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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: 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
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Reviews: 756 | Hads: 1,566
Photo of craftbeersweden
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Dark brown, almoust black with a beige head. A lot of lacing.

Nose: Roasted malt, molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit.

Taste: Same as the nose, malt, roasted notes, coffee, dark chocolate and dried fruit.

Almoust no carbonation. Medium to full body. A light bitternss. Great beer! (293 characters)

Photo of dogin26
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured into a over sized snifter

Beautiful thick head that fades fairly quickly

Expresso, dark chocolate with some rum and raisins

Light and creamy mouth feel. On the palate i taste coffee, dark chocolate and chocolate milk shake

Really tasty porter that has the perfect layers of flavor whilst being super drinkable. Love it (330 characters)

Photo of truebluebums
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a pint glass.

App: 2 finger tan head that recedes rather quickly

Smell: Roasty coffee, burnt toast, bit of soda/cola aspect, dark chocolate, and maybe some dark fruits playing in there

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel but thin body, coats the mouth. Just enough carbonation to have a slight prickle on the tongue. Dark chocolate, bit of an acidic quality that comes from coffee or dark chocolate. Dark fruits. Some molasses like qualities. All followed up with slight piney hop taste.

Great porter. Very drinkable but not lacking on the flavor. More of a classic british taste. (583 characters)

Photo of South2NW
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured to oversized snifter

A: pours a dark cola brownish-black with a thin, light tan head. Minimal lacing.

S:nice and roasty. Dark chocolate, roasty coffee/espresso.

T: bittersweet chocolate and espresso. A bit of smoke, too. Dry and bitter finish.

M: thinner than I expected/hoped for. Lower side of carbonation. Would've preferred a slightly thicker beer.

O: definitely a great beer. Glad I picked this one up to try it. (443 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. Pours black as night with a thin coffee colored head. The smell is full of sweet malt and toasty aromas. The taste is full of toast, coffee, and dark chocolate flavors. Very delicious. Although it is worth mentioning that for such a heavy beer I thought the flavors were well balanced and it had a nice clean finish. I love the aftertaste as well which is good because it is a nice velvety consistency that coats your mouth and throat. Would absolutely recommend. (481 characters)

Photo of Dentist666
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

0,33l bottle.
Pours opaque brown-black beer with decent tan 2-finger head, prone to long retention. Robust coffee smell and taste with dark chocolate sourness in the finish. Viscous, with moderate carbonation. Smooth and well-balanced. Strongly recommended. (258 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a classic from a brewery yet to really wow me, this one is a game changer. a mix of so many styles, from dry stout to scottish ale to black ale and beyond, a lot of bases are covered here, a lot of lines crossed, but comfort instead of chaos results. this is a velvety smooth jet black shiny brew that foams up about in inch and a half on the pour and stays vigorous. caramel in head color, rich in aroma. notes of milk chocolate and light roast coffee cascade into a more earthy profile, but maintaining just enough sweetness to not let it get bitter, a great success. the flavor is a lot like the nose, with heaps of dark malt all the way through, but the brewers have somehow coaxed new flavor combinations out of familiar malts. its rich and chocolaty in a new way. its layered, and there is a hint of licorice right before the finish. pillow soft and silky in texture, yet extremely full bodied. carbonation is no more or less than a square medium, and its perfectly dialed for whats going on here. dynamic and nuanced stuff, different in flavor and feel from anything else in the genre, it may in fact be its own genre. i will be buying this one again, i like it far better than its barrel aged variants that ive had. it needs nothing. (1,241 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.05/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On cask at Rustico (Ballston).

The beer is black with a quarter inch of off-white cap that holds steady for several minutes. The aroma brings milk chocolates, roast, malts, biscuits, brown bread. The flavor is sweet and chocolaty, followed by mild roast and sweet breads. A bit lacking actually. Not bad at all, but the flavor kind of drops off. Thin body and a bit too sweet. Eh... (383 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Color is deep brown with ruby highlights at the edge when held up to light, although light can't make it through the main part of the glass. Head is tan and initially thick, but it quickly dissipates. Light lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is roasted coffee and chocolate with light smoke. There is a strong hit of cracked grain in the finish, with some herbal hops right at the limit of my perception.

T - Taste is extreme roast that blends into a cigar-like smoke. It verges on acrid in the mid palate, then dries out and cleans up to very low aftertaste. There is some brown sugar in the early palate. No hops or yeast characteristics come through.

M - Medium body with low mouth coating stickiness. Carbonation is almost nonexistent. A smooth creamy quality that may be from oats. Low alcohol presence.

O - This is a strong, assertive beer, whose assertiveness is based only on malt characteristics. That makes it a welcome change from today's typical hop madness. Still, I find it to verge on too acrid form my taste and I prefer some of the variants that have been aged in various barrels to mellow it and add some other complexities. (1,193 characters)

Photo of lochef81
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This porter pours a very near black mahogany that only lets light in around the edges. The head is small, tan, and very short lived with some lacing. The aroma is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. It is dark and roasty with notes of cocoa nibs, coffee, some fruity esters, and lots of malt. The mouthfeel is just what is promised...oily. This would probably be more drinkable if it had just a touch more carbonation to add a little smooth creaminess. The flavor is once again lots of chocolate as well as some dried fruits, European yeast, a little butter coffee on the tail, and a lot of malty sweetness. I do prefer my porters on the drier side but for a sweet one, this is quite good. (695 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: There's that namesake - pours a viscous black with a creamy tan head. Little to no retention.

S: Rich and fudgy - brownie batter, vanilla, rum raisin scents waft up thick from the glass. Dense residual sugars here, backed up with notes of toffee and burnt toast.

T: Starts to style: slightly metallic, bready, with a hearty flavor of chalky chocolate. Caramel and bittersweet cocoa tones thicken it even more, then it takes an interesting turn - a crisp dryness, starting with herbal pine and lemon rind, starts a burn. It climbs slow to a strong bitterness of tannic grain husk, surprisingly intense for a porter. Finishes with that tight dryness gripping the palate, with some porter flintiness, as well.

M: Thin body with a little carbonation adding some creamy texture. That dryness that picks up toward the end of the palate breathes some new life into the drink, keeping it from staying too thick and one-dimensional.

O: A great porter - I could drink this all day. Too bad it would be an expensive six-pack...still, as a single bottle with dinner, it can't be beat. (1,080 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. A real looker, a very dark black brew with a ruby red halo at the bottom of the glass and a supple, sumptuous latte tan colored head that looks rather like sponge toffee. Aroma is dark roast coffee and bitter chocolate, with a faint fruitiness that recalls sour cherries along with a little burnt toffee or perhaps maple sugar. Palate is much the same, creamed coffee, unsweetened baker's chocolate, a whiff of sour cherry, and earthy, near-piney hops that add a unique additional element to the more expected roasted elements. The uber-dark appearance and protruding smooth mouthfeel belie the rather thin body and relatively easy drinkability for such an opaque brew. Coffee flavor outweighs the chocolate and other components and alas, the finish is a tad husky and astringent to my palate. Skews toward the dry and roasted rather than the sweeter regions of dark beer territory, probably due to a lack of crystal malts. Still, worth sampling for the porter/stout aficionado. (1,012 characters)

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

A: Dark brown almost black, you can see nothing through it. Only a slight deep amber hue of a half millimeter on the extreme edge of the glass. 2 fingers of tan brown head that leaves a sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, espresso, earthy and woody, light smokiness.

T: Very chocolaty, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate and black coffee. Not as intense as the nose. Sort of goes flat in the middle and becomes like a stout.

M: Thick and chocolaty, medium low fine bubbled carbonation.

O: Great Smell, good taste, great name and label. Intense on the nose, a little lacking in taste in comparison. Still a must try. (636 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. There's slightly less than a finger of mocha-colored head, and its retention is poor. Only slight hints of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Wow. Just, wow. The level of dark chocolate on the nose is amazing: it's so rich and defined, but never overpowers the other notes. There are also touches of umami, roast, coffee, and salt which helps to enhance its chocolate showcase. It genuinely smells fudge-like; later on, I'm even getting a touch of fruitiness. Honestly, this is one of the best, most complex noses I've encountered in a while.

T: There isn't much of a drop-off from the aroma to the flavor. A twinge of fruit esters open it up, quickly transforming into a roasted coffee flavor. It's a bit charred finishing, but more chocolaty than anything. There's also some lingering tobacco flavor post-swallow. Not the most complex, just awesomely roasted and impressively big-tasting for 6%.

M: The general feel is more slick than creamy, but there's still a nice softness to the palate. It's still light and well-attenuated enough to inspire easy drinking, with the gentle carbonation helping to dry it out even more.

O: This is fantastic. It's richness really belies its ABV. Hell, I'd even consider it a benchmark for the English porter (or even the American porter, for that matter). Shame it's kind of pricey and not offered in 6 packs... (1,420 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almost completely dark, one finger head that doesn't last for long, going to a very thin lacing.
Roasted malts with a whif of chocolate on the nose, classic for its style, tho with a clear juicy dark fruit, like fresh dates and dark cherries, faint smoked plums also.
Rich malts, roasted, with some light toffee, espresso coffee and dark chocolate. Lower dark fruit than in the smell, more raisin-like, dry figgy. Cocoa powder and low licorice. Flavorful hops bring a mild bitterness, enhanced by the roast (lingering in the aftertaste, not very "charred" tho).
As it warms you get a tastier dark/sweet chocolate.
Not as oily as the name suggests, but light and more than mildly carbonated. Works out fine, better actually, it's actually very easy to drink.
This was tasty and well crafted, perfectly balanced, wouldn't give it a pass. (835 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out with a glug-glug-glug, and a massive three fingers’ worth of beige head. This beer is black, as the bottle indicates. It’s true, folks. She’s dark and all kinds of sultry. Lacing is fantastic. Retention… same can be said for it. Looks like a real beer, man.

Smells of good English porter roast, oyster cracker dust, super-dry cocoa, and seawater. Has a richness without being gluttonous or showy. Well-defined and crafted.

Awesome porter flavors. Doesn’t give up on being too “UK” and punch out with caramel or fruity notes. Has a great char and roasty note with a slight salinity. There’s definitely a little bit of dry earthy coffee and a touch of chalkiness that implies cocoa, but doesn’t give it away. Almost a vegetal flavor of peat, but without the kiss of smoke. It might be there, but it’s hard to say.

This is the mouthfeel that porters dream of… silky, yet hefty body and a hoarse carbonation that gets swept into the liquid. Awesome.

Yes, Old Engine Oil does it for me. A classic that needs recognition for what it is. (1,066 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

What a great beer week and it's only Monday. Yesterday, my neighbor gave me a bottle of Old Guardian, 2 12's of Go To IPA, and a pint glass made by cutting the neck off of an Arrogant Bastard bomber and polishing it. A very cool looking beer glass. So tonight, a different neighbor runs over and gives me a bottle of Old Engine Oil. There's a three-bedroom for sale a few hundred yards down if you're interested. ;-)

Appearance - a dark cola pour with a sticky mocha head. I could see some tawny brown translucence on the pour, but in the glass it is a light blocker. Excellent lace up top. the lid is resilient and creamy.

Aroma - roasted grain, bread crust and espresso.

Taste - robust, roasty malt as expected. An extra dash of roastiness/char on the swallow, the sugars are rather limited here, allowing the grain to really shine through and have several delicious elements to explore. The swallow develops a little espresso, but it's still just a backdrop to the kilned malt show. Finishes with a warm char, dry and clean.

Mouthfeel - slightly heavy-ish and bossy, smooth, evenly carbonated to lend balance to the feel.

Overall - excellent session beer and a showy one as well. Thanks Dan! (1,199 characters)

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank alongside Pipeline Porter for comparison.
.
A – Appears in the glass as a liquid coke-black in colour, topped with a sturdy and sudsy head of camel-brown foam.

S – Wisps of smoke and charcoal. Subtle peat and roasted malts. A little faint.

T – Smoke, burned-ends. Bitter cream and plain chocolate. Charred toffee and sweet soy. Begs to be paired with game and root veg.

M – Glorious. Thick and smooth like plush velvet cloth. Made Pipeline feel thin and lager-like by comparison. From here on out this will be the mark to which other dark beers will be held for mouthfeel.

O – Quality needs no apologies. Difference between a pretty good beer and a really good - bordering on great - beer is abundantly clear here (OEO vs Pipeline). The first 330ml went down all too swiftly. Moreish on kettle chip levels. Wonderful. (838 characters)

Photo of DougT
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated Nov. 2013, poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Dark brown to black with a 2 finger medium tan head with plenty of lacing. Head retains well and a full rather thick foam layer stays.

Chocolate, coffee, yeast, roast, and a little sweet malt. Smells delicious.

Bit of bitter bite up front, sweet in the middle, smooth in the finish. Coffee, chocolate, a little nutty, dark fruit. Nothing overpowers.

Medium to full body. Good fizz. Very smooth, well balanced and drinkable.

I find this to be a very enjoyable drink. The best parts of a robust stout mixed with a nice nut brown ale. interesting flavors in a very approachable beer. (641 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and some lacing

S-dark malt, coffee, chocolate, slight herbal

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, hint of vanilla, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-easy drinking porter with good body and balance (285 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a deep brown to black color forming a medium bubbled tan head that disappear quickly leaving only few lacings in the glass

S: Strong notes of malts, roasted malts, chocolate malts. Very biscuity, with strong notes of roasted malts. Very bready: notes of Oreo and earthy yeasts

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Strong notes of roasted malts. Very bready! Very earthy yeasts

M: Medium creamy body. Medium carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste

O: Great drinkabitity. Excellent quality. Masterpiece (540 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an attractive black color with a 2F head into an imperial pint glass.

The aroma is heavy roasted malts and light lemon.

The mouth feel is not very carbonated.

Taste: very malty, the main taste focused on the heavily roasted malts:
there is a deeper roast here not found in American porters. It overwhelms the beer and it is the beer's signature. There is slight bitterness to the roast.

This malt roast carries to the finish. It is interesting to drink this beer colder, and let it warm up.
With warming, the malt mellows and the roast diminishes. The beer is more enjoyable in some respects, but the strong roasted malt remains the focus of this beer.

Overall: an excellent porter- however this is a Scottish brewed beer. It's different than English porters- a lot less mellow. The heavy roasts are prominent unlike most English porters I have tasted. The Brewery web site has excellent info about the beer( note the glass)
https://harviestoun.com/our-beers/old-engine-oil (988 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Black with a thick brown head. Great retention and it holds some nice lacing.

S- Dark roasted malts. Slight cocoa. Off-putting metallic aroma, however.

T- Subtle roast flavor, but really not much more.

M- Viscous, just like oil. A bit of a roasty-bitter finish, which lingers.

O- This was decent, but I was expecting more flavor out of it. The look and feel live up to the name, however. (446 characters)

Photo of SeatsTaken
4.87/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: Poured into a tulip glass. Looks exactly like its name. Almost completely black with accents of brown near the top. Produced 3/4 of an inch head that quickly dissipated, leaving minimal film behind.

Aroma: Up front there is a very peculiar sour fruitiness I'm sensing. Maybe a raisin or dried date? Roasted malt and dark chocolate make up the rest of what I'm smelling.

Taste: Wow...this is delicious and simple. I'm honestly only tasting bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt, but somehow it is this simplicity that makes this beer so tasty. There is a tiny hint of dark roasted, black coffee that stays with you after a sip, but it still fits perfectly.

Mouthfeel: Creamy up front with minimal carbonation on the tongue. It quenches your thirst just enough to make you want to take another sip, but in a good way of course.

Overall: I loved this beer. It isn't trying to be anything other than an outstanding porter, which it is. This is easily a beer I could drink more than one time in a sitting and not feel guilty about. Some may say it lacks complexity but I believe, at least in this case, that simple is perfect. (1,133 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Opaque black with the barest hint of ruby clarity at the bottom, at the top an inch tall tan head which receded slowly

s: Dark malt. Later, sweet black coffee and dark chocolate.

t: Sweet black coffee and dark chocolate. Some hop bitterness but mainly sweetish/smoky finish

m: On the lighter side of moderate. Lots of carbonation tingle on the tongue.

o: A fine and slightly different tasting porter. The coffee and chocolate notes are relatively mild as is the smoky finish. Easy drinking but still substantial. If this was half the price it is I'd definitely favor it over many other porters. (663 characters)

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