Old Engine Oil Black Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale
BA SCORE
88.2%
Liked This Beer
4.14 w/ 1,743 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
Ranking:
#1,566
Reviews:
813
Ratings:
1,743
Liked:
1,538
Avg:
4.14/5
pDev:
10.39%
Alströms:
4.55
 
 
Wants:
167
Gots:
236
Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,743 |  Reviews: 813
Photo of eat
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a patchy cover of beige head. I thought it would look thicker given its name; I hate when I'm let down in the name of a beer. Why not name a beer something else if it's not going to live up to it? Some lacing present.

Molasses, smoke, roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso, caramel and dark hops in the nose. Pretty nice.

Tastes of dusty cocoa, lots of dark hop bitterness, dark chocolate, light smoke. Surprising bitterness. I like it.

The feel could definitely be a little thicker. Not bad, but engine oil? Medium-thin body with light carbonation.

I like how this is definitely a porter in the classic sense. Very drinkable. I'd pick this up again for sure. Great example of the style, though I'm not sure what it has to do with engine oil.

 775 characters

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: snifter. rich, deep mahogany/almost pitch black with a nice supple tan head. mild retention rate. light lacing.

S: rich roasted malt aromas. very chocolately with some cherry and nutty characteristics.

T: some serious chocolate and cherry flavors. solid roasted malt backbone. no hop flavors that I can pick up. nice sweet cherry finish.

M: very smooth and creamy. medium body. low to mild carbonation.

D: nice beer with a good smooth drinkability. very enjoyable and subtle. worth a try and great to marinate with as well.

 530 characters

Photo of Jlang2012
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Sam-VW
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of hdtrice
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mousel
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LennyBound
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GreenWBush
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An Old Ale? Hmm...I could've sworn that this was just an old-fashioned porter or stout...irregardless of that, this was a *tasty* beer and one that was severely gulpable on cask.

This came off of the hand-pull rather unimpressive; rather flat and somewhat opaque mahogany. The smell was equally modest and pedestrian...slightly peaty with a nice roasted character, but nothing to throw me into beer-desire-sweats.

But the taste - the taste. Almost uncapturable in words (as the best tend to be) just slightly smoky, sweet, peaty, and altogether painfully drinkable. Even at ~$5 a pint, I couldn't get enough of this. The mouthfeel was deliciously slick and almost refreshing for a darkish beer.

Like Stonecrusher says, some are thrown off by the name of this baby...but the taste is world-class and amazing, even bottled. On cask, an absolutely delighting killer of a brew.

Still available in Muncie, IN, at the Heorot for at least another week on cask...get there if you're nearby.

 994 characters

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mooseo
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into goblet.

A - Jet black with a thin, bubbly tan head. Nice dark ruby hues around the edges when held up to the light.

S - Milk chocolate, roasted coffee bean, and molasses. A hint of dark fruit.

T - Lots of roasted malt and milk chocolate throughout. Starts out very sweet, but a mild coffee bitterness tends to balance things out. Hints of dark fruit, vanilla, and caramel lend some complexity, but are rather subtle.

M - Medium bodied, oily and slick. Mild carbonation.

O - An excellent porter. Flavorful with high drinkability. Expected a fuller mouthfeel, but it's still a very good beer. One of the best labels I've seen.

Robust malt profile

 675 characters

Photo of akopczyk
4.94/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of taigor
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of dherling
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big bubbly off white hea sits on a sludge like near black beer. The nose gives off some strong espresso, along with malt, and a nice chocolate roundness. The palate delivers a chocolate like bitterness, a little leather, burning wood. It has a decent moutfeel and a finish that lingers. A pretty straightforward beer, not terrible complex.

 339 characters

Photo of giblet
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is a very good ale. i had it years ago but forgot what it was like. i get a kick out of the name. pours rich and smooth. good creamy head. rich roasted malts tingle the nostrils. nice rich malty flava. chewy. this beer is damn good. i could not rate it a 4.5 on drinkability cuz if i cant drink 16 - 24 oz of a beer in a sitting i cant rate it near perfection. other than that it is.

suckem up and movem out.

giblet

 422 characters

Photo of travelguy
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of factoide
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BWED
3.69/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Black with a thick brown head. Great retention and it holds some nice lacing.

S- Dark roasted malts. Slight cocoa. Off-putting metallic aroma, however.

T- Subtle roast flavor, but really not much more.

M- Viscous, just like oil. A bit of a roasty-bitter finish, which lingers.

O- This was decent, but I was expecting more flavor out of it. The look and feel live up to the name, however.

 446 characters

Photo of Higravity
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved the Whiskey Barrel aged bottle I traded for, but this was nice too. A nice English Old ale that isn't that old but I could really see this progessing well with some oxidation adding flavors to an already flavor packed beer. I think I picked up a little maple syrup for a minute. I will have to get some to lay down for a few and see where they go. Nice stuff try a bottle, but not too cold.

 398 characters

Photo of Spike
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black from its 330ml bottle. Has a ruby edge when held to the light. One finger tan head leaves arches of lacing and a thick cap. A quick swirl easily rebuilds the head.

The nose is rich with toasted malts, hazelnuts, sweet coffee, sultanas.

Flavour is not quite as rich as the nose but coffee, chocolate and toasted malts are to the fore.

Light to medium body with lively carbonation. Dry and astringent. Some chewiness.

Now called a 'black ale' on its label (probably appropriate because it's less chocolatey, more hoppy, and has more carbonation than most porters), this is an excellent and complex beer: loads of bitterness; fantastic nose; coffee; toasted malts; rich effervescence.

 698 characters

Photo of Bobhoya
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Noxious26
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml brown bottle with pry off cap poured in a pint glass.

Chocolate brown head is 1/4 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin ring with islands of foam. Absolutely pitch black with dark brown highlights when you hold it to the light.

Rather boozy and vinous aroma with a baclground of dried figs and prunes with hints of burnt and dark malts.

Dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, dark roast coffee, with a boozy, almost port like finish. Aftertaste is boozy with an astringent burnt character.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

Overall a good beer and nice example of the style.

 599 characters

Photo of robotiks
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of lpayette
3.57/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an interesting one for sure. I thought this was a stout of sorts, but BA designates this as an old ale, which upon taste makes a lot of sense. A black old ale... different

Pours near black with hints of brown. Very little carbonation struggles to produce any head which means lacing is out of the question. I smell a bit of funk and vinegar in the smell and I'm fairly confident that the integrity of this brew has not been compromised. It's got a tiny tart bite at the finish (think cherries). It seems this is just a biproduct of what I can only assume is a unique strain of yeast or combination of yeasts. Not really sure if it's for me, but it is definitely interesting. Roasty and chocolatey, though perhaps not as thick and viscous as you'd expect from the name. Seems that black patent was used in abundance if I had to guess. The moouthfeel is actually quite light for the style and very slick. Quite a bit more drinkable than I expected due to the low alcohol.

Overall fairly complex and it tends to grow on you a bit as it warms. Still, I'm not crazy about this one, but I can see how so many are.

 1,117 characters

Photo of BrewMaster
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours with very little head over the dark brownish red liquid. What little head does show does not last long or leave much lacing. Pretty average looking beer.

Smell: Light roasted aroma with a touch of caramel and fruits. Not much volume to the smell.

Taste: Moderately interesting coffee toast to it with some toffee and faint floral hop flavor. No bitterness to speak of with mostly a sweet malty base flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: There's not much to say about this beer. It's average and even boring for the style. Perhaps it took a hit on the journey across the ocean. I don't know. But I won't be having another one of these. It lacks any sort of complexity or depth.

 745 characters

Photo of seakayak
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 88.2% out of 100 with 1,743 ratings
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