coffe and another syrupy taste. Also a little hint of fruitness.
Creamy, smooth and truly well balanced. The remarkable sweetness combined with the minor bitterness is the first impression i get out of it. The caramel and what i believe is the hops combined makes a perfect combination. The roasted taste also get to dominate the stage for a little minute. The fruiteness from the smell also get to grow and take its place, cherry or grapes are what it reminds me of.

This beer i will remember for its dark apperance and smooth taste. If I would have been drinking this in another occasion i would have been drinking it to some heavy roastet beef.

Photo of Radome
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Color is deep brown with ruby highlights at the edge when held up to light, although light can't make it through the main part of the glass. Head is tan and initially thick, but it quickly dissipates. Light lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is roasted coffee and chocolate with light smoke. There is a strong hit of cracked grain in the finish, with some herbal hops right at the limit of my perception.

T - Taste is extreme roast that blends into a cigar-like smoke. It verges on acrid in the mid palate, then dries out and cleans up to very low aftertaste. There is some brown sugar in the early palate. No hops or yeast characteristics come through.

M - Medium body with low mouth coating stickiness. Carbonation is almost nonexistent. A smooth creamy quality that may be from oats. Low alcohol presence.

O - This is a strong, assertive beer, whose assertiveness is based only on malt characteristics. That makes it a welcome change from today's typical hop madness. Still, I find it to verge on too acrid form my taste and I prefer some of the variants that have been aged in various barrels to mellow it and add some other complexities.

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at a cask party.

Old Engine Oil from a cask poured out the same jet black color but of course with a severely impaired head (as did all of the cask offerings) and only minimal lacing. The main aroma/taste difference this brew had in cask format is a much heavier emphasis on stone fruits over the roasted malts. It was like cherries and prunes in a cup of mocha coffee on the nose! The flavor had some lighter emphasis on the stone fruits than the nose did, but it was still noticeably present on the palate. Transitions from semi-sweet to dry throughout each sip. Body is still on the thicker side of medium heft yet carbonated enough to avoid syrupy-ness.

Photo of wordemupg
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip aug2 2010

A black like its namesake with a large 3 finger head that hangs around for quite some time slowly falling to a 1/4in film leaving plenty of lace, pretty sexy looking beer when all's said and done

S a little dark fruit some smoke, chocolate and a little coffee and molasses

T a little more smoke then I smell and just a tiny bit of booze but other then that it tastes as it smells but just a little stronger then the nose

M a little thin but enough carbonation to give it a creamy feel

D went down pretty quick and I will be drinking this again without doubt

for a first beer from a brewer I think I picked a good one, I can't wait to try some of the other brews by these guys that just got released here in Alberta

Photo of bcm75
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

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

The beer poured black with ruby highlights when held to light. The head is tan and huge, no, really, it is HUGE. The head takes a long time to fall and then laces the glass.

The aroma is chocolate, roasted, and slight alcohol.

The flavor is chocolate with good bitterness. Also present in the flavor is coffee. There is a sweetness in the flavor, but it quickly fades and is well balanced by a decent bittering.

The finish goes dry coffee bitterness and lasts into the aftertaste. The body is medium full to full and the beer is just on the edge of being viscous. There is an alcohol warming from the beer.

11.2 ounce bottle.

Photo of IronTom
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%

Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: deep black 1/4 inch head

Smell: burnt malt, expresso, dark chocolate

Taste: expresso, smoked malts--almost rauch like, some cream--some alcohol on the finish

Mouthfeel: light body, smooth, creamy, low carbonation--no bite

Drinkability: What I got and what I was expecting were two different things. This is a very smooth and drinkable old ale and perhaps my favorite I have tried in the style. More complex than I have described, I will reach for this again.

Photo of Sammy
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hoppy barley wine. Taste like a dry grainy lighter barley wine. Beautiful fruity aroma like fruity good wine. Some roasted malt and chocolate throughout. Dark colour and initial malty head. Not too sweet. Fruit on aftertaste. Smooth, would be fine with this all night.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a dark and rich brownish black and topped with a creamy, mocha colored, one and a half inch head that bubbles down into a thin cap and leaves thin bits of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Just an amazing aroma and at a lower ABV than most other old ales this is just huge. Big, sweet, chewy, dark, roasted maltiness,
dark, ripe, cured fruits, caramel, molasses

T/MF: Slight tobacco, chocolaty caramel sweetness mixed with a bit of lactose, woody, slightly smokey and peaty finish mixed with slight hints of roasted coffee beans. Medium bodied, quite chewy, a little lacking in the kind of carbonation I want to see from this beer, with just a bit more body this beer could be just about the best beer I have ever had. As it stands though it has to remain merely an outstanding beer, just short of perfection. Get a bit thicker, a bit more lively on the tongue and this beats just about every beer I've ever reviewed.

D: The complexity of this beer alone is enough to warrant a 5 but I just can't bring myself to do it, the mouthfeel needs to beer there more, its just not substantial enough for me. Other than that, anyone who has access to this beer and has never tried it should pick up a few bottles of this right now, it has tons to offer, go, go now, what are you waiting for.

Photo of Kromes
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch black, no highlights, a finger's width brown head dies down to nothing.

S: Deep roasted malt aroma, a slight chocolate and fruitiness to the aroma, but clean and pure roasted goodness.

T: A big sweet roasted malt flavor up front gives way to a tangy, chocolate and fruity smokiness. The finish is very clean and leaves a smoky remnant of the earthy roasted malt.

M: It's got a nice mouthfeel. Not a lot of carbonation and a heavier feel.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. I love porters and this one is simple and delicious with all the clean roasted flavors.

Photo of drtth
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the appearance of the beer almost lives up to its name. The liquid is dark brown, almost black in color and once in the glass allows no light through it. The stream of liquid contains lighter and darker "threads" but even those that are transparent and clear are dark brown, just not as dark as the darkest. The ½" head is dense throughout with some lager bubbles on the top. The head recedes soon to leave an irregular ring and an irregular island of foam. Also there are patches and leggy trails of lace clinging to the sides of the glass. Sipping leaves widely scattered small patches of foam clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aromas are those of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark molasses, along with some dark fruit (plum or prune).

Taste: The flavor is rich, dark roasted and reasonably complex with a trace of sweetness, some almost burnt bitterness and races of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full bodied and soft, with moderate but persistent carbonation. The finish is moderately long with early sweetness disappearing quickly to leave the dark roast, almost burnt bitterness and some earthy character from the hops.

Drinkability: While listed as a porter (it was once listed as an Old Ale) this is one of those beers that tests the myth that the difference between a porter and a stout lies in the dark roast malt. I've found with this beer that while it should be sipped slowly and savored, each sip also follows naturally from the first and I'm finishing this beer wanting more than there is. I'll certainly seek this beer out to have again in the future

Photo of aracauna
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, porter like look to it. Definitely what it says on the label, an after dinner beer. Nice chocolate and plums to the aroma. The flavor is roasty, some chocolate, plums and the slight apple peel taste that I'm starting to decide is a certain type of hops. The mouthfeel is really smooth. Love the name and glad that it caught my attention.

Photo of DirtyBikeBrewing
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark coffee like color with a good amount of head that settle rather slowly.

A - This is a dark beer. Dark like night.

S - Smelled of roasty coffee and chocolate. With hints of molasses and vanilla.

T - Tasted just like it smelled. Really thick beer though. Almost a meal on its own.

M - Very full bodied super rich.

O - Great beer. Would totally drink it again. It's definitely the kind of beer that many porter drinkers have to try.

Photo of Tone
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark black color. One inch head of a tan color (one of the darkest color heads I've come across). Decent retention and good lacing. Smells strongly of alcohol and roasted malts. There's also might be a hint of hops in the aroma. So far as I can tell, it fits the style of an Old Ale. Smooth and thick mouth feel. There's an average carbonation level present along with a noticeable bitterness on the tongue. Tastes of roasted malts first off, then the alcohol is strong. The aftertaste is of a malt dryness that matures into a slight chocolaty flavor. There's a hop bitterness, but not strong hop flavor. Along with the malt there is a sweetness to the brew that counteracts the malt and hop bitterness. Overall, a rather enjoyable beer that's worth a try.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and velvetty and has a deep ruby brown color. Though the foamy head is small it is present through out with spotty lacing around the inside face of my glass.
Aroma is super rich and malty with hints of chocolate.
Roasted malts dominate in the taste. Taste is smooth and lusious with hints of molasses, coffee and chocolate. Hops are light and help tame the malts a little bit with there minty anise taste.
Overall I pretty fantastic beer with depth of flavor and pleasing to gaze upon.

Photo of BatDaddy
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No freshness or bottled date that I can find. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark ruby-tinged black with a slow to form head from a semi aggressive pour. Head is light chocolate color and settles down to a wispy lace that is full of circular shapes. Interesting and a bit peculiar - don't think I've seen lacing look like that.

S - Roasted chocolatey malt, some vague fruity sweetness. Notes of a freshly opened can of dark roasted coffee.

T - Bold dark roasted coffee. Strong and bitter, but smooth on the finish. Big malt backbone balanced out with some bittering hops and roasted notes. Very nice.

M - Smooth, and perhaps appropriately, a bit oily. Maybe it's the power of suggestion.

D - Really good. Great tasting and smooth feel make this a very enjoyable porter.

Photo of surfer4life
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 11.2oz bottle

A - Dark, black, viscous with a chocolate brown head. No lacing.

S - Mmmm...toffee, chocolate and a bit of coffee all the usual suspects with a roasted malt, but throw in some hazelnut and bit of a creamy smell and raisins. A good bit of alcohol esters in the nose as well. This one smells great!

T - Massive roasted coffee taste in the front coupled with dark chocolate with for the mocha flavor. The alcohol is hidden well, barely any hints of it. A tad bit o hops for some balance, but doesn't dominate at all. Some real good malty sweetness on the finish manifesting in the form of figs, dates and plums. Truly great taste.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Dry finish leaves the mouth crisp and clean.

D - At 6% alcohol, this one is very drinkable. As always, I'd like to give it a whirl from the tap.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque black with no head. Nose is like old tar from a tree. Just very earthy and resin like. Raisins. Slight touch of dried out wood that still holds a fragrance. Flavor is smooth. Definite raisins there. Nice aged woody flavor. Thick with character. Feel is good. Slight bubble, but an otherwise thicker texture over the tongue. Very drinkable. More of a sipper, but a nice aged old ale.

Photo of repeal06
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


Poured blacker than black, with a small tan head that laced the glass nicely.

Smelled faintly of roasted coffee and chocolate, and malty goodness.

Tasted like it smelled. Well balanced, extremely smooth coffee and chocolate flavor. Just the right amount of bitterness.

Felt smooth and creamy in the mouth. I savored this beer.

Easily drinkable. I'm a fan of this beer.

Photo of dnichols
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Reese5150 for sharing this brew with me. I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a tulip.

A: It poured a thick nearly black body with a half finger tan head. The head recedded to a light cover over the liquid that lingered and produced a ring aroudn the collar that supported a thin leggy curtain.

S: It had a major roasted sweet malt profile with dark fruits and lightly floral hops.

T: It presented a sweet malty and dark fruit (bing cherries and ripe black plums). It had a sweet and creamy malt front with a fruity back.

M: It was creamy and full bodied with a well hidden alcohol and clean dry aftertaste.

D: Very smooth and rich with a decent ABV and nice finish. This is a very plesant and joyfilled old ale. I will seek this one out to include in my stash.

Photo of spiffysamurai
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on tab at Woodman's in Orono Maine

A: The beer came in a nice pint size glass, black as night.

S: The beer smelt of a nice Scotish old ale, makes me think of old time beer.

T: The beer tasted of caramel with a dash of vanilla.

M: Nice and smooth

D: Very drinkable for a beer with a 6.0% ABV

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is pitch black with a creamy tan head. Not much retention except for bubbles around the insides of my pint glass. The aroma is chocolaty with a touch of roasted smell. The taste is insanely rich. Sweet chocolate flavor is inhanced by light roasted taste, peat flavor, and just a little herbal hop. Old Engine Oil has a great depth of complexity and is incredably smooth. Only 6% ABV makes this even easier to drink. Highly recommended.

Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,454 ratings.