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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
93
outstanding

1,431 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,431
Reviews: 740
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 111
Gots: 99 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Engine Oil Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,431 | Reviews: 740 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IronDjinn
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a 330 ml brown bottle. Pours out a dense opaque black colour, nearly impermeable to light except for a faint ruby tinge that appears under extreme intensity.

Intense notes of char, roast, licorice, molasses, coffee, dark chocolate in the aroma.

Flavour is greater than the sum of its parts, everything tends to blend in so well together that it becomes difficult to pick all the seperate components apart. Smooth roast and char up front, sweet molasses and licorice follows, dry cocoa kicks in on the finish along with some leafy herbal hops that linger into the aftertaste, while some more of that sweetness reappears for an encore.

Can't fathom a better mouthfeel for a beer of this style. Medium-full, silky smooth texture, very low carbonation, it all just works together, once again greater than the sum of its parts.

An absolutely excellent English Porter, incredibly enjoyable and worth seeking out. I will definitely be picking up more, and spreading the good word around every chance I get. One of the best of the style.

IronDjinn, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black color with a thick tannish head and a good amount of lacing. Smells of roasted barley, a little smoke, and chocolate. Tastes pretty good with lots of roasted flavors, coffee, toffee, chocolate, and some smoke and just a touch of hops. Mouthfeel was thick and oily. Somewhat easy to drink.

TheKingofWichita, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of RickS95
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Completely black liquid, a black hole in a glass. Sadly, there is no head to speak of.

Scents of chocolate and roasty malts dominate the nose. It almost smells black.

The taste is just strong. It's an aggressive taste, with bittersweet chocolate and toast filling the palate.

There's nothing gentle about this beer. It's not so much a bitter taste as it is a strong taste. It's like a stout combined with a barley wine.

I like the beer, but I don't think I could drink a lot of it. The alcohol isn't all that high, but it's a bit more bitter than I like unless I'm drinking a high ABV beer or an IPA. There's nothing smooth about this.

RickS95, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first of my series of final exam/surviving med school 1st semester celebratory beers. Poured at 45°F into Duvel tulip, allowed to warm a bit...

The pour procures an epically dark brown, nearly black, viscous liquid that is crowned with a 1.5" thick, frothy beige head. The glass is adorned with much lacing and the head retains as a bubbly ring with a large island in the center. I can't even begin to describe how rich and balanced the aromas are. Can't help but take a sip and both aroma and flavor are described together. Hefty amounts of cocoa and coffee at first, then comes a nice and subtle (that's the key here) ashiness that is balanced by sweet caramel and biscuits. Hint of burnt toast and blackstrap molasses. There is no alcoholic burn; only a tiny warmth is apparent in the finish. Bitterness akin to coffee and char linger on and on. Carbonation is as good as is gets, yielding a velvety smooth texture to this surprisingly light/medium bodied beer. Looks can be deceiving! But as such, this is a lovely drinker that I would be happy to quaff all day.

DmanGTR, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of mountsnow1010
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Name makes sense. Thick, black beer.
S - Primarily cocoa and roasty notes, figgy smell, blackcurrant-like odor, a bit of a dusty/dry sensation, not unpleasant. Not a ton of odor.
T - Chocolate and toasty/burnt malt flavor. They fit a lot of charred flavor in this. Really complex, hard separate flavors; really interesting. Dark fruity tastes as well. Nice solid flavor but it I think the char overwhelms all of the other flavors.
MF - Pretty thick, coats the mouth.
D - I could drink several of these.

mountsnow1010, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of 9InchNails
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark spots, tan and khaki colors in the head. The body is 100% opaque. The head seems to want to disappear about two minutes after the pour but actually sticks around with a silky smoothness.

Roasted maltiness, toffee, chocalate and a nutty aroma. A hint of hoppiness in the smell.

Coffee and chocolate upfront. Some Bitterness in the aftertaste. It's a nice taste but I feel something is lacking, I can't figure it out. It may be due to the blunt taste at first but then there's nothing working for it after that.

Medium to thick bodied but very silky smooth in texture. Feels nice in the mouth. Some carbonation tickles the front of the tongue.

Even though it's kind of thick bodied it's not very heavy. I could have a few of these. It is a good enough beer to drink more than just one.

9InchNails, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of EtOHMD
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this as a single. Shop owner said is was one of his personal favorites. Pours a thick syrupy dark opaque dark brown to black with hints of maroon at the edges. Thin head which dissipates quickly. Rich chocolatey roasted flavor with hints of cherry. Chewy feel with no aftertaste. Wishing I had bought more than one of these! Think it's going to become one ofmy faves.

EtOHMD, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts and cocoa powder. Also present are slight hints of tobacco and dark fruits. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors gain a tart aroma.

Tastes good. Smooth and lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by dark chocolate flavors that are neither rich nor bitter. Midway through the sip hints of char make an appearance before being sweetened by the addition of mild dark fruit flavors. The roasted malt, cocoa powder and dark fruit flavors carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I didn't find this beer to be overpowering but rather had a good deal of nuance that the UK tends to favor more than us across the pond. An interesting and well made beer that's well worth a shot.

glid02, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark chocolate brown with a thin, dark tan head. Moderate soapy lacing.

S-Roasted malts, lactic sweetness.

T/M-Roasty and rich, with a pleasant, creamy mouthfeel and a surprisingly bitter finish. Almost no carbonation. Lush and silky, not too sweet. The roasted malts linger in the finish.

D-A very good porter.

DaveHS, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of BigMike
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From an 11.2 oz. Bottle

A: Pours jet black with no signs of light coming through anywhere. A beautifuly dense tan head on top that's leaving a lace trail on the glass.

S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, anise, a light roasted nuttiness. Finishes with bitter coffee notes.

M: super smooth and creamy. Light to medium body with light carbonation.

Overall: This is good beer. A real easy drinking flavorful porter. I recommend trying this one.

BigMike, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of atsprings
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass pours a deep almost opaque black with a nice frothy light tan head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of smooth dark malts with slight baker's cocoa. The taste is loads of dark malts, cocoa, smooth coffee and slight molasses, very complex. This is a great English Porter, one I would certainly have again.

atsprings, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of ams0286
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A new arrival at the local A&P Liquor Store, I decided to pick this one up to pair with my fresh wild boar chops.

The appearance is exceptional. A thick foamy tan head tops the completely black beverage. As I enjoy this beer there is a great amount of lacing that remains on the glass all the way to the top.

The smell is on point as far as the style goes. Lots of roasted malts, molasses, dark chocolate and even a hint of dark dried fruits. I wouldn't mind if all of this was a little more forward, but it is amazing none the less.

For taste, I can't remember a better black ale that has been so robust. All of those aromas are further accentuated through the flavors in this beer and some. Up front you get a great amount of dark roasted and crystal malts. As this gives way a whole new arrangement of flavors appear. Toffee, dried fruits, even tobacco come across my palate. The hops in this brew are not lacking either. With such a strong malt backbone, you can find in the flavor a resiny/pine flavor that even carries some citrus.

Thick and smooth, even better as the beer warms. The low carbonation rate is again on point for the style. It comes close to the viscosity of and "Old Engine Oil" which is great, and exactly what I was seeking for tonight.

This is by far a session beer. The 6% ABV makes you aware the beer is there, and the body of the beer does too. I do think that this is a great example of the style and wish that more brands lived up to this standard.

ams0286, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of vfgccp
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep rosewood at the edges of a narrow glass, but otherwise as black as it's namesake. Caramel colored head with some decent lacing.

S - Toffee, espresso. Mild, but opened up as it breathed.

T - Toast, char, some woody notes, coffee, bitter chocolate (more like 80% cocoa then a regular dark chocolate bar). The flavors show a steady hand, with nothing over the top. Malt rounds out the aftertaste.

M - Very smooth, light body.

D - The char and bitter chocolate aren't overpowering. Would drink 2 at a bar if I caught this on tap.

vfgccp, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, dark tan head, with a little bit of lacing.

Aroma is very roasted, with some hints of chocolate and a bit of bitterness, seemingly from cocoa and hops.

Surprisingly hop forward initially, lots of roasted malts, slightly sweet with a bit of chocolate and dark fruits. Bitter chocolate on the finish.

Medium in body, slightly creamy, with little carbonation.

Good solid drinkability. Overall, a very nice brew.

EgadBananas, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

51st review on BA
bottle to pint glass
Had at Lucky Devils in Hollywood

App- Black as night with a very small 1 finger head that was very tan.

Smell- Malt, smoke, Burnt quality and some roast cocoa nibs.

Taste- Doesn't drink at all what I thought. Its lush and smooth.

Mouth- Silky, smooth and rich. Paired well with dessert.

Drink- If I was having a second round of dessert or it was cold out another would have been ordered. Very good porter.

FosterJM, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an over-sized snifter...

A - Half fingers worth of dark khaki colored mildly creamy foam... Minimal retention gives way a mixed bag of lacing that is mostly a very thin veil with some splotchy chunks of larger bubbles and a thin collar... A mostly opaque deep brooding brown color with only a touch of light leaking in around the upper end of the glass...

S - Bitter chocolate morsels... Roasted malts... Licorice... Caramel... Toffee... A bit nutty... A modest minty component??? I can't really put my finger on it, but there is something that is slightly off putting in the overall aroma...

T - Licorice... Cocoa... Roasted grains... More licorice... Some touches of peat... A hint of smoke... Solid, but slightly lacking in terms of depth and complexity...

M - Medium bodied... Very muted carbonation... Sleek... A tad on the thin side... Even and consistent... A slightly burnt chalky finish...

D - An enjoyable English Porter that teeters on the edge of being a world class offering but falls ever so slightly short... I would still welcome on future occasions and would recommend for any serious BA... Loaded with enjoyable subtleties...

philbe311, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
3.38/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to two fingers of brown head. This beer is dark brown with ruby highlights. The aroma is chocolate and nutty. The taste is dominated by some bitter hops with a bitter coffee taste. I don't remember this beer being this bitter. I recall a more chocolaty flavor. It fells viscous in my mouth. I am left disappointed in this one. The aroma was great but the taste was too bitter.

buschbeer, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Fatehunter
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out of a bottle into a Delirium glass. Black as night. A solid inch of tan head. So beautiful.

S - Burnt malt, dark chocolate and a hint of smoke.

T - Bitter chocolate at first and a good hop bitterness at the end.

M - Medium going towards full body. Slightly creamy with light carbonation.

D - Excellent. A great porter. Nothing bad to say about it.

Fatehunter, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of Bung
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. Been a while since I've last had this, time to review one. Out of the bottle looks brown, but it is pretty much black in the glass. Thin layer of tan head, laces ok.

Malty, peaty aroma. Caramel, cocoa.

Taste, pleasant malty caramel. Molasses, peat, light plum. Finishes with some drying cocoa and coffee.

Mid bodied, coating, then gone with a nice dryness. No complaints here.

If this wasn't so damn expensive(3.50 for one 12oz), I'd drink this regularly.

Bung, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of MoreThanWine
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fun labeling on good beer. This black ale truly looks black but basically is like an espresso(extra roasted) version of stout. Poured a meager 1/2" head which dissipated. Same basic stout flavors of coffee and chocolate but certainly more so of each than usual. From the label and name I pretty much expected goop to pour out, but no, it's not anywhere near that thick, in fact many common stouts are thicker.

MoreThanWine, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of kjyost
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 'Jul 11', purchased at the MLCC in September. Poured into a beer mug. Served around 6C

A: Viscous, thick and dark with a light mocha head that descends leaving nice little globs of lacing.

S: Licorice, molasses, toffee, coffee... Exceptional.

T/M/D: Follows the aromas with the licorice and molasses dominating. A beautifully thick beer with a nice residual sweetness that balances the other flavours out to virtual perfection. Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy...

kjyost, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts, coffee, some hints of chocolate. Taste is good, a balance of malts and coffee, a hint of chocolate. Feels creamy in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

tone77, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice bottle received from Vaison as a bonus in a recent trade. Thanks!

Poured into a goblet-style glass. Pours a dark black with some chocolate brown on the edges. A thin tan head caps it off. No lace. Scents of baker's chocolate, faint coffee, nuts. Chocolate is the main player in the nose. Semi-sweet smelling.

The mouth is creamy and smooth. Very mellow finish, but not flat at all. Well-done. Nice creamy milk chocolate flavors jived well with faint bitterness, and the mildest of hop backing. Well-balanced. Not complex, but wonderfully executed. Easy drinker for the cool evenings upon us now.

Onenote81, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, roasty coffee, but thinner than a stout. In the taste, roasty coffee and a small chocolate like hint. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee hint in the aftertaste. Almost looks and smells like a stout, but not as rich. Quite nice overall.

OWSLEY069, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 10/24/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is deep dark brown/black like freshly brewed coffee; starts with a scant 1/4 finger dark tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a faint skim floating in the surface and a thin ring surrounding the surface; body is entirely opaque (aptly named, I must say); a few spots and strands are left holding on to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Mostly burnt/roasty coffee grounds; some dark bittersweet chocolate; mild hop bitterness that is earthy, soil-like and leafy; really quite what I would expect, and it's kind of reminiscent of Edmund Fitzgerald... just not quite as big or robust.

Taste: Much like the nose, the most dominant aspect is the strong and bitter burnt roastiness -- kind like French pressed espresso; there is a faint bit of chocolate to it, but it's really overpowered by the bitter roast; the faint earthy/dirty hop presence is there, but it does have a tinge metallic bite to it. Overall, this is a really good beer and I can see me getting it again based up on these flavors.

Mouthfeel: Ah, the part of the porter that just falls flat for me in almost every case -- they always just seem kind of thinner than they should based upon their smells and flavors, but considering that they're not meant to be thick and chewy, this one is pretty good and about on style; just somewhere between light and medium in weight; the beer leaves a thin and dry coating all over the roof of the mouth; carbonation is quite present and maybe just a tad sharp.

Drinkability: I think I could really get into this beer on cool fall nights, much like tonight. The flavors are really good and robust, and the ABV isn't going to be something that knocks you on the ground.

bamadog, Oct 25, 2010
Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
93 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.