Ola Dubh 18

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:

“Ola Dubh 18 is what you get when you age Old Engine Oil in casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 18 (‘Best Spirit in the World’), which imparts a fruity, whisky character into our rich, dark 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 18 year old, so I had to pair it with some Highland Park 18.




Caramel, dark chocolate and dried fruit.


Nutty, creamy and caramel. Slight dried fruit coming through.


Sweet and lingering. Touch of smoke shows through on the finish.


Creamy vanilla and caramel. Then the sweet fruity notes shine through and cut through the rich thick notes of the beer. Then the finish on the whisky takes you right back to the rich smoky flavours again.


What a combo! The Ola Dubh was thick, rich and sweet. Pretty much a meal in a bottle. Unlike with the Ola Dubh 12 I didn’t pick out whisky notes. Instead I got a lot of the same notes I picked up from the Highland Park 18 year – caramel, dried fruits, chocolate and smoke. While the Ola Dubh 12 was a good solid beer with definite whisky notes to it, this is a much more well rounded beer, much like the whisky itself. If you like porter style beer and can afford a bottle of Highland Park 18 year (around £97) I would highly recommend giving this pairing a try for yourself.



Taken from Harviestoun Brewery Website.



The initial whisky hit on the nose gives way to more delicate aromas of chocolate, fruity coffee grounds and hints of woodland berries. The flavour is a very appetising blend of sweet malts, vanilla, oak and tobacco. It has undertones of raisins and other dark, dried fruits; a delicious testament to Highland Park’s bias toward sherry casks.




Berries, oak, caramel


Nutty, creamy brown sugar, touch of spice



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