Ossian | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

113 Ratings

Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Available throughout the year, this superb golden ale continues to win awards. A pale, golden coloured brew with a full bodied fruity flavour with distinct nutty tomes and a hoppy, zesty, orange aroma, derived from First Gold and Cascade hops. Excellent brewing resulted in Ossian being judged the Champion Beer of Scotland.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 113 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of Offa
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent, hoppy, golden bitter with a light but firm and subtley complex character.

Pale amber, it has a big, off-white head slowly shrinking to a lsting, foamy top and leaving a little weak lace.

The aroma is a lot of fresh bread, honey, grain, lemon, light leafy-earthiness and hint of yeast.

The taste is firm grain with lemony-leafy-spicey bitterness, light fruitiness and yeastiness. Lightly fruity, gran, yeasty, and balanced up front, it develops a leafy-lemony-yeasty finish that is just on the bitter side, before a balanced long aftertaste of bread, lemon, and a light hint of buttery caramel. It's light and crisp yet the character is firm, has subtle complexity, it is well integrated, and balanced with the bitterness just having the edge, especially briefly right at the finish.
It is lively, light but firm in feel and not remotely thin or watery.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.52/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This pours from the 500ml bottle(best by June 2009)a clear and bright yellow gold with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell has a big orange zest smell up front followed by a solid nose of sweet malt and maybe a light tartness. A very interesting nose thanks to a very interesting mix of hops.

The taste has that big fruity orange flavour right off the bat and the sweet malt isn't far behind. Big delicious flavours in a very small abv package and I'm loving it. There's a bit of bitterness in the finish that adds to the enjoyment and.. now, with my second pour, I see the brew is now hazed up. Still tastging great though. I wonder how it would have tasted had this bottle been on the fresher side. As is, this is wonderful stuff.

It has a medium mouthfeel and the carbonation is pretty brisk.

Drinkability? I could kick myself for just buying the 1 bottle! This is one of the most drinkable brews I've ever had.

Btw, this is not a Scottish Ale as far as style goes. The closest I see is perhaps Pale Ale?

Edit: I see this has been reclassified as an English Pale Mild Ale...that works for me! Good job.

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Photo of mattmaples
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’m sorry MississaugaMatt but I think you got an EXTEAMLY old bottle. This Scottish brew was everything a beer from Scotland should be. Mine was dazzlingly clear, deep golden in color with a ting of orange. Frothy, persistent head. Complex rich malt character with just a hint of sweetness. Not much hop flavor if any but an adequate bitterness at the end to cut the malt and finish clean.

Right now it is August of 2002 and the bottle had a best before date of August of 2003. The one I got was really fresh and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Matt give it another chance and make sure and check the date.

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Photo of crowncapcollect
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint on tap, Cafe Royal, Edinburgh

So good, I had to have a second pint to be sure. My local friend recommended this one, and he was right. Scotland produces some really good beers these days, not like ten years ago.

Lovely full-flavoured English pale ale. One of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. If I didn't have things to do the next day, I would ahve had a few more.

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Photo of champ103
4.44/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear and bright golden orange color. A one finger, bubbly white head forms and recedes in a second. Some patchy lace is left behind.
S: A great leafy hoppy, floral, grassy, and hey aroma. Bread and biscuit malt comes next with a lingering bitterness. I love it so far.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of floral and grassy hops that are great. Biscuit malt for balance. An apple cider dryness. A lingering bitterness. A huge flavor.
M/D: A medium body with crisp carbonation. In a relative way for cask offerings. Very dry and smooth. So easy to drink. A can session this all day long.

American brewers need to take note from this. A huge flavor, but very low alcohol. This is a wonderful cask offering. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kmacphail
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a golden colour in a straight pint glass and a large white head formed that reduced to a 2mm head, this maintained for the duration of the drink.

The nose was mainly dominated by hops with a good hint of fruit notes, citrus and orange I think.

The hoppines continued through to the taste with an aftertaste of spices and again a hint of fruit, but not as sharp as citrus, more of a berry aftertaste. This beer slid down the throat very easily, with a feel of beer, but still very refreshing, a great summer drink.

This proved to be a nice surprise, I had never heard of the brewery before supping this very pleasant pint. I would definately sample this again, should I come accross it.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

on cask at NERAX 2009, wednesday march 18

very golden straw w amber tones. bubbly head sticks around. faint haze. minimal, splotchy lace.

grassy hop aroma with toasted light malts, plust faint yeast and esters (ripe pear). touch of vanilla!

malty and bready on the palate - very yeasty and bready. toffee. immediately balanced by grassy, almost resinous hops, with moderate bitterness. hints of esters and diacetyl, with more yeasty fermentation into the finish.

light and thin, but very smooth. gentle carbonation for lift. touch of astringency in the finish.

i don't know how this is classified as a "scottish ale". it's really more like a scottish take on the english pale. that's how i'm reviewing it.

NOTE: this was best on the first day. seemed to sour easily on the second day.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pulled from the cask at Monk's. Hazy sunrise golden color with a thick, must-be-cask fluffy white head. Floral hops are easy to detect in the nose, along with damp, earthy grassy hay. Quite pleasant. Smooth and coating on the palate. Hops are faint in the flavor but yield a chalky bitterness throughout, balanced by malty wheat flavors and subtle citrus. An absolutely stellar session beer, and a delight from the cask.

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Photo of JamesS
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a fairly pale golden copper color with some nice head and nice lacing. Very clean aroma; crisp and slightly malty with a very distinct English hop overtone (Fuggles perhaps?). Wonderful taste, a very nice malty body (not huge, but at just over 4%, it's great) with a very nice hop taste at the end (and in the aftertaste). It goes down quite well. Not necessarily a thirst quencher with the higher hops to malt ratio, but still a great brew! I enjoyed it completely.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Served from the Beer Engine at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Emmaus, PA.

Appearance: Blistering clear orange golden body with a nice tight compact dirty-white head that was extremely resilient, it hung around with a tenacious resilience. Soft off-white rings of lacing cling to the glass like curved ladder rungs. Excellent conditioning, the perfect pour.

Nose: Damp hay and some earthy malts mix with a feint grassy hops. Some peat and soil stained grain. Very nice and quite different but still Scottish. Feint at times but rather attractive.

Taste: The hops come out in the body much stronger than in the nose and they help to balance the peat malts and damp straw like middle. Clean and crisp, it finishes with a nice fruity twist which has a delicate citric bite. Gorgeous stuff.

Mouthfeel: Supremely conditioned and served to sheer perfection. Above average body with a lovely soft carbonation. Super smooth, and there is no Nitrogen to be seen anywhere, there’s a lesson.

Drinkability: If you’ve ever been to the Farmhouse and perused the impressive bottle beer list there, it is no understatement to say that going for a second Pint of Ossian’s Ale, which I did, was no easy choice, but it is so rare to get a great Scottish Cask Ale in such great condition in the US that I made that choice. Oh my, I could easily have sunk a Gallon of this one, a tremendous Session Ale.

Overall: Utterly brilliant and served to perfection at the Farmhouse. Emmaus, PA.

Highly Recommended from the Cask.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 500ml bottle into a pint glass. Body is a slightly hazy golden color, topped by a good finger's worth of fluffy, bright white head. Not much in the way of aroma - a bit of sweet, bready malt and a hint of spicy floral hops. Palate is much more interesting, a very tasty blend of bready malt and spicy Saaz hops. Notes of grapefruit and white pepper are present, with a mild tartness on the finish. Body is smooth and a little creamy, very nice for the style. Finish is rather interesting, as it is a bit dry. This is a highly drinkable ale, and with its low alcohol content would be an excellent session beer. If not for the pricetag (above $4/bottle), I might drink it every day.

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Photo of Foley67
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BogAl
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of mrfrancis
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of imbibehour
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up another bottle... Good till May 2013...

Appearance: Solid, probably slightly better, with less sediment.

Nose: Identical to original, great classic fruit aromas and bitterness.

Taste: Tasting one that isn't so old... Not as thick and dense, but a real good grass hop bite and mild bitterness. It's same flavors also but not as pronounced, and also not as sweet.

Conclusion, either way old or new, the brew delivers, rating remains unchanged. Dare I say it, I think I like it with a bit of age on it !!!! (shudder!)

-- First review --

Poured from the bottle into a tulip pint glass. Been trying to get this for ages.. uh oh.. this is old too, Good till Jan 2012.

A cloudy and orb lemon yellow body, some noticeable chunks of yeast floating in it's midst. Head is thick and creamy white and large three fingers deep, lots of retention. Head clumps like CRAZY, with thick sheets of lacing everywhere.

Nose is milky cream, apricot fruit, citrus zest, and marmalade jam. Subtle and airy, wonderful fruit aroma and sweetness.

Palate has just enough depth, but there's a light tea like hop on the finish. Fruit forward with a good amount of grass, and a great "mild" light body. Cask like in feel a bit, if a little wet, even out of the bottle.

Overall a great winning mild, super drinkable too. Want a fresh one!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another delicious sampling from NERAX 2003. Copper with an orange hue and bubbly head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is faint, but with some deep whiffs, pleasing hoppy, fruity and tea-like scents are detected. The biscuity malt is lightly sweet and very smooth. Fruity flavors and citrusy hops mix well with the malt and woody flavors. Somewhat flat in a good Cask-conditioned way.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"In this still glen, remote from men,
Sleeps Ossian, in the narrow glen."

--Sir Walter Scott, remarking over Ossian's gravestone in Sma Glen

Ripe apricot with a tremendously thick, swirling cloud of not so fine particulates. I love the dirty, junked-up look of this beer. Filtering is for sissies. The cap isn't large, but it's reasonably dense and lasts for a spell. The color of the foam is somewhere between dark ivory and light ecru.

The nose is similar to an English pale ale. Is this a pale ale brewed in Scotland or a Scottish ale? I've always thought there was a difference, but maybe not. Anyway, the aroma is more earthy and musky than the typical EPA. Still though, it doesn't have a whole lot of what I think of as Scottish characteristics; peat for example.

Ossian is delicious beer. For a relatively light offering, it packs a boatload of flavor into each mouthful. There's a wonderfully complex interplay between slightly sweet, caramel-like malt and the same earthy, herbal, musky hops that were identified in the nose. Cascade are supposed to have been used; definitely an odd choice.

It's been a while since I've had a beer with this much flavor, complexity and depth relative to its size (body, ABV, etc). There's more than a hint of earthy peat and a tendril or two of smoke as well. Fruitiness is yet another contributor. Simply put, this is a well-crafted, highly drinkable offering that is delighting me to no end.

Once I set my mind and palate on the finish, I can definitely pick up some grapefruit peel citrusiness that has to be coming from the Cascade hops. In no way, though, does it lessen the Scottishness of this beer. It's just another facet of a multi-facted gem of an ale. The mouthfeel is mid-range for the style and is as smoothly well-mannered as they come.

Ossian Ale is a first-class Scottish ale. Plenty of brewers brag on their labels about medals received at various competitions over the years, but few of those beers actually taste like they deserve the accolades. This one proudly displays the likeness of a gold medal and the words 'Champion Beer of Scotland' on the neck label. I believe it.

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Photo of foamer
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured amber with a half inch of creamy head which disappated fairly quickly. Aroma was malty with a nice hop presence. The taste was a sweet biscuity malt with a lingering hoppy finish. Quite a pleasing beer on cask, I shall make the trek out to Perth to check out Inveralmond's other offerings.

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Photo of jreitman
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First thing that hit me was the nutty aroma from my glass. Deep orange in color with a white head. Flavor profile was dominated by nuts and fruit with an underlying sweeteness that carries into the finish. Finish had only a hint of hops, but not too much for the style. Very light bodied and enjoyable.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

contrasts greatly with the deep and dark Lia Fail from the same brewery. This is all light and breezy with a summer feel to the mouthfeel and the wheaty taste to the finish. I really enjoyed this beer as a golden ale low in ABV but with plenty of flavour

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Photo of Nipitato
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a half-pint pour at NERAX 2009 on 3.27.09.

A: Nice amber hue with good clarity.

S: Fruity with significant caramel character. Caramel notes do not veer into diacetyl territory but comes very close.

T: Caramel character again is the dominant flavor. Bitterness and subtle fruity hop notes balance this beer to round out the flavor profile.

MF: Smooth medium body. Low carbonation due to cask conditioning.

D, notes: Great session ale that could be put away all night. Despite the fact that this beer is brewed in Scotland I don't think that it has nearly enough malt character to fall in the Scottish ale category. It strikes me more as a mild or a pale ale. Good stuff nonetheless.

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Photo of cadaugherty
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally I got to taste this beer on cask~~ Tasted by half-pint at my local JDW pub, the Half Moon, in East End London. The strength on cask is 4.4%abv., slightly higher than the bottled version.

A: light amber colour, coming with a pretty and thick frothy white beer head with good retention; very low carbonation detected.
S: delicious flow of biscuity malts, laced with hints of light-toffee, fruity (sweetened orange-peel) and flowery hops, mild honeyish note and figs... very pleasant and semi-rich.
T: sweetish bready malts come together with a sweet, juicy hop flavour, gradually giving way to a thicker, chewy maltiness (not imparted to the bottled version, as I could remember), while incredibly rounded mouthfeel of fruity hoppyness and a moderate but everlasting bitterness linger towards the very end of tasting.
M&D: so lively, 3D structured, and the mouthfeel is soft as well as refreshing... tasting just great fresh on cask!

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light bronze/orange color, small creamy off-white head, just a 1/4". Smell is of carmel and light grassy malts, with a light floral hoppiness. Taste is very smooth and creamy. Starts relatively bland, but the sharp maltiness, and fine hop level make their presence felt. Perfect level of carbonation, and good drinkablity with no offensive flavors.

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Ossian from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 113 ratings
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