Orkney Raven Ale - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Orkney Raven AleOrkney Raven Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

31 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 31
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 09-17-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 20
Reviews by kmacphail:
Photo of kmacphail
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I sampled this in cask form at the 4th Ullapool Beer Festival.

The beer poured a light straw - golden colour with a white head. The nose was dominated by hops with an addition of wheatgrass and melon fragrences.

This hoppy theme continued through to the mouth and it left quite a dry aftertaste that was reminiscent of white grapes, quite dry.

This light beer was below medium in body, I suppose this is right for the style, but I prefer a heavier bodied beer. OK light beer, not undrinkable but I would not rush to have it again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle purchased and consumed in Fife, Scotland. BB date stamp of April 2016.

Normal strength of hops but more malts and some unexpected (for a pale ale, but see below) levels of toffee and vanilla notes. Easy drinking with plenty of flavor for 3.8%.

O: recommended. A relatively malty version of a pale ale, but then this is actually an English Bitter.

Photo of rastaman
2/5  rDev -42%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Aroma is a bit sulfuric, slightly peaty and a bit malt-sweet. Palate is very light and watery, with a definite sweetness (honeyish). Some peat at the finish. Pretty tame and boring. Hard to get into this one, even if its cask conditioned (Cask-ChelmsfordBF- 03')

3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle. Pint glass. Notes dated on agt´11. Copper color headed by off-white froth. Caramel malt, resiny hop, mildy toasted malt aromas. Flavor shows caramel malts, fruity touch & gentle bitterness that lingers into the finish. Medium/light body. Medium carbonation. Well balanced beer. Perfect as session: just 3.8 ABV & flavorful.

Photo of Sigmund
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought at Peckham’s, Glasgow. ABV is 3.8%. Amber colour, large off-white head, leaves a nice lacing. Malty aroma with notes of caramel, some fruit too. The flavour has a decent balance between malts and hops, notes of toffee and moderate fruit, hoppy finish. Quite good.

Photo of mdagnew
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a coppery orange colour... Slightly off white head poured quite thick and foamy and faded to nice layer... no real lacing...

Aroma - Sweet caramel / toffee maltiness with light toasted notes, spicy hops, biscuity, some strawberry notes, burnt orange...

Taste – Biscuity, slightly toasted malts, nice spicy hop bitterness, light caramel sweetness, nutty...

Feel - Light sharpness... Medium body. Very drinkable...

Overall - A pretty good beer....Well worth a try...

Photo of jmdrpi
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml Bottle

Hazy golden color. aroma and taste of Pale malt and slightly earthly flavor.

Photo of Suds
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours a clear golden-copper color with an nice white head which leaves nice lace. The aroma is fairly average...a bit of bready malt (bread crust) and some English hops. It's not an exceptionally strong aroma, but is still appealing. The taste is semi-sweet, with a nice hop balance. Medium body. This is a reasonably good drinking beer, but nothing special.

Photo of laituegonflable
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale golden colour, bit flat and listless in the body, but nice creamy head on top; tightly-packed bubbles with decent sticky lace. Could use something more, just looks a bit dull in the glass.

Smell is very metallic. Lots of organic grass notes and an unpleasant honey-oat kind of grain character that is very sweet, and dominates. Underneath is a decent herbal aroma but that grain is a bit sweet and a bit strong.

Taste is fairly standard and mild, with cereal grain notes upfront and on the finish. Slightly sour with some phenolic notes bordering on cherry and some organic grassy hop notes early-mid. Finish unfortunately dominated by honeyed cereal grain character; very light and drinkable, but ultimately bland and oversweet.

Smooth, but a bit too thick maybe; no texture but it happens to feel a bit stodgy as well. Don't love it.

Mild drinking ale, but I can't quite give it marks for bland middling character because it just touches on too sweet for my liking as well. Uninteresting.

Photo of sammiles
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Purvis Cellars, Melbourne.

Pours a nice hazy golden copper colour with a reasonable head, stuck around a while and lots of lacing. Not much to the smell,can pick up some flowery notes. Taste is pretty good, a lot more complex than expected for considering the ABV, nice amount of bitterness for the style I guess, fair bit of malt flavours as advertised on the bottle. Overall an easy drinking beer, not sure if I would call it a 'classic bitter ale' thought.

Photo of BeerRefugee
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a light orange-amber color. Medium white head that dissipates quickly. Light aroma of orange peel and flowers. Flavor is biscuit malt, grass and citrus hops. A bit of citrus hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly astringent.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a half-pint glass. Reviewed 15 March 2011. From notes.

A: Tiny bubbles suspended motionlessly inside the beer. Bright white head. Clear yellow.

S: Creamy and nondescript. What I've come to except from lesser cask ales.

T: Good, but boring. Slightly fruity-sour. Aftertaste is creamy-sweet.

M: Neutral. This beer is spookily featureless. Some slight weight in the mouth gives a modicum of presence to the beer.

O: Gone before I realized it. Good (perhaps better than my ratings reflect) and quite drinkable. Still, I couldn't recommend the cask version. Maybe a bottle?

Photo of BDTyre
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the more unique pale ales I've had. Decent enough appearance - light amber, golden colour that beings cloudy and clears up, forming a tight, creamy head.

Odd fruity scent, maybe from the hops. Almost like sour berries - not unpleasant, but certainly not like a usual pale ale. There is a strong malt character in there, but this has a definite fruity, grassy scent to it.

The taste is slightly sour, but still with a brown sugar malt flavour. I can detect apples, lemon and a bit of grape in the taste. Certainly unique - most pale ales I've had present a more malty taste, but still somehow the flavour of this works here.

Smooth and sessionable - I'd definitely knock a few of these back.

Photo of Kongquistador
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had to venture into Jenners to grab this, but there it was on the shelf, a raven on the front matching the raven from the Orkney insignia. Not at all a common beer in most parts of the world, worth grabbing if you see it.

Nothing to get excited about the appearance. Basically a dark golden, maybe slightly amber, with a reddish tint. Head is large and bubbly, breaking down quickly into a thin lace against the edge with little floating bits of lace in the center. Nose is nice, fairly floral at first, which is a bit of a suprise, given that this is from a Scottish brewery. Nice to see someone doing something a bit different. Definite hints of apple and plums or something like that. Certainly some maltiness underlying the scent, slightly sweet and bready.

The illusion of a fruity nose disappears with the first sip. This brew is primarily dominated by the malts. The hops make an appearance at the end, but it is muted, not strong enough to leave more than a lingering faint bitterness, quickly overwhelmed by the outside world. Not a beer that sits in the mouth well. The malts are mostly sweet, not harsh on any particular characteristic, and it works well for a pale ale, although used as I am to West Coast ales, I guess I expect a bit more hops. But this does work fairly well. The closest American analogies I can think of come from different styles, but thats ok, in the end this is an ok but not exceptional drink.

The mouthfeel is pretty standard, moderate amount of carbonation, although it feels a bit weak and thin. I'm sure that in a cask it would be considerably better, with a much smoother mellower feel, but I suspect the actual thinness would remain. Taking pale ale as a light hoppy style when brewed in Scotland, I would say this is to be expected. The drinkability is alright though, particularly as the alocohol is low. The absence of alcohol doesn't seem to affect the taste much, and it does mean that a few more pints of this could be put down. In the end, a pretty standard brew, holds up well, but nothing to distinguish it from others.

Photo of flyingpig
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle (500ml, 3.8%):
Light orange to golden amber colour with a three centimetre tall and very foamy looking head that is dome shaped and holds pretty well. Clear with a lot of bubbles rising to the surface too and the head leaves some nice lacing too.

Quite light and creamy on the nose with some butterscotch and vanilla coming through alongside a lot of sweeter smelling malts. There is some fruity hops and a little caramel along with some background honey and biscuit.

Biscuit, malts and some sweet hops along with some butterscotch, caramel and vanilla flavours that are all fighting to be noticed. There is a strong bitterness towards the end of the beer and a nutty, earth like taste too. The juxtaposition between the initial sweetness and the bitterness that follows is too severe.

Light medium in body and smooth with an almost creamy feel but it's not quite there yet. There some some bitterness around the middle and carried through to the end along with an earthy feel. I didn't think this one had all that great a balance between flavours either.

An okay beer, I enjoyed the initial sweetness and the vanilla and butterscotch mix was a pleasant surprise but the beer was too bitter towards the end and seemed to be missing something. This weren't helped much by the fact that this one was a little thin and left a strange, metallic bitter aftertaste that I couldn't quite shake.

Photo of jimithebeerguy
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the pleasure of tasting this beer both on-tap and in bottle. My wife is from the Orkney isles so I have had this beer a number of times while in Scotland.

I can assure you that this was the best local brewed beer I found while visiting these friendly little islands.

The beer is nice and coppery and actually has a slight fruity/ nutty flavour. It is best served cold and with some fish and mealie pudding !

I did prefer the on tap experience vs the bottle but when you live in Canada you gotta live with what you can get.

Definitely recommended by this beer lover

Photo of stcules
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color, full. Very clear. Typical ale head, white, compact, quite creamy.
The smell is a surprise: floral overall (heather flowers), cutted grass, flowers, blueberry. Average in maltiness, slightly peaty.
In the taste, after an initial maltiness, there is some hop, woody notes, vanilla. And bitterness. No fruity or floral notes.
In the aftertaste return of sweetness and maltinees, with honey notes, and flowers again. Light bitterness in background, quite persistent. Woody notes.
Good pub session beer.

Photo of brendan13
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass with a fluffy 2 centimetre head that falls away to a thin whisp fairly quickly.
S - Floral hops with some sweetish honey & caramel maltiness.
T - The sweet malt dominates the taste with some floral and fruity hops taking a back seat. A hint of peat also comes through.
M - Light to medium bodied with a fairly low carbonation level.
D - If this weren't $8AUS a bottle I'd drink this pretty often as it's a tasty beer with a pretty low ABV%.

Photo of wl0307
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BB SEP 06. Served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.
A: light copper-ish hue, coming with a 3cm thick, foamy off-white cap; medium-carbonation of large bubbles.
S: sweet-potato-ish and sweet flowery scent of hops mixed well with a flow of softly caramel, creamy-toffeeish maltiness with a faint touch of peatiness (typical of Scottish Ales~~), with some delicate citrus-fruit hints threaded nicely in the middle--quite incredibly rich for a 3.8%abv. beer... not unbalanced, though.
T: nutty, wood-sprigs-like, and faintly tea-leafy bitter-sweetness gradually develops and intensifies on the palate, releasing touches of toffee, and residual flavour of Chinese sweet red-bean soup. Lightly malty overtone with lingering tea-ish aftertaste...
M&D: fluffy-textured and lightly fizzy on the mouthfeel, but with a very pleasantly mild, soothing, but concrete flavour profile on the palate. Yet another decent British ale "punching above its weight"! I wonder how the cask-conditioned version might taste...mm...

Photo of mick303
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper gold brown, some slight white lacing. fades quickly.

Smell has caramel malts, apples and toffee, mostly nondescript malty character and dry. Taste is malty, some slight sourness with apple and toffee, a dry finish. The body is mild and decently drinkable, but shallow profile, no really interesting of tasty aspects. It works alright as a session ale, but this doesn't impress, lack flavour or any real hop presence, there are better and I won't seek this out again. Bland.

Orkney Raven Ale from Orkney Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.