Lia Fail | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

very good
87 Reviews
Lia FailLia Fail

Brewed by:
Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002

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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 126
Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought at Peckham’s, Glasgow. Deep amber to copper coloured beer, decent off-white head. Lovely fruity aroma, also notes of malts and caramel, hints of spices. The flavour is fairly fruity and moderately malty, with distinct hops throughout, also notes of toffee. Well balanced. A very nice bitter!

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Photo of bruachan
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i gave this guy an aggressive pour, as i anticipated a head might be hard to coax out of the bottle. sure enough it was big...and then it wasn't. some lacing to prove it. the color is a mostly red amber

the aroma is super chocolatey in a smoky way. like the dry stuff that flakes off of bars of dark chocolate. actually, beyond that there's not a whole lot more

that bitter chocolate follows the nose into the taste of the beer itself. not at the start, but in the finish of each mouthful (well, not the very end...buut close). there's some big hop character at the end, as well. all in all a very different scottish ale. it's thin and doesn't sport the typical sweetness and chewiness. in fact, it's really not sweet

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

A lovely looking brown beer poured with a good white head that displayed good retention throughout the duration of the pint.

The nose was a pleasant mix of both hops and malts with a slightly bitter after scent of citrus fruit. These followed through to the taste to produce a very pleasant beer. But with a bit more emphasis on peatiness this time around. Reminded me of a better version of 1488.

A nice medium-thick mouthfeel, not too heavy, make this a very drinkable beer. At 4.7% it is a realistic session ale, it did not have some of the unpleasant after effects that some real ales give.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of albern
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a cloudy brackish brown with little head and only slight lacing. The smell is the best part of this beer. You get a nice blend of bready malt, some hops, and some sweet fruit aromas (maybe raisin or currents or figs). The consistency is watery and pretty thin and light bodied. I would have preferred something heavier. The taste is nice, but again, too watery. The sweetish malts are pronounced and then it dissipates. You get a bit of a burnt flavor. There is very little carbonation in this beer. There is a smallish bite in the aftertaste where the hoppiness comes out. It is the dissipation in the mid to end of the taste that is the most troubling and which compromises this beer. The mouthfeel is very light. There just isn't enough here to sink into. Not a bad beer though.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. It was a cloudy brown with a thin head that had an oily sheen to it. Nice aroma: toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit. However, something happened between the aroma and the taste. Initially sweet, then nothing was there, then some sharp hops showed up. Not a very pleasing taste. Doubt that I'll try this particular Scottish Ale again.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml bottle in a stemmed thistle glass

Poured smooth like a country stream. Nose has some interesting sweet qualities: toffee, butterscotch, thick malts, dried fruit like raisin, prune, fig. It just continues to grow with some light milk chocolates, a creamy, subtle blond coffee flair, maybe some very faint wood. As it warms & blooms the oak quality rises, as do the peaty malts and even some distant smoke...very nice.

Head is root beer float style, thick, sculpted, sticky and viney to the glass sides, a good 2 fingers of dull latte foam that lasted long, fading only to a pinky's worth of the same while lacing with thick curtains. Body is a beautifully clear, sharp cherry amber, warm & somewhat brassy, inviting. All & all a treat for the various pre-taste senses!

Very nice, a little creamy, smooth with not a silky but a a crushed velvet burr to it on the tongue in the form of bittersweet malts, caramelized, a wee bit burnt. Stone fruits like dark cherry and black currant, dries fruits such as raisin & fig, all there but soft. There is a brashness to it, a bit unrefined, slightly earthy & dirty, even a echo of dark chocolate, but thats not necessarily a bad thing.

It gets more bitter with hops on the palate, and then (sadly) fades away with a chalky, coating, almost burnt, slatelike aftertaste...bummer.

This was great in all aspects until it got to the mid-taste on the palate, then it fell off sharply. What a shame. Still, it was good, and I'll give it a 4 on Taste, but just barely. Its certainly better than a 3.5. I can't say that I would keep a ready supply on hand, but I would drink it again on occasion. Might be helped by a good cheese to fill in the dead spot. I'd recommend it, but there are other examples of the style that are better. If you like a bit of a crudeness to your ales, then definitely give it a shot.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown brew with some reddish highlights. Really attractive beer actually, reminds me of a strong bitter. Good head, about one finger, lacing quite sticky. I get some dark fruit and caramel aromas, not a lot of power.

The flavor brings some spicing hops that get drowned in alcohol-soaked raisin. There's actually a little floral bit too, as it warms. There's a little grain flavor and some toasted malt.

Maybe a little thin, not much carbonation at all. It's very smooth, and the head stays around long enough to be mostly creamy. On the light side in alcohol and body. This is a sessionable Scottish ale.

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Photo of Atron67
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gives a good dark-amber hue with a nice head, Nice smell with woody essence but notes of malt and hops nicely balanced for style. good smooth sweet taste also fitting of style, however it would be nice if it had a much more full body. The tastes are good however not as prominant as personally desired.

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Photo of beckje01
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber with 1/2 an inch of head

S- Malts with a touch of alcohol, and some slight woody smells wich are very nice.

T- Malts with a rich smoke flavor, very good for the style

M- Smoth with a bit of water feel to it not quite as full as I would like

D- Pretty easy going down, kind of light over all drinkable beer.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.65/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I find I really like or really don't care for Scottish beers (or, to be fair, the Scottish beers available to me in Southern California). This "Stone of Destiny" beer did not do it for me.

$4.59 for a 0.5 liter bottle at La Bodega in Riverside, CA, July 2006.

Pours a clear amber, with an odd, off-grey head (a color I never thought I would use when describing beer). A ton of dark yeast chunkies fell into the glass almost from the beginning of the pour. I don't mind yeast floaties or chunkies at all, but this was a touch overwhelming.

Aroma is a rich dark deep malt, quite roasty. Flavor is of strong hops, very sharp, with a pronounced yeast quality (what a surprise). A bitterness reminiscent of overboiled coffee finished it for me- not recommended.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.67/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Head took some extreme effort to form up and then fades to ring like covering w/ scattered lace left behind. Brown color looks deep and rich, little carbonation.

A simple, straight forward brew. Light on the palate w/ little carbonation and finishing a bit watered. Malts are subtle but still enough to be the dominant theme. Toasted middle and a bit of a hop splash towards the end only to finish watery and lingering grain.

Notes: Session would be out for me as it is not very refreshing.

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Photo of wl0307
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time to try the bottled version, and I'm so surprised to see a huge difference with the cask-conditioned one tasted last winter~~
BB APR 2007, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: light russet hue, coming with a thik and tight creamy off-white beer head sustaining ve...ry well; gently carbonated.
S: juicy fruits as well as creamy malts upfront, mixing together rich scented dried berry (dried dates, raisins, longan-fruits), flowery scent of hops, aromatic tea-leaves, and an assertive edge of brown sugar... all rolled in one, making a creamy, aromatic malty nose with good depth of fruitiness and hops. Good~~
T: semi-roughly textured caramely malts and roasted tea-leaves hit the palate upfront, followed by black-tea-ish hops hand in hand with a toffee-ish, nutty, and brown-sugary maltiness expanding on the palate; subtly, the bitter edge intensifies step by step, underlining a lingering aftertaste of chewy, floral hoppyness with a slightly spicy touch, due to three kinds of hops used in the brew I suppose (Challenger, Fuggles, Cascade), while the lingering dried fruity aftertaste simply refuses to budge.
M&D: softly carbonated on the palate, quite light for the full flavour; A malty+fruity Premium Bitter style beer, with a complex hop flavour and and a much lighter body than the flavour suggests, yet ever so quaffable. Now I really wonder if my previous encounter with the cask-conditioned version suffered from the "nearly off" factor, as the hop characteristic was too mild to be noticeable.

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Photo of Shaw
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely amber color with a slight head that reduces to just partial foam in my glass. Some particles, no doubt from the bottle conditioning.

It smells of caramelized malt and biscuits.

The flavor is of roasted grains with a hint of mustiness and toasted flavors.

The body is light, as I would expect with a beer of this low ABV.

This is a nice toasty ale that is a great session beer. It has an abundance of flavor.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with a reddish hue with a thinner light brown head some chunks and floaties swirling around.Light aromas of choclate malt and caramel maybe a hint of hard water or iron.A very soft malty flavored brew up front light chocolate and caramel flavors with an underlying herbal English hop flavor that comes thru more in the finish and as it warms.A thinner bodied beer but very sociable, a nice Scottish "small" beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky ice tea brown color with a frothy head and some lacing

Smell: Malted milk chocolate and hazelnuts; rather bready

Taste: Starts with a very clean malty base which turns a bit earthy and coarse in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Very smooth but a tad below medium bodied; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very pleasant Scottish that is marked down a bit for its mediocre finish

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

Chestnut color that cant be beat. Chunky, fluffy white head that looks almost like rice pudding from the top! Sweet,caramel and malt aroma. Slight sherry tinge. Malt dominates the flavor. Very mild hop bite to it. Treacle and toffeeish flavors. Nice malty sweetness in the finish. Great body for the listed abv. An excellent beer-very full and well rounded. Retired? Damn shame.

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Photo of rocketmotor
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle, pours with a small head. Leaves good lacing on the glass. This beer has a nice malty aroma. I can also smell the hops, a rather light scent that seems to be riding on the edge of the malt, with a nice, spicy character.

This beer has a nice malt flavor, rather mild, not roasted too much, as I do not like the coffee flavors of very malty beers. The hops taste similar to the smell, spicy and on the outside edges of the malt. Leaves a nice interplay between sweet malt and hops on the tongue. There is also a slight sour flavor, not overpouring, but unmistakable. I guess it works ok... I prefer a more carbonated beer, as this is mildy carbonated. Mouthfeel is still nice though, with good body.

Drinkability is good, I could have more than one if I had to. I really need something with more hops.

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Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well carbonated, good summer drink. Brown, big initial head of cream. Lace and off-white head. Malt and sourness significant contributions. Scotch, barleywine aroma. Grassy,hops present copper of UK ales, fine when you share the bottle. Easy drinking.

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

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that is full of roasted and caramel malts. It is dry, yet sweet with a bitter hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a solid "amber" base consisting of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It is sweet on the swallow and bitter on the finish. It has a sweet malty character that is well balanced with hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good Scottish ale. It's full of malt flavor along with a good hop character; a fine sessions beer.

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Photo of aracauna
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper with a weak head. The aroma is very malty with a hint of peat. It’s also heavily sweet with caramel and brown sugar. The flavor isn’t overly sweet (the aroma would have fit a cloyingly sweet beer, so it wouldn’t have been unexpected), but does have a cake-like malt quality that complements the aroma nicely. There’s virtually no bitterness. The body is a bit thin, however.

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Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, mahogany body with a small, but lasting, beige head. Island chain patterns of lace decorate the glass.
Aroma is subdued, with caramel and toffee notes, and herbal, leafy hops in the background.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, with good carbonation.
Taste mirrors the aroma, with sweet toffee and caramel notes balanced well with the herbal hops bitterness. A pleasant twang of minerals is noted throughout, which adds to the character.
This is a very easygoing, Scottish ale that is very highly drinkable except for its above average price tag.

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Photo of foamer
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask @ Bon Accord, Glasgow

Pours a deep amber colour with a creamy head which dimishes to lacing left all the way down the glass. A good malty nose with some faint hops making themselves known. The citrusy hops were a surprise in the taste for a Scottish beer and the caramel malts balanced out the hops nicely, and the beer finished pleasingly bitter. Slightly thin mouthfeel but nevertheless smooth. A nice ale, although I prefer Inveralmond's Ossians Ale, but certainly a decent offering from the folks in Perth.

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Photo of Shiredave
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very pretty beer - deep burgandy brown, ultra clear when back-lit. Tiny bubbles of carb rise to a persistantly tight, off white head leaving nice strands of lace on the glass.

Aroma is subtle; initially I got a sharp cidery aroma that dissapeared with a couple of swirls. Some sweet mollasos and coffee notes with a hint of wet wood.

Flavor is soft and refined with light sweetness up front and some earthy hop flavors. Mild dark grain flavors mix well with chalky dryness . Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery but approprate to style. Smooth and lush on the tongue, this is a very drinkable beer, and a flavorfull, un-boring session beer.

Definate mineral character and controlled hop bittering contribute to the long, dry finish. Lingering toffee notes invite another swallow... and another.

A classic example of a Scottish Ale ( 40 Shilling give or take ) and while pricey and not earth shattering, worth checking out.

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

"Unless the Fates shall faithless prove,
and prophets voice be vain,
where'er this sacred Stone is found,
the Scottish people shall reign."

--The Stone of Destiny is the coronation stone of the Kings of the Scots and dates from 840 A.D.

Translucent, dark, reddish copper with more than a little rust orange for good measure. The beer is capped with a smallish, almond colored head that is tight-bubbled, yet airy, with miniscule surface pits that eat away at the foam with a furious persistence. A stubby collar of lace is the extent of the glass coverage.

Although the nose could be stronger, it's a good one. Dark caramel and dark toffee are in the lead with faint chocolate and peat following along behind. I'd like a little more depth and complexity however. The same general description applies to the flavor. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a Scottish ale, not a wee heavy. I prefer the stronger, heavier style, but can still appreciate and enjoy the lighter one.

Sweet dark malt is uppermost, but it never becomes too sweet or too malty; a relatively generous amount of hops sees to that. Dark fruit (black currant) is more prominent on the palate than it was in the nose. I can also appreciate dark caramel, cocoa and strong English Breakfast tea. More faint yet are molasses and peat, while wispy hints of smoke fade before they can settle into the flavor landscape.

Lia Fail is good beer that makes no missteps during the short journey from bottle to stomach. I would prefer that it have a bit more heft and a more assertive flavor, but then it wasn't designed as that sort of beer. Devotees of the style could do much worse than this fine, representative Scottish Ale.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish and brown colour with a thick, cream-brown foam.

The smell is of sugar, malt and candy. A bit thin though.

Taste is bitter, a bit roasted and quite "dry". No special sweetness to it, and quite bleak.

An easily drunk beer, but thats about it. Doesn't give me anything out of the ordinary.

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Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
3.75 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
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