A blog about life in London

The Dark Island Ale Quest

The Dark Island Ale Quest

Once upon a time I use to be a lager drinker… that is until I discovered the joys of drinking real beer. I finally seen the light about 18 months ago, so you could say I’m fairly new to the world of real beer, cask ale or whatever the hell you want to call it…

I use to have an image of beer drinkers as guys with beards, wearing ugly jumpers, and even though they do exist, normal guys like myself who don’t hide their face with facial hair or wear naff jumpers do drink the stuff. Maybe that is the why I took so long to discover a world beyond fizzy coloured water!

Approximately twelve months ago I popped into an old school pub for a pint of ale after another one of my “wee wanders”. A guy sitting at the bar, who in fact did have a beard and was wearing one of the most hideous looking jumpers ever, starting talking to me about Scottish beer. He couldn’t help but notice the fact I had a Scottish accent and that I had ordered a Scottish ale. The only thing I can or want to remember about our conversation was his recommendation to try Dark Island ale from Orkney.

After a lot of near misses! By that I mean pubs had Dark Island on tap, yesterday, last week or the barrel had just run out! This happened too times to mention! Finally… finally last week while in Edinburgh I finally found a pub with Dark Island on tap, the Guildford Arms in Edinburgh: one of my favourite pubs.

My mouth was watering as I watched the barmaid skilfully pour the ale into the pint class. The ale was black in colour, the head was very light brown and creamy, the ale looked heavenly.

I don’t drink alcohol to get drunk or forget – I will leave that for the youngsters and losers. I drink alcohol to relax, to chill out and to enjoy the flavours of what is going down my throat! Two or three pints is more than enough for me. In my younger and foolish days ten plus pints would have been a normal night out…

What can I say about Dark Island ale… well, the wait was worth it. The dark stuff tasted fucking awesome. Out of this world. The aroma was inviting: malty and dark chocolate. I tasted roasted malts, coffee, and mixed fruits. A deliciously slightly sweet ale that is perfect for my taste buds.

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The African Princess enjoyed watching me drinking Dark Island ale… as much as I enjoyed drinking it… I think she did! A great ale, enjoyed in a fantastic pub, which knows how to look after the ales they sell!