Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Old Ale
Ranked #8
ABV:
8%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,256
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 10.07%
Reviews:
232
Ratings:
426
From:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
 
Scotland, United Kingdom
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  103
Gots
  92
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30
Notes: Every bottle of this extremely limited Ola Dubh 30th Anniversary Ale has been individually numbered. Our ale has been aged for up to six months in first fill sherry butts, formerly used to mature Highland Park's award-winning 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. These hand selected butts add subtle whisky notes to what is already a complex ale with its chocolatey mouthfeel and distinctive bittersweet finish. The high ABV has been deliberately created to stand up to, and blend with, the intensity of flavor created by the infused wood.
View: Beers
Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 426 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled June 2013; drank 4/16/14 @ the Kid's.

Murky brown liquid; purple 'round the edges.

Minimal tan head; no lace.

Banana & strawberry nose; hint of caramel & smoke.

Thick, flat mouthfeel.

Cherries, smoke, caramel & oak.

Bold & very delicious.

Jun 17, 2019
Photo of zonker17
zonker17 from Texas

3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

June 2013 bottle 00754. This one got away, well past prime. No head, black, no lacing. Nose has scotch, little roasted malt. Taste is oxidized malt, some elements of barrel. Flat.

Mar 04, 2019
Photo of connecticutpoet
connecticutpoet from Connecticut

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – zero head over a clear but nearly opaque dark brown body.

Aroma – strong sweet molasses and honey, raisins, woody, hints of whiskey and vanilla.

Taste – woody, light sweet molasses, almost a brown sugar flavor, light bitterness and a hint of roasted black coffee.

Mouthfeel – very smooth and easy drinking

Overall – very good, maybe not as good as the 21, maybe on a par with it

Jan 20, 2018
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999 from North Carolina

4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black, no head at all.

The smell is malt and smoke.

The taste is sweet malt and smoke. The smoke is subtle but the malt is very sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied.

Overall this is decent sweet beer, definitely a desert beer.

Nov 14, 2015
Photo of khmel
khmel from Ukraine

4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Mostly opaque, oil black. Slippery looking.

S: Oak, whiskey, slight roasted malted.

T: Whiskey, oak, roasted malt, light hops in the finish.

M: Slippery whiskey feel, smooth, medium body, hardly any carbonation, alcohol burn in finish.

A truly enjoyable whiskey flavor and nose!

Aug 27, 2015
Photo of manfromanotherplace
manfromanotherplace from New York

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

For 17 bucks a bottle i was expecting big things, especially as i was a fan of the other ola dubhs.i then did a full vertical and actually preferred the 21 by quite a distance.there wasnt much difference between this and the 18.bit of a letdown.

Aug 25, 2015
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle that I purchased years ago and finally decided to drink. Bottle date of Sept 2007 makes this brew nearly 8 years in the bottle at the time of this review. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears black in color with a tan cap. Some spotty lace hangs on the glass.

The nose includes some smokiness with earth and raison. An afterthought of coffee and pete blends together towards the back. The taste has a sweetness of raison, contrasted by raw oak, pete, coffee and bitter chocolate. Across the finish are some herbal boozy notes.

This is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. This displays an interesting booziness without the alcohol burn. Considering this beer's age, it was not showing signs of oxidation and tasted surprisingly well blended and enjoyable. This is saying a lot coming from someone who typically does not enjoy scotch barrel aged offerings.

Jul 24, 2015
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego from Canada (ON)

4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beer 600.

Poured a midnight black with a mere suggestion of a head that disappeared the moment you looked at it.

Smell is fairly subdued. Some of the barrel promised is present but faint, and there are roasts and malts present as well.

The subtle barrel is more prominent on the taste as it becomes the dominant taste. Roasts and some peat are also present as is the alcohol.

The feel is actually surprisingly thin for such a thick looking beer, but it just feels right. Very low carbonation and a slight stickiness as well.

All in all a nice beer.

Mar 08, 2015
Photo of WantonFaun
WantonFaun from Canada (YT)

4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer may have been enhanced by the maple glazed smoked salmon I was eating. It was a perfect pairing. The sweet maple notes were matched evenly with the beer's vanilla/toffee character, as was the smoke with the peat. I suspect these accents may have been fainter without the food. Whatever the case, it was one of the more memorable tasting sessions in recent memory.

Also part of the session: Ola Dubh 16 and 18. While all slightly different, all were equally good on their own terms.

Jan 08, 2015
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee from Australia

3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours flat cola, but uphill from there.
Lots of vanilla and roast notes on nose, tho not a lot of whisky.
Very smooth taste, lots of choc, and velvety mouthfeel.
Top stuff, expensive tho, and would love one day to do a vertical across the years range. Not convinced the 30 is twice as good as the 12.....

Jan 01, 2015
Photo of ChrisCage
ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Definitely a "Black Oil" so to speak! As black as midnight sans moon, this doesn't let any light through, and certainly does have a caramel colored head that is creamy, but not very thick.....just stagnating to a layer over the liquid. Lacing is impressive as well....a sheet of densely packed bubbles hang on to my glass!

S- A medley of aromas are happening, with dark/burnt toasty malts upfront. I also detect very dark chocolates, slight booziness, coffee, sweet dark rum, woodsy smells, and Maderia like raisins/prune. Very heavy smelling overall, as it should be!

T- This one hits your palate with a wallop! At first taste, there is an alcoholic punch, but this goes away after knowing what to expect. Everything is very rich and dark.....definite whisky and wood overtones from start to finish, and these are balanced out rather well with dark chocolate, burnt toffee, dried grains, black licorice (as a previous reviewer suggested), dark dried fruits and charred coffee beans....perhaps a leathery note as well. Flavor notes that aren't prominent, but make themselves known at some point during the taste are vanilla, fruitcake, Earth/root astringency and an herbal leafy bitterness on the finish.

M/O- This is probably the fullest bodied a beer I've had to date and very possibly will remain in that position for a long time. The carbonation is smooth and velvety, allowing the flavors to eloquently flow around the palate. Surprisingly, this isn't cloying at all and the dryness leaves me craving the next sip....I'm very impressed by this characteristic! Overall this is a stunning brew that is on another level than most others....I very highly recommend this! It is complex, very easy drinking, and becomes a shame when its done. I will seek this out again and feel it is worth the price of admission!

Nov 30, 2014
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.31/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

"Harviestoun 30th Anniversary Ola Dubh." Limited Edition Special Reserve.

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with black foil-ed over branded silver pry-off pressure cap and an accompanying pendant came packaged inside a cardboard box, in a manner akin to good whiskeys. This elaborate presentation helps evoke a classy Scotch-like beer. Let's hope the beer lives up to the packaging...

Bottle No & Date: 07233. June 13.

Served cold into a snifter and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: None. Just a weak floater ring about the edges of the top of the body which recedes within 10 seconds. No lacing.

BODY: Weak dark black. Not an opaque ink or jet black; I can see the logo of my snifter through the top of the beer; this has shocking transparency for its darkness. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a generally appealing whisky barrel aged ale, but it's far from unique or special. We've all seen far better. Average at best.

AROMA: Sherry wine, wine-soaked dampened wood, marshmallow, cranberry, pomegranate, raisin, chocolate, chocolate malts, and of course intricate whiskey with a bit of warm welcoming booze and slight almost gingery spice. Brandy soaked fruit, milk chocolate, a kiss of citrus, and a hint of peat.

The barrel notes melt seamlessly into the base beer, and the sherry is a real stand-out, as is the marshmallow and pomegranate. The barrel character is striking, and far more intricate than what I usually come across.

As it warms, some dark grape emerges, along with impressions of fig and plum. It grows more leathery, and I find hints of dark bread and robust dark malt.

This is an intricate rich aroma suggestive of a delightfully complex and subtly executed ale. I'm deeply interested in trying it. Aromatic intensity is moderate.

No hops, yeast, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Hm. The taste is substantially less intricate and subtle than the aroma, to its detriment and my disappointment. The barrel character is a bit mundane; it's not spicy enough to evoke whiskey, not wine or grape-evocative enough to suggest sherry, and not vanilla-laden enough to satisfy bourbon cravings. Dampened wood dominates, with the faint beginnings of wet cardboard that suggest this beer will be terrible as oxidation grows - and may even be over-aged already. The base beer is uninteresting; I get some sticky thick sugars, marshmallow, chocolate malts, and dark malts - but little else. Light burnt characteristics add more bitterness to an ale which already has severe sweetness/bitterness balance issues.

It's nowhere near as enjoyable as I hoped it'd be, and really disappoints in terms of complexity and subtlety. The pomegranate fruit is a highlight, but even that is relatively weak. It's actually a somewhat shallow depth of flavour. The flavour intensity and duration are both average, if not below average.

I do like it for what it is. But it drinks boozier than 8%, and doesn't bring the whiskey barrel as much as it should.

TEXTURE: Weak, thin, sticky, unrefreshing, smooth, wet, and undercarbonated. Not the creamy silky soft mouthfeel I hoped for. Execution is subpar.It should be chewier.

OVERALL: The taste fails to fulfill the promises of the aroma, and the result is a real letdown of a beer. I hoped for so much more, especially at this price point. I'd caution friends from pulling the trigger on this and frankly I prefer Harviestoun's less expensive offerings. This won't age well and I wouldn't want a second bottle. I'll finish this, of course, but it's not the decadent exquisite brew I thought it might be.

I don't smoke, but I imagine this beer would pair well with a fine cigar, an old armchair, and a good book.

Low B-

Nov 23, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
dcmchew from Romania

4.6/5  rDev +7.7%

Pitch black, no head whatsoever, but very sticky as you tilt and move it around, really looks like "black oil".
Smell isn't too strong from afar, but it's really nice as you stick your nose in there. Roasted salted toffee, dark roasted malts, nice coffee notes, nice whisky with a mild peaty note, lots of woodiness, faint dark grape and dark chocolate.
Whisky up front from the first sip, with a clearer peat note. There's a small alcoholic pinch, but not boozy. Dark fruity zing also helps balancing things in the start, with nice plum, dark grape, juicy fig. Some caramel, toffee, licorice and vanilla right before the malts peak, with a bit of chocolate, but mostly roast and some nice mild coffee. Finishes with a deeper roast (not huge), some wood (a bit smoked), faint cigar and a surprising herbal hoppy bitterness that manages to bring just a bit more.
Almost flat, but not that thick and sticky. Oily, coating all the palate, but really really easy to drink, and this time it's not a problem, considering the low abv (when confronting other whisky barreled beers, that is). Aftertaste retains some whiskey, some coffee bean, faint peat and a bit of plum.
Really great, a nice complex tasting experience that ends too soon. Expected it to be a bit stronger in aroma and flavor, especially after trying the Old Engine Oils, but what it lacks in strength compensates in complexity.

Sep 23, 2014
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into snifter; bottle #03946, bottled in 6/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin spotty cap of lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, raisin, fig, dark bread, light peat smoke, light leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and oak cask notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, toffee, dark bread, oak, raisin, fig, peat smoke, leather, and roast/oak earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roast, vanilla, toast, toffee, dark bread, raisin, fig, oak, peat smoke, light leather, and roasted/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and oak cask flavors; with a great oak/malt flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent old ale style. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and oak cask flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Jun 10, 2014
Photo of taxandbeerguy
taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up a couple months ago, waiting for a good day to try it. Visiting family and shared this bottle with my mom (who enjoys craft beer as well) as it was a beautiful spring day. 330 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $11.80 CDN. Served at cellar temperature into wine glasses (to split the bottle).

Appearance - Pours out inky colored liquid blacker than the ace of spades. No head to speak of and only a wispy ivory collar is poured.

Smell - Smoke, earthy, some dates and prunes, leather caramel, molasses. very complex and rich smelling with almost too many aromas to count.

Taste - Mild with some caramel and dark fruit blended together for a split second. Smoke from a good charcoal barbecue rises up and builds but then after its apex it fades quickly. tobacco and leather also make an appearance.

Mouthfeel - Ridiculously smooth and mellow, sticky as well but doesn't linger too long. Low carbonation gives it a moderately thin body feel, especially for such a flavorful 8% beer.

Overall- Wonderfully refined and smooth. A great sipper. Definitely not something to drink every day (especially considering the cost), and due to the smokiness in this beer it may be an acquired taste. The great mellowness of the brew overall makes it truly wonderful. To summarize, the antithesis of something to quaffed after mowing the lawn, consumed quickly or enjoyed with mediocre food.

May 25, 2014
Photo of mhaugo
mhaugo from California

3.06/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 8.0% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: The color of a deep porter. No head, virtually no carbonation. Visually, it lives up to the name “Black Oil” (3.75/5).

Aroma: Sweet whisky, oak, and damp mustiness. Molasses and licorice. Very rich and interesting (4/5).

Taste: Very dry and oaky. Nicely attenuated. Smoky and charred. But fairly one dimensional. It’s like drinking a nice whisky, but after the tumbler has been sitting out for a while and all the ice has melted. Where’s the beer flavor in this beer?
(2.5/5).

Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected. Flat and heavy on the tongue. A lingering astringency from the wood (2.75/5).

Overall: Well… this was kind of a letdown. For almost $20, I would have expected something that tasted more like beer and less like diluted whisky. Too thin, too woody, too little like beer (3/5).

Apr 19, 2014
Photo of Jonada
Jonada from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz Bottle #4456. Bottled June 2013. Served in a Tired Hands Teku glass

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with little to no head, save for a very thin light tan collar. Body is opaque.

Smell: Caramel, rich chocolate, oak, peat, slight meaty smoke. Nice but not very intense.

Taste: Scotch, dark chocolate, peat, caramel like sweetness. Whiskey cask aging really makes itself known in the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, somewhat thin mouthfeel. Carbonation is low.

Overall: A good beer, but a little disappointing. I had high expectations for this, and while there's nothing wrong with it, there seems to be something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. Glad I got to try it, but at ~$15 per 11.2 oz bottle, I won't be getting it again.

Apr 13, 2014
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan from Canada (ON)

3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BB July 2016/bottled June 2013

The beer is very dark brown in colour - close to black but with some reddish hues. Almost no head.

Nose contains peat, smoke, toffee, whisky, chocolate and some fruit notes. Very complex and quite nice.

Taste is very strong, containing peat, smoke, a leather-like flavour, wood, whisky, and a touch of dark fruit. A bit astringent. Somewhat bitter. A lot happening, but not super enjoyable.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Despite the full body, still feels a bit thin somehow.

Overall, disappointing. The nose is really good but the rest doesn't live up. I liked the younger variants more.

Mar 15, 2014
Photo of AussieAbroad
AussieAbroad from Canada (ON)

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Old Dubh 30th Anniversary

330 ml bottle purchased for $11.95 from LCBO

Bottled June 2013. Bottle #8124. Best before Jul. 2016

Aggressively poured into a snifter

A - Pitch, viscous black with no head and a small ring of lacing. Minimal carbonation is visible.

S - Rich, earthy, some spice, muted peat and smokiness, roasted malts and dark fruits. Notes of coffee and semi sweet chocolate.

T - Vanilla. chocolate and coffee notes. Complex and balanced. Barrel aging has smoothed this out. Sweet lingering finish.

M - Smooth and thin/medium bodied. No carbonation. Almost decadent richness to it. Slightly warming but no pronounced notes of 8% ABV.

O - Outstanding. Who needs Innis& Gunn! This is something special I’ll be seeking out again.

Mar 02, 2014
Photo of BradC
BradC from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black from Bottle #1930 bottle June 2013. Little to no head or lacing.

Smells of peat, tobacco, alcohol

Tastes of peat, dark chocolate, scotch, a little bit of alcohol and then a touch of hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue

Silky smooth mouthfeel, with little to no carbonation.

Overall a complex tasting beer, was a gift from the wife and I'm glad I got it. It's been ahile since I've had regular Ola Dubh but I'll search some out now.

Feb 08, 2014
Photo of rjp217
rjp217 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date of January 2009 poured into a snifter.

A - Flat black, thin head that dissipates quickly, tiny blotches of lace

S - Smokey, peat, chocolate, spice, wood, roasted nuts, smoke-cured meat, ash

T - Scotch! Chocolate scotch. There's a thick smokiness mid palate that quickly smoothens.

M - Smooth feel, almost thin. A drying and smoke feel.

O - Unlike anything I have every tasted! Complexity as its finest. A smooth feel with a smokey body littered with scotch and chocolate. I received this as part of a wedding gift and so glad I did. A true hidden gem.

Jan 15, 2014
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Coal-black body with a thin, light tan head. Soft roasted grain aroma infused with a slight wine or whiskey scent; good chocolate and toffee character. Deep, rich chocolate malt and cocoa flavors; slight vanilla edge; hint of alcohol warmth. Thick, creamy, velvety mouthfeel.

The first sip produced an eye-rolling, palate pleasing ecstasy. Talk about depth and complexity, you've got it here. The appearance and aroma are pretty good, but the taste and feel will leave you with a goofy-ass smile of pleasure as your taste buds bathe in a dark malt wonderland. Further sips expand on the initial impressions with the revelation of slightly smokey and peaty malt flavors as well.

I bought this beer on a whim with no knowledge of what I might expect. This experience revealed a new a very delightful beer and brewery to me. Well worth seeking out.

Jan 13, 2014
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short light tan head that quickly died down, leaving a collar consisting of large bubbles around the edge and some delicate lacing on the surface. The entire head eventually completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of smoked peat are present in the nose along with hints of dark chocolate. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of peat that linger through the finish. Slight hints of bitter chocolate and toffee peek through in the middle of the taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The beer really coats your mouth very well. Hints of warming from the whiskey are noticeable.
O: This beer is a lot smokier compared to the Reserve 18 and has an exceptional mouthfeel that has some smoothness and coats your entire mouth.

Note: Bottle No. 00430, June 2013

Jan 05, 2014
Photo of thebigredone
thebigredone from Wisconsin

3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Well, I'll dumb my review down on this as I'm not sure this bottle was in prime shape.

My major problem with this was the cherry/red fruit flavor that while not prominent, completely distracted my palate. I'm not sure if this was beginning to show signs of infection or what, but there was definitely an off flavor.

Without the off infected/cherry flavor, I think this would have been an excellent beer. The oak/chocolate/peat flavors seemed to play well together. Body is a bit thin, but not too shabby.

Would gladly try this again to see if I had some better luck.

Dec 11, 2013
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Coming out of the bottle dark mahogany brown, settles in looks even black off the pour, but with closer inspection it has a dark walnut brown opaque body, and some nice red edges. Not much of a head, faint tan in color, but also quite bubbly and no retention and leaves a very large bubbled collar. Some minor legs, but also looks like it has dirty lacing around the edges.

Bouquet is quite fascinating, different, and unexpected. Mellow fruit, with a warmth of cherries and currants. Some dry roast character and soft bodied. Lots of oak and splintery salty sensations, not unlike soy sauce. Some black pepper but quite subdued. Oak really opens up on this as it warms.

Real interesting palate. Very light bodied, but a good silky quality. However, with time it becomes just a bit too thin but becomes easier to drink. Mellow light licorice and finishes with some dark bitter chocolate. With warmth the chocolate angle gets much more milky. Large oaky quality and full mouthfeel, particularly in the aftertaste. Salty character hinted on the nose doesn't come out on the palate which is probably a good thing. Fruity cherry and currants seem to be toned down than from what was hinted on the nose. Mild hints of piping store bought drip coffee. Chocolate angle seems to weaken over time.

Overall, quite fascinating, complicated, but also not one that really grabs my attention strangely enough. Even more so I get no sense that this comes from a Scotch barrel at all.

Oct 31, 2013
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 426 ratings