Brewed by Orkney (Sinclair Breweries)
Style: Old Ale
Stromness, Scotland


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 457   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   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, oak roasted malt flavour.

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BelgBeerGeek's rating

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
BelgBeerGeek (1308) - Antwerp, - AUG 17, 2012
Thx to Palme !!

What the hell ?! is this a Barley Wine or a Imperial Stout ?! the colour !
Head: capuccino, away fast
Colour: black !!! ( impy or barley ?! )
Smell: freaking amazing !!! so intense !!, red port, vanilla, oak, grapes, red wine, boozey, oak, sweet, candy sirup, coconut, molasses, sherry, this must be one of the best aroma’s i’ve ever had !!! so good !!! let’s hope the flavour is as good as the aroma ?!
Taste: start is pretty salty, and caramel, thus salted caramel .. duh !, butterscotch, very oily mouthfeel, slightly roasted, very nice boozey and spicey flavour, very creamy, not as sweet as i tought it would be ( good thng ! ), lots of port wine and whiskey flavours, end is a tad irony with beautifful red wine tanines, aftertaste is roasty and earthy/grassy. this is a damn fine beer ! Tough i’d classify it as a Imperial stout flavourwise ...

But doesn’t matter Barley Wine or Imperial Stout it’s freaking lovely !!!

TheBeerMason (7) - - JUN 11, 2017 does not count
I really enjoyed this, a bit different but very tasty. Got it as a present from a friend who got it from fairtex convention.

cmacklin (1172) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - MAY 18, 2017
750ml bottle. Pours an opaque mahogany with a thin, creamy, short lived, fully dissipating, brown head. Sweet aroma of figs, prunes, raisins, roasted malt, caramel, oak and just a hint of whisky. Sweet flavour of roasted malt, figs, prunes, raisins, licorice, molasses, tobacco, caramel, chocolate, vanilla and oak with a warming whisky finish. Full body with a creamy, smooth, rich, oily texture and soft carbonation. Excellent complexity. Almost sinful. A world class old ale.

colui72 (1025) - HONG KONG - APR 14, 2017
Pitch black, with no sign of carbonation, head or lacing: motor oil. However aroma is fantastic: strong wood infused in whiskey, smoke, vanilla and berries. Tastes follow the nose, with wood, whiskey, smoke, leather, roasted malts, caramel, vanilla and dark fruits, medium sweet with a dry finish. Slick mouthfeel, booze very well hidden. A real ale. Fantastic!

Graham77 (514) - SCOTLAND - APR 1, 2017
750ml bottle. The aroma is pleasant with chocolate, smoke & whsiky. The taste promises much but fails to deliver with a chocolatey sweetness then a vinious astringency in the middle. Full flavoured but not near as good as I expected. Considering the £20 price paid it probably doesn’t deserve the score given

likeatrainwreck (573) - Stockport, Cheshire, ENGLAND - MAR 23, 2017
Hmm... like a few below have mentioned, I think my bottle must have been from a bad batch... I’m getting very little of the flavours people are mentioning in other reviews, it’s all overpowered by a dry, vinous tartness. Bit weird... going to have to seek it out again and re-review if it is indeed a bad batch, as it stands I didn’t enjoy this very much at all.

Antzrhere (181) - Blackpool, Lancashire, ENGLAND - MAR 7, 2017
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2017 330ml bottle, House of Bruar. Aroma is quite inviting, vanilla, roast. First taste is burnt dry roast, smokey peat but followed by a strong sherry-like sourness. Slightly thin for the style. I couldnt tell if the sourness was intentional or mistaken. Very unusual, but off putting. I didnt enjoy this beer and at £10 a bottle I expected alot more. From reading other good reviews I wonder if this is a bad batch as the tanginess was very pronounced as if it contained Lactobacillus

UXO (1896) - CANADA - FEB 13, 2017
Appearance: near opaque black with a short, short-lived beige head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: burnt sugar, black strap molasses, dark chocolate, wood, dried fruit, cardboard. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium body, low carbonation, lingering moderate bitter finish. (3/5) Looks kind of like a stout, but tastes like a cross between a Barley Wine and an Old Ale. Quite a bit thinner than I’d’ve expected based on its appearance. Seems a bit oxidised, so I guess it was a mistake to cellar a flip-top for more than three years. A bit meh, especially for the price. (12/20)

Svesse (8598) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - FEB 4, 2017
(Bottle, bottled on 10 Dec 2008) Black colour with brief, foamy, beige head. Malty, roasted nose with caramel, dark chocolate, roasted malt, oak wood, vanilla, dark fruit. raisins and vinous hints of whiskey. Malty, roasted taste with notes of caramel, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, raisins, liquorice, oak wood, molasses, hints of malt vinegar, a touch of smoke and a finish with a balanced, slightly salty bitterness and a warming whiskey touch. Full body, with a certain sweetness. Complex and with lots of character, still quite laid-back and well rounded. Excellent beer.

bytemesis (8384) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 29, 2017
Bottle, 2014 vintage. Pours deep clear ruby black, minimal head, wisp of a ring of tan foam and not much lacing. Aroma is pretty much sherry, port, some oaky vinous notes. Flavor is medium sweet, light plus bitter. Medium body, low carbonation. Better after it warms, but this one apparently does not age well, cause it is high on oxidation and pretty rough around the edges. Kind of hot as well. Probably should have guessed that flip-top was not the best seal in the world, but oh well.

Saeglopur (2177) - Vienna Woods, AUSTRIA - JAN 14, 2017
330 ml bottle from Beergonzo, bottled on 5th June 2015.
Dark brown body, with a small, creamy, dark beige head.
Aroma of whisky, some smoke, dried fruits, tobacco, cocoa, toffee.
Tastes of wood, whisky, peat, tobacco, dark bread, cocoa, some dried fruits, some liquorice.
Medium, oily mouthfeel, with a moderate carbonation.
Finishes roasty, smokey, wooden, a bit astringent, a bit warm, with tobacco, cocoa, subtle fruits.

Tasty. Really balanced, well integrated peaty whisky notes, leaving room for lots of dark malt and fruity notes, with just the right levels of roastiness and sweetness. Alcohol is greatly hidden, drinks really smooth. One of the best style example I’ve had so far, truly accomplished stuff.

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