Ossian | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

very good
74 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 110
Photo of jera1350
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy pale yellow similar to a hefe. Frothy white head and some nice lacing.

Canned pear with syrup and a light butter presence.

Decent amount of bitterness up front, not much sweetness. Some herbal notes with some buttery diacetyl.

Smooth, light body with a clean finish.

An interesting style that is sessionable. Kind of surprised there aren't more examples. Glad to have tried it.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle with code 2279 stamped on it.

Served cold into an imperial pint glass.

Ossian is a pale peachy color with a slightly hazy appearance. The head is thick and settles slowly into a rocky white cap.

Aroma is very mild with some subtle peach and orange nuances. I really have to breath deeply to get much of anything but what's there is pleasant. So far, it's living up to the style's name, this being the first English Pale Mild Ale I've had.

Flavor is also subtle but there is more to enjoy here than in the nose. Gentle fruits and spices in the way that a Belgian wit might be described. Light tropical fruit with an almost peppery yeast seem to balance eachother nicely.

Mouthfeel is very light in body with ample carbonation.

Overall an interesting beer and one that is somewhat harder to judge as it's so different from what else is generally available in the U.S. It's a rare style but one I would like to try again.

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Photo of marty21
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden colour with a finger width of white head. Settles to a thin cap and left lots of lacing.

S: A bit of a biscuit malt aroma but it's taken over by a citrus and sweet zesty fruit aromas.

T: Biscuit malt up front that finishes with orange, lemon and some light bitter hops.

M: Medium carbonation with a light to medium body.

D: This was a very easy beer to drink. The low Abv makes it a great session beer that you won't get sick of.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 StJamesGate
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Belfast Beer Festival.

Hazy light copper with loose froth. Sour grain on the nose with slight fruit hops. Biscuit, yellow plum, and peach crumble malts, lactic hit in the middle, branch and nettle hops. Light to medium, stick, soft.

Good fruit but too sour. Don't know where the Cascade is. Has that lactic thing that some hoppy English ales get - Perle hops? Malts? Anyway, a bit underwhelming.

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Photo of charlatan
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A light gold coloured beer with a significant slightly offwhite head. The nose is fruity with hints of cherry and raisin. An indistinct creamy and vaguely sweet start gives way rapidly to dry herbal hop domination. Too dry to be a session beer for me.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Mora2000
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
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 oberon
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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 JamesS
4.36/5  rDev +15%
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 champ103
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
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 Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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 atis
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with dense white head that does not last very long, some lacing. Aroma is malty with light hints of floral hops, some fruitiness.

Taste is dominated by hops with plenty of malt background, bitter finish with citrus and spicy long lasting bittery aftertaste. Silky smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation due to cask.

Simple, but very drinkable ale.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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 TheSarge
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden bronze in colored clear body, with a thick fluffy white head that sticks around for a good while with great lacing.

Aroma is hop centric, which is a bit piney and floral in character. There is a hint of caramel in the underbelly of this brew.

In the taste, it's citrusy from the hops along with a buttery and bready flavor.

Mouth feel wise, it's prickly with carbonation all the way through, but not coarse at all. There is a slippery/oily presence here too. Altogether, this is an exceptional session brew.

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Photo of Offa
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
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 crowncapcollect
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
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 Bitterbill
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
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 chinabeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
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 Nipitato
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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 ElGordo
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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 Pegasus
2.26/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Golden orange, with considerable sediment, and a small white head, which soon collapses to a rim of foam along the glass walls.

Aroma: Sweet, light honeyed aroma, with a slight hop presence.

Taste: Opens with a harsh herbal hop bitterness, which carries throughout the taste, although there is a bit of sweet malt beneath.

Mouth feel: Thin, with little carbonation noted.

Drinkability/notes: Overall, seems a rather weak example of a distinguished style.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Odd, orangey colour that is a little light for a Scottish ale. That's my only real complaint.

Rich, smokey malt smell. Peat hints.

Roasted malt taste; very faint whisky hints. Slight hop bitterness, maybe a little too weak as it doesn't leave much of a bite.

Tingly, but not gaseous, overcarbonated. Drinkable, but leaves an odd aftertaste at times.

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Photo of kmacphail
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
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 wl0307
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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
3.79 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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