Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40
178 Ratings
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Nickls on 01-29-2009

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Ratings: 178 |  Reviews: 114
Photo of DCgolfpro
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of bluesplit63
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of djre4orm
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a generic tulip. Date is Jan 2009, num 54220.

A: Pitch black body. Head is very dense, medium tan color with great retention.

S: Aroma is slightly metallic, but with a definite alcohol and whiskey punch.

T: Wow, sweet, complex whiskey flavors. Slight barrel taste, but very well balanced. (I'm tasting this side by side with the 16, and they are very different).

M: Big mouthfeel, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A great tasting stout that screams "aged in a whiskey barrel" without being overdone.

 532 characters

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of TheBeerologist
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 8/10/12

Shared a 11.2 oz bottle with a friend - poured into a Jackie O's munich glass

Pours a dark brown with a thin beige head

Smells of oak, vanilla and a bit of smokiness

This tasted of oak and smokey peat with a bit of vanilla. Beyond the Scotch there was very little here, not much from the base beer at all

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation - much thinner than expected though

Overall I was hapy to give this a try but would be hard pressed to spend $20 on an 11.2oz bottle again - I will be trying at least the 18 and 30 in due time though

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Photo of JBarx
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of tclapper
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of kayrex
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Mag00n
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.39/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Bottle #55737, bottled January 2009. I looked up how much the 30 year whiskey costs and the cheapest was just north of $300. The 40 year is just a fraction more at over $1,200 per bottle. And to think I thought this bottle of beer was expensive at $16.99.

3.0 A: Black color. Just about a finger of frothy light brown head. Retention is subpar and one lone, patch of lacing is left.

4.0 S: The 30 year Ola Dubh I had recently was from 07. I'm glad this one is from 09. The whiskey is more powerful. The base beer itself offers little aside from a roastiness and a bit of chocolate. The whiskey is where it's at. The 40 year is decidedly more earthy and "wild" than the 30 year. Mountain stream, ash, peat, mineral. There's also light amounts of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Really well integrated, but I think I liked the nose on the 30 a bit better. Still, this Highland Park stuff seems legit.

3.5 T: The base is again MIA save for some roastiness. The whiskey tastes like it smells, but could use a bit of power. Fresh running forest stream, ash, peat, mineral again. Coffee and chocolate gain some strength while the vanilla and oak stay in the shadows. Easily the most earthy whiskey I've experienced (most of which have been through beer). While this is tasty, both the base beer and the whiskey need some more strength for this to break past a 3.5.

2.5 M: Light to lighter medium body. Carbonation is a touch lower than what I'd like. Missing all creaminess for the most part.

3.0 D: Normally I'd give this a 3.5 out of general good will, but I can't since this is so goddamn expensive. It's not a bad beer, but it has plenty of flaws and the mouthfeel sucks.

 1,702 characters

Photo of dansmcd
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Jet black and viscous, pour creates a tan bubbly head which drops to a thin creamy skin and then nothing (within about 30 seconds). A few strands of lacing.

S - Roasted malt, oak, smoke, chocolate, prune and scotch. Reasonably boozy aroma for the abv.

T - Sweet, smoky and roasted. Slightly woody with the dark fruits and chocolate flavours. Scotch is prominent.

M - Full syrupy, gloopy body with moderate carbonation. Superb to roll around on the tongue.

O - Really enjoyed this. For $20 a bottle it would want to be a standout, but I wasn't let down.

 560 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into an Ommegang glass. From notes. Reviewed 9 July 2011.

A: No head. Very dark. Opaque with mid-dark edges clinging to the side of the glass.

S: Bourbony -- vanilla and wood-aged oaky excellence. It doesn't get much better than this in the nose. Sherry casked scotch? Tobacco (or something else)? So damn good.

T: Huh. Not that great. The endtaste is quite sweet, with a winey-round maintaste. Leathery? There is a huge amount of flavour in the taste, but it's not always very directed.

M: Really smooth, sweet, and nice.

O: Goodish, but not worth the price jump. Would I recommend it? No. Would I drink it again if offered? Hell yes.

 666 characters

Photo of eawolff99
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of joshodonn
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

August 2010 bottle date into a snifter. Glad to get this one - still need a couple to try the complete collection, but I'll gladly skip the 18/30 for this.

A - Opaque, creamy brown/black. Fairly dense mocha head on pouring that sticks around a good bit. This gets the extra score over the others because it's persistent.

S - A very clean, woody, dark fruit and malt. The peat is definitely in the background here, letting the malt and wood itself take over. This is more on the roasty side than sweet for sure - the whisky is very much on the back, binding it all together.

T - molasses and dark fruit lead off with a bit of the wood from the barrel. The fruit feeds directly into the wood and whisky, which has a delightful but fairly subtle peat flavor. The finish is surprisingly dry and woody given the rest of it. Just excellent flavor here. I feel like this version shows off the base beer more than the others I've had, which is a definite positive in my mind. Really delicious beer.

M - Here's the real problem with this one. The carbonation is very (too) high. It's fizzy. The feel on the others was great, but this one is not. Very sad - makes it a bit harder to drink it, while the other components make it really good.

Overall this one was great. Not good, but great. The taste was fantastic, smell was great, appearance was fantastic, but the mouthfeel was a noticeable flaw. Besides that, though, this was definitely a beer to seek out. Even with the very high price (think I paid around $18 for an 11.2oz) I would definitely buy this beer again. Yet more incentive to finish the available ones.

 1,614 characters

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4.75/5  rDev +11%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

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5/5  rDev +16.8%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jbonapar
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in Halfiax NS, Canada.

Never knew this existed!

Poured a BLACK creamy thickness with a Thick coal colored head. Wow.

SMell is Oak. Whiskey. Vanilla. Slightly smokey and peaty.

Taste is dam fine. An oaky-sweetness hits the palate but quickly the sweetness fades and a strong spiciness takes over. The oak stays but then the bitterness comes in and is strong at the end...As the bitterness fades, the oak comes back.

What a fantastic beer. Complex, different and unique.

Worth trying for sure if you can find it.

 530 characters

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5/5  rDev +16.8%

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4/5  rDev -6.5%

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 178 ratings