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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16
639 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 639 |  Reviews: 303
Photo of 123321123321
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of seedyone
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From bottle at home. Dated June 2017. I'm looking at over 750 beers reviewed & this is, without a doubt a singular event.

I'm a big McCallan fan, but shy away from the Big Peat stuff that I thought might overshadow this brew.

The aroma was licorice, bittersweet chocolate & coffee with the distinct smokey peat I expected. Perfect body. Medium-heavy with an unctuousness that bordered on oily, but wasn't.

That said, the aftertaste was the biggest surprise. It brought back a very distinct memory of the first time I repaired a bicycle tire tube. To get the glue to adhere properly you had to use the rasp on the lid of the kit container to roughen up the area around the puncture. The memory of that precise moment was awakened when to Ola Dubh hit my tongue. It was most surprising that it was the taste that brought back the memory of the smell of the freshly bruised rubber, not the aroma.

Freak factor aside, I found this to be a near perfect example of the depth & breadth of what out there in the world of craft. This is an event drink that is sure to bring those that share closer to an understanding of their similarities & differences all in the same snifter, of course

 1,185 characters

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

A: Poured into a snifter to a nice black beer topped by a half finger of dnese tan head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of smoke and roasted malts with a little oak.
T: Taste is a little chocolate with some smoke. Hints of caramel and some slight oak. Slight campfire and light fruitiness as well. Swallow is more smoke, some charred wood, chocolate, slight coffee, oak, and a slight hint of sweetness
M: This beer is on the heavier side of medium in body with soft carbonation which is adequate for the style. This one has a slightly drying finish as well which is expected.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer. I think I like the 12 a little better but this one is still really nice. It has good complexity and flavors which makes it an interesting drink. Well worth a try.

 848 characters

Photo of VoxRationis
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; bottle no. 00733, date June 2014.
A: Pours a very dark brown, essentially black. A one quarter inch, khaki head that dissipates rapidly, leaving good quality lacing.
S: Dark malts, black coffee, cocoa, whiskey, peat smoke, and bacon aromas.
T: Dark malts, cocoa, peat smoke, coffee grounds, and ham and peas flavors. Bitterness strong and solid throughout.
M: Full bodied with low to medium persistence of effervescence.
O: Interesting. Very reminiscent of a rauchbier. Not for every day, but reasonable for special occasions.

 598 characters

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Black-brown color with a small brown head and good lacing. Interesting smell and taste. Smell of oats and smoke. Smooth and silky feel. The taste is hard to define but sophisticated: raisin, chocolate, oats, peat, earthy, a bit fruity. A very enjoyable beer.

 299 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jhfinn
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -14%
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.

 1,025 characters

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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 +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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 -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Zaphog
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of captaincoffee
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
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 -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of luke12345
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Marzen_Fan
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of vrtx64
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BenBreeg
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Scepter
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Radcpa
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 154 characters

Photo of sokol_1993
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 418 characters

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 639 ratings
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