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
470 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:
#1,480
Reviews:
168
Ratings:
470
pDev:
9.79%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
123
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 470 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fantastic dark strong ale from Scotland -enjoyed in a snifter chilled from the bottle
this particular bottle is the 2012 version.

The color is almost black with head that comes and goes leaving lace in spots. The smell is luxurious with cocoa, caramel and deep whisky spice-like aroma with a subtle dark fruit smell. The feel is very good with subtle sweetness moderate carbonation and mild alcohol influence on the palate with a dry finish.

The taste is great with so much malt and barrel complexity from the Scotch whisky with a nice earthy almost spiced brownie type taste with mild cocoa and a gentle yeast accent adding to the complexity with stone fruit in the back and drying whisky woodiness. This is a complex beer with great drinkability for an 8% abv scotch ale you get a smoothness that is not rivaled in other beers of this style.

 855 characters

Photo of Andy_Luft
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Khouston
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Hallu
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This one smells at first like a wee heavy scotch ale. That means caramel-like dessert (a flan or something) backed by dark fruits (raisin mostly). But there's some strong notes in there, that tobacco/leather smells from strong stouts that aren't on the sweet side. The taste is like a wee heavy scotch ale again, but with the malty backbone of the whisky cask. It's not too bitter, unlike some American stouts that can feel too strong. The smokiness at the end is very interesting, it really reminds you of the Highland Park whisky casks it's been aged in, it's not the same smokiness as the roasted malt flavor which is definitely there as well, but on the taste, not the finish. It's subtle though. Overall, it's very balanced, very british. I wished the smell were stronger, it tends to fade too quickly, especially since the foam disappears in seconds. Don't listen to people who keep talking about chocolate and coffee for this beer. This definitely is not the main aroma there. Think of an English porter mixed with a Scotch ale, with smoky whisky flavors. A long way from the classic chocolate/coffee stouts...

 1,119 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip. 2015 vintage.

Pours almost totally black with a thin cap of mocha head that leaves distant storm system lace as it recedes.

Smells of melted black chocolate, coffee, cigar box, new leather, burnt brown sugar, smoked caramel, scotch whiskey, dried dark fruit, boozy barrel wood and faint leafy hops.

Tastes of semi-sweet cocoa powder, roasted nuts, more fine scotch, vanilla pods, mild smoky char, cold coffee, oak barrel staves and more faint green hops.

Feels suprisingly light. Medium-full bodied with velvety carbonation. Finishes mildly dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Alcohol is sneaky on this one, so watch out.

 660 characters

Photo of Ac-dx
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of skaboom420
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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

Photo of GregSemenza
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of KGilmour
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Chinakalva
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MacMalt
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass. It pours jet black with a thin, khaki-colored head and lacing. It has a very pleasant smell of caramel, coffee, raisin, fig, peat, tobacco, and whisky. The taste is interesting and really good: earthy peat, tobacco, raisin, fig, nuts, coffee, caramel and, of course, the whisky. There is also some oakiness, spice, and smoke. What's really impressive is that these disparate tastes blend so smoothly. I really like the feel of this ale: it's heavy in body for an ale (which I like) and light in carbonation. You can feel the alcohol at 8% ABV but it isn't overpowering. This ale would pare well with a hearty meal but you could also drink it in a pub before a fire on a cold day. SlĂ inte Mhath!

 730 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in 10/2014. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, molasses, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, toasted dark bread, whiskey, oak, peat smoke, leather, tobacco, light nuttiness/char, light vanilla, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and scotch barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, molasses, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, toasted dark bread, whiskey, oak, peat smoke, leather, tobacco, light nuttiness/char, light vanilla, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light-medium roasted bitterness and whiskey/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, molasses, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, toasted dark bread, whiskey, oak, peat smoke, leather, tobacco, light nuttiness/char, light vanilla, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and scotch barrel flavors with a great malt/bitter/oak spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from roast bitterness and oak spiciness as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, and fairly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding old ale style. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and soctch barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,809 characters

Photo of tfrog3030
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Marinost
2.04/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1

Photo of kbgratz
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brewery_Decimal_System
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of bnes09
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First of all, I love the idea of aging in scotch barrels. Pours a dense black liquid with peanut butter brown head. Leaves a ring around the liquid and forms some nice lacing.

Rich, smoky, sausage-like aroma. Almost like a mild rauchbier. Subtle toasty notes of burnt wheat and corn. Hint of wood.

Palate imparts delicate roasted tones of toasted bread grains, roasted peanuts and burnt molasses. Smoked meat adds a kick to the senses. Earthy hops fail to assert themselves as their flavor resembles that of the malt. Just the slightest touch of wood and scotch flavor without a strong bite. Finishes on the dry side and fairly clean. Slightly off-balanced. It seems to need a little more sweetness (and possibly a balancing hop character.)

Sturdy body. Slightly under-carbonated. Leaves a gritty texture on the tongue well after drinking.

Overall, an A for effort and originality but it doesn't succeed in all areas for me. I would prefer more pronounced flavors, a better balance and no gritty after texture.

 1,030 characters

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18 from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 470 ratings