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Dark Island Reserve - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Island ReserveDark Island Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 63
Gots: 26 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 01-15-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DamageCase76
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of videofrog
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of mick303
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.

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.

Photo of proctah
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of paulys55
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of harrymel
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of shagens
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Oboogie
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of deg
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.

Photo of Muhly
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.

Photo of madnismo
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of nickfl
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Orkney dark island reserve

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves light foam.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and lots of smooth whiskey and smoke,.

T - Dark caramel and toffee up front with a touch of molasses. Some vanilla and chocolate with nutmeg in the middle. Finishes with more dark sugar, spice and whiskey as well as vanilla and cinnamon.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - nicely done, the aroma is much better than the flavor, but everything works well in the end.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two finger head that dissipates rapidly on a jet black body. Aroma is stronglyof whiskey and scotch, mint, molasses, cinnamon. Flavors are very dull, with the whiskey understated in sharpness but still providing flavor. Supporting notes include dark chocolate, citrus, earthy hops, rye breads and licorice. The aroma is great, the flavor is a little mild but still keeps the whiskey flavor while staying very drinkable. Very nice whiskey aged brew

Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of beerdrifter
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark brown pour with a one finger beige head with minimal retention and crazy lacing. The nose is earthy with rich dark caramel malts dominating along with hints of mocha. As it warms, a strong vinous character emerges along with evidence of the barrel aging and hints of whiskey. The taste follows suit, dominated initially by loads of roasty cocoa, espresso, and dark chocolate. As with the nose, the taste really opens up as it warms. Unlike some big barrel aged beers, it's not in your face. The woody vinous notes are subtle but so delicious. Hints of oak, vanilla, whiskey, and dark fruit round it out nicely. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a subtle sweet and dry finish. Overall, this is my definition of a comfort beer. Big, but not too big, rich and bold, but not in your face. A world class beer!

Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.