“Ola Dubh* is a labour of love. The brew team fill the mash tuns to the brim with roast barley, pinhead oats and malted barley. It ferments more slowly as the yeast struggles to move around in such a viscous beer! The base beer is Old Engine Oil which we then put into Highland Park whisky casks and it stays there for at least six months. During this time the flavours from the wood enter the beer to produce Ola Dubh.”
*Pronounced ‘ola doo’ and meaning ‘black oil’.
Highland Park have been rolling out casks with Scottish-based Harviestoun Brewery for over a decade now. It’s a relationship that’s gone from strength to strength following an initial request from the brewery to ‘try out’ one of our empty casks as a special finish for their classic craft stout, Old Engine Oil. We were intrigued and more than happy to oblige!
Ola Dubh 12 Year Old Whisky Aged (as its name suggests, a stout matured for six months in casks that previously held 12 Year Old) was the first whisky-aged beer that Harviestoun launched and it’s since been joined by 14 Year Old, 16 Year Old and 18 Year Old Whisky Aged. The ‘base beer’, Old Engine Oil, is described as ‘rich, bittersweet, velvet’ and this provides the core flavour for each of the whisky-aged beers (all are bottled at 8.0% ABV incidentally). However, as you’d expect from their six-month finishing in our casks, each Ola Dubh reveals its own distinctive flavour characteristics, driven by the whisky-aged cask…
Ola Dubh 12 Year Old Whisky Aged
Quite simply a delicious beer with complimentary whisky notes and a chocolate, roasty and bittersweet aftertaste. Delicious!
Ola Dubh 14 Year Old Whisky Aged
The latest release in the Ola Dubh range, expect sweet flavours of vanilla, red fruit and cinnamon with subtle spice notes of whisky and charred oak.
Ola Dubh 16 Year Old Whisky Aged
Described as a ‘sensational balance of fruity sweetness with a complex bitter hop background’, you’ll find delicious coffee, chocolate and caramel notes working alongside the whisky.
Ola Dubh 18 Year Old Whisky Aged
Smooth and silky with flavours of wood and smoke, enjoy the delicate notes of dark chocolate, oak and dried fruit that follow the initial whisky hit.
Can’t decide which one to try first? Harviestoun are one step ahead with the Ola Dubh Trio Gift Set, which includes one bottle each of the 12, 16 and 18 Year Old Whisky Aged beers.