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Dark Island Reserve - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Island ReserveDark Island Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

111 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 53
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John_M on 01-15-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

olradetbalder, Monday at 01:36 PM
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4/5  rDev -2.7%

closisinthehouse, Nov 03, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

spycow, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of 2GOOFY
4.15/5  rDev +1%

2GOOFY, Oct 31, 2014
Photo of silverking
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%

silverking, Oct 30, 2014
Photo of mcrago
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%

mcrago, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

KAF, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of Budinetz
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Bottled on November 12th, 2012. Poured from a flip top 75 cl bottle.

Pours a very dark black (50 SRM) with a tan colored head. Very little lacing present. Smells of roasted malt and a strong alcohol presence is detected with a bit of a raison note and slight vanilla. Tastes warming to the lips from the high abv with a sweet, smoky flavor up front and then finishes dry with a bit of astringency from the roasted malt. This is a beer you want to drink slowly and share with others. This is definitely a beer that would benefit from aging. Drink at 55-60 degrees.


Budinetz, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of TheSamKuehn
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

TheSamKuehn, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of mrbigpappa
5/5  rDev +21.7%

mrbigpappa, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev -2.7%

TheBeerAlmanac, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of KYGunner
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This had a very dark and viscous pour of, what appeared to be, a very lightly carbonated stout.

The nose gave off a vinous date, licorice, chocolate, sherry and then a vinous alcohol.

I get a lot of chocolate on the palate with a backdrop of dry roasted coffee and some smoky qualities and malty grain.

The feel is mostly smooth and thick but had a slightly dry and tangy finish.

Very interesting and tasty ale but I prefer a touch more complexity on the tongue for the style.

KYGunner, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of jkball01
4/5  rDev -2.7%

jkball01, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of bigbluebeerguy
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

bigbluebeerguy, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of garfscores
4/5  rDev -2.7%

garfscores, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of endless1408
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

endless1408, May 31, 2014
Photo of adam42381
4/5  rDev -2.7%

adam42381, May 18, 2014
Photo of soccerman7
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brought from Orkney thanks Stan!

A - beautiful pitch black with a thin head.

S - amazing raisin and toffee notes. Intense.

T - wow. Like drinking scotch. Dark fruits and wood. Malt sweetness.

M - lingers and smooth.

O - simple amazing. Worth getting if you see it.

soccerman7, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of MystikCelt
4/5  rDev -2.7%

MystikCelt, Jan 30, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

cnbrown313, Jan 29, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

ThreeFishes, Jan 28, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

kwkurdziel, Jan 25, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

DamageCase76, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
4.74/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 15th November 2013.
Pours black with some dark brown hues, low beige head goes away fast and really sticks to the glass.
Smells awesome. Dark roasted malts with milky chocolate, huge caramel, low coffee, lots of vanilla and dark spices, mild dry dark fruit, not very big oaky barrel notes though.
Whiskey pops up in the taste more than in the smell. Roasted malts with coffee and dark chocolate, along with charcoal notes mix nicely with the strong caramel sweetness. Really balanced malt component. The dark fruit (figs, plums, dates) aren't alone, there are red grapes (bringing a mild mustiness), red berries and some faint sour cherries. Typical whiskey barrel aged vanilla spice, along with some mild cinnamon, cocoa powder and faint licorice. Earthy feel mostly, not as barelly as expected, with some oak chips, smoked wood and peat covered up by the roast. Whiskey is felt though, really clear and nice, providing a nice excuse for the warm booze. Hops aren't the star, so they're pretty low in the finish, still helping the roast bitterness a pinch.
Mouthfeel is creamy, buttery, hence a nice butterscotch feel to the whole brew. Finish is really dry and bitter from the charcoal. As it warms up, the sweet elements (the fruitiness, the caramel) start to cover up all the roughness. Aftertaste gets bittersweet, rather than ashy.
Great beer, a perfect "Orcadian Ale" enhanced by the whisky aging. The best from the brewery and personally it surpassed some russian imperials and scotch ales that i usually hold dear.

dcmchew, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of CampusCrew
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

CampusCrew, Dec 22, 2013
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Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.