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Blackfriar - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

138 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 14
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: daledeee on 12-02-2003)
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WYVYRN527


3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just arrived at the store today. Therefore I had to give it a try. The beer pours a dark amber with a finger-thick, off-white head that settles to a fine film on the top. Lacing is nice, but has a bit of a soap suds look to it. The nose is sweet, with a nutty character and hints of caramel. The flavors of this brew are better than the nose. It starts nutty with caramel and brown sugar, but finishes pleasantly dry. This beer is full bodied, and yet does not overwhelm the palate. It's a solid brew, and definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 23:54:56 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of Offa


4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very tasty Scottish ale that is a little on the hoppier side for the style.

Hazy reddish amber, it has a very big tan head, shrinking very slowly and leaving a little bit of lace.

The aroma is caramelly toast, raisiny alcohol, chocoltae, hints of coffee, citrus, and pine.

The taste is raisiny and fruity with a hint of rum, caramel, leafy and ctirsuy, a mostly fruity-grainy, raisiny sweetness with light hoppy bitterness taking over in the end along with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 22:47:25 | More by Offa
Photo of bmwats


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500ml into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber. Floating sediment. Low carbonation pours into a half finger, foamy white head, which quickly settles leaving a smattering of bubbles. Some spotty lacing remains.

S: Light malt and yeast, a little pine, maybe some clove or oregano.

T: Malt, hops, pine nuts. Tastes like it smells.

M: Light on the palette, but really hearty. Strong alcohol taste, and dry finish. The twang in the slightly metallic aftertaste bites and hangs around to taunt you.

D: Good drinkability. Flavor and feel. . .

Really cool appearance, and a biting nose. Strong, full, distinctive flavor. Solid feel. Really good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 05:54:56 | More by bmwats
Photo of russpowell


3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes

Pours an effervescent & semi-hazed caramel with a pinky of tan head. clears half way through the bottle. Good head retention & lacing

S: Plums, other dark fruit & cinnamon

T: Plums, leafy hops, figs& & orange slices up front. Charred malt & dark fruit show up as this warms, plus grapefruitty hops??? Finishes dry & fruitty with a touch of honey

MF: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, This drinks more like an American Strong Ale IMO. Still a nice one to sip one cool December evening

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 02:09:28 | More by russpowell
Photo of ncbeermonger

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW, before I had this beer I had not had a scotish Ale I could say I enjoyed. Now I am searching for others that live up to this one....no avail!
It pours rich and brown with hints of amber. The bottle was a bit pricey, but well worth it! I don't know of many places around here that serve this beer but any time I see it be sure I will become a regular at that bar!

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 18:51:48 | More by ncbeermonger
Photo of juzy


3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy, amber/copper, almost clear. Not a huge head, vanished quickly, left a ring of small lace around edge of glass.

Nose: whiskey, caramel

Taste: malty, bit of hop bite, slight note of grapefruit, more hop profile than I expected.

Drinks easy enough. Overall a decent beer, nothing fantastic, but solid.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 23:11:17 | More by juzy
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle from Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a hazy copper body with a half inch of slowly dissipating off-white head. Smells sweet, bready, and buttery. Tastes sweet, toasty, grassy, buttery, with caramel, brown sugar, and bready notes. Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Fairly drinkable for the style. A tasty solid one for sure - not too much wrong here.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 02:31:07 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of JamesS


3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark amber/copper color with good head, a lot of initial carbonation, and a bit of lacing. Nice scent, very deep, more smoke with less peat, and a lot of malt. Mixture of tastes, there's a definite maltiness, a deep smokey flavor, a burst of sweetness (as a milk stout), followed by more smoke and a not very well covered alcohol hit. It does go down fairly smooth for a higher ABV brew, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 00:54:59 | More by JamesS
Photo of LumpyGuitar

New York

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim, wasn't dissapointed!

Poured a crisp coppery orange with finger of fluffy head, good lacing.

Smells very sweet and spicy. You can definately smell the alchol, which suprises me because its 7%, as well as some caramel undertones.

Taste is unique, roasted and spicy, reminds of rye bread, very heady and warm, alot like a Wee Heavy. Alot of hop and a spicy bitter finish. Breathing deep after the first sip reminds me of the alcohol presence, not as large as it was in the smell but still there.

Mouthfeel is heavy and grainy, carbonation is a bit sharp but it flows well.

Drinkability here is good. I'll be getting some more of these and its worth a try. The whole beer makes me feel like it was crossed between two styles, Wee Heavy and Scotch Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2008 23:30:28 | More by LumpyGuitar
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice orangey copper color which boasts a soapy head of cream that drops generous lace splotches on the glass.

Big grainy malts lend quite a candy/taffy-like element to the aroma, while some fruit and spice creep in, as well. At 7%, I'm surprised to get some of boozy warmth in the nose, which is a little too strong but brings out some nice toffee/caramel characteristics. A direct, captivating smell, but it would be better if the aftershave element were diminished.

Roasted grains don't take over in the flavor, but they're there, letting the spicier elements come through. Spices are soft and kind of dessert-y, neither sharp nor overly sweet. Has a hint of roughness like a darker, grainier bread, and some mild flashes of fruit and vanilla. A surprising hop presence starts with the typical bitterness of hops but ends up in the finish as a tart, nearly sour character. Medicinal touches in the nose don't really appear in the flavor save for a distant hint of scotch whiskey in the background.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy but with plenty of carbonation to keep it from feeling flat. If I couldn't taste or smell, but only feel, I'd guess that was an IPA or Double IPA.

Drinkability seems just a tad lower than everything else, as it's got a roughness that edges out the milder elements...and that hop bitterness is strong for the style. It's almost like a Scottish Ale/IPA hybrid. No matter, it's plenty enjoyable, and I wouldn't think twice about picking it up again.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 19:29:09 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours pretty clear reddish copper color with a small 1/8" head of small of white bubbles. The head mostly falls within a minute and a small layer of bubbles hangs around on top of the beer for quite a while after the pour.

Aroma: This beer smells totally British. If it didn't say "scottish ale" on the side of the bottle, I would swear it was an ESB. The hops are very noticeable as is the minerals in the water...just from the nose! Lots of toasty British malts make up the rest of the aroma.

Taste: It doesn't taste as much like an ESB as it smells. The hops are not as assertively in the bittering as they are in the aroma. The water is not as harsh as I expected from the aroma. The beer comes across the palate quite thin for this style, and finishes somewhat watery with only a very slight balance toward the malt. There are plenty of toasty British malt flavors left on the palate quite a while after the sip.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer overall. I wouldn't call it a Strong Scotch Ale by any means, but it may classify as some sort of Wee Heavy or some such. I expect these beers to be more of a dessert-like experience, but this one starts to walk the line to the South and come in like a bitter. Anyway, it is a decent beer to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 02:24:50 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of tmitch75


4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque brown color with a thick head of big bubbles. head drops fast and leaves lots of lace.

Smells malty & sweet - nutty, woody, smoky.

Tastes the same with less little smoke and a slight hop finish.

Medium to full body befitting the style.

Very tasty. Not the best scottish ale I've had but still very smooth and drinkable.

Tasted on 1/27/08

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 05:21:43 | More by tmitch75
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, .09 fl oz bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a dark-copper, ruby-red colored hue with an enormous frothy head that exhibited adequate staying power before slowly receding...
Smell was full of whiskey and brandy notes, along with suggestions of caramel and sugars...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, with a powerful hint of caramel, vanilla, scotch, candied sugars, toffee, and almonds... Very thick, rich, and creamy taste bursting with character and flavor and an all-around great representation of the style...
Creamy, rich mouthfeel with this one...
Drinkability was solid due to the unique, rich combination of flavors that really hit home... In addition, the 7% ABV is pretty well-masked behind an intricate combination of wonderful flavors... Recommended...

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2008 23:39:31 | More by dsa7783
Photo of Vancer


3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Damn fine frosty, but the import price of almost $5 will be a problem.

Caramel dominates here: the pour is caramel, plenty in both the aroma and quaff. A regular malt float with the nip of scotch/bourbon hinting beneath the surface. Also, a surprising pop o' hop really downplays any sweetness.

I'll be done with this 500ml in a heartbeat, it was a real pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 22:38:04 | More by Vancer
Photo of DoubleJ


3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There's a half-liter of (hopefull) joy sitting inside the bottle. "Champion Beer of Scotland 2002" is displayed left of the name. On to the beer:

The beer pours a murky brown caramel color into my snifter with visible yeast and a short head. Caramel, berries, and smoked wood appear to be the flavors of the day in this beer. Cabonation is extremely light, though it could be a sign that the bottle I got was old. Not bad overall, but it's likely better fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 06:42:37 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of BBM

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the more powerful Scottish ales I've had (not to be confused with a Scotch Ale), and it does a nice job of blending the rich malts and caramel character with a nice subtle dose of English hops. The aroma is sweet and inviting, and the mouthfeel is delightfully smooth and full. The alcohol is masked to the point where it's undetectable; impressive considering this is 7%. Overall a very nice job.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 15:26:38 | More by BBM
Photo of shaebs99

New York

3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before Nov. 07 according to this bottle

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice deep copper color with good sticky lacing. Slight bit of sediment got into the glass (presumably bottle conditioned, I hope :) )

Aroma is mostly of sweet and toasted malts with some tangy/sour notes. Light bit of hop aroma

Taste is primarily of toasted malts. Lots of caramel and toffee flavor. With a decent amount of hop bitterness. Perhaps a touch of smokiness.

Could hardly believe this was 7% from the bottle I had. Nice, drinkable and enjoyable. I might want a bit more malt or smokiness in my scottish ales, but this one was still quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2007 04:15:01 | More by shaebs99
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to bruskiator for letting me try this one. Lots of smoke, lighter color than expected, nice tan head, burnt roasted malts noticeable in the taste and smell. lots of maltiness (peat?). not one of my favorites of this style, a bit hard to finish a pint.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 01:36:24 | More by Backer2004
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cloudy brown/burnt orange color. It had a big rocky head which quickly dissipated. The smell is malty with caramel and smoke aromas present. The taste is mostly of malt. There are some hints of bitterness and slight smoke as well. The mouthfeel is full and seems quite appropriate. Overall, this is a nice flavorful brew that I’d consider solid.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2007 22:37:58 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of malibujohnny


3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best before date of Nov 2007.Pours into my tall Starfleet academy pilsner glass.A deep very old dirty penny color with minimal bubbles at best.Got a strange amount of floating sediment throughout the glass,not a bad thing,just was not expecting it.Smells like a brown Belgian to me.Ripe fruitiness seems to overpower the maltiness that i was expecting from a ale from Scotland.The carbonation is on the lighter end and the taste was close to what i smell.It tastes like a light brown Belgian with the minimal malting i wanted from the champion beer of Scotland 2002.If i drank this at a blind taste test i would have never guessed a Scottish ale.It is very drinkable and smooth.After it warms a bit the 7% gives it just a little bit more warming character that is ver pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 01:32:40 | More by malibujohnny
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At 7% I might be inclined to call it a Scotch ale, though it's not very malty.

A: Cloudy copper with a light tan head, light retention, some lace.

S: A big nose: earthy, orange rind, caramel, dark fruit.

T: Dark fruit, earth, orange rind, pineapple, mango; good bitterness, alcohol is warming. Not really typical for a scotch ale... it's not very malty, a little more bitter, and there's some tropical fruity esters (yeast shouldn't get that warm in Scotland).

M: Well attenuated, pleasant mouthfeel, but it lacks malty body I generally associate with a Scotch ale.

D: Good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 01:55:19 | More by Derek
Photo of albern


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very nice Scotch ale. It pours a deep reddish amber, plenty enough cloudy, with a good head, good lacing, and very moderate carbonation. The smell is sweet malts, a little whisky, burnt sugar, and some other floral sweetness. The taste is full bodied, brown sugar, sweet whisky, burnt malts, perhaps a little burnt straw too, maybe some molasses with a raisiny flavor. Although this beer has loads of malts, there is some hoppy balance too, the aftertaste is not cloying sweetness, but it is a warming alcohol on the tongue. The mouth feel is a bit heavy, and you would think this beer closer to 10 ABV with its heaviness, and alcohol in the aftertaste. If you like the burnt sugary malt flavors of a Scotch ale, then you will like this ale. It doesn't have as much of the burnt flavor as other Scotch ales I've tasted, and it is a little sweeter, but it is still a nice representation of the style. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 22:33:12 | More by albern
Photo of July2Nov


3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful sunburst auburn with hardly any carbonation at all.
S: Sweet malty smell with the hint of caramel.
T&M: Deep with a smoke taste of malt. Tastes much the same way after eating a bunch of peanuts: that chalky taste. Also has a sort of pine taste.
D: It a bit on the heavy side but taking that into account, I can envision drinking more of this. If only I could find more of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 04:03:29 | More by July2Nov
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle at the Bacchanalia, a fantastic small beer+wine shop in Cambridge. BB NOV 07, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: the 90% transparent light reddish-copper gem is carefully poured with an air-tight and creamy beige froth with a superb retention, on top of constant flows of tiny fizziness ascending from the bottom. Looking gorgeous!
S: salty-sweet marinated prunes and burnt+creamy+metallic malts assume the dominance, underlined by a deeper, sticky and aromatic fruity undertone mixed of coconuts, caramelised apple-slices, more berries, some (random) orangey-citrusness, on top of slightly-earthy-yet-aromatic Fuggles hops. Smelling like a Scottish Ale, but a sweeter version of Premium Bitter also springs to mind - the hop mixure is reminiscent of Young's Special London Ale to me.
T: a semi-sharp flow of bitter hops and sour-sweet redcurrant cordial fall heavily onto the palate (with a touch of coughing-syrup like phenolic-berries on the side), while an utterly dry, burnt bitterness gradually cuts deep down the palate, providing plenty of dried tea-leaves, tangy dried grapefruit-zests, bitter Chinese dried herbs, on top of a soothing flow of warming alc. The aftertaste remains extremely dryish & chewy bitter, balancing off the cara. & creamy malts just beautifully.
M&D: as this is an unfiltered ale (judging from the sediments left in the bottle), the mouthfeel is really fresh and soft, not fizzy or artificial at all. Despite its alc. strength, the tremendous hop bitterness and burnt flavour both render it a more-ish and quaffable drink. The flavour doesn't boast as much toffee and peat-smokeness as many of its counterparts, but the end result is all the same - solid and delicious. A lovely crossing b/w ESB and Scottish Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 01:48:09 | More by wl0307
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I couldn't agree with Canucklehead more...

Dark, burnt amber colour with dense, tan head.

Peat-smoked malt smell with faint, sweet caramel undertones.

Pleasant, bitter burnt malt taste, with a nice hop profile. Coffee bean and whisky flavours. Rich, but not cloying or overpowering.

One of the better Scottish ales I've had. This almost borders on a Wee Heavy, but is still light enough to be drinkable but not heavy.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 06:24:50 | More by BDTyre
Blackfriar from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
88 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.