Old Engine Oil
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil
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Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom
English Stout
Ranked #7
Ranked #4,947
4.13 | pDev: 10.17%
Nov 22, 2022
Sep 10, 2001
Old Engine OilOld Engine Oil
Notes: Down your tools and take a swig of this classic craft stout. Beautifully engineered with premium roasted malt for a velvety mouthfeel. It’s proper vintage stuff. All thanks to the meticulous handiwork of our master brewers.

This dark and rich stout was first created in 1999 for a well-known supermarket beer competition, which it won with resounding success. Ever since it’s been a much-loved beer by the brewery and customers alike.

Brewer’s Notes: As soon as you arrive in the car pack you know Old Engine Oil is being brewed from the aroma. The blend of malts and hops produce a balanced bitter-sweet beer with smoky notes and lingering finish.

Hops: East Kent Goldings, Fuggles, Galena
Malts: Lager Malt, Pinhead Oats, Roast Barley
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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.79 by not2quick from Missouri

Nov 22, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by QuintusHorace from California

Nov 18, 2022
Photo of HarlotBronte
Reviewed by HarlotBronte from District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
L: Pours a jet black with a half inch brown head that recedes to a splotching of bubbles.

S: Roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, char

T: Charred barley, coffee, cocoa. Deep and rich.

F: Medium-full bodied with good carbonation.

O: Outstanding example of the style.
Oct 19, 2022
Photo of Iamaskier
Reviewed by Iamaskier from Idaho

4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Nearly jet black body with a huge pillowy head. Smell is faint and sweet; cola, a hint of grassy hops, a bit nutty. Taste is upfront cola, then burnt bread and a hint of cacao, then a pronounced leather on the finish with black coffee notes. Feel is creamy and smooth. It’s damn nice to have a bitter beer that relies on malt rather than hops these days.
Sep 14, 2022
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Rated by BFCarr from New Jersey

3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Tasty and a bit unusual.
Sep 10, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by Shiredave from New York

Sep 05, 2022
Photo of naikwot
Rated by naikwot

2.74/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
Roasted malt, a little coffe, a little bitter. Creamy yet pretty easy-going. Not impressive yet quite enjoyable.
Aug 16, 2022
Rated: 4.19 by mattreitz49 from Florida

Jul 28, 2022
Photo of BubbleBobble
Reviewed by BubbleBobble from New York

4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Pours near black from the can, big 3" foamy tan head that slowly dissipates, moderate lacing. Nose is baking chocolate, blackstrap molasses, Australian black licorice, loose change. Taste is roasted, bitter dark chocolate, no remaining sweetness or sugar. Finish is ultra dry and bitter with just a small touch of heat as it warms. Mouthfeel pleasantly full with very slight carbonation. Overall, an excellent, clean stout.
Jul 17, 2022
Photo of C-Stockwell
Reviewed by C-Stockwell from New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L: solid pitch black with a slight khaki head.
S: dark roast coffee, chocolate, malt, molasses, and maple syrup
T: black coffee, chocolate, bitter, and malt
F: nice, fine carbonation

Overall, an excellent black ale.
Jun 15, 2022
Rated: 4.17 by mamaraza from Texas

Apr 29, 2022
Photo of NCSapiens
Rated by NCSapiens from Indiana

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Excellent smoky and toast flavor with great malts.
Apr 16, 2022
Photo of JohnniEMc
Reviewed by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
These are observations after a clear pint glass filled from a tap was presented. It's a dark brown colored affair, but not black coffee brown, just dark brown. It really is a lovely soft dark brown. There's a tan head that's not overstaying its welcome. The aroma is of roasted malt, not overly roasted, with hints of toffee and a latte styled coffee. Even before the taste can be appreciated, the wonderfully smooth and rich body hits the drinker. It's full bodied and although never sweet, only turns bitter during the finish. That sensation is a combination of the roasting of the malt, the hops and a hint of the alcohol. The glass lacing is notably sparse for a brew with such a rich body, but so what?, since drinking isn't meant for the eyes. This is unmistakably outstanding.
Mar 19, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by Jhollander

Feb 21, 2022
Rated: 4.1 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Feb 16, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by Velivolus1 from Vermont

Jan 30, 2022
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz can poured into a tulip

A- pours black in color with a one-finger foamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- black roasted malts, black licorice, anise, char, coffee, oats, spicy and floral hops

T- roasted barely up front gives notes of char and coffee, followed by floral and peppery hops. Mid-palate gives sharp black licorice. The finish is bitter, with dark chocolate and black licorice on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- classic English porter, well done
Dec 25, 2021
Rated: 3.24 by Houborg1 from Denmark

Dec 23, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by -Andrew- from Michigan

Nov 09, 2021
Rated: 4.15 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Nov 07, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by doctorgary from New York

Oct 06, 2021
Rated: 4.27 by arzt from Germany

Sep 25, 2021
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Reviewed by 1BrewBacca from Georgia

3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Look: Looks like a stout, pitch black pour, light brown head that melted to a thin ring around the glass. Medium Lace on the sides.
Smell and Taste: Rich dark chocolate is the dominate note with toasted malts and toffee.
Feel: Maybe the name is suggestive but I'd say oily. LOL
Overall: This brew is somewhat confusing to me. It's kinda stouty, if that's a word, kanda like a strong ale, kinda like a Scottish ale. ????
Sep 22, 2021
Photo of RichardLeahy
Reviewed by RichardLeahy from Australia

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L. Dark brown/black, poured from a 330 ml bottle. Modest tan head. S. Slightly pungent, malty, dark grain. T. This is where it's at. Wow. Great intense, dark malt, molasses, a hint of licorice. Dry finish, very little sweetness. F. Slightly oily, smooth and a touch thick. O. Very impressive, intense and big beer that deserves its reputation.
Aug 09, 2021
Photo of Alieniloquium
Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On tap at Lost Nation. Black body. Smells of intense roasted malt. Licorice and molasses. Tastes of intense roasted malt here too. Licorice, bitter chocolate, molasses, but no sweetness. Very bitter back end. Medium body. Excellent.
Jun 24, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by XmnwildX12 from Minnesota

Jun 23, 2021
Photo of Peach63
Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours ebony with a 2 " foamy tan head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma of coffee, roast malt, black malt.

Taste is coffee, roast malt, black malt, chocolate. Astringent.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Dry, bitter finish.

Thick as engine oil and very tasty!
Jun 22, 2021
Rated: 4 by Burg from New Hampshire

May 05, 2021
Rated: 3.91 by TheEpeeist from Maryland

Apr 03, 2021
Photo of steveh
Reviewed by steveh from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Prompted by the Beers of Fame thread, and realizing I'd had many of them in the past, but never reviewed them, I dug out an old notebook from the 2004 Chicago Real Ale festival where I took some detailed notes of some of the early examples I sampled.

I was able to enjoy this one at Chicago's Map Room from a cask -- whether or not it was truly CC, I can't say. Maybe my notes will be revealing.

A -- Dark, opaque black.

S -- Black Patent roasted malts and licorice. Yeasty nose and alcohol with warming.

T -- Rich, roasted malt flavor.

F -- Medium to robust body with a smooth, syrupy mouthfeel.

O -- Very flavorful beer. I had enjoyed this from bottles a few times prior, but the cask pour was quite nice -- and memorable after so long.
Mar 21, 2021
Rated: 4.22 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

Mar 19, 2021
Rated: 3.93 by emerge077 from Illinois

Mar 18, 2021
Photo of oldmankoch
Reviewed by oldmankoch from Tennessee

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Right up their with its "big brother" the Engineers Reserve this is a delicious porter. A wonderful blend of bakers chocolate, coffee grounds, bit of charred gristle etc...
Mar 15, 2021
Photo of FBarber
Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
This one pours a lovely dark mahogany brown color. Completely opaque. A two finger velvety mocha colored head forms on the beer and lingers for a while before slowly and almost imperceptibly dissipating until just a thin layer of foam remains on top of the beer. Its pretty much a perfect looking porter. The aroma on this is remarkably complex with notes of chocolate, toffee, with a certain hint of creaminess coming through. Then, there are the roasted malts that have a mild smokiness to them. Finally there are some light earthy hoppy notes that come through on the nose.

The flavor follows the nose with notes of chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, a light smokiness, and an earthy hop presence on the back end. There is a certain sweet creaminess to the beer. Its one of those beers that gives you something else to ponder every sip - at first I notice the creamy sweetness and chocolate notes, then on the next sip, Im drawn to the earthy hoppy bitterness, and then again the smokiness and roasted malts seem to take over. The resulting effect is one of a remarkably complex beer that requires your undivided attention to truly and fully appreciate it. The feel is smooth and silky. Moderate to medium bodied. Spritzy carbonation provides a certain liveliness to the beer. The finish is drier and somewhat powdery.

Overall this is an absolutely delightful beer that for me a least hits everything I want from a porter.
Mar 14, 2021
Photo of jzeilinger
Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A - Black pour (go figure, right?). Creamy, soapy, dense caramel colored head on top that sticks to the glass.

S - Chocolate and chocolate roast dominate the nose with a slight bit of coffee roast. Smells like a glass full of chocolate roast.

T - Chocolate, chocolate roast, char, coffee bean, and more char. (!!!) The chocolate roast and char lingers for days well after the sip.

M - Viscous big medium body and dry on the back of the tongue.

O - This is a fantastic Porter, highly recommended.
Feb 11, 2021
Photo of nick_perry
Reviewed by nick_perry from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Black color. Foamy lingering 1-finger white head. Enjoyable roasted malt flavor with just a touch of sweetness and notes of espresso and leather. Mouthfeel is very silky but not overbearingly heavy. Everything is pretty well balanced.
Feb 09, 2021
Photo of taxandbeerguy
Reviewed by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I finally found it! This brew has been on my wants list since 2013! (Specifically added just after my wedding day) 330 ml can served at cellar temperature into a tulip. LCBO purchase for $3.25 CDN.

Appearance - Very dark brown and near black in color. Huge swath of many fingers of head is poured, leaving a huge curtain of lacing. Great staying power of the light tan head. The body does in fact look like old engine oil.

Smell - Roasty notes, a touch of chocolate, but mainly more earthy, leathery with a tobacco or smokey hint. Molasses also seems prevalent. Fantastic nose and clearly a leafy hop assertiveness backing everything up.

Taste - Quintessentially British Isles in style. Earthy and bitter leafy hops, some overroasted grain leaving for a rich and bitter flavor. Loads of leather, some molasses and just enough smoke.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, leaning heavy with some carbonation, but super slick, velvety feel, yet never heavy like a bigger stout would be. Wonderfully balanced.

Overall - Love this brew. Lived up to my expectations and then some. Remarkably easy drinking, tons of flavor, Scottish flair, the name even describes the beer almost perfectly. One of the beers of the year for me and it's early. To me at least Old Engine Oil is to English Porter as Weihanstephaner Hefeweissbeier is to hefeweizens as Duvel is to Strong Belgian Pale Ales, as La Fin Du Monde is to tripels as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is to APA's. The distinctive beer of the style that all others try to replicate.
Feb 04, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by Chipwells from Georgia

Feb 02, 2021
Photo of BPVandenbroek
Reviewed by BPVandenbroek from Canada (AB)

4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Old Engine Oil fills my glass true to its name. It pours into my glass as black and thick as motor oil, throwing a cream filled coffee colored head with great retention.
Taking a sniff, the first thing I smell is coffee, supported quickly by dark, European chocolate. Malts make their presence known in the form of rye bread, hot and fresh from the oven. Below that are hints of nuttiness and a general earthy aroma. Each aroma leads smoothly, from one to the next, giving a rich, lush, seamless porter. All of this leads to a coffee scented aroma combined with earthy, leafy hops.
That first sip of Old English Oil shows me a porter that is full bodied, lush, and full flavored without being overpowering in its dark, roasty flavors. Old Engine Oil’s flavor is slightly more coffeeish than the aroma, giving slightly stronger flavors of dark, black, roasted coffee. Belgian chocolate and dark bread lend structure to the beer’s flavor profile. All this leads into a bitter finish full of dark roasted coffee.
It’s delicious, complex, and robust, without being overpowering in its flavors of roasted coffee. The flavors walk the line between flavor and overpowering complexity very deftly, making it a drinkable, approachable example of the style. In my opinion, it would be very easy for a porter to venture too far into the flavors of roasted coffee, making it hard to drink.
Jan 28, 2021
Rated: 3.89 by polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

Jan 26, 2021
Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1898 ratings