Old Engine Oil

Company info:
Harviestoun Brewery


Alcohol: 6%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.30 AU

Label info: ‘This rich, lubricious, black beer reminded Harviestoun’s original brewer of the engine oil he was familiar with having worked for Ford. A modern take on the 19th century porter style, it is complex, powerful but elegant; distinctive notes of chocolate and coffee lead to a bittersweet aftertaste.
Enjoy it with strong, hard cheese, slow-cooked lamb or black pudding. Best served chilled.
Old Engine Oil was awarded a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge 2009’.

What the label really means: Hey if it reminds the brewer of engine oil, it can’t be bad. Can it?

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is similar in design and style to those being produced by the good folk at Barons Brewing…there’s just something familiar to it. [Barons? You out there still?] But that aside, I love it. I do wish the Ford was a bit bigger though, but it’s enough to reflect the beer name. Calling a beer ‘Old Engine Oil’ is a very risky move…hopefully it will pay off in flavour, but it’s like calling a beer ‘Dirty Dish Water’ – you’re going to be nervous. Well designed, powerful, bold.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.

AROMA:  While the aroma is very soft and subtle, take a closer sniff and you’ll get malty chocolate tones.

Taste: GLASS – Delicious toasted malty bitterness. It’s very smooth, surprisingly refreshing and not dry (as I had expected). I’m getting strong flavours of dark chocolate, dark-roasted coffee and a lingering all-mouth chewy-ness. Very, very tasty.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Old Engine Oil loses very little when consumed from the bottle. It’s just as delicious in taste however there is a slight loss in enjoyment thanks to the disappearance of the surrounding aroma. One element in its favour though is the highlighting of the caramelisation flavours. Delicious.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this alongside Neil Young’sRockin in the Free World

Accompanying food: I’d like to suggest mud cake or brownies with this.

Best season to appreciate: A real Winter-warmer

All-nighter beer? Yes, for sure….love it.


  1. Bek the Mech says:

    i want to get it in Australia. if any one knows how let me know pelase!!!!!


  2. Diddlysquat says:

    Just a tad too viscous beer for me, Nulon 10W-40 is much more free flowing. I’m just not that brave & adventurous in the dark realm yet but glad I tried it. Great review.


  3. BargeDave says:

    No love for this beer? I got mine at Vintage Cellars if that helps. Porter fans will love it, stout fans will be impressed. Is there a more viscous beer?


  4. BargeDave says:

    Yes. Just yes. And Neil Young could only further improve a very good situation. This could be a benchmark for porters everywhere.


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