Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18
BA SCORE
4.19/5
Exceptional
471 Ratings
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Nickls on 01-29-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,487
Reviews:
169
Ratings:
471
pDev:
9.79%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
123
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 471 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of Holderness
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Of the 12, 16, and 18, this is my favorite as it combines the best aspects of the 12 (chocolate, molasses) and the 16 (smokey peat, fuller body) into a single, equivalently priced package. The mouthfeel is noticeably thicker on this one, which is also a trend in the right direction. Slightly better head retention, too

79/100

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Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BenHoppy
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - thin layer of head on a very dark brown clear body. Nearly opaque with ruby highlights.

Aroma - strong sweet molasses and honey, raisins and plums, with oak and whiskey coming in faint at the end.

Taste - Dark fruits to the fore, followed by oak tannins. A little sweet molasses at the end. Much less bitter than the 12 and 16. Also less whiskey in the taste.

Mouthfeel - very smooth. Went down easily.

Overall - I had the 12, 16, and 18 in order and they got better as the night progressed. Can't wait to try the 21, 30, and 40 tonight.

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Photo of tylerstravis
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Feb 2012

8 characters

Photo of shelby415
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 123321123321
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brentk56
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a bubble show producing a rocky, three finger head; squiggles of lacing linger

Smell: Peat, tobacco and ash, with a hint of dark chocolate

Taste: Peat and tobacco dominate the front end, with hints of ash in the mid-palate; baker's chocolate and toffee add a touch of sweetness to the finish, but the whisky tones linger into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Been a long time since I had a beer from this series but this reminds me of what the top brewers in Great Britain can achieve; nobody on this side of the pond is brewing a beer like this that I have seen

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Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of MakeBeerGreatAgain
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of puck1225
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An other beautiful beer from this brewery. Deep black-brown color, beige head and nice lacing. Smooth and silky feel. Strong dark chocolate smell, slightly smokey. Taste is a bit boozey and warming. Flavors are smokey, earthy, dark chocolate, toffee. Very good with roast beef!

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Photo of tvenne
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dynamite149
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one insanely tasty beer. It pours jet black with a tan head (more than I was expecting in size) but one that goes away pretty quickly. The nose is smoky and with hints of whiskey. The taste has a string bittersweet base, with notes of whiskey, dark chocolate, peat, and some smokiness. Much more drinkable than I was expecting for a beer of this strength and style. Viscous mouthfeel and with little carbonation. Really tasty stuff and a beer I'll be looking to buy more of.

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Photo of BamfBacon
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of YvesB
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black topped by a finger of dense light tan head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of toffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and oak
T: Taste is dark fruits with a little smoke, some oak, chocolate and toffee. At times it has a flavor that reminds me of molasses. Swallow is more smoke and oak with some lingering dark fruits and roasted malts with some lingering dark chocolate.
M: The beer has a heft on the palate that is fairly full with low carbonation. The finish on the beer is fairly drying.
O: Overall this beer is delicious. It has some great flavors and complexity. It is also much different than the normal old ale. Definitely one to try but I think I like the 12 a bit better.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; bottle no. 24730, date Sept 2014.
A: Pours very dark brown, essentially black. Minimal khaki head that dissipates rapidly, some lacing.
S: Dark malts, caramel, peat smoke, and bacon.
T: Dark malts, whiskey, peat smoke, coffee grounds, and ham.
M: Full bodied with low to medium persistence of effervescence.
O: Interesting. Very reminiscent of a rauchbier. Not for every day, but reasonable for special occasions.

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Photo of Dankacheese
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EMH73
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a very, very thin tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. Smells and tastes of whiskey, oak, smoke, chocolate and coffee. Additional flavors of raisins and figs. Almost no carbonation, creamy mouth feel, medium bodied.

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Photo of BenBreeg
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of woodychandler
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I just keep unearthing gems (I hope!) as I continue to winnow through the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I am very excited to drink & review this one.

From the bottle: "Ale matured in Whisky Casks"; "Aged in selected oak casks, formerly used to mature Highland Park's smoky sweet, perfectly balanced 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky"; "[Undersigned:] Head Brewer: (JS Cail) Master of Wood: (George Ervine) Bottle No. & Date: 02200 March 2014".

I Pop!ped the cap, but it was with great trepidation that I began my gentle pour. I felt as though I were suddenly in the presence of royalty & I was unworthy. I performed an incredibly gentle pour & when I felt as though a sufficient amount had been decanted, I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl to raise a brief finger of light-tan head that quickly reduced to wisps. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled of leather; dried, dark fruits; smoke; sweet Lebanon bologna and a vague, general woodiness. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, but with very limited carbonation. It reminded me of J. W.Lees Harvest Ale in regard to its taste - very smoky, lightly sweet and kind of meaty, as long as that last is not off-putting. I mean it in a most complimentary way. I grew up eating sweet Lebanon bologna, both from S. Clyde Weaver, here in Lancaster County, PA as well as Seltzer's from Lebanon County & I still occasionally enjoy it. This beer was very evocative of that taste. Finish was semi-dry & quite smoky in a lingering way. I have to admit that I was not really prepared for that level of smokiness. I have no problem with it, but it was filling my sinus cavity in a way that might color other reviews today. Time for a break to refresh.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 471 ratings