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Lia Fail - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.
Lia FailLia Fail

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very good

122 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 122
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 86
Reviews by doktorhops:
Photo of doktorhops
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Scotland - home of the brave, birthplace of Whiskey, and a staggering wealth of natural beauty. They make a decent beer too, and Lia Fail proclaims itself no slouch with a heady mix of Challenger, Cascade and Fuggles hops, a bevy of the finest hops ever bred into existence. As I pour this brew into my glass I badly want it to live up to it's promised destiny.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Says dark beer on the bottle but the hue is more a clear deep amber on the body, heading towards a tea-like red/brown, with a dense beige lacing for a head. Not as advertised in my opinion but appearance is one of the least important factors in a beer so it's no big deal.

S: Fairly sweet, brown sugar molasses note upfront, with roasted grain and some earthy hops in the background. The hops are less prominent than expected from reading the label however it's not the first time a label has been misleading and it certainly wont be the last. There is a hint of rye floating around as well which adds well to the aroma.

T: That roasted grain base looms wantonly over the whole flavour. This brew smacks of red ale flavours; toasted malt, sweet brown sugar, a tea-like tannin towards the end and light earthy/medicinal hops. It's well balanced but a little on the "I wish more was happening" boring side. Sessionable? Maybe, but wait till I get to the end of the review first.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation.

D: Sessionable? Yes, definitely. It quite predictably gets more exciting as it warms to room temperature, as a good Scottish ale should. Once you reach room temp the flavours lash out with a left-right combo that Rocky wishes he could pull off... and now that I've pissed off all the Rocky fans let's talk about price - it's above average pricing at $8 a pop. Whether this makes it worth drinking is entirely up to how you answer this question: are pot noodles a valid meal option? If you answered 'yes' you can't afford this beer. For everyone else? Sláinte!

Food match: In the words of the wise Carl Weathers: "Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s still plenty of meat on that bone. Now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going". In other words: Stew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with a reddish hue with a thinner light brown head some chunks and floaties swirling around.Light aromas of choclate malt and caramel maybe a hint of hard water or iron.A very soft malty flavored brew up front light chocolate and caramel flavors with an underlying herbal English hop flavor that comes thru more in the finish and as it warms.A thinner bodied beer but very sociable, a nice Scottish "small" beer.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. It was a cloudy brown with a thin head that had an oily sheen to it. Nice aroma: toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit. However, something happened between the aroma and the taste. Initially sweet, then nothing was there, then some sharp hops showed up. Not a very pleasing taste. Doubt that I'll try this particular Scottish Ale again.

Photo of Todd
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle. Pours a deep, dark copper-brown, crowned quite majestically with a two-fingered pure white tightly laced foam head with a very respectable level of retention and clinging stick.

Wonderful aroma of milky coffee, caramel, deep toasted breads. Soft wheat germ-like character, too.

Super smooth and silky on the palate, a bit creamy, thin-ish watery mouthfeel. Little carbonation in the feel. Light, but distinct, caramel and toasted malts. Touch of metallic and grain. Very little bitterness. Raw-ish herbal character, with a milky flower pith edge. A bit bready and grainy in the finish with a coarser feel on the palate vs. the smoothness of the start, going dry and more-ish.

A very enjoyable light Scottish Ale and an easy choice for a session beer. Solid. Though ... I would have preferred a bit more malt backbone.

Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, mahogany body with a small, but lasting, beige head. Island chain patterns of lace decorate the glass.
Aroma is subdued, with caramel and toffee notes, and herbal, leafy hops in the background.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, with good carbonation.
Taste mirrors the aroma, with sweet toffee and caramel notes balanced well with the herbal hops bitterness. A pleasant twang of minerals is noted throughout, which adds to the character.
This is a very easygoing, Scottish ale that is very highly drinkable except for its above average price tag.

Photo of codysjb
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of ivanwatling
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich, thick, creamy head that lasted a long way down the pint. Mid-brown colour

Aroma: Malty, spicy, suggesting sweetness

Taste: Predominantly malty with slight hop biterness in the background. Not as strong and rich a taste as the aroma suggested

Mouthfeel: Some pleasant aftertaste, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink, so good of you're after a session beer.

Other notes: Bought in a brewery gift pack from a visitor centre shop on the outskirts of Perth

Photo of ADR
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer seems more like a Special Bitter to me, but...

Medium brown and clear appearance. Sturdy pale yellow head, long lasting and creamy -- settles at under 1/2 an inch. Laces in partial drips. Nice aroma, toffee with jazzy nutmeg and a definite floral hopping showing through. Smooth mouthfeel, a little light but quaffable. Starts with butterscotch and some maple sugar, very nice transition to a cinnamony and prickly hop. Finishes lightly but continuing in the enhanced bittering, like a sound turning up. A thumb's up brew in my book, composed, subtle, but making a point.

Photo of foamer
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask @ Bon Accord, Glasgow

Pours a deep amber colour with a creamy head which dimishes to lacing left all the way down the glass. A good malty nose with some faint hops making themselves known. The citrusy hops were a surprise in the taste for a Scottish beer and the caramel malts balanced out the hops nicely, and the beer finished pleasingly bitter. Slightly thin mouthfeel but nevertheless smooth. A nice ale, although I prefer Inveralmond's Ossians Ale, but certainly a decent offering from the folks in Perth.

Photo of findlayfan
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 500 ML into Imperial pint: dark amber body with modest off-white head that was gone quickly.

Caramel/malt nose with a hint of hops. Nothing really stood out but very pleasant overall.

Good carbonation and moderate mouthfeel. As with the smell, nothing stood out in the taste: a nice, middle-of-the-road combination of malt and hops.

Decent lacing left on the glass - more than I expected from the minimal head.

Not as complex as some Scottish ales I've had, but it's certainly not bland, either. A good session beer - wish I had more than the one.

Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well carbonated, good summer drink. Brown, big initial head of cream. Lace and off-white head. Malt and sourness significant contributions. Scotch, barleywine aroma. Grassy,hops present copper of UK ales, fine when you share the bottle. Easy drinking.

Photo of WeissGary
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A really nice beer; near dark amber colour, a light aroma with vague hints of of the taste character, a thin off white head and stable body, quite bitter to the taste with a coffee finish but still very flavoursome. This is, to my view, a beautiful beer, more often than not this will be in my selection if I am on a Scottish ale run! If you see it give it a shot!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Inveralmond Brewery in Scotland comes an astonishingly full-flavored session ale. Its slightly hazy (it's bottle-conditioned), deep copper colored body borders on chestnut; resting gently geneath a long-lasting head of creamy white foam as its very fine bubbles slowly rise to the surface. The nose displays a distinctly rich, caramel-drenched maltiness. The body is surprisingly full, adding to a fuller perception of malt in the flavour; and its very fine, natural carbonation leaves it exceptionally creamy and smooth across the palate. In the flavor, a hint of some darker malts (perhaps a touch of roasted barley) lend depth to its rich, caramel side; and some subtle, delicately spicy and grassy hops round it out. The maltiness is perfectly balanced by its firm bitterness, and leads to a dry finish (that's again surprising given its full maltiness). A really well brewed beer that shows a clean fermentation and impeccable sense of balance. Quite exceptional, and certainly one of the best Scottish ales available at this time!

Photo of MaineBirdMan
2.88/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice little legend/story on the back of the bottle.

color: dark amber

There was a nice quarter inch head.

Taste: I could really taste the hops as well as some sweet chocolate tones.

Nose: Man, I really stuck my nose down into my glass. But I wasn't able to get any real bouquet. There was some floral hints but not much.

Mouthfeel: Easy on the tongue with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink quite a few of these beers if it weren't for the price ($5.99 per bottle from the store). Low in alcohol so the legs don't get wobbly after a few.

Photo of thesultan
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful, dark brown colour. Almost the same colour as the bottle it came out of. Thin, creamy brown head that quickly went away.

S - To begin with a wee bit of chocolate but as it warmed up starting giving caramel and some honey.

T - Quite sweet, with lots of chocolate and vanilla. Nicely balanced by robust hop taste.

M - Felt it was too heavy on the carbonation. still not bad though. Probably better on cask if I can find it somewhere.

D - No problems putting a few of these away.

Photo of WastedYouth
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of pjkelley82
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dull weathered cranberry color with a 1 finger spongey head that was short lived and was beach sand in color. The head lapsed to a patchy covering filled with bubblewrap type bubbles that produced a thin film ring band for a lacing. Held against the light the coloring appeared a bright cherry-cranberry and showed random bursts and release of carbonation bubbles.

S: The nose was fruity with a brief show of apples upfront before quickly giving way to a toffee and caramel presence. Sugary grains and wort appear while the finish rounds out with a caramel chew candy fade.

T: My initial impression was the flavor came off a bit thin in delivery. There appeared to be a decent level of maltiness trying to come out but never quite convinces me. A spicy hopping of fuggles seems oddly mis-paired here producing fruity tones. Red grapes, juicy pears, and melons are noticeable and again oddly misplaced. For the finish the caramel malting finally comes back into play giving a scotchy caramel character with light peat and a dry spicy fade of nutmeg. The label claims this to be distinctively rich which I think is a bit of a stretch of the imagination if you ask me.

M: The mouthful was light to medium bodied but felt lighter the longer you held it. Oily texture with very little, if any carbonation detected. Overall was rather boring with the exception of the swallow which finally produces some maltiness and scotchy caramel character. Despite its limited abv of 4.7% this did give the impression it was slightly higher. Finishes with a dry spicy coating with a slight malty residue lacing.

D: Drinkability was fair, though one would be it for me. Rather boring, lacked maltiness, and incentive to have more. A bit thin and almost watery at times makes this go down rather easy but the lack of flavor and heart certainly don't help matters here and made me hesitant towards the next sip. Overall a good aromatic experience that goes down hill from there.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows caramel, toffee, prunes, sultanas, golden syrup and orange marmalade.
Similarly sweet flavours at first, with more dark fruit and caramel before some toasty and soft roasted malt enter.
Body feels a bit watery.
Not bad stuff.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty light amber color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry English hops with lingering peats malt notes (or maybe I was dreaming but seems there was definite smoke notes). Body is quite full with good carbonation and light alcohol level makes this even more enjoyable. Easily drinkable though quite complex - finish was maybe a tad too dry.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours semi-cloudy dark amber/caramel color without any discernible head.
Aroma of toffee, tangy hop notes with some minor peat and/or smoke.
Flavor of rich deep caramel sweetness followed by a minor peat hit and some residual bittering.
Mouthfeel is hard water, slightly buttery and biscuity with some sweetness and very minor bitter.
Drinkability is very pleasant but nothing outstanding.

Photo of Dukeofearl
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I find I really like or really don't care for Scottish beers (or, to be fair, the Scottish beers available to me in Southern California). This "Stone of Destiny" beer did not do it for me.

$4.59 for a 0.5 liter bottle at La Bodega in Riverside, CA, July 2006.

Pours a clear amber, with an odd, off-grey head (a color I never thought I would use when describing beer). A ton of dark yeast chunkies fell into the glass almost from the beginning of the pour. I don't mind yeast floaties or chunkies at all, but this was a touch overwhelming.

Aroma is a rich dark deep malt, quite roasty. Flavor is of strong hops, very sharp, with a pronounced yeast quality (what a surprise). A bitterness reminiscent of overboiled coffee finished it for me- not recommended.

Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer dispense from the 500ml bottle an almost opaque brown with tinges of ruby at the edges, head admirable, creamy and light tan in color, stays for a while, then leaves the lace to conceal the glass. Nose has a deep rich malt sweet aroma, caramel, toffee and a bit of peat, maybe a twig of heather, quite nice, clean and crisp to the senses. Start has a sweet malt presence, touch of spiciness at the back, light to moderate in feel. Finish has a pleasant acidity, the hops understated, but adequate, sweet toffee to the dry end, quite a good drinking beer, seems I find less and less Scottish ales.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas Eve 2012 at home with my Dad: we shared a few bottles of beer together. This 500ml offering being the last before Santa came! Best before Apr 2013.

Like the cask version, it had a clear mahogany body with an off-white head: the nose a nutty, semi-sweet malty feel to it. The taste was malts all the way: chocolate and toffee being the strongest flavours within the maltiness. Dryness, with a pronounced bitterness comes later with the hops showing their worth as initial maltiness drifts away. The cask review is just pipped at the post by the overall niceness of it being Christmas!

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Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
85 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.