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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.

756 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 756
Hads: 1,566
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 126
Gots: 150 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Engine Oil Alström Bros
Reviews: 756 | Hads: 1,566
Photo of Sludgeman
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$3.99/11.2 oz. Poured into a chalice.

Very quaffable black ale. Easy drinking. My top English Porter. 4.5

A – Pours black, but not viscous as described by the brewer, with a one-finger dark tan rocky head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing. Head quickly revived with a good swirl of the glass. 3.75

S – A nice roasty aroma. Some sweet chocolate notes. Creamy. 4.5

T – Roasted malt, minor chocolate notes, some slight bitterness and the slightest of sweetness (maybe even fruit). 4.75

MF – Thin, but smooth, even creamy. Medium-light bodied. Dry finish. 4.5 (571 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deepest black color with a thick head with good retention.
Aroma of dark chocolate and licorice.
Flavor of roasted malts, American style coffee, earthy hops, plums, nuts, tobacco, licorice, vanilla and cocoa powder. Very dry aftertaste with lingering roasted notes.
Full body with appropriate carbonation and an oily sensation.
This classic Scottish brew has a good complexity. It is a must to try this and its “reserva" version, the Ola Dubh. As for other brews from Harviestoun, I found the bottle version more robust than the tap version. (543 characters)

Photo of Jetulio
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a Pint glass
Appearance... black beer with head colour beige of 2,5 fingers
Aroma... cocoa and smoked flavours, touch of malty aroma too
Taste... coffee in mouth, bitterness appears then, balancing this beer,
Mouthfeel... full body and soft carbonation
Overall... a very nice porter, bitterness is present in a good mood, one to revisit. (364 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko13
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a nice example of the style, but I get none of the syrupy viscosity or sweetness others talk about. I'll stick to lambics.

Color is a lovely mahogany, head is a nice brown foam, good carbonation, strong bitterness prevails for me. Smell is definitely of hops, which I'm not a big fan of. Occasionally, I return to the style to see if my taste buds have changed, but alas, they have not. (392 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Pours surprisingly black given the ABV. A dark viscous brew. A one finger of a tan head with little retention.

S- A roasty nose. English yeast. Chocolate and toffee.

T- A smooth beer. An intense roastyness domintes the tongue on this beer. There are underlying notes of chocolate and cocoa. This is undeniably english, the yeast strain really adds a crisp dark fruityness to the beer. Aftertaste is dry and roasty. Roasty to the point of being smokey and leathery. A clean beer and no offensive flavors to speak of.

M- A very viscous stout. Drinks super easy for the ABV and provides a ton of feel. A perfect balance in terms of being bitter sweet.

O- Cant believe it took me so long to get around to this beer. One of, if not the best English porter around. (802 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 11.2oz bottle into a conic pint glass in Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Three-finger mocha head. Thick head that lasts forever. Black color, no light comes through. Nice looking beer.

S- Chocolate, toffee, roasted malts. Nice, deep aromas.

T- Delicious, thick flavors. Chocolate, roasted malts. Deep and rich. Yum.

M- Thick and almost chewy. Semi-dry.

O- This is an excellent beer. I enjoy this in all facets. (456 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Garnet-tinged black with violet-sepia lumpy head that clings and pits.
Meat juice, wood smoke and licorice on the nose - very umami.
Ash, pure cocoa, espresso grounds, prune juice, blackberry skins, then pine tar hops.
Concord grape finish and charcoal linger.
Round, chewy, medium.

This was previously labeled just "dark beer", not porter, and I can see some stock ale notes here.

Hard to exaggerate how astringent and bitter the black flavors are here - no sweetness that you'd associate with coffee or chocolate, only the most burnt roasty notes. This plays off the residual sugars that make it quite creamy, working out an interesting and very drinkable dynamic tension. Roast overwhelms any individual hop notes, though there is plenty of balancing bitterness.

Surprisingly nice, and one of the better beers you can buy at Dunne's. (841 characters)

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.39/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to gcamparone for this one.

Poured into a 12oz mug from a bottle.

Appearance- Thick mocha brown with a nice bubbly head. Leaves some lacing as it subsides into a thin coat on the top of the brew. Like a Guinness without the crowning head. As it pours, it's not as "thick and viscous" as it states on the bottle, but it sets up dark nonetheless. Good looking.

Smell- Dark roasty bitter espresso notes, bittersweet cacao, finishing with a big tart malty whiff. Much akin to beers of this style from the British isles. Definitely smells like it's from the old country.

Taste- Big bitter coffee draw followed quickly by a faint chocolate note, that delves quickly into a really dry, robust, malty, salty, licorice finish. Finishes quick and a nutty sourness hangs out on the palate. Standard UK porter vibe.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly lighter than it looks. Smooth all the way, only a hint of fizz at first.

Overall- Forgive me for sounding snobbish if I do but... The lack of flavor compared to American craft varieties of the style is what stands out to me. It bums me out a bit, but I still do enjoy the nostalgic UK import as a reminder of what I was really into before Craft Beer in the US blew up. A blast from the past, but a pleasant one for sure.

Cheers. (1,271 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a willibecher at Firkin.

When you see a cask o' this at your local spot, you pounce, I figger. This stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of dusty khaki foam. The nose comprises coffee, dark chocolate, and darkly-roasted malts. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a Guinness-like (or acrid coffee-like) sourness swaying from the background to the fore, but never firmly taking hold. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light carbonation (livelier than most casks lately) and a smooth, easy-going feel. Overall, a very nice English porter, something I could easily see being drained from its current prison and down into my gullet. (673 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours as the name suggest like engine oil.

The smell is roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Spot on for a porter.

The taste is chocolate, dark malts and finishes a little bitter.

The mouthfeel is smooth with low carbonation.

This is my favourite non imperial stout/porter very flavorful. (292 characters)

Photo of BBQSteve
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So this is my first review.

Poured into a tulip glass perfect porter head.

Sticky legs and smells great. Smells of coffee, caramel and chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium and taste continues long after sipping.

Overall a nice porter. Expensive for the 12oz bottle but no regrets. (277 characters)

Photo of suspect
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Thick, viscousy consistency. Black in color. Aggressive pour gives way to a 1.5 finger tan head that fades slightly.leaving a sticky trail down the sides of the glass.

S: Big huge aroma full of roasted chocolate malts, coffee and some molasses. Very full nose after taking a whiff of this one.

T: Perfect blend of cocoa, malts, coffee, hops. Very full flavor just like the nose.

M: Big bodied and the finish is just a touch sloppy. Not bad but certainly the lowlight of the beer.

O: A crazy delicious English Porter. Absolutely worth seeking out. (621 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Purchased in Providence, RI

A- engine oil? Not quite. Very dark brown on the pour and A nearly black body with cherry highlights. I've seen darker though, that weren't named old engine oil. Little white head that leaves thin lacing.

S- yummy. Roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruits

T- I get very dry characteristics of a light porter - cocoa powder, charred malt , roasted coffee, slight dark fruits.

M - thickens as it warms but slightly thin

For a beer names "old engine oil" with a price of $25 per 6 pack,
I really expected a brew with the appearance and consistency of well, old engine oil. Instead I got a mediocre black ale. I can name 5 beers that are thicker, cheaper, and more robust. Good but there are better for cheaper. (793 characters)

Photo of Sark
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- thick pour ends with a two finger light cream colored head, color is as dark as the name

Smell- immediately hit by chocolate and coffee with caramel. The hops are almost non-existent

Taste- roasted as it smells, light toffee sweetness but undeniably bitter big chocolate finish

Mouthfeel- full bodied with a silky smooth mid-mouth and little toasted astringent after bite

Overall- save this for dessert, not the main course. It's filling and all worth it. (471 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, cocoa powder, and milk chocolate. Taste is much the same with a char-like flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell but the flavor doesn't quite match up in my opinion. (573 characters)

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.29/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours pitch black with a massive mocha head. Left no lacing.

S - Lots of roasted malts and plum, along with alcohol.

T - Roasted malt and dates up front followed by a small amount of smoked cherry.

M - Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, It wasn't bad. Definitely not a high class old ale though. (319 characters)

Photo of Steamer
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A very dark pour but not quite opaque. Dark reddish hues. A full, thick, and tannish head with plenty of cascading, tight bubbles.

S - Sweet malt with hints of smoke.

T - Bitter chocolate with a little plum. Some mild hoppy bitterness hits toward the end and hangs on.

M - Thick, creamy and smooth. Mild carbonation.

O - A great tasting and well balanced ale. (367 characters)

Photo of Amalak
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Blackish brown color. There's some light that comes through, but not much. Very little head with no real lacing.

S. Very strong mix of chocolate, malt and alcohol.

T/M. True to the scent, it hasa strong chocolate malt taste and a bit of a strong alcohol taste. A bit of a nutty hint underneath. It is smooth and full bodied.

O. Very refreshing. A bit of a cough syrup taste, but not in a bad way. (408 characters)

Photo of noladad
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

I had never heard of this beer, until I saw it at Stein's in New Orleans.

Very dark pour, almost black. Lives up to its name and visual comparison to motor oil.
Not much head at all on this one. Dark chocolate smell and taste, as well as roasted coffee. Very similar to a deep porter.

Mouth feel is a little thin when cold, but the taste is excellent. Feel improved as it warmed though it was difficult to let it sit! Bitterness not present until it warmed up. Very easy to drink. This would be good with a grilled steak or a dry rubbed pork loin. Would match well with something a little spicy.

Overall, a very good beer. Would love to have this one again! (663 characters)

Photo of Misajet90
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to find this one on tap at Cape Fear Wine and Beer in Wilmington, NC. Can't say I'd ever heard of it before but after I had it I was hooked.

I didn't know until after I had it on tap but when I saw it for sale in a six pack it was 30 bucks, so if you see it on tap be sure to try it out. (306 characters)

Photo of themind
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle as I love porters. Beer pours jet black ( like motor oil) with a small head. Beer has good aroma and good taste to match. I must say if you are a porter lover this is a beer you MUST try! in NJ this beer is easy to come by and I was surprised at how good it actually was. Again if you like porters and see this beer BUY IT!

Bottom Line: top notch porter! (374 characters)

Photo of Mojo
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle -> World Market tulip glass

This beer pours as black as the absence of light. There is a one finger medium brown head with only a small amount of retention and delicate spider-web like lacing left behind. The smell is powerful, mostly roasted malt and chocolate. The taste follows the nose. I get a big roasted maltiness upfront with some bitter nuttiness, followed by a mellow chocolate finish. Mouthfeel is thick and pleasant. Excellent offering. (468 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Old Engine Oil pours entirely black, with roughly a half finger of mocha foam crowning it. There's a little bit of head retention, but not much in the way of lacing. The nose is roasty, with the aroma definitely leaning more towards the coffee side of things. The flavor displays a malt character that heavily features roasted grains. It's still balanced towards coffee, but there is a little bit of dark chocolate present as well. A light bitterness transitions into a soft, earthy finish. The body has just a little bit of chewiness to it, and the carbonation is nice and muted. Old Engine Oil is a very solid lower ABV stout. It's straightforward and just very well executed. (755 characters)

Photo of StefanosG
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the pleasure of sampling this fine brew last weekend. I was in the mood for a good porter and the pub I was at had it on tap. It was served to me in a brandy type glass. It poured black and had chocolate colored head. Upon tasting it the first thing I noticed was a rich coffee/chocolate flavor. Secondly I was hit with a slight taste of sparkling wine. It had the dry sweetness of it, but none of the fizziness typically associated with that sort of beverage. This may be unique to the draught version of this particular beer. It was described to have been fermented in used wine casks. All in all a very pleasurable beer to drink, and i would not hesitate to try again. (677 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a shaker pint.

A classic dark walnut brown body, hardly can see anything looking up to the head. Off the pour it goes a little weak, but manages a head of about two fingers, light tan and mocha colored. Slow puck settles and hangs around a good bit also.

Nose smells like light cocoa, and cream. A nice light toasty grain action with hints of silky character also.

Palate hits with a good density. Lots of roasting char, with a thick malt action. Lighter bodied out of the bottle, but also even a bit of hop. Good coating mouthfeel, with a nice lip smacking malt quality. Bit of a nice hop bitterness on the finish mixing with the char nicely.

Overall much like I remember it, but the flavors and feel are toned down a bit. Much better on tap, but you can't complain about this either way. (821 characters)

Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.