Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest AleOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WVbeergeek on 01-04-2012

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 321
Photo of Apioludd
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A bartender at my local pub gave me a bottle of this beer as a birthday gift. It was, indeed, the blackest beer I have ever experienced. I did not give the smell and adequate test, but I recall it's intensity. The taste was wildly dark and strong, reminiscent of a fine black rum with hints of licorice, strong sweet spices (nutmet, cinnamin and the like. The feel was heavy, like molasses, and it rolled across the tongue adding hints of dark bittersweet chocolate and strong coffee to the other flavors. Everything about it was excessive in the best sense of that word. Its intensity make it a beer I could not drink everyday, but one I would choose to have when I want to sit for awhile and savor a beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fast, gluggy pour--very thick and very still. Very, very dark.

One of the most chocolatey malt aromas I've ever come across, and the barley is alcoholic in *just* the right way to evoke the smell of a very high-cocao dark chocolate. It smells, in short, like dark chocolate fudge and booze.

Doesn't taste nearly as complex as its smaller brother, but the straightforwardness works. Dark chocolate up front, with notes of cherries and char, getting sweeter and stoutier as it progresses, finishing on a pleasant twinge of alcohol. Unlike most large stouts, it's not very hoppy, and there is little by way of wine or fruit. Instead, the barley gets full stage, and it makes the most of it.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Dark nearly black out of the bottle, and slightly sludge like, but fills with actually a touch of clarity under the head, but a big dark walnut brown and solid body. Head is fleeting. A sticky two finger mocha, that slowly settles to a small crowned thin puck.

Aroma is quite impressive. Dark roasted malts, touches of berried like fruit esters. Sharp molasses with a real nice dryness hinting of almost burnt licorice (in a nice way), and thick sticky tobacco like notes. Drying and parched, warm and inviting, sticky like a swamp. Ready and excited to dive in.

A nearly perfect porter. Creamy and rich body filling the palate with wonderful array of flavors. First sip is silky rich notes of roast and berried fruit but turns darker almost raisin like with less sweetness. Then the licorice tones kick in. Smoke like, with dried tannic black licorice that just tastes like chewing tobacco on every sip. Excellent warmth and a large herbal to fruity hop oil sensation, with soft astringency on the aftertaste. Oily indeed everywhere, with slick and rich coating, but also just touching the palate like velvet. Slight phenols add some bitterness as well, just to keep things interesting.

A true classic brew, not perfect, but a total winner. I could curl up in front of the fire and drink this non stop until it burns out… or if I do… whichever comes first.

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Photo of Suds
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick, black, intense, and fulfilling. It is utterly black in color, with a wafer thin brown head. The smell is boozy, with a little dark fruit and dark malt. The taste is intense...bitter, warming, solid, and interesting. The ABV is notable throughout the taste, and the mouthfeel is more than full....it has an enveloping thickness. Nice.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a pitch black colour with a tan head that only comes out as a thin ring around the glass. Aroma chocolate, malts. Taste chocolate, cocoa, roasty, very sweet. No hint of the alcohol. Very tastey.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A near perfect porter. Had several times, but finally reviewed and bumped my rating up; mostly based on the seamlessness of how this ale has been synthesized and my inability to find a true weakness.
Black and oily in the glass, admired more like my dark roasted coffee in the morning than an ale.
Smell offers wonderfully blended malts; chocolate and caramel and core malts all play well on the nose.
Taste introduces some bitterness, but only a little (my bias).
Feel is total viscousness. Nailed.
I think I'll do this again sooner than later.

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Photo of Hallu
2.75/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Love the original version so I was expecting a lot in this. Unfortunately there's nothing of the coffee and roasted malts from the original... This is mean, boozy and tobacco-y... nothing else. Unpleasant bitterness, I obviously had the same batch as Jeffo : Best Before March 2017. This is a bad batch obviously, and you should avoid it. Nothing of the chocolate or coffee the others are mentioning.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L - really dark with a beige head

S - Mostly chocolate and roasted malts

T - Cocoa, malt, a bit of smoked malt, roundness and sharp bitterness

F - really smooth, great mouthfeel

O - A great porter, terribly drinkable for its high ABV!

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this is good. Dark black pour with nearly zero head. Smells of vanilla, cocoa, and lots of roast. Flavor has lots of sweet chocolate and smooth malt up front with a slight bitter from the ton of roast kicking in at the finish, and lingering a bit. Very smooth, very tasty

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful black pour, tan head. Roasted malts, vanilla, dark chocolate nose with very similar flavor. I haven't tried the standard version so I can't compare, but this is a really nice beer and well worth the $5 for a 12oz bottle.

Medium to full body hangs out for a while but leaves no signs of the alcohol. Could easily drink this all night. Well done.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - pitch black beer with mocha head that sticks well, reappears with the slightest movement and leaves a nice lacing
S - chocolate malt, tobacco, caramel, toffee, smoke, very smooth smelling
T - smokey, tobacco, chocolate, burnt marshmallow, smooth coffee, caramel, vanilla, umami, also very smooth in the taste
M - heavy smooth mouthfeel, alc completely covered - disturbingly covered, aftertaste is chocolate, roasted malts
O - super smooth beer, Scotland has it down. Makes me wish I was in Scotland sipping on one of these beauties. You can tell it's big but it's so smooth.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one at De Bierkoning in A'dam. Happy to see this, as it's supposed to be the base for Ola Dubh.

From a bottle into a snifter
Best Before March 2017

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, creamy tan head with great retention. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A ring and splotchy wisp remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted barley, dark fruit, dark chocolate and tobacco aromas. Bold.

TASTE: Lots of roasted barley up front with tobacco and caramel sweetness at the swallow. Very roasted finish with more roasted barley, bitter pure chocolate, tobacco, burnt malts and light dried fruits. Very roasted and burnt indeed, and lacks some of the sweet or hoppy balance that might be required here.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little prickly on the palate, goes down fine with no real scratch and finishes a bit sticky. No heat lingers.

OVERALL: This one was really, really roasted and burnt without anything to smoothen it out. Lots of tobacco as well. Found this rough around the edges and I had trouble finishing it, even though I'm generally a fan of the Ola Dubh series. Unfortunately this was a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

A- pours a viscous deep brown with a one-finger foamy khaki colored head that reduces to a ring around the glass

S- smoky roasted malt gives aromas of peat, char, chocolate, coffee & earthy wood

T- sweet and robust with big notes of charred malt, bringing flavors of chocolate, coffee, herbal notes, and earthy wood. Hint of hop bitterness on the finish with a linger of dark chocolate

M- thick body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that finishes slightly chewy

O- robust and full flavored porter that hides the alcohol well, providing for a nice sipping beer

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours jet black like engine oil, small tan head light lacing. Smell of hops chocolate slight vanilla also a light nutty note. Taste chocolate coffee slight bitterness from the hops, also a little smoky taste as well. A medium feel hop up front little chocolate taste on the back end very smooth. Over a great beer.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a stone glass.Smell is chocolate with slight coffee.Taste is about the same.Chocolate with a hint of bitterness.Overall this is a pretty good porter.Give it a try.

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Photo of Tone
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, alcohol, slight euro yeast, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an English Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of chocolate, slight euro yeast, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, body, feel, and blend.

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Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle.
Pours black with a small but semi-durable head.
Thick body with low carbonation.
Exceptional, rich dark roasted grain aroma.
Light hops and alcohol esters are more evident in the flavor.

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Photo of khmel
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A pitch black pour with a super-dense tan head and medium retention.

S: Smokey malt, sweet dark bread.

T: Bitter roasted malt, smokey, sweetness and a hoppy bite at the end.

M: Medium-thick body, creamy, low carbonation with a hoppy alcohol bite.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a case of the name suiting the beer to a T: it is pitch-black and viscous like burnt crankcase oil, and the monolayer-thin creamy tan head that reluctantly forms immediately dissipates to the faintest of rings. The nose is all dark malt, predominately bitter chocolate with lesser amounts of dark toffee and hints of molasses and coffee; alcohol notes are also very prominent. On the palate, it is pretty straightforward: bitter light chocolate up front, which broadens to include bitter coffee and a hint of molasses. The finish is darkly malty, washed over by a chocolate bitterness that seems to stay forever. The full body has an expectedly thick texture, and a surprisingly prickly mouthfeel and finish due to some very lively carbonation.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with little head but nice spotty lace.
Aromas muted, but taste kicks in with a major choc hit... All mellow roasts as well.
Seriously old school brewing. Nothing fancy just well made English porter with attitude.
May not appeal to the hipster market.
Whole is greater than sum of the parts.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a one finger high, beigebrown head.

Nose: Caramel malt, roasted malt, fudge, cream, nuts, milk chocolate, rye bread and coffee.
Taste: Soft, silky taste of coffee, chocolate, licorice, dark bread, hops, tobacco and dark berries.
Body: Full, complex yet smooth body with medium carbonation. A little bit of bitterness. Dry ending. This is excellent!

Beatiful, dark, smooth, oily taste and yet so drinkable! I love this beer!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and I first thought without any foam but it does show up after several seconds. Small and tannish, near zero lacing.

Big roasted malt nose with some coffee and chocolate, leans towards the bitter side vs sweet side.

Dark chocolate and that hugeness of roasted malt I mentioned in the smell dominate. Good coffee notes and hop bitterness from the UK hops.

Very smooth mouthfeel.

Big brother to the regular Old Engine Oil and just as enjoyable.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a small dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, raisin, plum, light licorice, light smoke, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, raisin, plum, light licorice, light smoke, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/spicy hop and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, dark bread, raisin, plum, light licorice, light smoke, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice robustness, balance, and complexity of big dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English imperial porter style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of big dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Heavy Seas tulip (post-MAGFest bottle)

A: Pitch black with a light mocha head and some lacing.
S: Sweet roasted malt that is definitely British in nature.
T: Nicely roasted with a medium sweetness to it. Some charcoal in there but not a real heavy roast.
M: Rough carbonation that dies down a bit, but that might be while it's cold.
O: Deliciously dark. One of the better porters I've had.

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The aroma is very rich and is akin to brown sugar, cocoa, dark coffee, and rye bread. The body is opaque and essentially black; the head is deep tan. There is lots of roasted malt in the flavor (more burnt coffee than chocolate) without being dry and astringent. It also tastes of burnt bread crust, prune, and molasses, as well as bitter, grassy, spicy hops. There is some booziness, though not that much considering the 9% ABV. It is velvety and incredibly viscous with only minimal carbonation, making it very smooth.

Entirely deserving of its name, this full-bodied beer is rich, thick, and intense. The aroma is fantastic; and the flavor, though considerably boozy and bitter, is complex and delicious.

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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
4.24 out of 5 based on 321 ratings.
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