Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 02-15-2008

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Ratings: 630 |  Reviews: 299
Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the best wife a guy could have for this Christmas present, the last of a four pack of random, pricey beers received last winter. 11.2 oz bottle #11521 with a label date of May 2014.

Nary a whisper breaks the anticipatory silence as the cap pops off, but there is minimal head with a hard pour. Black trench coat gives off a more stout than old ale attitude. Smells wicked. Malts soaked in leather & raisin treacle. No barrel.

Ola Dubh 16 is more continental than the Free City of Danzig. Smokey, burning peat whiskey is on top of this beer (why couldn’t I smell that?) & wound tightly into its DNA. The beer itself is a shadow of the wood & whiskey (what a great band name), with the aforementioned old leather, raisins, Shasta cola, finishing with a grain of roast. Thick & heavy for a sub-10% brew. This would pair well with a fire, warm night & topless…wife.

Interesting beer that leaves my bell only partially rung; glad I had it, but wouldn’t pay a premium for any others in the series. Good beer.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased the Ola Dubh special reserve 16 and 12 for – I have to admit I was intrigued by the description on the label.
The 16: pours a deep dull black with scant khaki head, mild effervescence with swirling and minimal lacing.
Smells of dark roast malts, earthy peat, some vanilla notes with just a hint of leather, wet burlap and smoke.
Tastes is surprisingly malty without being sweet, the peat and flat notes predominate, hints of coffee, caramel, vanilla, very mild whisky notes and some woody notes. Well balanced throughout – with a very clean finish. The textures is full bodied, somewhat viscous with just enough carbonation.

Overall, this was a pretty solid ale – captures the peat and whisky notes – quite a contrast to the sweet stouts aged in whisky barrels to which I’ve become accustomed – but overall, quite good. Balanced, mature – not as sweet as the aroma would suggest – a pretty solid ale.

 930 characters

Photo of BamfBacon
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought Ola Dubh 12, 16, and 18 at the store (a few of each). This is an Old Ale matured in 16 year old whiskey barrels, ABV 8.00%. I liked all of them especially this one.

Look: black with an almost non-existent mocca colored head.

Aroma: nice aroma of roasted malts and some whiskey

Taste: There's roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a moderate whiskey flavor. I think it is outstanding.

Feel: full body like a stout, smooth

 434 characters

Photo of Gemini6
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Zaphog
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of captaincoffee
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep and dark with a smallish but dense tan head. Surprisingly only spotty lacing. Nose has coffee, burnt toffee, and slight earthy and peaty notes. Flavor is not as sweet as nose suggested. Coffee is there along with a touch of peat. A tad short on the finish. The scotch barrel influence always seems to fall short compared to bourbon barrel because the scotch barrels have likely seen many more uses and no just single use like bourbon. Nice mouthfeel. Overall, very good and very well rounded, and I actually liked this a bit more than the 18. Still can't beat Old Engine Oil on cask...but that's a very different beer.

 630 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of luke12345
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Marzen_Fan
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of vrtx64
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BenBreeg
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Scepter
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Radcpa
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light brown appearance with little head but just the right amount of carbonation. Complex aroma with a slight nutty coffee hint. Excellent nutty flavor.

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had one on Jan 1st. Happy new year!
Look: pitch black, with little head but good lacing.
Smell: Molasses, burnt sugar, some malty taste.
Taste: Dominantly molasses, but also some spiciness, licorice, with a distinct burnt malt bitterness. Creaminess. Little hoppiness. Very chewy and viscous.
Feel: viscous and luscious, full body. Great after taste.

Excellent brew, I'd rate it higher than its brother Ola Dubh 12.

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Couldn't have been happier with this beer. Bottle from 2012.

Black as night. No head.

Great coffee, scotch and malt aroma. Bitter chocolate and almonds were there as it warmed.

Scotch character but no boozy burn, smooth malt and bitter chocolate. Sourdough bread and nutella.

Slick as hell, very drinkable.


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Photo of DamienI
2.25/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of RobinLee
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Schimms
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured into a large snifter - no head whatsoever. Inky black.

S: Smells of faint whisky and roasted malt.

T: Subtle peat, roasted coffee, sweet dry plums. Interesting how the whisky is more prevalent than other ales. Great roasted flavor at the end. Juicy up front with a large burst of flavor. Little to no alcohol burn or flavor.

F: Dry, thin to medium.

O: A great whisky barrel aged ale. Great for anyone that loves the roasted malt combined with whisky!

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a chestnut brown color with super fine bubbles that make up the thinly covering head.....the only real unfortunate part of the look. Lacing is oily in nature....overall not a hugely impressive look but it will do.

S- Semi sweet dried fruits, such as figs, and slightly of raisins, alongside burnt brown sugars, bitter chocolate, oat flakes, coffee, licorice root, vanilla, and some mild smokiness!

T- The flavors follow the aromas closely with plenty of toffee/molasses stickiness and a bonfire wood flavor about it....like a mild version of liquid smoke, dried prune/raisin/fig...rich and mature, bitter dark chocolate, creamed coffee, vanilla smoothness, some nuttiness, deep cane sugar, honeyed oak...the finish is robust and lingering on the palate like a smoked meat...very nice!

M/O- This is a very smooth bodied, with tight carbonation and this really does have its' own unique character. Drinkablility is good, but after one bottle I am good and ready to move on....well balanced overall and the alcohol is well hidden....I would recommend this with an old cheddar and/or dark chocolate on a cold evening!

 1,127 characters

Photo of BrownBottle
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Fettpopps
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin head that dissappears quickly, but leaves light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, molasses, brown bread and light smoke. Flavor of dark, lightly toasted malt, chocolate, molasses, smoked peat, hints of oak and dark dried fruit. Finishes with lightly peaty mellow dark malt. Medium bodied with slight creaminess and light carbonation. Flavor is dark and complex, but relatively subdued and mellow. Dark malt with chocolate is the dominant flavor, with only hints of fruit. The peat from the scotch barrels is mild at first, but creates a nice lingering light finish. A classic old ale that well balanced and smoky.

 734 characters

Photo of fehrminator
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
4.12 out of 5 based on 630 ratings.
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