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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
1,752 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: 1,752 |  Reviews: 818
Photo of Wrigfen
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mig100
3.67/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of AleSan
3.46/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Can... Less good than I read around. Excellent coffee aromas, cocoa, hazelnut. Well the palate, soft and smooth in a slender body, but in the end comes out all the alcohol, too strong, warm and detached from the rest

 216 characters

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

Photo of mpires
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great taste, balanced, not too sweet which was good, would have liked to see a more creamy foam

95 characters

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.

 230 characters

Photo of Bunman3
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 911CROFT
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle into a Spiegleau Stout glass. Paid £1.50 for a single.

Pours a completely opaque, dark black body, that shows only a few mahogany glimmers near the edges of the glass when held to the light. A bubbly, two-finger in height, light tan coloured head with excellent retention, slowly condenses to a thick cap, leaving behind plenty of sticky, spotty lace.

Charred dark malts, burnt grains and powdered baking chocolate comprise the majority of the heavily roasted nose. Hints of a sweeter toasted profile and a faint berry-like fruitiness are perceptible underneath, while traces of ash, and woody, herbal hops become apparent towards the back-end. Taste roughly follows suit, adding further interest to the already complex nose. Dry, dark-roasted chocolate malt, powdered cocoa and lightly burnt acidic coffee lead initially above traces of lighter toasty grains. Mid-palate, tart red berries are joined by faint, but apparent notes of ripe black cherry, plums, dates, raisins and hints of dark chocolate, before roasted bitterness begins to re-build. In the mouth, a medium body paired with low amounts of soft, exceptionally fine carbonation give a pleasantly slick, smooth and creamy feel, despite being slightly less ‘oily’ than anticipated. Towards the back-end, sharp, faintly acidic dark malts, burnt espresso, smoke, ash and traces of leafy, herbal, woody hops combine to give a heavily roasted, slightly sour and mildly bitter finish. After the swallow, burnt coffee, dry roast, char and smoke linger considerably alongside a suggestion of dark fruit to finish slightly dry and chalky, with a touch of roasted grain astringency.

Overall this is a very good beer. Robust and characterful, it expertly balances complexity and depth of flavour with a high level of drinkability suitable to the style. Its flavour is predominantly dry and intensely roasted, but well-balanced by dark fruit and toasted profiles for the most part. To my tastes however, I found the finish just a little too dominated by black patent malt, with sharp and acrid characteristics becoming pronounced enough to detract very slightly from enjoyment.

 2,148 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin light brown head that dissipates to patches, with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, milk chocolate, a hint of vanilla. Flavor starts with toasted malt with a hint of char, milk chocolate, light drip coffee, slightly sweet at first, then drying out to a lingering dark charred malt and mild dark chocolate finish. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A very nice English style porter, leaning a bit towards an export stout style. Malt has good chocolate and light coffee flavors and the char in the finish is well done. It is certainly as dark as old engine oil, but not quite as viscous. Still aptly named and flavorful.

 747 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass

LOOK: Dark black color, thin, very little head
AROMA: toasted barley, chocolate-medium to strong.
TASTE: Toasted Grains, bittersweet chocolate, some woodiness.
FEEL: Very Drinkable, low carbonation

Very nice beer.

Could be a bit "peppier", if that's a word to descibe a beer, but good all around qualities.


 351 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very good beer, with pleasant but not overbearing aromas of coffee and burnt bread. Very drinkable despite the lingering roasty aftertastes. Great mouthfeel.

 159 characters

Photo of TerryMills
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into globe glass, not sure why this page says no longer brewed, I picked up a fresh bottle yesterday.

Look ,jet black pour , 1 finger dark tan head with lots of heavy lacing.

Smell, very deep roasted malts with just a hint of chocolate in the background.

Taste,nice deep roasted sweet malts come thru strong, then, on the end ,is a slight bitterness like bitter bakers chocolate . awesome combo.

Feel is just as thick as you would imagine from the pour and heavy lacing, nice thick body , as they should be for this type beer.

Overall this is my favorite mass produced bottled stout/ale thus far, I have some local craft I rate higher but not by much. This is a proper beer.

 699 characters

Photo of pcbnumber1
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of andpit
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EdgarGerik
4.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of williahd
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cdub70085
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Grogsky
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby red, not as dark as a guinness, however. Head is a rich white chocolate colour, creamy, but dissipates quickly. Aroma gives slight hints of roasted grain. Feel is creamy, yet crisp. Bold sweet chocolate flavour. A nice bitter finish. Reminds me of a milk stout, but not quite as sweet. Feels as though I've just trekked through the Scotish Highlands to a cabin on a hill. A great way to relax after such a trek.

 429 characters

Photo of Newffff
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours very nice. Poured into chilled pint glass. Small 1 finger head.
Rich smells of chocolate, coffee.

Drinks well, lingering after taste

Amazing on a hot day

 162 characters

Photo of bb-magic
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of weareallfalafel
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured (kinda hard) from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass. The head and bubbles look almost like a nitro porter, the way they sorta cascade upward and collect forming a 1.5-2 inch head that dissipated slowly and sticks generously to the glass, absolutely gorgeous. Smell is of chocolate, burnt roasted malt, a touch of smoke, and an even lighter note of sugar. Fantastic. Taste is just as good as the last two categories with a huge roasted, dark chocolate character. Then a touch of bitterness, that transitions to sweet, and then finishes bitter again. Deceptively simple flavor profile that reveals more and more depth as you drink it and as it warms in the glass. Not surprisingly, from the name, the feel in the mouth is thick, viscous, and luxurious. Fortifying, even. No surprise the porter is the classic post work beverage of the working stiff. And this is a perfect example of it, perfectly executed and cheap af to boot. This is some top notch stuff!

 966 characters

Photo of Hendrick24
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now listed as a "Black Ale" rather than a porter, Old Engine Oil is now in my glass.

It pours a deep, dark chocolate color with brown highlights. Not quite the blackness I was expected (I've seen some BLACK oil changes). The head is 3 fingers tall, and fuzzy on the sides.

Wow, from my perspective this smells like a Rauchbier. Very smokey, with meat locker, roast chicken and/or pork, dark barley, and some exhaust fumes (very interesting!). A touch of citrus at the very end of the aromatic profile lends some versatility.

Taste is made up of roasted barley, perhaps some carafe malts, with burnt coffee and citrus. Some figs. Hints of chocolate here and there, but only minor hints. This is by far a roast, dark profile with pot coffee and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Just thick, viscous, parching, and coats the mouth like a glug of oil.

Overall, I was pretty impressed here. It's not overwhelmingly, jaw-dropping good. It is however THE PERFECT BEER for when you feel like an Imperial Stout but do not want to get annhiliated by the alcohol content. This one rushes in at about 6% ABV, HALF of most Imperial Stouts. Try it if you haven't yet, you may become a fan.

 1,190 characters

Old Engine Oil Black Ale from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,752 ratings
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