Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Old Engine Oil Engineer's ReserveOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
English Stout
Ranked #4
Ranked #2,683
4.22 | pDev: 8.53%
Jan 25, 2023
Jan 04, 2012
Old Engine Oil Engineer's ReserveOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve
Notes: The intensely flavoured but incredibly smooth Engineer's Reserve is our fabulous Old Engine Oil brewed up to 9% alc./vol. Three hop varieties - grassy Fuggles, spicy East Kent Goldings and fruity Galena - are combined with roast barley providing a slightly burnt, toasted coffee character. Enjoy a bottle after dinner and take time to savour the earthy, hop fruity flavours of this spectacularly dark, rich beer.
View: More Beers
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of jzeilinger
Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle Date: ?????

A - Pitch black pour with a dense layer toffee colored cream resting on top.

S - Roasty malt base and light coffee dominate the nose.

T - Nicely balanced across the board starting with a roasted chocolate malt base, some light coffee and char, a slight bit of earthiness, and dark fruit mixed in. Leaves a lingering earthy char bitterness on the palate.

M - Viscous body that's silky and free of carbonation and finishing pretty dry.

O - This is an outstanding beer, could be going back for more of this one. Recommended.
Jan 25, 2023
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
July 2013: 330 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 9%. Black colour, large brown head. Nice roasty aroma, burnt malts, tar, coffee, ashes, wood, hints of dark chocolate and liquorice. Rich and creamy mouthfeel. Medium sweet flavour, roast malts, coffee, burnt sugar, dark chocolate, wood. A distinct hoppy bitterness in the finish, some salty notes too. Burnt aftertaste. More of an Imperial Porter than an Old Ale. By any rate very enjoyable.
Sep 10, 2022
Photo of Dinglehacker
Reviewed by Dinglehacker from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured into snifter. Solid black with a khaki head that turns to a thin ring and lace in the shape of the number 2.

Nose is mildly sweet, with an underlying roast and a scent like dry jerky.

Taste is as promised, malt chocolately and roasty. The roast comes in more on the finish. Up front: dark chocolate, chocolate milk, and a dark malty sweetness.

Really smooth for the most part, bitter on the finish.

Haven't had any Harviestoun in a minute, so this was welcome. Great Brit stout.
Mar 16, 2022
Rated: 3.82 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Feb 16, 2022
Photo of SABERG
Reviewed by SABERG from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a 11.2oz bottle (undated) into the test glass
A - Dark indeed, Chalkboard black, gently carbonated. A thin offwhite cap quickly exits.
S - Roast malt on the darker end, a bit of char, dark chocolate. There is some dark fruit, fig as well.
T - A narrow band of Dark malts, a bit of bakers chocolate, and again the slightest hint of burnt sugar, char.
M - medium in texture, a bit slick, carbonation is not up to the challenge of cleaning up. The start is semi sweet with a really delightful dry finish
O - A good stout, sweet yes, maybe a stout masked as a Scottish ale more the way I see it, The malt attributes are outstanding. An offering worth the effort to find and enjoy
Jan 02, 2022
Rated: 3.98 by Private_Biscuit from Alabama

Jan 01, 2022
Photo of cheeseheadinMinneapolis
Reviewed by cheeseheadinMinneapolis from Wisconsin

4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
11.2oz bottle, bottle code is 204/18 ?? three years old? The code is printed on the bottle about 1 inch from the bottom. Not easy to find.

Look: black body, not much of a head but it did persist and left some lacing.
Smell: roasted malt, dark dry chocolate, dark fruit.
Taste: Heavy roasted slightly burnt malt, deep dark fruit, dark slighty dry chocolate. A hint of smoke or peat. This one needs to warm up some to showcase it's depth. Smooth, ABV is very well hidden, not all that sweet, Has bitter and sweet elements.

A good beer, I only bought a single bottle, Might have to a get a few more bottles this winter.
Oct 25, 2021
Photo of mntlover
Reviewed by mntlover from Tennessee

4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a old oil black with small tan head that falls fast with only sparse lace.

Aroma is roasted malts , light burnt oil notes, some bakers chocolate, good earthy/herbal hop hints. Very nice smooth and complex like the light smoke burnt hints plays well with the malts.

Taste is roasted malts, some charred bits, dark fruit hints, bakers chocolate and enough hops in the finish to round it out. Smooth and complex not overly sweet or American milk like anyway, what it is is enjoyable nice change.

Mouthfeel big medium with mellow carbonation.

Overall an enjoyable nice big little stout. Would have again might need tot ry something else form these guys too.
Sep 14, 2021
Photo of backblast
Reviewed by backblast from Alaska

3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours almost black with a thick tan head but almost no lacing.

Tastes nicely of roasted malts with some creaminess and some dark fruit, licorice, tad smoke, light leather, mild hop finish. Has wonderful flavors but seems to be lacking complexity - disjointed if you will. I suppose I was hoping more from it.
Aug 23, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Shenk87 from Pennsylvania

Jan 16, 2021
Rated: 4.23 by Bunuelian from Minnesota

Jul 19, 2020
Photo of vinicole
Reviewed by vinicole from England

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottle. Almost black. Tan head which dissipates to a thin effervescing layer. Wispy lacing.
Tingling aroma of molasses, prune juice and lightly charred brown bread.
The peaty flavour opens alongside heavily roasted malt, liquorice and hints of dark chocolate.
Silky smooth on the palate finishing with a medium bitter notes. Viscous.
Wonderful and no hint of the ABV.
Jun 21, 2020
Photo of BKotch
Reviewed by BKotch from Texas

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Amazingly, either a 2012 or a 2013, and here it is 2020. I can't believe it's held up so well, far better than either of its barrel-aged cousins, Ola Dubh 12 and 16 of the same vintage.
Apr 19, 2020
Rated: 4.59 by RochefortChris from North Carolina

Mar 14, 2020
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle from Boise Co-op. Pours out black with a nice brown head, fades to thin coating. Roasty, smoky aroma, woody notes. Taste brings some molasses notes, mild bitterness, ashy. Smooth as can be. Classic.
Jan 06, 2020
Rated: 4.28 by bottmfeedr from Texas

Jul 07, 2019
Rated: 3.64 by nmann08 from Virginia

May 15, 2019
Photo of darktronica
Reviewed by darktronica from Indiana

4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
On cask, this is a totally different animal. A delightful real ale, with thick waves of dark roasted grains fairly oozing from the smooth black liquid. Dry, lightly dark chocolate and with a touch of iodine more reminiscent of a Baltic.
Mar 18, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by PaleAleWalt from New York

Mar 02, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into glass. No bottling date information found.
Impervious to light, black colored body. Slight tan colored head disappears and leaves a few skiffs and a thin ring. Leaves a pattern of small, scattered spots of lacing.
Aroma of burnt, roasted malts, with a slight fried meat smell, and a whiff of fruity hops.
Taste is deep with dark roasted malts, with the edge of being burnt. The juicy hops rise above and sit there as the thick dark roasted malts provide the base. Slight after taste is a very pleasant combination of the juicy hops and the dark malts. There is a slight, extremely dark chocolate presence from the roasted malts.
Mouth feel is full and thick. Okay carbonation. Each sip provides a full mouth coating, that fades away into the after taste.
Wonderful sipper of the darkest ale. It is not too often that a beer blocks all light from passing through its body. Very tasty dark and roasted malts, with the addition of the hops. Quite a treat.
Jan 27, 2019
Rated: 4.23 by msscott1973 from North Carolina

Jan 19, 2019
Photo of damndirtyape
Reviewed by damndirtyape from Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
11.2oz bottle, no date. Served in a Gordon's thistle glass.

Appearance: Pitch black letting no light through. Thin tan persistent head. Lots of fine strands and islands of lacing.

Smell: Lots of roasted malt, some chocolate, a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste: Rich roasted malt flavor accented with bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, and herbal/leafy bitter hops. The goldings and fuggles do show up as the beer warms toward the finish. There is a bit of malt sweetness for balance, but there is a lot of strong flavors tilting toward bitter.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and creamy, prickly carbonation that balances the rich beer. A bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: A nice beer to sip slowly and savor. They're not kidding on the label with the thickness and emphasis on roasted malts. A very nice treat of a beer.
Jan 12, 2019
Rated: 3.77 by GRG1313 from California

Jan 04, 2019
Photo of Harrison8
Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours a finger of caramel-colored foam with a solid black liquid underneath. Head lingers for a while. Aroma is roasty, toasty, biscuity, bready, earthy malts. Hints of caramel and molasses add a little sweetness, but overall, very malt driven. Flavor profile toasty, biscuity, bready, caramely, earthy malts with hints of caramel, molasses, and herbal, resiny hops. It's roasty with hints of chocolate and cocoa. Mouth feel is medium-thick, falling just shy of the 'thick' title. Texture is still, with a little velvety, graininess that comes on at the finish. Overall, dense and full, while still staying under 10% ABV (slightly smaller bottle than a US made bottle, 11.2oz vs. 12oz). Still worth a visit for those seeking something malty and chocolatey.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 11.2oz bottle.
Dec 06, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Nov 30, 2018
Photo of puck1225
Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
What a happy beer! Smooth and thick. Wonderful collection of comforting flavors: pumpernickel toast, chocolate, peat, licorice. Very dark brown color with nice beige head and lacing. A pleasant hint of booze. Very enjoyable!
Nov 28, 2018
Rated: 4 by bpfrush from Wisconsin

Oct 29, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by Jame515 from Texas

Oct 16, 2018
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
Rated by HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I had this awhile back, and I remember that it was good for an imperial porter/stout, but nothing stood out about it.
Sep 16, 2018
Photo of MNAle
Reviewed by MNAle from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
Aroma is quite roasty with chocolate, perhaps coffee, some alcohol. Color is black, opaque, with a 1/2 inch tan head that relatively quickly becomes a ring and very thin cap. Exceedingly thick and rich feel and taste. Texture is viscous, maybe SAE 40! Roasted grain, chocolate taste mirrors the aroma; initially sweet, but transitioning to a slightly bitter middle and finish. No alcohol taste or burn. The aftertaste is sweet chocolate balanced by a satisfying bitterness.
May 07, 2018
Rated: 5 by eldoctorador from Chile

Apr 05, 2018
Rated: 4.67 by Brianhone from Iowa

Feb 28, 2018
Rated: 4.53 by travelguy from Ohio

Jan 31, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by ArnoldBlumenthal from Maryland

Jan 28, 2018
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a spectacular bubble show that builds a frothy one finger tan head; spots a foam cling

Smell: Very roasty, with chocolate, molasses, licorice, smoked peat and tobacco tones

Taste: Roast, smoked peat and chocolate tones forward, with the molasses and licorice building; rather sweet, through the middle, but the finish has a harsh, tobacco leaf flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Engineer's Reserve indeed; a little too sweet and a little too rough in the finish; I prefer the regular version better
Nov 18, 2017
Rated: 4.11 by beeragent from Texas

Nov 03, 2017
Rated: 5 by OzmanBey from Massachusetts

Oct 23, 2017
Rated: 4.19 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin

Jul 23, 2017
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Reviewed by Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I think this was a strong but delicious porter.

Look: Jet black with two-inch mocca head.

Aroma: The aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, and a hint of coffee.

Taste:. The taste is roasted malts, milk chocolate, a hint of licorice, a hint of coffee. I did not taste much of the alcohol despite the 9.00%, but there were some, just the right amount.

Feel: It is rich, creamy, full bodied, and stronger than most porters but less hoppy than most stouts.
Jul 15, 2017
Rated: 4.89 by Vylo from New Jersey

Jun 18, 2017
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 362 ratings