Raven Ale
Orkney Brewery

Raven AleRaven Ale
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Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
English Bitter
3.48 | pDev: 11.49%
Jan 22, 2019
Sep 17, 2003
Raven AleRaven Ale
Notes: Malty aroma with a touch of fruit, Raven has a malt character which is both biscuity and toasty. This is beautifully balanced with a clean spicy orange bitterness.

The Raven was a magical creature in the Viking folklore. Legend claimed they had the eyes and ears of Odin himself. The birds were used on long voyages to guide the Viking long ships, they were released on the seas and if they did not return, it signalled that land was close.
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Photo of EmperorBevis
Reviewed by EmperorBevis from England

3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bottled in a dark brown glasses reciprocal and purchased from budget supermarket Lidl
Pours a light brown body with good white head
Aroma is wholemeal bread & vinegar
Flour is barley and tinny bitterness
Jan 22, 2019
Rated: 3.89 by _nickg_ from New Jersey

Aug 09, 2017
Photo of Andrewharemza
Reviewed by Andrewharemza from Australia

3.64/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
From bottle, pours a clear golden colour with a good white head that disapates to some big to medium bubbles that huge the glass. Aroma sweet, malt, toffee, floral, honey, lemon. Taste malt, toffee, caramel, butterscotch. Very good for a low ABV, good flavour.
Jul 14, 2016
Rated: 3.5 by iftcoach from Germany

Jul 03, 2016
Photo of downquark
Rated by downquark from Germany

3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Sep 12, 2015
Rated: 3.86 by Foley67 from Scotland

Jul 12, 2015
Photo of drmeto
Reviewed by drmeto from Germany

3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
-pours a clear deep golden with a big,frothy,white head
-high carbonation visible
-floral,biscuits,candied lemons,spices,resin,peaches,vanilla
-spices,grass,resin,sugary sweetness
-mild bitterniss
-light to medium body,feels fuller than expected from a 4%er
-medium carbonation
-weirdly a faint warming sensation in this 4% Beer
-Very round and pleasant English Bitter
Jul 08, 2015
Rated: 3.37 by parintele from Romania

Jul 01, 2015
Rated: 3.9 by Foomanchoo from Florida

May 20, 2015
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
500 ml bottle purchased and consumed in Fife, Scotland. BB date stamp of April 2016.

Normal strength of hops but more malts and some unexpected (for a pale ale, but see below) levels of toffee and vanilla notes. Easy drinking with plenty of flavor for 3.8%.

O: recommended. A relatively malty version of a pale ale, but then this is actually an English Bitter.
May 03, 2015
Photo of jmdrpi
Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
500 ml Bottle, poured into glass.

Hazy golden color. aroma and taste of Pale malt and slightly earthly flavor. lighter bodied, medium carbonation. didn't enjoy as much as most of their other beers
Apr 29, 2015
Rated: 3.54 by UniversitateaDeBere from Romania

Jan 22, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

Apr 08, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by dcmchew from Romania

Nov 07, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by Ciocanelu from Romania

Oct 16, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by abeeronthebeach from California

Oct 03, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by Jaymz from Scotland

Jun 30, 2013
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Reviewed by mick303 from Canada (ON)

3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Poured a copper gold brown, some slight white lacing. fades quickly.

Smell has caramel malts, apples and toffee, mostly nondescript malty character and dry. Taste is malty, some slight sourness with apple and toffee, a dry finish. The body is mild and decently drinkable, but shallow profile, no really interesting of tasty aspects. It works alright as a session ale, but this doesn't impress, lack flavour or any real hop presence, there are better and I won't seek this out again. Bland.
Jun 20, 2013
Photo of BeerRefugee
Reviewed by BeerRefugee from Oklahoma

2.82/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75
Pours a light orange-amber color. Medium white head that dissipates quickly. Light aroma of orange peel and flowers. Flavor is biscuit malt, grass and citrus hops. A bit of citrus hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly astringent.
Apr 30, 2013
Photo of flyingpig
Reviewed by flyingpig from Scotland

3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25
500ml bottle from Morrisons:
Light golden & clear amber with a 3cm, foamy head that holds well with good lacing on the glass. It's creamy & light smelling with butterscotch, vanilla & sweet malts with honey & biscuit in there too before biscuit malts & more of the sweetness show on the taste alongside a bittersweet finish. It's medium bodied & smooth with a slightly earthy feel although the bitterness starts to dominate further on; it wasn't too bad though.
Feb 20, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by rao2100 from Malaysia

Dec 27, 2012
Reviewed by GONZALOYANNA from Spain

3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
500ml bottle. Pint glass. Notes dated on agt´11. Copper color headed by off-white froth. Caramel malt, resiny hop, mildy toasted malt aromas. Flavor shows caramel malts, fruity touch & gentle bitterness that lingers into the finish. Medium/light body. Medium carbonation. Well balanced beer. Perfect as session: just 3.8 ABV & flavorful.
Jun 18, 2012
Photo of laituegonflable
Reviewed by laituegonflable from Australia

2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
Pours a pale golden colour, bit flat and listless in the body, but nice creamy head on top; tightly-packed bubbles with decent sticky lace. Could use something more, just looks a bit dull in the glass.

Smell is very metallic. Lots of organic grass notes and an unpleasant honey-oat kind of grain character that is very sweet, and dominates. Underneath is a decent herbal aroma but that grain is a bit sweet and a bit strong.

Taste is fairly standard and mild, with cereal grain notes upfront and on the finish. Slightly sour with some phenolic notes bordering on cherry and some organic grassy hop notes early-mid. Finish unfortunately dominated by honeyed cereal grain character; very light and drinkable, but ultimately bland and oversweet.

Smooth, but a bit too thick maybe; no texture but it happens to feel a bit stodgy as well. Don't love it.

Mild drinking ale, but I can't quite give it marks for bland middling character because it just touches on too sweet for my liking as well. Uninteresting.
Jun 06, 2012
Rated: 2.75 by petluo from Finland

Apr 19, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by Arborescence from Finland

Feb 19, 2012
Photo of jimithebeerguy
Reviewed by jimithebeerguy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I have had the pleasure of tasting this beer both on-tap and in bottle. My wife is from the Orkney isles so I have had this beer a number of times while in Scotland.

I can assure you that this was the best local brewed beer I found while visiting these friendly little islands.

The beer is nice and coppery and actually has a slight fruity/ nutty flavour. It is best served cold and with some fish and mealie pudding !

I did prefer the on tap experience vs the bottle but when you live in Canada you gotta live with what you can get.

Definitely recommended by this beer lover
Oct 30, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
Reviewed by AgentMunky from New York

3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Served in a half-pint glass. Reviewed 15 March 2011. From notes.

A: Tiny bubbles suspended motionlessly inside the beer. Bright white head. Clear yellow.

S: Creamy and nondescript. What I've come to except from lesser cask ales.

T: Good, but boring. Slightly fruity-sour. Aftertaste is creamy-sweet.

M: Neutral. This beer is spookily featureless. Some slight weight in the mouth gives a modicum of presence to the beer.

O: Gone before I realized it. Good (perhaps better than my ratings reflect) and quite drinkable. Still, I couldn't recommend the cask version. Maybe a bottle?
Apr 29, 2011
Photo of sammiles
Reviewed by sammiles from Australia

3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Picked this up at Purvis Cellars, Melbourne.

Pours a nice hazy golden copper colour with a reasonable head, stuck around a while and lots of lacing. Not much to the smell,can pick up some flowery notes. Taste is pretty good, a lot more complex than expected for considering the ABV, nice amount of bitterness for the style I guess, fair bit of malt flavours as advertised on the bottle. Overall an easy drinking beer, not sure if I would call it a 'classic bitter ale' thought.
Feb 28, 2010
Photo of BDTyre
Reviewed by BDTyre from Canada (BC)

3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
One of the more unique pale ales I've had. Decent enough appearance - light amber, golden colour that beings cloudy and clears up, forming a tight, creamy head.

Odd fruity scent, maybe from the hops. Almost like sour berries - not unpleasant, but certainly not like a usual pale ale. There is a strong malt character in there, but this has a definite fruity, grassy scent to it.

The taste is slightly sour, but still with a brown sugar malt flavour. I can detect apples, lemon and a bit of grape in the taste. Certainly unique - most pale ales I've had present a more malty taste, but still somehow the flavour of this works here.

Smooth and sessionable - I'd definitely knock a few of these back.
Feb 11, 2010
Photo of Suds
Reviewed by Suds from Missouri

3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
This ale pours a clear golden-copper color with an nice white head which leaves nice lace. The aroma is fairly average...a bit of bready malt (bread crust) and some English hops. It's not an exceptionally strong aroma, but is still appealing. The taste is semi-sweet, with a nice hop balance. Medium body. This is a reasonably good drinking beer, but nothing special.
Jun 06, 2009
Photo of kmacphail
Reviewed by kmacphail from Scotland

3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5
I sampled this in cask form at the 4th Ullapool Beer Festival.

The beer poured a light straw - golden colour with a white head. The nose was dominated by hops with an addition of wheatgrass and melon fragrences.

This hoppy theme continued through to the mouth and it left quite a dry aftertaste that was reminiscent of white grapes, quite dry.

This light beer was below medium in body, I suppose this is right for the style, but I prefer a heavier bodied beer. OK light beer, not undrinkable but I would not rush to have it again.
Nov 17, 2008
Photo of brendan13
Reviewed by brendan13 from Australia

3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
A - Poured into a pint glass with a fluffy 2 centimetre head that falls away to a thin whisp fairly quickly.
S - Floral hops with some sweetish honey & caramel maltiness.
T - The sweet malt dominates the taste with some floral and fruity hops taking a back seat. A hint of peat also comes through.
M - Light to medium bodied with a fairly low carbonation level.
D - If this weren't $8AUS a bottle I'd drink this pretty often as it's a tasty beer with a pretty low ABV%.
Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
500 ml bottle, bought at Peckham’s, Glasgow. ABV is 3.8%. Amber colour, large off-white head, leaves a nice lacing. Malty aroma with notes of caramel, some fruit too. The flavour has a decent balance between malts and hops, notes of toffee and moderate fruit, hoppy finish. Quite good.
Sep 15, 2007
Photo of mdagnew
Reviewed by mdagnew from Northern Ireland

3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a coppery orange colour... Slightly off white head poured quite thick and foamy and faded to nice layer... no real lacing...

Aroma - Sweet caramel / toffee maltiness with light toasted notes, spicy hops, biscuity, some strawberry notes, burnt orange...

Taste – Biscuity, slightly toasted malts, nice spicy hop bitterness, light caramel sweetness, nutty...

Feel - Light sharpness... Medium body. Very drinkable...

Overall - A pretty good beer....Well worth a try...
Apr 11, 2006
Photo of wl0307
Reviewed by wl0307 from England

3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
BB SEP 06. Served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.
A: light copper-ish hue, coming with a 3cm thick, foamy off-white cap; medium-carbonation of large bubbles.
S: sweet-potato-ish and sweet flowery scent of hops mixed well with a flow of softly caramel, creamy-toffeeish maltiness with a faint touch of peatiness (typical of Scottish Ales~~), with some delicate citrus-fruit hints threaded nicely in the middle--quite incredibly rich for a 3.8%abv. beer... not unbalanced, though.
T: nutty, wood-sprigs-like, and faintly tea-leafy bitter-sweetness gradually develops and intensifies on the palate, releasing touches of toffee, and residual flavour of Chinese sweet red-bean soup. Lightly malty overtone with lingering tea-ish aftertaste...
M&D: fluffy-textured and lightly fizzy on the mouthfeel, but with a very pleasantly mild, soothing, but concrete flavour profile on the palate. Yet another decent British ale "punching above its weight"! I wonder how the cask-conditioned version might taste...mm...
Feb 05, 2006
Photo of stcules
Reviewed by stcules from Italy

3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Copper color, full. Very clear. Typical ale head, white, compact, quite creamy.
The smell is a surprise: floral overall (heather flowers), cutted grass, flowers, blueberry. Average in maltiness, slightly peaty.
In the taste, after an initial maltiness, there is some hop, woody notes, vanilla. And bitterness. No fruity or floral notes.
In the aftertaste return of sweetness and maltinees, with honey notes, and flowers again. Light bitterness in background, quite persistent. Woody notes.
Good pub session beer.
Sep 12, 2004
Photo of Kongquistador
Reviewed by Kongquistador from Illinois

3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Had to venture into Jenners to grab this, but there it was on the shelf, a raven on the front matching the raven from the Orkney insignia. Not at all a common beer in most parts of the world, worth grabbing if you see it.

Nothing to get excited about the appearance. Basically a dark golden, maybe slightly amber, with a reddish tint. Head is large and bubbly, breaking down quickly into a thin lace against the edge with little floating bits of lace in the center. Nose is nice, fairly floral at first, which is a bit of a suprise, given that this is from a Scottish brewery. Nice to see someone doing something a bit different. Definite hints of apple and plums or something like that. Certainly some maltiness underlying the scent, slightly sweet and bready.

The illusion of a fruity nose disappears with the first sip. This brew is primarily dominated by the malts. The hops make an appearance at the end, but it is muted, not strong enough to leave more than a lingering faint bitterness, quickly overwhelmed by the outside world. Not a beer that sits in the mouth well. The malts are mostly sweet, not harsh on any particular characteristic, and it works well for a pale ale, although used as I am to West Coast ales, I guess I expect a bit more hops. But this does work fairly well. The closest American analogies I can think of come from different styles, but thats ok, in the end this is an ok but not exceptional drink.

The mouthfeel is pretty standard, moderate amount of carbonation, although it feels a bit weak and thin. I'm sure that in a cask it would be considerably better, with a much smoother mellower feel, but I suspect the actual thinness would remain. Taking pale ale as a light hoppy style when brewed in Scotland, I would say this is to be expected. The drinkability is alright though, particularly as the alocohol is low. The absence of alcohol doesn't seem to affect the taste much, and it does mean that a few more pints of this could be put down. In the end, a pretty standard brew, holds up well, but nothing to distinguish it from others.
Feb 19, 2004
Photo of rastaman
Reviewed by rastaman from England

2/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
Aroma is a bit sulfuric, slightly peaty and a bit malt-sweet. Palate is very light and watery, with a definite sweetness (honeyish). Some peat at the finish. Pretty tame and boring. Hard to get into this one, even if its cask conditioned (Cask-ChelmsfordBF- 03')
Sep 17, 2003
Raven Ale from Orkney Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 38 ratings