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Odell 90 Shilling Ale | Odell Brewing Company

very good
451 Reviews
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Odell 90 Shilling AleOdell 90 Shilling Ale

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We introduced 90 Shilling, our flagship beer, at our opening party in 1989. For a while, we'd been wondering what would happen if we lightened up the traditional Scottish ale? The result is an irresistibly smooth and delicious medium-bodied amber ale.

Added by Todd on 01-27-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 451 | Ratings: 1,634
Photo of Taybeh
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: minimal off-white head, beautiful dark burnished copper color, nice lacing as it drinks down
S: fairly faint, a little dark fruit, a little citrusy hops, some biscuity malt
T: much better and richer than the nose. Caramel malts come out most fully, along with some bready biscuity toasty grains...but these are balanced by some subtle but nice and sharp hops. Balance is notable.
M: Another really nice thing about this beer. Carbonation is fairly low, but the balance between malt and hops is well-worth savoring...a little bit of prickle from the hops but great smoothness and warmth from the malt.

Overall: Very nice. Pairs really well with a good sandwich or burger.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint poured and it's a deep amber copper-orange, with medium visible carbonation and a slightly off-white head caked up the rim.
Smells malty and bready like a beer should. Pleasantly ok.
Tastes like an exceptionally smooth rendition of what I just smelled. There's a caramel slickness as this goes down, and it's very well-balanced to me even though it lacks additional complexities that I usually seek in beer. The hops cap it off in a mild, earthy fashion, although a bit dry.
This makes me want to splurge and get a bottle of this brewery's 180 Shilling that I've been spotting on the shelves.
I would definitely recommend this to a drinker of mass-marketed beer who is uneasy about trying something different or "crafty."

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Photo of dcscientist
4.95/5  rDev +29.2%

My first review really should be for my favorite beer, shouldn't it? This beer goes with every food, it's perfectly balanced, and it's a great introduction to craft beer for those who have never seen the light. It's closer in style to an amber ale, which might bore some people, but don't let a classification determine what you try. Beautiful color, not too high alcohol content, not super hoppy, not too sweet, just a fantastic beer. Will have one of these anytime, anywhere.

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Photo of FLima
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber copper color with a thick two finger head with decent retention.
Light aroma of mint, biscuit and slight toasted malts.
Flavor of toasted malts, earthy hops, spices, caramels and mild herbal mint. Finishes with a copper and mild red fruit taste. Dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness.
Light to medium body.
This is mellow, perfected balanced and refreshing Scottish ale, though not so fruity and complex as the original style. Being very clean and easy to drink, also pleasant and not tiresome.
Ap.3,5 Ar.3,25 Sab.3,75 Sens.3,75 C.3,75

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%

Scottish Ale. Now, this one is new to me. I'm counting on you BA guys to not let me down here, I got this on recommendation of the reviews! So here's my contribution :

Serving Style : 12 oz glass bottle, also poured

Appearance (3.75) : Copper and amber red hue with an average balance between clarity and obscurity. Head is sticky and hangs around like an old friend.

Smell (3.25) : Strong copper, quite a bit metallic, deep dark malts, hint of bitterness in the nose. An impressive bouquet of smells to be sure. I'm apprehensive, though...

Taste (3.25) : Hoppy and yeasty. Earthy. Totally reminiscent of Pabst Blue Ribbon but more sophisticated. Begins with a shot of coppery hops and amber wheat (adding a slight sweetness), ending with a sandpaper dry, coppery finish. A trace of bitter roasted bean remains on the palate. Overall this beer seems pretty damn impressive. I can totally respect what is going on in this beer. I just can't pinpoint if this is something I could drink often and if I'm totally sold on it.

Mouthfeel (3.25) : Dry and yeasty for the most part. Interesting and crafty. Copper is the dominating adjective for this beer to be sure. Can't get rid of it.

Overall (3.45) : I had a hard time with this one. I truly wanted to give it a raving review but something was just missing for me. So yes, 90 Shilling is an impressive little beer that would be great with a friend and great for a trial run like what I'm doing here. People go crazy over it but I think it's simply a capable beer. After half the bottle I'm about spent with this one, I don't know if I would actually go out and purchase it again - but it is a good full-flavored beer and crafty too. If you're looking for something to wet your whistle, look elsewhere but if you're looking for a bouquet of interesting flavors that make you raise your eyebrow and say "hmmm" or "mmmm", you should give this one a try.

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Photo of Sam-B
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Another Odell success. Can't go wrong with these guys.

A: Beautiful warm copper/amber with subdued fizz.

S: Malt goodness with fruity overtones, biscuit undertones and a hint of something I'd call more sage than mint. Deceptively light body for the ABV. Citric hops are present but don't defeat the toasty malted flavour at all. Quite an amazing balancing act between these two actually. Aftertaste is remarkably clean and refreshing, it doesn't linger too long on the palate and leaves you wanting more.

I could session this stuff for days, given the balance and drinkability it has in spades. If you want a tasty beer that goes down real easy... look no further.

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Photo of michjason
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Great coppery color; very clear; decent carbonation; didn't hold its head for long

S- Toasted malts but not very aromatic however

T- Toasty with a hop-citrusy finish

M- Medium body; very smooth

O- Smooth drinking, well-balanced ale; great all-around crowd pleasing beer

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark amber in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow + copper highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel and toffee malts with light aromas of toasted malts.

T: Upfront the flavors of the beer are all malts - toasted and caramel with some light amounts of caramel and toffee sweetness. Light amounts of earthy hops which contribute just a touch of bitterness to the finish of the beer which does not linger for long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: While being somewhat of a malt bomb, this beer is not overly sweet and is quite easy to drink. I really enjoyed this beer though I sometimes find the style to be a little sweeter than I prefer, especially in the hot southern summer. Overall, very well balanced between the sweet and the bitter.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured to a pint glass at the Grand Hyatt lobby in Denver. Pours orange colored, clear, with a creamy off white head on top. Aroma of some caramel and bready malts dominate, with some light floral notes on the back end. Flavor is mostly caramel malts, bready, much like a scotch ale (this is my first "Scottish" ale). Finishes OK, with medium body and a bit of juiciness. Medium carbonation. Overall not my favorite beer but my first of the style and certainly not bad.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Odell Brewery - Ft. Collins, CO - June 17, 2013 (Review from my Notes)

A - Reddish amber, with tons of sticky lace left all over the glass
A - Malty grain, sweet. Not alot going on other than the malts
T - Sweet, and very true to the Scottish Ale style.
M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation
O - An easy drinking scottish ale, very good if you like the style. True.

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Photo of Sam-VW
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark amber with medium white head. Dissipates to thin head

S - Sweet malts, caramel grassy hops

T - Sweet and malty initial kick, brown sugar, caramel finishes with sweet citrus hop bitterness

M - Very smooth with medium carbonation
Good session brew

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Photo of allengarvin
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint. The beer is a clear medium mahogany color with a good finger's worth of foam, nicely white and leaving excellent lacing. The nose offers pleasant malt aroma, but it's a bit faint. Very nice flavor though! It's pretty much entirely malt-based, as you would expect, nice and bready with a little bit of caramel. Finish is sweet, as there's little hop bitterness. The low strength makes it feel much more like the real ale you get in Scotland, than many American micro's interpretations of a "strong" scotch ale. Very good beer.

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Photo of mblk6062
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good, but after the way it poured and appeared in the glass, then the wonderful aroma....I was pumped! But truthfully, after tasting, I was disappointed. Wouldn't buy it again. I know I'm in the minority here but it left alot to be desired for me. Probably just my palate and not the beer.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 6/5/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 'CHEERS BOSTON" handled glass stein.

Pours a pretty amber in color with a good finger+ white foamy head. Lots of lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of grainy malt and caramel. The taste is even better with bready malts with a mild hop finish that doesn't linger or isn't bitter. The caramel comes through perfectly. Very tasty and goes down very easy. Perfect carbonation also. A great brew for sure!

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Photo of utfiero
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color- light amber.

Aroma- balanced rich grainy malt and hints of caramel.

Taste- A balanced, mild English ale. Starts smooth with a rich malt reminiscent of light bread and butter moving to an every so slight, gentle hop note in the finish. Don't serve too cold. A great overall brew from O'Dell, but I cannot agree with the very high marks others have given it, especially if compared directly to actual outstanding English or Scottish ales (e.g., Broadside Ale, St. George's by Young's, Belhaven...).

Poured from 355 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted May 2014. Purchased from Costco in Austin.

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Photo of mjurney
4.74/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Copper color, touch of haze. Lots of small bubble rising to the top. Thick creamy head.

Faint aroma. I smell some bready, caramel and fruity.

Rich, bready, deep caramel, toasty, hint of toffee. Slight fruity. Hop bitterness is moderate, herbal-leafy, tea like. Finish is dry, yet very clean. Medium bodied, very smooth, refreshing.

It's a world class beer!!

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice mostly clear reddish brown brew, head and lace are hard to say since the bartender carefully poured and poured off a little head to make it full.

A tasty beer indeed, crispy with a touch of mild hop crunch, complimenting a nice malty base, caramel and bready malts, overall very enjoyable.

Body is smooth with medium carbonation, finishes with a bready malt flavor.

Overall impression is in line with other beers I've had from O'dells, good stuff.

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Photo of TangoMike
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. Beautiful amber to copper color with excellent clarity and an off-white head. When I poured it (lengthening the pour towards the end) I got a sweet, malty, floral aroma from like a foot away. Initially it had a 3/4 inch head which didn't persist for too long but was still present in a thinner form to the bottom of the glass.

This isn't my favorite beer, but I don't want to downgrade it because I think it is exactly what it is supposed to be. Very malty, sweet, very little hops. It has a delicate flavor which I think would really shine if paired with the proper food. Because it is delicate it would easily be overpowered by foods that are bold and assertive. I find myself thinking of adventurous pairings such as cinnamon toast, pancakes or waffles with maple syrup and butter, chicken and waffles, sweet barbecue chicken, sweet corn, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, delicate cheeses, etc. Putting this with the right food could really be the right move. I think it would take it from being an interesting beer in its own right to something really stellar.

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Photo of Foyle
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Copper color, mostly clear, pours a healthy 3” cream colored head that recedes slowly leaving significant lacing.
Aroma: very malty aroma – like bread dough for yeast rolls when rising, also some notes of caramel and toffee
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a wet finish
Flavor: This brew has a significant whole wheat breadlike malt presence but is somewhat balanced with a earthy and floral hop bite along with some sweet caramel and toffee.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Just over the line into brown, from an amber orange. Holds a thin white head and a good halo that laces.

Smell: Earthy, hop leaves, little sweetness, light toasted malt.

Taste: A bit yeasty, well balanced malt and earthy bitter hop with a hint of pepper in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body, firm, almost fizzy carbonation, lingering almost oily finish.

Overall: A well crafted, easy drinking beer. A nice break from all the IPAs and Impy Stouts, more toward a season, if a big one.

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Photo of Hoopdreama
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of the tap at my local Whole Foods market

A- deep copper tone. Light off white head.

S-malty and earth hops

T-nice malt sweetness and hops. Instanly loved this a rotation beer by the poor or beach

M- Crisp, Smooth feel

O- a simple great ale. Could be a regular go to for the summer time

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazy brownish brick-amber with a moderate sized cap. The off-white head lingers for quite a while and leaves nice patches of lacing.

The nose is nutty and toasty with some caramel and room for earthiness from the hops. caramel, and earthy hops. It's raw-sugar-grainy with a hint of milk chocolate and just a touch of cinnamon. There's a touch of fig there, too, and then a mild fresh breeze of woodsy hops that come through in the balance of flavors.

Upfront bready toasted malts with notes of biscuit, toffee, walnuts and a touch of oak. In the middle there's a caramelized chocolate brûlée smoothness--it feels like it's going to go too creamy thin, but then late in the gulp, the dark fruits usher in boggy hops with just a touch of resin that lengthens the experience. The taste is its leading characteristic, and that's the way beer should be!

In the mouth, it's medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Light and creamy early, but then some hop oils seep in and it ends nicely dry. If there could have been more bulk earlier in each sip, too, I'd have rejoiced, but it feels pretty good.

This is a nicely balanced and complex take on the style. There's more going on than you'll find most of the time with respect to flavors and phases of sipping experience. I look forward to finding the brew again.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass. Best before date of 3/13/14.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A toasty, nutty, and sweet malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit, caramel, and earthy hops. Sweet and bready malts with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, nuts, yeast, chocolate, and subtle peat. Sweet scent of brown sugar. Subtle dark fruit hints of fig and dates. Background hints of earthy hops. A pretty solid Scotch ale aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a toasty, sweet, and nutty malt driven taste with good notes of biscuit, caramel, and backing earthy hops. Upfront bready toasted malts with notes of biscuit, sweet caramel, toffee, grains, toast, nuts, yeast, chocolate, and a little bit of peat and oak. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Subtle dark fruit undertones of dates and fig. Some earthy hops round out the finish. A pretty solid Scotch taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty good take on a Scotch ale. Good toasty caramel malt taste with a solid subtle fruit and malt background.

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Photo of mverity
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a very thin collar and wisps of head at the surface. Aroma is muted malt and a bit bready. Taste is light caramel, very lightly bitter, and some toasty malt. Light to medium body and medium carbonation lend to a decent mouthfeel.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rich chestnut with loose beige foam that fades fast but trails.
Red currant, some Crystal sweetness, and some tannins on the nose - all muted but grow as it opens.
Big toffee sauce sweetness, some toasted hazelnuts, dried apricots and mildly woody end.
Chocolate malt powder and golden raisin end and spicy clean linger.
Light more than medium, some cling, round.

States outright that it wanted to lighten the traditional style, and so it has. The body has decent chew and the flavors are sketched out right, but nothing is very deep, the big fruit and whiskey notes are missing and it's all a bit fizzy and punchless. Another one of those flagship beers from an established brewery that must've tasted amazing at the time and been a gateway for many, but it's now hard to see what the fuss is about.

Pleasant, easy, and dull as dishwater - what Americans mean when they complain about British beer.

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Odell 90 Shilling Ale from Odell Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 451 ratings.