My#12 Beers of Xmas – #2 Old Engine Oil by Harviestoun Brewery


(12 Beery Apostles – Saints or Sinners?)



#2 Old Engine Oil by Harviestoun Brewery (Porter – 6% abv)

I need to declare a modicum of bias. I hate Xmas beers. Beers that are brewed “especially” for this period are generally speaking, shite! The majority of UK brewers are capable of producing MUCH better beers, fortunately, most do. This is an example.

Old Engine Oil is the base beer from which their barrel aged beers – the Ola Dubh range – are derived. To become Ola Dubh, the beer is aged in varying ages of Highland Park whisky barrels. That said, Old Engine Oil is a great beer in its own right.

Black as a Stout with a light tan head, the initial aroma is of buttered burnt toast, dusty dirty dark chocolate and burnt sugars. In the mouth, those characteristics also come through in a full-bodied creamy, slightly viscous mouthful, dark and delicious with an additional sweet coffee note and a touch of port. This is a George Clooney of a beer,  deep, smooth and seductive. I feel like my throat and insides are being stroked with a furry glove whilst listening to a Barry White soundtrack. The finishing bitterness brings you back to more earthly matters, there is even a little resinous grassyness in the aftertaste to wallow in.

Unlike #1, this beer is right up my street, I willingly submit to its dark pleasures and will follow it wherever it leads! This is most definitely a Saint!

(Note : You can also find this beer in certain Tesco stores as an own label “Traditional Porter” 4 for £6 at the moment! That my chums, feels like shoplifting!)

On that note….’til next time (er…tomorrow for beer #3)


My #12BeersOfXmas – #1 Redbreast by Jennings


(12 Beery Apostles – Saints or Sinners?)



#1 Redbreast by Jennings Brewery (Marstons)

Let’s get the positives out of the way……. Well that was quick!

This is a brown beer with a white head and the faintest of fruit cakey aromas. Described as a “Dark Chestnut Winter Beer”. In the mouth it is fairly thin, with the faintest of fruity traces, not much spice (if any) some burnt caramel and a slightly bitter-sweet finish with a vague fruity aftertaste which quickly vanishes, leaving a coating of thin caramel.

This tastes like a Xmas “toss off”. One of those beers that a big brewer makes just because “ITS CHRISSSSSSMAAAAS”. It’s probably an adapted Jennings Bitter with more alcohol that has strayed within 1/2 mile of a fruit cake. It’s not offensive “per se”, but it offends my taste buds. I will finish it, because I like my drains too much to pollute them. I’m sure it has its fans, but I sure am not one of them. Had you guessed? It’s a SINNER!

I feel like using that scarf around the Robin in the picture to throttle the little bastard! And if anybody sees me reach for one of these again, please impale me!

On that note…’til next time (in about 2 hours!)