Orkney: Dark Island (Scotland: Old Ale: 4.6%)

Visual: Extreme dark brown, appears black but in the very extremities. Small dusting of a grey black head.

Nose: Rounded coffee with dusty cellar notes; some bitter chocolate.

Body: Bitter core, musty and mothballs Oddly lacking in complexity compared to its reputation.

Finish: Hoppy, bitter edge, black coffee and black chocolate. Cocoa. Dry, some cotton wool feel.

Conclusion: A fantastic finish looking for a body to go with it. Both the nose and the finish scream class but the main body is not up to the challenge.

It reminds me of Hollywood trailers that promise so much but its all up front and nothing kept back to surprise you.

A pity, with all that it promises it could have been so much more.

(Addendum: 02/12/2009 A Recent beer festival gave another chance to try this: On this instance there was a much more evident fig and chocolate body which made for a much more satisfying beer – still not top class but much more enjoyable. I am considering the original sample may have been a bad batch)