“Our ever popular, easy drinking dark. We set out to create a beer that has the hops of an English Porter, married with the smooth malts of a German Schwartz Bier and we think we’ve nailed it. Not heavy on the palate but still with plenty of chocolate and roasted aromas, this a dark beer to enjoy whether it’s 4 degrees or 40 degrees. A year round beer for a year round wave.”
Glassware: English Pint.
Appearance: Dark brown pour with a slight gradient at the foot of the glass. It only manages a short tan cap which forms a collar with scarce lacing as we go.
Aroma: A lot fruitier than we’d anticipated. We really like it but. We want to say blackcurrant but there’s also hints of cherry and plum coming through too. What’s good is there’s still a robust malt backbone on it – well integrated chocolate, licorice, toffee and cigar skins – which start at the bottom end and work their way back into the fruitiness. Good structure and overall balance. Head nods all round.
Flavour: Exactly how we like Dark Ale’s to be…light and approachable but still chock-a-block full of deep roasted notes. It’s like the aroma with that slightly sweet fruit but countered by a hearty roast, milk chocolate and a flutter of coffee. Getting a subtle earthy/spicy hop coming through the middle which adds another layer of complexity to it. A hint of ash developing late before it finishes roasty, a little sweet and a little fruity.
Mouthfeel: A bit light on but we don’t mind as a slightly lifted Co2 and a mild bitterness is there to back up. Only 4.6% ABV so they’ve done well to pack all this flavour in.
Overall: It’s been a long time between drinks for us and Shark Island. We’d forgotten just how much of an underrated brewery they are. Locals too! Solid offering.