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Blackfriar - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.
BlackfriarBlackfriar

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BA SCORE
87
very good

158 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 14
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: daledeee on 12-02-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 122
Photo of Svingjo
4/5  rDev +2.8%

This poured a translucent copper with a thin white head that dispersed quickly. The nose has a strong dark fruit, prunes, figs and dates, nose as we'll as some dark sugar and malt notes with zero hops to be found. A lot of those same flavours are in the taste along with some roasted nut and bready notes. There is a hint of bitter hops in the back end of the finish. It had a nice medium body with just the right amount of carbonation. A nice scotch ale that was quite enjoyable.

Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, day 13 of the 2014 Craft Beer Advent calendar - so this is a sort-of monk-adjacent Scottish ale?

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, lazily foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some low-lying rocky shoreline lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of musty, sugary fruit - kind of like that stuff they jam into fruitcake - semi-sweet bready caramel malt, a bit of yeasty phenols, muddled bruised drupe fruit, a touch of sour cherry, and herbal, leafy hops. The taste is grainy caramel malt, a touch of toffee pudding, broad black fruit notes - plum, date, and maraschino cherry - subtle bittersweet cocoa and cafe au lait, a hint of butterscotch, orange marmalade, faint smoked peat, and more staid leafy, herbal hops.

The bubbles are quite engaging in their coy frothiness, the body a dense medium weight, and mostly smooth, with perhaps a bit of acrid fruitiness, and a burgeoning booze warmth taking it down a notch. It finishes off-dry, the complex malt and various aged fruit essences swirling about a musty hoppiness.

An interesting, and generally drinkable Scottish Ale, with lots going on, and even exhibiting a few Old Ale impressions along the way. I'm guessing that the dark monks of titular lore would find this appropriately "braw 'n nae peely-wally".

Photo of Bunman3
4/5  rDev +2.8%

I will begin with a caveat - I love this style of beer, but this is the first one that is actually brewed in Scotland. The packaging is great and it looks very nice - perhaps lighter in color than I expected. The head dissipated quickly and it remained active throughout my sampling. There are many layers of flavor here - dark fruit, caramel
malt and a toffee sweetness. Another winner from my Craft Beer Advent calendar!

Photo of Mlkluther
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Day 13 of the BeerAdvent calendar.

Pours a nice copper colour with a white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a lace ring.

Nose has candied fruit, plum, sour cherry, and spice.

Taste is smooth and follows the nose. This tastes like Christmas pudding.

Outstanding!

Photo of djoprahwinfrey
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - slightly hazy dark copper pour, 1/2 finger of sparse big bubbled head, fairly fast dissipation into decent lace ring

S - fruity, pear, grape, melon, a bit of sourness, malty

T - strong dark fruits to start with plums, black cherry, pear, some sour grape, some pepper and spice in the middle to a rather clean and slightly dry finish

M - high carbonation, sharp, slight dry aftertaste

O - enjoyable and warming. this one crept up on me

Photo of doktorhops
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second brew from the Inveralmond Brewery is Blackfriar, and firstly I must say I love the sound of this ale - dark, brooding and powerful like a good beer should be. Plus there's a picture of a druid making shit in a pot, implying that druids might kick back and sip this brew whilst preparing for their next animal transformation... who doesn't like druids? No one!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: A deep murky amber body with a sticky off-white head that dissipates to a lace ring.

S: Brandy note upfront followed by dark fruits such as; plum, raisin and fig. Finishes with buttery diacetyl and a hint of herbal hops. So far it's a festive ale we have here.

T: That buttery diacetyl is very prominent in the flavour, along with tastes of macerated figs, caramel malts, Brandy, bread yeast and the finish is a slight herbal hop note. Smooth, balanced and with more butterscotch than you can fit into a packet of Werther's Originals.

M: Medium bodied with a light UK pub style carbonation.

D: Top marks for fitting this much diacetyl in a brew. The flavours mix well and it's a decent Scottish ale. Does it compete with the likes of Skull Splitter? Depends on if you like more of a butterscotch flavour or more of a stronger more balanced ale. My money is definitely with Skull Splitter though this is a semi-reasonable substitute.

Food match: Did someone say butterscotch pudding? No, it's not sweet enough for that, however it would match a nice Medieval banquet with roasted pheasant, terrine of game meats, confit of duck and spiced roasted pig on a spit.

Photo of Murrhey
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500ml standard pressure-cap bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont.

A- Two-finger off-white head atop a walnut colored body. Active carbonation, long retention, great lacing. Fine looking beverage.

S- Surprisingly tangy, roasted malts. Aromatic but not too floral.

T- Roasty, sweet malt body. Tangy, tasty.

M- Rich, smooth body with a bit of a carbonation tang.

O- I didn't describe this beer well. It's good, but it's hard for me to tell you why.

Photo of soju6
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark copper color with a fair head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of dark fruit, caramel, bit of nuts and spice.

T: Taste of caramel sweetness, dark fruit, trace of spice and chocolate. Mild bitterness and the finish is quite dry.

F: Moderate body, smooth and warming. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: Enjoyable beer. Goes best with a cold evening.

Photo of puboflyons
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 500 ml. bottle marked 2310. Sampled on December 16, 2012. The label is very nice so I expect I will add this bottle to my collection.

It pours a very milky amber-copper with a soft mocha head that sticks around for awhile.

The aroma has all of those Scottish Wee Heavy sweet esters including caramel malts, toffee, bubblegum, and brown sugar.

The body falls into the medium range.

The aroma is sweet but the taste is significantly more bitter with caramel hops evolving into a lingering hop finish. Biting to a degree but very nice.

Photo of heygeebee
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BB Jan 13

Pours a dark brown mahogany body with a two finger fluffy white head. Head stays for a while lovely clingy lace.

Aromas of butterscotch caramel roast malt toffee. All to style.

Taste is a malt driven version of all of the above. Starts well but begins to fade in mouth and become slightly watery and too light of flavour for the ABV.

Mouthfeel light carbonated and somewhat watery

Not sure if this wants to be a Big Beer or a sessionable beer. The ABV should say big, but the end result is a sessionable tasting ale, at a non-sessionable ABV

Photo of codyhotel
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours with a large, thick head that holds well which I very much enjoyed. Clear, orange-ish to amber colour.

S - More hops than I expected, fruitiness. Good amount of toasty malts, bit of yeast.

T - Lots of sweet caramel malts and honey, some earthy fruits, and a hint of chocolate on the finish. Hops give it a nice dryness and tartness for balance, but the flavour isn't really there.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, very smooth feel. Dry finish, leaves the palate fairly clean.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Very drinkable, great to sip on.

Photo of cambabeer
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good ale. The deep brown color has a head that sticks around. The smell is malty for sure, with some hops in the background. Definitely smells sweet. Big taste, malty and sweet, with the hops and alcohol taking off the edge of the huge malty character. The alcohol is prevalent in the middle and the aftertaste is bitter yet fruity. Buy this, it's good. Not world class, but good.

Photo of dansmcd
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, dark reddish amber with a creamy finger of head and nice streaky lacing.

S - Sweet and spicy, orange peel hops, caramel malt.

T - Lovely toasted malt with english hops, cumquat, orange, honey, toffee, with some smoke and a wee nip of scotch whisky. Lovely.

M - Full bodied but not too heavy, moderately carbonated.

O - Very drinkable and I will certainly buy again soon.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas Eve day outing with my nephew, and digging for beers in the lackluster list at Old Chicago in Sioux Falls. Picked Black Friar before pulling it up on my database and realizing I've had it before. However, the last bottle was highly rated from 2004, so not a bad idea to try it again to see how my tastes have changed.

From the Inveralmond website: Blackfriar is one of three ancient orders of monks central to the history of Perth in Scotland. The monastery of the Blackfriar was built in 1231. In 1437 James I of Scotland was assassinated by traitors there.

Hazy light copper ale with shimmering amber with light from the window. Head thin and disappears quickly. Dishwater brown with irregular bubbles while it lasts. Caramel, toffee on top of light biscuit and earthiness. Mineral in background that's characteristic of Scotch ales. Light spice or sharp note that I'm note sure of the source. Strong caramel and malt taste. Same spice from yeast, maybe, that leads to an assertive aftertaste that's pleasant. Warmed up, the beer opens up and is more balanced. Mineral background disappears and just leaves a clean spice.

In looking over some of the other reviews, I'll definitely will be on the high end of this beer--2004 and now. In part, I'm going to guess that some drank the beer too cold and too fast, as it changes character significantly as it warms. Or, this beer just matches my palate.

Photo of eric5bellies
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a nice red mahogany coulour with a tight two fingered, off white head that retains very well.

S - A little bit of hop and malt but not massive.

T - Nioce toffee flavours and complimented by some small hop and roasted malt.

M - Medium body and carbonation

O - A solid Ale without being spectacular

Photo of danieelol
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Good colour- red/ochre with good head and lacing.

S: Really sweet candies (malt). Almost a peaty/corny note in there. Some sweet green apple and oxidation.

T: caramel, roast, apple, toffee. Tastes really three dimensional, like there's always something going on in the background. Some good hop bitterness, some good alcohol dryness and some good sweetness. Also some piney hops and really a mounting hop bitterness. Very well balanced.

M: Highly carbed and just good all round.

O: Whatever it's meant to be, this beer nails it. Skilfully brewed and recommended, even if it's not my favourite style.

Photo of Zimbo
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amberish brown and almost sparkling this had a fluffy thin head with some faint tablet toffee on the nose.
Some finesse for this style of beer with a bit of a twist at the end of the longish malty almost rich taste.
Not at all cloying. Insanely drinkable and rather on the light end of this particular style of beer.

Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes taken during a January 2011 trip to Glasgow, Scotland. Served from a cask into a pint glass. It was served off a just-freshly tapped cask; this beer couldn't be fresher unless I were at the brewery.

A: Pours a clear dark amber. Thin head of fair retention.

Sm: Fresh albeit musty scent of barley. Difficult to detect individual notes with me broken nose.

T: Nice body - multiple notes unexpected from the nose. Near malty finish, it's lacking in unique flavour.

Mf: Very smack-your-lips crisp like, but a bit too smooth. Nice cream on the finish. Too wet.

Dr: Hides its ABV extremely well, but it's pricey. Overall, I'm unimpressed.

Photo of irishevans
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[From Notes]
A- Pours a two finger light yellowish-white head, like the color of a liver injury patient (trust me I know). the body is a light, almost golden yellow around the bottom, it's more of a bright hazy orange as it goes up eventually to almost an amber color at the very top.

N- bready, yeasty, malty. some caramel and other sweet hints. smells like it's a total Malt Bomb.

T- Malt-a-Rific. Caramel light bread yeast, slight fruitiness. a hint of molasses. All this is countered (albeit very slightly) with just the right amount of herbal hop flavor. it also has a bittersweet finish that goes on much like the energizer bunny.

M- the right amount of dryness, perfect graininess level, and a nice tingle in the jowls.

D- Lovely sipping beer, and a much easier drinker than I had expected @ 7%. I really do quite like it, but it's no Full Curl (bring back the Dall Sheep M-Sun!!!)

Photo of Phelps
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beeradvocate has this one labeled as a Scottish ale, while the brewery lists it on their site as a Scotch Ale. Poured from a bottle with a best before date of Nov. 2007. Rather old, but in this state I'm not bound to find it any fresher.

Pours a deep maroon caramel color, slightly hazy and topped with half-finger head of sandy tan that lingers for a while. Some fat stripes of lace are left behind as I drink.

Smells a little oxidized. Buttery toffee mixed with caramel, dried apricot and raisins. Sweet and rich.

Butter again in the flavor, but tempered with a nice bready toastiness. Lightly bitter dark malt hits the sides of the tongue, along with raisins, apricot, caramel and a slight tinge of ethanol. Sweet before a dryish finish

Medium light body, very slightly fizzy, with light massaging, tongue-numbing carbonation. A little weak and runny.

From reading other reviews, it seems the buttery toffee notes are a common occurrence with this beer. In that case, it's stood up well to the test of time. A sweeter interpretation of the style, but decent.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer pours a hazy glowing deep copper body with a chunks of yeast suspended with a strong carbonation. The head is a bubbly light tan that last for a few sips.
S- The aroma of cooked apples and malt has some fruity qualities and some light toffee notes underneath but the aroma is otherwise very clean.
T- The tart bitterness in the finish is the stronger flavor although even that is soft. There is a softer sweetness of malt with some dry biscuit and honey malt notes followed by a water wort flavor. There is a solventy alcohol tasted in the finish but the bitter flavor lingers after the finish.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish and some alcohol burn that grows a bit as the beer opens.
D- The bitterness of hops dominates and that doesn't even have the hop flavor to support it. The malt has some floral cleaner quality with the alcohol heat and that makes this a bit tough to get through.

Photo of MirImage
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A slightly opaque reddish copper base with a white head that poured nicely and stayed with the glass, decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet malty. Earthy notes. Cannot pick up much hop aroma but it is a Scotch Ale.

Taste: Some roasted malt flavors but reminiscent of a stout. A pleasantly sweet front which dries out in a back. A little more of a roasted favor than I am use to with Scotch Ales, very good though.

Mouthfeel: Very good feeling around the mouth virtually no carbonation bite.

Drinkability: It started tasting a little hot after a while. Not something I want to drink a ton of.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass. This beer is a little different in color than I expected. It has the orange/amber glow color as a double IPA or Belgian Pale Ale. Not much clarity to it, it has a creamy white head, but it goes away pretty quickly, not much lacing. The smell is very good, but doesn't really smell too much like a Scottish Ale. Hoppy with some sweet malt flavors, and a little buttery. The taste is a step up, again with the sweet malts, caramelized, a little bit of a butterscotch flavor and a hint of liquorish flavor in my opinion. Grainy taste and has a Hoppy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very good. Full bodied, creamy with a slightly dry finish from the hops. Slight bite, and good carbonation tone, very drinkable. Haven't had it in about 4 years, the first real import I had and what got me interested in trying new beer. Even though I've had many different Scottish Ales in the past, this one is certainly different from the rest. Good beer, I'd recommend anyone to try it.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.66/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of grain and cereal with some dry notes and limited sweetness. Taste is also dominated by dry cereal with lightly unrefined grain notes and minimal residual sugars. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A bit too dry and grainy for my taste.

Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. there was a huge amount of foamy, very long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: Smelled like most Scottish Ales: Caramel, malt, maybe a little fruit.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, caramel, molasses, fruit, and alcohol. Not as dynamic as you'd expect, but it does get better as it goes along.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Despite some unevenness, this is a drinkable beer.

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Blackfriar from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
87 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.