Old Engine Oil

Harviestoun makes a series of beers called Ola Dubh which are aged in Highland Park casks. And they are awesome. It turns out that the base beer they use for that barrel aging is a slightly higher gravity (i.e. higher alcohol) version of this beer:

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil – Apparently the owner and founder of Harviestoun spent many of his formative years working for Ford Motors, and so when he saw this viscous black liquid, it made him think of, well, old engine oil (if ever there was a beer calling out to be packaged in the old-timey oil can style that I mentioned a while back, this is it…). Pours a very dark amber/brown color, almost but not quite black, with a finger of tan head. The nose is very strangely spicy. Typical roasty aromas are also present, along with some nice caramel and fruity notes but there’s something else there that’s unique. I’m calling it spicy smell, but that’s not right – I can’t quite place it. Taste is full of rich chocolaty flavors with a just a bit of roastiness. Whatever that thing from the nose is, it’s here in the taste as well, though less pronounced. Full bodied, rich, and creamy. I really like drinking this beer. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 6% ABV bottled (11.2 oz). Drank out of a tulip glass on 8/20/11.

I’m not the biggest fan of porters, but this is one that I can deal with. Not to mention the Ola Dubh stuff, which I’m definitely planning to explore more of…

4 thoughts on “Old Engine Oil”

  1. I’ve had this beer, and I like it =) Not as much as the amazing Ola Dubh, but close.

    Typical Scotch ales don’t do a ton for me with all the malt, but the thick, black style of ale is something special.

  2. I have a thing for non-typical scotch ales – Founders Dirty Bastard, Ommegang’s Cup o Kyndness (nice Belgian style take on a scotch ale) – but yeah, typical scotch ales, perhaps not so much.

    I might end up back at State Line Liquors this weekend… which means, more Ola Dubh varieties may be on the way.

  3. I had this recently and quite enjoyed it, but the price I paid (at least $5 for a 12oz bottle) means I won’t be drinking it again soon unless someone else is paying.

  4. That’s definitely true, and the premium is even higher for Ola Dubh (which is in the $10-$20 range, depending on the casks the beer is aged in). Personally, I’m willing to spend to get new and interesting beers, but sometimes that’s an expensive proposition.


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