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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
BA SCORE
4.13/5
Exceptional
637 Ratings
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
harviestoun.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,886
Reviews:
302
Ratings:
637
pDev:
10.17%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
113
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 637 |  Reviews: 302
Photo of oishiibiiru
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of MightiestBeard
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 09/2007. Swiss wine snifter used. Nearly 5 1/2 years old in the bottle, over 6 total.

Pours black with very little carbonation. A slight ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is powerful. Scotch is easily apparent. Sherry seasoned oak, "peat smoke" (I have never smelled peat but have drank enough scotch to understand what the term means for beverages), char, wood, and vanilla notes all meld together. In addition, there is a significant presence of aged dark beer that takes the form of oxidized port wine and savory meat aromas. This should be interesting.

The flavor is much less oxidized than I thought it might be from the nose. The smoke is much lass "peaty" and is more pronounced. More like a smoked piece of meat. No grain flavors are left, and the savory aspect is apparent. A touch of old dark fruit and a little sweet makes an appearance, but the smoky flavors dominate. I can't say that I taste "scotch" itself, however this certainly tastes as if it was aged in scotch barrels as opposed to bourbon or just oak. I do believe I can pick up a little sherry-seasoned oak, but that might be my imagination.

The mouthfeel shows little carbonation, but a thick medium-full body. Age may have proved a weighty opponent, but this beer must have had some serious body to begin with to have this much left now. nice overall feel that stays nice as it warms.

Conclusion: I love old beer. And I love it more when it still tastes this good! Not exactly what I expected, and all the savory flavors are a bit disappointing, but overall this is a fantastic 6 year old beer. I have wanted to try this for a long time. Now I want to find a fresher bottle!

 1,676 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of cvm4
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Feb. 2012

A - Pours pitch black dark with a dark tan head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - Picking up smokey, peaty, roasty and slight metallic.

T - Oaky, smokey, peaty and vanilla. A very scotch like finish with dark fruits & light chocolate.

M - Very smooth & creamy. ABV is well hidden. Not a thick or chewy beer by any means.

O - Pleasant & enjoyable... If you like scotch, then give this series a whirl.

 423 characters

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Raime
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black as hell with a small mocha head with no light penetration. No lacing is left as well.

S -Molasses, peat, vanilla, white chocolate, alcohol.

T - Bourbon, white chocolate, peat, slight molasses. Surprisingly no burn from the aging in the Whiskey Barrels.

M - Body seems a bit watery. Seems decently oily with a medium amount of carbonation. Overall pretty lacking in this department.

O - Overall, I thought this was pretty spot on for an old ale. This particular one was bottled in July 2011 so it's about a year and a half old. I'd definitely have again.

 573 characters

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The difference between old ales and English barleywines often get blurred. This one is no exception. Has a mouthfeel not unlike a porter but with a malty sweetness, albeit soft and subtle, like a barleywine.

My first couple of sniffs exclaimed "licorice, anise...". Not a fan of licorice but it works with this brew. Thin mouthfeel and pours black as the darkest midnight.

I'm apparently a sucker for pricey beer. I'll have to add this one to the rotation...and age a few as well.

 482 characters

Photo of FunkyFibes
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of MaseFace
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of snowmaggedon
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of BMMillsy
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle from Gainesville HOB. Pours porter or stout like, with no head whatsoever. Smell is faint, maybe a bit of scotch and a bit of dark fruit, a little bit of peat and motor oil. Flavor is chocolate, scotch, oak, smoke. More complex than I expected from the smell. Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation. This was really nice and smoky/roasty.

 355 characters

Photo of wd40
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #44676
July 2009

Sampled 2012

Interesting English style old ale with a smoke and peat flavors lent from aging in Highland Park 16 year old single malt scotch whiskey casks. Has a rich aroma of raisins, chocolate, and a little bit of leather. The aroma is very nice. The taste started off a little smokey for me, but mellowed a little and became much more enjoyable. The smoke is pretty well blended, but if it were a little more in the background I think I would give taste a higher rating. As it is, it is a beer worth a try. The base old ale is very good and the addition of the whiskey casks adds a lot of richness to the beer. Looking forward to having this one again in a few years.

 696 characters

Photo of let8it8grow
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of ltltony
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of CorneliusBunker
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of bluesplit63
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Tinfang
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.84/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Bottling date August 2010.

A Pours out black topped off with a mocha head.

S A very strong smokey peat with some faint chocolate. By far the best part of the beer.

T Some faint chocolate and a bit of roast are present however the strong peat character of the scotch dominates.

M A very thin watery mouthfeel.

Overall this is an ok beer that isn't worth the price. The base beer is completely dominated by the scotch barrel and it is incredibly thin almost like water. Overall this one is not worth trying at the price point its at.

 582 characters

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a generic tulip. Date is July 2011 num 05742.

A: Head is dense medium tan, very good retention. Body is black, even along the edges.

S: Metallic with hints of smoke and roast.

T: Much smokier than I anticipated. Really gets a nice sense of the barrel from the beer. Finishes with great stout flavor, while the char carries through the whole way. Nice and clean for 8%.

M: Dense, and not too sticky, works well for this style. Finish is actually very clean.

O: Could be more balanced in terms of barrel flavors, but nonetheless a treat to drink.

 580 characters

Photo of cooler4life
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #38619 Dated July 2009

A: Poured a midnight black color with little no head to speak of despite a rather aggressive pour. Delicate glass lacing is strung along the sides like icicle lights at Christmas time.

S: Starts with a sweet molasses and bourbon with essences of milk chocolate, sun burned hay and dates.

T: Standout. 3 years in the cellar has created a monster. Similar to the nose, but with a smoky, oaky flavors. The wood creates subtle hints of vanilla.

The ABV is nowhere to be found.

M: Delicate creaminess. For a 3 year old beer, the carbonation is slightly subdued, but that is to be expected. Has a fantastic warming sensation as it moves through the palate.

O: Fantastic beer, coupled with a cool evening and a fire pit, you have a match made in heaven.

 783 characters

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 637 ratings
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