On the docket is Odell Brewing Company’s flagship, the 90 Shilling Ale named for a Scottish method of taxation under which only the highest quality beers were taxed 90 shillings. The 90 Shilling Ale is a nuanced Scottish Ale, toned down in weight without the sacrifice of profile. The result is a superb Amber Ale that you can take to the bank.

Pre-pour, I again admire the beer label design from Mona Caron. Labels are classical and vintage, with an old-world illustration feel that I think looks excellent on the brown bottle.

I poured this beer to celebrate the discovery that my wife and I are giving birth to a son in the fall. Nothing like a cold ale to help me reflect on the miracle of life and celebrate the many blessings I have been given. 90 Shilling poured a brownish copper into my pint glass, with some really cool cascading that surprised me … reminded me of the cascading effect of Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron actually. It left a nice two-finger head, and boasted a great biscuity nose with races of citrus hops, equally measured. I knew I was in for a treat.

The beer tasted great. At 5.3% ABV, it’s a first-rate thirst quencher bursting with integrity. The sweet biscuity malts are easily identifiable, as are the bitter citrus hops that I detected in the nose. Hops used are Northern Brewer and Cascade. Malts are Crystal, Pale and Chocolate (thanks to Lynsey from Odell).

I feel this beer merits an A grade because it is not only tasty, but it accomplishes what it claims to attempt: the toning down (and Americanization) of a Scottish Ale. It is super drinkable and highly flavorful. Those two traits are the foundation of a good beer, I think. My hat’s off to Odell for yet another great ale. If Odell distributed in Illinois, I would have a hard time not keeping a constant stock of the 90 Shilling on hand. It is an excellent beer for any occasion, worth every shilling.

ABV: 5.3%

Grade: A