Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16

The other half and I watched “Sing It On” last night. I don’t know why I like the show so much, as it’s mostly a reality show about college singing groups, but I do. I cheated and looked at who won at the end, and none of the groups on the show win. I can’t lie, it does make me want to watch the show less. Anyways, let’s see how this import was.


ABV: 8%

Style: Old Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aged in oak casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, our thick, gloopy base beer takes on distinct whisky notes, perfectly complementing its roasty, toasty bitterness.”

Random: My back is peeling and insanely itchy. I can’t wait to get home and put lotion on it.

This beer poured with less than one finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown on top of the body. The body itself was dark brown in color with no visible carbonation. The nose was different from I expected. It didn’t have as much oak as I thought, but lots of peat and roasted malts. Smoke was present as well.The taste was complex and more intense. At first, I picked up peat, then some tobacco and vanilla. As it warmed, I also got lightly toasted oak and leather. It had a touch of bitterness as the end, but was a very smooth beer. The body was thick with light carbonation. I could see sipping on this in front of a fire watching the snow come down. The finish was lengthy and sticky with vanilla and peat. The booze was hidden, which was also nice. This was not a cheap beer at $11.99 for the bottle ($1.00 per ounce). This would make a great beer to drink on a special occasion in the Winter. If you see this one, definitely grab a bottle to put away.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30

While walking the aisles at Half Time, I saw this gem and knew that it had to come home with me. I saved it until we moved to try since it’s such a special beer. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 8%

Style: Old Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We make Ola Dubh 30 by taking our Old Engine Oil (amped up to 10.5%) and aging it for up to 6 months in casks that previously held Highland Park’s phenomenal 30 Year Old single malt whisky.”

Random: The street we live on is really quiet. I guess that’s what happens when you live on the side of a mountain.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had intense roasted malts with a lot of smoke and peat with some booze at the end. The taste was incredibly smooth. It started with a lot of peat and whiskey. Then, smoke came through with roasted malts and espresso. After a few sips, I picked up vanilla and honey with some light pine. The flavors on this were very complex and I picked up something different on every sip. It had a medium body with almost no carbonation, making this a great sipper. The booze was completely hidden. It had a long, smokey finish with peat and toasted oak. This beer was really expensive at $19.49 for a twelve ounce bottle, which broke down to $1.62 per ounce. It’s definitely a beer that should be tried once if you see it. It’s outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 18

Another long day. I thought I would come home early and take a nap, but as I should have expected, this didn’t happen. Although, I am attempting to go to bed early and hit the gym tomorrow. This is a brew that I’ve been waiting to try and this one was bottled in 2009, so pre aged. Nice! Well, let’s get to it.

ABV: 8%

Style: Old Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Harviestoun is a small British brewery founded in 1985 by Ken Brooker in a 200-year-old stone barn on a farm on the Harviestoun estate near Dollar. It moved in 2004 to Alva Industrial Estate in Alva, before being bought by Caledonian Brewery in 2006. It became independent again in 2008, when Caledonian was bought by Scottish & Newcastle, and the new owners didn’t want to take on Harviestoun. Harviestoun produce cask ales and filtered bottled beers. The most notable brands are Schiehallion, Bitter & Twisted and Old Engine Oil.”

Random: This is another brew I’ve heard good things about. I’m also all about beers that are aged, especially in whiskey casks.

The beer poured a dark brown, almost black with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. Needless to say, no visible carbonation on this bad boy. This definitely looked like more of a stout than what I’m used to seeing from an old ale. On the nose, I definitely get the aging from the whiskey casks. I definitely got a lot of smoke, maybe some scotch and vanilla. There was a lot going on with this nose. Wow, a lot of smoke was apparent on the taste. This was very intense. I also got some roasted malts and a hint of bitterness, but this brew was all whiskey. This was also a lot thinner than I expected with very mild carbonation. The finish had a slight alcohol burn on the end. As the beer warms, I also got some peat on it. Definitely a unique brew that is really enjoyable, given that you enjoy a smokey brew.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0