Old Engine Oil Special Reserve (Aged In Malt Whiskey Casks) | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

very good
182 Reviews
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Old Engine Oil Special Reserve (Aged In Malt Whiskey Casks)Old Engine Oil Special Reserve (Aged In Malt Whiskey Casks)

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-27-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 201
Photo of ngandhi
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The original OEO is chocolate malt-laden decadence. The Special Reserve is pomp and circumstance. The brew is tainted, not infused, with off-flavors of whiskey that lend an odd green raisin, olive, and old sock nose.

There are some tart vinous qualities on the tongue muted by an overbearing cocoa sweetness. There's an element of pinot noir presented by light notes of (mostly dark) cherry, plum, and loud, loud prune that later comes to dominate the brew. More aggressive and this might be along the lines of a shiraz. But I do not mean to suggest that these flavors characterize the beer; they are secondary and even tertiary components. The longer OEO SR settles, the more the prunes dominate. If you think hard enough, you might get some dried dates as well. It isn't evocative and, after a while, it isn't even pleasant.

I've had scotch aged in sherry and port casks and the good ones always showed their experience (the wood) first, and then showed what they'd learned, how they'd come into their own. While some sour notes in OEO Special Reserve kind of make me think of whiskey, I hardly find it worth the effort. And if these prune notes come out of the aging, then they should have scratched the plans long ago.

The finish is a bit charred, chocolatey, and absolutely delicious when it garners up the strength to punch through the dark stone fruit. Unfortunately, this wholly unbalanced beer gives us no time to enjoy the good stuff.

Relax, relax.

 1,477 characters

Photo of cokes
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Virtually black with just traces of purple where the light is allowed to penetrate. Small but enduring tan lacing.
Nose is full of chocolate, candied plums, brown sugar, and oak.
Begins sweet and stays that way. Much like the original, but different too. Molasses and plums are primary. Apricots are featured as well. So is brown sugar-coated tobacco and gooey green raisins. Some of that unmistakeable whisky tang too. Woodiness enters as this struggles to dry itself out. Herbal, tea-leaf hopping is dwarfed by the sweetness.
Lighter than medium body with stunted carbonation.
When the sweet tooth is nagging, I'll go for this again. And only then.
Unbalanced and unique and better than the standard edition.

 717 characters

Photo of ADR
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with red light transmission at the bottom. Flat creamy head of 1/4 inch, decent duration, and leaving spotty laces. Aroma is nice, rum-like molasses combines with a fleshy fruit sensation. Low carbonation and flattish mouthfeel, a little too sweet at first. Flavors are initially prune danish, raisin, with a lot of caramalized sugar going on. The finish is the most dissappointing, the body seems to evaporate and leaves nothing but an overly sweet fruit cake impression behind. If possible, this seems even sweeter than the original is, and that's one that pushes it to me.

 586 characters

Photo of mschofield
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours fitting to the name, for all intents it is black and there is no head to speak of. The aroma leaps out at you, whisky soaked chocolate.
A whisky flavor underneath burnt raisins, a bit of chocolate liquer and licorice.
Flat in the mouth, and thinner than expected.
Not my cup of tea, but I could see people liking this one, it's worth a try.

 349 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color, dark as the naked November sky, with a thick, creamy toasted cocoa-tan head, that softly simmers down.
Aroma: sharp and whiskeyish at first, quite outstanding, thick and syrupy, dark and twisted, with hints of anise and spice, dark rum, and the darker, stickier fruits (rasins, dates, etc). I like it!
Taste: treacly sweet at first, thick and fruity, with very little hops involved, but solid, tremendous malt. Reminds me some of Samuel Adams Triple Bock. Halfway through, the taste is smoother, easier to take, yet still resounds with dark, whiskeyish sensations. The a potent bite at the end, a profoundly prunish character that clings to the tongue and plays awhile in the mouth. I, for one, liked it. Quite a unique little brew, a nice change-up for now and then.

 787 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is damn near black. Only a small bubbly brown head is formed on top. Intriguing. The smell is quite sweet and quite chocolatey. Black licorice, anise and molasses come to mind as well. Pretty nice aroma. Mouthfeel is pretty flat but not off putting. Body is medium full. It's a little syrupy. The taste is sweet and bitter. The sweet hits the tongue first. Syrupy malt presence. Candy. Raisins. Decent, but nothing spectacular. The bitter part is the aftertaste. Some burnt tones linger. Whisky alcohol tones are present, but not overbearing. Some definite chocolate tones. Pretty rich overall. All in all, a good try, but I've had many better "whiskey barrel" brews.

 677 characters

Photo of nomad
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pitch black, with a very thin head of boiling bubbles, an archipelago of islands of stain, yet unimpressive lace.

Smelled of smoke, dark malts, and an oak tone that abounds. Opened to a vinuous fruit tone with quite grapey esters. Taste has mellowed out compared to the original version, as it tasted fruity like aged barley, showing a serious grape tone. The malt and nut tones are well developed into smooth and subtle characters this time around, while some whisky tones show in the finish as well as a brisk bitter graininess - they seemed closest to black malts though quite smooth. Easy to drink, but not for me as the overall impression is fruity sugar overtaking subtle notes of other things.

“Aged in malt whisky casks for six months” says the label, it was more complex than the regular but not as tasty. Too thinned and sweetened out.

 853 characters

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Old Engine Oil Special Reserve (Aged In Malt Whiskey Casks) from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
3.85 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
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