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Lia Fail - Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Not Rated.
Lia FailLia Fail

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

115 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
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: 115 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of champ103


3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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 -0.5%
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 -8%
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 -7.2%
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
Photo of benclimbs


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at the halfway house - Edinburgh, meticulously kept, perfect temperature...syked.

This is the bomb for sessionable Scottish brown ales

amber brown with a one finger head and tons of lacing.
Smell is all caramel and nuts - really nice

Taste is more of that, round hazelnuts, malty nice caramel, then goes just a tad bitter at the very end - finishes clean and just slightly sweet - very smooth and rich in the mouthfeel, but not heavy or sticky - not nearly as sweet as many of the heavier wee-heavies and scottish ales.

Wow, i was very very impressed by this...and it was my first pint so i know my tasters were on it. One of the best browns i've had period.

Serving type: cask

03-22-2010 12:50:43 | More by benclimbs
Photo of ChainGangGuy


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

Appearance: Pours out a relatively clear, ruby-hued body with a frothy, airy, ecru head.

Smell: Malty aroma scented with dry caramel and chocolate powder and rounded out with a hint of fruit and some popping notes of grainy barley.

Taste: Toasted bready maltiness enveloped in a thin coating of chocolate and caramel. Minor dark fruitiness. Mild bitterness imparted by the English hops, though the taste remains predominately malty. Hint of grain on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A pleasant, easy-drinking Scottish brew with an appreciated low alcohol percentage.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 23:11:18 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Real solid thick moutfeel with lots of malt and chocolate notes coming to the fore kinda like porter mixed with a Scottish Ale. I thought the beer was much stronger than its 4.7ABV with all the flavour packed into the finish. I would definately buy this again as it combines complexity with drinkability in a sessionable package.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 19:48:16 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Brad007


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a two-finger head that fades into some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is mild with a hint of sweet, smokey malt. A bit of bread is detected as well as part of the malt.

Taste is smoky, chewy and sweet with a hint of bread as well. Very basic and yet, desirable.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering bread and smoky malt. Ditto on the sweetness as well. Neither thin nor thick.

Not bad but I believe I've had stronger versions of the style. Highly drinkable and easy to enjoy but far from the best example I've had. Worth a shot if you're a fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 00:01:50 | More by Brad007
Photo of MaineBirdMan


2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 11:15:23 | More by MaineBirdMan
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 02:45:39 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ReDave


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not much head at the pour, in fact, I thought it might have been a leaky bottle and/or flat. But then at the end a nice but very little off white head emerged.

Dark Brown somewhat cloudy color. Some red when held to the light.

Kind of a fruity aroma.. not what i was expecting, especially at first, but sort of grew on me later...

First minor sip Liquorice, wow very interesting. Second sip malty, molasses a little nutty some smoke [ ooh later on especially at the burp haa] Some hop spiciness nice surprise I would like to try this again, this bottle was about a month after it's "best before" date...

carbonation is thin but i like it.

not much lacing

Some day i need to have this "in country" over in Scotland.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 01:52:53 | More by ReDave
Photo of czfreeman


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a big fan of Wee Heavy, so digging into the world of the lighter version of these ales will be nice to expand the palate.
Pours out a murky tawny amber color, light to no head, dissapates quickly. A low level of carbonation is definatley apparent.
Smell is rendolent of hard apple cider. Fermented fruit, caramels, a spicy alcoholic finish suprising given the low abv. A dark currantlike note, apple butter, bitter cocoa, ovverripe bruised apples ready for the cider press. Almost an oaklike sweetness.
Taste is predominated by the caramel. Lighter bodied than expected yet this turns into more of a caramel coated apple than cider in the flavor. The apple/caramel combination would make this a nice falltime festival beer. The sweet light toffeness in the sweetness is balanced by the bittering hops, and remains neither sweet, nor bitter.
The apple/caramel combo I think would pair nicely with caramelized scallops, or maybe a hot doughnut at a festival. A salty beef pie(think of scottish food) would be nice. If this were reduced down and made into a apple/ale compote. It could make a nice pastry filling for flaky fillo dough

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 19:28:45 | More by czfreeman
Photo of Richardberg

New York

3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy copper color with a rather small head.

S: caramel malts predominate. Light hopping lends a bit of citrus and floral aroma but nothing overt. I'd like strong smells overall but apparently this is right on target for a Scottish.

T: crisp, straightforward presentation of the malts...not much else. Pleasantly bitter finish.

M: standard medium ale, fizzy but not overly so

D: easy to drink, if not altogether my favorite

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 21:43:47 | More by Richardberg
Photo of roddwolff


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one is the first beer of Scotland i drink. In the appearance, have a brown tamarind color, very opaque, regular foam head, in the logo have a landscape; the smell is fresh, with essences of plum and peach; in the logo says "distinctively rich" and it's true; frutal taste with flavors of peach, a little coffee, orange and banana; the mouthfeel is citrus, light carbonation and medium bitterness, it is acceptable, and the flavor in the mouth lasts; in the drinkability, possibly be too citrus, excellent to accompany any food

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2009 18:09:43 | More by roddwolff
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 500ml bottle into pint glass. Pours a ruddy and hazy dark amber color with a small white head.

Aroma is fruity and floral and very malty. A touch of chocolate in the aroma as well.

Malt and dark grains in the flavor. More floral flavors and a great deal of fruitiness. Not much smoky or peaty characters that are usually present in Scottish ales.

Thin on the mouthfeel yet somewhat slick on the tongue. Low carbonation make this one finish slightly dry. Good beer indeed.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 21:08:28 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of bark


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is deep amber with a tint of brown. The finger thick airy head is off white. The liquid is clear. Lots of lacing occurs.

The smell got notes of caramel and dried fruits. A generous bitterness hits the nose. Some nuts and almonds. Hints of apricots.

The taste is grand and inviting, yet a little demanding (although the body is just medium). Flavours of fresh exotic fruits, clean bitter notes and a pleasant, lightly roasted malty taste. The aftertaste is pleasant with a genuine bitter flavour with hints of flowers, grass, consommé and a touch of citric acid. Some plastic hints in the finish - Fuggles hops?

The carbonation is medium strong; the liquid smooth.

Lots of character in this ale, still very balanced.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 21:31:16 | More by bark
Photo of jwc215


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, best before April 2009, poured into snifter glass:

Pours brown with ruby highlights. A thin head quickly diminishes to a thin wisp and a thick ring that leaves dotted lacing.

The smell is of toffee and chocolate-ish notes with a subtle, pine-like backing.

The taste is of chocolate-y maltiness with a balancing piney, slightly citric, leafy hop support. On the hoppy side for a Scottish Ale - though they are clearly secondary to the chocolatey malt, which is itself not very robust or rich, but the blend is delicious. There's a mild bitterness balancing the sweetness and a woody dryness in the finish.

Even at (or near) room temperature, I wouldn't classify this as the "full-bodied" beer it claims to be. It does reach medium-bodied, though, and has a certain velvety smoothness to it. The carbonation is mild.

The hops - Challenger, Fuggles and Cascade - according to the label - play a supportive role to the toffee-ish chocolate-y maltiness that is not quite rich, but works well to produce a well-balanced tasty treat. Very drinkable/"sessionable"!

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 19:17:55 | More by jwc215
Photo of gerardoluna


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

[Eyes] Great dark brown colour like the bootle! Small creamy brown head that quickly byeeee

[Nouse] A little bit of coffe and chocolate... caramel and some honey?.

[Mouth] Sweet, chocolate, nut, coffe and vanilla. Great and nice balance with good hop in aftertaste, i just get of some carbonation... or maybe more temperature???

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2008 01:38:01 | More by gerardoluna
Photo of MAB

Alberta (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding effort from this brewery!

Color is beautiful, deep amber and clear.
The head is fairly tight and yellow-brown in color. Dies down to a nice froth that remains for the whole pint.
Smell is sweet, some smoke, and hops. Lovely.

The back of the label reads (in part): "Challenger, Fuggles, and Cascade hops produce a spicy aroma with a balanced bitterness and full bodied flavour".

I couldn't describe it more perfectly than they've done it themselves.

Also noted: They use "full leaf hops".

I picked up aged wood notes, almost like scotch.

Mouthfeel was pleasing- not watery but not heavy.

Superb beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 15:17:00 | More by MAB
Photo of CHADMC3


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fair brown with hints of orange, a frothy cream-colored head appears with nice tight carbonation bubbles and a nice lacing to follow.

Aroma consists of sweet caramel or molasses and slight hints of hops.

Smokey flavor with a roasty caramel again and hints of hops on the back of the palate.

Well balanced with medium carbonation.

This beer improves as you progress through, still a bit light on flavor for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 00:46:28 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought at the LC and poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear orange-red colour with a massive rocky head that retains really well. Webs of lace coat the glass all the way to the bottom. Carbonation is mild. Aroma is very floral and honey-sweet with a bit of clover and heather. Lightly herbal. Strong crackery malt backbone holding it together. Sweet, but surprisingly balanced and hoppy.

Taste is a bit more watery than I'd like, but there's a great crackery malt backbone balanced very well by a lightly herbal hop bitterness. Light clover honey sweetness. Old school flavours here, it's not hard to imagine the highlands while drinking this. Clean and simple, medium body, and it dries nicely in the finish. Mild carbonation. I could session this no problem, it's really tasty and slides down really easily.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 03:16:32 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of thesultan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 22:16:37 | More by thesultan
Photo of findlayfan


3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 03:02:04 | More by findlayfan
Photo of Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a beautiful copper colour with a one finger fizzy head that quickly reduces to a thin film. Upon close inspection, you can actually see tiny particles floating around. Leaves a nice sticky lace.

S: aromas of caramel malts and bitter hops dominate. I also get hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T: quite heavily hopped, with a sweet bready, nutty flavour and a dry finish.

M: heavy and very creamy, tingly carbonation and a very smooth satisfying finish.

D: This is an excellent brew! Beautiful flavours,well crafted and is highly drinkable given its relatively low ABV. I could definitely see myself drinking more than one of these in a night. I look forward to my next one! A great find.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 02:41:13 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of JamesS


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Has a wonderful copper color, if just a little on the light side. Not much of a head, but wonderful lacing all around. Has a great malty/peaty scent that fills the nose without overpowering. Great warm scotch ale flavor, a nice and deep maltiness with a bit of smoky peat. Does have a slight hint of chocolate, though not as much as promised. Goes down exceedingly well! It will not be a problem at all to finish the 1+ liter bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 00:10:04 | More by JamesS
Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
85 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.