February 10, 2010

Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12

From Harviestoun Brewery in Scotland, Ola Dubh literally translates to "Black Oil". It is aged in whiskey casks from Highland Park Distillery used to age their 12-year whiskey, and comes in individually numbered bottles (mine was #13122 from September 2007). There are also Special Reserve 16 and 30 varieties, aged in the barrels used for the corresponding whiskey. The 12 pours pitch black (as I'm sure they all do), with some patches of carbonation but not a full head. The aroma is of rich, dark roasted malts, with some sweetness and hint of fruit. Smooth and viscous in texture, with a light/medium body. It's not as heavy as one would expect. There are a lot of flavors going on, all of which increase as the beer warms, but they never overpower. It's very well balanced... coffee, chocolate, a little vanilla, salty nuts, plus the peat and smoke imparted from the whiskey casks. The finish is incredibly clean and dry, with only a little bitterness. I enjoyed drinking the beer, but finished it pretty quickly. It didn't do a whole lot for me, but was worth a try.

By the way, the answers are yes... the floor is crooked, and that is snow coming in the porch door.

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