Fraoch Heather Ale - Williams Brothers Brewing Company
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 677 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
3.05/5 rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75
William, the beer manager at Total Wine & More in Scottsdale initially recommended this beer to me. After reading about it, the brewing process, and what all goes into it, I am if nothing else curious. I am excited to see how the heather flower affects the color, aroma, and flavor of this beer. I like words like "wirelike" and "dry finish" when used to explain this beer. I have no idea what to expect, but for that price (and that ABV) it better be good! I am sure drinking this will remind me of Europe, and it will make me want to go on a trip. Speaking of that, I am in need of a vacation. It's been too long! Where should I go?
I am excited to drink this beer, and we will actually be doing two beers today. It has been a few days since we reviewed a beer, and are excited to get back into the swing of things. We have a lot of good beers lined up, and I want to drink them all! Speedway Stout is one of them from AleSmith. I have heard nothing but good things about that beer. Anyway, let's see what the Heather Ale tastes like.
In the Glass: When I poured this, I could smell the dryness from the heather. When I think of heather, I think of tall thick grass on a golf course. That is what I call heather… some golf courses have high grass, think raptors from Jurassic Park, and most courses that have heather are links style courses. Makes sense this is a Scottish beer, as most traditional links style courses come from Scotland.
At any rate, Sheryl said, "This looks like orange juice." Hardly. It's cloudy, but looks more like a Blue Moon than orange juice. We have orange juice in the fridge if she wants to compare the two! The beer pours smooth, with a lot of bubbles, and a nice thin white head. Not much lace here, but my glass is really full. The bottle is 500ml. I can already smell this, so let's see what it smells like when I stick my nose in the glass.
Nose: I guess that is what the heather flower smells like. I always thought it smelled like grass, but what do I know? It has a nice dry aroma to it. It almost smells like sake. The beer has a really low ABV, though, coming in at only 5%. I bet this would be a good beer to pair with sushi. A second whiff has continued dryness and begs for a sip.
Flavor: William said this beer was good. He's right. It is good. But it's weird. Not in a bad way, but in a complex way. I have never tasted anything like this before. It has a mouthfeel of a beer (we will get to that) but it has a lot of flavors dancing across your palate. The flavor, to be honest, isn't that impressive. Once you get past the fact you are drinking a heather ale, with all the history that goes behind it, you don't really think about the ingredients or the flavor profile. It has a quick finish and practically no aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: When I was pouring this, I could tell there were a lot of bubbles. It isn't as carbonated as I had expected, and actually slides across the palate with a certain thickness that you wouldn't have guessed. The bubbles really hit toward the end/back of the palate, and as you swallow, you are left with the dryness that everyone talks about. I wonder if the flower is what is causing that…
Aftertaste: What aftertaste? There isn't much of an aftertaste here. The tongue is left dry, but I wouldn't call that an aftertaste. This is where the hops are supposed to be taking over, but since they don't use hops (or very few hops) in this beer, there isn't much bitterness.
Basically, this is a weird experience and an awkward flavor. I would order this again if I was eating, but only if there was good involved. I have a feeling this doesn't get better as it heats up, either. Just has a certain flavor that I would expect from a wheat beer that gets gross as it gets warm. Glad this was on the list, but I am not blown away. Has anyone tried this with food? (Oh, and the burp is horrible. It tastes like sour grapes.)
Serving type: bottle
02-20-2013 21:48:00 | More by rickyleepotts
More User Reviews:
3.53/5 rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25
A - Pale straw colour with a very clear clarity. Head is a solid inch and a half. A very clean looking beer. Littl sign of carbonation.
S - Leafy and floral aroma.
T - Off the bat, it is very spicy and acidic. Floral notes with some herbs. Hard to pinpoint, but it has a very sharp taste. I really enjoy the herbal punch of the taste.
M - Smooth consistency with a delicate carbonation. Finishes dry and quick.
O - Much better than the Grozet IMO. Still lacking some oompf, but the sharp taste at the start really sells it for me. Would drink again.
Serving type: bottle
01-15-2014 03:03:28 | More by Spesme
Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.