Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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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

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Ratings: 453 |  Reviews: 164
Photo of JGuill
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of jskennedy
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Vylo
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of FunkyFibes
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Woo-Woo-Dogs
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of chel29
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Manoftyr
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a beautiful, nearly opaque black with only the faintest of red-mahogany highlights, a finger and a half of head rises and quickly recedes but leaves dabs of lacing along the rim, considering the barrel aging I'm surprised to see this much head at all. Sparkly, crisp little bubbles of carbonation leap to the top of the luxurious liquid sitting in the snifter before me; this looks to be a real treat I'm awaiting.

Aroma-The unmistakable scent of peat and highland park Scotch whiskey leap out at the nose balanced on a substantial blanket of sweet, darkly fruitlike malt. The Scotch is in no way overpowering but it makes its presence firmly felt achieving a truly brilliant balance, it's not as though you're just smelling Scotch with the beer as an afterthought; it's all one carefully wrapped package.

Taste-Amazing; dry yet subtly-sweet and toasty malts are the first to greet you on the palette with but a curious hint of peat on the edges, then, the scotch breaks forward in full force mid palette with all its complex and peaty goodness. The finish dials back on the scotch at first letting some more sweet malts come through and then *bam* right on the end of it you're left with an exit performance of smokey peat leaving you with a snappy, dry kick and 'for me at least' lust for another sip.

Mouthfeel-Plush with ample carbonation, I'm especially impressed given how I've found most barrel aged beers to lose something in the way of mouthfeel plushness; this is a clear exception, and the mouthfeel is structured perfectly for the flavors.

Drinkability/Overall-Brilliant, utterly brilliant, an absolute masterpiece of a beer; had I the money and it being avilable I would drink it be the gallon, this is fantastic.

 1,747 characters

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of bdeast1
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of JamesS
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a great pitch black in color with a great tan (if bit small) head, and just a little bit of lacing. It has a wonderful scent, part coffee, part whiskey, part malt, part hop, a near perfectly balanced scent that ends with a sweet note, slighty more to the cocoa and bourbon side. Wonderful taste, the whiskey flavor is there, but not overly dominant like so many other such beers; it has a great slight coffee start with a wonderful dark, malty, old ale flavor, a nice sweet finish with a bit of hoppiness to tone it down. It goes down wonderfully smooth for such a bold beer, just a hair more bourbon in the finish than the 16. Absolutely freaking fantastic.

 664 characters

Photo of MacGyver88
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

According to the label, it was bottled in 2011. Poured a nice inky black, but with very little head. The taste was exceptional and smooth, with the scotch present the whole time but never overpowering. Though the head was slight, it did lace the glass nicely as I drank it. Overall, a wonderful experience.

 310 characters

Photo of kindacold
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer. Had it at The Birch in Norfolk, VA.

Poured black...very little head, no light gets through.

Smelled of berries and fruit, with a bit of alcohol and some spicy notes.

Tasted like heaven in a glass. Berries and melon, with chocolate and coffee notes, a touch of alcohol, and a hint of hops. There was also some spiciness to the flavor that lingered briefly. Very lightly carbonated, with fine bubbles which served to enhance the spiciness. Quite a complex and delicate flavor.

Felt great in the mouth. Little carbonation, crisp aftertaste that goes away in about 10 seconds. Really amazing.

I loved this beer. I had two. I wanted to buy a growler of it, but it's pricey.

 687 characters

Photo of burly_enzymes
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BeerSox
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle (red label) into 25oz snifter. #09867, bottled Jan '09. Poured straight down the middle.

Only a sliver of ruby and amber highlights show up at the bottom, occupying about the same space as a nickel. The rest is pitch black with no light getting through. A one finger and frothy tan head ends up as a film along the top of the beer, with a patch of large bubbles and an even dense rim along the glass.

Slightly papery and earthy aromas, along with a little bit of vanilla, both from the aging process. Deep roasted malts along with a little bit of peppery spice. Some molasses, brown sugar, a bit of dark fruit. There's a bit of chocolate if you look for it. The alcohol is a touch noticeable. The aroma absolutely explodes from this one.

A little bit of a smoked malt flavor which lasts from beginning to end. Some more vanilla makes its way in. The malts are both burnt and creamy at the same time. A little bit of sweetness is in there, in the form of dark chocolate. Raisin makes its way in there somehow, but only a little. The feel is very velvety, smooth, adding to the drinkability. There's very little bitterness in this one, mostly coming from the scorched malts.

This is a highly complex ale, and probably my favorite so far out of the Ola Dubh series (I've also had 12 and 30). Wonderfully smooth, and easy to drink. I wish I had a 750ml or 22oz bomber of this, rather than just 11.2 ounces. Certainly one to be savored. Highly recommended.

 1,471 characters

Photo of Khouston
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Chefmemo72
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of FadetoBock
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of R_Kole
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of fionn13
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of ShaneSmith
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Rwalford74
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Azteceinstein
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Dan25D
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

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Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
4.2 out of 5 based on 453 ratings.
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