Old Engine Oil Black Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
1,747 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:
Legend has it that Old Engine Oil was dedicated to our Head Brewer’s love of classic cars. But it’s the thick, dark, chocolatey viscosity that reveals the real inspiration behind the name.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-10-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,574
Reviews:
813
Ratings:
1,747
pDev:
10.39%
Bros Score:
4.55
 
 
Wants:
166
Gots:
238
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,747 |  Reviews: 813
Photo of UnionMade
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ale is dark umber brown, with very little head. Almost looks like cola. Some lacework, forming patchy little globs on the glass.
Aroma is very subdued, light english hops and a slight roasty aroma. Light esteriness, with an herbal hoppiness flitting lightly through the malt.
Flavor is initially thin, then explodes with flavor at the back of the tongue. Bitterness from both roasted malts and prodigious hopping. Sweet in a strange dark chocolate kind of way. Mild plum and pear flavors, with a touch of fig. Very low carbonation, with a smooth, rich mouthfeel.
Hot stuff. Very similar to Old Peculier.

 611 characters

Photo of BigMike
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From an 11.2 oz. Bottle

A: Pours jet black with no signs of light coming through anywhere. A beautifuly dense tan head on top that's leaving a lace trail on the glass.

S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, anise, a light roasted nuttiness. Finishes with bitter coffee notes.

M: super smooth and creamy. Light to medium body with light carbonation.

Overall: This is good beer. A real easy drinking flavorful porter. I recommend trying this one.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with some ruby hues. Almost black. About 3/4" of tan head. Aroma is heavy of roasted malt with bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some toasted nuts in there as well as some cherries.

Taste is very bitter, almost sour. Roasted espresso and dark chocolate dominate the flavors, and the cherry noted in the aroma is noticeable towards the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin in my opinion for something that is compared to "gloopy car engine oil" on the bottle but not bad by any means, although this lends itself to drinkability, which it is very drinkable. Reminds me more of a stout, but whatever it is, its good.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a deep brown to black color forming a medium bubbled tan head that disappear quickly leaving only few lacings in the glass

S: Strong notes of malts, roasted malts, chocolate malts. Very biscuity, with strong notes of roasted malts. Very bready: notes of Oreo and earthy yeasts

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Strong notes of roasted malts. Very bready! Very earthy yeasts

M: Medium creamy body. Medium carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste

O: Great drinkabitity. Excellent quality. Masterpiece

 540 characters

Photo of ski271
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Dankacheese
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Richardberg
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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 -1%
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 -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle at Monks Cafe in Philly
2/19/15

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Photo of Amalak
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of vinicole
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
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

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Photo of geexploitation
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Burgz
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sokol_1993
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dougbreathe
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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

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Photo of istarilord
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Casey10
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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.

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Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,747 ratings
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