Dark Island ReserveJuly 10, 2014
A stronger version of Dark Island Ale is the base for this beer, which is matured in aged Orkney malt whisky casks for three months.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1094
AVAILABLE: CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IA, MA, ME, MI, NY, OR, OK, UK
Casks from Highland Park are used to age a 10% version of the regular 4.6% dark ale. It’s a Scottish “Heavy” ale brewed with chocolate and crystal malts, a touch of wheat, and Omega and Goldings hops. It’s pitch black with a dense tan head and a massive sweet toffee nose, with oak and vanilla from the wood and roasted grain notes. Warming whisky and pronounced oak, vanilla and toffee fill the mouth with burnt fruit and spicy hops. The finish is long and bittersweet with continuing notes of oak, vanilla, spicy hops, roasted grain, dark fruit and smoky whisky.
- Roger Protz
This deep, dark brown beer suggests complexity from the first sniff, with caramel and dark chocolate from the malt offset by notes of tobacco and nicely restrained whisky in the sumptuous aroma. Whisky heads up the bittersweet taste, supported by fudgy dark chocolate and tangy oak, but it’s a lighter-bodied beer than expected with an appealing dryness. It tastes strong, as you’d expect, but the alcohol is well embedded and not out on a limb. After a warming swallow, the finish is very dry, with bitter chocolate, whisky and tangy oak all in the mix.
- Jeff Evans
Author of 300 Beers to Try Before You Die and 300 More Beers to Try Before You Die. Respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and www.protzonbeer.co.uk.
Jeff Evans is author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide, The Book of Beer Knowledge and Beer Lover’s Britain. More of his writing can be found at www.insidebeer.com.