Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The latest installment of brewery features at the LCBO kicked off today, focusing on the Ola Dubh line from Harviestoun brewery. If you are unfamiliar with Ola Dubh, it is a split venture between the brewery and the Highland Park whisky distillery. The premise is that Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil is aged for 6-8 months in Highland Park casks that contained 12, 16, 18, 30 and 40 year old single malt scotch. The result of this is a rich, full ale that is perfectly balanced and mind-boggling in terms of complexity.
Today I was able to sample the 12 and 40 side by side. The 12 year old is rich and chocolaty while taking on subtle notes of the oak that it's aged in and sets the bar really high for the older Ola Dubh beers. Now, on to the 40. It looks identical to the 12 in terms of appearance but in terms of smell and flavor this is a monster in comparison. This has the nose of a fine single malt but is not over the top. The taste is so smooth with notes of peat from the oak casks coming through followed by a long smoky finish. A slight bitterness is present that compliments all the complex earthy flavours present here. This beer is world class, one of the best I have ever tasted.
This beer line up is sure to please the craft beer enthusiast and scotch aficionado as well as everyone in between. However, the downside is that these may set you back a few dollars - the 40 year old retails for $18.95 for a 330ml bottle and the 30 is $14.95 but the rest range from $5.95-7.95. They wont be around long and are worth picking up if you want to try something that is both unique and delicious.