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Lia Fail - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.
Lia FailLia Fail

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

111 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002)
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of heygeebee


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

BB Dec 12.

Pours a dark chestnut. One finger coarse white head dies quickly to a film. Film stays. Great spotty lace.

Aromas of dark treacle, toffee, caramel.

Taste is quite light and delicate. Moderate roast flavours, treacle to the fore. Malt driven, with little hop. A little dough. Quite a dry back palate.As the bottle goes down, a more toffee-driven palate emerges, with some dried fruits in the mix.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied. A little watery, which would help with sessionability.

Overall well made, delicately flavoured, sessionable Scottish Ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 08:16:43 | More by heygeebee
Photo of petluo


3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

08-09-2012 10:39:15 | More by petluo
Photo of BEERchitect


4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With such complexity, elegance, masculinity, and earth; the beer remains remarkable light and drinkable without giving up on its malty body or rich taste. This shows that Scottish ales don't have to be strong to be top notch.

Pouring a mostly clear light mahogany hue, the beer casts a mild glow when back lit. A short statured head forms on the head with creamy texture, fulfilled retention, and islands of foam- it portrays a gentlemanly yet understated appearance.

Not exactly delicate, but not robust either; the aromas seem of strong scents of peat moss, toffee, fruit, bread crust, and butterscotch, but without the power that's normally associated with these flavors individually. Their lighter-than-expected culmination gives the beer a delicate aroma profile that's unmistakably Scottish.

Flavors play out in similar fashion as the taste of toffee and its low-lying sweetness invites complementary tastes of caramel, bread, butterscotch, campfire, damp soil, peppercorn, grapes, and a light confectioner's sweetness that reminds me of jelly beans. Even light coffee grounds, chocolate, and pecan rise as the beer warms to contribute more and more variance and balance to the beer through mid palate and into finish. And that's a good think, because with highly restrained hop character the beer relies heavily on malt complexity and yeast notes to achieve balance and flavor development well into aftertaste.

With so much flavor, the palate expects more weight and richness than the beer actually delivers. However, its understated creaminess never waivers and allows a powdery sweetness to carry the beer from the middle palate into finish where the beer calmly fades away and leaves only a memory of hickory wood and fruit on the breath.

This Scottish ale delivers enough flavor and punch to win over the most enthusiastic Scotch whiskey fan, but light and drinkable enough to caress the palate of their opposition as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 17:31:35 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Florya


4/5  rDev +7.2%

07-09-2012 20:23:54 | More by Florya
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 10:38:11 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of WeissGary

3.58/5  rDev -4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 20:55:04 | More by WeissGary
Photo of schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

01-19-2012 06:58:03 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of eric5bellies


3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a nice deep clear Amber colour with a near pure White head that retains very well and laces.

S - Mainly caramel malt

T - Up front some nice malt notes with caramel. The mid palate slghtly brown sugar notes with yeast and bread. The finish is dry and long with a little residual sweetness.

M - Medium body and low carbonation.

O - A very sessionable ale that is recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 15:15:19 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-02-2011 18:27:54 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of waiting4lunch


5/5  rDev +34%

11-23-2011 14:58:57 | More by waiting4lunch
Photo of beerdrifter


3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My nephew hooked me up with this beer following a trip to Scotland. Clear copper-amber pour with two finger head with great retention and lacing. Earthy, malty nose with hints of toffee, tea, caramel, brown sugar, and just a touch of metal. The hops that were predominantly absent from the nose, really jump out in the taste in that classic English fashion. Toasty malt, brown bread, tea, caramel, and just a touch of vanilla round out this well balanced beer. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice tangy, bitter hop bite on the finish. This, coupled with the low ABV make this highly drinkable. A very solid Scottish Ale. Thanks Kevin!

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2011 18:53:07 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of mrfrancis


3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber with a thick, creamy off-white head. The look is fairly typical of Scottish ales.

S: Big aromas of toffee, brown sugar, and earthy, peppery hops are present on the nose. As the beer warms, these aromas blend in a pleasant fashion.

T: Opens sweet and smooth with notes of heavy cream, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cocoa, and mocha chased by peppery English ale hops. The finish is smooth with earthy, peppery hop, cream, and toffee flavors readily identifiable.

M: Light-to-medium bodied, but closer to the former than the latter. Firm, but smooth. Drinkable, but not all that memorable.

O: Maybe I tried this beer at the wrong time, or maybe I was just burned out on Scottish ales, but this ale did absolutely nothing for me. This is unusual, as I generally like Inveralmond's products. I have a feeling I'll be revisiting this beer in the future, though I will not making a point of rushing to do so.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 18:54:46 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of Knapp85


3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice amberish copper color with a foamy looking white head on top. The smell of the beer gives off a nice soft earthy aroma with a subtle sweet malts and grains on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet with some subtle hints of caramel. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth and lightly carbonated. Overall this beer is pretty good, I would try this one again someday if I came across it.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 00:04:09 | More by Knapp85
Photo of rarbring


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

The ale is clear amber, has a small even off-white head that leaves some lacing.

The smell i bread, grain, red ripe apples and nuts.

Starting sweet, toffee on brown bread, the ripe oranges, orange peel, some mild herbs and grass.

Medium carbonation, intensive small bubbles, a fresh feeling, medium body, and a good long dry finish.

A nice well balanced Scottish Ale to enjoy as session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2011 18:28:41 | More by rarbring
Photo of NilsFrisk


3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber/brown colour with a thick head, with a very foamy texture. smells a bit metallic along with hops, some chocolate there too. taste of aromatic hops with a malty taste to back it up, the malt and the hops kind of blends together, really well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 21:09:05 | More by NilsFrisk
Photo of marty21

Manitoba (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep orange/copper with a two fingers worth of thick creamy off white head. Settles to a thick cap and leaves lot's of dense lacing.

S: Malty with milk chocolate and caramel. I get some hops faintly in the background.

T: The same as the aroma. It's malty with some milk chocolate and caramel. There's a bit of a hop bitterness at the end but nothing too strong.

M: Light carbonation with a light to medium body. Very easy to drink.

D: Quite a easy drinker. Nothing overpowering but it's not weak on anything. Would make for a great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 02:22:38 | More by marty21
Photo of soju6


3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy dark copper-brown color with a good head that slowly fades to some lacing.

S: Has a solid malt aroma with some caramel and chocolate mixed in with a trace of herbal spice.

T: Mild malty flavor with a nice touch of chocolate and caramel, not overly sweet. Has a mild bitterness and a slight herbal finish.

F: Medium body, well balanced. Smooth and creamy.

D: Good Scottish Ale, easy drinker. A nice brew while relaxing at home. I imagine this would be best on tap at the local pub.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 12:31:14 | More by soju6
Photo of charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally a reasonable deal for this brewery's beers (3 for £4 at a major supermarket). This is a reddish peaty hued beer with a generous offwhite head poured from 500ml bottle with a more tasteful label than the one pictured at present.

The nose is has pleasant hints of blackcurrant and chocolate suggesting a malt heavy beverage. The beer tastes more tart than I was expecting, a chocolate raspberry affair with considerable carbonation and more biscuity and herbal flavours in the aftertaste. A good sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 01:49:21 | More by charlatan
Photo of AgentMunky


3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a half-pint glass.

A: A gorgeous ruddy colour; transparent with a nice head and heavy lacing. Lia Fail positively glows in the light.

S: Smells of caramel malt with a sour twist. Nice.

T: Hm. My nose was right -- a malty base with a bit of sour mash taste. The aftertaste is bit rough (i.e., not smooth) with a hint of coffee or roasted malt.

M: Wishy-washy and thin in feel if not in flavour.

D: Light, but weirdly sour and not that great. It's pretty good at first, but can't even last half a pint. Grab something else.

Serving type: cask

11-07-2010 19:50:20 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Offa


4.58/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent Scottish ale with nice subtle complexity.

Red-brown amber, it has a big, rich tan head slowly shrinking to thin foamy top and leaving a few hints of lace.

Aroma is very toasty barley, bread crust, chocolate, hints of tea, leaves, woody earth and later some hints of fruit. It is very nice with good, subtle complexity.

Taste is toasty bread crust, dryish, woody-earthy leaves, hint of chocolate. Balanced sweetness and bitterness, the latter just dominating the finish, which is earthy, leafy, and a little spicey-peppery. Feel is firm.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 21:00:43 | More by Offa
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of several birthday presents from my in laws! Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. It wasn't as dark as I expected especially since the label states "Dark Scottish Ale," but still pretty good looking. It comes out a little bit of an orange brown color, "rusty" if you will. Very hazy and a thick creamy white head, very decent lacing. The smell isn't overly strong, but it's got complexity and depth and overall pretty good. A little citrusy and bready. Almost like a orange loaf of pound cake. It's followed by dark sweet malts. Taste is good, malty, but not too aggressive. Caramel and toffee, not too sweet though. There is a good balance between the malt and hop flavor, citrus hops. Not really bready like the smell. Mouthfeel is good, fairly light, almost smooth. A little complex, not as creamy as other Scottish Ales I've had in the past. It's strange, not really like any of this style I've had in the past but really enjoyed this. I like the balance and it's very unique. Good, I'd get it again, but more of a summer Scottish Ale, I like it.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 00:51:12 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of champ103


3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Some patchy lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malts, grain, and sweet caramel. A light floral bitterness lingers.
T: At first a sweet caramel flavor is up front. The sweetness is a bit cloying at first. Then a suprisingly strong bitterness takes over. A little one dimensional, but enjoyable.
M/D: A medium body. A little under carbonated, and thin. Not hard to drink. Something I can quaff at the pub with no problem.

A decent beer on cask. Nothing special, but enjoyable for what it is. Worth a try if you see it on cask.

Serving type: cask

06-25-2010 22:11:18 | More by champ103
Photo of ivanwatling

United Kingdom (England)

3.73/5  rDev 0%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2010 17:03:31 | More by ivanwatling
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 22:42:14 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint served by handpump into imperial pint glass at the Cloister bar Edinburgh.

A- Dark mahogany body with a 1 finger head producing good lacing. Head retention is average to good leaving a crown.

S- Faint toffee malts, minimal hops

T- A minimal toasted malt beginning with a juicy hopbite in the finish. Hops linger on

M- Low carbonation with creamy mouthfeel

D- Hops are refreshing throughout the flavour but malts are too minimal for me on the tongue to be trully sessionable.

Serving type: cask

04-17-2010 13:27:16 | More by seanyfo
Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
84 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.