Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

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

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Ratings: 836 |  Reviews: 384
Photo of cycoduck
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of russwbeck
3.37/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: 23296
Date: July 2009

A: Brown pour that isn't quite as thick as I was expecting. About a finger of light brown head rests on top, and lasts for a little while before receding into nothing.

S: It has a really nice smell. Roasty, whisky, complex and deep.

T: The taste really falls off. Perhaps this shouldn't have been purchased aged. It's thin, with a decent amount of roastiness, but no whiskey. Sort of a weird aftertaste.

MF: Too thin, under-carbonated. Very dry finish.

O: I thought it was pretty drinkable, but not all that good. Thought this would be way better. Hopefully that isn't true of the others in the series.

 637 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large, light tan head.
Nose shows smoky peat, burnt caramel, figs and nuttty notes. The smoky character seems to a have a burnt rubber note to it though.
Lots more smoky peat as part of the flavours however the caramel is more pronounced making for a more balanced mix of characters. Some booze is noticeable in the soft whisky notes alongside cola.
Could do with more carbonation, very low at the moment.
A bit too smoky with not enough malt to balance it out.

 480 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.42/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out much like the others in the series. The beer was very dark in color with a thin tan head that faded very quickly. The smell of the beer has a lot of whiskey/scotch aromas to it along with some other roasted chocolaty aromas. The taste of the beer was pretty strong to me, I found it to be more harsh than the others in the series. The mouthfeel was with out much carbonation at all, the feel was a little on the watery side. Overall I just wasn't digging this one too much.

 494 characters

Photo of arkansastroy
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of LowDrag
2.73/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep swamp water dark with light brown head. The head looked almost creamy immediately after the pour but had very little retention.

Glass: I used a goblet due to the fact that I wanted to get the full aroma.

Smell: Wood-fire cooked bacon, oak, tobacco leaf and a hint of whiskey.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as the color would suggest I was very disappointed.

Taste: Reminescent of a Rochefort 10 lacking the sweet undertones. This being my first barrel aged beer I was very let down. Aftertaste lasted longer than I am used to.

Overall: Not a beer that I would ever consider again. Being that it was my first barrel aged beer this may be more because I am not fond of the genre and less because of the beer.

 723 characters

Photo of Turbodog666
2/5  rDev -51.6%

Photo of Vylo
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Converge
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip. Bottle no. 01533, bottled in February 2011.

A - Over two fingers of thick, dark tan head. Pitch black. The head dies down to ring eventually, and leaves spots of lacing here and there. Near the end the beer shows its true color, which is a deep, dark mahogany hue.

S - Smokey. Lots of peat, oak, and some dark fruits. Prunes, raisins, and a light hop presence. Not quite at burnt as one might expect.

T - Strong smokey character as expected. A generous helping of peat, but not as much as the reserve 30. Woody, lots of oak, and a bit of dark fruitiness as well. Light bitterness in the finish, with a combination of roasted malt and hoppiness. Prunes are also present, with a bit of other flavors I can't quite pick out individually. Overall, this is good.

M - Big body with low carbonation. Works well with the flavor and style.

D - As already stated, not quite as good as the Reserve 30, but a great beer that was thoroughly enjoyable. Looking forward to the Reserve 16.

 1,017 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a mahogany hue on the edges, finger of dark mocha head, solid retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Dark chocolate and cherries, hint of oak and peat smokiness with the abv sweetness coming through nicely on the finish.

T - A rich brew indeed, roasted chocolate and nuttiness, oak and peat notes linger on the palette, some leafy bitterness also coming through with a hint of tobacco.

M - Low carbonation makes for a syropy brew, but suitable and on par with the rest of the Ola Dubh offerings I've tried.

O - A rich and bold brew, loaded with flavour. Certainly a after-dinner drink, and though a tad pricey it is well worth it. You will not be disappointed.

 687 characters

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of jbonapar
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thin hear, minimal lacing.

Smell is of oak and whisky barrels. very interesting.

Taste: Malty, roasted malts with a strong Whiskey barrel and oaky undertone. We drank this at cellar temperature and as others have mentioned, this REALLY brings out the wood and whiskey. Interesting for sure. Almost no strong hop flavor untill the end. Very very long lasting lingering oak flavor.

Overall a very unique brew and one that is certainly enjoyed on a cold winter night.

 496 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have only been saving this bottle since 2010, but it is a fascinating non-pint. Aromas and flavours have transformed 100% from fridge-cold as it has transitioned to the appropriate temperature. I realize that's a known fact, but anyone who doesn't enjoy oak tannins or whiskey flavours should drink this beer cooler than those that do!

A viscous pour of inky black that doesn't yield a lot of head. Mouthfeel is silky without being too coating or cloying. A decent carbonation and alcohol burn at the finish.

Aroma is heavy on "barrel", while I get more whisky in the taste than the scent. There's a lot going on in the aroma - oak, wet wood (?), even a touch of marmite (?!) - things I'll never be able to describe! The taste is better balanced with an initial oak dryness followed by a caramelized malt sweetness and ending with a lingering whisky finish. Very distinct.

A very different beer, and worth the premium price to try. That being said, I'm glad I don’t own a case of it.

 990 characters

Photo of benbou17
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of bkoch81
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of maxk
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle stamped "Bottled July 2011" into a snifter style glass. Consumed lightly chilled.

A: Very dark brown, bordering on black. Light only gets through the beer around the edges. There is a nice looking one finger, mocha colored head with loose, tiny bubbles.

S: Raisin, coffee and a smoky, burnt wood smell. The burnt wood is undoubtedly the whisky casks and is actually very complimentary to the coffee aroma. The raisin-y sweetness serves as a nice backdrop.

T: Very interesting flavors in this one. I get whisky and roasted malt initially. The whisky is a relatively prominent flavor, bringing out smoke and peat with a tiny bit of whisky astringency. It goes very nicely with a bit of the malt sourness which is noticeable. Coffee is very subtle here, along with a bit of sweetness which ties all of the flavors together.

M: Creamy and rich mouthfeel, somewhat like what a good stout or porter should be. Well carbonated, which adds to the creaminess.

Overall, this is a very nice beer. I would drink it in place of a stout at times. Right now as I drink it, I notice it has some of the warming qualities in my chest that I get with whisky. It makes a great brew for enjoying on a cold, winter day.

 1,224 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of ShuliShake
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
4.13 out of 5 based on 836 ratings.
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