Ola Dubh 12

Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret this whiskey differently from me.

Okay so first of all this isn’t a whisky – it is however a beer which has been aged in former whisky casks:

“This amazing brew has been aged in selected oak casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, adding complementary whisky notes to our chocolatey, bittersweet beer.”

Taken from Harviestoun Brewery Website.

If you already follow my blog you’ll know I’m a huge Highland Park fan, so when I found out there was a selection of beers that had been aged in Highland Park whisky casks I had to give them a try. This particular one has been aged in casks formerly used to age Highland Park 12 year old, so I had to pair it with some Highland Park 12.




Smoky but sweet – rich chocolate notes.


Smoky, chocolate, coffee and yes there is a definite whisky flavour coming through.


Bitter and smoky.


Brings out the rich, creamy notes of the whisky giving it more vanilla, smoke and chocolate notes. Rather different from tasting on it’s own where this whisky comes across as more fresh, with stronger honey, sherry and spicy oak notes.


Very impressive. I have to say at first I didn’t think this would pair well with the 12 year despite having been matured in 12 year casks. I actually thought that the rich chocolaty notes would have paired better with a Dark Origins. I was wrong though and actually the richness of the beer brought out richer notes from the whisky.


Taken from Harviestoun Brewery Website.



Ola Dubh 12 pours black with a modest spattered head that reduces slowly, leaving behind textbook lacing. The aroma is delicious; smoky Worcestershire sauce, leather, iodine and grilled steak. Flavours of smoky-sweet malts, roasted peat, coffee beans and a well-bittered finish. Overall this is a rather exotic brew with a defined barrel influence. It’s refined rather than over the top and very delicious indeed.



Molasses, coffee, hint of vanilla


Roasted, toasted caramel & a hint of whisky



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