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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

756 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 756
Hads: 1,566
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 6.6%
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 feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: solid black, insidiously opaque, with a thick and creamy cocoa-colored, so frothy it resembles a chocolate spong cake.
Aroma: sweet, but roasty, with flavors of molasses, brown sugar, and espresso, slightly twisted, definitely dark.
Taste: bitter hops tango with sweet malt in such a fashion that you get a little almost treacly sweetness, step 2, bitter tang, step 3, mild and mellow, repeat, cha, cha, cha. Possesses a far lighter mouthfeel than I'd expected, though still full in body, with dark, rich, and continually tasty flavor. Doesn't hang too heavily on the palate, making for higher drinkability and greater sophistication. This is listed as a Stong/Old Ale, but it contains a mere 6% ABV, and feels a bit stoutish at times. No matter what it's called, a fine ale all around, though, I wonder if it is based on an old Celtic recipe, as the label states, what did they call it before Henry Ford came along? (930 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this serveral times, also the cask. This was the regular version, on tap at Redbones. Pours dark as night, looks like engine oil in the glass. I find the aroma to have roasted and fruity notes. The taste was slightly sweet, with a bit of a tart finish. Would have more of these, but that abv is a bit of a warning. I think I like the cask version better, this one is not as smooth. Still pretty darn good though. I will always order one of these if I see it on. pat (474 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black, this beer had a tan head of perfectly smooth foam that was creamy in appearance and made of infinitesimally small bubbles. Showed a thin but wide lacing, and not much stain.

Smelled of toffee, very dark and barely sweet malt, abundant smokiness, and some black cherry scents with warming. Tasted of black malts and roasted barley, lending some nice roasty bitterness. Had small bits of resiny green bitter hops, and at times floral hop notes. Moved on to nutty tones, small toffee notes, and an almost convergence of flavors to foram an earthy licorice taste.

A smooth flavor profile despite its fairly rugged stylings, it had a smooth mouthfeel with a tiny bit of texture. Fits the character of the beer well, which I would call a tougher brother of Old Peculier. (783 characters)

Photo of tar
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this beer to improve greatly as it was allowed to warm up a bit. Pours a nice thick looking opaque black (much as the name suggests that it should), with a thin light brown head. Strong aroma of coffee and chocolate, with some unpleasant astringent acidity as well. Initially finished with an unpleasant bitterness--although this was smoothed out greatly as the beer was allowed to warm, and the chocolate and plum flavors were allowed to come out. Not a bad beer, but not anything special and probably not a beer I'll look for in the future. (550 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 330 mL bottle.

Well I don't think they could have found a better name for this unique brew.

The session starts with a pour of this thick, viscous black/brown liquid flows, almost reluctantly out of the bottle. The pour creates a small biege, creamed coffee color head, that quickly fades to a wispy thin, but ever present covering. Each swirl or tilt of the glass leaves thin lines and spots of lacing all around. When held up to the light, the outer layer of the beer assumes a dark mahogany color. While the center simply devours the light, like a black hole. The only real fault I found in apperance was the small, quick fading head.

The aroma takes a complete departure from anything related to engine oil, but not oils completely. Strong aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee pour forth. With a not so subtle backdrop of smoke and grease, not automotive grease, but cooking grease. Like the scent of fresh cooked bacon, the real stuff, not that turkey bacon that I'm stuck with because it's "good for you." If there are any hop scents my olfactory scences were over powered by the chocolate and the smoke.

The tastes and the body give more support for the name. Chocolate, bitterness, smoke, roasted malt, and grease all dominate for an almost stout like flavor profile with a very full body and a viscous coating of the tongue and mouth with its thick, rich body. Simply wonderful.

While this old engine oil would reek havoc on your car's engine it would certainly help lube up yours and keep it running smoothly for the next 15 minutes or .01 miles when you reach your recommended level for your next "oil change!" (1,659 characters)

Photo of DagFishHead
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as the night. Name is very appropriate... looks like it coulda come right out of a crankcase. Brief, thin, tan head that never quite completely disappears. Minimal lace.

Smell: Very complex.... chocolate, malt, hops, coffee, earthy, smokey... could sniff this all day trying to id all of the different components.

Taste: The carbonation jumps out from it's black lair and carries with it coffee, chocolate, and a subtle hint of lactose-like sweetness and acidity. Aftertaste is dry and hoppy. Flavors and aroma shift in prominence as it warms... Complex flavors yet simply delicious.

Mouthfeel: Porter/light stout-like... ABV almost undetectable. Perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: This beer is delicious, I'll be returning to this one often and trying to better describe how good it really is.... (828 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black as night in the body with a nice, full head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – This has a tight aroma. After it warms a bit, the burnt malt and toffee character come out nicely. Other faint smells include coffee, chocolate, and milk shake.

Taste – Definitely milk shake with a dash of coffee. This is well-blended and complete. The milky chocolate flavors mix with the coffee and a bit of candy, maybe Heath Bar meets Hershey, and a wonderful dark malt backbone. Everything is even-keeled though and very nice.

Mouthfeel – No carbonation and very creamy smooth. This is full-bodied but even. No sharp edges to this ale.

Drinkability – Wonderful to drink at any time and in any season. (736 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, CA. Old Engine Oil has a near-black color with ruby edging, a thick, creamy tan head and left splotchy lace.
Smell was a blend of dark chocolate, some coffee, light fruitiness, and a touch of herbal hops.
The taste was bittersweet overall, with some roasted malt, baker's chocolate and coffee flavors dominating. There was an undefinably sweet taste I couldn't place. It was of dark fruit, maybe black currant. Had a modestly bitter finish to balance things out.
Feel was lighter than expected, creamy and lightly carbonated.
I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable beer. Quite easy to drink. Don't let the name fool you. (673 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with some ruby highlights. Medium tan head, 1/2 an inch of stiff foam. Widely spaced fat laces. Chocolate covered carmamel aromas. Thick and deep malt impression comes on immediately, densely chocolate and viscous in mouthfeel. Smooth, with lots of aftertaste, hop bittering is just adequate, not much but a balancing act. A little too sweet and unidimensional in quality, but a good beer to have when you want a diverse arsenal at your disposal. (457 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With a name like this, one would almost expect the beer to pour with a "glug, glug, glug" factor. To the contrary, the body of this beer seemed a bit thin and oily for the flavor profile. Chocolate malt predominated, with nicely roasted flavors that were not overdone. The beer describes itself as being a good dessert beer, but I did not think it was sweet enough or had enough body to carry out that mission. Nice, but overall did not have the "umph" it seemed to need. (471 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnce: This engine oil pours dark brown with a foamy brown head and reddish bricking.
Aroma: This puppy has some maltiness in the nose.
Flavor: It's a bit malty with some alcohol bite, but not too much. THis is extremely drinkable. I can imagine sitting back and having a few of these (292 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty aptly named, appearance-wise. Deep, reddish brown. Dark. Very thin head becomes a long-lasting film. Strangely bittersweet to the nose -- chocolate and herbal hops. Kind of a bittersweet coccoa to it. Uniquely put together flavor profile as well. Coffee-ish -- almost stout like -- with fruits, oak, and hops. Fairly potent, bitter finish. Clean. Very drinkable and very intersting -- always a good combo. (412 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Charcoaly brown in colour, looks really nice. Pretty nice stuff tastewise. Soft medium bodied, light carbonation. Flavours of chocolate caramel, with some late salt, peat and citric hops. Bitter-ish finish, and relatively dry. Nice soft texture. Ever so slightly roasted finish. (278 characters)

Photo of byrd
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

True to its name sake, this beer pours almost a solid black. It’d definitely reminiscent of old engine oil that’s gone far, far too long between changes. When held up to the light, some garnet highlights could be seen. Very little tan head that becomes a small lace. Very malty aroma with caramel and chocolate malts sharing the stage. Very rich, creamy brew with lots of caramel and chocolate on the palette and slight roasted notes. Not much hops to speak of except at the finish were the hop bitterness comes through for a moment but give way again to the malt. Bit of a lingering roastiness and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, medium to full body with low carbonation. This is the first old ale that I’ve had. Had I not known it, I would have thought it to be a porter or stout. Either way, it’s a great brew that I found quite difficult to keep from drinking too quickly. (887 characters)

Photo of smitty1080
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a creamy head. It appears a dark red when held up to the light. I can definitely smell a bit of chocolate. The chocolate continues in the taste with the accompaniment of hops. With the light carbonation it finishes with a bit of fruit and slight slight burnt taste. (281 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ale is dark umber brown, with very little head. Almost looks like cola. Some lacework, forming patchy little globs on the glass.
Aroma is very subdued, light english hops and a slight roasty aroma. Light esteriness, with an herbal hoppiness flitting lightly through the malt.
Flavor is initially thin, then explodes with flavor at the back of the tongue. Bitterness from both roasted malts and prodigious hopping. Sweet in a strange dark chocolate kind of way. Mild plum and pear flavors, with a touch of fig. Very low carbonation, with a smooth, rich mouthfeel.
Hot stuff. Very similar to Old Peculier. (611 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this is indeed a marvelous brew. Pours about as dark as Coca-Cola with about a centimetre thick head. Laces the glass quite nicely and has a wonderful smell.(If you enjoy stouts and darks and such.) The taste is wonderful! A robust maltiness with an almost chocolate finish. I personally love this in a brew. The mouth feel is quite unique in that it almost feels like there is more carbonation present than there actually is. It almost "stings" one's mouth similarly to soda. If strong darks are your preference, the drinkability of this one is most definately 4.0. I will most certainly be purchasing this one again. (622 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Eclipse black color. Small head. Aroma is malty and peaty. A medium bodied Scottish ale. Complex malt flavors, chocolate, smoke, caramel and cherries It is a little sweet tasting, but it is balanced by the hoppyness. Nice smooth taste. Mild flavor. A nice beer for after dinner sipping. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with a sweet finish. (395 characters)

Photo of clvand0
2.41/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a very dark color with a small tan head and little lacing on the glass. The aroma was a little hard to figure out, but malts were detectable. The body was really full and thick. I didn't find the flavor very pleasing, but it is interesting. (256 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well why not try to buy this in Scotland?? a Scotsman will look at you like you have green ears, they have never heard of the stuff. It must be for export only, found in York, England for £1.49. Looks like a stout or porter totally black, tastes like a sweet stout, very smooth, very drinkable; too bad it was only 330ml. (322 characters)

Photo of Darkale
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, dark, dark brown, with a thick tan head, pocked and heavy. Aroma is of sweet chocolate, dense and sharp. The taste is dry, sharp, then slick; it's almost as if chocolate dust had been spread over cream. Chewy and rich, profound and wonderful.

Certainly a beer that I will have again. (292 characters)

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

I must say I had never heard of this until now,pours a deep brown with some nice ruby hues with a great creamy head that sticks very well.The aroma is a little caramelly and dry.A taste of unsweetened chocolate and some fruity notes with a slight dry finish.Very impressed with this beer. (288 characters)

Photo of TripelJ
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle poured into tulip glass.

Old Engine Oil is certainly an accurate word to describe this dark beer's appearance. Poured a nice fluffy head of large off-white bubbles in my stemmed tulip glass. Nice lacing sticking to the glass throughout the beer. Smells of sweet chocolate and coffee malts dominate the aroma. Mouthfeel is velvet refined. Tastes sweet at first then slides into a gradient of wonderful bitter flavors--fruits(plums, grapes), Hops, Dark chocolate, espresso. All these flavors linger on the palate. This beer is best at cellar temerature, but start with it cold and sip it slow to get the full perspective of this beer. (669 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer, more of a porter flavor. Nice chocolate notes, good balance. Ordinary in appearance, but a real nice taste and mouthfeel. Substantial and a little different. Could pass for a good stout. I'll definitely revisit this beer. Thanks to the man in Osprey for the sample! (276 characters)

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

A very nice dark heavy ale that is smooth and creamy, dark and lacey. Superb malt sense in the nose and taste. Thick, creamy tan head and super lace down the glass. Chocolate and coffee notes are a free ride along with the nice malty flavor. A good black-as-night beer that has great opacity. (292 characters)

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