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Old Engine Oil Black Ale | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Old Engine Oil Black AleOld Engine Oil Black Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
1,757 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:
#1,618
Reviews:
820
Ratings:
1,757
pDev:
10.39%
Bros Score:
4.55
 
 
Wants:
166
Gots:
241
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,757 |  Reviews: 820
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 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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Photo of soulcougher
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crwills
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Taps Brewery pint glass. Pours absolutely jet black, looks very thick, a small head that fades fast with some decent lacing.

Very strong aroma that hits you as soon as you pour. Cocoa and strong espresso, caramel, bread, and some mild hoppiness that makes it nice and bitter smelling.

Taste is bitter chocolate and sour cherries or blackberries. Hops provide a bit of kick, and a sour aftertaste.

Only disappointment was the for something called "engine oil," the mouthfeel was a little thin and watery. Still smooth and coating (oily?), but not quite as molasses-like as I expected.

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Photo of Dapperticus
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

11.2oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with a finger of tan fine bubbled head. Not much in the aroma department, some chocolate and a little fruit. Roasted barley and some malty sweetness. Body was a little thin for a beer that calls itself engine oil. There are some hops in there, but most of the bitterness comes from roasted malt. Nice long finish.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours engine oil black and has a nice foamy one inch head that settles to a sticky lace.The aroma is chocolate,vanilla and malts with Alcohol hints.
The taste is roasted malts,chocolate and vanilla sweet with a touch of hops.
The feel was silky,smooth and had a sightly bitter finish that I felt had good balance with the sweetness. Moderate carbonation and one could sure have at least two of these.

Notes: I know this is Old Ale,but reminds me a lot of when I have
a Brooklyn Chocolate Stout. What I really mean is that I wish that stout had the same balance. I suppose the chocolate flavor has something to do with it. The ABV was good on the "Old Engine" and I enjoyed it very much.

 687 characters

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 sisuspeed
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Farmer's Market in Woodstock, VT. Seemed like kind of a random place to find a beer like this, but the market actually had a decent collection of rarities, so go figure.

Poured this into a snifter. The color is black. All black with a light brown head that thinly skirts across the top of the beer and foams up around the sides of the glass.

The aroma is malty, grainy, slight popcorn smell followed by a hint of chocolate malts. Pleasant.

The taste is malty, mostly on the dark side. Black malts heavily contribute to the flavor and leave some bitter earthiness in your mouth. Very roasty, some dark chocolate in the background. This beer is very black malt driven.

The mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy, but then the bitterness cancels that sensation. Ample carbonation, nice body. In terms of drinkability, I would say this is very drinkable for the style. I would probably only want a pint or two of this, but I'm not having any trouble putting it down.

All in all, this is a well done old ale. Roasty, bittersweet. Enough elements to keep it interesting. Would pick up another one of these if I were in the mood for the style.

 1,163 characters

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of sephyrott
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of seand
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large red wine glass.

A: Pours a very dark near opaque brown, not quite black, with maybe half a finger of tan head. The head dies down pretty quickly but does leave a bit of foam, mainly around the edge of the glass. Leaves reasonable lacing.

S: Fairly subtle, malty with hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

T: Sweet and complex, but subtle, certainly not overpowering, with a nice hop finish that lingers on the aftertaste.

M: Thick, with medium to mild carbonation. Works well with the flavors. Viscous is a good word here.

D: Quite easy to drink, and the ABV isn't too high.

Quite good, and I'll probably buy it again.

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Photo of KlayWey
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of mountdew1
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a completely opaque black with a thick dark red head. The head clung to the sides nicely, and left a thin layer on top. Aroma was sweet, akin to a dark chocolate with a small bit of oatmeal. Taste was sweet, slightly milky. Melt a bit watery in the mouth, but yet still had body and texture. Pleasant to drink, but the ABV hit surprisingly fast

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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.

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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 taigor
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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

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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

Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,757 ratings
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