Blackfriar | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

very good
166 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by daledeee on 12-02-2003

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 166
Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. there was a huge amount of foamy, very long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: Smelled like most Scottish Ales: Caramel, malt, maybe a little fruit.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, caramel, molasses, fruit, and alcohol. Not as dynamic as you'd expect, but it does get better as it goes along.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Despite some unevenness, this is a drinkable beer.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel color with a big head and some good lace. The aroma is very earthy and woody with a distinct oak and vinous note but the aroma is dominated by ripe red apple. The flavor is nicely earthy and hoppy with some fruitiness and overall very dry and woody. This beer improves quite a bit as it warms, which is wild because I opened it at room temperature. As it warms it gets a much fruitier character with some good caramel maltiness. Palate is nicely full. Tasty.

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Photo of seanyfo
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint served by handpump into imperial pint glass at the Guildford Arms in Edinburgh

A- A copper brown body with a creamy tan 2 finger head that produces lovely lacing and with impressive head retention

S- Caramel/toffee malts. Faint background fresh hoppy bitterness.

T- Lots of caramel sweet malts, hint of creamy chocolate, a roasted malt note with a very understated hop bitter finish. Nicely balanced.
Alcohol well hidden!

M- Low carbonation, full body

D- Excellent scottish malt profile which is not overdone with a clean refreshing hop note in the finish. ABV dangerously hidden.Delicious

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Photo of Mora2000
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jkwalking for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a murky orangish-brown with a white head. The aroma is sweet fruit with some caramel malts. The flavor is very sweet with some caramel and toffee malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of gfreed
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium-colored and slightly foggy with a deep head, somewhat off-white and large-bubbled; almost like iced-tea with a root-beer-float head. From the first sniff I could tell this would be a good Scottish ale; it has plenty of malt in the aroma with a teeny bit of a sting from hops; perhaps a little bit sour as well. Some caramel and even a little WW bread is present as well. The body is not too dense but there's a enough resistance that it doesn't feel all that thin; low carbonation makes it feel a little heavy as well. Caramel and lightly smokey malt predominate in the taste-- I could have had five of these except at 7% ABV I'd be wobbling across the kitchen in no time. A pint was enough for this evening, but I'll be buying more.

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Photo of Travlr
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: murky chestnut colored with a very large light tan head that evaporates quickly and leaves nice lacing.
S: nutmeg and cinnamon, with scotch and malt.
T: starts sweet and progresses to spice then bitterness. Somewhat complex, with a nice combination of spices.
M: very full bodied, yet does not show its alcohol.
D: Overall a nice scotch style ale, good on a cold winter's day.

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Photo of Brad007
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another brewery from Scotland. Always nice to see what the Scots are producing.

Pours a nice amber color with a frothy head into my glass. There's a bit of cloudiness but otherwise, seems about right.

Aroma is full of sweet, lightly smoked and chewy malt. Seems right for the style. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste is sweet and once again, full of lightly smoked chewy malt. Not much else beyond that. Seems very drinkable for the style.

Mouthfeel is full of the lingering flavors mentioned. Nothing harsh and certainly not cloying.

The best part about this style is that it's usually very accessible to a newcomer. This is a good example that offers an emphasis on malt that is typical for the style. Certainly worth checking this out if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle label is a bit different now, but not so much. The diabolical looking monk is still stirring the brew with a very intent look.

I poured this brew into an imperial pint glass, and the beer produced a deep amber colored and clear body, with a finger and a half of off white crown. The lacing sticks well to the glass.

Aroma characteristics are of floral and lemony hops, as well as vanilla and perhaps sour cherry.

The taste is very complex. I detect chocolate, some coffee, cherry, herbs, and God knows what else. This is a treat.

On the palate, this is coarse with lots of CO2; however, this leaves the palate wet and warm.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one at Limelite Cafe in Augusta, GA. First beer of the night, celebrating my girlfriend's 21st birthday.

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date apparent on the bottle, which was nearly ice cold just pulled from the cooler.

Deep burnished copper in color with a slight wisp of tawny bubbles that disappear quickly and leave no lacing behind. Mostly clear apart from some chill haze induced by the incredible cold of the drink cooler. Should have let it warm up a bit first.

Once warmed a bit, rich malt emanates, with sweet caramel, toffee, and just a hint of roasty smokiness.

Full-bodied and lightly carbonated, with a rich malty backbone full of sweet, chewy caramelized maltiness and a peatiness that melds with some earthy, mildly bitter hops in the middle to end with a lightly dry, smoky and semi-sweet yet rather clean finish.

A little heavy but rather drinkable nonetheless. Overall a good representation of the style, though perhaps the bottle had a little too much age on it leading to a level of carbonation a bit too low. Still, an enjoyable start to a very enjoyable evening of good-beer imbibing!

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Photo of popery
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown liquid decent lacing. The nose is sweet and a tad simple. It's good, but it's a fairly plain caramelized malt scent. The flavor is really nice. I'm not a big fan of Scottish ales, but this is an enjoyable beer. It's not too sweet or too syrupy, but it's still strong and rich. The flavor reminds of a doppelbock, which I mean as a compliment. The feel is smooth and fairly creamy with only prickling on the back of the tongue. Drinkability is good for me, particularly compared to sweeter versions of the style.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Offa
4.33/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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

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Photo of ncbeermonger
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
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 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!

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Photo of juzy
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of JamesS
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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

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Photo of dsa7783
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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...

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Photo of Vancer
3.86/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Blackfriar from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
3.9 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
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