Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12
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English Old Ale
Ranked #14
Ranked #2,383
4.15 | pDev: 11.33%
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 397 | Ratings: 873
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: Dark ruby/cola. Not much of a tan head on the pour.
smell: Char and roast up front. Some smoke and whiskey.
taste: Surprisingly sweet at first but finishes dry with some bitter char. Lots happening in this guy.
overall: Full, rich, interesting and tasty brew.

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Photo of Matonika
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a strong iron smell along with other minerals. It tastes of a wet gravel pit. The oak is there and offers some nice tannins and vanilla notes. With plenty of peat and mineral flavors coming from barrels And water. There is baking chocolate flavor also. I liked this beer a lot it is probably the most interesting beer I have had under 10 bucks. I would definitely buy again and can't wait to try a taste of all three barrels aged beers.

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Photo of Gryphon69
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle # 15565 / 2007

A- Black with a faint white head

S- Smokey, malt and then slight scotch

T- Smoke up front, almost charred wood, pretty balanced after that initial smoke hit, Malt and scotch swirl.

M- Soft, slippery

O- So ya I probably let this one sit to long, It has a overwhelming smoke/ peat flavor almost intense, malts and scotch follow up nicely after. The finish is a smokey mixture of malt and slight scotch. Still really good if you like heavy smoked beer.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for around $6.00 for a 330ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a tiny head that is gone in 30sec. Extremely dark.

S- Malt. Scotch. Molasses. Smoke

T- Faint Scotch base. Not overpowering and actually left me asking for much, much more.

M- Creamy good. Rather inspired ale.

O- Pretty good but lacking the real flavor that it can hold. Will try another older version to see if better

Food Pairing

This pretty good little stout went well with.... Smoked salmon and comb honey. Nice smattering of cheeses on the side with some crackers. Pretty nice blend that moves with the change in cheese.


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Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured into a goblet at room temp

look: black with a creamy 1 finger tan head. Decent lacing feet.

smell: subdued whisky aroma floats above a charry sweetness that whispers chocolate

taste: roasty with some coffee notes. Whisky is faint but noticeable.

feel: soft, not very carbonated. Smooth finish.

overall: tasty, good looking. What's not to like?

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/2012. Bottle No. 01510.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, caramel, toffee, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, whisky, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, smoke, wood, and slight whisky flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with really nice barrel aged characteristics that have held up quite well at almost 3 years old now.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

December 31, 2014

11.2 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Inky black, completely opaque, just traces of brown bubbles on the top with minimal head retention.

S – Vanilla and warm chocolate, very light impression of whisky. Roasted malts but not too coffee-ish. Very sweet with roasty bitterness. Hops are hard to find.

T – Bitter malts and sweet chocolate, very roasty, with a touch of coffee. Whisky/barrel character is mild.

M – Very thin, light carbonation nearing none. A bit hot with the alcohol. Sweet but the bitterness of the roasted malt provides some balance.

O – A bit thin and slightly harsh, from the alcohol mostly. A lot of interesting flavor, but a bit off-balance.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one quite a few years ago. I can’t remember who was responsible for getting this beer into my hands, but whoever it was, thanks very much for the brew!

From a 250ml bottle into a snifter
Bottled February 2010
Bottle 13,948
Best Before January 2013
Aged in oak casks that held Highland Park’s 12 yr. single malt scotch whisky
Name translates to Black Oil

APPEARANCE: This is indeed black oil. Pours out black and yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with great retention. Pitch black body with no visible carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a creamy cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Very nice. Roasted malts, chocolate, whisky, light oak and vanilla on the nose. Touches of dark fruits and notes of leather as well. Wonderfully layered. Lovely.

TASTE: Lovely again. Very flavorful with roasted malts, some sweet dark fruits, whisky and lightly peated smoky notes up front. More oak, lightly peated whisky and roasted flavors into the swallow, yielding a bold and lingering finish of more wood and peat, whisky, vanilla, some roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate as well. Some sweet fruits show up again and add another layer of complexity. This is outstanding. Wonderfully flavorful and plenty complex.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a slightly sticky finish on the palate. A bit of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Excellent. This is a flavorful, well balanced and complex brew with just the right amount of peat as well. Though I’ve never had it fresh, I can imagine letting it sit until after the best by date did no bit of harm. Perhaps a touch more weight and a slightly darker colored head would make this the perfect scotch barreled stout. If you’re a monster peat fan, this won’t quite satisfy your craving. However, if you enjoy layered flavors and can appreciate balance and subtlety, this will be right up your alley. Loved this. Cheers to whoever helped out with this.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a borderline pitch black color. The head isn't very impressive, at all. Less than a finger high (off-white in shade), and featuring lousy retention. Only a thin collar is left behind, without any lacing remaining stuck to the glass. (2.75)

Smell: Oh yeah. Nothing about this aroma is punching me in the face - but that's actually good. It's wonderfully subtle yet deep. Peat-laden smoke could charitably be considered the dominant note, yet not once does it overpower the senses. It melds beautifully with notes of dark chocolate and oak. Touches of darker fruit (i.e. raisins) and caramel also appear. Going by only the aroma, it seems incredibly delicate - and delicacy beats bigness any day of the week, my friends. (4.5)

Taste: Doesn't quite impress me as much as the nose did. It starts off much like Old Engine Oil does, with notes of dark chocolate and green-tasting hops. But that finish...pure peat. In the best way. The slightest hint of oak barrel ties everything together, becoming more amplified further down the glass. Make no mistake, it does a great job of tasting like a good scotch whiskey without burning like one. (4)

Mouthfeel: A bit thin - since it's an 8% barrel-aged beer, it's forgivable. The back end is quite smooth, and semi-dry (especially considering the carbonation is quite low). Not even a hint of alcohol can be found. While it's easy to drink, the structure of the flavor profile makes it more of a sipper. (4)

Overall: At $10, it's somewhat expensive for such a tiny bottle...but considering the way they blend together porter-y notes with the barrel, it somehow becomes worth it. No, it's not spectacularly deep, but it's balanced almost perfectly. I'll have to try the other (more expensive) variants to form a proper opinion on the series - right now, though, I'm enjoying the hell out of this. (4)

4.04/5: Very solid marriage of an English-style porter and scotch, and that's just the 12-year barrels!

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Photo of carlos_fleico
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%

330ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark opaque black color. Doesn't form a lot of head - about an inch of a firm tan head that dissipates relatively quickly, leaving behind some lacing. Very viscous.(4.25)

S: Dominant smoke aroma, roasted malts. Whisky woodiness, leather, hints of dark chocolate and coffee grains, brown sugar and some syrupy sweetness. Light booze, very rich aroma. (4.25)

T: Syrup-like sweetness upfront, strong roasted malts taste is dominant afterwards. Oak, whisky. Smoky taste, similar to whisky/bourbon malts. Chocolate and some bitterness in the end, boozy. (4.25)

M: Full-bodied, very rich. Decent carbonation, smoky aftertaste, heavy sensation in the mouth afterwards. (4)

O: Another great brew from Harviestoun. Old Engine Oil is still my favorite, but this one has a lot of the oak/whisky flavors to it. A very rich and interesting beer - would pair well with a steak with a strong sauce, or also a nice beer to have after lunch as a desert. (4.25)

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Photo of Dentist666
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours jet black beer with creamy tan one finger head. Absolutely outstanding smell - tender, milky, a bit peaty, coffee, chocolate. Flavour is viscous, peaty, whiskey, prunes, roasted malts, cofee, chocolate, all in excellent proportions, alcohol is well-hidden. Woody and mindblowing.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, chocolate, toast, brown sugar, roast, raisin, fig, brown bread, molasses, vanilla, oak, tobacco, leather, peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and whisky cask notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, raisin, fig, dark bread, molasses, vanilla, oak, peat smoke, tobacco, leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, roast, toast, dark bread, raisin, fig, tobacco, leather, vanilla, oak, peat smoke, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a white. Very nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and whisky cask flavors; with a nice balance of the oak character with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, moderately slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and whisky cask flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle into snifter

a: pitch black with half a finger of light tan head

s: whisky, vanilla, and smoke are pretty dominant in the nose here, but there are also notes of wood, chocolate, hints of coffee, and maybe even some syrupy sweetness. very nice

t: follows the aroma. up front is the whisky, smoke, vanilla, and wood. after that comes roasted/burnt malts, hints of toffee sweetness, and shy dark chocolate and coffee notes. the sweetness hangs around for quite a bit towards the end, but this beer does finish dry, leaving your mouth with a coffee-like bitterness and lingering smoky whisky flavours. zero alcohol presence. whisky, dark fruits (raisins, cherries), and the chocolate flavours dominate as the beer warms. zero alcohol presence. complex, delicate, and delicious

m: silky smooth medium body, nearly non-existent carbonation

o: fantastic beer. comes with a rather high price-per-volume but don't hesitate to pick this one up, especially if you dig barrel-aged beers

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; packaged in Feb. 2012 and best before Oct. 2015. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours an opaque blackish-brown hue, with an aggressive pour generating about one finger of dense, creamy, beige-coloured head. It recedes over the next few minutes, leaving behind a loose, sea-foamy cap and collar; not much lacing. The aroma is quite sweet and enticing, with hints of molasses, oak and vanilla, as well as some figgy dark fruit notes. Slightly smoky/peaty, with a whiff of alcohol.

This is almost sinfully tasty. Molasses and toffee sweetness start us off, leading into some dark chocolate and vanilla. Light fig and raisin notes then blend alongside an oaky, peaty flavour. Smoky finish, with a touch of whisky followed by some lingering wood smoke astringency. This brew has a nice warming quality - actually a little more than I'd expect for an 8% brew, but everything comes together nicely. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with rather weak carbonation that produces a smooth, slick coating on the palate. Great stuff.

Final Grade: 4.38, an impressive A. My only regret concerning Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 is that I neglected to pick up a second bottle of the stuff. This is a delicious ale that I would recommend highly to all BAs looking for a proper oak aged beer, and may also have some appeal to Scotch whisky fans as well. It's not cheap, but I don't mind paying for quality - and with that in mind, I'll have to keep an eye out for the other beers in the Ola Dubh series.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 330 ml bottle to a snifter.

Bottled in Feb 2012, enjoyed in March 2014.

A: Black, no light makes it way through this beer. There is almost no head to speak of, but instead when the beer is poured there is a feign of a head, a wisp of foam that disappears as quickly as you look at it. The result is a full glass of black liquid with a very tiny ring of brown bubbly foam on the outside.

S: malts, peat, leather, smoke, oak all working together to give a nice rich smell.

T: smoke, oak, malts, roasts/coffee and a slight vanilla sweetness on the finish.

M: fine carbonation and a fullish body but lighter than expected. Given the heavy nose and taste I would have expected a heavier beer, but did not get one.

O: I decided to let this bottle go after finding myself with a couple of the Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30s. I have to say, this is a damn fine beer, and my only regret is that I didn't wait longer to open it, as I feel it would have only gotten better. There is so much flavor and character in this beer that I wish it was a 750 ml instead of a 330 ml so that I could enjoy it longer. Now...if I can get the one away from my buddy that I know he has...

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Photo of spinrsx
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $7

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a tiny size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, smoke

Taste & Mouth - There is barley any carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some faint wood and smokey/peaty/meaty flavour.

Overall - A little thin/watery and the wood doesn't really show up much. I'm also not a fan of a smoked meat type flavour in my beer. I had higher hopes for this one.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014. Bottled in Feb 2010; bottle no. 00494. Picked up ages ago from Booths and stashed away in my garage to mature. Ale aged in casks that previously contained Highland Park 12-year old whisky, resulting in Harviestoun's famous 'Black Oil'.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears black as tar in the glass. Yields a decent head of creamy light-brown foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of rich, fruity malt with notes of roasted grain, prunes, dried fruit, molasses/caramel, brown sugar, a hint of whisky, mild vanilla and faint smokiness. Nicely balanced, with a touch of warming booze in the background.

Tastes of dark, fruity malt with a sweet character and a lingering finish. Notes of roasted grain, dried fruit, molasses, caramel, faint chocolate, brown sugar, mild smoke, subtle whisky, a twinge of vanilla and a hint of wood. A whisper of alcohol in the background but well hidden. Somewhat sweet, with a restrained, malty bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with very light carbonation and good body. A shade more effervescence wouldn't hurt. Mildly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of roasted malt, fruitiness and a hint of whisky.

Top-notch. As barrel-aged stouts go this is quite subtle, but the character is wonderfully integrated. Looks the part, with an aroma and flavour of rich roasted malt, dried fruit and subtle whisky highlights. The body is satisfyingly unctuous, though a little more carbonation would be nice. Delicious - a touchstone in UK barrel-aged brews. This should go on your must-try list.

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Photo of utfiero
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color- black oil. Medium head tinted deep mocha.

Aroma- roasty, chocolate, coffee, hint of vanilla, and mild esters.

Taste- A rich, mellow brew! Starts with a subtle date sweetness immediately moving into a rich, roasty body dominated by roasted notes, coffee, and hints of chocolate finishing with a long roasty yet hoppy finish. This gives Traquair House Ale (the best Scotch Ale I've found to date) a run for its money! The bottle notes the following: "Aged in selected oak casks, formerly used to mature Highland Park beautifully balanced 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky." Bottle No. 01207 dated July 2011. Purchased locally at Spec's.

Poured from 330 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 1/31/14.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh... Been looking forward to trying this one for some time. 330 ml bottle purchased from LCBO superstore at Summerhill for $6.15 CDN while in Toronto for exam preparation last August. Served chilled.

Appearance - Very dark brown, almost a charcoal color blended in as well. About 1 finger of off-white head that was very frothy looking. Little bit of soapy lacing left around the glass. This stuff really does look like old engine oil.

Smell - Wow. Slightly chocolaty, with a large, but not overdone smoke presence. I detected some dark fruit name figs and an hint of an unusual tropical element too. Some leather tobacco blend too. A lot going on here, which came together very nice for my flaring nostrils.

Taste - Smoke, earthy characteristics and a coffee flavor completely dominate this for me, as I'm not able to discern as many flavors as I was able to on the nose. Quite tasty but I found the taste lacked a bit of the well-rounded feature that was in the nose. Still pretty tasty but because of the intense flavors, a sipper.

Mouthfeel - Thinner than expected, but rather smooth and lowish carbonation. While still retaining a decent body, I still feel this was much thinner than expected especially given the flavor and aroma profiles.

Overall - A very good, yet rather different old ale, that really emphasizes smoke, probably one of the two or three smokiest beers I've had that isn't Rauchbier. And while the price is rather steep, this is one beer I'm glad I could say I tried, since it was a unique experience to me.

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Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
2.46/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Was curious about this one, but I thought the $8.75 price for a single was a bit high. Furthermore, the bottling date on the label was from July 2011 (this review takes place in January of 2014), but was totally assured by the salesperson that this beer was fine with a little aging (of course). Red flags aside, I bought it anyway. Eh...

I poured it in to a Chimay chalice and saw that this stuff looks like old motor oil. No problem though, I'm cool with that. Unfortunately that was last thing I was cool with concerning this beer. There was only a mild aroma and the beer tasted even less dramatic with very little carbonation. All in all this was a very bland, unremarkable beer that definitely wasn't worth the price. Cannot recommend.

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Photo of brureview
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark opaque black- brown with 1/2 F head in a Stone Old Guardian glass- a barley wine style glass which works well for Old Ales.

Smoke-plum from the bottle.

Immediate array of aromas from the glass: leather, smoke, plum, and tobacco- quite a mix.

The mouth feel is very carbonated-not too much- which enhances the style.

Taste: magnificent. Leather, smoke plum, tobacco, fig melded into a complex ale. It's only 8% ABV and tastes like 13% ABV beer.

As the beer warms, there is more smoke in the taste. The plum mellows. The tobacco and leather dissipate.

Even though it's 8%, it's a sipper. One has to take time to appreciate this beer.

Serve warm- 50-55F.

Next step- if I can find a bottle-Harvistoun Engine Oil.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

dark brown, slight head. smell is of bourbon/scotch and is very big. taste is hot..whiskey flavor with a tad of dark fruits. big beer that tastes like more than 8% ABV, full bodied for sure with a bit of carbonation...the right amount.

overall impressive for only 8%. recommended.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

in some ways I like 12 better than 16 or 18, the reason being, that it still tastes like beer. although some may say this is still more whiskey than beer, to me its the perfect balance. dark brown in color, rich for an old ale, same looks as the others with perhaps a little better head, but its been awhile and this one is on tap. the nose is great, woody and earthy and rich in malt profile, well roasted and toasted, not burnt but real dark. the whiskey isn't sharp, but mellow and clean, strong too, smells like more than 8% abv, that's for sure. the taste is great. tons of roast and body without any bitterness. the whiskey treatment is very effective, the beer has some charcoal to it, as well as vanilla and oak, but not in a sweet way, its more refined, more old school in some sense, more precise, more groovy, hard to describe. its all balanced up well, like the whiskey characteristics could be controlled independently of one another, you know, less vanilla here, more oak there, even though that's not possible, it seems that well dialed in. I prefer this to the 16 and 18 honestly, although I would still love to try the older ones, this is a genuinely great beer.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Le comptoir Irlandais, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark brown color with a tan foamed head.
Smell : roasted and chocolate malty aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : sweet and roasted malt flavors with notes of whiskey.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the English style Old Ale.

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Photo of Jjski
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle out of cellar, tasted at 57f into a wide rimmed pilsner glass. I'm wearing brown corduroy pants and a green sweater. The dog wants taco chips, my appetizer prior to tasting.

A-opaque black like an RIS, 2 finger head with aggressive pour which then recedes to mocha colored lacing

S- peat, prosciutto or medium rare bacon, smoke faint ethereal whiskey. Fascinating!

T- not as deep or complex as the smell : peat smoke dominates Carmel undertones, very little whiskey. Hops? Nope, more smoke at the end. Barrel oak

M- nice but not great, but for an 8% brew it is spot on.

O- the peat and prosciutto smell are the best attributes, taste does not equal. A special, unique beer but a bit tame for our American blistered palates. Subtle and lacking true whiskey flavor. Even the nose barely discerns the whiskey unless you count the peat smoke.

I like old ales, barley wines etc. this one is good if you like peat smoke scotch whiskey aromas and enjoy bacon with your beer.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 873 ratings