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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Tasting: Harviestoun Ola Dubh

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample some "black oil" from Clackmannshire, Scotland.

Readers of this blog know I love dark beer and that I've been known to enjoy a wee dram of Scotch from time to time. Enter Harviestoun Ola Dubh. What can be said about a brew that combines the richness of a stout with aging in barrels from the Highland Park Distillery -- one of the worlds best? How about, "Can I have another?"

Ola Dubh means "black oil" and the color of these brews pays off the name. Each is aged in casks from the classic range of Highland Park: 12-, 16- and 30-year-old whisky. Highland Park is located on Orkney and is the northern most Scottish distillery. Each sample was bottled in September of 2007 and they all weigh in at 8 percent alcohol by volume.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12: Slight smoke and alcohol tinge to the overall brew. This beer has some maple syrup notes and good overall balance.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16: Smooth and mellow. Slightly more smoke than the others. The tan foam head on this beer also stood up a bit longer. I detected a bit more of the Scotch character in this version.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30: Nice smoke, balanced by wood and sweet vanilla notes. A warming beer for a cold evening.

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