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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 403   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   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.

onystrom's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
onystrom (1324) - Magellan Hunter! - Skanderborg, - MAR 19, 2008
Beautiful dark brown color with very dark tanned head. Burnt malt flavor and a lot of vinegar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hotstuff (4508) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 19, 2015
Rated on 8-29-2015 (Hand bottled on: 15 January 2014 GYLE Number 701). The appearance of this flip top bottled beer is a very small light brown head that has a long retention, opaque dark brown body, very little carbonation, and no lacing. The aroma is complex - some oak, whiskey, spicy, licorice, malt, dark chocolate, wood, and fruity. The flavor is whiskey, lightly bitter, dark chocolate, light roasted malt, spicy, some oak, licorice, prunes, and it has a dry finish. The mouthfeel is thick and light carbonation. This beer is medium-full bodied. Overall, this is quite the beer. It has a lot going on in the aroma and flavor. It is a sipping beer that is very complex. Each sip is a joy to drink! It has a lot of character and it is definitely worth trying. It is definitely a beer that I would partake in again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hawthorne00 (3044) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - NOV 7, 2015
Small bottle, bottled 3/15. Was never quite prepared to try a big bottle at around $A45. Label tempts me to disemvowel my review. Pretty much black with a small tan head that lasts well and never quite disappears. Smells surprisingly like normal Dark Island with hazelnuts, chocolate, pears, earth. Thereís a breath of whisky too and heavily oaked red wine. Silky, low carbonation. Rather more of a whisky influence now, but still surprising how much the base beer comes through. Dried fruit, chocolate, mild roast, vanilla, meadowy herbal and spice notes. Lots of almost delicate things going on. Canít quite tell how much is bitterness and how much is alcohol at the end. The balance is a lot of whatís impressive. I wonder whether if it develops in flavour it will keep the balance. Great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Iphonephan (4982) - McLean, Virginia, USA - NOV 1, 2015
From a 75 cl bottle shared at home. Pours black with a scant tan head. Light whisky nose. Flavors of peat, charred oak and scotch whisky. Surprisingly delicate flavors. Smooth roast finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jamesie1857 (1763) - Sheffield, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - OCT 30, 2015
330ml flip top bottle from Beers of Europe - Black body with a red hue and a very small tan head. Nose is all over the shop - sweet with roasted malts, vanilla, leather, a load of various dark cake fruits and a boozy oak undertone. Full creamy body with very soft carbonation. flavour is sweet with oak and chocolate, as well as vanilla, prunes and some very fitting and pleasant notes of alcohol. Long nice finish of oak, sweet liquorice and vanilla.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
aleksander9 (951) - Oslo, NORWAY - OCT 13, 2015
UPDATED: OCT 14, 2015 Black with tan head. Tobacco, leather, barrel and dried herbs. Sweet, barrel, vanilla and tobacco pipe finish. Overall: Its like having a dram and a cigar. fan-fucking-tastic.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tiong (5393) - Espoo, FINLAND - SEP 25, 2015
750ml bottle @ ISKTR

Pours pitch black with a tiny bubbly head. Aroma of roasty malts, whisky, oak, wood, ripe fruits, spices, plum, berries and syrup. Taste is smooth, sweetish and heavy with whisky notes, oak, berries, syrup, hints of licorice and toffee. Finish is sweetish, heavy and oaky with loads of berries and syrup. Quite heavy and sweet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
lusikka (7621) - Tampere, FINLAND - SEP 25, 2015
750 ml bottle @ ISKTR V. Pours a black colour with a minimal white head. Aroma of sweet roastiness, raisins, whiskey and wood. Flavour of strong roastiness, licorice, syrupy sweetness, whiskey and a bit of spiciness. Full bodied. Oily mouthfeel. Solid.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
gegwilson (2379) - North Yorkshire, ENGLAND - SEP 14, 2015
Bottle from Hippo Beers in Glasgow. Pours deep mahogany with some rapidly dissipating beige froth laving just a rim of bubbles. The aroma is peaty malt whisky. The taste is quite spicy initially with lots of earthy flavours and smoke that lingers in the finish. The body is pretty light. The whiskey flavours in this are over dominant for my tastes leaving little in the way of beer character. OK, but not worth the expense in my opinion.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bluejacket74 (1613) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - SEP 6, 2015
750 ml swing top bottle, bottled on November 15, 2013, Gyle 682. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with maybe a half inch tan head. Head retention is decent, and there isnít much lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (figs, dates), whisky, chocolate, caramel and vanilla. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of burnt/charred malt, coffee, red grapes, woodiness, and sweet spices. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, itís a bit creamy and slick with low carbonation. Overall I thought this was a pretty good brew. The whisky barrel character is certainly noticeable, but not overpowering. Definitely worth a try if youíve never had it before.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
thedm (5215) - Fort Wayne, USA - AUG 29, 2015
This flippy top bottled brew marked Gyle Number 701 bottled on 15 January 2014 from a bottle shop poured a small sized head of frothy fine to medium sized brown colored bubbles that were mostly lasting and left behind a no visible carbonation opaque black brown colored body and a fair lacing. The nice aroma was chocolate and cherry. The mouth feel was weakly tingly at the start and at the finish with a strong vinous aftertaste. The sharp flavor contained notes of vinous chocolate dark malt and cherry. A decent one that I would consider drinking again.

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