Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18
468 Ratings
Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18

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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 468 |  Reviews: 168
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.

 560 characters

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!

 277 characters

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.

 482 characters

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.

 764 characters

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.

 484 characters

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.

 1,737 characters

Photo of Zazzi82
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pkalix
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Woody. chocolate-y. peat-y. smooth. very well balanced and super-easy to drink. this is a 2013 version and unfortunately i dont remember how it tasted three years ago, but this one sure is nice....

 197 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's the first one from the series I taste but I think this beer it's quite unique. It's definitely a first for me on many points. In particular it's the first time I taste umami in a beer. It's incredible how this beer tickles all the part of your tong.
The smell is a lot on the fruitcake with boozy raisins and a bit of chocolate and caramel.
In the taste the peated whisky is much more presence with oak, tobacco, nuttiness and sweet raisins. Perfect balance.
The carbonation is fine but vivid and this beer has definitely a bite.
This is not an in-your-face but it's a very delicate and balanced one. I definitely want to try that highland park whiskey!

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 468 ratings
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