Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40 Year Special Reserve

Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40 Year Special Reserve

Rated 4.077 by BeerPals
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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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Retaining the appearance of used motor oil from which the beer gets its name, it is deep dark brown, dense and oily. On the nose there are notes of true oil and cocoa as well as faint smoke and heathery peat from the whisky casks. Although lighter in body that its appearance suggests, Ola Dubh is pithy, oily, salty and bitter on the palate. The nish is exceptional; burnt and bitter notes with an interplay of late hop characters, orange oil, fruity tartness and then delicate, fragrant smoke.

ID: 35234 Last updated 3 years ago Added to database 14 years ago

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Most noted beer attributes

beany 100%
banana 100%
freshly cut grass 100%
oversweet 100%
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Overall Rank65
Overall Percentile99.9
Style Rank1 of 225
Style Percentile99.6
Lowest Score4.1
Highest Score4.6
Average Score4.400
Weighted Score4.077
Standard Deviation0.183

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

10 Member Reviews

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  • TREBORIUS 308 reviews
    rated 4.5 3 years ago

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

    The pour is a very dark brown colour, the head is a dark tan color, creamy, and leaves a lot of lacing. Molasses and peat are apparent in the aroma along with roasted malt, burnt wood, and licorice. A full bodied beer. The flavor mimics the aroma…..sweet grains, with hints of burnt wood and peat in the back end. Awesome.

  • SUDSMCDUFF 3781 reviews
    rated 4.2 12 years ago

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

    Bought at Cork and Barrel .. . shared with the Houston BA's- they seemed to enjoy it .. . black, low foam .. . notes of burnt barrel, tar, oak, peat, smoke, and smooth whiskey .. . wow, this stuff is the bomb, to bad its so money intrusive .. . . My mother always used to say, "The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana."

  • RAINMAN 892 reviews
    rated 4.6 12 years ago

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

    Bottle 54891 Jan 2009: Pours pitch black with a low brown head that goes away. Aroma of peat, licorice, smoke, scotch. Mouthfeel is smoooooooth. Flavor matches the aroma, with a titch of vanilla. Beautiful.

  • POOTZ 1565 reviews
    rated 4.3 13 years ago

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

    330ml bottle #28357.....Pours a viscous deep dark black light-defying fluid into the snifter. Small tight tan cap laces the glass. Aroma is pungent and becomes more complex as it warms. I get prunes. grapes, figs, fermenting raisins, smokey peat, licorice, burnt treacle some musty oak tones. wet leather. Thick viscous body, oily mouth feel aged rounded character. Flavour profile: Front side is filled with dried fruit tones, slightly vinous but by mid way a smokey-peaty-charred roastyness mingles with the dried fruit-licorice tones to create some very complex flavours...peaty-oaky-roasty, whikey saddle leather finish with a surprising cleanness and sharpness and a light salty taste as the fusel alcohol shows at the very end. The brewer got exactly what they wanted with this process....a fine old ale with it’s dark dried fruit character married to the oaky-smokey tastes of the whiskey barrel. An artisanal complex rich warming drink....the epitome of decadence.

  • SLOWRUNNER77 5682 reviews
    rated 4.5 13 years ago

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

    another winner in this series. best of the bunch. i'm between a 4.4 and a 4.5, but will go low til i have it again...and i will have it again. smokey peet almost undetectable at first, but as it warms, whisky booziness takes over from the super chocolate, malty, robust goodness, and manages to do so without the slightest hint of heat or alcohol. well done! 7/11 - 2nd times a charm...still the best in the line.

  • CHOPZ 6794 reviews
    rated 4.2 13 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Probably the most expensive beer I have ever bought at the LCBO (and maybe anywhere else) but celebrating my 1100th review. Written on back of bottle, best before end: April 2012. Pours a dark oil colour with no highlights. Its head is big, creamy, light brown coloured, with great retention and thick lacing. Roasted malt nose with lots of wax aromas and notes of molasses and brown sugar. Silky smooth mouthfeel with a little stick to it. I much prefer the taste of this one, compared to the smell. No burn at all. The Highland Park whiskey taste is present and well-blended. Flavours of the burnt malt, peat, vanilla, coffee, molasses and caramel. Quite a nice old ale, but too expensive to get some more.

  • PHILB 2479 reviews
    rated 4.5 13 years ago

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

    Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet roasted malt with dominating notes of warming scotch is quite enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by loads of scotch notes with some light vanilla and oak with marries very well with the base sweetness form the malt. Body is quite full with a creamy texture and some good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well done and would buy some again even with the steep price tag.

  • STOUTLOVER72 2327 reviews
    rated 4.1 13 years ago

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

    Opened on NYE and really happy I did. It pours out a jet black color, smaller sized tan cap with lazy lacing. Lots of chocolate/coffee in the aroma, oak, vanilla, light smoke and some anise. Flavor has a powerful whiskey punch, combined with chocolate and finishes with a smokey/peaty like finish. Not much wood in the flavor, but the whiskey is full-on assault. The barrel aged character is nicely done and clearly is better than the non-barrel aged version.

  • SIGMUND 6370 reviews
    rated 4.6 14 years ago

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

    330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Bottle No. 40857, January 2009. ABV is 8.0%. Pitch black colour, big tan head. Intense and lovely aroma of fine malt whisky, notes of oak and peat, hints of vanilla and dark chocolate. Strong flavour of dark malts and fine whisky, peaty and oaky notes, also notes of coffee, hints of liquorice and tar. Moderate bitterness in the finish. Pretty brilliant stuff.

  • JCFALBANY 51 reviews
    rated 4.5 14 years ago

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

    An incredible beer! Much smoother than the 30 year old and easier to drink. As dark as the oil out of my Harley, 1/2" tan head, with the pleasing aroma of wiskey. Could really taste the peat and smoke from the cask. If you can find it I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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