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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 394   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 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 (141) - 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 (3291) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 9, 2014
Du caramel brûlé 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 (6644) - 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 (2284) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
shoulderbroken (2842) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JUN 18, 2014
Bottle. Aroma is whiskey, boozy, mossy. Taste is great, chocolate, coffee beans, thick, boozy, very interesting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
drfabulous (4925) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JUN 10, 2014
From the 750 bottle. Chocolate. Port in the overall taste. Little carbonation. Slight oxidation. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Holmen1 (3653) - Stavanger, NORWAY - MAY 30, 2014
0,33 flaske (gyle no. 701), delt med importør Ovesen, kveldens siste denne fine maikvelden på Holmen Nanobryggeri: nydelig mørk farge, bittelitt skum og en lekker duft av eik, vanilje, svisker og mørke bær. Rik og fyldig smak, en vidunderlig vinøs følelse, som den fineste årgansportvin.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Holmen2 (1888) - NORWAY - MAY 30, 2014
Gyle No 701. Ebony. Small beige head. Aroma of vintage port, sherry, ripe berries and oak. Similar and complex taste. Alcohol is evident. Dark chocolate in aftertaste. A very enjoyable barley wine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SaintMatty (5991) - Uppsala, SWEDEN - MAY 24, 2014
330ml Bottle - Black with a tan head. Oak, raisins, vinous fruits and hints of leather in the aroma. Roasted malt, raisins, plain chocolate and spice feature in the rich, warming and vinous taste. One to sip.

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