1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Dark Island Reserve - Orkney Brewery

Dark Island ReserveDark Island Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

94 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.41%

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: johnmichaelsen on 01-15-2008)
View: Beers (10) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 62 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Liquoric3:
Photo of Liquoric3


3.75/5  rDev -9%

12-09-2012 23:56:20 | More by Liquoric3
More User Reviews:
Photo of soccerman7


4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 00:28:24 | More by soccerman7
Photo of MystikCelt

New York

4/5  rDev -2.9%

01-30-2014 09:15:08 | More by MystikCelt
Photo of cnbrown313


3.75/5  rDev -9%

01-29-2014 13:52:05 | More by cnbrown313
Photo of ThreeFishes


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

01-28-2014 04:02:02 | More by ThreeFishes
Photo of kwkurdziel


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

01-25-2014 02:51:20 | More by kwkurdziel
Photo of DamageCase76

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

01-11-2014 14:56:36 | More by DamageCase76
Photo of dcmchew


4.74/5  rDev +15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 13:11:35 | More by dcmchew
Photo of CampusCrew


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

12-22-2013 01:32:31 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of videofrog


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

11-10-2013 00:00:14 | More by videofrog
Photo of ROGUE16


4/5  rDev -2.9%

10-07-2013 01:53:06 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of beernads


3.75/5  rDev -9%

09-12-2013 20:34:38 | More by beernads
Photo of schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-03-2013 18:20:28 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of RedneckBeerz


3.75/5  rDev -9%

07-28-2013 03:09:42 | More by RedneckBeerz
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A blackish dark brown, slight whispy lace, thick oiliness. Little residual lacing owing to the barrel time.

S - roasty malt, creamy cherriness, some oaky vanilla sweetness, nutmeg earthy notes with some alcohol spice.

T - sweet start with some oaky whisky presence, smooth and estery alcohol, lots of complex character develops with the malt and barrel influences, a vanilla malty finish, surprisingly lightt with lots of fruit there also, fig, cranberry, not much hops to speak of. End is quite dry.

M - big body and silky liquor lot of smooth vanilla and fig notes, and then dark chocolate, soothing sipper, warming on aftertaste and smooth.

A lovely interplay of complex flavours, it is malty and fruity with vanilla and oak, big presence but so smooth drinking, one to try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 19:34:48 | More by mick303
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with an almost non-existent head.
Nose shows caramel, peat, charred oak, roasted malt, smoke, bready malt and heavy sweet burnt figs.
Sweet flavours at first too, before some roasted malt and charred oak roll thorugh. A fair bit of booze too.
Body feels a bit light.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 05:02:23 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of proctah


4/5  rDev -2.9%

06-03-2013 22:10:32 | More by proctah
Photo of paulys55


4/5  rDev -2.9%

05-31-2013 13:39:14 | More by paulys55
Photo of Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

05-27-2013 20:53:54 | More by Kmat10
Photo of harrymel


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

05-10-2013 06:00:57 | More by harrymel
Photo of shagens


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

05-01-2013 22:16:20 | More by shagens
Photo of Oboogie


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

03-24-2013 17:39:26 | More by Oboogie
Photo of deg

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I poured the beer into a glass chalice. It was dark. Some light got through, and the color was dark brown. The head was coffee with cream color. I could smell some fruit. The taste started out heavy on fruit and vanilla and oak. I couldn't taste much peat or other flavors I associate with whisky initially. As I worked through the bottle, more roasty and peaty flavors came out. The beer was easy on my mouth, thick and rich. I noticed a warmth from the alcohol instead of a burn.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 00:21:23 | More by deg
Photo of Muhly

Alberta (Canada)

4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled in April 2012 according to the label.

A-dark brown/opaque. Dark tan/brown head pours two fingers with a vigorous pour. Low retention with a wisp of foam remaining after the head drops.

S-dark malts with hints of smoke and charred barrel. Smells a little boozy.

T-a big wallop of roasted dark malts with hints of smoke and oak. Burnt toffee and licorice linger a bit on the tongue.

M-seems pretty round and full. Coats the tongue and finishes with some warm alcohol.

O-an intesely dark ale that slaps you across the face with its boldness. Could have perhaps benefited from another 6 months in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 02:00:45 | More by Muhly
Photo of madnismo


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

03-05-2013 23:40:54 | More by madnismo
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.