Lia Fail | Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The

126 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 87
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of bark
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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"!

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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

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Photo of MAB
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of thesultan
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of findlayfan
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of Graham5161986
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer dispense from the 500ml bottle an almost opaque brown with tinges of ruby at the edges, head admirable, creamy and light tan in color, stays for a while, then leaves the lace to conceal the glass. Nose has a deep rich malt sweet aroma, caramel, toffee and a bit of peat, maybe a twig of heather, quite nice, clean and crisp to the senses. Start has a sweet malt presence, touch of spiciness at the back, light to moderate in feel. Finish has a pleasant acidity, the hops understated, but adequate, sweet toffee to the dry end, quite a good drinking beer, seems I find less and less Scottish ales.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy muddy copper colour with a standard, slightly off-white head.

Sweet-sour malt smell with a hint of smokiness and a very light hint of peat. Caramel in the background.

Smokey dry malt taste. Coffee-caramel flavours, light hop tastes. Note as thick or overpowering as some of the Scottish ales I've had...and certainly not as underpowered either.

A tad thin at times on the mouth, but a nice thick finish. A good session Scottish.

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A really interesting color, this one. Like a muddy brown ale -- hazy dark copper -- with a decent head and lacing the color of extra-light coffee. Strong carbonation. Smells strongly of malts, with a bit of smoke & earth -- quite Scottish.

Didn't really do it for me, though. I found it a bit metallic and medicinal with a thin mouthfeel for the style. Certainly easy to drink, though, with interesting flavor characteristics that you don't find in most American ales. I'd get it again if looking for something different, but I prefer most other Scottish ales / wee heavies I've tried.

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

500 ml bottle, bought at PeckhamÂ’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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Lia Fail from Inveralmond Brewery Ltd., The
3.75 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
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