Harviestoun Ola Dubh Ale 18 Year

Ola Dubh Ale 18 Year. Harviestoun Brewery. Alva, Scotland.

8% ABV.

Aged in oak casks used to age 18 year scotch.

I know nothing about this brewery, but I like barrel-aged beers, and this looks super-fancy, so I have high expectations.

Bottle 00770, bottled July 2020.

We’re not clear on if the beer is aged in barrels that aged 18-year scotch, or if the beer itself is 18 years old. The labeling seems to indicate the beer is 18 years old, but that would be suprising to me. The website makes it more clear that the casks are 18 years old.


Nearly black. Minimal head, but it has an interesting pale brown color that is almost gray.

Looks thick. Similar to other strong, aged beers, the appearance is kinda uninviting, promising a goopy mouthfeel.



It smells like soy sauce.

The tasting notes that come with the bottle suggest all sorts of wonderful flavors, but it’s just soy sauce.

I don’t know how to rate it. As a beer, it smells offensive. But it is unique.



The taste is much more interesting.

Still a lot of soy sauce. Maybe that’s a peat influence. Meaty. Peaty and meaty.

Malt and caramel.

It isn’t labeled a stout, but it is extremely similar to a barrel-aged stout.

Aftertaste is burnt.



Not as thick as I expected, but noticably little carbonation really makes it a boring experience.



Worth the slightly-unique experience, but I wouldn’t prefer this to the many similar brews.