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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
92
outstanding

770 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 770
Hads: 1,607
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 147
Gots: 175 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
United Kingdom (Scotland) | website

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 (30) | 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: 770 | Hads: 1,607
Photo of brewskifan55
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Hop City, Birmingham, AL.

A: Dark as, well, old engine oil. A tan half finger head that petered out quickly.

S: Dark chocolate, malts, a bit smokey. Some coffee notes, too.

T: Follows nose in a smooth, passionate, easy drinking style. Great for sipping. Dark and lovely.

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation.

O: Glad I got to try this British staple. A fine porter that drinks like a stout. But then, there's not that much difference between the two. Tasty. Let it warm for maximum viscosity and thermal breakdown.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Black. Out of curiosity I held a powerful flashlight behind my sampling glass, and still only got faint ruby tinges. Light brown thin head that fades to a ring, spots of lace. I'm looking for viscosity; looks thick, but I want milkshake.

S: Powerful, almost acrid on first whiff. Lots of roasted malt, oat.

T: Bittersweet chocolate is there, but mostly simple oat and roasted malt. Some vanilla mid-palate. Tasty, but unoriginal. Good long bitter finish.

M: The reason why I sought this out!... It's ok. Definitely thick, but not engine oil thick. The carbonation is fine and restricted, which helps.

O: Maybe I was expecting too much, but I really don't see what the big deal is. It's good, but I think it benefits greatly from people reading "viscous, chocolatey" on the bottle and then finding/inventing those characteristics. The "roasty", however, is there in spaded.

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Photo of ed_loves_ipa
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty, if you're into stouts. Malty chocolaty notes. Very clean tasting IMHO. Not as string tasting as Narwhal or Wake up Dead nitro. Very well made RIPS.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Bottleneck says 3162.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Very pleasant aroma of dark roasted malt brings to mind chocolate, nuts, caramel and coffee. Also quite biscuity.

T- Quite a bit more generic than the flavor with just straight dark roasted malt, little sweetness and a charry aftertaste.

M- Pretty basic for a porter with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Very surprised that the flavor doesn't follow through with what the aroma lets on. A very good porter but it's missing the flavor and mouthfeel to make it great.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Format: I had this a few years ago as I was just starting into craft beers and hated it. Retrying it to see if my tastes have (hopefully) caught up to it. A slim, very dark brown 330mL bottle with a funky label with an old car. Can't really lose out there.

Appearance: poured into a tulip glass. A near jet black body with an inch of dark tan head that slowly drops to an inch of creamy and rocky finger. Fantastic lacing down the glass. Even jet black as it pours out of the bottle.

Aroma: a strong aroma of roasted malts - specifically coffee - with milk chocolate and a touch of rough cocoa. Smells pretty good.

Taste: the sweet milk chocolate comes through more strongly here alongside the dark roasted coffee. Quite sweet, and very tasty.

Aftertaste: the sweetness backs off some to be replaced by a lovely warming bitterness from the roasted malts.

Mouth feel: moderate to fuller in feel with a moderate carbonation. A pretty good feel with somewhat of a creamy feel.

Overall: well I am very glad that I have decided to retry this beer. A full-bodied and full-flavoured English Porter that shows fantastic roasted dark coffee and sweet milk chocolate. Well worth the having at AU$5 a bottle.

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Photo of interzen
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured into a Vedett tulip glass

Look: Black, black, BLACK! Seriously, this is blacker than a black thing. In Hell. At night. Tan head which sticks around for a while, with some lacing.

Smell: The first thing that sprang to mind was 'tar', closely followed by 'coffee' - there's a ton of toasted malt character in there, too. A faint bit of fruity/floral character but really the tar/coffee aromas are front and centre.

Taste: Toasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate - the chocolate isn't as in-yer-face as something like Sam Smith's Chocolate Stout but it's definitely there. Chuck in a few resinous notes in the finish and you've got something which is absolutely delicious.

Feel: The word 'viscous' appears on the bottle, and with a name like 'Old Engine Oil' you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd need a spoon for this. Not so - granted, it's a bit 'thicker' than your average brew but nowhere near stout levels. Slips down ever so nicely.

Overall: This is my first encounter with the output of the Harviestoun Brewery and it won't be my last. I don't care whether people classify this is a 'black ale' or a porter - categorising it won't detract from the fact that it's across the board awesome; lovely balance of flavours. Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

This beer is styled as a "Black Ale", which I see is listed separately but with only 7 reviews. Therefore, I'm not quite sure I'm reviewing this in the right place. But what gives with changing the style but not the name? Or, is "black ale" simply another descriptor for a porter?

Anyhow, a fairly aggressive pour produces a sticky, frothy, pale tan head of about an inch. The beer is a very dark brown.

I perceive a overbaked biscuity aroma with a hint of diacetyl. The roasted malts come through nicely in the flavor, and are accentuated by bark-like, nut, and burnt chickory flavors that suggest strong coffee, but without the astringent flavors of old, overcooked coffee. It's relatively light in body despite the name and drinks like a black lager more than anything.

A decent beer and apparently rare in my area, but hardly worth the $4.29 I paid for the 11.2 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Roguer
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful black brew, topped by a very small brown head with poor retention.

Smooth, dark and rich chocolate and roasted barley aroma. A bit of cream, as well. Very robust aroma, but enticing and sweet as well.

Tons of dark, overripe fruit up front, earthy hops in the middle, and waves of roasted barley on the back-end. Extremely roasty: burnt toast, black coffee, dark cacao. Not very sweet, as implied by the aroma, but very robust. Earthy hops, and a little sweetness up front from a caramel/toffee/butterscotch note.

The name is misleading if you're expecting a thick stout. It's more cloying and lasting than chewy.

If viewed as a robust porter, this is an excellent example of the style. It's roasty bitterness is at first abrasive, but it's exactly the way it should be.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It, called Black Ale vs Porter, is a lovely black colour and brings a 1 finger head of tannish foam with a careful pour. As the foam shrinks, great lacing left behind.

The smell is marvelous with smooth notes of chocolate, both sweet and bitter. Almost? get a hint of licorice.

The taste brings that chocolate with no hint of the licorice I noted in the smell. Nicely roasty to go along with the chocolate, this such a soothing, comforting beer to drink.

The silkiest of mouth feels, this is just bloody awesome. I'm glad I picked up a few bottles, both with the labels upside down and right side up.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, toast, light toffee, light dark fruit, faint smoke, and roast/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bit roast/bready malt and light-moderate yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, toast, light toffee, light dark fruit, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, toast, light smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of roast/bready malt and light yeast ester flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English porter. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of roast/bready malts and light yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Bottle.
Appearance: black. Dark ruby when held up to light. Small, foamy, tan head.
Smell: light roasted barley.
Taste: chocolate and coffee followed by light roasted barley.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Big body. Dry.
Overall: great stout/porter. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of 57md
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%

Dark brown in color with ruby edges. Some roast in the nose along with a trace of alcohol. The body is hearty and creamy. The roast profile is relatively mild but pleasantly present and the flavor includes a very slight kiss of sweetness underneath the roast.

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Photo of Navalartichoke
5/5  rDev +22%

Had this on draft in an English Pub ( Craft) Great blend of roasted malt , some sweetness and a nice finish of bitterness. Very mellow. The aroma had a hint of coffee.

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Photo of Extrajoker00
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%

Reviewed: 9/28/14

Old EngineOil by Harviestoun

poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Guinness pint glass

P- very classy and traditional banner over oval 4.0

A- black as night with a solid tan to brown head 4.25

S- roasted malt, coffee and cocoa 4.75

T- robust and flavorful, roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa bitter-sweetness 4.5

M-full bodied and very present, mild aftertaste leaves me in anticipation 4.5

D- a little heavy on the pallet but still a go to 4.25

O- one of the best English brews Ive had 4.5

long wait to try this one and liking it. Picked a winner here.
---- J

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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!

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Photo of dogin26
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

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

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Photo of truebluebums
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of South2NW
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
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...

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Photo of Radome
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of lochef81
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 770 ratings.