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Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,325 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,325
Reviews: 729
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 98
Gots: 75 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001)
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Ratings: 1,325 | Reviews: 729 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.1%

11-14-2011 21:18:09 | More by tbeckett
Photo of sbricker
sbricker

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +9%

11-14-2011 19:09:35 | More by sbricker
Photo of danielofthedale
danielofthedale

Georgia

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Very dark dark in color. Frothy head, about one finger thick that dissipates quickly

S-The roasty barley is the first thing I noticed. Chocolate and coffee as well. A faint smokiness in there too.

T-Big roasty flavor followed by some chocolate and a little coffee. Hops in the background but the bitterness provides a nice counter to the rostyness.Some smoke flavor is noticeable too.

M-Smooth and creamy mouth feel. Mild carbonation that just dances on the tongue. Light to medium body

O-A very good porter. It really delivers on the roast flavor I want in a porter. Not quite as complex as American Porters but is everything you look for in a traditional example of a porter. I will definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 02:55:40 | More by danielofthedale
Photo of Valmor88
Valmor88

Ohio

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

Poured into pint glass.

A: BLACK pour with a dark brown head. Lets no light through when held up to light.

S: Malty and coffe/roasted cocoa nose.

T: Chocolate and coffee with lots of roasted malts and some cream. Slightly alcoholic finish with more roasted malts.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body.

O: A good english style porter. Great for drinking when you just want a porter, nothing crazy.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 17:27:32 | More by Valmor88
Photo of Noxious26
Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml brown bottle with pry off cap poured in a pint glass.

Chocolate brown head is 1/4 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin ring with islands of foam. Absolutely pitch black with dark brown highlights when you hold it to the light.

Rather boozy and vinous aroma with a baclground of dried figs and prunes with hints of burnt and dark malts.

Dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, dark roast coffee, with a boozy, almost port like finish. Aftertaste is boozy with an astringent burnt character.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

Overall a good beer and nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 01:23:48 | More by Noxious26
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout tulip.

A - Despite the description on the bottle, the doesn't really resemble old engine oil at all. It is fairly dark, and is black throughout even around the thinnest points, it still looks a bit thin as it's pouring out of the bottle and seems rather fluid than viscous. Additionally, the head is a light tan, not really what I was expecting and is a finger's-worth tall. Not a whole lot of retention, and the lacing is decent, but nothing exceptionally special.

S - The nose is not what I was anticipating at all. It has a touch of roast, but it is actually a bit grassy and even skunky at times. It has an interesting herbal and fruity quality to it as well. It's a little smoky and also brings in a little bit of chocolate.

T - After my first sip of this I'm not quite sure what to make of the beer. It's certainly not the thick, viscous, roast-bomb that I was thinking it'd be, but it also isn't completely abstract from that idea either. It has points of deep complexity, from the malts, which encompass a wide range of flavors from smoke, to light chocolate, to a slight bitter roast, to the lighter or fruitier notes, in the form of the herbal qualities, dark fruits, and an almost Scotch-esque seasalt taste. Definitely interesting and complex, even if it wasn't what I was expecting.

M - Mouthfeel is actually relatively light-bodied with good carbonation. Don't come into this with a Dark Lord mentality where you will be fighting to get it down your throat. It goes down easily and leaves an earthy, somewhat smoky finish.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. A neat little beer that ends up delivering on things I wasn't really looking for, but are welcome nonetheless. I was expecting a little bit more heartier given the name and description, but I can't say I was entirely disappointed by what I did get.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 01:53:39 | More by nhindian
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's a blast from my past: Old Engine Oil. I remember having this on the old school pull-taps at the pub I worked at in Edinburgh twenty aught one. Good times! I particularly remember this fine ale because it was 8-9% at the time and we could only serve it as half pints due to the potency (one night I had 4 half pints before a night out... and the rest is history).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip pint.

A: "Black as the ace of spades" to coin a Monty Python phrase. This has one dark body body (possibly darker than Guinness!). The 1cm tan head retains well and leaves a bold (and inviting) lacing around the inside of the glass.

S: An overpowering chicory aroma leads with a strong roast barley base which gives it its bitter espresso fragrance. Like most ales of this style (and strength) there is a lingering smokiness to the profile.

T: This stuff really is old engine oil! The flavour is upfront and very demanding of your taste senses with a heady burst of chicory, chocolate and roasted coffee followed by vanilla and that hint of smoke, and finishing dry with slight bitterness in the after-taste. I could breath this it's so good!

M: Light on carbonation (as expected) with a rich sticky presence which further conjures an image of drinking a glass of engine oil.

D: I really love this brew and I'm glad with the drop in ABV it hasn't lost it's flavour like Guinness extra stout. This is a damn, damn fine representation of an extra stout that I highly recommend to anyone even remotely interested in dark ales. Not for the faint of heart though. As good as (if not better than) Cooper's extra stout... that's a big call too!

Food match: Savour this with some dark chocolate or indeed it would suit a well made stew/beef steak pie. Hard cheese if that's your thing (personally cheese and beer have never mixed well with me). Also a shepherds pie would be ace.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 08:36:53 | More by doktorhops
Photo of Doshkin
Doshkin

Maine

4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - perfect oily black color with brown undertones. really looks like some old sludgy engine oil. little cream colored head with no retention and quick dissipation

s - roasted sugary sweetness (can't go too in depth here... I have a cold right now)

t - little touch of chocolate. light body for how dark it looks. pleasant bitterness all the way through that carries into the aftertaste. this is a delicious brew

m - so smooth! very drinkable, mild carbonation.

o - this is an incredible beer. highly recommend

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 01:40:41 | More by Doshkin
Photo of Daktyls
Daktyls

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black in color with a half fingered, light, mocha head that fades to a fine lacing in the center of the brew and a ring around the outside of the glass.

S: Roasted malts followed by chocolate and some dark fruits. There is a little bit of coffee as well.

T: Mostly malty with hints of cocoa and chocolate. A smokey character is present along with some light vanilla notes.

M: A very creamy character that couples well with the flavors. Full bodied with a light amount of carbonation.

O: Overall very good, a great example of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 19:32:41 | More by Daktyls
Photo of aidanskinner
aidanskinner

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into a 2/3 pint glass

a -black. makes Guinness look like a beer that's heard of black but has never seen it. <insert further hyperbole here, this is a seriously dark beer>. nice head that dissipates into pleasing lacing.

s - bits of malt, no yeast, chocolate, Agent Cooper coffee cut through with cherry pie

t - big sweet roasted mocha immediately cut with an amazingly dry hop bitterness

m - great. it's satisfying while being easily drinkable, good carbonation and light without even knowing what the word "thin" means.

o - the platonic modern porter. maybe not *quite* as interesting as Alice Porter but it sets out to be a perfect porter and it achieves that and then some.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 01:09:22 | More by aidanskinner
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
DeltaGolfSierra

Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is like, well, old engine oil - pitch black with a dark tan head. Nice lacing on the glass. The smell is strongly cocoa and a bit of dark fruit. The taste is much the same - cocoa up front, dark fruits in the back, with a roasty flavor as well. Mouthfeel is wonderfully viscous. The description on the label says it's viscous, chocolaty, and roasty. This beer delivers on all three.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 07:04:27 | More by DeltaGolfSierra
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark as night black hue which leaves a one finger khaki head and sporadic clingy lacing,the smell is milk chocolate with fruit and nut,milky mocha and sweet malts,the mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and has tastes of dark cocoa,milky bittersweet mocha,a touch of fruit cake,sweet dark malts and finished with a mix of dark belgian chocolate and herbal fruit punch and overall i like this drop and prefer it then most of the oak aged versions cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 14:26:09 | More by ADZA
Photo of Aaandrew
Aaandrew

Norway

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(a)
At first when pouring it in to my glass i get why it's nemed Old Engine Oli. It is so dark old satan would be afraid of drinking it on a stormy night. Even the foam is brown as dark chocolate.
(s)
Chocolate, coffe and another syrupy taste. Also a little hint of fruitness.
(t)
Creamy, smooth and truly well balanced. The remarkable sweetness combined with the minor bitterness is the first impression i get out of it. The caramel and what i believe is the hops combined makes a perfect combination. The roasted taste also get to dominate the stage for a little minute. The fruiteness from the smell also get to grow and take its place, cherry or grapes are what it reminds me of.

This beer i will remember for its dark apperance and smooth taste. If I would have been drinking this in another occasion i would have been drinking it to some heavy roastet beef.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 13:48:17 | More by Aaandrew
Photo of claytong
claytong

Vermont

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - pours a little dark auburn, in glass totally black except minor bottom of glass when put into the sun. great lacing. 2 inch head that slowly fades down to good lacing.

smell - lots of roasted cocoa and coffee, strong malt tone as well. bit of milk/cream, smells like an oatmeal stout.

taste - follows the nose with a bit of metallic taste (especially as it warms)

mouthfeel - creamy and good. when it warms it gets a bit too thin. carbonation is spot on. terrific.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 23:44:37 | More by claytong
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black color with a creamy khaki head that shows moderate retention. Smells of caramel, coffee, roasted grains, slightly fruity with a hint of mineral water. Taste is roasty and chocolaty with hints of coffee and earthy hops. Creamy velvety smooth mouthfeel, light level of carbonation with a medium body. Great dare I say sessionable porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 04:13:42 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a nice dark Ebony colour with a very nice creamy tigt coffeee coloured head that retains well.

S - Aromas are roasted malts and molassis with small amounts of chocolate.

T - The flavour is a strong vanilla and chocolate, complimented well with dark chcolate and roasted malt with alittle smoke. Plenty on offer here.

M - Nice thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Very oily and damn smooth.

O - My first Harviestoun beer and it won't be my last. Higly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 13:47:53 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of evlu1441
evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer based on the name alone. I didn't even know it was somewhat renowned. I'm looking forward to this one.

It pours a thick pitch black with a nice rich brown head. Delicious looking beer.

The smell is slightly sweet and chocolaty with some smokiness coming through.

The taste is very rich and delicious! Some slight molasses sweetness comes through to start alongside some slightly tart maltyness. It then progresses into some deep bitterness towards the back of the tongue, and lots of complex toasty and chocolaty flavours start to develop. It's quite bitter on the finish, but leaves an aftertaste with all the character and complexity its name suggests.

Overall, this is an excellent porter. Full of character, and reasonably easy to drink. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 00:41:12 | More by evlu1441
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee

Australia

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger head, black 'n' tan. Coarse bubbles. Head fades eventually. Nice.

Aromas of chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste, not too sweet, not too dry. Chocolate, coffee, caramel. Som esmokiness, but no ashtray thankfully. Nice.

Mouthfeel a little oily, carbonation low.

Good example of style.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 10:51:25 | More by heygeebee
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu

Georgia

4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is only 11.2 ounces. Pours as black as coalwith a milk chocolate brown head with a very full head that quickly fades leaveing side glass lacing.
Aroma: licorice, chocolate and coffee.
Taste: creamy, a little chewey with a lot of roasty maltiness. Sweet, then dry with some bitterness.
Very good beer/porter but when sold at the equivalent of $100.00/case it should be drop dead unforgetable. Not sure I could ever justify $100.00 a case beer to some kind of pleasure factor, but as good as this is, this doesn't get there.
Overall,score takes a -1 for the price/cost factor.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 21:57:04 | More by jadpsu
Photo of gerite
gerite

Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had to try this beer based on the name alone and it did not disappoint me.

It was listed on the menu as an "Old Ale" but is definitely an outstanding Porter. It pours as a solid dark brown color with a 2 to 3 finger tan head that leaves plenty of lace as you drink. It has a complex flavor of roasted malt and cocoa with a slight bitterness at the end.

If you like Porters, you must try this one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 02:19:01 | More by gerite
Photo of lionchow
lionchow

California

3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with amber edges, with a thick light tan head.

Aroma is sweet hay and malt, with a bit of candi sugar. Some dry cocoa as well.

Flavor is a mix of hay, sweet dried fruit, and roasted malt. There is slight bit of lingering bitterness from the hops and the roast malt.

Mouthfeel is light, carbonation is low.

Overall, enjoyable. Nothing amazing but a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 05:46:44 | More by lionchow
Photo of enfield249
enfield249

Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours thick and dark. No light through this one, caramel colored head.

S - dark fruit, malt, slight roast.

T - lots of coffee, chocolate, slight black patent.

M - full to very full, astringent, not cloying however.

O - A very big porter. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 01:00:47 | More by enfield249
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger-and-a-half of thick, frothy mocha head. Black as night. Nice lacing no surprise. The head eventually died down to a tan cream on-top of the beer.

S - Roasted malt, caramel malt, dark chocolate, and some dark fruits. I also detect a touch of hops. Simple, but really nice.

T - A little disappointing upfront, with not a lot going on at first. Finishes with a roasted malt flavor with a slight bitterness. Not nearly as smokey or burnt as I expected, but rather sweet and creamy, with a lot of vanilla, dark and milk chocolate, and rich caramel. I do find this a little off putting however, as I thought this beer would have a lot more smokiness and bitterness to it. The bottle is a few months old, but it also reads "MAR 2012" on the neck. Still, this porter boasts a rich, creamy flavor profile that I find really appealing. After starting out almost skunky, this beer warms up with a fantastic taste. Towards the end I begin to pick up some smokiness, especially in the aftertaste. Some dark fruits are also present in the warmer taste.

M - Couldn't be much better here. Almost no carbonation, with a thick, creamy mouthfeel that just slides by your palate and taste-buds like silk. Perfect for this style, nice and semi-viscous with a creamy, low-carbonation feel.

D - One of the better beers I've tried to date. Really complex flavor profile and near-perfect mouthfeel with this porter. I do detect something slightly off-putting, almost skunky in the flavor still, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying this one thoroughly.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 05:03:15 | More by Converge
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 11.2oz bottle of this from Cicero's in The Loop (St. Louis), MO for $5.50. Poured from the Old Engine Oil- "Black Ale" bottle without a freshness date to be found into a Hefeweizen Glass and enjoyed while I see my buddy John finish 3 Bud Lights.

Aroma- Has a nice roasty, malty aroma that has a bittersweet chocolate background. Light characteristics but perfect to the style.

Appearance- Pours a 2.5 finger head that is dark brown and has great retention. It has a dark brown body with good clarity and leaves thick lace behind.

Flavor- Roasty tastes from the get-go and has a good chocolate character that pops out towards the end. Low Bitterness at the finish and very sweet when it comes down to it.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Low-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Thin, and is sweet and malty on the finish.

Overall Impression- As the bartender says "This is one of our best dark ales", and I can see why! Perfect in almost every way but could use a bit more caramel/coffee characters. Of course an English Porter is usually lighter and has more dull attributes, but this would have made this an A+ instead of an A. Had never seen this brew before and am glad I got the chance to try!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 22:10:01 | More by DCon
Photo of bagpiper2005
bagpiper2005

Idaho

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Jet black with three fingers of tan head that sticks around and laces nicely. Streaks of ruby red on the edges when held to the light.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malt. A hint of vanilla in the background. Light hop astringency.

Taste: Creamy vanilla sweetness upon initial impact which then gives way into a rich chocolate taste with an underlying hint of caramel. This fades into a hint of coffee and then finishes up with a rather aggressive hop bite.

Mouthfeel: It lives up to its name here! Rather thick and creamy mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability/Overall: Very smooth drinking, though not exactly a session beer. Good complexity and intensity in the flavor. I'm impressed.

Final Notes: This is a damn good beer. Big flavor and complex, deliciously sweet and savory. Excellent dessert beer or to finish the night out with. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 04:15:54 | More by bagpiper2005
Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 1,325 ratings.