Dark Island Reserve | Orkney Brewery

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90
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135 Ratings
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Dark Island ReserveDark Island Reserve
BEER INFO

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

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John_M on 01-15-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
135
Reviews:
69
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
10.19%
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
29
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 135 |  Reviews: 69
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
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 791 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 283 characters

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
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

 481 characters

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.

 665 characters

Photo of madnismo
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  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.

 610 characters

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

 447 characters

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
4.41/5  rDev +7%
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!

 824 characters

Photo of mitlinks
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of BMMillsy
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled April 3, 2012, poured Feb 1, 2013z Pours dark brown almost black. Big very light brown head. Very pretty. Aroma is sherry, peat whiskey, hints of chocolate, raisins, anise, licorice, and a bit of roasted grain and smoke. A lot going on here. Flavor of a nice scotch, took my breath away on the first sip. Really not expecting that. Not boozy but lots of peat and whiskey here with a warm finish. Only medium thickness on the palate. Lasting explosion of chocolate that leaves a bit of sweetness on the palate. Smokey oak with a red wine (merlot) quality about it. Very intense sipper, but surprisingly drinkable as the alcohol is not strong (though the scotch flavor certainly is). Something everyone should seek out. Awesome bottle and labeling, too. And I can recork this for later, which is nice.

 807 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml, very attractive bottle and label. I've been sitting on this one for over a year, as it's from the Nov 2011 hand bottling, which apparently numbered at 2933. Seems to me the fitting start to a Robert Burns' night, especially one that falls on a Friday. To quote the man himself: 'Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame'. I'll keep that in mind here, dear auld Rabbie.

This beer pours a solid, unrelenting black, with nothing in the way of even the slightest highlight, and two fingers of bubbly and fairly creamy brown mocha head, which settles away at a lazy, but steady pace, leaving some broad swaths of limestone formation lace around the glass.

It smells of musty black fruit - duly soused by strong, dark red wine - mildly roasted bready caramel malt, thin vanilla, some dampened woody astringency, watery orange juice, and a further spiced rum/whisky alcohol tint. Yup, this one's gonna be a boozer. The taste is bittersweet chocolate-dipped cherries, injected with a shot of brandy for good measure and grandmas everywhere, more softly acrid, pulpy orange, a middling caramel/toffee malt backbone, edgy oak barrel wood tannins, diluted vanilla, and a musty, earthy wet leafy dryness, where the wetness is alcohol, albeit on its best behavior.

The carbonation is pretty sedate, but does well enough to offer support to the whole affair, the body a sturdy, stout (more on that later), and medium-full weight, and smooth at most measurable and/or memorable junctures, that flat woodiness a sometime offender. It finishes on the sweet side, with the caramel malt finally coming around, the dark vinous fruit holding fast, and the warm vanilla oakiness completing the lulling circle.

It is a bit strange that I get more wine barrel than whisky cask in terms of woody adjuncts, given the proclaimed Orkney-local production methods. Oh well, esters are a funny thing, they can act as the chimera, rendering things in a slightly different manner from what they truly are. Anyhow, this is a splendid Scottish ale, with strong dry stout predilections, well integrated barrel notes, and a much more subtle alcohol profile than I was led to believe up until the very end. Worth the wait, indeed, and I feel that I have not let today's celebratory poet down, at least not yet.

 2,297 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery
4.12 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
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