For my fourth beer I am heading north of the border. Tonight it is our local CAMRA social evening and it is my turn to drive so this beer is a lunchtime check-in. The alternative is to open it when I get back in around midnight which I do not fancy doing particularly. So the brewery today is one of my favourites from Scotland. Harviestoun have now been brewing for over 30 years and have now grown to a 60-barrel plant. I particularly love their Old Engine Oil and for today I am sticking to the black stuff.
Old Dubh (Gaelic for 'Black Oil') is a black beer matured in whisky casks and it comes in three variations. Old Dubh 12 (8.0% ABV) is matured in old casks of Highland Park 12 year old single malt scotch whisky. You can also get Old Dubh 16 and Old Dubh 18 and I think these are self-explanatory. Highland Park is an award-winning distillery from the Orkney's and the Highland Park 12 won a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007.
I am not a whisky drinker, in fact when I visited a Scottish distillery I was unable to finish the free sample! Having said that though I did love the smells of the distillery. The addition of whisky notes to beer though is something I have not had a problem with in the past and I have high hopes for this particular beer.
I don't want to mention this damn cold on every post but if this beer doesn't kill a few germs then nothing will. It poured black and thick and there is definitely an earthy peatiness to the aroma even to my limited senses along with a distinct booziness. I particularly love the chocolate notes in this beer. This is proper dark chocolate and not your milky stuff. The finish has a distinct earthy bitterness from the whisky which my wife did not like at all. For me though this beer is another Christmas cracker and it gets a 9/10.