Old Engine Oil Black Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale
Liked This Beer
4.14 w/ 1,744 ratings
Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

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

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Ratings: 1,744 |  Reviews: 813
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is really good stuff. Poured out to a pitch black color with low carbonation and a thin layer of foam. Some notes of lacing in the glass. Aromas of smoke, chocolate, coffee, caramel and earth blend well. Taste was very complex and inviting; flavors of coffee, roasted malts, nuts, grain and caramel whirl about in a sea of beer bliss. Some sweetness toward the finish. Aftertaste was slightly bitter and creamy. Mouthfeel was thick and heavy, like old heavy brewed coffee that was cold. Nice. This brews solid level of drinkability will bring me back in no time. Recommended.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, revealing black body with a decent-sized coffee-colored head. Smells alcoholic and fruity with undertones of aged dark malt.

Tastes nice and roasty with a lot of chocolate malt character but not any fruitiness like the smell gives off. Medium-bodied carbonation is not too sharp, but enough to accentuate the slight acidic mouthfeel. After all of it, the taste is quite bitter. The beer consistency is borderline heavy with a smooth, slightly drying finish. For sure this is something I would enjoy again.

I think this marks my first in the old ale category, but I am excited to go out for more. This one hits my mark.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep brown, very nearly entirely black. Lets no light through its thick body. Head is two fingers of frothy tan foam leaving a nice lace on the glass. Very nice indeed.

Smell: rich aroma of raw malt with some hints of chocolate thrown in. It's a very smooth effect; one of the maltiest beers (nevermind porters) that I've encountered.

Taste: rich malty flavor reminiscent of a Scottish ale, but with a good, chocolatey porter sensibility about it. Hops are earthy in character and provide a very nice and balanced bitterness toward the end. A wonderful beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice silkiness and a low level of carbonation. Not exactly creamy, but very smooth indeed.

Overall: a very good beer. I feel like it could be made truly great with a little bit creamier mouthfeel.

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Photo of darkmartin
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours completely opaque black, with a small, thick brown head. Thick lacing.
Smell: Strong evidence of coffee and toasted malts. Some fruity tones.
Taste: All coffee up front, with an interestingly fruity finish.
Mouthfeel: Thick, yet clean. Moderately carbonated.
Drinkability: The thick, robust flavor definitely makes it a beer to enjoy slowly. However, the complex taste is something that can definitely be enjoyed for a beer or three.

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Photo of ccrida
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle (newest release, L8 186 B 10:11 stamped on bottle) poured into my Meantime snifter, Old Engine Oil is pitch black with a large tan head, tight with a few larger bubbles, pretty long lasting, leaving decent lace,

Smell is milk chocolate and lactose, a little pruney, very slight roast, not to exciting or even really my taste.

Taste is full and rich, robust for sure, heavily toasted grains, some cured fruits and chocolate, a touch nutty, with a nice, if subtle smokiness. Not sweet like the nose, more complex and very good. In spite of all the flavors, it's smooth and rounded, reminiscent of a well aged RIS, minus the patience and bruising ABV!

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side, creamy but with a dry finish. Super smooth actually, almost cask like.

Drinkability is pretty good, a very tasty, full flavored old ale that is clearly in porter and stout territory. Harviestoun basically could have called this any of the three, and with the smokiness, could have even gone with Wee Heavy. Regardless, it's a damn good dark ale (which is actually all the label claims, "Black Ale"). I like that it's so robust without being over the top ABV wise. Pretty nice price for this rarity to boot, $3.50.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown almost black beer with a small but very nice creamy beige head the doesn't evaporate right away. The aroma is a strong roasted malt aroma that I swear has an engine oil characteristic to it. Ther flavor is a robust roasted malt with marvelous highlights of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Very enjoyable to sit and savor.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an oily black color with a HUGE foamy and frothy mocha colored head. Looked like a Guinness pour at first with the gorogeous layers of bubbles sorting themselves out. The frothalicious head stuck around for quite awhile, very light and airey. Loads of lacing. The aroma is super malty with great hints of chocolate, roastiness and must. Awesome bitter chocolate, coffee and roasted grain flavor. Slightly fruity with a light hop bitterness. Not super heavy in feel but very very smooth and creamy to the tongue.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice black. It's like, how much more black could this beer be? And the answer is none. None more black. Nice 1" brown frothy head. Decent lacing.

S: Sweet, creamy caramel. Mild floral hops.

T: Oaky, chocolately caramelly coffee with a lovely bitter, slightly floral hops finish. There's a lot going on here and it's all good.

M: Full bodied, creamy, and a little fizzy.

D: Oh my yes.

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Photo of Converge
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger-and-a-half of thick, frothy mocha head. Black as night. Nice lacing no surprise. The head eventually died down to a tan cream on-top of the beer.

S - Roasted malt, caramel malt, dark chocolate, and some dark fruits. I also detect a touch of hops. Simple, but really nice.

T - A little disappointing upfront, with not a lot going on at first. Finishes with a roasted malt flavor with a slight bitterness. Not nearly as smokey or burnt as I expected, but rather sweet and creamy, with a lot of vanilla, dark and milk chocolate, and rich caramel. I do find this a little off putting however, as I thought this beer would have a lot more smokiness and bitterness to it. The bottle is a few months old, but it also reads "MAR 2012" on the neck. Still, this porter boasts a rich, creamy flavor profile that I find really appealing. After starting out almost skunky, this beer warms up with a fantastic taste. Towards the end I begin to pick up some smokiness, especially in the aftertaste. Some dark fruits are also present in the warmer taste.

M - Couldn't be much better here. Almost no carbonation, with a thick, creamy mouthfeel that just slides by your palate and taste-buds like silk. Perfect for this style, nice and semi-viscous with a creamy, low-carbonation feel.

D - One of the better beers I've tried to date. Really complex flavor profile and near-perfect mouthfeel with this porter. I do detect something slightly off-putting, almost skunky in the flavor still, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying this one thoroughly.

 1,600 characters

Photo of pittvkyle7
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black black. Healthy brown head that fades to a ring and leaves lace.

S- Sweet caramel and roasted grain. A smokey woody aroma is present too with a hint of alcohol.

T- A huge malt bomb with a heavy roasted presence. The roasted is leaning towards burnt at times. Sweet grains push through the roast and give way to some hops for a slightly bitter hop finish. very earthy and amazing!

M- Chewy, full, plenty of carbonation to cut the thickness. Very smooth going down.

D- A very nice sipper for this cold night (even though I'm inside) but you get the idea.

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Photo of Valmor88
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: BLACK pour with a dark brown head. Lets no light through when held up to light.

S: Malty and coffe/roasted cocoa nose.

T: Chocolate and coffee with lots of roasted malts and some cream. Slightly alcoholic finish with more roasted malts.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body.

O: A good english style porter. Great for drinking when you just want a porter, nothing crazy.

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Photo of Dzu
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 0.33l bottle into goblet.
L: Dark brown with a little biege foam head.
S: Cocoa beans, dark chocolate.
T: Bittersweet, roasted sugar,coffee.
F: Tight body, lowcarbonation.
O: Great porter! I'd like it to be more sweet.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, M and S, Bristol - Pours jet black with a medium tanned head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - roasted malts, light dark chocolate, oaty - porridge. Taste - Sweet, smooth, roasted malty notes, dark chocolate, crips bitter finish. Solid well balanced porter that ticks all the boxes.

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Photo of mrfried
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: There's that namesake - pours a viscous black with a creamy tan head. Little to no retention.

S: Rich and fudgy - brownie batter, vanilla, rum raisin scents waft up thick from the glass. Dense residual sugars here, backed up with notes of toffee and burnt toast.

T: Starts to style: slightly metallic, bready, with a hearty flavor of chalky chocolate. Caramel and bittersweet cocoa tones thicken it even more, then it takes an interesting turn - a crisp dryness, starting with herbal pine and lemon rind, starts a burn. It climbs slow to a strong bitterness of tannic grain husk, surprisingly intense for a porter. Finishes with that tight dryness gripping the palate, with some porter flintiness, as well.

M: Thin body with a little carbonation adding some creamy texture. That dryness that picks up toward the end of the palate breathes some new life into the drink, keeping it from staying too thick and one-dimensional.

O: A great porter - I could drink this all day. Too bad it would be an expensive six-pack...still, as a single bottle with dinner, it can't be beat.

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Photo of Jaysauras
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Black. Pours black as black. Usually some dark beers have a slight redness when held up to the light, but this this sucker says "no" to that. Nice thick creamy head to it, soft and delicate. Very nice lace as well.

S: Cocoa is extremely prevalent. Malt and a slight bit spicy sweetness. Like a nutmeg. Also a very faint smell of cherry or dark fruit. Very subtle.

T: Wow. This sucker has some wallop to it. Big bold roasted cocoa and dark chocolate favors give way to a more bold espresso bean like flavor. Again there is the smallest bit of a dark fruit in here that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe like a cherry or plum. Something dark and bold. Malt, spice, and bit of a smoky flavor close out a very interesting and bold beer.

F: Bitter from the english hops throughout. Big and bold. Chewy up front and dry on the back end. This isn't one for easy drinking, but it certainly is worth a pint or two.

O: For a somewhat obscure beer I picked up at Total Wine, this was really solid. Very good character to it and an impressive blend of flavors. It's a slow sip beer that should be savored. If you are a fan of dark beers that feature chocolate and roasted malts this is an absolute beauty.

 1,206 characters

Photo of hozersr
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of dolivaw
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of xdefeatsy
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 88.2% out of 100 with 1,744 ratings
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