Harviestoun Ola Dubh Ale

8% alc./vol., 330 ml bottle
Harviestoun Brewery – http://www.harviestoun.com/
Hillfoots Village, Scotland

DSCF1205Harviestoun makes a dark ale called “Old Engine Oil” for its black colour.  “Ola Dubh” means “black oil”, and the “12” on the bottle tells you that this blacker-than-night porter has been aged in a used cask that formerly held Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky.  As you can imagine, a brewing process that involves expensive parts and manual labour makes for an expensive beer.  Is it worth it?  Depends on how much more you’d enjoy something with a complexity to the flavour.  Despite the look, it’s not a syrupy thick or overly sweet brew.  I do get a bit of wood and smoke on the nose, same as you would for the whisky.  Upon it’s arrival, the beer slaps you with a hop bitterness.  Okay, I’ve swallowed that, and it left behind a sticky sweet dark malt flavour like you’d expect from a porter.  Wait…now that flavour has given way to the smoke and peat of the whisky, a late arrival.  Tick, tick, tick…the clock keeps going and I keep tasting this beer.  This “sipping beer” has got enough flavours to justify the process and the price.  Makes me think I need to get a smoking jacket and a butler.

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