While I defer most of our beer coverage to Greg, this new, limited edition release was too close to my heart to pass up. It’s an ultra-dark ale that is aged in barrels that used to house Highland Park 18 Year Old Scotch whisky — one of my perennial favorite Scotches.
Gaelic for “Black Oil,” Ola Dubh is a whopper of a brew, thick with chocolate, roasted nuts, and big malt character. It looks like coffee, with a lasting, foamy head, and it tastes like it too, long with the kind of flavors and aromas you’d expect to experience at Starbucks. There’s also a lot of wood here, which adds a bit of bitterness to the finish. While the flavors of Highland Park whisky don’t exactly make it to the finished product, there’s a pepperiness in the middle of the beer that I’d like to think is imbued by old HP.
Definitely one to try if you’re a fan of darker beers and, of course, Highland Park.
A- / $13 per 12 oz. bottle / harviestoun.com