Harviestoun Brewery and Highland Park team up for range of limited edition cask ales

Two Scottish drinks businesses have collaborated to create a range of limited edition ales.

Published 2nd Dec 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Harviestoun Brewery has teamed up with Orkney’s Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky to release a choice of rare, limited-edition, whisky cask ales in time for Christmas.

For the first time in six years, real craft ale and whisky connoisseurs alike will get the chance to put Harviestoun Brewery’s Ola Dubh 40-Year-Old Reserve at the top of their Christmas tipple list, complete with a special presentation gift box.

Ola Dubh, meaning ‘Black Oil’ in Scots Gaelic, is a real labour of hand-crafted love for Harviestoun’s brew team.

It is the result of maturing the brewery’s Old Engine Oil stout in 40-Year-Old whisky casks from the award-winning Orkney distillery, Highland Park, for at least six months.

The team say that 'the result is a highly complex and beautifully balanced mahogany black dark ale. Aromas of smoky peat, nutmeg and vanilla are complemented by sweet notes of toffee, dark chocolate, soft dark fruits and fragrant orange zest.'

Harviestoun Brewery, based in Alva near Stirling, is rolling out only 120 bottles of Ola Dubh 40-year-old Reserve as an online exclusive from 5pm on Wednesday 2 December, including next day delivery around Scotland and the rest of the UK.

This rare limited-edition bottling is expected to sell out within days, so people are being encouraged to get their orders in quickly to avoid disappointment.

Ola Dubh 18-year-old limited-edition is also available in a special gift pack. Ola Dubh 12-Year-Old and Old Engine Oil can be purchased in individual cases and gift packs.

For foodies, Old Dubh matches well with festive favourites, including venison and brisket, roasted vegetables such as parsnips, carrots and tatties, as well as chocolate brownies and all hard and soft strong cheese, such as Anster or Isle of Mull Cheddar.

Stuart Cail has been master brewer at Harviestoun Brewery for over 20 years, and said: “We’re extremely proud to be working with our friends at Highland Park once again to release our very special, limited edition Ola Dubh 40-Year-Old Reserve and wider Ola Dubh range in time for Christmas.

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"With only 120 bottles up for grabs, people need to get to the front of the queue, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

“Ola Dubh is a labour of love. Everything about it is extreme. The brew team fill the mash tuns to the brim with roast barley, pinhead oats and malted barley. It ferments more slowly as the yeast struggles to move around in such a viscous beer.

“The base beer is Old Engine Oil which we put into Highland Park Whisky casks and it stays there for at least six months.

"During this time the flavours from the wood enter the beer to produce Ola Dubh. The process is far from simple, but the result is a beautiful brew with complimentary whisky notes and a chocolate, roasty and bittersweet aftertaste.”

Gordon Motion, master whisky maker at Highland Park, added: “We’ve had fun working with Harviestoun over the years and expect the new release to be really popular.

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"We always use the best quality casks available to mature our whisky. For this project, we gave Harviestoun the precious casks which previously held our 40-Year-Old single malt which were primarily American oak casks, this has provided a delicate peat and spicy flavour to the beer.”

Ola Dubh 40-year-old reserve [8% ABV] will be available to buy at Harviestoun Brewery’s online shop, priced at £20 per 330ml bottle, including next day delivery around Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Highland Park’s new 40-Year-Old Spring 2019 Release has just launched. For more information, visit their website.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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