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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,502 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,502
Reviews: 755
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 120
Gots: 128 | 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.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,502 | Reviews: 755 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EagleTalon
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
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 hopsleeroy
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chemmie for this one!

A-Black body with very little white head, not as thick as the name suggests
S-Roasted grain, ale fruit flavors, earthier hop/yeast
T-Roasted Falvor with some bready malts, very mild hop nice bitter aftertaste, some sweetness would have helped.
M-A little bit thin on the body with decent carbonation
D-I could go for another

Interesting beer, but not what Iwould expect out of an Old Ale.

Photo of danny013
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a .25" brown head that falls back into the beer to form a thin covering. Body is black with faint hints of mahongany coming through. Little to no lacing. Looks delicious!

Smell is of sweet malts, a nice bready yeast, some raisinish fruity hints, and smooth coffee/roasted grain.

Taste is delicious, almost magical. Nice malty base as the beer hits the palate that quickly turns into a light fruity flavor reminiscent of raisins/grapes. Beer rounds out with a big roasted grain/coffee flavor to even things up. Finish is dry, slightly astringent with some pleasant roasted grain and coffee flavors that linger on the tongue. Hops are in the background throughout and provide a nice earthy base, but the malt and roasted grain flavors are the forefront of this fine ale.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. The excellent low carbonation lets this heavy-bodied ale roll over the tongue and stick to your mouth as you drink it. The name definitly describes this beer perfectly.

Drinkability is good. A delicious ale that provides a nice, thick body that is easy and indeed pleasurable to drink. I could definitly have a few and enjoy them.

Overall a rich, delicious ale that definitly leaves it's mark on your memory. Nice and complex, but still retains the ability to let you sit back and relax with a couple. A fine ale, and definitly something I will be buying more of.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with a finger of tan fine bubbled head. Not much in the aroma department, some chocolate and a little fruit. Roasted barley and some malty sweetness. Body was a little thin for a beer that calls itself engine oil. There are some hops in there, but most of the bitterness comes from roasted malt. Nice long finish.

Photo of zeff80
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaue, jet-black color with a small, tan, foamy head that left sticky rings of lace down the glass.

S - The first notes that hit you are roasted malt and coffee. Sweeter aromas appear later (toffee and dark chocolate).

T - The first sip surprised me with how hoppy it was. Nice bitter hop bite. The biscuity roasted malt flavor is a nice compliment to the floral hops.

M - It was very smooth and sharp. Easy drinking with an ABV of 6%. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an interesting Old Ale. It's rather hoppy and reminds me of a good RIS.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle with batch numbering of "L8 74A 15:18"

poured into shaped pint glass.

stout and porter-like appearance. opaque brown-black w red tint under the light. lots of tan head that stays around. some thin rings of lace.

chocolatey, almost coffee-like aromas. roasted malts with stout-like acidic note, with grassy and earthy hop character. whiff of alcohol and dried fruit.

tastes almost like a non-nitro irish stout, but some sweeter alcohol and malt tones (both caramelized and charred). also some stout-like acidity. very mild bitterness, with a dry, not-quite-coffee finish.

definitely syrupy and almost viscous. moderate carbonation for more body.

Photo of blakesell
3.32/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours black as the very oil it emulates with a creamy finger of off tan cola head. Carbonation dies to a peninsula of off-tan foam. Lacing sticks sporadicly.

Smell- Sweet and nutty, very plum and prune oriented. It does smell old, almost grandma's basement musty. Dark cherries also linger. The complexity of this beer is overwhelming, very red winy complete with an over the top alcohol esters on the scent. At 6% this doesn't seem possible.

Taste- Musty like a wet diaper, clove, spices very prevalent, but unrecognizable. Tastes more alcoholic than it actually is. Smoked malts almost as high as a rauchbier. Nearly unpleasant.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, smoky, weird, burning slightly, medium-low in carbonation. Full bodied overall. Astringent.

Drinkability- I recommend an aged bottle, or reserve version as opposed to the tap incarnation.

Photo of fitzy84
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The drink settled with a very, very dark black color and a quickly evaporated head. Aromas were strongly woody wrapping, in general, mocha ingredients. The taste was perfect: very woody, malty and roasty. Just perfect. The mouthfeel was near perfect with an excellence in being a smooth, creamy drink but with a crisp carbonation. Overall, utterly awesome.

Photo of Cs1987
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black, 1 finger of beige head which reduced.

Smell - Strong and quite stout-like.

Taste - The high bitterness level seems quite odd paired with the mocha-like flavour.

Mouthfeel - Very, very smooth. It's hard to imagine anything being smoother than this beer.

Drinkability - Certainly not a session beer.

Overall - Quite unique, but I'd usually prefer a regular English Porter.

Photo of Boto
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle: This one pours an opaque, dark brown color. There was a small tan head on it that dropped off quickly. Very little lacing. Some chocolate, coffee and roastiness to the nose. The taste is good. It borders on a full body. Taste is of chocolate malt, some coffee, dark fruits. A hint of bitterness in the finish. Very Nice!

Photo of MMAJYK
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black as night with a dark khaki head. Lacing is thick and not ever going to leave the sides of the glass until it is rinsed. Very nice!

S- Roasted malts, cream and vanilla. Toasty and buttery aromas light up the nose too.

T- Burnt and toasted malts. The bittering hop is present presenting a nice break from a super malt bomb. It finishes kind of dry.

M- Medium body and light carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for a thick, malty beer. I really loved the finish; it makes you want to keep sipping!

Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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 Lexluthor33
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours engine oil black and has a nice foamy one inch head that settles to a sticky lace.The aroma is chocolate,vanilla and malts with Alcohol hints.
The taste is roasted malts,chocolate and vanilla sweet with a touch of hops.
The feel was silky,smooth and had a sightly bitter finish that I felt had good balance with the sweetness. Moderate carbonation and one could sure have at least two of these.

Notes: I know this is Old Ale,but reminds me a lot of when I have
a Brooklyn Chocolate Stout. What I really mean is that I wish that stout had the same balance. I suppose the chocolate flavor has something to do with it. The ABV was good on the "Old Engine" and I enjoyed it very much.

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

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours black (with a garnet tinge around the bottom) and a half finger of light cocoa colored tan head. Retention is good with some foam around the edges and thin wisps across the center that leave thick swathes of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells like dessert, with notes of cocoa powder, roasted malts, chocolate sweetness, toffee, vanilla, coffee, and dark fruits. There's a good bit in there but none of it really seems to absolutley jump out.

The taste is simliar, with chocolate and vanilla sweetness mixed with zippy coffee notes, cherry tartness, and some underlying roasted nuttiness. The mouthfeel is medium to full with a very nice smooth and velvety feel that seems to just slide down the palette.

This was very interesting with a ton of different appealing flavors coming out. Unfortunately, they all seemed to crowd each other a bit, which I think kept things from really jumping out. Still, this would be a very good post dinner drink, especially paired up with something sweet.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: snifter. rich, deep mahogany/almost pitch black with a nice supple tan head. mild retention rate. light lacing.

S: rich roasted malt aromas. very chocolately with some cherry and nutty characteristics.

T: some serious chocolate and cherry flavors. solid roasted malt backbone. no hop flavors that I can pick up. nice sweet cherry finish.

M: very smooth and creamy. medium body. low to mild carbonation.

D: nice beer with a good smooth drinkability. very enjoyable and subtle. worth a try and great to marinate with as well.

Photo of brendan13
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown colour with a couple of centimetres of dark beige head that falls away fairly quickly.
S - Dark fruit & slight chocolate notes.
T - Very much like the smell.
M - Medium to full bodied with a pretty low carbonation. A slightly bitter finish.
D - A nice beer indeed. Not something I'd drink all that often but worth trying.

Photo of kurtissellen
3.09/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kind of offensive green olive smell at first, then when it warmed up I got a little fruity sweetness, pours dark black and vicious in nature, small light brown head that fades and leaves a ring. Tastes of coffee and smoke, and leaves a dry chalky feel. Overall not to impressed.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with some ruby hues. Almost black. About 3/4" of tan head. Aroma is heavy of roasted malt with bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some toasted nuts in there as well as some cherries.

Taste is very bitter, almost sour. Roasted espresso and dark chocolate dominate the flavors, and the cherry noted in the aroma is noticeable towards the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin in my opinion for something that is compared to "gloopy car engine oil" on the bottle but not bad by any means, although this lends itself to drinkability, which it is very drinkable. Reminds me more of a stout, but whatever it is, its good.

Photo of madvoice
2.65/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this properly but got no head at all. Just a small gathering of bubbles at the top of the glass. I was a bit disappointed in that. Has a light chocolate/caramel aroma. Quite sweet. taste is initially quite sweet and chocolatey with a bitter aftertaste that lingers a bit. Very heavy in the mouth and very thick for a beer. Drinkable but not my beer of choice when it comes to the darker stuff.

Ok.. I had to edit my entry. I couldn't finish it. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't do it. The more I got into it the thicker and more oily tasting it got (yes I have had the unfortunate experience of actually tasting engine oil - the real stuff).
1/2 a glass got poured down the sink. After reading other reviews I really can't see what all the fuss is about. I don't think I'll get it again.

Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black color. Very black. One finger of a beige head, not too much.
The smell. Intense, chocolately, full. Cocoa, also. Very chocolately. Good smell, inviting.
The taste is very, very smooth, velvety. Again chocolate notes, even if a bit less intense. Sweet, almost delicate, despite its intensity.
Good, yes, but not exceptional. A bit short taste.

Tasted also with an 85% chocolate. Good pairing.

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

A - Medium sized, dark tan head, good retention. The body is black, with some minor amber highlights.

S - Spicy, with chocolate malt, toffee, and caramel. Kind of porter-like.

T - Lots of roast barley and coffee, with a bit of chocolate. Slightly sour bitterness and a roasty finish with some alcoholic warmth.

M - Low carbonation, with an oily, slightly thick body. Slightly astringent.

D - Dark and mildly malty with a very strong roast character. Kind of reminiscent of a dry stout.

Photo of smcolw
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Impressive four-finger head that settles nicely leaving a substantial amount of lace. Very dark brown where no light will shine through.

Chocolate milk aroma. Some coffee and toffee, but it is more creamy than sweet. Dry cocoa also. In a word, complex.

The complexity continues: it starts off very much like a dry stout with some rough coffee-ish flavors and a background of chocolate. Actually, the body is very thin when compared to my expectations. Strong hop in the swallow, remaining through the aftertaste along with the burnt black patent malt flavors.

I think this must be something special: the complexity of flavors and smells alone would garner this a very high rating in my review, but the flavors are mysterious and create the desire to keep on contemplating the contents.

Photo of Nipitato
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Black. Opaque. The beer has legs. No head. Sticky lacing develops as beer is quaffed.

S: A wonderful aroma. Vinous with a sweet cake and toffee malt aroma. Some espresso coffee notes - kind of tiramisu like. Some cherry and vanilla notes as well. Overall these aromas complement each other very well.

T: Dark chocolate malt flavor with coffee notes as well. Sweet toffee flavors. Definite bittering character that balances well with sweet malt. Bitterness comes up at the back end. Some nice dark fruit character (fresh cherries) adds additional complexity and balance.

MF: Smooth and velvety. Medium body. Very dry.

D, notes: Though the balance s clearly sweet the bitterness provides by the hops really makes this a unique and tasty beer with solid drinkability.

Photo of champ103
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night with a two finger beige head. Light lace is left behind. Looks like I am staring into the abyss.
S: Smoky malt with chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit notes.
T: Dark fruits and lots of malt again. As the taste lingers chocolate and toffee come through and take over my palate. Roasted coffee as well. Complex and wonderful. There are many layers going on here.
M/D: Creamy, rich and decadent. Soft and velvety on the tongue and a good coat of the mouth. So smooth and easy to drink. This is gone in no time. I wish the bottle would never end.

This is a treat, and a great beer. Highly recommended.

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

this is a very good ale. i had it years ago but forgot what it was like. i get a kick out of the name. pours rich and smooth. good creamy head. rich roasted malts tingle the nostrils. nice rich malty flava. chewy. this beer is damn good. i could not rate it a 4.5 on drinkability cuz if i cant drink 16 - 24 oz of a beer in a sitting i cant rate it near perfection. other than that it is.

suckem up and movem out.


Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.