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.

Poterie – The Bruery (Placentia, CA, USA)

Poterie – The Bruery, 16.8% ABV – 1 pt 9.4 fl.oz., (Placentia, CA, USA)


info from ratebeer.com:

Poterie is French for “pottery”, the traditional eight-year anniversary gift. Our eighth anniversary ale, Poterie, follows in the footsteps of our anniversary releases before it, which are loosely based on an English-style old ale, fermented with our house yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. This means that a portion of each anniversary ale is saved in oak barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character as the years go by. The result is layered in robust and complex flavors of toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and oak. Poterie will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.


  • Style: (solera method, bourbon barrel aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Intense sippable vanilla butterscotch liquid barley oaked bourbon
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke / Edmonton
  • How much: $50.25 CAD (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: YES
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: YES

(from memory, drank on March 2, 2017)

Visual: Hefty bottle. Pours root beer brown with a smallish head, mild activity.

Nose: Intense chocolate, butterscotch-toffee, wickedly aromatic (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: slightly fizzy, thicker viscosity, rich intense impression

Mid-palate: butterscotch, (lvl-8-sweetness), vanilla, toffee, liquid barley malt, bourbon, root beer

Finish: licorice, chocolate, background woodiness, controlled alcoholic heat

Summary: Super body, balanced, sippable, and should be shared among friends and family. This drinks unlike any of the 1100 beers I’ve tried – a wrecking ball of intensity yet still balanced enough not to be harsh. I probably say this only once it a year but this is something I would like to try again.

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #3 – Chateau Civrac Old Ale

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #3

Chateau Civrac Old Ale – Penpont Brewery, 7.5% ABV – 330ml, (Cornwall, UK)

on the front-left label:

“A deep malty brew, with fantastic depth of flavour and a slight tart note from the wild yeasts present during the aging process. Aged for several months in oak wine casks. This beer is smooth but complex.”
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  • Style: (Bordeaux Barrel-Aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Blackcurrant caramel/toffee malt woody medium bitter hopped
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yep

Visual: Pours clear copper brown without much head, a very thin layer of micro retention, a few countable super slow streams.

Nose: caramel malts, wet wood, hints of alcohol. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming alcohol + caramel sweetness

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, light tart/tangy/fizzy, (MAIN) caramel malts, toffee, blackcurrant

Finish: alcohol detection, subtle lasting bitter hops, woody malt exhale.

Summary: The caramel character reminds me of Innis & Gunn, but with a dark fruit twist and more alcoholic punch. This one went down quite fast.

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.