Lia Fail
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

Lia FailLia Fail
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #50
Ranked #29,944
3.75 | pDev: 11.2%
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Scotland, United Kingdom
Lia FailLia Fail
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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 127
Photo of Andrewharemza
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500ml bottle, pours a copper cola colour with a good off white coloured head that sticks on well.
Aroma caramel, toffee, malts.
Taste malty, toasty, caramel, toffee.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml brown bottle with a BB date of June 2016. Consumed in Largoward, Fife on 2 May 2015.
Nice fresh mix of hops and malts in the aroma with a solid punch of caramel.
The flavor is more malty but about equally bitter and sweet. Marginal 8.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From: Piccadilly, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by October 2013
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Pours a 2cm tall head of off-white to light beige-colored foam, with excellent retention, the foam lasting several minutes, slowly descending to a 0.3cm cap atop the body for the duration of the session. Lacing is excellent, with thick washes of foam clinging in a variety of patterns to all sides of the glass. Beer's body is a dark copper brown color, with light bringing out dark golden orange hues. Carbonation is visible in the semi-hazy body (20-30% opacity), low in number and activity.

Aroma of smooth, toasted bread, light caramel, cocoa and roasted malt, and dried leaves.

Beer is richly malty, with a fine blend of caramel, toasted nuts and bread, dark cocoa, and hints of bitter coffee. Front of palate of deep caramel-like flavors, toasted nuts and bread, light cocoa and coffee characters. Mid-palate of toasted nuts and bread, cocoa, mild bitter coffee, and light bitterness from herbal-like hops. Back of palate features features light roasted malt and cocoa, caramel-like sweetness, and moderate herbal bitterness. Aftertaste of lingering cocoa, bitter coffee, and mild hop bitternes with herbal accents.

Beer is medium bodied, with medium-low to low carbonation, resulting in a slightly foamy (1/3) and mostly smooth (2/3) mouthfeel that is appropriate for the beer and the style. Closes dryly, with significant dryness and stickiness on the palate and lips.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Arborescence
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I had this as a real ale in Aberdeen and quite liked it, so was pleased to find a bottle in Finland to review (from Stockmann Herkku).

Appearance: Light to medium copper with a tint towards the red. Pours a smallish one finger head.

Aroma: Hops evident at first, but they quickly give way to caramel and red berries.

Taste: Lighter than I recall, perhaps because this was served cold. In any case, there is a nice, familiar bitterness with some soft, sweeter notes in the background and aftertaste. The lingering aftertaste also has some herb-like characteristics, perhaps heather?

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low to medium carbonation.

Overall: I certainly like this one, even if it doesn't do anything highly original in the end. It's just a very solid Scottish ale with strong bitterness and a nice balance.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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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Photo of heygeebee
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.65/5  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.

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Photo of WeissGary
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
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!

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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!

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of rarbring
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of NilsFrisk
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of marty21
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of charlatan
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of Offa
4.57/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of ivanwatling
3.75/5  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

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.47/5  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.

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Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 127 ratings