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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,501 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,501
Reviews: 755
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 120
Gots: 126 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,501 | Reviews: 755 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 9InchNails
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark spots, tan and khaki colors in the head. The body is 100% opaque. The head seems to want to disappear about two minutes after the pour but actually sticks around with a silky smoothness.

Roasted maltiness, toffee, chocalate and a nutty aroma. A hint of hoppiness in the smell.

Coffee and chocolate upfront. Some Bitterness in the aftertaste. It's a nice taste but I feel something is lacking, I can't figure it out. It may be due to the blunt taste at first but then there's nothing working for it after that.

Medium to thick bodied but very silky smooth in texture. Feels nice in the mouth. Some carbonation tickles the front of the tongue.

Even though it's kind of thick bodied it's not very heavy. I could have a few of these. It is a good enough beer to drink more than just one.

Photo of EtOHMD
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this as a single. Shop owner said is was one of his personal favorites. Pours a thick syrupy dark opaque dark brown to black with hints of maroon at the edges. Thin head which dissipates quickly. Rich chocolatey roasted flavor with hints of cherry. Chewy feel with no aftertaste. Wishing I had bought more than one of these! Think it's going to become one ofmy faves.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts and cocoa powder. Also present are slight hints of tobacco and dark fruits. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors gain a tart aroma.

Tastes good. Smooth and lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by dark chocolate flavors that are neither rich nor bitter. Midway through the sip hints of char make an appearance before being sweetened by the addition of mild dark fruit flavors. The roasted malt, cocoa powder and dark fruit flavors carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I didn't find this beer to be overpowering but rather had a good deal of nuance that the UK tends to favor more than us across the pond. An interesting and well made beer that's well worth a shot.

Photo of DaveHS
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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 BigMike
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From an 11.2 oz. Bottle

A: Pours jet black with no signs of light coming through anywhere. A beautifuly dense tan head on top that's leaving a lace trail on the glass.

S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, anise, a light roasted nuttiness. Finishes with bitter coffee notes.

M: super smooth and creamy. Light to medium body with light carbonation.

Overall: This is good beer. A real easy drinking flavorful porter. I recommend trying this one.

Photo of atsprings
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass pours a deep almost opaque black with a nice frothy light tan head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of smooth dark malts with slight baker's cocoa. The taste is loads of dark malts, cocoa, smooth coffee and slight molasses, very complex. This is a great English Porter, one I would certainly have again.

Photo of ams0286
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A new arrival at the local A&P Liquor Store, I decided to pick this one up to pair with my fresh wild boar chops.

The appearance is exceptional. A thick foamy tan head tops the completely black beverage. As I enjoy this beer there is a great amount of lacing that remains on the glass all the way to the top.

The smell is on point as far as the style goes. Lots of roasted malts, molasses, dark chocolate and even a hint of dark dried fruits. I wouldn't mind if all of this was a little more forward, but it is amazing none the less.

For taste, I can't remember a better black ale that has been so robust. All of those aromas are further accentuated through the flavors in this beer and some. Up front you get a great amount of dark roasted and crystal malts. As this gives way a whole new arrangement of flavors appear. Toffee, dried fruits, even tobacco come across my palate. The hops in this brew are not lacking either. With such a strong malt backbone, you can find in the flavor a resiny/pine flavor that even carries some citrus.

Thick and smooth, even better as the beer warms. The low carbonation rate is again on point for the style. It comes close to the viscosity of and "Old Engine Oil" which is great, and exactly what I was seeking for tonight.

This is by far a session beer. The 6% ABV makes you aware the beer is there, and the body of the beer does too. I do think that this is a great example of the style and wish that more brands lived up to this standard.

Photo of vfgccp
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep rosewood at the edges of a narrow glass, but otherwise as black as it's namesake. Caramel colored head with some decent lacing.

S - Toffee, espresso. Mild, but opened up as it breathed.

T - Toast, char, some woody notes, coffee, bitter chocolate (more like 80% cocoa then a regular dark chocolate bar). The flavors show a steady hand, with nothing over the top. Malt rounds out the aftertaste.

M - Very smooth, light body.

D - The char and bitter chocolate aren't overpowering. Would drink 2 at a bar if I caught this on tap.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, dark tan head, with a little bit of lacing.

Aroma is very roasted, with some hints of chocolate and a bit of bitterness, seemingly from cocoa and hops.

Surprisingly hop forward initially, lots of roasted malts, slightly sweet with a bit of chocolate and dark fruits. Bitter chocolate on the finish.

Medium in body, slightly creamy, with little carbonation.

Good solid drinkability. Overall, a very nice brew.

Photo of FosterJM
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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 philbe311
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an over-sized snifter...

A - Half fingers worth of dark khaki colored mildly creamy foam... Minimal retention gives way a mixed bag of lacing that is mostly a very thin veil with some splotchy chunks of larger bubbles and a thin collar... A mostly opaque deep brooding brown color with only a touch of light leaking in around the upper end of the glass...

S - Bitter chocolate morsels... Roasted malts... Licorice... Caramel... Toffee... A bit nutty... A modest minty component??? I can't really put my finger on it, but there is something that is slightly off putting in the overall aroma...

T - Licorice... Cocoa... Roasted grains... More licorice... Some touches of peat... A hint of smoke... Solid, but slightly lacking in terms of depth and complexity...

M - Medium bodied... Very muted carbonation... Sleek... A tad on the thin side... Even and consistent... A slightly burnt chalky finish...

D - An enjoyable English Porter that teeters on the edge of being a world class offering but falls ever so slightly short... I would still welcome on future occasions and would recommend for any serious BA... Loaded with enjoyable subtleties...

Photo of buschbeer
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to two fingers of brown head. This beer is dark brown with ruby highlights. The aroma is chocolate and nutty. The taste is dominated by some bitter hops with a bitter coffee taste. I don't remember this beer being this bitter. I recall a more chocolaty flavor. It fells viscous in my mouth. I am left disappointed in this one. The aroma was great but the taste was too bitter.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out of a bottle into a Delirium glass. Black as night. A solid inch of tan head. So beautiful.

S - Burnt malt, dark chocolate and a hint of smoke.

T - Bitter chocolate at first and a good hop bitterness at the end.

M - Medium going towards full body. Slightly creamy with light carbonation.

D - Excellent. A great porter. Nothing bad to say about it.

Photo of Bung
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. Been a while since I've last had this, time to review one. Out of the bottle looks brown, but it is pretty much black in the glass. Thin layer of tan head, laces ok.

Malty, peaty aroma. Caramel, cocoa.

Taste, pleasant malty caramel. Molasses, peat, light plum. Finishes with some drying cocoa and coffee.

Mid bodied, coating, then gone with a nice dryness. No complaints here.

If this wasn't so damn expensive(3.50 for one 12oz), I'd drink this regularly.

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fun labeling on good beer. This black ale truly looks black but basically is like an espresso(extra roasted) version of stout. Poured a meager 1/2" head which dissipated. Same basic stout flavors of coffee and chocolate but certainly more so of each than usual. From the label and name I pretty much expected goop to pour out, but no, it's not anywhere near that thick, in fact many common stouts are thicker.

Photo of kjyost
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 'Jul 11', purchased at the MLCC in September. Poured into a beer mug. Served around 6C

A: Viscous, thick and dark with a light mocha head that descends leaving nice little globs of lacing.

S: Licorice, molasses, toffee, coffee... Exceptional.

T/M/D: Follows the aromas with the licorice and molasses dominating. A beautifully thick beer with a nice residual sweetness that balances the other flavours out to virtual perfection. Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy...

Photo of tone77
3.67/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts, coffee, some hints of chocolate. Taste is good, a balance of malts and coffee, a hint of chocolate. Feels creamy in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

Photo of Onenote81
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice bottle received from Vaison as a bonus in a recent trade. Thanks!

Poured into a goblet-style glass. Pours a dark black with some chocolate brown on the edges. A thin tan head caps it off. No lace. Scents of baker's chocolate, faint coffee, nuts. Chocolate is the main player in the nose. Semi-sweet smelling.

The mouth is creamy and smooth. Very mellow finish, but not flat at all. Well-done. Nice creamy milk chocolate flavors jived well with faint bitterness, and the mildest of hop backing. Well-balanced. Not complex, but wonderfully executed. Easy drinker for the cool evenings upon us now.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, roasty coffee, but thinner than a stout. In the taste, roasty coffee and a small chocolate like hint. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee hint in the aftertaste. Almost looks and smells like a stout, but not as rich. Quite nice overall.

Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 10/24/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is deep dark brown/black like freshly brewed coffee; starts with a scant 1/4 finger dark tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a faint skim floating in the surface and a thin ring surrounding the surface; body is entirely opaque (aptly named, I must say); a few spots and strands are left holding on to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Mostly burnt/roasty coffee grounds; some dark bittersweet chocolate; mild hop bitterness that is earthy, soil-like and leafy; really quite what I would expect, and it's kind of reminiscent of Edmund Fitzgerald... just not quite as big or robust.

Taste: Much like the nose, the most dominant aspect is the strong and bitter burnt roastiness -- kind like French pressed espresso; there is a faint bit of chocolate to it, but it's really overpowered by the bitter roast; the faint earthy/dirty hop presence is there, but it does have a tinge metallic bite to it. Overall, this is a really good beer and I can see me getting it again based up on these flavors.

Mouthfeel: Ah, the part of the porter that just falls flat for me in almost every case -- they always just seem kind of thinner than they should based upon their smells and flavors, but considering that they're not meant to be thick and chewy, this one is pretty good and about on style; just somewhere between light and medium in weight; the beer leaves a thin and dry coating all over the roof of the mouth; carbonation is quite present and maybe just a tad sharp.

Drinkability: I think I could really get into this beer on cool fall nights, much like tonight. The flavors are really good and robust, and the ABV isn't going to be something that knocks you on the ground.

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours incredibly close to black. When held up to the light, the corners of my glass turn a mahogany brown. The is some very fine white sediment hanging around the bottom. A slight espresso colored head has very good retention. Some great lacing on this one.

S - Average pungency on this one. The smell is very good though. It consists of creamy chocolate and a hint of coffee and dark fruits.

T - So many different flavors going on here it's hard to count. This porter has incredible complexity. There is dark fruits up front followed by notes of milk chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and coffee. The after taste has notes of creamy vanilla and bitter dark chocolate. Amazing.

M - A wee bit on the watery side but it still manages to be somewhat chewy.

D - Finishing this one won't be hard at all, the amazing taste makes in a Porter to sip on and savor.

Photo of klikger
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
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 tchenery
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is absolutely black. I held it up to a number of different light sources and got no change at all in color. Not surprising though with a name like that. It had a little bit of head at first which was a tan-brown color; it went away but has good lacing effect.

You can pick up hints of coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, and that smell that comes off hot cocoa. It's fairly subtle though, but right now the beer is pretty cold. I'm sure it will wake up in a few minutes.

My first taste is of bitter chocolate. The beer is not as thick as the color would have you think, but it is pretty slick. The chocolate flavor lingers the whole time, much like a Young's Double Chocolate. It has a drying finish with a bitter touch on the end that is pretty refreshing.

This is a big beer for only 6%. It's definitely a sipping beer and there's reason they only sell you one. I'm going to work on this one for a while.

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. The prototypical old-world example of the style, it would seem.

This beer pours black, black, and more black. Just some slight basal mahogany prism effects here, lads and lasses, with a single finger of foamy, bubbly, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves a bulky morass of variously webbed lace around the glass in its slow, meandering wake.

The aroma is dry, ashy chocolate malt, cold coffee grounds, a touch of black, fleshy fruit, and floral, earthy hops. The taste is chocolate malt up front, followed by a dry, bitter cocoa, late-morning coffee urn character, a latent lactic essence, and leafy, fairly edgy earthy hops.

The carbonation is averagely effervescent, the body on the upside of hefty, softly smooth, and just a bit tingly. It finishes kind of sweet, the obfuscating souring bitterness abating somewhat, letting loose more goodly chocolate maltiness.

A well-made old school porter, with lots and lots going on, but not too much of any one thing, thankfully. The expected sourness is well accompanied by lots of cocoa, malt, coffee, and fruit, all in appropriate proportions, which goes a long way in explaining the steady, common popularity of this offering.

Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is black with a thin brown head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate. Beer served in a DFH signature glass.

Aroma is pretty sweet for a porter with hints of coffee and mild roast / smoke. It smells good.

Beer is thin and quite bitter in the back but that's from the roast. Its moderately sweet up front but there isn't much going on in the midpalate. The beer is creamy and smooth overall and leaves only this bitterness as a lasting / aftertaste. Its pretty good.

Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,501 ratings.