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 canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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 +5.8%
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 +20.9%
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 +17.7%
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 +19.6%
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 chinabeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
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 +8.5%
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 +13.8%
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 -40.2%
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 +5%
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 +16.4%
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 +7.9%
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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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.6/5  rDev -31.2%
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.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.59/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of cypressbob
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
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

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Photo of HardTarget
2.19/5  rDev -42.1%
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.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
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 francisweizen
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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...

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Photo of horndecker
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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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 TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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 Viggo
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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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 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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Ossian from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
3.78 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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