Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Ossian | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
74 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 110
Photo of gentlebubbles
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

NERAX 2006 (Wed)

A light toasty color with a skim of white on the surface.

Smells lemony fresh.

I taste sharp, sharp lemon marmalade with a resiny finish.

Barely carbonated.

Everyone else seems to like this, but it's not for me. It's all lemons and hardly anything else.

 285 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.6/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

this scottish ale poured a dark tan with an off-white head.

the aroma had definite hints of golden raisins with a slight alcohol odor.

the taste and mouthfeel completely surprised me, it was very watery and had the nouthfeel of carboanted water. tasted pretty decent, but had no body.

had a weird unpleasant aftertaste.

decent, but wouldnt buy again.

 366 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Malty, honey-like aroma. Also a grainy thing kind of like wheat toast. No Diacetyl or off aromas.

It didn't indicate that it was bottle conditioned so I poured with abandon. I've got yeast floaties throughout the glass making it pretty cloudy. Otherwise, deep gold with a very small but lasting head.

Somewhat sweet, again the honey thing (no indication on the bottle that it's brewed with honey, but that's the prominant impression I get.) Nice balanced hop bitterness. Some fruity esters in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied and creamy but the carbonation level seems a little high. The carbonic bite washes away the best attributes of the flavor IMO.

Decent session type beer. Complex enough to be interesting but not overly strong or challenging.

 758 characters

Photo of cypressbob
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask locally

Pours with a coppery body, creamy head with good retention

Smell, some hint of caramel and burnt sugar, maybe a trace of piney hops

Taste, fairly well rounded hops, nothing too over the top. Little bit of caramel and toffee once again

A pretty decent ale, i'd probably have it again

 310 characters

Photo of HardTarget
2.19/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bottle Inspection: Listed as a “Scottish Pale Ale” 11.2 oz bottle from the “Beers of the World Sampler pack” Thanks to Stephen for picking up the box from the Class VI on post.

Aroma: Malty with a hint of peat smoke

Appearance: Floaties! An orange amber glass with a collar of white foam, and a lot of what looked like protein floaties.

Flavor: Malty balance, strong tea like flavors, and a long smoky finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, generally fairly lifeless.

Overall Impression: Just rubbed me wrong. Hops weren’t enough to hold my interest and too tea like, malt was ok but the peat note just didn’t meld, and the floaties were a deal breaker.

 677 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

 420 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Cask at Monks. Moderate khaki with a pristingepillowy top of white foam. Aromas are bready/biscuity malts, a hint of toast and nuts (walnut?) as well as some fresh citrusy hops in the finish. Quite dry, but juicy in the middle and brilliantly thirst quenching. Makes me miss Scotland and all of the times I drank this for $3.50a 20oz, as opposed to like $7 for a 16oz. Oh well...

 382 characters

Photo of horndecker
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I hoped for more from this Scottish Pale Ale. It poured a honey gold color with a fine white head, though the head dissipated fairly quickly.

A bit of piney hops in the nose, touch of malt, maybe some mild orangey fruit aromas.Nothing dramatic.

The short story on the taste is: Decent hop bitterness at the start, good malt in the middle and a dry finish. Along the way a bit of caramel, a little bit of fruit. It's got a nice balance and I can't help thinking something much tastier is trying to peek through. I let it warm up quite a bit and look for more, but it's being stubborn.

I'm inclined to give this one another spin. Hoping that Inveralmond just had a slightly inconsistent output one particular week. As it is, well put together, but kinda unspectacular.

 775 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 2,163 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

 1,533 characters

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received it in a beers of the world pack. Pours a light amber, moderately clear and with good head and lacing. Smells like citrusy hops and dried fruits. Taste was kind of smokey, peaty some grapefruit and a little hop presence. Mouthfeel was full and creamy, very nice beer, I'd definately try this one again.

 310 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 279 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 286 characters

Photo of pootz
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled (thanks Viggo) Pour reveals a lightly hazed honey-gold ale with a smallish cap and light carbonation. The aroma of this ale is one of the best noses I've experienced in an ale: fruity, pears with musty citrus and a wisp of smoke. Medium body sweet malt and the teast-hop mix leave a lightly smoked pear cider taste...mild melloe and tastey...wet finish...a very nice scottish ale.

 388 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 356 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one was light orange in color with a modest head on an aggressive pour.

Smell – The aroma here is big, sugary, orangish malts and a stiff peat compliment. I can’t really pick up any hops. It’s mostly the peat and orange.

Taste – Yes, the Scottish peat comes out huge at the taste. It takes over the flavor profile and adds to the juicy orangeness. I can now pick up some good, light hopping as well.

Mouthfeel – This one is almost medium-bodied with a very strong aftertaste consisting mostly of peat, orange, and bitter hops.

Drinkability – This was a raw Scottish Ale that I really enjoyed but that most people would have to get used to.

 676 characters

Photo of foamer
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of edchicma
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew..but a bit lacking on the mouthfeel for such a low abv. Poured a nice amber with a good chunky head. Smell was malty with a diacetyl presence. Taste was strongly malty on the front palalte with a lightly bitter quality on the finish. This didn't have a great mouthfeel, not overly smooth. Likewise, drinkability was ok, but only if you sip.

 355 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 466 characters

Photo of Guinness4me
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Being anything but a fan of Pale Ales, I found this beer enchanting! The color was liquid gold, little head with dainty lace left behind. The taste was subtle and seductive and made me pout that I'd actually shared the sample bottle with my husband. It is lightly carbonated yet gives quite a tickle to the tongue. Slight malty and bitter aftertaste. I'm intrigued and look forwarding to sampling again!

 403 characters

Photo of jackndan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ossian Ale: A Scottish Pale Ale. Pours a fairly deep brown, not much head, but what head it had clings to the side of the glass. Perfectly clear, and it is notable that the minimal carbonation floats fairly slowly through this brew. The aroma is pleasant, an almost peat like aroma of malts, with a wee bit of flowery hops. The taste is nice, fairly earthy and grainy sweetness, with a smoky blast of hops toward the finish. Nice smooth and rich mouthfeel, not too much carbonation. Not too bad, worth picking it up if you see it.

 530 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 386 characters

Photo of jreitman
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 306 characters

Photo of mattmaples
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

 604 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Ossian from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
3.79 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!