Old Engine Oil Black Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,737 Ratings
Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,737
Reviews:
812
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
10.49%
 
 
Wants:
165
Gots:
233
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,737 |  Reviews: 812
Photo of ski271
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zeno’s in State College.
A- Pitch black with a small, tan, foamy head
S- Toasty malts with a very slightly burnt scent. Chocolate, coffee and crusty bread.
T- Sweet malts dominate up front. More chocolate and coffee, a little more grainy, and some cherry in there. The finish is medium in duration with a lingering citrus rind bitterness.
M- Medium-full body, dry texture, low carbonation
D- Not a bad beer, pretty enjoyable remarkably easy-drinking for as big as it first starts out as. Worth a try.

 517 characters

Photo of Dankacheese
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Richardberg
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Deep ink, almost black, small brown head.

S: burnt malt, coffee

T: slight bitterness, slight sweetness, but the overall sensation is 100% burnt malt. sounds boring to write about but works out nicely in practice.

M: smooth pour, moderate coating, finishes dry with a bit of alky bite

D: everything comes together to make a highly enjoyable dark beer

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: solid black, insidiously opaque, with a thick and creamy cocoa-colored, so frothy it resembles a chocolate spong cake.
Aroma: sweet, but roasty, with flavors of molasses, brown sugar, and espresso, slightly twisted, definitely dark.
Taste: bitter hops tango with sweet malt in such a fashion that you get a little almost treacly sweetness, step 2, bitter tang, step 3, mild and mellow, repeat, cha, cha, cha. Possesses a far lighter mouthfeel than I'd expected, though still full in body, with dark, rich, and continually tasty flavor. Doesn't hang too heavily on the palate, making for higher drinkability and greater sophistication. This is listed as a Stong/Old Ale, but it contains a mere 6% ABV, and feels a bit stoutish at times. No matter what it's called, a fine ale all around, though, I wonder if it is based on an old Celtic recipe, as the label states, what did they call it before Henry Ford came along?

 930 characters

Photo of sjones5045
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle at Monks Cafe in Philly
2/19/15

38 characters

Photo of Amalak
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Blackish brown color. There's some light that comes through, but not much. Very little head with no real lacing.

S. Very strong mix of chocolate, malt and alcohol.

T/M. True to the scent, it hasa strong chocolate malt taste and a bit of a strong alcohol taste. A bit of a nutty hint underneath. It is smooth and full bodied.

O. Very refreshing. A bit of a cough syrup taste, but not in a bad way.

 408 characters

Photo of vinicole
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, Thin beige head.
Roasted malt aroma and something else catching the back of my nose.
Taste of treacle and molasses. Bitter at the finish.
Very smooth

 166 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Engine Oil pours flat and almost black, with some lightening around the edges. The head quickly disappears and you are left with a very still beer. The nose is mostly coffee and toffee, with some dark fruit lingering in the background. The taste is incredibly rich and creamy -- the creamy sweetness reminded me of an egg creme at first -- with a bit of malt bitterness for balance. No hops to speak of. Mouthfeel is very still and creamy -- silky, really. Easy to drink... I imagine this would be great on cask. My first thought about this beer was that it would be an excellent accompaniment to a chocolate dessert. It might even work with something creamy, although that would cut the creaminess of the brew a bit, and without much carbonation I'm not sure if that would be a good thing. Anyway, something to try.

 820 characters

Photo of Burgz
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sokol_1993
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dougbreathe
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Allagash tall snifter. Pours very dark/black...not as thick as engine oil. Not much head to speak of...even with a straight hard pour torwards the end. A very, very small light brown head rises for a few seconds...but then dissapears quickly. Lacing is thin, but lasting.

Aroma is very strong. Resembles a stout. Lot's of chocolate/coffee. Toffee notes, rosted malts. A slight bitter backside.

Flavor at first is light and bland. Mild to higher carbonation. Beer is at fridge temp. I know this beer has more potential, so I'm going to let it warm up a bit and continue...

...(continuing)getting a lot more bittersweet chocolate now. Roasted maltiness, even a licorice. Not boozy at all. Has a great aftertaste that lingers in your mouth for a while. Mild complexity, nice and tasty!

 820 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally I get to try the weakest, mildest, simpliest member of the old oil family and it only takes a sip to let this one come to it's own and take it's place as the breadwinner in this family of great stock ales.

Pours as it's namesake...black and deep...topped with a tan head that is more substantial than in any of the others. Melts to a tan ring...not much lacing.

Aromas are woody, sweet roasted malts, dark bittersweet chocolate and some dark fruits such as raisins, plums, and/or prunes.

Taste is distinctively Harviestoun ...nice roasted malt flavors rounded with dark candied fruits and dark bittersweet chocolate...all well blended together and nicely drying at the end.

Mouthfeel is weak only when comparing it to it's stronger cousins. Standalone and it is substantial and comfortable for it's style.

Aftertaste is slightly sweet english hops but drying and clean.

 882 characters

Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours black (with a garnet tinge around the bottom) and a half finger of light cocoa colored tan head. Retention is good with some foam around the edges and thin wisps across the center that leave thick swathes of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells like dessert, with notes of cocoa powder, roasted malts, chocolate sweetness, toffee, vanilla, coffee, and dark fruits. There's a good bit in there but none of it really seems to absolutley jump out.

The taste is simliar, with chocolate and vanilla sweetness mixed with zippy coffee notes, cherry tartness, and some underlying roasted nuttiness. The mouthfeel is medium to full with a very nice smooth and velvety feel that seems to just slide down the palette.

This was very interesting with a ton of different appealing flavors coming out. Unfortunately, they all seemed to crowd each other a bit, which I think kept things from really jumping out. Still, this would be a very good post dinner drink, especially paired up with something sweet.

 1,045 characters

Photo of Doshkin
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - perfect oily black color with brown undertones. really looks like some old sludgy engine oil. little cream colored head with no retention and quick dissipation

s - roasted sugary sweetness (can't go too in depth here... I have a cold right now)

t - little touch of chocolate. light body for how dark it looks. pleasant bitterness all the way through that carries into the aftertaste. this is a delicious brew

m - so smooth! very drinkable, mild carbonation.

o - this is an incredible beer. highly recommend

 514 characters

Photo of istarilord
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As the name (and label) suggests, the beer pours a very nice, dark brownish black with a brown head.

Flavor to me was reminiscent of oatmeal stout, with a good amount of maltiness & cereal tones. The coffee/chocolate flavors were fairly light for a dark malty beer.

Very smooth and easy to drink, a decent dessert beer.

 321 characters

Photo of Casey10
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a beer I had on tap at the lions pride in Brunswick, Me.

Had on tap the glass was nice and dark slight head, smell was almost burnt ends with a strong taste of dark roasted coffee. The feel really lasted with the burnt feeling of coffee and chocolate. Finally the drinkabilty is good as this would be something I would drink again.

 342 characters

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour unleashed 2 and 1/2 fingers of a nice mocha head consisting of tiny bubbles. This sat and slowly dissipated over a dark coffee colored body. Light lacing clings to the glass, but most of it rolls down back into the body.

The aroma immediately follows through on the dark roasted malts and chocolate that the label tells of. A little dark fruit and toffee are found as I dig a little deeper.

Toffee and sweet, dark roast malt introduce the flavor on this beer. This is followed up by medium roast coffee and dark chocolate, both of which hang on to the very end, with a bit of sweetness coming up to finish it off.

Mouthfeel is definitely a medium/full body feel. I was honestly expecting it to be thicker, but the fact that it isn't does not detract from it at all. If a porter can be refreshing, this is it. Perfect for a fall day, I will have to pick more up when the breeze gets a little nippier.

 921 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown (almost black) in color with some hints of deep amber when held up to the light and light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark beige head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts along with freshly roasted coffee. There is also a very light presence of alcohol in the finish of the nose.

T: Flavors of dark roasted malts and burnt malts along with some notes of bittersweet chocolate and some freshly brewed coffee. There is a good complexity and depth to the flavor.

M: On the fuller side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with very light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: I found this beer to be very enjoyable and very easy to drink - probably a little too strong to be sessionable but certainly one you might like to have another of... Interesting because it seems to straddle stout and porter from a style perspective.

 1,124 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black color with a creamy khaki head that shows moderate retention. Smells of caramel, coffee, roasted grains, slightly fruity with a hint of mineral water. Taste is roasty and chocolaty with hints of coffee and earthy hops. Creamy velvety smooth mouthfeel, light level of carbonation with a medium body. Great dare I say sessionable porter.

 355 characters

Photo of Kakaraht
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours midnight black with a thin tan head that reduced quickly to light lacing.

S: Roasted coffee and burnt malt along with a faint syrupy sweetness.

T: Very typical of its style with that not quite burnt chocolate malt flavor and heavy sweetness. There is a slight astringent bitterness to the beer that is somewhere between hops and burnt malt.

M: Heavy thick and sweet with a round character.

D: Very tasty drink and well recommended.

 444 characters

Photo of paulozanello
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black and opaque color but not totally motor oily as the name suggest. I can still spot some reddish notes around the edges of my glass against the light. The pour was not totally opaque either. Head is light brown and shows good retention. Lacing is also above average. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is of dark roasted grains, bitter chocolate a touch of tobacco and a light boozy presence despite the rather low abv. I still think the aroma could be a little bolder and "in your face".

It gets much better once it is in your mouth. It starts with nice malty sweet notes that go head to head with just the right amount of roastiness. The bitter chocolate follows the malts throughout the sip. It ends on a somewhat bitter note that lingers for a while, probably a combination of the roasted grain and european hops.

Great mouthfeel on this one...very smooth and drinkable with the right amount of carbonation. Alcohol is not perceptible and just right.

Overall an amazing porter that relies heavily in its balance between sweetness and bitterness (it starts out sweeter and turns bitter as you drink it). The main flaw IMO is that the aromatic hops shine a little bit too much in the aftertaste instead of the malts. Also, as mentioned above, the aroma needs a little kick.

 1,282 characters

Photo of PartyBear
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: About as black as a liquid can get, with a small rough tan head. Carbonation? I have no idea, there is a bit on the surface but it's dark to see any inside.

Aroma: Rich dark roasted malts. Strong coffee. Smoked wood chips. Also, a tiny bit like bacon, very weird.

Taste: Smokey, roasted malts. Chocolate but more milky than dark. Light coffee, and also hints of kola nut. The aftertaste is bittersweet as the brewers suggest.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, silky, smooth, creamy, and incredibly thick.

Drinklability: Beautifully silky ale, with rich and moreish flavours. Most people who know anything about beer will have already tried this, if you haven't, then you should.

 681 characters

Photo of longpondbeerman
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

True to its name, this stuff pours thick and black out of the classic long-necked bottle. Its developed a fine, chocolate tan foam that receeded slowly. The lace was sticky. Old Engine Oil has a deep, rather prune-like smell (my wife said she was reminded of figs), and the taste is smooth and fruity with very little carbonation. I thought this a worthy brew, but not very complex, and not among the top I've had recently.

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Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
4.1 out of 5 based on 1,737 ratings.
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