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Dark Island - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark IslandDark Island

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 242
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 60
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 | Reviews: 242
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5/5  rDev +25.9%

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5/5  rDev +25.9%

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5/5  rDev +25.9%

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5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of Sigmund
4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one of the very best (moderate strength) beers I've ever had (from cask). Aroma and flavour of dried fruits, coffee and liqourice. Can't think of any faults with it.

Photo of mick_cooper
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Vvall
4.73/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I went in my favorite store looking to get some Dragonhead Stout,and lo and behold they were out,so seeing this and noticing that it was from the same brewery,I thought what the Hell,I'll give it a try.I'm glad I did...this one IMHO is incredible.It had everything I look for in a beer,and I cannot not wait to get some more.

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich cola color and sits even more opaque inside of my tulip glass. A caramel white head fizzes densely covering the surface of the ale. I can smell dark chocolate and a very faint hint of coffee grinds. Exceptionally smooth in flavor and feel. I'll have to wait for this one to warm up a little until I continue. Ah yes that ripened banana fruit smell is starting to take taste. This is playing a soft low melody across my pallet that is very intoxicating. Without doubt the easiest Scottish ale I have ever drank!

Thanks to Keith (DasBeef) for trading this to me. Kudos and Cheers!

Photo of claytri
4.64/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a rich brown with a tan head. The aroma is of dark scottish malt. The taste is incredibly light, it starts with a nice sharp bite of toasted malt then rounds out with just a slight sweetness. The feel is smooth light and dry almost evaporating off your tounge as you swallow. This is one of those times you want to pat your back for having grabbed this one. Just a wonderful beer. The brewer has been able to highlight the toasting of the malt without overpowering you.

Photo of mindbottling
4.64/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Roostereno
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a typical pint nonic.

Appearence-wise, it is a dark brown, a bit darker than expected, with a minimal beige head. Some ruby is apparent when it is held up to light but it is mostly opaque.

Smell is excellent, with strong chocolate malts coming through albeit with a vague fruitiness coming through as well.

Taste is everything that the smell hinted at, only more and better. Chocolate malts are the backbone along with hints of raspberry (chocolate combined with raspberry is certainly never a bad thing) and a nice subtle smokiness (a little subtlety goes a long way with the smoke: I'm looking at you American brewers) and a nutty finish that is largely the hallmark of darker british ales. To summarize for the ADD crowd: Scrum-diddley-umptious.

Mouthfeel is a tad watery although this is not entirely a bad thing as it allows the raspberry flavor to shine through the malts. Appropriately light (not too light) carbonation allow it to finish smoothe like the baby Fonzey's bottom and leave my tastebuds and the pleasure/reward pathways of my brain screaming "more, motherfondler! MORE"

Drinkability-wise you can't do much better than this. Smooth and tasty, with a depth of flavor rare in a beer of its strength, but not overly heavy or alcoholic; call it chicken soup for the drinker's soul.

To sum things up, another fantastic beer from one of the best breweries in the United Kingdom. Granted it lacks the awesome name and accompanying controversy of Skullsplitter (British tabloids are either the pinnacle of human idiocy or an Onion-meets-Kauffman masterpiece of comedy) but chocolate +raspberry + darkish British ale is a combo so winning that even a drunken chimpanzee working for Miller-Coors couldn't totally mess it up and in the hands of the fantastic Orkney crew it soars. Scrum-diddley-umptious indeed.

Photo of Viking
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby color, almost black. Cream colored, lacy head. Nice roasted/smoked malt aroma blended with fruity toffee. Flavor is even better. Smoked malt, light fruit, and toffee combine with a slight hop bitterness. The flavors blend smoothly into a wonderful beer. Could have a bit more kick to it, but I've got no real complaints.

Photo of JISurfer
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one badass beer! At first smell, it smells like steak sauce, so that should clue you into what kind of food goes well with it. The initial part of the taste is one of steak sauce, but not too overbearing that it's bad. The finishing taste is nice, dry and fruity, which goes down nice and smooth.I had my girlfriend try it, she likes light beers, and she really liked it. I had to fight her to get it back. That should tell you that this beer should be tried by most. Had a little head to it, but nothing super crazy or anything,

Photo of ivanwatling
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jcubz
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

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Dark Island from Orkney Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.