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Dark Island - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark IslandDark Island

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

347 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 347
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 56
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 233 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Monsteruss:
Photo of Monsteruss
Monsteruss

Colorado

4/5  rDev +0.8%

The foam was very dark wheat that dissapated quickly but still stuck to the sides of the glass. The smell was light and crisp but extremely dark and nutty feel. The taste was excellent. Hearty taste of a wheat porter with hints of carmel. The color was a very dark cola. It had a excellent smooth mouthfeel

04-10-2009 02:46:40 | More by Monsteruss
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a deep brown with some ruby highlights thru out with more head than expected,aroma was suprisingly light a little brown sugar and touch of smokiness.Taste of dark fruit and mildly sweet with a touch of peat in the finish that lingers.A solid ale pretty easy to drink.

07-11-2004 00:54:47 | More by oberon
Photo of Zakk
Zakk

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

08-14-2012 01:43:33 | More by Zakk
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%

Really a nice looking Scottish Ale. Pours deep mahogany with a creamy tan head.

Distinctly non-American nose with English-like maltiness and a hint of ashy smoke, toffee, and sweet chocolate.

The soft carbonation jumps out right away, with, again, subtle smoke making an appearance. The taste is a little bland overall, until it warms, when vanilla and sweet chocolate come out, blending with the smoke very nicely. Acquires a certain vinous quality as it hits about room temp. Very sessionable, with a silky medium body. I could drink a lot of this.

04-01-2010 03:05:11 | More by brownbeer
Photo of JasonA
JasonA

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a rootbeer chocolate, single finger head with ample lacing. Very surprised at the opaqueness of the brew. Loving the look.

Smells malty, sweet, maybe some rum raisin. Little bitter hops, nothing aromatic. There is something else in there I cant place, reminds me of a wee heavy sourness. Carmelization present and heavy.

Bitter, little malty with the herbal flavor. There is some smoke taste in there. Not burnt, smoke.

Not quite full bodied, but I find this a lot with Scottish Ale's, its prolly more to the style than my pallete.

Not quite a winter warmer, not a spring summer brew. Very enjoyable around a fire, but the ABV for the amount I can drink isnt favorable.

12-27-2009 00:27:33 | More by JasonA
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +7.8%

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown bottle with a gold foiled top, no freshness date.

Appearance: Shaded dark ruby in colour with big light tan head that dissipates into a lace but still retains well.

Smell: Slight fruit, hints of flavoured creamed coffee and soft peat aroma.

Taste: Fruity and mild yet noticeable peatish smoke up front, some crisp carbonation ... then goes a little smooth with a light hop bitterness. A touch of chocolate, some hop flavour and more faint peat smoke flavour inside. In the end is a bit of nut and residual dextrin.

Notes: Tiny complexities make this a very interesting ale, definitely give this one a try.

04-19-2002 11:47:16 | More by Jason
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.43/5  rDev -13.6%

Pours a clear, deep chestnut brown with a luscious three finger beige head that quickly falls into patchy sheets of lace that cling to the glass. Aroma is subdued and has some toffee and peaty smokiness. Mouthfeel has medium carbonation, is rich and slightly creamy, and has a mild hops sting. Sweet toffee and caramel lead the malt dominance. There is a smoky peat taste that echoes the nose, and a hops balance that wavers between fruity and floral. Finish is somewhat bitter, and this ale is well balanced, overall. Distinctively Scottish, and nicely drinkable, but not the best offering from Orkney.

03-01-2004 11:53:56 | More by merlin48
Photo of Marius
Marius

Romania

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

07-03-2014 14:42:24 | More by Marius
Photo of DirtyD
DirtyD


4.23/5  rDev +6.5%

Orkney did a great job overall on his beer. It poured very dark and had a nice tan head. The smell was of molasses, dried fruit and rich malts. Taste was to style with more malt flavor showing through than hop bitterness, but for me was more of a sweet fruit than dark malt. The mouthfeel was light to medium and finished very smooth.

08-25-2012 01:14:52 | More by DirtyD
Photo of jed123
jed123

Manitoba (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

10-13-2012 18:53:03 | More by jed123
Photo of Dizzy
Dizzy

Texas

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours dark with red highlights. Excellent head retention.
The dominate flavor I notice is smokey flavor quite strong, I'm assuming from peat smoked malt? A strong roasted flavor also evident. Hops don't seem to stand out, I feel like this is a well balanced beer. I wish this were available in Texas.

07-22-2006 02:03:48 | More by Dizzy
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +0.8%

01-26-2014 12:54:23 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of ivanwatling
ivanwatling

United Kingdom (England)

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Appearance: Thick, dark brown/black. Decent head for a bottled beer, but as always will still disappear after a short time.

Smell: Wonderful strong aroma typical of a dark ale

Taste: Sweet with a hint of bitterness. Predominately a malty taste, rich and satisfying

Mouthfeel: Thick, substantial leaving a warm mouthfeel

Drinkability: Surprisingly low alcohol content for such a bold tasting beer (4.6), meaning a bottle will not but you flat on your back. Hence can be savoured at any time of the day and will always be rewarding.

04-27-2010 10:04:15 | More by ivanwatling
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%

Dark brown with some light transmission at the bottom of the glass. Pale and nice creamy head. Aroma is mostly of black strap molasses. Lighter-bodied than I expected, malt is weighted toward a gingerbread sense with a little impression of coffee. Then, the flavor thins a lot and gets more candy-like and stifling. Interesting, but a weak closer in the flavor department, to me.

10-19-2002 13:27:00 | More by ADR
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -3.5%

Appearance: A nice with a light brown head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Some nice chocolate roasted malts, some butter, toffee, and mild hops.

Taste: Nice nuts and chocolates with coffee. Very light fruity hop bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy that still manages to be light on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is sessionable at about 5%.

03-23-2007 03:30:15 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of ByTor2112
ByTor2112

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -6%

Pours a nice dark shade of root beer brown. Thin beige colored head. Maintains a nice film across the top.
Aroma- A deep inhale gets some sweet malt aromas-caramel is in there. The dark malt is not roasty toasty, just rich.
Smooth flavor with a medium pronounced hop bitterness that has a slight edge over the malty flavors. For a dark ale I hate to say this is almost balanced. Sweetish malt flavors with an earthy hop bitterness. A good froth on the palate and it maintians it taste and flavor profiles. The hops come back in at the finish as well. Not bold but a good full-bodied ale.

02-05-2007 15:11:26 | More by ByTor2112
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2.85/5  rDev -28.2%

Fairly pleasant. Sweetish malts at the start (chocolate+ a t touch of sugar and also some toffee). nice roasty, peaty finish, thin-ish body with some sourness, musty, sulfuric, and maybe a bit unexciting, but fairly easy to drink. Cask at Chelmsford Beer fest 03'.

09-10-2003 01:28:44 | More by rastaman
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with an oatmeal colored thick head that sticks to the glass with each sip. A few random bubbles pop through the murky liquid to glide up the glass to the head.

S- The smell of musty raw peat moss turns to a pencil graphite aroma as the beer warms but still stays pretty soft. The smooth black roasted malt has a Kona coffee quality to it with a fruity note of plums to finish.

T- The flavor of mellow black malt has a dark smooth toffee flavor with some caramel qualities with a mellow bitterness to dark roasted malt finish. The finish has a soft red wine vinegar hint that increases a bit as the beer warms, and it lingers just a moment after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight little fizz note at the finish.

D- This beer is mellow but rich in flavor with a nice bit of earthiness and I would love to try this on cask. I think there are some great flavors hidden in there. The tartness was also a nice compliment to the malts.

07-24-2009 17:24:56 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Schlafly33
Schlafly33

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

06-11-2013 12:35:40 | More by Schlafly33
Photo of SetarconeX
SetarconeX

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%

Having sample's Orkney's Dragonhead stout not too long ago, and being suitably impressed by it, I decided to give one of their other beers a whirl. Dark Island, I must admit, isn't half bad. Pours a nice dark red color, with a lovely brown head. I know I can't take it into account with my rating, but Orkney has the absolute coolest looking labels ever. Nice black standing stones on this one.

The taste is at heart a fairly standard flavor, with subtle little hints of something more complicated underneath. Lightly malty. Perhaps lightly toffee flavored. Ever so slightly toasted, but still much lighter than a Porter or Stout. Exactly the sort of beer I'd want in massive quantities to go with a nice hearty meaty dinner. Alas, it doesn't seem to get sold in the quantities I'd like. Better out there? Sure. But this one's still plenty fun.

10-23-2003 05:40:47 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of mrbigpappa
mrbigpappa

Finland

5/5  rDev +25.9%

07-09-2013 06:08:35 | More by mrbigpappa
Photo of GRE680
GRE680

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

07-21-2012 12:28:13 | More by GRE680
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +2%

500ml bottle. Quoyloo? Did Herman Melville come through there at one time?

This beer pours a clear, very dark reddish-brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, rocky beige head, which leaves a high-flying array of honeycomb lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away. Sexytime!

It smells of dark roasted malt, some oily nuttiness, soft caramel and bitter chocolate notes, and a subtle drying, indistinct hoppiness. The taste is mildly chocolatey, grainy malt, understated, sulky, persistent nutty tones, some weak, but pesky caramel, and soft, unassuming drying noble hops.

The bubbles are average, and middling, but not at all obtrusive, the body a soothing medium-light in weight, and no-questions-asked smooth. It finishes off-dry, the burbling nutty, caramel, Euro-chocolate sweetness nowhere near overpowering, but still ceding little to the steadfast, if still quite anonymous drying hops.

A lovely Scottish ale, balanced in all respects, except maybe for (from a New World view) the ABV - ah, hell, even I shouldn't complain - any session ale should be lucky to have such complexity and ardor.

05-01-2012 23:01:47 | More by biboergosum
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

This one pours out looking very ominous, dark ,dark brown, not exactly opaque, but close. mocha-froth style head, moderate retention with plenty of foamy goodness left-over.

The nose is mild with chunky, bitter chocolate, dark-roastie coffee with vanilla, sour, spicey hops with zesty dried fruits and Quaker Oatmeal.

The flavor has a very herbal effect right off, dark roastie malt, very hearty with a good balance of earthy notes like, wheat and grains and musty chocolate. The hops provide a a dry, herbal balance from the dank malt. a crispy, clean feel, medium bodied but very smooth at the end, very stout-like feel. The finish is slightly dry, but greasy going down.

This is a pretty rightous and robust session brew.

03-16-2009 18:57:59 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2%

Received in trade from jabocu.

Poured like milk out of the bottle, all thick and creamy looking. The head was just under an inch thick. Color reminds of stout, an impossibly deep brown. Average amount of lace sticking to the glass throughout the drink.

Smell is malty with only a mild sweetness, pretty hearty aroma but I'm not getting much beyond the malt.

Unsurprisingly malty in the flavor, and an odd but welcome taste I would describe as caramel-flavored salt water taffy. A mildly smoky element at the back of the swallow. Good creaminess in the mouth that lasts long after the sip.

A hearty, robust ale. Also incredibly filling. I hadn't eaten for hours when I drank this and it sat heavy in the stomach. Definitely will satisfy not only thirst, but hunger too.

03-23-2006 23:44:24 | More by Metalmonk
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Dark Island from Orkney Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.