Harviestoun Ola Dubh 18 Year Special Reserve

Harviestoun Ola Dubh 18 Year Special Reserve

Rated 3.964 by BeerPals

Brewed by Harviestoun Brewery

Dollar, Clackmannan, United Kingdom

Style:  Old Ale

8% Alcohol by Volume

This beer is no longer brewed

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Ola Dubh (or "Black Oil") is so named because it is gloopy and viscous. This limited release has been matured in casks from Orkney's award-winning Highland Park distillery to add complimentary whisky notes to what is already an amazing brew. It is chocolatey with a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste. Special Reserve 18, whisky notes: Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was named Best Spirit in the World by F. Paul Pacult; it offers toffee sweetness, almond nuttiness and a prolonged, smoky aftertaste.

ID: 35384 Last updated 3 years ago Added to database 15 years ago

Key Stats









Overall Rank176
Overall Percentile99.7
Style Rank2 of 226
Style Percentile99.1
Lowest Score3.7
Highest Score4.7
Average Score4.171
Weighted Score3.964
Standard Deviation0.345

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

14 Member Reviews

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  • BUCKLECHUM 87 reviews
    rated 4.7 5 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 10 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Chocolate, treacle, raisins, apples, blackcurrant, chocolate. I has it all! Pours almost black with a virtually non-existent head. Very rich and full-bodied, but still surprisingly drinkable. THe perfect dark beer in my opinion. Love it!

  • CYBERCAT 11711 reviews
    rated 4.7 7 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 10 | Overall: 9

    Pours opaque sable with a thick tan head. Roast malt aroma has notes of chocolate, whisky, wood and coffee - almost more a stout than an old ale. Mouth-filling flavor delights with roast malt, coffee, smoky, earthy, semi-sweet chocolate and subtle caramel tones plus a hint of whisky-infused wood. Firm, viscous body has little fizz, but still goes down well. Worth $10 for 330 ml? Ale yeah!

  • VIPINVELP 2001 reviews
    rated 4.0 9 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 8

    Dark, black almost w/ light brown lasting lacing foam. Dark aroma, soft coffee, some toffee, little bitter. Smooth taste, light coffee, light bitter, just a smooth taste, not too outstanding. Lasting smooth aftertaste, a real smooth beer. (Amsterdam 201409)

  • BLUESANDBARBQ 2568 reviews
    rated 4.5 10 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Wish List Beer. Shared bottle with sam. Motor oil. Tasty tasty motor oil. Thick tar black pour with little head nor lacing. Sweet burnt molasses in the initial nose and taste, huge malt presence, extremely earthy, woodsy, smoky, roasted nuts, dark chocolates, then the Whisky. Love love love this beer.

  • CHOPZ 7136 reviews
    rated 3.7 10 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Finally found the missing one of these brews (years) in the States, at Total Wine in Summerlin, Vegas. Bottle No. 10023 on FEB 2012. Pours a dark brown colour with a frothy-bubbly mocha head, good retention and thick creamy lacing. Big nutty aromas with lots of dark fruits, but I do not feels the smokiness in this one. Well, at least not much. More molasses and hints of fruitcake. A little warming in the mouthfeel with a nice touch of dryness from the hops. Still, too wet overall. Taste is little mild compared to the nose, but still lots going on, with the blend of dark fruits, nuts and hoppy finish. Glad I could try this, but that's good for this one.

  • MMMMBEER 1119 reviews
    rated 3.7 11 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 7

    Dirty used oil with a thin tan cap floating on top. Thick smooth smokey chocolate, mild peat, and a faint hint of a freshly tared roof. Wish the aroma was a little stronger. Mmmmmmmmm... that's easy drinking stuff. Earth, peat, chocolate, tons of smoke, and a bitter, bitter finish. Is that apple?? probably not. This drinks to fast. Some vanilla, dry, toast. That's all I have to say about that.

  • HEYBEERMAN 1025 reviews
    rated 4.3 11 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    I'm pretty sure I had a 12 at Pfoxyjohn's, however, I recall little of that night so I thought I best try again. The 18 is what I found, not bad I'd say. Not quite so viscous as advertised but jet black with light froth. Smells and tastes like the best Imps, also a bit of smoke, nice. Really well rounded and just great to continually sip on, close to Abyss in my mind.

  • MITCHFORGIE 683 reviews
    rated 4.0 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Feb 2009 Bottled, drank in April 1012. Black beer, light tan head, really a dirty white I think at times. I taste nuts, salt, whiskey (light coloured light bodided whiskey like Lowland), nothing like peat, something like white wine. The body is medium, no trace of alcohol, in fact this particular bottle seems a bit watery, not like the others in the series that I have had. Seems to lean to the sweeter side while drinking, and the aftertaste has a nice biscuit like dryness to it. Mild carbonation that has disappeared pretty quickly. Fantastic but disappointing that said wateryness showed up in this bottle, which doesn't appear to be the norm.

  • SLOWRUNNER77 5682 reviews
    rated 4.4 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    skips over the 30 in the hierarchy...rivals the 40 as the smoothest. lost of whiskey in this one, but not hot at all. some smoke, sweet dark fruit and roasted malts. Good enough i want to try the whiskey...

  • LENUSIK 2067 reviews
    rated 4.0 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    I'm not sure what defines these as 'old' ales, they all seem pretty porterish/Scottish ale to me. They all poured black, lots of roasted malt and vanilla in the aroma. Flavour is well balanced. Nice and malty, and the whiskey is in the finish. I can find no discernable differences between the 12, 16, and 18 year versions

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