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Dark Island Reserve - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Island ReserveDark Island Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

102 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 46
Gots: 24 | 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)
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SawDog505:
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip, bottled in late 2011. Pours a magnificent almost black with a 3 inch dark tan head, with beautiful lace. Smell is dark fruit, leather, tobacco, apricot, smoke, dark chocolate, and whiskey. Taste is all that, apricot starts, with leather and dark chocolate, and obviously some whiskey in the finish. Body is medium to heavy perfect, great amount of carbonation, a little dry as expected, and drinkability is exactly what you would expect. Thanks Tom for bringing this to celebrate my daughters birth, excellent beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 23:26:37 | More by SawDog505
More User Reviews:
Photo of mrbigpappa


5/5  rDev +21.4%

06-19-2014 13:16:52 | More by mrbigpappa
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac


4/5  rDev -2.9%

06-12-2014 19:24:10 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of KYGunner


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2014 21:37:50 | More by KYGunner
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4/5  rDev -2.9%

06-10-2014 17:59:30 | More by jkball01
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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

06-10-2014 04:34:34 | More by bigbluebeerguy
Photo of garfscores


4/5  rDev -2.9%

06-06-2014 22:07:49 | More by garfscores
Photo of endless1408

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev -15%

05-31-2014 18:35:59 | More by endless1408
Photo of adam42381


4/5  rDev -2.9%

05-18-2014 13:43:57 | More by adam42381
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
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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
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4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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
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4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

12-22-2013 01:32:31 | More by CampusCrew
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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
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Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.