Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

754 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 754
Hads: 1,562
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 125
Gots: 144 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 754 | Hads: 1,562
Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like old engine oil!its a delicious beer, ive tried all the ola dubhs and this is better than the 12 and right up there with the 16.i wouldnt call it viscousy or chocolatey, as the bottle does, but its still a dam good beer. (230 characters)

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty black color. Tan head, mixed texture.

Smells of lager. Meh. Hints of chocolate, malt emerge after time in glass.

Taste is idiosyncratic, citrus rind, malt, bitter.

Mouthfeel is moderately rich, especially for 6% ABV. Perhaps a bit more carbonation than strictly necessary.

Finish is long, mouth-coating, bitter, not intense.

Not a great beer. But far from bad. There are better choices.

Overall (408 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: black body of ale with a couple of fingers of tan foam

S: chocolate malts, some char, a hint of espresso

T: follows the nose with some typical but well-executed porter flavors: chocolaty, a bit of deep hidden fruit, some coffee, and hints of char and maybe anise

M: smooth and medium weight, modest carbonation, nice aftertaste

O: a solid porter - I'm sure one that regular drinkers of the style will enjoy (413 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Old Engine Oil is a decent porter. The beer poured an opaque black with ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent has hints of earth and peat. The taste is a well balanced with roasty malt at the front and then a slight bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a very good beer and worth a try. (359 characters)

Photo of BWood
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Tried this porter and was not really a fan. Very roasty. Left me wishing there was more coming on the back end. Very interesting that this was in the lock box at total wine and limited to 1 per person.

Black butte porter reserve from Deschutes destroyed this (259 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle:
Pours basic black with a moderate light tan head. The head starts almost foamy but turns soapy, strangely enough. The head died last at the edges, minor lacing.

Nose is classic dark-beer notes, with dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, and a bit of charcoal. There is a semi-sweet nuttiness I also detect. As the beer warms, I get less of the opening notes and more dark fruit, prune and fig.

Taste is actually a bit more dark-roast coffee, with more bitterness than I got in the nose. There is also a hit of citric bite (lemony) at one point that hits and runs as a green-twig wood note comes on. Note that these additional notes all play along or on top of a coffee (as it warms, it also resembles unsweetened cola - or at least what I imagine that to be).

The body is decent-medium, but the feel is mildly thin. There is a nice lingering light tingle on the tongue after the taste fades.

A very solid Porter, one that has a hint of sweetness but isn't sweet, a hint of roast, but isn't roasty or smokey, a hint of bitterness but not hoppy. It seems a well-made beer, and glad I tried it. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Cannybrew
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with soft brown sugar head. Smell for me doesn't jump out and shout anything other than a sweet spice but the taste is phenomenal - dark chocolate, coffee, orange and red currant. Feels impressive, thick, lightly carbonated, smooth and super swallable! (264 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(On cask)

The beer comes in a black color.

The beer offers roasted coffee, chocolate, with an English yeast of some cooked apples. There is a toasted malt quality in the middle with a bit of sweetness.

Decent amount of flavor, slightly light on the mouthfeel. (262 characters)

Photo of BigOldOaf
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black with a nice, half-inch beige head that dissipates quickly.

S - Roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate and coffee mixed in.

T - Roasted malts start and lead into deep, dark chocolate with perhaps a hint of coffee. Perfect amount of bitterness.

F - Medium body, good carbonation with a nice graininess that's reminiscent of Taza chocolate.

0 - This is a great beer. The grainy, bitter dark chocolate is what makes it all come together for me. Very enjoyable. (479 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Hop City, Birmingham, AL.

A: Dark as, well, old engine oil. A tan half finger head that petered out quickly.

S: Dark chocolate, malts, a bit smokey. Some coffee notes, too.

T: Follows nose in a smooth, passionate, easy drinking style. Great for sipping. Dark and lovely.

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation.

O: Glad I got to try this British staple. A fine porter that drinks like a stout. But then, there's not that much difference between the two. Tasty. Let it warm for maximum viscosity and thermal breakdown. (551 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Black. Out of curiosity I held a powerful flashlight behind my sampling glass, and still only got faint ruby tinges. Light brown thin head that fades to a ring, spots of lace. I'm looking for viscosity; looks thick, but I want milkshake.

S: Powerful, almost acrid on first whiff. Lots of roasted malt, oat.

T: Bittersweet chocolate is there, but mostly simple oat and roasted malt. Some vanilla mid-palate. Tasty, but unoriginal. Good long bitter finish.

M: The reason why I sought this out!... It's ok. Definitely thick, but not engine oil thick. The carbonation is fine and restricted, which helps.

O: Maybe I was expecting too much, but I really don't see what the big deal is. It's good, but I think it benefits greatly from people reading "viscous, chocolatey" on the bottle and then finding/inventing those characteristics. The "roasty", however, is there in spaded. (880 characters)

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

Very tasty, if you're into stouts. Malty chocolaty notes. Very clean tasting IMHO. Not as string tasting as Narwhal or Wake up Dead nitro. Very well made RIPS. (162 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Bottleneck says 3162.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Very pleasant aroma of dark roasted malt brings to mind chocolate, nuts, caramel and coffee. Also quite biscuity.

T- Quite a bit more generic than the flavor with just straight dark roasted malt, little sweetness and a charry aftertaste.

M- Pretty basic for a porter with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Very surprised that the flavor doesn't follow through with what the aroma lets on. A very good porter but it's missing the flavor and mouthfeel to make it great. (792 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Format: I had this a few years ago as I was just starting into craft beers and hated it. Retrying it to see if my tastes have (hopefully) caught up to it. A slim, very dark brown 330mL bottle with a funky label with an old car. Can't really lose out there.

Appearance: poured into a tulip glass. A near jet black body with an inch of dark tan head that slowly drops to an inch of creamy and rocky finger. Fantastic lacing down the glass. Even jet black as it pours out of the bottle.

Aroma: a strong aroma of roasted malts - specifically coffee - with milk chocolate and a touch of rough cocoa. Smells pretty good.

Taste: the sweet milk chocolate comes through more strongly here alongside the dark roasted coffee. Quite sweet, and very tasty.

Aftertaste: the sweetness backs off some to be replaced by a lovely warming bitterness from the roasted malts.

Mouth feel: moderate to fuller in feel with a moderate carbonation. A pretty good feel with somewhat of a creamy feel.

Overall: well I am very glad that I have decided to retry this beer. A full-bodied and full-flavoured English Porter that shows fantastic roasted dark coffee and sweet milk chocolate. Well worth the having at AU$5 a bottle. (1,203 characters)

Photo of interzen
4.95/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into a Vedett tulip glass

Look: Black, black, BLACK! Seriously, this is blacker than a black thing. In Hell. At night. Tan head which sticks around for a while, with some lacing.

Smell: The first thing that sprang to mind was 'tar', closely followed by 'coffee' - there's a ton of toasted malt character in there, too. A faint bit of fruity/floral character but really the tar/coffee aromas are front and centre.

Taste: Toasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate - the chocolate isn't as in-yer-face as something like Sam Smith's Chocolate Stout but it's definitely there. Chuck in a few resinous notes in the finish and you've got something which is absolutely delicious.

Feel: The word 'viscous' appears on the bottle, and with a name like 'Old Engine Oil' you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd need a spoon for this. Not so - granted, it's a bit 'thicker' than your average brew but nowhere near stout levels. Slips down ever so nicely.

Overall: This is my first encounter with the output of the Harviestoun Brewery and it won't be my last. I don't care whether people classify this is a 'black ale' or a porter - categorising it won't detract from the fact that it's across the board awesome; lovely balance of flavours. Definitely a keeper. (1,268 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

This beer is styled as a "Black Ale", which I see is listed separately but with only 7 reviews. Therefore, I'm not quite sure I'm reviewing this in the right place. But what gives with changing the style but not the name? Or, is "black ale" simply another descriptor for a porter?

Anyhow, a fairly aggressive pour produces a sticky, frothy, pale tan head of about an inch. The beer is a very dark brown.

I perceive a overbaked biscuity aroma with a hint of diacetyl. The roasted malts come through nicely in the flavor, and are accentuated by bark-like, nut, and burnt chickory flavors that suggest strong coffee, but without the astringent flavors of old, overcooked coffee. It's relatively light in body despite the name and drinks like a black lager more than anything.

A decent beer and apparently rare in my area, but hardly worth the $4.29 I paid for the 11.2 ounce bottle. (888 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful black brew, topped by a very small brown head with poor retention.

Smooth, dark and rich chocolate and roasted barley aroma. A bit of cream, as well. Very robust aroma, but enticing and sweet as well.

Tons of dark, overripe fruit up front, earthy hops in the middle, and waves of roasted barley on the back-end. Extremely roasty: burnt toast, black coffee, dark cacao. Not very sweet, as implied by the aroma, but very robust. Earthy hops, and a little sweetness up front from a caramel/toffee/butterscotch note.

The name is misleading if you're expecting a thick stout. It's more cloying and lasting than chewy.

If viewed as a robust porter, this is an excellent example of the style. It's roasty bitterness is at first abrasive, but it's exactly the way it should be. (785 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It, called Black Ale vs Porter, is a lovely black colour and brings a 1 finger head of tannish foam with a careful pour. As the foam shrinks, great lacing left behind.

The smell is marvelous with smooth notes of chocolate, both sweet and bitter. Almost? get a hint of licorice.

The taste brings that chocolate with no hint of the licorice I noted in the smell. Nicely roasty to go along with the chocolate, this such a soothing, comforting beer to drink.

The silkiest of mouth feels, this is just bloody awesome. I'm glad I picked up a few bottles, both with the labels upside down and right side up. (603 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, toast, light toffee, light dark fruit, faint smoke, and roast/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bit roast/bready malt and light-moderate yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, toast, light toffee, light dark fruit, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, toast, light smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of roast/bready malt and light yeast ester flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English porter. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of roast/bready malts and light yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,346 characters)

Photo of jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Bottle.
Appearance: black. Dark ruby when held up to light. Small, foamy, tan head.
Smell: light roasted barley.
Taste: chocolate and coffee followed by light roasted barley.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Big body. Dry.
Overall: great stout/porter. Would definitely buy again. (288 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%

Dark brown in color with ruby edges. Some roast in the nose along with a trace of alcohol. The body is hearty and creamy. The roast profile is relatively mild but pleasantly present and the flavor includes a very slight kiss of sweetness underneath the roast. (260 characters)

Photo of Navalartichoke
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Had this on draft in an English Pub ( Craft) Great blend of roasted malt , some sweetness and a nice finish of bitterness. Very mellow. The aroma had a hint of coffee. (167 characters)

Photo of Extrajoker00
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%

Reviewed: 9/28/14

Old EngineOil by Harviestoun

poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Guinness pint glass

P- very classy and traditional banner over oval 4.0

A- black as night with a solid tan to brown head 4.25

S- roasted malt, coffee and cocoa 4.75

T- robust and flavorful, roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa bitter-sweetness 4.5

M-full bodied and very present, mild aftertaste leaves me in anticipation 4.5

D- a little heavy on the pallet but still a go to 4.25

O- one of the best English brews Ive had 4.5

long wait to try this one and liking it. Picked a winner here.
---- J (588 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Dark brown, almoust black with a beige head. A lot of lacing.

Nose: Roasted malt, molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit.

Taste: Same as the nose, malt, roasted notes, coffee, dark chocolate and dried fruit.

Almoust no carbonation. Medium to full body. A light bitternss. Great beer! (293 characters)

Photo of dogin26
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured into a over sized snifter

Beautiful thick head that fades fairly quickly

Expresso, dark chocolate with some rum and raisins

Light and creamy mouth feel. On the palate i taste coffee, dark chocolate and chocolate milk shake

Really tasty porter that has the perfect layers of flavor whilst being super drinkable. Love it (330 characters)

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Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 754 ratings.