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

Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest AleOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale
BA SCORE
94.2%
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 326 ratings
Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest AleOld Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
harviestoun.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,275
Reviews:
99
Ratings:
326
Liked:
307
Avg:
4.22/5
pDev:
8.77%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
66
Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 326 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of TR0219
2/5  rDev -52.6%

Photo of Hallu
2.75/5  rDev -34.8%
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.

 400 characters

Photo of Jeffo
2.95/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

 1,291 characters

Photo of bianconoir
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of facesnorth
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of NSK79
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Cobrabob428
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Bier Thirty last week, I think I paid about $7ish. Poured into my slim tulip... short lasting dark brown head.. big bubble lacing is okay at best... the brew is pretty much black except for the most remote ruby highlights near the stem.

Nose shows a bit boozy light dark malt.. not nearly as "black" as I would expect..

Flavor is more dark.. but odd. Something that I associate with fermented out molasses.. background char that is sweetened a bit by dark raisin... some pronounced cocoa with warmth.. Palate dies off pretty quickly.

Body seems thinned out by EtOH.... carbonation is pretty solid but goes away quickly on my tongue..

Not sure that I would identify this as any type of "porter"... Strong ale, probably... or a damn boozy porter, I guess too.

3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5/3

Okay... glad I got a chance to try it, but I want Harvieston to bring back the Special Reserve... I would like to try that again.

 931 characters

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of bark
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of kniretsew
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of tommyguz
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sbricker
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing simple label and branded silver/black pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Texas bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery's reputation and the beer's current 93 rating. Reviewed as a porter since the label description claims this is simply "Old Engine Oil brewed up to 9% alc./vol" and Old Engine Oil's label identifies it as a porter. I guess there's an argument to be made that this is an imperial porter, but I wouldn't make it.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half-finger wide head of nice tan colour. Has decent creaminess and thickness. It's not the rich dark tan with a shiny complexion and an even consistency I've come to expect from the very best porters and stouts, but it's pretty appealing. Unfortunately, head retention is bad (even considering the high ABV) - only about 30 seconds. No real lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes, but there is a slick clear brandy-like coating that I've come to associate with the booziest of brews (Sam Adams Utopias comes to mind, for example).

Body colour is certainly a dark black, but I don't know that "blackest" is fair (insert racial jokes here). It's opaque, but it isn't a jet black in the way something like Alesmith's Speedway Stout is. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears a bit undercarbonated.

Overall, it's a good appearance for a porter and I'm looking forward to my first sip. Admittedly, it's not unique or special for a porter. Pretty standard fare in terms of style conventions.

Sm: Finally, a porter aroma with roasted barley! I was beginning to think breweries weren't doing that anymore. I love the roast and I'm praying it's there in the taste as well. Dark malts, cocoa (with a bit of bean-y earthiness), light cream, marshmallow, chocolate, and chocolate malts. It's a damn fine aroma for a porter, albeit not a horribly complex one.

The roast is absolutely a highlight and has me craving the first sip.

A mouthwatering aroma of average to above average strength.

No yeast character, hop profile, or alcohol is detectable - something of a feat at 9%.

T: Damnit. The roast is substantially less prominent in the taste than it was in the aroma; so much for my high hopes. I mean they did print "roasty" right on the label...

Aside from the disappointing lack of roasted barley presence, it's a nice flavour profile for a porter. Dark malts, chocolate malts, cocoa, chocolate (probably milk chocolate), malty sweetness, marshmallow, and a kiss of char/burnt character. I don't find any yeast character, hops, or alcohol - they all get subsumed by the apt maltiness.

It's relatively simple for a porter, but has a fair amount of complexity in general. (See beers like Ballast Point's Victory At Sea for an example of why this is "relatively" simple). And admittedly this is a pretty standard (dareisay basic) build for a porter. But in that sense it's kind of a classic build; this is very much an almost archetypical English porter, and for that I really like it. The simplicity wouldn't bother as much if I'd just been given the roast I was promised.

It's balanced, sure, but as abovementioned, it's fairly simple. Cohesive but not gestalt. I definitely like it, but I saw the potential for it to be great. I wish the taste would deliver on the aroma. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Not particularly nuanced or intricate. Good amplitude.

Mf: Viscous? I guess; I mean it's thick, but I wouldn't call it syrupy. Heavy and full-bodied, with a powerful presence on the palate. It's got strength without being boozy or hot. Well-carbonated. Slightly creamy. Overall, the texture complements the taste well, but there's room for improvement.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, or harsh. Unrefreshing.

Dr: It's a good beer that could have been great. The absence of the promised roast in the flavour profile really disappointed me. I could absolutely drink my way through a few of these in a night, and it evokes a classic porter feel, but I can't shrug off the feeling of wasted potential. Unfortunately, the unreasonable price point means I won't be buying this again in spite of its obvious quality (I had to double-check the label because the unreasonable pricing had me convinced the Shelton Bastards were involved). Well worth trying once, and I'd love to see how it develops with age. Good work from Harviestoun.

Solid B

 4,708 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is slightly less than a finger high, and mocha in shade. While the texture is quite creamy, it doesn't retain very well. Only a tiny bit of lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: Wow, big dark chocolate is coming through. There's an undercurrent of ashy roasted malts, tobacco, and peat as well. Combined with the roastiness, it almost seems like a good mocha. While there's no doubt this beers smells incredibly nice...I'm not sure it smells any bigger or better than the regular Old Engine Oil. (3.75)

Taste: Surprise, surprise, dark chocolate is the biggest flavor of this beer. Hops surge up on the aftertaste, creating a nice tobacco note. Between the beginning and end, sweet caramel and brown sugar seem to tie everything together. There's one thing missing in order for me to give it a 4: some more roast flavor. Subtle coffee flavors float around, I just wish they were beefed up a notch. Still a quality porter, though. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: While the feel is more slick and oily than viscous (appropriate for a porter, however), it certainly has a thick richness that gives it good decadence. Because it's decadent, it's not the most drinkable. But really, who cares? This is a nice one to savor. Carbonation remains gentle throughout. (3.5)

Overall: This is an excellent porter, much like its little brother. At first, I don't think there's enough to differentiate this from its little brother, until I focus on its bigness in comparison. It's pretty much a bigger, richer Old Engine Oil - and that's no bad thing. (3.75)

3.7/5: A rock-solid night capper loaded with chocolaty goodness

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Photo of Dope
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A black pour with a big, dense chocolate brown head. Retention is excellent. Lacing is quite heavy as well.

S: Smoked meat and roasted malt up front. Touch of chocolate.

T: A ton of hickory smoke. Bitter coffee and roasted malt along with a touch of chocolate. Smoked meat pervades in the aftertaste.

M: Fairly thick mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy.

O: A pretty decent porter but way overpowered on the smoke. I much prefer the normal old engine oil.

 452 characters

Photo of HoppySeb
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of BeccaH
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of ROGUE16
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of kaelingirl
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Brinks
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

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Old Engine Oil Engineer's Reserve Blackest Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 94.2% out of 100 with 326 ratings
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