It says it right on the bottle, “Blackest Ale” and boy is that truth. This beer pours a dark almost pure black color with just a tiny bit of head – a coffee/caramel color lacing. The beer almost seemed thicker than your average beer as it poured out of the bottle although this could just be my imagination going with the “Engine Oil” name. Yet for all it’s dark deep character, the nose is light. You don’t get much from it, which from such a dark brew you would expect a deep rich aroma.
Now I don’t know what makes this beer special but I can’t even find it listed on the brewery’s page. They have the Old Engine Oil Porter but not the Engineer’s Reserve version, I wish I would have bought one of each to compare it.
The taste is good, really good. It has that coffee richness to it and the hops rest on the back of your tongue. It allows the flavors to wash over before the dark chocolate breaths through. I know they have some specialty beers that are brewed in oak casks, which wouldn’t surprise me being Scotts. However, I can’t tell if that is what they do for the Engineer’s Reserve. All I can tell is that this is a quality beer in a land that is more known for, well …their Scotch.
The one aspect that I really like about this is that it only has a hint of dark fruits to it. I am not a fan of dark fruits like you would find in a doppel bock or other similar style beers. There is a bit more sweetness then I would prefer but not enough to deter me form wanting more.
The beer leaves a nice dry finish, making you want more. Which, the desire for another drink is the least you should ask for out of any beer. I give this beer 4 out of 5 bananas. It has everything a good beer should have, the name may be gritty but the beer isn’t.
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