Ossian | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

very good
111 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 111 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Scotch aroma. Cloudy pale orange appearance with lace. Little head. Tasty scotch, touch of smoke, significant malty some hop,grassy dry finish. All together a nice fireplace beer, with understated characteristics that worked together. Medium mouthfeel, smooth drink. Above average beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is quite hazy pale yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation and lots of particulates floating in suspension near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down leaving lacing on the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of buttery malts are present in the nose along with notes of fruity yeast.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the fruity flavors are stronger and more balanced with the malts. There are some hints of floral hops and no bitterness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium- bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable. It would make for a really nice choice for someone who doesn't like bitterness.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a light haze and a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of floral cereal with light dry hops is mildly enjoyable. Taste is refreshing and easily quaffable with notes of cereal with light residual sweetness and some floral undertones. Body is slightly more full then average with good carbonation. Limited character but refreshing notes makes this an enjoyable session beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very excited to finally try this one. The #1 English Pale Mild Ale (at least since Whipper Snapper was changed over to APA). Picked this bottle up at State Line. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Pours a nice golden color with a single-finger white head and some good lacing on the way down. The nose brings a bit of diacetyl and toffee as well as some notes of grain and a bit of some floral hops. The taste is light bread and a bit of toffee. Diacetyl there but not as much as with the nose. Not too, too much for the style. The body is light with moderate carbonation. Not bad. Too much diacetyl for my taste, though it was an acceptable level. Decent enough.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a imperial nonic lemon sunshine color,just a hintof orange to the lemon hued body,a fluffy but quick to fade white head atop.Amix of biscuit and juicy fruity malt with a bit of earth and lemony hop.Malt tilted with biscuit and toffee malt flavors,a real nice fresh squeezed lemon note emerges to make it more vibrant on palate, still the hops are subdued.This would be great on cask for sure,its sociable,and not as "modest" as most for the style in my mind.

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Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle purchased and consumed in Fife, Scotland. BB date stamp of July 2016 (more than 1 year away). (Rating slightly increased upon tasting of cask version near th brewery in May 2016),

Appearance: true to style, this is very pale golden with plenty of visible carbonation and a white head. Exceptional sticky lacing.

Extra hops add spicing to this ale that also has more malts than expected for style. Mild caramel and vanilla notes. Easy drinking with plenty of flavor.

O: recommended. Not entirely true to style, this version is more flavorful, appealing and interesting than average.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a tough style to find and makes style number 104 for me!!!

Purchased from Bruisin Ales in Asheville, NC online.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow in color. The beer has a half finger tall soapy white head that quickly reduces to a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is stronger than I expected for the style, appearance, and mouthfeel. There are some light toasted malts, some earthiness, and some floral hints as well.

T: The flavor of this beer is very approachable and enjoyable, there is a lightly toasted malt body to start with. Next the beer has some flavors of light fruits (apple/pear) and a little bit of spice (pepper). Finally there are some light hop flavors in the finish, mostly floral but with a little bit of grassy notes as well.

M: Light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: This beer reminds me of the real ales I drink when I get the chance to travel to the UK (mostly for business and it has been almost a year now). I find this to be very easy to drink, sessionable, and really enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
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 smithj4
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is transparent and yellow hued, with a thin, white cap. The aroma is floral, with a hint of lemon zest. The flavor brings a light, floral hop character, as well as a bready, biscuit taste. The feel is thin and light bodied, and finishes slightly dry with a hint of bitterness. I found this to be enjoyable and very drinkable. I could throw back a few pints of this.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

English Pale Mild Ale you elusive bugger. This makes style number 104 thank you to West Lakeview Liquors and UPS.
Pours a slightly cloudy light amber color with a smallish white head that dissipates quickly but covers the glass in a fair amount of sticky lace. Smells malty bready with a hint of butterscotch and nail polish. Sweet dark pitted fruit and a hint of toffee round out the nose quite well. Taste is sweet and malty with a bit of bread and toffee up front. Lots of butterscotch coated berries and cherries in here. Slightly earthy hop barely cuts through malty sweetness. Surprising fullness of body for such a small abv. Moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost oily mouthfeel. Not to shabby of a beer, if it were a bit easier to obtain I might have one periodically.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
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 MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors. Finally, an English Pale Mild available in the US.

A - Pours with a finger of creamy white foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind some spotty lace. Body is a slightly hazed apricot color with a mix of small and large bubbles.

S - Lemon and orange hop character, with a bread, honey, and toffee malt character. There's some nuttiness, and maybe a touch of diacetyl. Pretty true to style, but the American hop character is a nice change of pace.

T - Taste is a little less complex. More nuts and toffee, with a bit of lemon bitterness in the finish. Surprisingly flavorful for 4.1%. Diacetyl is again lightly present, but isn't offensive.

M - Light carbonation zest, but otherwise quite smooth. Body is surprisingly big for the low alcohol - very creamy and hearty. Oily enamel-coating hop character lingers well after swallowing.

D - This is highly drinkable. The only thing that would preclude it being a regular session beer is the price (and unknown freshness). If it were cheap and on cask at my local pub I'd get it regularly.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe, I get stupidly excited about really esoteric beers like this one when there is nearly no demand for any beer in this style at all let alone this one. I've driven hours to liquor stores in the hope that it would be there, searching for almost 2 years for this particular beer and it finally showed up to disappoint me. Big thanks to Thorpe for this one here.

Beer is a little amber / brown with a mild haze, decent head, no lacing low carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is toffee like with some biscuit and grainy acidity to it.

Beer is thin (I guess that's to be expected) and has a late grainy bitterness, the mid-palate is almost like butter toffee or some thin caramel. Carbonation is minimal in the mouth but overall it is fine. I've actually had better English Pale Mild Ales before, definitely not my favorite and I'd probably pass on it in the future.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Scottish EPMA? Well, alrighty then. I guess if it fits...

Pours a rich golden, peach color. Hazy a bit capped with a white head, soft and somewhat dense. Lacing is splotchy.

Aroma is malt forward. Light caramel sweetness, a bit husky and grainy. Slight smoke on the end. Herbal notes here and there.

Malt is the call here. While not overly sweet or husky, both are present. It has a slight metallicness to the malt end. An herbal bite in the middle, some hop spice and fruitness. Good thing, too, b/c the malt could really get out of hand and beget a flatness in flavor. With the help of carbonation, the hops tighten up the end. Nice finish.

Solid beer

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Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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

The beer pours a translucent dark gold color with a frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It is pale, but has a real nice malty scent with a bit of hop aroma to boot. The taste is great. It goes down smooth with a light malty finish that refreshes with flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer drinks well. It has good flavor and is light enough to throw down a few; a good sessions ale.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my 103rd and final style here on Beer Advocate. Never thought I would check off all of the styles, so I was really looking forward to this beer.

The beer pours a golden color with a white head. The aroma is not good at all. I get some bready malt and some perfume from the hops, but the overwhelming aroma is butter. The flavor is just the same. I get a ton of butter with some biscuit malt, perfume and flowers. The butter is what stands out and it is not inviting. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I am glad I got to try this beer since it was the last style I needed, but I wish the beer would have not had so many flaws. Maybe I will get to try it again, since I assume this is not what the brewer intended.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale tawny hue with plenty of haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam. Pretty good looking!

Smell: rather sweet malt aroma with a hint of vague fruitiness. Not really my style, but OK.

Taste: sweet malt taste with a little more complexity than the aroma. There are underlying hints of biscuit and bread which round out the flavor nicely, although that fruitiness remains. Mostly, I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and a surprisingly nice creaminess. I'll take it!

Overall: actually a pretty decent beer. A hair on the sweet side, especially in the aroma, but generally quite good.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
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 jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one-finger white head that goes quickly leaving no lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Slightly sweet malty nose. Starts sweetish, hops are there at finish but hardly over powering. $1.95 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 6/09. Consumed 12/10.

A: Dark burnt orange with no sense of clarity. A frothy, whipped white head sits atop with good retention. Thick coating for lace with a visible carbonation that was hard to determine through the murky waters but did exhibit flashes of strong patches every now and then when backlighted.

S: A touch of funk, rock candy and oranges with some hard orange candy notes. There is a bit of yeastiness and strong bready sense brought about with a touch of bubblegum, most likely from the yeast that finishes out with a bit of fruitiness of moderate intentions.

T: Bready and fruity with a bit of honey and orange sweetness with notes of honey dew and grapes. Nice spiciness from the hops, bright in character with a bit of fresh citrus. Yeasty and malty, fruity and spicy all comes together in a decent package. Time had no bearing or off flavored results, found this to be quite tasty, spicy and fresh all the way around.

M: Light bodied, spicy with a bright carbonation. Citrusy and flowery feel on the tongue from the hops coat the tongue.

D: At 4.1%abv hard to argue about having more. Alcohol is easy enough to manage, and packs quite a bit of flavor, depth and maltiness in a modest package worth checking out. interesting.

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Photo of wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
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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Ossian from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
3.78 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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