Dark Island | Orkney Brewery

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Dark IslandDark Island
Very Good
439 Ratings
Dark IslandDark Island

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 439 |  Reviews: 258
Photo of Flo20
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of mrbigpappa
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of mytifred
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of leagr
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Brubaker
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of hippoballetdancer
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of casapy
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of MIP229
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Sigmund
4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
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.

 170 characters

Photo of mick_cooper
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of tvljr
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of handpullme
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of HawkeyeJosh
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of K-Shep87
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Vvall
4.73/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

 325 characters

Photo of Julikind
4.68/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
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!

 592 characters

Photo of claytri
4.64/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

 484 characters

Photo of mindbottling
4.64/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of champ103
4.61/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank my weight in this on cask while working in Aberdeen. Usually at Aitchies Ale House.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges. A perfect two finger tan head forms that sticks throughout. Sticky, spiderweb lace is left in sheets. I don't think a beer could look any better.
S: A light roasted malt aroma with coffee and chocolate. Toffee, more milk chocolate as well. Sometimes a bit mineral like. Subtle, and inviting.
T: A great roasted malt flavor of smoke, peat, coffee, chocolate, and toffee. Excellent.
M/D: A medium to full body. So rich, creamy, and smooth. Really easy to drink. Just a little to much alcohol for the perfect session beer. Though you will be hard pressed to find something more enjoyable.

This is almost perfect on cask. One of my all time favorite beers. This is a must if you see it on cask.

 847 characters

Photo of Roostereno
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

 1,858 characters

Photo of Frankenmonkey81
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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Dark Island from Orkney Brewery
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 439 ratings