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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 |  Reviews: 123
Photo of dansmcd
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, dark reddish amber with a creamy finger of head and nice streaky lacing.

S - Sweet and spicy, orange peel hops, caramel malt.

T - Lovely toasted malt with english hops, cumquat, orange, honey, toffee, with some smoke and a wee nip of scotch whisky. Lovely.

M - Full bodied but not too heavy, moderately carbonated.

O - Very drinkable and I will certainly buy again soon.

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Photo of SargeC
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of YobroitsJoe
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of aceparadis
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Christmas Eve day outing with my nephew, and digging for beers in the lackluster list at Old Chicago in Sioux Falls. Picked Black Friar before pulling it up on my database and realizing I've had it before. However, the last bottle was highly rated from 2004, so not a bad idea to try it again to see how my tastes have changed.

From the Inveralmond website: Blackfriar is one of three ancient orders of monks central to the history of Perth in Scotland. The monastery of the Blackfriar was built in 1231. In 1437 James I of Scotland was assassinated by traitors there.

Hazy light copper ale with shimmering amber with light from the window. Head thin and disappears quickly. Dishwater brown with irregular bubbles while it lasts. Caramel, toffee on top of light biscuit and earthiness. Mineral in background that's characteristic of Scotch ales. Light spice or sharp note that I'm note sure of the source. Strong caramel and malt taste. Same spice from yeast, maybe, that leads to an assertive aftertaste that's pleasant. Warmed up, the beer opens up and is more balanced. Mineral background disappears and just leaves a clean spice.

In looking over some of the other reviews, I'll definitely will be on the high end of this beer--2004 and now. In part, I'm going to guess that some drank the beer too cold and too fast, as it changes character significantly as it warms. Or, this beer just matches my palate.

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Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of RWACKO
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of eric5bellies
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a nice red mahogany coulour with a tight two fingered, off white head that retains very well.

S - A little bit of hop and malt but not massive.

T - Nioce toffee flavours and complimented by some small hop and roasted malt.

M - Medium body and carbonation

O - A solid Ale without being spectacular

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Photo of danieelol
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Good colour- red/ochre with good head and lacing.

S: Really sweet candies (malt). Almost a peaty/corny note in there. Some sweet green apple and oxidation.

T: caramel, roast, apple, toffee. Tastes really three dimensional, like there's always something going on in the background. Some good hop bitterness, some good alcohol dryness and some good sweetness. Also some piney hops and really a mounting hop bitterness. Very well balanced.

M: Highly carbed and just good all round.

O: Whatever it's meant to be, this beer nails it. Skilfully brewed and recommended, even if it's not my favourite style.

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Photo of Zimbo
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amberish brown and almost sparkling this had a fluffy thin head with some faint tablet toffee on the nose.
Some finesse for this style of beer with a bit of a twist at the end of the longish malty almost rich taste.
Not at all cloying. Insanely drinkable and rather on the light end of this particular style of beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes taken during a January 2011 trip to Glasgow, Scotland. Served from a cask into a pint glass. It was served off a just-freshly tapped cask; this beer couldn't be fresher unless I were at the brewery.

A: Pours a clear dark amber. Thin head of fair retention.

Sm: Fresh albeit musty scent of barley. Difficult to detect individual notes with me broken nose.

T: Nice body - multiple notes unexpected from the nose. Near malty finish, it's lacking in unique flavour.

Mf: Very smack-your-lips crisp like, but a bit too smooth. Nice cream on the finish. Too wet.

Dr: Hides its ABV extremely well, but it's pricey. Overall, I'm unimpressed.

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Photo of irishevans
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[From Notes]
A- Pours a two finger light yellowish-white head, like the color of a liver injury patient (trust me I know). the body is a light, almost golden yellow around the bottom, it's more of a bright hazy orange as it goes up eventually to almost an amber color at the very top.

N- bready, yeasty, malty. some caramel and other sweet hints. smells like it's a total Malt Bomb.

T- Malt-a-Rific. Caramel light bread yeast, slight fruitiness. a hint of molasses. All this is countered (albeit very slightly) with just the right amount of herbal hop flavor. it also has a bittersweet finish that goes on much like the energizer bunny.

M- the right amount of dryness, perfect graininess level, and a nice tingle in the jowls.

D- Lovely sipping beer, and a much easier drinker than I had expected @ 7%. I really do quite like it, but it's no Full Curl (bring back the Dall Sheep M-Sun!!!)

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Photo of Phelps
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beeradvocate has this one labeled as a Scottish ale, while the brewery lists it on their site as a Scotch Ale. Poured from a bottle with a best before date of Nov. 2007. Rather old, but in this state I'm not bound to find it any fresher.

Pours a deep maroon caramel color, slightly hazy and topped with half-finger head of sandy tan that lingers for a while. Some fat stripes of lace are left behind as I drink.

Smells a little oxidized. Buttery toffee mixed with caramel, dried apricot and raisins. Sweet and rich.

Butter again in the flavor, but tempered with a nice bready toastiness. Lightly bitter dark malt hits the sides of the tongue, along with raisins, apricot, caramel and a slight tinge of ethanol. Sweet before a dryish finish

Medium light body, very slightly fizzy, with light massaging, tongue-numbing carbonation. A little weak and runny.

From reading other reviews, it seems the buttery toffee notes are a common occurrence with this beer. In that case, it's stood up well to the test of time. A sweeter interpretation of the style, but decent.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer pours a hazy glowing deep copper body with a chunks of yeast suspended with a strong carbonation. The head is a bubbly light tan that last for a few sips.
S- The aroma of cooked apples and malt has some fruity qualities and some light toffee notes underneath but the aroma is otherwise very clean.
T- The tart bitterness in the finish is the stronger flavor although even that is soft. There is a softer sweetness of malt with some dry biscuit and honey malt notes followed by a water wort flavor. There is a solventy alcohol tasted in the finish but the bitter flavor lingers after the finish.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish and some alcohol burn that grows a bit as the beer opens.
D- The bitterness of hops dominates and that doesn't even have the hop flavor to support it. The malt has some floral cleaner quality with the alcohol heat and that makes this a bit tough to get through.

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Photo of MirImage
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A slightly opaque reddish copper base with a white head that poured nicely and stayed with the glass, decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet malty. Earthy notes. Cannot pick up much hop aroma but it is a Scotch Ale.

Taste: Some roasted malt flavors but reminiscent of a stout. A pleasantly sweet front which dries out in a back. A little more of a roasted favor than I am use to with Scotch Ales, very good though.

Mouthfeel: Very good feeling around the mouth virtually no carbonation bite.

Drinkability: It started tasting a little hot after a while. Not something I want to drink a ton of.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass. This beer is a little different in color than I expected. It has the orange/amber glow color as a double IPA or Belgian Pale Ale. Not much clarity to it, it has a creamy white head, but it goes away pretty quickly, not much lacing. The smell is very good, but doesn't really smell too much like a Scottish Ale. Hoppy with some sweet malt flavors, and a little buttery. The taste is a step up, again with the sweet malts, caramelized, a little bit of a butterscotch flavor and a hint of liquorish flavor in my opinion. Grainy taste and has a Hoppy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very good. Full bodied, creamy with a slightly dry finish from the hops. Slight bite, and good carbonation tone, very drinkable. Haven't had it in about 4 years, the first real import I had and what got me interested in trying new beer. Even though I've had many different Scottish Ales in the past, this one is certainly different from the rest. Good beer, I'd recommend anyone to try it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.66/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of grain and cereal with some dry notes and limited sweetness. Taste is also dominated by dry cereal with lightly unrefined grain notes and minimal residual sugars. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A bit too dry and grainy for my taste.

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