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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,515 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,515
Reviews: 755
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 122
Gots: 132 | FT: 1
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 (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,515 | Reviews: 755
Photo of LittleCreature
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a finger and a half of creamy, bubbly tan coloured head over a body that can only be called black and is not penetrated by direct light.

Smell - 4.5
A very rich and tasty aroma with smells of dark chocolate, cocoa and roasted malt.

Taste - 4.0
So smooth and drinkable for a strong, dark beer. Starts moderately sweet with flavours of roasted malt and dark chocolate, finishes quite bitter and slightly burnt in flavour. Tasty.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
There is a persistent, light, fine carbonation that pairs well with the thick, heavy weight in the mouth. Syruppy.

Drinkability - 4.5
I'd sooner drink a 4-pack of these than Guinness any day, and I would love to have had a second right now.

Quite similar to Colonial Porter, perhaps not quite as delicious but still an excellent beer. I will definitely be getting this again, as it is a very smooth, tasty, drinkable dark beer for Scotland to be proud of.

Photo of dnichols
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Reese5150 for sharing this brew with me. I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a tulip.

A: It poured a thick nearly black body with a half finger tan head. The head recedded to a light cover over the liquid that lingered and produced a ring aroudn the collar that supported a thin leggy curtain.

S: It had a major roasted sweet malt profile with dark fruits and lightly floral hops.

T: It presented a sweet malty and dark fruit (bing cherries and ripe black plums). It had a sweet and creamy malt front with a fruity back.

M: It was creamy and full bodied with a well hidden alcohol and clean dry aftertaste.

D: Very smooth and rich with a decent ABV and nice finish. This is a very plesant and joyfilled old ale. I will seek this one out to include in my stash.

Photo of goochpunch
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a very dark ruby (nearly black) with a frothy tanned head that leaves very intricate lacing on the glass. Nose is fruity with anise and strains of roasted malts in the background. Flavor is terribly sweet with some heavy handed licorice flavor going on. Molasses, dried fruit, and chocolate are found in the underlying flavors. Roasted malts round out the finish. Finishes sweet. Mouthfeel is relaxed in carbonation, sticky in the body, and a little slick. This is OK drinkability-wise, but there is too much licorice. I think I like the whisky barrel-aged version a lot better.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a reddish black, with a small tan head, but a nice rim and lacing.

S: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, with some smoke and a bit of an acidic twinge.

T: Sneakily robust milk chocolate is the main flavour, with some earthy English hops and a bit of peat smoke flavour at the end, quite tasty.

M: A little too much on the light side for an old ale, but smooth and creamy.

D: This is a nice beer from Scotland, a tasty little number that I'm sure I'll buy again, can't wait to taste the aged version, aged in whisky casks.

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

11.2-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Pours almost black, with about one finger light tan head made up of medium bubbles that quickly dissipated leaving fair lacing.

S = Bitter dark chocolate, slightly burnt malt, slight flowery hops scents.

T = Chocolate, coffee, sweet malt, bitterness of hops hits at the back of the tongue and in a long drawn out finish.

M = Thick bodied, good carbonation, excellent mouth coating.

D = A very drinkable beer in all respects. Excellent after dinner drink.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque black with no head. Nose is like old tar from a tree. Just very earthy and resin like. Raisins. Slight touch of dried out wood that still holds a fragrance. Flavor is smooth. Definite raisins there. Nice aged woody flavor. Thick with character. Feel is good. Slight bubble, but an otherwise thicker texture over the tongue. Very drinkable. More of a sipper, but a nice aged old ale.

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.87/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought at Cyclone Liquors.

2002 Vintage

Pours a nice little brown head and has a black color that you cannot see through. Head falls and leaves a almost no lacing behind. Smell is chocolatey great with some wonderful whiskey notes with some oaky smells. Taste is sour. Very sour, something is definetly wrong. Sour with some small flavors of roasted malts, but the dominant flavor is sour. There is some alcohol burn in the chest which is confusing for me considering it's a 6% beer. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but acidic with bite. Overall, I wouldn't have another one immediatly, but would give another chance. Actually I can't finish the bottle I have.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours pitch black with a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing is OK. Aroma is nice, it smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, however there's also some molasses and caramel along with a lingering bittersweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and smooth. Drinkability is good, it's easy to drink. With just a 6% ABV wouldn't be too hard to drink more than one. Overall I think this is a good beer, not a bad choice at all. I'll definitely buy this again.

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

a scotch ale -stout -porter
bits of all the above
fig fruits and coffee
chocolate malts
in flood

hop bittering present
like label says

opaque oil appearance
smell of slight maple-ness

subtle complex
one could drive on all night
though has the rich flavor
which stops
from cheap trite

really a frist class world brew
after dinner desert seems
a good match for two

Photo of andrewm190
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer is as dark as the name suggests. Smells of malts and some grape. It pours black. Thick head, good retention. Overwhelming roasted malts--not much of the chocolate taste that the bottle suggested. Mostly roasted malts and strong sens of alcohol. Not well balanced. My type of beer, but doesn't compete with the best in its class. Still it is unusual and bold. I give it points for that so, worth a try if you like the style of dark beers generally.

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

Pours black with chocolate highlights covered with a slim, creamy beige head. Small spots of lace drip down the glass until the last sip. Malty chocolate aroma and a hint of rum...smooth milky creaminess, cherries, and maple syrup. Although the mouthfeel is insanely smooth and creamy, it isn't at all heavy. Sweet malty flavors, bitter chocolate, and a wine-like fruitiness. Very light carbonation and suprisingly drinkable finishing dry. Smooth, mellow, and malty...very nice on a lazy Friday afternoon off.

Photo of spiffysamurai
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on tab at Woodman's in Orono Maine

A: The beer came in a nice pint size glass, black as night.

S: The beer smelt of a nice Scotish old ale, makes me think of old time beer.

T: The beer tasted of caramel with a dash of vanilla.

M: Nice and smooth

D: Very drinkable for a beer with a 6.0% ABV

Photo of jaxon53
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled into a snifter, from an 11.2 ounce bottle. Poured a thick, oily, dark as night black, that not a bit of light could pass through. Beer was capped nicely with two fingers of creamy, dense tan head. Head faded somewhat quickly and left some spotty lace behind. Aromas of burnt coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts filled my nose. Taste was quite a bit like the smell but a bit better. Somewhat coffee like with some chocolate riding shotgun with plenty of thick roasty/toasty malt flavors. Any alcohol is very well hidden, and finishes rather smooth. A nice full mouthfeel and great drinkability.

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

Had on tap at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, GA. As usual, poured in the appropriate glassware. Poured black with a bubbly head, some decent lacing and retention. The smell is malty with notes of licorice and blackstrap molasses. The taste is somewhat light- both for the style and for what both the appearance and nose suggest. Mostly detectable are dry malt and light noble hops, as well as a slight roastiness. None of the aroma notes make it into the flavor really. Smooth mouthfeel makes this an easy sipper, but there is not a lot of depth here.

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

Thanks to bort11 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy tan head, some small islands and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, nice touch of coffee/toffee/caramel, slight roast/oak. The taste is big on malts and coffee/toffee/caramel, there is some slight roasty/oaky thing going on. For a 6% ABV brew, there is some warming effect goind down. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a nice Old Ale, recommended.

Photo of JamesS
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! Pours great, an excellent pitch color that reminds me of a nice dark stout, along with the slightly tan head (although the head isn't as thick as a stout, nor the lacing as strong). It has a fantastic aroma, a great combination of chocolate, coffee, roasted barley, and even a bit of oakiness. It has a fantastic taste, a bit of coffee, a bit of roasted barley and oats, it's like some fantastic combination of a stout and a scotch ale, but with a nice slight hoppy bitterness at the end, as opposed to the usual maltiness of the other two. It goes down smoothly and is overall just wonderful.

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.09/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz Bottle was purchased at Joe Canal's Liquor store in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ.

Appearance: Opaque black or very dark brown. Light tan head about 1/4" thick, slowly disovled. Little visible carbonation. Nice lacing left on glass.

Smell: Slight chocolatey aroma with hint of coffee.

Taste: a slightly sweet malty start with chocolate and coffe tastes fading quickly. Gave way to a dry , hint of alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Not as much body as I was expecting. A little chalky.

Drinkability: Good but nothing spectacular. Rather spend the money on a Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout in the same price range.

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

Had this on tap last night at the Brick Store. Served perfectly (of course) in a chalice

A - Dark black, just like used motor oil, hence the name..Had a good head that fell slowly but left impressive lacing all the way down the glass as it was drained

S - Big malts...roasted cocoa and mocha flavors with a slight caramel taste and a little biscuit

T - Taste delivers what the smell was advertising mostly...but delivers in a big way..this was packed with chocolate and mocha flavors and had a nice little hop finish to balance it out perfectly

M - Nice and full bodied..a little thicker than I was expecting..very much like a stout..good

D - If I had all night to spend at the Brick Store I could have done this one all night long..as it were it's now on my list of I want that one again

Photo of woemad
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle for $3.49. The label is different from the one pictured, and does not feature a freshness date.

This poured a pitch-black color with a tight, tan head. The head dropped after a couple of minutes. Spotty lace.

The nose featured roasty malt and toffee scents, with a slight solvent-like smell way in the background.

This started out roasty and sweet, with a prune-like dark fruit flavor then kicking in. The finish is dry.

Medium bodied, with a dry, slightly chalky mouthfeel.

I had this after dinner, and while it was a decent post-meal beer, it didn’t exactly knock my socks off. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t feel the need to go out of my way for it again. There are better beers for less money out there.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black, perhaps very very dark brown with brown head.

Nose has a clean, marshmallowy roastiness at first. Start to notice some baking chocolate too after a few whiffs.

On the palate is baker's chocolate, spirity/alcohol, and a smooth chocolate finish. The chocolate comes across in a dry way - not very sweet.

Finish is a little chalky and alcoholic.

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

This beer is very dark in color and holds a chocolate head for a good amount of time. The smell is of deep roasted coffee beans with hints of chocolate lacing and almost a metallic luster. The taste is rich with malt and sweetness at first and finishes with a crisp but subtle bite at the end. The mouthfeel is smooth and thick but a little carbonated. The drinkability is decent for this type of beer.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice glossy black, topped with a rather surprising head. Medium brown color filling up to about 1 1/2 fingers. Dissapated rather quickly but re-appeared after a quick swirl.
Aroma contained mostly coffee, anise and chocolate. A bit stringent. Stale prunes also present.
Tasting it at about 54 degrees; coffee is taken back a bit by some prune and date tastes. Chocolate appears towards the end. A bit sour. Nothing really stands out about this brew. A bit dry, adds to the bitterness making it slighlty tough to drink, but it does leave a nice taste.

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

Pours a brownish black with a 1/2 finger tan head. Smells roasty with some molasses.

First sip sort of reminds me of a porter, with a nice bit of molasses and dark fruits. Maybe a touch of black licorice. Quite an interesting flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is pretty rich for 6%, but finishes pretty smooth and clean.

Drinkability is good.

Overall, recommended. An interesting old ale, and an altogether tasty beer. I'm not sure it's a personal favorite, but I must admit it is well done.

Photo of clickpush
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coffee brown body topped by a small tan head that leaves just a smattering of lacing and almost no halo after its all too speedy descent. Only a bit of carbonation visible. Smell is watery but caramel and roast malt notes make it through. Taste is malt and roast, sour lactic, a bit of caramel and raisin, especially in the aftertaste. Thick and warming mouthfeel. Okay, nothing special.

Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sam's Downers Grove

Old Engine Oil pours the deepest most dense red you could imagine sporting small but bright ruby highlights when held to the light. A 1+ finger beige head formed on the pour that fell to a half finger of creaminess rather quickly. Left drink lines from each sip. Good looking beer.

This beer has a nose full of powerful rich aromas. Malts that are roasted so deeply they actually make my eyes water. Strong notes of dark chocolate mesh very nicely with the roasted malts. There's even a drop or two of cream. Faint hop presence toward the backend. Very inviting.

This is one interesting brew. Starts off with a deeply roasted malt bitterness and it seems to me a mid palate hop bitterness. Bittersweet chocolate comes around toward the end along with a few drops of cream and mild nuttiness as it warms. The roasty bitterness shows up on the swallow, then quickly disappers to a creamy smothness, then the bitterness actually lingers around. Strange, but definately unique and enjoyable.

Great mouthfeel. Medium bodied with an absolutely velvety smooth mouthfeel. This beer just glides along your tongue.

The bold flavors hurt the long-run drinkability but this is an easy one to finish off the single bottle.

The bottle calls this "a delicious after dinner beer" and I couldn't agree more. A perfect beer to go with a nice cigar after an enjoyable meal. Unique and nothing like I expected. I will definately pick up again, even to share with company.

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Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,515 ratings.