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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 447   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, oak roasted malt flavour.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mabel (8640) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 11, 2009
[2538-20091024] 750mL bottle. Sweet date and roasted fruit malt aroma. Brown black body with no lasting head. More roasted fruit and soy date malt flavour. Full body. Quite full all around, an interesting brew.
(c/o blankboy, w/ him, GregClow, HogTownHarry, jerc, tupalev)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jercraigs (10019) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 29, 2009
UPDATED: JUL 16, 2014 2014-06-27. Black body with a fading brown head. Aroma is alcoholic dark fruit and sweet dark malt. Flavour is rich dark malt alcohol, mild whiskey or bourbon like character to the alcohol finishes a touch dry because of the alcohol. Medium bodied palate, low carbonation makes it feel heavier in the palate. Nice but a bit much. It needs just a touch more carbonation perhaps? 7/3/7/4-15 Cask at Glasgow Real Ale Festival

2009-10-24. Very dark brown body with a modest khaki head that fades. 3+ Aroma is a touch boozy but has some interesting nuances, whisky, mild touch of wood. 7+ Flavour is less boozy, sweet dark malt base gets overtaken by a woody whisky character that has a a light tang/something fruity to it that is not unpleasant, but I am not overly enamored with it as I find it distracts. 7+ Smooth average plus palate is lightly carbonated. Alcohol is remarkable restrained. I enjoyed it, and it is well made, but it just did not quite come together for me as well as it did for others. Part of me wants to rate it higher but it just didnt quite get there. 8/3/7/3/15 Bottle shared by blankboy

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (6379) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - OCT 24, 2009
(bottle ( 750ml ). shared by blankboy at October 2009 WaterlooWeekend. Oily-looking black pour, smallish frothy tan head. Lovely black, burnt treacle and sherry/Islay whisky aroma, herbal and dry - pretty strong oaky whisky. Taste is much, much less whisky-dominated - dry, oily, herbal bitter, plenty of dry oak resin, a little salty and pretty smoothly alcoholic. Slick, bitter mouthfeel - very roasty and dry, not overpowering, well done indeed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chrism86 (294) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - OCT 8, 2009
Pours thick, dark brown tending black with a non existent head. Body appears very oily & rich. Nose is very serious, peat, smoke & dark malts all in abundance. Palate is thick & rich as expected with the nose being translated very well. Finish is long with all dimensions having a great synergy. Awesome beer, well worth the high price tag & will definately be keeping an eye out for more!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Geokkjer (7417) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - SEP 22, 2009
Pours dark almost black with a brownish head.Aroma of caramel, molasses,dark chocolate and grains with some alcohol.Flavor is sweet with whiskey smoke ,roasted grains ,caramel ,oak ,vanilla.A full bodied and totally awesome beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerChaser0078 (909) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - SEP 9, 2009
750ml Bottle. Rating #100! Pours thick, dark brown, almost completely black with a large brown head that shortly turns into a ring around the top. Nose contains plenty of dark chocolate and coffee as well as concentrated yeast, malt, raisins, honey and, like it says on the label, figs and dates. The whisky is present both on the nose and in the mouth, and is integrated quite well. The flavour combines most of the elements from the aroma as well as hints of dark berries, vanilla, port and a little saltiness (from the whisky barrels perhaps?). This a lot darker than any other barley wine Ive had, looking more like a porter, and the differences dont end there, but either way this is a fantastic beer and Im definitely not disappointed in my choice for my 100th rating.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jvhemert (380) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - SEP 5, 2009
UPDATED: SEP 23, 2012 Quite possibly the only Scottish beer that gets anywhere near a Belgian Abbey beer. Drinking the limited edition. Pours black. Almost no head. Sour taste with lots of chocolate, bit of smoked ham, licorice, grapes/sherry, wood. High alcohol level well masqueraded.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeSchick (2) - Maryland, USA - AUG 22, 2009 does not count
I sampled a bottle brewed 3 September 2008. The beer had a coffee type flavor with a hint of roasted chestnuts. I expected more head on the beer but otherwise it was delicous. Poured cleanly and evenly. Aroma was fantastic. A really good beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 10, 2009
Super rich dark toffee aroma with roasted nuts, vanilla and a hint of smoke. Absolutely spectacular. The flavor is rather sweet with more roasted nuts and hints of scotch. This is delicious with a lingering, complex finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DMRz (230) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 10, 2009
Pours an inky black-brown that is a bit dark for a barleywine. Interesting aroma that starts off with sweet vanilla and chocolate then becomes more earthy and malty. Flavor is earthy and smoky with bitter chocolate, oak, and a slight whiskey character that is subdued and delightful. There is also a significant alcohol presence on the finish. Very interesting and well constructed, but rather expensive...

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