Dark Island Reserve – Orkney (Stromness, Scotland)

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney Brewery (Sinclair Breweries), 10% ABV, 330ml., (Stromness, Scotland)

on the bottle neck label:

“Dark Island Reserve is a rich, robust ORCADIAN ALE. After a gentle fermentation at our brewery in Quoyloo, the beer is finished in old oak casks formerly used to MATURE FINE MALT WHISKIES. This unhurried process creates a timeless classic full of fruit, spice, oak and roast malt aromas. An Extraordinary ale.”


  • Style: (scotch barrel aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Thick heavy sweet balanced tangy molasses brown sugar caramelized barley malt
  • Where I got it : Liquors Hasegawa / Tokyo
  • How much: 900¥ ($9.90 CAD) – 300ml., November 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Initial tasting 2012/05/16, [A-] Rating.

(2nd tasting, 5 years later)

Visual: Bailer top re-sealable cap. Pours cola dark brown with no head, micro bubbles along the perimeter, no activity, but a few bubbles surfacing now and then.

Nose: thick brown sugar sweet caramelized malts, molasses. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: slight oily, thick malt impression

Mid-palate: heavy brown sugar molasses, (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy backdrop, caramelized medium boozy barley malt, nutmeg

Finish: dates, vanilla, woody whisky exhale, residual barley malt

Summary: Thick and full but still manageable on the palate. Not enough smoothness in the mouthfeel to round it out. Still delicious though.