Dark IslandMarch 1, 2008 Legends, Ltd.
The Orkney Brewery
Available: AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN,
KY, LA, MA. MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WA, WI
Color: deep ruby
Original Gravity: n/a
The bottle, the pour, the head, the aroma, the flavor, the aftertaste, the smile all bespeak of wealth. I immediately pounced on this 4.6% dark ale, realizing that if I liked it I could enjoy a lot and still not embarrass myself. Dark chestnut brown, with a creamy brown head. Nutty, fruity, toffee and malty aroma and flavor. Not particularly hoppy but I wasn’t anticipating that anyway. This beer would go extraordinarily well with some sheep milk feta cheese, hard chunks of aged Italian parmesan and thin-sliced sausages from Poland, Germany, Italy or Czech Republic. Olives anyone? Olivethisbeer. Orkney here I come.
- Charlie Papazian
Such an alluring beer: deep ruby with a billowing, creamy head. The aroma is enticing, too, laced with dark chocolate, toffee and nuts, becoming slightly winey as the beer warms. There’s plenty of body in the mouth, packed with smoky, bitter chocolate, nut and gentle caramel, but also a tart, woody, winey note that I’m not too keen on. From the swallow onwards, roasted grains take control, leaving a finish that is dry and marked with coffee and dark chocolate. A touch more sweetness would help, I feel, but this is an award-winning ale so perhaps I’m a little out of step.
- Jeff Evans
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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