Thursday, May 29, 2008


Product Review: Old Engine Oil Black Ale

Yes, the alcohol has been flowing freely into the Pan this week, though Old Engine Oil from Harviestoun Brewery wasn't a submission by a PR firm. No, I obtained my sample the old fashioned way: I bought it as a pub while waiting for the kids to get out of dance class. And a choice decision it was, prompted by the bartender, who recommended it after picking up a couple of cases for his own upcoming wedding.

The Alva, Scotland brewery has a way with fermented drinks, if this one is an example. On the ale's label are the words viscous, chocolaty, and roasty. I'm not sure about viscous, as it didn't glop out of the bottle, but chocolaty and roasty are two perfectly good terms. You can add a finessed balance between barley and hops (whole flowers only and not concentrates), and the resulting sweetness and bitterness. The head is thin, which is fine because you're not drinking soda. If you're interested in some of the technical aspects of the ale's composition, check here. My suggestion is to forget the technicalities and get hold of a bottle. Harviestoun suggests this as an after-dinner ale, but I found it going down pleasantly with a grilled curried chicken sandwich.

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