1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Blackfriar - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 122
Photo of unit555
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First I will say I only got to drink half of this beer. When I walked out of the room my hound jumped up on the couch and finished the glass. She thinks this ale is double plus excellent and didn't seem to be even slightly phased that it cost $4 a bottle.

I was disappointed that there was virtually no head when I poured it into the glass. The color was a semi dark amber that I would expect from a scottish ale but it was a bit cloudy.

It had a velvety feel in the mouth with a long finish. The taste was VERY malty and slightly sweet.

I think you will be pleased with this brew if you normally like scottish ale.

Photo of Suds
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This liquid is a hazy brown with a lightly reddish hue and a thick, cream-colored head. It’s aroma is appropriately sweet and malty, with a doughy, break-like quality and a roasted-smokey undertone. It’s a pleasing, well-positioned smell that starts the beer off right. There’s also a little alcohol in the smell, which transfers over into the taste. The beer is relatively sweet, with a big bitterness running through it. The finish is particularly bitter, with some hop flavor as well. It’s a simple, well-made, satisfying beer.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blackfriar's perfumey, hop-laced aroma welcomes you to a magical elixir that's almost equally akin to an American ale as it is to its Scottish brethren. And that is the magic of the tiny Inveralmond brewery! But there's more...

It's hazy dark-chestnut body has a deep ruby cast and reveals glowing crimson highlights beneath it's frothy head of tan. The head retention is quite good (especially considering it's alcohol content), and it leaves some very nice spots and splashes of lace about the pint. Smooth and mildly creamy across the palate, it's very fine and natural carbonation helps to enhance it's maltiness. It's firm bitterness, however, is wide and unyielding - anchoring it and leading to a drying, semi-sweet and bitter finish that lingers with notes of burnt caramel. Floral, grassy, and leafy hops swirl here-and-there throughout it's deeply caramel accented, toffee-ish, toasty, nutty, slightly candy-sweet, and subtly roasty maltiness; bringing it to life and lending it a delicate charm that leaves it amazingly drinkable. It's not overly complex, but the interplay between the hops and the rich maltiness is exquisite. Finally, fruity notes from the yeast surface almost immediately as it warms, and lend another level to it's character; leaving it as an almost perfect session ale! And the only thing that hinders that is it's alcohol content of 7%, which is entirely cloaked throughout the first serving at the very least. Impressive!

Photo of meathookjones
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This came in a 500ml bottle. Pours out a fairly hazy deep amber color with about one inch of tan foamy head forming on top. The head dropped quickly but left thick rings of lace around the glass. Malty sweetness in the aroma with fruits and chocolate being most dominate. Also in the nose was a nice smokiness that mixed well with the sweetness, but overall the aroma was a bit mild. Taste starts of with a big fruity sweetness that is mixed with a bit of caramel and chocolate. The smokiness is quite noticeable in the taste as well. Mouthfeel was a little lighter than expected. Pretty drinkable stuff here with the nice mix of flavors. Pretty solid beer that I would definitely pick up again.

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

The body is a clear, medium reddish brown. The head is thick, dense, and lasting. It's an attractive beer. The aroma is slightly spicy hops, cake-like malt and a bit of apple. The flavor is very low in bitterness (as it should for the style), with an apple peel flavor that sets off the mellow malt nicely. This is extremely drinkable. Not a bad beer by any means.

Photo of Crosling
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Mildly aromatic, unpleasant, meaty, hearty, earthy nose with notes of dark fruits, clean supplies, toasted malts and bread.

Quite malty and dry but very hoppy as well with notes of various dark fruits, pine, toasted malts and deep caramel. Odd.

Photo of Tballz420
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a somewhat hazy brown/orange color, with a tiny white head. The scent is mainly caramel malt with some citrus aspects from the hops. Bitter hop whack when the brew hits the tounge, slight alcohol flavor, some spice/pepper taste, mild malts. Medium bodied. Pretty good overall but im not left craving another one.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful artwork on this 500 ml bottle.
Poured out a coppery red with a thin head (due to the pour mostly) that receded to a film that stayed but produced no lace.
Smell was less than I expected, but what came across was a malty sweetness, hops and grass.
Taste was a touch weaker than expected also for this style but consisted of malt, hops and alcohol presence late.
Mouthfeel was very smooth, medium-full bodied, almost creamy in texture.
Drinkability was quite high, would be better if the smell & taste were more pronounced. Still, a good beer.

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

The beer poured amber brown with an off-white head which fell quickly but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with caramel and slight fruitiness and a slight smoke.

The flavor was malty caramel and fruity with a smoky complexity. Definite chocolate presence in the flavor. Also roasty flavors were present on the tip of the tongue. Bitterness keeps the malt in check and leads to a roundness in the flavor.

The finish was off dry with a lingering smoky fruity flavor that took the beer to definitely dry. The body was medium to medium full.

16.9 ounce bottle. I this is 7%, then I need 7% all the time. No alcohol presence to note, only smooth complex flavors.

Photo of RedBaron
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I simply had to pick up this 16.9oz bottle because, A) It's a Scottish ale (one of my favorite styles), B) It had a picture of a forboding looking monk on it, and C) I've never had it!

Appearance: Poured this dark, autumnal red brew into a 20oz. imperial pint glass. Decanted for 10min. before trying. Nice, off-whtie head sustained nicely before I even put my lips to it.

Smell: Very Scottish! Which is to say malty, biscuity, and in the case of this beer, slighty peaty.

Taste: Complex and roasty, this beer is very malty from start to finish. Bready, in a great way. Taste like a touch of rye may have been added. Certainly taking great cues from the scotch culture of the country. But, the brewers know the value of adding a healthy component of bittering hops, too. They're there, they're spicy, and they're basically picked up in the finish -- they just yield, a bit, to the brillance and complexities of the malt. Yum!

Mouthfeel: Solidly malty, but not as chewy as you might surmise from my taste results. I think this is beer has just the right attenuation, as there is a faint dryness in the finish.

Drinkability: Wow, what can I say?! A beautifully crafted Scottish ale. This beer makes me want to don my tartan, pick up some bagpipes, and wander from glen to glen on a brilliantly sunny fall day, declaring the joy and pleasure of this ale. Small wonder it won Best Beer of Scotland in 2002. Aye, summ'un haand me unotha! (But be careful: the abv is 7%!)

Photo of mzwolinski
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear chestnut in color with a thin, light tan head. Not much of an aroma at first, but as with most examples of this style, the toasted malt comes through more strongly as the beer warms. Full mouthfeel with hints of diactyl and a big malt profile. A bit rough in the finish, but overall pretty satisfying.

Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok my Scottish weekend continues.
Poured into my pint glass this is a semi dark brown coloured ale..with a small off white head..that goes fast but a ring of lace remains all the way down.
Nice aroma of slightly roasty malts..very slight peat smoke aroma...this smells fresh though.
mm nice tasting beer ..sweet malts of course ,but not quite as sweet as many scottish type ales..chocolaty flavours, roasty aftertaste..a slight touch of smoke.
very nice on the palte..quite smooth, well carbonated.
I found this beer very easy to drink and liked it a lot..couldnt really detect the alcohol..but give me 4 or 5 and I am sure i would be buzzed!

Photo of newyawker
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The colour of dark tea. however, this brand of tea produces a pretty big head which is tan. Funk and caramel are the odors it represents. Tastes smooth. Big full and soft on the palate, there are notes of molasses present. A bit tart on the finish. Quite the good drinking big beer.

Photo of marc77
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Clear ruby topped by a rocky off white head with respectable retention. Lace remains. Soft esters of a red apple nature along with mellow notes of carob and dark toffee are prevalent in aroma. Trace floral hop and butterscotch hints. Well rounded and understated aromawise. In flavor, the dominant malt impression is of molasses sweetened whole grain biscuit. Diacetyl undertone adds an agreeable richness complementary to the static, mild caramel malt presence. Hints of roasted barley along with the light hop bitterness facilitate a transient drying sensation, which is superceded by an agreeable surge of buttery dark chocolate and nutty brittle mid palate. A touch too light in body to match malt character, but dangerously drinkable as a result. Finishes mostly clean, with hints of treacle and woody hops fleeting quickly. Quite a tasty and well crafted brew that's intermediate in character between an 80 Shilling and Wee Heavy. Superbly drinkable and soft on the palate. Very tasty.

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$4.45 @ Charles Street Liquors, Boston, MA:


Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark tawny color shows it has dropped bright, excellent lacing clings to the glass like a champ.

Smell: Steely malt with a mild caramel sweetness, faint diacetyl and a ghost like figginess. Mild hopping though enough to take on the heavy malt profile.

Taste & Mouth Feel: A subtle mix of toasted and roasted malt … more toasted. A kiss of buttery diacetyl with a long drawn breadiness. Black pepper and herbal hop, warming alcohol and a hard toasted grain in the end.

Drinkability & Notes: Close to a meal in a bottle, certainly a malt lovers brew.

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another free sample... nice brown color, with no idea of how the head would pour into a regular sized glass.

The malt aroma was strong and rich, and the alcohol was prominent.

The taste was of complex malts and a niticeable alcohol aftertaste. Exactly what a good Scotch ale should be. It was a little too strong on the alcohol for me (I prefer it to be masked by the other flavors). Still, a good beer overall.

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those beers that was purchased for the fancy artwork. The bottle is nice - the beer is medium.

Pours a nice redish brown color with a medium sized rocky head on top.

Smell is a combination of toffee, caramel and alcohol.

Taste has a nice bite to it, more than suggested by the smell. The sweetness dies off quickly and leaves you tasting mostly alcohol which I found surprising.

The body was a little thin for me. I was hoping to have a thicker smoother drinking beer from this one, but it was a little light and bubbly going down.

Photo of tavernjef
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clearish red caramel brown color, small compact beige head lifts slowly up then back down to a thin skim and rough collar where the lacing moslty sticks in small spots and globs. Aroma has lots of soothingly calm caramel, a bit of roasty/toasty toffee, quite soft and inviting overall and rounds out with brown sugar and maple syrup notes. Taste has small and easy front, a bit empty, smooth and gentle caramel work there way in around midway. Some toastier factions come to play with a toffee roast and hard grain breadyness. Hops help finish it off with a leafy and dried variant thats biting more so in texture then with bitterness. Keeps its toasty edge fairly long and even later smaller efforts of the caramel make their way through too. A long holding finish. Feel starts out light and smooth with a gradual building base of malts and toast and a eager little finish with a good lasting quality that was the clincher for me into liking it. But it could have a bolder, richer body throughout, it really only has a strong hold towards the finish and within the finish. Still enjoyable enough for a Scotch Ale. I have to keep reminding myself its not a wee heavy scotch which I like much more then these regular ones.

Photo of ADR
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and lightly reddish brown. The head is slightly weak, kind of gives up after a few seconds. Stringy lace. Smells of maple sugar, malty in most aspects. Starts light in mouthfeel, gets heavier in the stomach, a weird sense of released carbonation to me. Taste is fine across the board, malt-defined and moving in a spiced caramel direction. Finishes up at the back with a touch of crocus-like bittering. A bit of cashew nutiness on later sips. Pretty good, the texture seemed a bit off for me, and its a little on the one note side.

Photo of Skidz
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a light brown and sits a deep reddish brown in the glass. Small white head sits atop this attractive looking brew. I'm not usually attracted to most beers just by looking at them, but this one just gleams and screams when held up to the light; it's a beatiful gradient of oranges and reds, and just a tinge of yellow near the bottom, and the condensation on the glass only strengthens the appearance.

Smells of caramel, butterscotch, candi sugar, raspberries, cherries and malts all over. Big, sweet, full aroma.

Tastes of raspberries, cherries, caramel with a sweet tanginess that brings you back for more. Some nice hop bitterness way at the end, good feelings in the back of my mouth.

The mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth and rich, boasting a medium body with mild carbonation. Easy to drink, delightful to taste. Great for drinking at the end of a meal in lieu of dessert, as this itself is quite a tasty treat.

Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a white, one finger-head leaving a nice lace. Nice clear amber color. Good carbonation. Medium bodied. Nose is raeson/cider. Starts malty and sweet, finishes with a good mix of hops and malt but a slight bitter/hoppy aftertaste. $4.20 for a 500ml bottle.

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

Deep amber, borderline mahogany color. A thin veil of foam and a tad bit of lace throughout. Aromas run deep, and rich with caramel malt-dark roast-taking the lead. A toasty/sweet malt component chimes in as well. A chunky mouthfull of brew here-full bodied and almost chewy in texture. Flavors are deep and brooding with gobs of buttery caramel-dark roast again, and a very strong black coffee like bitter coming from the hops. The brew is almost sweet in flavor, and it is very extracted and concentrated, almost ice-bock like in flavor, but milder. The finish continues well into the two minute zone! Not a slammer, but one to kick back with and savor. Gracious-Shelton

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Stumpy brown 500ml glass bottle. One label runs almost 360° around the wide body of the bottle. The label is at times difficult to read thanks to its highly reflective shiny metallic look. No freshness date but listed as 7%.

Appearance: A rather appealing perfectly lucid dark chestnut brown body with some orange hue. The head is smooth and a creamy mix of light tan and beige.

Nose: This smells great. Malts, Toffee and soothing Caramels. Damn fruity and quite pungent to boot. Deep inhalation is rewarded with a classic fruity Scotch Ale. McEwan’s take note.

Taste: This is quite amazing, it seems to constantly change, either that or my simple brain is merely unable to distinguish the myriad of flavors all at once, and just picks them out randomly at times. A nice thick fruity malty start builds into toffees, nuts, burnt brown sugar, bonfire toffee, raisins, a Twix like milk chocolate covered biscuit & caramel, some dark skinned berries soaked into Edinburgh Shortcake with some faded Curacao and some more dark toffee in the finish. Get ready to be hit by some sharp hops in the back end also. This is a very good Scotch Ale.

Mouthfeel: Beautifully creamy, smooth yet fruity, sharp and ultimately bitter in the dying end. Thick, but nicely balanced and a way above average feel that is carpet-like at times as it coats the tongue.

Drinkability: Well, I absolutely “demolished” this bottle, the half litre was gone in absolutely no time. Guess it’s rather drinkable then?! LMAO.

Overall: Cost me $4.79 at AJ’s Fine Foods in AZ, but this was well worth it.

“Occhk, cee ewe, ah reet feckin’ lark dis wee canni bru”

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Brown 16.9oz bottle with the image of a spooky looking Friar stirring a brew kettle.
It pours a shiny, deep dark amber color with a fair-sized off-white head, which fades to a lasting rim.
A sweet malty aroma blends with a peaty grassy smell. A mild smell of hops and faint rummy alcohol fuminess begin to emerge as it warms.
Sweet slightly burnt caramel, fresh bread and a light herbal malt taste make for a nice full-bodied ale. Lemon zest, fresh oranges and a bit of spiciness offer a good blend of hoppy flavors. The alcohol, while noticeable, is well proportioned to the rest of the ingredients.
This is my new favorite Scottish Ale.
Thanks Genaro!

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

Pours a nice bronze color with a light soapy head,great fruity aroma,fruit just bursting real nice.Taste is more malt tilted wich I expected nice and fruity with a light hop bitterness that comes thru more as it warms along with a light earthiness.Seems to be a tad watery but really drinkable for the alcohol content,a nice find.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Blackfriar from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
87 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.