Old Engine Oil Black Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale
1,786 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:
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

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Ratings: 1,786 |  Reviews: 829
Photo of mzwolinski
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown in color with some chunky sediement, and a light tan thinnish head. Aroma is lovely and inviting: chocolate and molasses combine with a roasty malt scent and blend into a rather port-like alcohol nose. Flavor is chocolate/ caramel sweet up front, with a light hint of cherry, a bit of alcohol warming mid-palate. Medium-bitter hop finish fades gently into the background, yielding to a a pleasant, roasty sweet aftertaste. Sooth, creamy, and rather full bodied. A nice treat!

 491 characters

Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of beachbum1975
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Pulled straight from the cellar, pried the top and poured into my KBS

Pours like the name implies... A dark, moderately viscous root beer brown with a creamy dark tan head.

Smells of roasted malts and toffee.

Nice creamy mix of mild caramel malts, light coffee grounds and milk chocolate. Sorta reminds me of a Samuel Smith beer in the nose (they must brew in similar ways ;) )...

Nice, easy and enjoyable.

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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 bret717
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look- pours cola brown with a one finger tan head

Smell- Intense dark roast coffee, a little chocolate

Taste- follows the nose closely, but the roast coffee note tastes closer to burnt, lending to a moderate amount of bitterness

Feel- medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall- Great porter with intense roast flavor and great body

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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 Jlang2012
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of kegger22
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Black Ale is very dark brown, almost black color, with a moderate, tan head that dissipates to a self sustaining collar.

The aroma is roasted coffee.

The same roasted coffee shows up in the taste, along with chocolate, but you want to wait for the Oil to warm a little first.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and modestly carbonated.

Drinkability is pretty good because the 6.00 ABV and respectable flavor.

I was hoping to have my socks knocked off by Old Engine Oil, because I just bought a bottle of Ola Dubh 16. Old Oil wasn't bad, but I'm not sure I justified the purchase of what is basically an aged Old Oil for 9 bucks. Oh well.

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Photo of Dirty25
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Photo of acevenom
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a large, creamy tan head that dissipates slowly. The head retains very well. No light can be seen passing through this beer. There are smells of dark roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. It smells a little sweet. The aroma is very inviting. The taste is just like it smells. There are flavors of dark roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. There's a mild sweetness from the malt to accompany the bitter hops. This is wonderfully balanced and delicious. The body is medium with not a lot of carbonation. It's creamy with high drinkability. This is very easy to gulp. Overall, this is a fantastic, flavorful porter.

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Photo of ScotNH
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of weaselchew
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

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

To compare some dark beers, I bought this, 'Old Ale' Porter from Scotland.

Very dark brown, good head, very nice lacing.
Aroma of dark malts, a bit of coffee and chocolate, also dark caramel and vanilla.

Taste is bitter from roasted malts. There's almost an ash taste to it too. Bitter aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel is medium: it's not lingering too long. Alcohol is well masked.

Compared to other porters I've had ( I say porter, because it's stated like this on the bottle), This Old Engine Ale' is modest.
More creamy milky chocolate notes would make it more to my liking.
Good nevertheless.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnce: This engine oil pours dark brown with a foamy brown head and reddish bricking.
Aroma: This puppy has some maltiness in the nose.
Flavor: It's a bit malty with some alcohol bite, but not too much. THis is extremely drinkable. I can imagine sitting back and having a few of these

 292 characters

Photo of MichialTanner1
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of igl
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dradair
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black with a moderate tan head. Head reduces but retains and leaves decent lacing.

Roasted malt nose with some espresso, brownie-like chocolate and a bit of toffee/molasses. Slight sour acidic twang.

Same holds true for the flavor. Decent balancing hop presence.
Starts sweet but goes dry in the finish with a nice burnt coffee bean aftertaste. Hint of smokiness too.

Insanely thick and creamy, yet nicely carbonated, which keeps the head hanging around in the form of a creamy cap that renews itself with each sip.

Thick & full bodied, flavorful, balanced, and drinkable. What else is there to say? Great stuff.

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Photo of sisterofba
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DoctorDog
3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2 oz. bottle into a nonic.

A- Very deep brown/mahogany. Pours with 1/2 finger of brown head, which fades quickly, leaving thin, incomplete cap.

S- Vinous alcohol notes offset by some malty/fruity sweetness.

T- Roasty maltiness mixes with slight notes of dark fruit/plum and molasses, offset somewhat unfortunately by hints of wet cardboard that mar an otherwise interesting blend of flavors.

M- Moderate/low carbonation. Surprisingly thin/watery and quite drying. Strikingly lacking in the viscosity that I was expecting. Big disappointment in this department.

D- Not great. Didn't much want to savor this one, and it wasn't close to sessionable. One and done.

Future outlook: Pretty big disappointment. This brew is supposedly age-able, but perhaps my bottle's Old Engine Oil was just too damn old...I'll probably try this again, but only if I'm certain the bottle is fresh enough.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just some very short notes on this one, sorry.

A: BIG cola like head on this, opaque black body, not much else worth describing though.

S: Sugar, cooked grain, brown sugar. No Alcohol.

T: Dry, roasted, no hops or alcohol. Sort of bland, I could see why they wanted to age this in barrels.

M: Dry and Light.

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Photo of Giangio
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into an English pint glass.
The appearance was a dark brown close to black color. Motor oil like sound glugs out of the bottle, (did I pour too fast), oh bother, I dunno, if anything, it gave good head (did I just say that? yeah, don't take that the wrong way, I'm not a pervert). Anywho, well, the head was slightly thick with a nice glossy level take of an off white to tan color. Lacing is fairly thick as well.
The smell had some honey and molasses colliding with some dark fruits and bleeds into some roasty coffee bean-esque notes. Honestly, the coffee beans seem more subtle and almost unreal.
The taste was moderately sweet through all previously mentioned flavors. Roastiness bursts into the bitterness nicely. Dark fruits seem moderated a bit more leading into the aftertaste. Decent wet finish.
The mouthfeel takes a medium body and slaps the roast and the bitterness on my tongue. Lay me down and go to bed, hot damn, that's nice! Don't take into question how this one feels once you feel it, as not just the roast and bitterness hit, then the smooth and creaminess come in to play ball. Love how this one feels!
Overall, everything comes together in a stellar manner mostly, ah, but that aroma, wishing the coffee beans would show more oomph! That's my only complaint. Looking forward to having more of this towards winter!

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Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,786 ratings