1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,452 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,452
Reviews: 745
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 112
Gots: 107 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Engine Oil Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,452 | Reviews: 745 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of killcore
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of ajcormier
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black, Black Black. Started with a one finger width head and fizzled out to a skim coat within a few minutes as an ale usually does. Zero light penetration. Completely opaque and dark as night. Slight reddish tinge, but mostly darker than it's name sake. Pour was good, medium viscosity. Certainly not as thick as some of the engine oil I've drained in my day... probably a good thing.

S- Sweet chocolate effervescence and classic roasted characteristics right off the front. As a porter the nose is a bit weaker than I was expecting. It's no stout, that's obvious, but it's not trying to be.

T- Ultra smooth and easy to drink. Small chocolates off the front with a nice malt profile. Good amount of bitterness to balance the coaco and coffee notes. Roasted dark malt flavors and slight bitterness linger on the palate even after the swallow. Surprising amount of heat for a 6% beer.

M- Good and mouth coating. Much better palate than some other porters I've had. Nothing exceptional however. it hits the mark but doesn't exceed expectations.

D- Great drink-ability. I didn't give it a 5 here however just because of the lingering roasted and bitterness. For an exceptional here it would have had to have a cleaner finish. All in all a great beer; except for the $3.99 per 12oz bottle. That makes for an expensive afternoon and thus also brings down my "drink-ability" scale to a 4.5.

Photo of alwaysplayin
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of MJSawyer
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of TheConnMan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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 crosenkrantz
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of joemochas
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of TimH
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of archyquaffer
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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.

Photo of EatsTacos
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours completely black with a very small head that reduces to a ring around the glass. No lacing. The colour is like a cola.

Aroma is toasted brown bread with a lot of black licorice. Some good coffee smells too.

Taste is very well balanced, there is a lot of sweetness but it is held in check by a lingering hop bitterness. Similar to the smell, there is a lot of coffee and toast flavours. Some chocolate too.

Mouthfeel is great, thick and creamy as would be expected. A really thin and soft carbonation to make the body seem even fuller.

Good and very drinkable. The mouthfeel is kind of like an oatmeal stout, but the flavour leans more towards a classic english stout IMO.

Photo of BlackBeerDown
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a good two and a half fingers of dense, tan head, with an impenetrably staining black body of beer. Old Engine Oil seems spot-on, and this hearty looking brew has a head that likes to stick around.

S: I'm guessing this smell is from the agining in Malt Whisky casks, but there's a slight bit of a dogfood vibe to this, as in, a bit meaty, but not exactly the real thing. Also, this blends in with a very burnt malt scent and coffee that could either taste amazingly great or incredibly horrid. The proof is in the engine oil...

T: A perplexing combination of flavors comes inside this bottle. It has all the characteristics of a big malty stout, but the scotch whisky side cuts through, making it actually quite smooth until the end, where a little bit of a liquor-like kick comes in. Also, a tad tasting of slick hops is there as well. A bit of a cocoa-like undertone with the grains from the malt and the aging converging somewhere in the middle.

M: With the smooth transition of flavors, from malt to whisky, comes a very creamy then subtle bite. Probably one of the few ways that a solid stout can have a kick to it without making the beer a hop-skewed mess or suffer from over-aging in the barrels. Still, there's a thickness that clings to the palate but is still quite enjoyable.

D: Somewhat leans toward an extreme, but if you were to be drink big malt brews all night, this one would kick you right back into the swing of things with its composition. The rarity of combining two malt beverages, beer and scotch, is what's charming about this beer. I see the appeal, and feel like this is a good one to break up any monotony with the malt-packed stouts.

Photo of MarcatGSB
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of henryclay_
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of gonzo46and2
2.95/5  rDev -28.7%
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 Jamesthebrit
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pouring this it looked thicker than other porters. The creamy brown head bubbled up quite well and bubbles down to a thin layer over the top of the beer. Otherwise the color is very dark brown almost black.
S: Hints of cream, smoke, chocolate, some subtle sweet notes as well. Very smooth smelling.
T: Again really great here. First creamy with a little sweetness, then some chocolate and roasty notes. Not overly bitter like other beers that claim to taste like chocolate. Here it seems a little more subtle combined with other malty flavors. Finishes smooth.
M: Sits perfect. Thick with the perfect carbonation. Bubbles are very pleasing in the mouth.

This is a great beer no doubt. With a good blend of complimenting flavors and a perfect mouthfeel it is perfectly drinkable. Creamy roasty it almost reminds me of a stout but not quite as heavy on the mouthfeel. A must try.

Photo of OddNotion
4.97/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my DFH Signature Glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice black color with only the slightest ruby notes around the very edges of the glass. A nice one finger creamy tan head that recedes to half a finger and sticks around.

Smell: WOW this beer smells amazing. Very complex. Dark fruits, roasty malts, slight hints of chocolate, but the dark fruits really dominate the nose. This beer stacks up with the best of them in terms of smell.

Taste: Beautiful is the best word to describe the taste of this beer. Very roasty without being smokey at all. Nice chocolatey finish. There is a decent bitterness but not the bite that is associated with it. The bitterness plays well with the roast and chocolate. The flavors all meld together and play off eachother to havea beer that changes through the different stages of the taste but all of the flavors just work.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick and creamy. Perfect for the style. Given the low abv it is thicker than expected, which I like. The carbonation is there but it is not aggressive, once again - perfect for the style.

Overall: Amazing beer. No frills added but it gets all of the flavors it possibly can out of the ingredients. 6% abv is (relatively) low which is nice in this culture of huge alcohol beers. I wish this was more accessible but I will certainly be picking more of this up! Every aspect of this beer works together in perfect harmony. I have not been this impressed with a porter in a while. My new favorite for the style. One of my favorite experiences is picking up a random (and unhyped) beer at the store on a whim and having it be this good!

Photo of Jordantb313
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Franz4
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, label says "black ale" rather than "Porter" which was pictured.

A- Can't see anything through this dark blackness, head settles to a thin ring

S- roast and slightly smoked peat come through right away, nice combination.

T-Smoky with a touch of sweetness in the back, toffee-ish, very nice.

M- Lighter body than I expected given the color, makes the beer more drinkable

O- overall a very nice brew, I'd have this one again and I would especially be interested in trying some of the other versions.

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Hultkrantz
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of 1759Girl
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance> Like the name hints... black, thick. Too dark to see the liveliness. Thick, malt chocolate head dissipates slowly and leaves good lacing.

Smell> Dark chocolate, toasty notes

Taste> bitter start. HUGE dark chocolate taste and coffee finish, bitter-ing slightly. Complex and delicious.

Mouf> perfect. Slightly chewy and yes smooth.

Drinkability> would love this with oysters

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

It pours a deep, dark, almost black with a slight reddish hue. Light is not capable of passing through this beer.Maybe it was my pour, but I got a minimal tan head.
It smells sweet, toasted and coffee is certainly there, too.
I gave it higher numbers than I normally would for the mouthfeel. It is a medium to medium heavy bodied brew. It has an almost wine-like feel in the mouth that I was really impressed with.
This is one I know I could drink a few of, but a bit heavy to be a session beer.

Photo of chilly460
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - As you'd imagine, pours a deep brown near black. Almost no head but some lacing.

S - Deeply roasted malt, some coffee

T - Starts out with smooth malts, but turns to a somewhat acidic or earthy bitter. Bitter aftertaste, as if overly roasted.

M - Not bad, not as thick as expected but a good level of carbonation.

D - Fair, the bitter aftertaste keeps it to 1-2beers before it would be a little overpowering.

Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 1,452 ratings.