Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16
636 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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Ratings: 636 |  Reviews: 302
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!

 472 characters

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

Photo of Lucnifter
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnTurano
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of daydesiang
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: roasted dark malts, bitter chocolate, peated. Appearance: black color and beige head. Taste: low herbal bitterness, bitter chocolate, peated, bonfire, smoked notes, burnt malt, quite dry. Palate: medium body and medium carbonation, peated finish. Overall: It is a really good stuff, amazing peated notes, smooth and complex. **Copied

 340 characters

Photo of Offa
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a great old ale. I had a bottle from Aug. 2010 and drank it on 10 Dec. 2012, reviewed here from notes in an effort to deal with some old backlog.

Black, smallish tan head soon thinning to frothy ring and wisps.
Aroma - strong whiskeyish, rummy stewed very dark prunes, dried figs, sour chocolate.
Taste - bittersweet dry chocolate, dry roasty woodiness, nice rummy fig/raisin sweetness underneath. Overall, fairly dry and roasty, lightly sour, lightly smoky, great.

 476 characters

Photo of madelf66
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of MichialTanner1
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drahodo
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of g_rat
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: jet black, opaque, thin brown head with moderate lacing

Smell: sweet malts, caramel, honey, vanilla, and oak. Possibly the best smell ever!

Taste: tastes like coffee with fresh milk creamer, notes of vanilla, almond, and hazelnut. Finishes with a charred oak and whiskey aftertaste with a slight burn that is not overpowering at all.

Feel: fairly thick and sticky, minimal carbonation.

Overall: Bottle No. 14936 Dated May 2014. Amazing beer! It's a great stout beer as a base with just the right amount of whiskey aftertaste an the right flavors to make an excellent balanced beer.

 592 characters

Photo of MatthewWalters
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Foley67
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of Jimmys
2.74/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

11.2 fl oz bottle. bottle no. 05410. Sept 2007.

A: pours still practically. opaque. dark brown, very dark brown.

S: a lot of autolysis in the aroma. really heavy on the soy sauce. trying to find more, but cannot get past this aspect.

T: flavors cover up the harsh aroma. some mild peat, mild char. very mellow but still very present. you can certainly tell this came from a scotch barrel. finish is bitter dark chocolate. I don't think there is a lot of fruit here, bitter dark malt/roast flavors preside.

M: very still, essentially flat. medium/full bodied. slick and thick all at the same time.

D: I stumbled upon this and a couple other Special Reserves all at once. purchased the 21 and this to do a side-by-side, got home and then realized one was 7 years older than the other, not to mention 9 years old from now. not that that is going to stop me from drinking this! unfortunately, past its prime with the high level of autolysis. however glad I am still getting some aspects of the delicious Highland Park barrel.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Khouston
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Beginner2
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ambruns1979
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Zythophile
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle Date: May 2014
Palate Contaminants: none

If it looks good, buy it. Unless you already have too much. (Note from later: I try to be optimistic.)

Appearance is very dark, and there's not much lacing in the glass, either.

Smell is pleasant for such a dark brew. If there's one thing that could roll it all up into one, I'd say semi-sweet, fresh rye bread.

I had high hopes with the smell, but the taste isn't nearly as nice. I'm under the impression that this is one that should age okay, so I can't just write it off; it's one for the record. It's palatable, but I won't be looking for more. Basically, start with your basic Guinness, make it a little thinner, add a little bitterness, and then a heaping dose of charred barrel. This might make a great marinade.

At least, this is my bottle. Your mileage may vary.

Feel is thin for a dark beer.

Here's hoping my bottle of 18 is better.

 897 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 636 ratings
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