Brewery: Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer: Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve Blackest Ale
Style: English Porter
Character: Their Old Engine Oil brewed up to 9% ABV. Brewed with three hop varieties and roasted barley
Ratings at the time of Review: BA: 94 | RB: 99
Metal Connection: VIOLATOR – Apocalypse Engine
As I am on a mission to taste as many different beers as humanly possible, I purchased this beer at a local beer store, knowing nothing about this beer before hand. As I picked this beer from the fridge to drink, I do some research on the beer to add to this review, and it turns out this is a highly rated beer, and Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. made this beer specifically for beer drinkers here in the US. Here is text taken straight fro their website…
“We brewed this after feedback from the USA suggested the abv of our original Old Engine Oil (6%) was too low for their tastes… So we created this intensely flavoured but incredibly smooth 9% brew especially for them! NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UK.”
The label of this beer is a traditional style oval label complete with a ribbon draped across it with the beer’s name. Very traditional and old school, and mainstream looking. Within the background in the oval crest design is an old black and white photo drawing of a mechanic working on a n old vehicle. The fonts used for the brewery name and beer name are very traditional and nothing fancy at all, but placed in the right spots to grab your attention. A tag line is written on the bottom that reads “Viscous • Malt Chocolaty • Roasty.”
I used an appropriate English pub style pint glass for this session. This English Porter poured a very dark brown that was damn near black in color. It was opaque and thick motor oil looking. This beer was crowned with a large two inch dark khaki colored foamy head. The head vanished rather quickly, which left little to no lacing down the glass, which was rather surprising considering how thick the head was upon the pour.
The nose was filled with a lot of dark characters. Nice roasted malts and heavy caramel hit first, followed by some bitter sweet chocolate. There are some dark fruit notes within the aroma such as plums, prunes, dates and raisins. There is a nice boozy burn in the nose from the alcohol. Overall, the aroma was a bit muted, and not very powerful as I get with most English beers.
Chocolate and caramel make their presence known first to the taste buds. There is a roasted malt and dark fruit body, full of bitter sweet chocolate, plum, prunes, dates, and raisins. There is a small hint of grassy hop character. There is heavy heat from the alcohol. This one feels a lot stronger than 9%, for sure. A good mixture f caramel, dark fruits, and chocolate linger in the aftertaste.
The body is surprisingly light, but yet again, most English beers have that light feeling to them. At least the ones I have had. The mouthfeel is oily and creamy. There is a presence of alcohol heat on this one. The finish leaves a mouth coating slickness.
As I said before, I purchased this bottle just because I had never had it before. I really was pleasantly surprised by the story of this beer, and the high ratings it has. Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve Blackest Ale really caught me off guard. It really was roasted, chocolaty, and especially the overall bitterness of this beer. back in 2013, I had the base Old Engine Oil, and I gave it a 3.5/5 rating, but I was also very new at reviewing craft beer. I would love to taste it again to give it a more mature rating.
Metal Connection: In recent years there has been a resurgence of old school Thrash Metal throughout the world. Just like with any genre, there has been some good ones and some bad ones, some really, really bad ones. Violator from Brazil, in my opinion, is one of the good ones. These guys play an aggressive assault similar to that of old school Bay Area Thrash Metal of the 80’s. I hear a lot of influence from such bands as Dark Angel, Death Angel, Hirax, and even some early Anthrax. I am featuring their song “Apocalypse Engine” from the band’s 2010 EP release, Annihilation Process released through Kill Again Records. Violator formed in 2002, and since released two full length albums, and several EP’s and Splits. Each one of their releases, in typical Thrash Metal fashion, all have excellent album artwork. Annihilation Process features art from Andrei Bouzikov, who has done a ton of albums for Thrash and Death Metal bands. Drink until you get thrashed, um, I mean trashed.