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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12
BA SCORE
4.11/5
Exceptional
849 Ratings
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12
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:
Ola Dubh (or "Black Oil") is so named because it is gloopy and viscous. This limited release has been matured in casks from Orkney's award-winning Highland Park distillery to add complementary whisky notes to what is already an amazing brew. It is chocolatey with a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste.

Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was awarded a Double Gold medal at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007; it lends balance, smoothness and subtle smoke.

Added by Bitterbill on 02-17-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,079
Reviews:
388
Ratings:
849
pDev:
11.44%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
165
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 849 |  Reviews: 388
Photo of travelguy
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StormAles
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tomesco
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of steverx8
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beeragent
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MattSn
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Cramshawbar
1.96/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This well constructed beer will essentially hinge on one important question: do you like whiskey or not? It's that simple, because the whiskey taste is obviously overwhelming, even within this 12 year association (I can imagine the 40 year).
My answer is: I really don't like whiskey at all.
I knew this going into this $6 bottle (330ml), but I had to try it, because I will try practically anything.
I utterly hated this one. So very gross to me, that I had to pour most of it down the drain.
Sorry whiskey lovers.

 517 characters

Photo of Tony210
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: pours thin, black but not impervious to light. Minimal head with large foam bubbles.

Smell: some molasses, a little vanilla and whiskey, yeast.

Taste: sweet, roasty, chocolate malt , bittersweet chocolate, roasted espresso. Slightly bitter finish.

Feel: surprisingly thin

Overall: had to try it, very underwhelmed. Pricy for a 12 oz.

9/27/16
12 oz bottle
3.5 rating

 387 characters

Photo of Darwood77
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Borzov1982
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not a maximalist, but it's taste, aroma, style, alcohol, which you open once every 10 years and less often. I really liked it.

130 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Very dark brown with a slight head and decent lacing. Smell and taste of licorice and dark chocolate. Nice spiciness and even a bit of strawberry. Just a hint of the Scotch whiskey. A bit thin, but a very enjoyable beer.

 262 characters

Photo of Bdubz94
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle dated Sept 2014. Number 04803.

Pours pitch black color. Thin .5 finger dark tan head. Some retention.

Smells roasty and chocolaty. Some whisky as well. Definitely boozy on the nose.

Taste is like mellowed whisky. Definite booze and chocolate. Sweet with some dark fruit notes.

Feel is thinner than expected. A bit too watery for the style.

Overall an interesting take on the style. A bit too thin for my liking.

 431 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle no: 02106 Bottled on: FEB 2014
Opened on 7/23/17

A thick and oily black color. A small, brown foam cap forms, fizzles out to just a thin ring. As expected from a cask aged heavyweight.

The nose has some seriously remarkable aspects, such as: Honey bbq chicken, toasty herbs, toasty coffee, chocolate, oak/woody cask with a boozy effect and vanilla sweetness. Seriously complex.

A thick, smooth and oily body and mouthfeel. Once again, very expected from such a cask relaxed brew and with further aging of three years. A malty wonder, cocoa and dark roasted coffee, oak and vanilla cask and whiskey effects that seem very deep and rich in flavor and texture. Some mild heat rides on for a bit, dark wild berries and wood fire smoke carries on. Old leather, maple bbq sauce with a peaty, earthy and herbal backdrop and base.

This is seriously a righteously aged Scottish ale with rather deep complexity from the high quality oak casks and whiskey charecter. High quality.

 989 characters

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to snifter.
The appearance was a mostly dark brown close to black color with a finger's worth of eggshell white foamy head that slid off at a good pace. Lace seemed stringy and sliding.
The aroma had some whiskey, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, some earthiness, plums, ash/char, sweet wood/somewhat like oak, and a clean airy sort of red grapes.
The flavor started sweet and developed a fantastic sort of dried dark fruitiness rolling over top of some of that whisky sweet booziness. Aftertaste was malty sweet with the red grapes, oak/sweet wood and earthiness.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality as the alcohol notes were felt. Carbonation leaned out as expected but didn't bother me (I don't know the date of the bottle, but I do know this is aged). ABV did seem to keep to brewer's projections.
Overall, an absolutely wonderful take on an old ale. I'd love to have again.

 914 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(11.2 oz bottle, code 06589 FEB 2014... poured into a teku)

L: tall, two-finger width, tan-colored foam (with green-gray highlights) atop impenetrably black (deep brown) liquid... the foam quietly dies down into a messy, fish eye film, then later disappears, leaving only thin, pimply collar and random webby blots of lace

S: dark, molasses-y, hard-crumb cookie... overtones of sea air and ash... hints of charred, caramelized wood... marginally toffee-like aroma packed into the background... little boozy notes... the apparent depth and grit to the malt is tantalizing

T: aftertaste is charred coffee grounds, rust, dry grass, twice-baked molasses knuckles... immediate flavors are roasted nut, dark cocoa powder... bright but super-delicate, almost grappa-like thread of alcohol hanging in the finish... very little oak or whiskey character coming through, but what's there wraps around the gloriously grimy, gristly malt wonderfully

F: only subtle waves of warmth throughout the thorax, mild acidic tingle in back of throat... the body is moderately thick and dense, but not so much round or sticky-viscous... absolute dream on the palate - quiet, restrained, deadly easy to knock back in big gulps or bitty sips - an example of the magic of aging

O: this bottle had likely been at this particular store since 2014 - light blanket of dust on it and the other ones in the Ola Dubh range stocked beside it - I really need to put aside a rainy-day fund, enough to eventually (hopefully sooner than later) buy all of those bottles that are still sitting there along with the 2-3 dozen bottles of JW Lees Harvest variety on the neighboring shelf - I've at least gotta do a side-by-side tasting of each OD in the range - long over due... one of those beers that makes you re-evaluate the seemingly generous reviews of other beers you've made

 1,844 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought Ola Dubh 12, 16, and 18 at the store (a few of each). I liked all of them including this one, but I think Iiked 16 the best.

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

Aroma: roasted malts and some whiskey

Taste: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a distinct whiskey flavor. Compared to Ola Dubh 16 and Ola Dubh 18 it seems to have a slightly lighter body but it has a more distinct whiskey flavor. Like the other two Ola Dubh this one is also outstanding.

Feel: full stout-like body

 516 characters

Photo of archero
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TerryMills
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Taste of barrel and a little bit of peat but not too much , I dont like peat and this still taste good to me so its balanced.

Has the body of a regular stout but I would prefer a thick oily feel like an imperial on this type beer..

Glad I tried it and its a fine beer but for the price there are much better out there..

 322 characters

Photo of cts309
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tkdchampxi
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice stout-ish beer with a bit of a sour barrel quality. Interesting. Not as boozy or whisky-y as I'd like. Nice. Drinkable.

Very dark color with little head. Could benefit from smoother body

 193 characters

Photo of rspauldi
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 849 ratings
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