Nils Oscar India Pale Ale | the Nils Oscar Company

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Nils Oscar India Pale AleNils Oscar India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
the Nils Oscar Company

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malt: Pilsner, Müncher and Caramel
Hop: Amarillo

13.1° Palto

In September 2009, the beer style was changed from American IPA to English IPA /BFG Sweden.

Due to US rules and regulations, this beer got a purple label and the name "India Pale Ale" when imported (to the US).

Added by bark on 09-27-2005

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 99
Photo of JDV
2.58/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber with a lasting creamy sticky whitish head. Smell is old malt, sticky sweetness and not very hoppy. Doesn't smell inviting. Tastes is moderately hoppy and fiarly malty and yeasty and doughy. Not particularly refreshing, but decent.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.59/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear copper colour with a light tan head leaving plenty spotty lace. Aroma okay with some citrus and malt sweetness, though it seems somewhat stale smelling. Taste has little bitterness, mostly sweet bread malts and caramel. Somewhat nutty too. Somewhat of a creamy, slick mouthfeel, medium in body, lower carbonation.

Overall, kinda sux. A new arrival to my store, but it just comes off as stale. Last minute toss into the basket and I regret it.

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Photo of hreb
2.6/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

33 cL bottle purchased at a Systembolaget in Stockholm. Sweden's "India Ale" (orange and green label) courtesy of Nils Oscar Company. For what I expect is an IPA, the beer pours surprisingly amber, with very little head. Great clarity for the dark color, though. Back label reports this beer is best before Jan '13, and, also in Swedish, what appears to be the standard story about 19th Century Englishmen making IPA for the "long transport to India".

Aroma is unusually sweet and caramely. Flavor is...slightly more hoppy than the next under-hopped Euro macro lager, but along with the familiar thin, lagery mouthfeel and low carbonation (beer is cool but not cold), this beer is only marginally better than the above.

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Photo of colts9016
2.64/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this beer from Thank you for this bottle.

Pour into a pint glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A medium amber color with hues of orange. There is a one finger head that is ivory and creamy. There is a lot of effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear. There is some lacing on the glass.

Nose: There is a light malt phenols, floral, and fruity esters. There is a hint of caramel and some bread.

Taste: A malty sweetness that is light. There is none to little hop flavor. There is a funky phenol/solvent flavor.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated and dry. The body of the beer is medium light and finish is nil. This is one weird tasting IPA. The flavors are all over the palate. it is hard to pin point the IPA main flavors. Didn't care for it.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.76/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear gold with an average white head. Light hop aroma, very grassy and grainy, not what I expected. Taste is more of the same, with more lemon/pine and butter flavors. Whoever made the scone call is right on the money. This is not a West Coast IPA, but not an English version either. I don't know if I like it.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
2.89/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purple bottled 11.2 oz bottle reads "India Pale Ale"

Pours cloudy orange with no head, looks nice

Smell is extremely faint. Hops are hardly discernible, rather heavy bready biscuit quality, along with licorice

Tastes like the smell, but a watery hop presence flirts with the malt. Uneven and not overly enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is also watery. Carbonation is minimal and borders on flat.

One and done on Mr. Nils Oscar

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Photo of StJamesGate
2.89/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours ruby gold with stiff white froth that rings. Nose is like the floor of a zoo, making me wonder if this is bad. Caramel and mulch up front, some citronella bitterness, then white grapefruit pith hops and syrupy hop oil. Round, chewy and medium to full.

Awful nose opened up into something skunky and over-malted. If you're going to make something this clingy, step up the ABV and turn it into a DIPA. And heavy-handed for a nice citrusy hop like Amarillo.


Thanks to Chris for bringing this back from Stockholm.

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Photo of alex667gbg
2.96/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Orange, clear with a thick foam that leaves a nice trace.

S - Grass and a small amount of the hops, however limited nose to this I(P)A. Leaves a lot to wish for us hops-lovers.

T - I do enjoy the pine and hoppy first bite of the taste, almost a bit citra over the pine, however this is an amarillo based beer but it do not taste enough IPA for me. More like a british style, malty, hopped up ale. No, the taste leaves me with malt, and i wanted a hoppy beer. Disappointing.

D - Not bad, but it should really be redefined to suit its true genre.

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Photo of katan
2.97/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle

A - Pours a darker golden orange color. Head formation is light, with a small but somewhat vigorous 1mm head. Dissipates to a film rather quickly. Little carbonation is apparent. Quite hazy.

S - Very light scent - almost nonexistent. I do find just a hair of grapefruit hops - but it is almost impossible to dig out of there. Gives the impression of sweetness.

T - Early to mid-stream is very light. The flavors are as hard to discern as the nose. A small amount of bitter bite begins to firm up. Finishes with a hair stronger bitter bite that is accompanied by the real first hop taste I could find. Aftertaste is very astringent, edgy, and earthy. Hangs onto the palette big time.

M - Moderate mouth feel - perhaps a hair to the thin and watery side. Carbonation bite on the tongue is higher than I would have expected, in line for a AIPA. Oily after film is very clinging.

D - A moderately drinkable beer as well. The ABV is manageable for the style, but I would say the consistently harsh bitter aftertaste is wearing.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a caramel/toffee/copper color with minimal head and lacing, and moderate amount of carbonation.

S - Earthy, grassy, roasted toffee, caramel, bread crust and light hints of lemon. Aroma reminds me of an English style IPA.

T - Definitely an English IPA. Lots of earthy, grassy bread crust, caramel, roasted toffee (just like the nose suggests). The malt stays strong throughout the entire sip and towards the middle lemon comes through and towards the end, there's a very mild shot of citrus pine.

M - Light body for an IPA and almost borderline a little too watery. Smooth texture on the tongue and a crisp finish.

O - Glad I had an opportunity to try this one since I've never seen it before but I can't say I'm enjoying it a whole lot.

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Photo of TheBCrew
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought 2 bottles at Systembolaget in Norrköping, Sweden. Orange label as shown above. Pours a bright, clear copper copper color with 2 fingers of off-white foam that quickly settles leaving slight lacing. Unfortunately, aroma and flavor both have hints of oxidation (cardboard) and lightstruck (skunky). Really a shame and not altogether unexpected as each shelf at the store has a fluorescent light running down the length directly on the beers. Besides those problems, I was also able to discern a bit of citrus aroma and flavor from the amarillo hops, as well as caramel and breadiness from the malt. Slightly malty finish, closer to the British IPA than the American version. The mouthfeel is crisp, but somewhat thin. Drinkability suffers from the above mentioned problems. I'd like to try a fresh bottle another time.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice cloudy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing. The nose is slightly hoppy, with some malts, and citrus. The taste is slightly hoppy, malty, with some citrus notes. Medium body. Drinkable, really far from an American IPA even at 5.3% ABV.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Probably should not have drank this one in the same week as a hopslam, but never the less, a classic IPA I enjoyed as I type this review up. Served cold and poured into my disneyworld glass, this one was consumed on 02/10/2009.

The pour was decent enough with an amber color that was about right for the style. Nice head of white came up over the top and settled down nicely into a thin layer of white across that stayed for most of the session.

The aroma was a bit light for what I would have like. Smooth hops were undercut by a large amount of biscuit like malt tones. Lots of balance here but not strong enough in the hops to define the style. The flavor was more of the same without much in the way of direction to really push it one way or the other. Smooth though with a decent amount of pine hops in the finish and a rich biscuit malt flavor that provided a nice bit of sweetness to it. Really nice full body here with nice carbonation that did not let it fall flat. Nice and sessionable with much in the way of alcohol to really hold it back.

Overall not bad, though no where near a favorite. Just seemed to be lacking that bit of punch to really push it over the top. Still not a bad little session ale though.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours very much like a dark lager. Slightly more bubbly than I expected but the color is a nice dark golden color that reminded me of the IPAs I am used to here in the States. The smell was grassy, not overly hoppy and rather sweet. Its brewed with Amarillo hops from the US so Nils Oscar is going for the American version of an IPA and not an English one.

Taste is decent. Its hard not to judge this against my favorite American IPAs. Its got a nice citrus taste and a nice balance between malt and hops. It is however rather light in taste and falls more into the pale ale category in my opinion. BUT, that being said, this is a good IPA from a very good Swedish brewery.

Beer culture is growing in Sweden and Nils Oscar will likely help lead the way as Swedish beers become better and hopefully more available and affordable. The days of crappy continental lager being the staple beer of Scandinavia are slowly coming to an end.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.21/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Radiant tangerine with lemony borders. I prefer my IPAs to be unfiltered, but the pristine clarity of this one is beautiful as well. The sandstone colored crown is an impressive mass of sticky bubbles that is absolutely slathering the glass with... more sticky bubbles. It's a close call, but the next highest score isn't warranted.

My expectations were pretty high for a Swedish-brewed, American-style IPA that uses Amarillo hops. That's why the nose is doubly disappointing. Exhibit 'A', 'B' and 'C' is that there's almost no hoppiness, which is inexcusable in a beer of this style. A few more degrees of warming pulls the aroma, kicking and screaming, up to average.

The fact that this is the new purple and gold-labeled India Pale Ale would suggest that it's somewhat fresh. It doesn't taste old, it just doesn't taste very hoppy. The malt backbone is barely sturdy enough. It tastes like mostly pale with a hint of something slightly toasted. The relative lack of hops means that the 5.3% ABV, which is already low for the style, is appreciated on the taste buds. Not much, but too much.

Nils Oscar brags about how many hops they use (don't they all?). Unfortunately, it isn't borne out by the beer itself. Bitterness, which is nowhere near abusive, outpaces good hop flavor by a country mile. Hey Nils, how about doubling the hop load? And how about adding them later in the boil, as long as I'm throwing out suggestions. The flavor profile consists of orange rind and crushed aspirin soaked in sugar syrup and a small splash of Absolut Citron.

The mouthfeel is lighter than it should be... but take a look at the ABV again. It eventually wins me over, more or less, by having a perfect amount of carbonation (subdued) and by being as smooth as glass.

IPAs are one of my favorite styles and Oktoberfests aren't. I find it strange, then, that Nils Oscar Kalasol was enjoyable and Nils Oscar India Pale Ale isn't. If you're looking for another great beer from Scandanavia, keep looking, because you won't find it here.

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Photo of WesWes
3.24/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy dark golden/amber color with virtually no head and some bubbles lingering on the sides of the glass. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt bill of pale and Carapils malts; even some light crystal/bisquit as well. The hop nose is good. It's bitter, but nothing over the top. The taste is average. It's weak and watery with some lackluster hop character. There is little body also. It does have some crystal malt and bisquit flavors. but they too seem watered down. THe mouthfeel is terrible. It is a medium bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. I think it's possible I may have gotten a bad bottle, but I'm not interested enough to go back for seconds.

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Photo of corby112
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In bottle at Oliver Twist in Stockholm, Sweden.

Pours a clear almost blush color with a thin fizzy white head. Aroma is bland with subtle hint of hops and alcohol. Lots of earthy hop flavors with a crisp golden alcohol presence. Bitter but not very dry hops throughout to the finish.

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Photo of aleigator
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%

Bottle from rlgk, thanks Ronny!

Clear golden-amber color, with a decent white head.

Wheat, straw, grassy hops and musty malts. Taste is defined by sweet malts, with slick yeast, pinched by citrus hoppy notes, resulting in a short bitterness, coated up by a bready malt aftertaste. Dry, smooth mouthfeel, in which hops go well along with toffeish malts, without letting the bitterness getting out of hand. Carbonation is lively, adds copper metallic hints to the refreshing aftertaste.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm confused on this one. The label mentions American IPAs and Amarillo hops, but on here it's English IPA. In the end, though, it doesn't fit either. Perhaps a blend...
Pours nicely. copper, light and clear body topped with a wonderful head; rocky and chunky, good lacing.
Aroma is malt strong and earthy. Hops are a bit fruity, but not much. Quite disappointed as the balance just isn't.
Average flavor. Yeah, it tastes good, and it drinks well, just not hoppy enough. The bite is weak, and the sweet malt becomes and earthy mess and reminds me of twigs. Hmm..
But it drank well.

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Photo of Avryle
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A recent appearance at Westmere Beverage in Albany.

A- Clear golden-orange in color. Initially pours with a one-finger white head that disipates rather quickly leaving a stringy conglomorate of bubbles at the surface.

S- Weird... Not sure what's going on in the nose. Smells like papayas???, kiwis??? and yeast.

T- Odd, very bitter hops and spicy yeast. Can't say I think much of this. Lacking the charactaristics of and IPA except for the bitter hops at the finish.

M- Dry and bitter like an aged crone.

D- Yeahhhh, not so much. I had some high expectations from this brewer and this dashed them.

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Photo of johnnieoz
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz, 33cl, bottle. Label is purple and says "India Pale Ale" with no ABV% listed. The depicted bottle is the Swedish domestic version.

Not sure this is the freshest bottle, having been imported from Sweden to Massachusetts and then schlepped across the country to wind up on some dusty shelves in Toluca Lake, California.

It looks nice enough, mild carbonation and lacing in a light amber ale. This is one malty scented IPA - since I've been fortunate enough to drink plenty of Nils Oscar in Sweden, I'm now sure this could be fresher. No hops - certainly not the Amarillo mentioned on the label.

The taste is more of the same, i.e. no hops, but Nils Oscar's home-grown malted grains (pilsner, caramel, Munich) make this more than palatable.

The first time I've bought a Nils Oscar beer outside of Sweden...Against my better judgment I went for the IPA when their similarly priced and more durable, killer Barleywine and Imperial Stout were sitting right next to it. Oh well, Nils Oscar remains a giant in my eyes. A modest giant not prone to the laudable experimentation of fellow Scandinavian Craft Brewers Guild members Mikkeller, Ølfabrikken, Nøgne-Ø and Nørrebro Brygghus.

To try an analogy: Nils Oscar is a Swedish Anchor Brewing or Deschutes to their Stone, Russian River or Dogfish Head. We should be grateful for all of their existences.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle to a nice amber color with medium thick off-white head that lingers well and leaves okay lacing. Kind of disappointing for an IPA in that, while there was the expected citrusy, hops in the nose and mouth, and a bitter palate, all were much more muted than in most IPAs. Not bad, just needed to accentuate all the above for me to rate any higher as an IPA.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass.

The beer pours a darkish orange with a nice three finger head but falls quickly, not much retention...The aroma is super malty with tons of caramel on the front with a touch of alcohol, and little grassy hops...The taste is super boring just keeps about half the caramel and not hops at all, flavor is almost dead. Feel is ok, boring to drink.

Nothing to see here, no taste, not worth drinking.

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Photo of erz316
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 floz bottle into old speck pint glass

A - a fairly vigorous pour makes about one fingers of lightly cream-orange coloured head. the body is a bright amber/ dark orange colour. slightly turbid and completely diaphanous. what little foam there is lats about 3-4 minutes and leaves some dotted lacing.

S - an IPA? Really? where are all of the amarillo hops? I smell a slight trace, a miniscule vestige of what an IPA should be. more hops are desperately needed

T - this is odd, the malts play a bigger role than the hops! the initial taste a light bitterness, something one would expect from a non-hop dominated amber ale or some sort of brew besides an ipa. the initial taste is slight bitterness, a bit of grapefruit, and a big malt body holding the whole shindig up. the finish is no more bitter but slightly more malty, having a bit of a musty or really grainy taste. the aftertaste is slightly sweet but mostly a mild bitterness.

MF&D - everything needs to be pumped up: carbonation, body, hops, just put this boy on some steroids and we might have a decent brew.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-gold body with a frothy white head.

Smell: Solid malt aroma of rich caramel paired with a pungent hop scent combination of flowers, citrus, and herbs.

Taste: Subdued maltiness with only a light taste of caramel and sweetness. Flavors of citrus and flowers are there, sure, but the very green-tasting herbaceousness comes through the strongest. Light acidity. Medium bitterness. Dry finish with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, refreshing IPA. I could consider drinking this on a regular basis if it weren't for the cost and issue of availability.

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Nils Oscar India Pale Ale from the Nils Oscar Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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