Ola Dubh 1991 - Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Ola Dubh 1991Ola Dubh 1991

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 7.04%
Wants: 12
Gots: 24 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Francepants06 on 07-16-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Ola Dubh 1991 is the first in our annual Vintage Limited Edition Series (we only produced 20,000 bottles). It is aged exclusively in Highland Park casks from 1991.
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 22
Reviews by WTKeene:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

(bottle no. 01956, date: April 13 - purchased at Binny's on Marcey - poured into a balloon - served 60+ F)

A: poured with almost a finger-width of khaki-colored foam, which swiftly faded, leaving a thin, bubbly collar... little action remains atop... seemingly impenetrably black liquid... scant lace - slides right back into the murky depths... 4

S: dark, semi-sweet chocolate... old unfinished wood... coating of vanilla around the edge... scrumptiously malty center with a delicate caramel core and a subtle whiff of salty booze... the aromas are monolithic and nebulous... medium+ intensity... 4.5

T: caramelized wood, bourbon... rise and fall of cookie-ish, cocoa-dusted malt... silky charcoal and ash swells in the aftertaste, settling into a roasted nut, subtle licorice, soft roasted barley, and a murmur of earthy bitterness... leather later emerges, however, the booze remains ghostly in the dimly-lit background... whisper of oxidation in the final moments... 4.5

M: medium-full body with a centralized, low-voltage, spirit-ous bite that softly hums for a minute, the fades... like a fleece blanket with an intravenous sedative... vaguely paper-dry... 4.5

O: yet another stunner in this look-alike series... a bit more oxidation and palpable age than the others - which is great!... was wondering when I'd come across that finally... looking at the bottle now, I had little idea this was as high as its 10.5% strength... perhaps the most satisfying of them all?... 4.4

Photo of tectactoe
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for splitting his bottle of this three ways. It drops into the glass like a black hole, completely collapsing any light nearby to the glass; pretty oily, thick, and viscous looking. There's a fine bubbled, tan colored head that settles itself out at a moderate pace before finally surrendering as a chunky tan collar around the glass.

So apparently this beer was aged in Scotch barrels? Not surprising to learn, as the aroma is full of incredible amounts of blunted smoke and peat. An elegant composition of burnt wood, tobacco, and charred leather joins the smoky party and feels right at home. It's very "dark-peaty" and "Scotch-y" without the icky, alcoholic nose-burn that can sometimes accompany barrel-aged beers.

Straight liquid smoke with the first sip. Grab a piece of meat, a leather shoe, and some bark from an oak tree, then toss that shit on a campfire until the smoke hits you in the face and starts burning your eyes from their sockets. Alright, maybe I'm being a little overboard, but my essence was not to overstate the "intensity" of the smoke, rather the richness, robustness, and overall complex and intricate presentation of it in the flavor.

Leathery and silky tobacco notes are prominent in the finish, even with a hint of light peppercorn and dry, finishing wood. Again, no real hint of "alcohol" Scotch, rather it seems the beer just stole the peaty characteristics from the barrel and left all the nonsense behind. Slick, smooth mouth feel with a medium-heavy body. Not as creamy or thick as it appeared, but still very acceptable for the style.

Wow, what an interesting and lovely beer... I haven't really tried anything quite like this one before, so I don't have much to compare to. The smoke and the peat is unlike any other. It's not so much fatiguing or intensive as it is refined and polished, yet it does account for almost the entire flavor profile. If you're a fan of smoky things, you'll love this stuff.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some transparency. Pours with a small khaki head that doesn't last.

Smell - Peaty scotch. Sweet caramel. Slight roast.

Taste - Peat. Oak. Sweet caramel and chocolate. Some roast blends with the sugars.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation. Sweet. Kinda heavy.

Overall - Not sure how well this distinguishes itself against the others, but it's good.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.16 ounce bottle, bottle #00678, April 13. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like Scotch whisky, peat, dark fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla, and some tobacco. It tastes like roasted malt, Scotch Whisky, peat, vanilla, dark fruit, wood chocolate and smoke. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and smooth with low/moderate carbonation. I think this is a pretty tasty brew, I liked it. It's pricey at $15.99 a bottle, but if you like Scotch Whisky barrel aged brews then you should definitely pick this one up. That and pretty much any Ola Dubh beer will be a good one!

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color - traces of red are visible near the bottom of glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high frothy beige head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of smoked peat are present in the nose; these become a little stronger as the ever warms up.
T: The taste very much follows the nose and has lots of flavors of smoked peat from the whiskey barrel aging along with notes of charred oak. As the beer warms up, the flavors gain complexity.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation and faint hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is incredibly well balanced and has the perfect amount of flavors from the whiskey barrel aging that prominently stand out but don't overwhelm the beer. It also hides its alcohol exceptionally well.

Note: Bottle No. 927

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

oh wow
The whiskey and the stout
it's chocolate melting on your tongue

When will we see your like again

Photo of dbrauneis
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: Bottle No. 09376

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some very dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that reduces ti a large patch of medium thick film including some moderate sized bubbles and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of smoked peat, charred oak, and a lighter aroma of whiskey.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of roasted malts with a touch of caramel/toffee sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of smoked peat, charred oak, and light flavors of scotch whiskey. Light amounts of bitterness that fades slowly.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming.

O: Pairs really nicely with chocolate, well balanced with very well hidden alcohol. Extremely well balanced and the whiskey barrel aging adds a lot to the beer without overwhelming the flavors. Really amazing.

Photo of BradC
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with a head that quickly fades. From bottle 03870, bottled 4/2013.

Smells of scotch, vanilla, oak

Tastes of scotch, vanilla, oak and a touch of peat. Alcohol is well hidden.

Very little carbonation, smooth and pretty easy drinking.

Overall, very tasty and the third ola Dubh I've had and probably my favorite. Expensive price tag means I won't go crazy to tey it again, but it is worth trying at least once

Photo of Francepants06
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It is a very typical beer from their Ola Dubh line. They only made 20,000 bottles of this special 1991 limited edition. It smelled of oak and light smoke. It tasted of vanilla cream, oak, smoke, char, and some dark fruits as well. It was a medium to full bodied beer. Overall, a very good beer, I wish I would get to taste it side by side with the other Ola Dubhs. All I need is a bottle of the 40 and I will have completed my collection.

Photo of champ103
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours dark black, nearly opaque. A two finger tan head forms, and sticks around for a minute. The foam gently recedes to a ring with plenty of lace.
S: Oak, light smoke and peat. Big vanilla and milk chocolate aromas. Distinct peat and wood aromas lingering again. A heavenly malty aroma.
T: Again, big on the malty flavors, as one would expect from these series. A bit more roasted malts than the nose. Some coffee at first, then the wonderful barrel flavors. Oak, peat, big milk chocolate and vanilla. So well integrated, and I love it.
M/D: A medium to full body. Well carbonated, and silky smooth. Not overly viscous or resiny that is the downfall of many similarly weighted beers. A treat to drink. I love how simply amazing this is to sip on.

Like all the Ola Dubh's, just simply amazing. Still one of my favorite series around. The label says this is "cask strength" which is either really unique for a barrel aged beer, or a gimmick for the label. Either way, another great offering in this line.

Photo of Damian
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drink from a 11.16 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Harvest Wine & Spirits, West Hartford, CT
Bottle No. & Date: 00443 April 13
Served in a snifter

Dark brown appearance. A bit thinner than in body than anticipated. The liquid was topped by a one-finger tall, frothy, saddle brown head. The head quickly dissipated to a clingy, bubbly ring. A wall of spotty lacing coated the glass after every sip.

The aroma was dominated by dry, chalky yeasty notes initially. This reminded me of smelling the dregs at the bottom of a bottle conditioned beer. Somewhat smoky with hints of tar and char. Touch of cocoa. Toward the drink's end, the yeastiness subsided and the sweet, Scotch barrel notes came forth. Brown sugar, cocoa and peat were detectible as well.

The flavor profile was much more interesting and intense. Sweet up front with indications of brown sugar, cocoa, and deep, dark malts. Slightly ashy. The Scotch barrel notes really came through strong. Loads of intense, peat smoked malts. Black coffee was noticeable in the center. Some char appeared in the moderately boozy finish. Touch of acridity. Earthy hop notes lingered after the swallow.

The mouthfeel was rich, smooth and creamy. Frothy and supple. The liquid contained a mellow, tongue blanketing effervescence.

This is a really interesting old ale with an intense, peaty and smoky Scotch barrel character. At $15 a bottle, however, it is a pricey indulgence.

Photo of dar482
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out in a black color with almost no head.

The aroma is huge of barrel character, more than many other beers I’ve tried. It’s smokey, oak, leather, tobacco, earthiness, vanilla.

The flavor follows with the woody and smokey notes from the aroma. There is not much sweetness, but instead more earthiness and dense bourbon notes. It’s quite a huge and boozy beer despite being 10.5%, or smaller than some other barrel aged beer options.

A lovely beer that really just show what whiskey barrels can do to a beer. Tons of complexity and huge flavors in this.

Photo of RockAZ
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OMG! 1991 Vintage on DRAFT! Smooth whiskey/scotch taste and smell, one of the best beers I have ever had. Black as ink, firm brown foam, heavy consistency to liquid but not oily. Many brewerys have tried to do a whisky barrel aged beer but this one is done right.

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter; bottle #06105, bottled in 4/2013. Pours pitch black color with a small dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toast, toffee, dark bread, oak, whiskey, leather, light tobacco, light peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toast, dark bread, toffee, oak, whiskey, leather, light tobacco, light peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toast, dark bread, toffee, oak, whiskey, leather, light peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and oak barrel flavors; with a great roasted malt bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible old ale! All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Bottle No. 03675. Bottled April 2013.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt, roasted malt, peat, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet smoke, cocoa, and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice barrel aged and smoke qualities all around.

Photo of ADZA
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quite an expensive little bottle but I had to have it and pours midnight dark black hue with a half finger brief head and a touch of lacing but not much at all really,the smell is oak,whiskey and chocolate malts and suprisingly the whiskey is not as dominant as expected,the feel is full bodied with minimal carbonation and from the feel it gives the impression that its not one for ageing and the tastes are chocolate malts,herbal hops and oak aged whiskey all synced in a beautiful harmony and overall it's quite the drop but very exxy cheers.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle #01212. Pours like motor oil with just a bit of ruby sunlight passing through the edges. No head whatsoever. Aroma of dark rich chocolate, peat, booze, smoke, leather, tobacco. Smells pretty intense. Flavor is big smokey peat and some sweet dark chocolate. Slight dry oak, salty soy sauce, and a lingering scotch on the palate. A bit more harsh than the 16 I had. Thick but with a bit of prickly carbonation. Was hoping for a little more thickness but overall an interesting sipper.

Photo of heygeebee
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours pitch black, thick from the bottle, No head on pour, but with swirl the head appears and fades to spotty lace/film.

S - vanilla, scotch, oak/barrel, hint smoke.

T - smooth, vanilla, velvet, malt driven, smooth roasts, hint scotch, coffee.

M - very low carbonation, medium, not oily.

O - superb, the barrel component shines but everything sits together nicely.

Photo of acevenom
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours black with a thin, quickly dissipating dark chocolate colored head. No light passes through it. The beer has a mild alcohol aroma along with some vanilla, oak, and dark chocolate. There's also some smokiness. The beer has a nice smokiness up front with plenty of flavor from the oak. I get some vanilla and dark chocolate notes. I do get some alcohol in the flavor, but this is not strong. The casks provide plenty of strong flavor for this beer. Some dark fruits come out more as the beer warms. The body is medium with low carbonation. The beer goes down smoothly for such a big beer. The drinkability is dangerously high. This is an excellent beer.

Photo of pkalix
3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

intense aroma of smokey band aids......
same as in the taste, but with some whisky, too.... I don't like the band aid flavor. I like this lineage, I like this brand, this series..... but this one is too smokey for my tastes..... I get the peat. I get the vanilla. it's beautiful when poured into the glass....

Photo of hosehead83
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a small, but rather expensive bottle into a wine goblet.
Deep, dark black in color, with a short, sturdy cap of tan foam.
Aroma-Boozy dark chocolate
Taste-Shape-shifting qualities of smoke, dark chocolate, spiciness, wood, leather and warming alchohol. Rich and complex but very smooth for the strength. A perfect "cigar beer" to relax with.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

$19.99/11.16 oz bottle at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
1991 limited edition oak caskbottle # 902 at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of whiskey and oak
Head average (3 cm), light brown, creamy, very slowly diminishing
Lacing - initially none – after the halfway point very wide arcs of tiny bubbles appear on the glass
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor is really hard to describe – there is a slight whisky taste and some vanillin and soy; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4.125. Final weighted score: 4.25
This is a very smooth ale with the alcohol well hidden. Is it worth the price? IMHO, no. It has a decent appearance, aroma, flavor, and palate, but is not exceptional. Will I be buying more? Nope.

Ola Dubh 1991 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
94 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.