Brewed by Orkney (Sinclair Breweries)
Style: Barley Wine
Stromness, Scotland
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 389   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Bottled, Filtered, Special;
Dark Island Reserve is a strong and full Orcadian Ale - lagered for 3 month in old Dalmore whiskey oakbarrals. This slow proscess makes a classic - a fruity, spiced, oakroasted maltflavour.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BlackHaddock (4920) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - NOV 28, 2014
330ml Flip-top, bottled on 15th Jan 14: Gyle # 701. Poured slowly into a Gordons badged thistle shaped glass at home on 28th Nov 14. Exceedingly dark body, a true jet black in fact, on top a thin and fast fading tanned covering which soon became a wisp and collar. The nose is a lovely rich roasted malty affair with woody overtones and whiskey esters. Taste wise it follows the same lines, rich maltiness with wood and whiskey notes: add some dark fruitiness and a block of Bournville chocolate into the mix and you just about have the flavours nailed down. Half way down the beer I had some French soft cheese from the Vosges area and they complimented each other beautifully along with some ’Tuc’ biscuits. What a lovely, lovely beer this is. Rich, smooth and complexed, each sip a joy to behold. Beers like this are the reason I love sites like this, I would never have known about this beer if I had not been a member of RateBeer or BA. One of the best beers I have ever had!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Maltworm01 (7) - - NOV 21, 2014 does not count
Extremely nice Dark Ale matured in whisky casks. A smoky round falvour with notes of coffee. Handbottled and not easy to get!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerhunter111 (10462) - Hasborn, GERMANY - OCT 19, 2014
Sampled @ Finest Spirits and Beer Convention Bochum 2014: Fast schwarzes Bier, kein Schaum. Geruch intensiv röstmalzig, holzig, Kaffee, alkoholisch, so ist auch der Geschmack.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
tmrmwel (1284) - Bergen, NORWAY - OCT 14, 2014
Bottle, 2010 vintage, enjoyed three years after bottling. This is a beauty even before pouring, and continues to be so when it hits the glass black with a red hue and a very small mocha head. Aroma is amazing and sweet with roasted malts, leather, tobacco, vanilla and a deep cellar of oaken barrels. Full creamy body with very soft carbonation. flavour is sweet with oak and chocolate, as well as vanilla, tobacco, prunes and some very fitting and pleasant notes of alcohol. Long nice finish of oak, tobacco and vanilla. Tremendous stuff!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zwiebel88 (608) - GERMANY - SEP 21, 2014
Braun bis schwarz. In der Nase Alkohol,, karamellig, Holz, Whiskey, Süße. Am Gaumen cremig, rund, Kaffee, Alkohol, dunkle Früchte, Weinnoten.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Murano (10) - - AUG 10, 2014
I will first state that this high a rating is partly--and only partly--perhaps--and only perhaps--due to sentiment, and that part is further due roughly 23/40ths to the circumstances surrounding the drinking and roughly 17/40ths to the beer being something fun and different. This excellent, unique beer has a wonderful mouthfeel--a cup of silk, with cream: a certain water-gossamer lightness (or gossamer water-lightness)--like biting into a lush, soft, icing-based pastry (I cannot remember the name of the particular pastry of which I am thinking). It has the aftertaste of splendid churchwine. The taste is hard to pin down, like most good beers, but there are hints of sweet, faint cherry. I would sum up the main taste as "coffee & port with holy water." There is a soft, soft burn to it; one would probably not (accurately) guess straightaway its alcohol content. Overall, the beer is best enjoyed with key members of your closest family and a viewing of The Grand Budapest Hotel or To Catch a Thief. To do so while sitting on a magic carpet is preferable. The color is somehow both pure red and pure black. A very classy, delicate, and delicious beer. Hard to find, and even harder to capture. It’s like chasing a deer in a forest in a poem. The only true negative about this beer is regret that it is but all too fleeting, combined with its being a limited edition (which I hope is one promise upon which Orkney will renege). A great experience. I pity those who have not tried it and envy those with more than one bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ATulloch (134) - Aberdeenshire, SCOTLAND - AUG 8, 2014
Bottle from bro. (jamestulloch) pours a nice dark brown/black with little head. Rich aromas of chocolate, prunes, pine, vanilla and whisky. Intense flavours of dark chocolate, oaky/smokey whisky with a nice spicy fruit finish (almost like Christmas pud). Hides the 10% incredibly well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Marheb (3156) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 9, 2014
Du caramel brűlé au fond de la poele, des vapeurs intense d’éthanol et un grain de café rôti. Le corps est aminci par l’age et les saveurs chaudes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
allmyvinyl (6301) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUL 8, 2014
330ml bottle from Beers of Europe. Pours deep dark brown, thin tan head. Aromas of whisky, wood, coffee, vanilla, spice. Taste is more of the same, hanging together with a boozy-cakey sweetness. Medium body, long finish. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Niall73 (2245) - Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 27, 2014
330ml bottle. Gyle 701. If nothing else, the bottle looks the part. Pours a very dark brown with a red edge and a tan head - a surprising about of fizz on pouring. Lovely cakey, dark fruit aroma with treacle and liquorice. Full body, light carbonation. Loads of liquorice, treacle and sweetness. I’m getting very little whisky, if any. Lots of sticky dark fruit, coke and rum. It’s a tasty drop, a little lacking though.

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