Category Archives: Orkney

Review of Orkney Red MacGregor

How’s it going guys?  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s tasting I’m going to be trying the Orkney Red MacGregor brewed by the Orkney Brewery located in Orkney, Scotland.

I’m still new to the Orkney line of beers, so I haven’t really made up my mind as to what I think of them as a whole yet, but I’m definitely going to have fun giving each one a test drive.

From the website,, they provided us with this tid bit of information regarding the Red MacGregor.

Red Macgregor is a unique beer: delicate and sophisticated yet the robust cask conditioned version of this beer was the first Scottish beer to win the BIIA World Cask Beer Gold Medal.

Ok.  Let’s turn this thing up.


This beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle with a 4.0% ABV.

It poured a ruby red to deep burgundy color.  A relatively easy discharge produced a medium sized, semi-smooth, off white head.  The retention time was below average, however the lacing looked ok I thought.

The nose produced hints of fruity cherry and grape.  A very agreeable and engaging sweet smelling toffee and/or caramel malt amalgamated itself with a congenial waft of lightly toasted dark breads.  Overall, the bouquet wasn’t extremely complex or bold, but it was well suited.  Definitely nothing off putting or out of place with this one.

The taste let the caramel malt and the slightly toasted breads stand out a bit more than they did in the aroma. The cherry and grape savors were there, however they were understated quite a bit to be honest.  The maltiness was, without a doubt, the star of this show.  Again, nothing too convoluted, yet nothing perplexing either.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  It was very soft, smooth and delicate.  It was semi-dry and the carbonation fell toward the medium side of things as well.  The flavor vanished from the palate a little quicker than I would have liked, but that’s ok.  It just tempted me to take another sip a little quicker than normal.

Yeah, I thought this was a decent beer for sure.  It’s not the best brew I’ve ever had, but it’s worth a try if you happen to run across it.  It’s an easy drink and with the low ABV a person could enjoy a few of these during one session and not have any problem whatsoever.  It has a lot of positive atributes.  Most notably when it warmed and the breads and malts began to shine.  With that being said, give the Orkney Red MacGregor a try and see what you think.  Be sure to tell me of your opinion when you do.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.75 out of 5

Grade:  B

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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Country: Scotland, Orkney


Review of Orkney Dark Island

How’s it going folks?  Pretty good I hope.  Well, it’s time for another craft beer review and for today’s tasting I’m going to be trying the Orkney Dark Island produced by the Orkney Brewery located in Orkney, Scotland.

I can’t recall ever having a beer from this brewery before, so I’m kind of excited about it.

Let’s get to the website,, and find out what this beer is all about.

Dark Island is an iconic beer: a standard-bearer for traditional Scottish ales. In cask, this beer has twice won CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Scotland.

Alright.  That sounds pretty promising.  Let’s pour.

ImageThis beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 4.6%.

It poured a very deep burgundy to deep brown color.  Some ruby and burnt orange highlights were noticed around the bottom of the glass.  The head was light tan and smooth, however it was somewhat small from a relatively aggressive pour.  Not much retention time was to be had either.  The lacing was slight as well.  Oh well.  It is what it is I guess.

The nose protruded with some toasted malts.  Toasted bread crusts, lightly spiced croutons and dark breads. Touches of chocolate and some dark fruits followed while a slight whiff of coffee grounds came through at the end.  Not bad with the bouquet I didn’t think.

The tasted revealed more toasted breads along with additions of the dark fruit and toasted grains.  It seemed nicely earthy and round with a touch of smoke too.  I also got a little more of the chocolate malt as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Round, smooth, slick and semi-dry.  Toward the back end it started to get just a tad bit chalky.  Medium to medium/low carbonation.  A decent shot of flavor was left behind after each swallow for me to enjoy too.

Overall, I found this to be a solid brew.  The Scotch Ale style is not particularly my favorite, but I don’t mind having one every so often.  This beer was sturdy enough to warrant some serious discussion, yet easy enough to drink so as not to fatigue the palate.  I’d recommend giving it a try for sure.  I don’t know that I will personally go out looking for it again, but if someone were to offer one to me I wouldn’t turn it down.  So, with that being said give the Orkney Dark Island a try if you run across it and see what you think.  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about your experience if you’d like.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.75 out of 5

Grade:  B

1 Comment

Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Country: Scotland, Orkney

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