Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Ola Dubh (or ‘Black Oil’) is a collaboration between Harviestoun Brewery and Highland Park. It is based on Harviestoun’s award-winning Old Engine Oil. With more than a stylistic nod to the classic Imperial Porters (and Stouts) of the nineteenth century, this deliciously rich, dark, 8% a.b.v. beer is the first ale to be aged in malt whisky casks from a named distillery and, with traceable casks and numbered bottles with genuine provenance. This one being aged in Highland Park “30 Year Old” casks.
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 (flavor) is exceptional; burnt and bitter notes with an interplay of late hop characters, orange oil, fruity tartness and then delicate, fragrant smoke.