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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.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,501 | Reviews: 755 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Strix
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque with orange edges, good head with lasting lacing.

Smells delicious, with roasted malts and chocolate

Tastes roasted and chocolaty. Then a refreshing sweetness, like dark fruit. A nice bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel smooth, and carbonation good.

Drinkability high on this - it went down before I knew it was gone.

Photo of botham
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours black with garnet highlights and three fingers of coffee colored head. moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with notes of chocolate, toffee, and coffee, with distant notes of caramel and a nutty character. very rich in the nose.

taste is quite roasted, with strong ntoes of coffee and chocolate, and a minor note of caramel. a base of dark fruit makes this one a great brew. finishes on a roasted note with a nutty character. very well proportioned.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a smooth and rich texture, and a smooth finish. excellent on the palate, with a supurb finish.

drinkability is great. this is a rich brew with great flavors and solid profile, that does not carry a high alcoholic tag. smooth and mellow, with great complexity. excellent. cheers!

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

Pours a jet black with a medium sized flufffy white head that takes some time to settle and laces the glass nicely all the way down. It has an aroma of deep roasted malted barley, some chocolate, caramel, and a hint of hops at the end of the nose. The taste was really good with a deep roasted malt base with some chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavors mixed in as well. The aftertaste is really clean, just a nice chocolatey flavor left. The mouthfeel is creamy, velvety, and warming - very nice. The drinkability is good, especially since it doesn't have a very high alcohol content. It is a very interesting beer for an old ale and I really enjoyed it and it is most definately worth a try.

Photo of timbro81
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a charcoal black color with a nice 1/4 inch tan head. Dark roasted malts of chocolate, coffee and a wee bit of burnt flavors. Big and silky but not as viscous as I was hoping for. Slight bitterness on the tongue. Burned chocolate malts with some coffee notes. Light aftertaste. Would've liked to have seen a more layered taste profile. Don't get me wrong its still an excellent beer.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours an opaque black body with a thin film of tan head. Smells roasty and malty. Tastes very roasty with nutty and earthy hops toward the finish. Full rich mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Fairly drinkable, though definitely more of a sipper, which is to be expected for the style. A tasty solid ale.

Photo of TerryW
2.93/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I don't understand where this brew is scoring some of its high marks. The two bottles I worked my way through were unremarkable and frankly offered up a somewhat odd taste.

Subtle aroma, some dark fruit, some chocolate, but not as interesting as some other porters I've had. Unusual sour taste and mouthfeel.


Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz picked up today from the Coop for $3.25.. poured into my new Sam Adams glass.

2 finger lite brown head (changes color to lite tan as I move through the glass) .. brew polished walnut with deeeep ruby highlites.

Aroma is a chocolate maltiness with a little dried dark fruit essence and a dry coffee finish.

Flavor at first makes me think of an older English porter.. definite roasted grains and hints of ruby port. Very smooth and I can see how this could age nicely even without the high octane of some other Old Ales.

Still strikes me as a porter.. oh well... the obvious dark aromas and flavors may distract from the "old ale" characteristics that I could easily be missing.

I am happy to see this again in Boise.. now I want to drink the Whisky Barrel Old Engine Oil I have in the basement side by side with this one. I remember the reserve having a bunch of whisky notes.. but I could see how they can add a bunch of complexity to an already great beer.

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 blackjack000
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nearly pitch black, with a bit of maroon gleaming through near the edges of glass when held up to the light. A frothy head of delicate bubbles, resembling the top of a root beer float.

Smell: Dark cocoa and some caramel, with a fleeting rum scent when first swished around.

Taste: Roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. The beer has a taste that quickly escapes after tasting, leaving just a dark chocolate feel on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly light feeling in the mouth for such a dark appearance. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Sits very lightly in the belly. Twelve ounces disappears too quickly. The beer offers a well-balanced flavor that leaves me wanting more.

Photo of gfreed
4.82/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most wonderful beers I've had. Pours nice and black into the glass, and has a delightful roasty-toasty aroma that lasts a long time. Tastes just a bit bitter with a roastiness that goes down very easy. You'll find plenty of tobacco notes as well. The adjectives on the label summarize this beer quite accurately.

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Black and thick with a bit of carbonation

S: Roasted malts and that's about it.

T: Thick nice malty flavour with some roasted taste to it. Not what I'd expect from an old ale but quite tasty. No hops really, but it has a slight chocolate taste to it.

M: Creamy with quite a bit of carbonation

D: Sort of, but I don't know how many I'd have.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Extremely dark brown almost black one finger tan head faded quickly.

S- Sweet malty aroma with strong hints of plums.

T- Rich and decadent with none of the roasted bitterness associated with darker beers. The malts take center stage ofset only slighty by some hop flavor.

M- Smooth and rich.

D- I had this beer about 2 years ago and I finally found it again.

Annother great beer to give to those who are afraid of the dark. Truly a fantastic beer.

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Extremely dark brown, with red hues and a finger of tan head. Some spiderweb lacing adorns the glass.

Aroma is sweet and fruity, with some chocolate and cherry.

Taste is mainly chocolaty, with some caramel too. There's some cherry sweetness and hop bitterness as well. Nice balance and interesting flavors.

Very smooth mouthfeel but carbonation is a bit low. Really silky and tasty, very good beer.

Photo of osi
3.81/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured black with a reddish brown tint. Absolutely no head at all. Like "old engine oil" =]. Milky lacing stayed on the opposite of the glass where I was drinking.

S - Coffee, dark malts and hops blended extremely well. Plums and bitterness fall into the very end of it.

T - Hops, followed by hints of dark malts and chocolate that linger on the tongue. Kind of metallic tasting as well.

M - Very flat but at the same time has slight carbonation, weird. Has a medium to thick body.

D - I could have a couple of these. All of the elements in this beer are great and are really balanced. Definitely give this a shot if you have a chance. Probably amazing on tap.

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

12oz bottle into nonic.

Opaque brown hue with the exception of some ruby edges at the bottom of the glass. The head is tan and thin (typical for the style), and slowly settles to a bubbly rim. Spotty and stringy lacing.

Roasted malts toppped with some sweet chocolate and a little bit of raisin. The raisin is such a typical scent in this style, it's a good indicator. The overall smell is similar to a stout.

The flavor is very complex, ranging from the bitter malts as a base, along with some creamy chocolate and a very light hop bitterness. Some molasses is in there as well. Full bodied with a slightly high amount of carbonation, giving a bit of a fizz. The finish is the lingering bitter malts.

Three words on the label sum this one up pretty well: viscous, chocolatey, roasty. I can add: delicious, complex, recommended.

Photo of Boppar
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Woodman's in Orono, ME. It even came in an official Old Engine Oil chalice.

A: Dark, dark brown bordering on black. Thin head with god lacing.

S: Smells like sweet malts and maybe blackberries.

T: Wow. That goes down nice and smooth. Rich malt flavor with hints of dark berries, with bittering hops becoming present late-palate with a slightly dry aftertaste.

M: Thick, heavy, and slick, although not as much as its namesake would imply. It does, however, work quite well for the style.

D: Off the proverbial hook. I could session these.

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

Jet black like the name implies, old dirty engine oil. Not much of a head to this.

Smell is a buffet of aromas almost battling for each other. Notes of chocloate, coffee, burnt malt, rye, and dark fruit all present. Tastes have the much the same quality as the aroma. Very malty with bittersweat chocolate, drak fruit, and rye punching through. I wouldn't call it a perfect balance, but there is balance between all that is going on. Feel is where this one is a monster. Beers don't usually sink in like this one and coat the palate. It would have to to be avle to get everything that is in here.

A good beer for malt lovers. I could only imagine this being better on tap and a little fresher.

Photo of shamus
4.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an aptly named beer, since it really does look like old engine oil as it pours out thick and viscous into the glass. Not much of a head, but what little there is leaves a bit of lace down the sides. The smell is exceptional--malty and chocolately without being syrupy--and the taste is even better. Strongly chocolate with definite malt character, but the right amount of bitterness to keep it from being cloying or sweet. This is a very drinkable beer, especially on a cold snowy day. It's rich and delicious and I will be headed back to the LCBO to stock up before they run out.

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

11.2 oz bottle

Very dark amber pour turns out nearly black in the glass - didn't look all that viscous or black but I'm not seeing a lot of light make it through. Light tan airy head fades and leaves intricate lacing over much of the glass.

Nose is pleasant, far from light, but not overwhelming me. Chocolate, toffee, light coffee, and more fruitiness than I expected, especially the light tart citrusy note and pleasant sweet/tart of cherry.

Very tasty, just short of 4.5. Drinkability is excellent, flavors full and reminiscent of bigger, higher ABV brews, so the 6% is appreciated. I'd have another of these for sure. Body is creamy, carbonation soft...it just needs a bit more heft to make it as viscous as it claims. Briefly sweet, before coffee roastiness takes over, sweet chocolate and fruit mingling with balancing floral bitterness in the finish.

Photo of Murchmac
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had higher hopes for this beer, like I had the high hopes for the alien vs predator movie. As it turns out, both were a let down.

This beer pours a dark black/brown color with little head and some lacing around the glass.

I can get no smells out of this beer, not sure why. Smells like a macro.

Tastes are roasted chocolate, cocoa, other flavors, but all you need to know is its a warm sweetness that lasts.

Good beer, get it.

Photo of dsa7783
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single, 11.2 oz bottle copped for $3.99 from Total Wine and More in Union...
"Viscous, Chocolatey, Roasty" on the front, white logo sticker...
Heard a lot of good things about this particular beer, so I was eager to give this one a shot...
Pours a jet-black, and as the name suggests, an engine-oil hue, dark as night, with a modest-sized frothy tan and slightly reddish head which left a substantial amount of lacing...
Chocolate, roasted malt aroma bursting with cocoa powder...
Very thick, rich, and creamy taste loaded with sweet chocolate, vanilla, butter cream, butterscotch, dark espresso, and rich latte...
Excellent all-around taste, this one really lived up to its hype, and could easily be construed as a rich porter or a flavorful stout with such a strong suggestion of chocolate flavors...
Top-of-the-line ultra-rich and super-thick creamy mouthfeel...
Easy level of drinkability despite the hefty and thick flavors and aroma...
Excellent stuff...
Definitely recommended...

Photo of allergictomacros
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours clear, but extremely dark brown with a good solid head. Takes a while to settle, laces well and long lasting.

S - Rich, dark fruits, cocoa, candy and molasses. Somewhat metallic.

T/M - Quite dry, with lots of fruit and coffee. Slight tart edge and a moderately bitter finish. Impression of apples and pears as well. Body is quite light.

D - Very drinkable. Overall, kind of light. I was expecting something thicker and heavier.

Photo of Antilochus
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at a Kingston, Ontario LCBO. 330mL, 6.00%. Best before April 2009. The packaging says the mash includes oats and wheat. I'm pumped. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Slight bubbly tan head crowns a magnificently opaque ruby-black body.

Aromas: decent grassy hop bouquet on pour. Dark chocolate, licorice, fresh espresso, molasses, toasted malt, bread, like.. candy - burnt sugar, some bitter oatiness too. Subtle dark fruit influence. Lots of malty sweetness in the background. Damn, this is nice. Chocolate malt takes front stage.

Medium-heavy velvety mouthfeel, nice oat bitterness on the palate, I can already taste the dark chocolate. Some nice accent candied sweetness too, coupled with toastedness. Totally balanced. Surprisingly bittersweet finish - chocolate isn't the first thing that comes to mind - licorice candy? Chocolate is very there though. A little acidic. Nice and warming too with 6.00% abv. Medium length finish.

Try it to believe it.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a deep brownish almost black color to it. Thick light brown head, not the best retention or lacing but thats ok with me cause this beer kicks ass! in every other department.

I have a hard time believing I am actually able to pick out all of these different aromas from one single beverage. Smells of dark fruits (licorice like), roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, rye bread, earth and molasses! Still boggles my mind. I can hardly bring the glass away from my big Irish nose.

After a couple of minutes its finally on to the taste. Lots of malty chocolate goodness, hop bitterness, dark fruits and earth. Very smooth and creamy. I can only hope we get this more often.

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

A thick black liquid with amber glints on the edges of the glass. A dense frothy cappucino colored head emits thick lace patches. The aroma is redolent with dark berries, cocoa, maple syrup and curacao orange. Theres a lot going on. The first sip reveals a blast of the aforementioned malt flavors with dark roast coffee beens and caramel soaked rum cake mixing with a lemony, earthy hop profile. The mouthfeel is as thick as you would expect, oily and impressive. The finish is sweet and malty but never cloying. Hop bitterness is low.

This is a fantastic malt bomb of a beer. Very complex, yet nuanced and easy to drink. Another winner from this brewery.

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