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.”

(neck)


  • 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.

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney Brewery (Stromness, Scotland)

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney Brewery, 10% ABV, (Scotland)

On the front 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.”

Other notes:

  • hand-bottled on 11th November 2011
  • 2933 bottles produced in this batch
  • great taste GOLD award 2011

My notes:

  • My Rating: A-
  • Why I like it: super depth of chocolate and coffee
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $27 (after 10%), 75cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe with beer-friends
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: for sure

Tasting notes: pours jet black, minimal creamy head, ringed retention, micro CO2. Heavy thick malts on the nose. Drinks with minimal carbonation, slightly syrupy viscosity, starts off extremely bright fruity of bitter chocolate & orange peel, roasted coffee, toasted oak, figs & dates, vanilla, and lots of malt on the exhale. Drinks with 8/10-level slightly heavy sweetness. Medium-high complexity, high depth, great transitions, great carry, great drinkability. Its profile is similar to Ola Dubh scotch-barrel aged beer, however this is more fruity and more aggressive with the sweetness.