Dark Island | Orkney Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
432 Ratings
Dark IslandDark Island
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
orkneybrewery.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
432
Reviews:
257
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
11.68%
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
38
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 432 |  Reviews: 257
Photo of npendres
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of captaincoffee
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle in Glasgow. Pours near black with a medium head that does not retain much lacing. Nose is lighter than expected. Roasty maltiness with just a whiff of peat in the background. Taste is slightly sweet with light roasted notes on the malt backbone. Not really what I would call a Scottish ale...more like a cross between a light sweet stout and a brown ale. Good, drinkable, and somewhat flavorful, but not exciting. I would love to try this again on cask where I expect it would shine.

 503 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany pour with little to no head/retention. Very nice color though. Aroma is just incredible... chocolate-covered cherries. Flavor is malty with some roasted character, but slightly watery. Finish is slightly dry, mostly roast. Not as great as the nose would indicate.

 273 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: black/maroon color
S: dark fruit...has that typical British smell
T: dark fruit, smooth, tasty
F: medium body, decent mouthfeel
O: good for the style

 153 characters

Photo of Loveyourbeer
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HattedClassic
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is a dark black color with ruby brown edges and a tan creamy head.

The smell is interesting. If you smell too quickly, it comes off as acidic and unpleasant while taking one's time releases a more interesting aroma. The nose has a light dark fruit notes and toffee with a nice roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate smell. Overall, it's pretty good even though it's not as intense as other beers.

The taste is fairly good but not as interesting as the smell. You get a nice floral bitterness from a very light hop note. The bitter chocolate is still there but not as distinct in the smell; it's actually a bit softer and has a slight sweetness. Also, very woody.

The feel is good. A fairly lighter bodied beer that makes for a good session beer. It's thin and a bit acidic, though but doesn't take away much from the beer.

Overall, pretty good and worth getting at least once.

 893 characters

Photo of mwckiltedsavage
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark, ruby on the edges, brown with a moderate tan had. Malty nose. Malty flavor on the tongue. Light body. Just the thing to sit looking over Scapa Flow and contemplate the massive amounts of iron below the surface!

 233 characters

Photo of LaMbOfGoD
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flashback #408

14 characters

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark chocolate and prunes primarily in the aroma, along with some molasses bread. Appears very dark brown, coffee-like; has a thin, off-white head. Tastes like bitter, woody seltzer water. Perhaps a little more fruit and cocoa as it warms up. Thin in body, lightly carbonated.

Not very flavorful—tastes thin, acidic, dry, and woody. I was excited after taking a whiff of the aroma, but then disappointed with the flavor.

 424 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black colored, bit of ruby hue, moderate tan creamy head. Aroma is malt, chocolate, dark chocolate, licorice, roasted malts. Taste is moderate sweet toffee, chocolate, milk chocolate, bit dark fruit, roasted malt, dry roasted finish. Roasted acidity present. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

 295 characters

Photo of HippieDave56
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of doktorhops
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like every Orkney Brewery Ale: Dark Island conjures up a great image, one of stirring sea tales of a sailor in a rickety boat fighting against crashing waves, jagged black rocks and temptress sirens (the ancient mariner ones, not the alarm sounding ones). Here’s hoping this Scottish Ale will live up to its brethren, including the mighty Skull Splitter (which is currently #11 on my all-time list of reviewed beers). Do not disappoint me Dark Island!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into nonic pint.

A: Presents a fearsome almost opaque deep cola red/brown body with a 1 cm light tan head that sticks around well. Certainly suits the name quite well here. 9/10.

S: Dark fruit forward in the aroma with notes of dark plum, date and macerated figs. There are earthy undertones that suggest a traditional brew with fresh or organic ingredients, along with a solid brown sugar/molasses malt base. Overall the aroma of Dark Island is very much a Skull Splitter lite, and I have absolutely no problem with that [not at all Sir!]. 8/10.

T: Dark fruits present upfront in the flavour with an intriguing sour presence throughout... it’s not Gueuze sour, just a lingering sour touch in the background, however it also isn’t overly as sweet as expected and along with it having a light bitter finish the sourness tips the balance... I checked the BB date and it says ‘APR 16’ so it should be fine, but I am definitely getting a slight sourness which I suspect is unintentional. Hints of brown sugar round out flavour. 6/10.

M: Along with the flavours not being as bold as expected there is some watery mouthfeel that detracts overall from this mid to light bodied light carbonated brew. 6/10.

D: I will get this one again as it may have turned in the bottle a bit, heat damage perhaps? Well it’s the middle of winter here in Canberra and the mercury rarely tops 13 Celsius (or 55 in the old money) so heat damage is out of the question. Infected bottle? Who knows, is it Pasteurized? If so then also likely not. In any case I’ve had a bad run of soured brews lately and I’m hoping my luck changes soon. Overall I imagine a good bottle of Dark Island, a twice CAMRA champion beer of Scotland is a much better brew than the one I just had. 6/10.

Food match: [pairing to what a good bottle of this would match] game meats, beef stew with crusty bread and aged cheddars.

 2,374 characters

Photo of shigg85
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EdmundBlackadder
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Gryphon69
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a black with small very light tan head, decent lacing

Smelled good, bready, dark fruits, dark roast, not any noticeable smoke for a scotich ale

Taste was better than average, but nothing really popping out

Thiner than I expected but enough body to hold

Nice looking, always like a beer with lacing, smells more defined than the taste, but good flavor, very easy to drink.

 382 characters

Photo of tux_alin
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Honeybourne
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ZacharyReichardt
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jmdrpi
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

on cask. black in color, with white head. mild roasty aroma, a touch of chocolate. same flavors in the taste. smooth mouthfeel, overall very nice and drinkable.

 167 characters

Photo of DamienI
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Julikind
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle with a BB date of August 2016 purchased and consumed in Fife, Scotland; served in a Sweetwater pint glass.

Flavor has a load of toffee with brown bread. Neither sweet nor bitter. Low carbonation but a fairly durable head. Near full body.

 253 characters

Photo of bostonryan
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Island from Orkney Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
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