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Fraoch Heather Ale - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fraoch Heather AleFraoch Heather Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

998 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 998
Reviews: 689
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 44
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed in Scotland since 2000 B.C. heather ale is probably the oldest style of ale still produced in the world. From an ancient Gaelic recipe for "leann fraoich" (heather ale) it has been revived and reintroduced to the Scottish culture. Into the boiling bree of malted barley, sweet gale and flowering heather are added, then after cooling slightly the hot ale is poured into a vat of fresh heather flowers where it infuses for an hour before being fermented.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 10-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 998 | Reviews: 689 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_Beeryman


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

07-21-2014 13:42:51 | More by John_Beeryman
Photo of Soterios


3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

07-20-2014 20:53:01 | More by Soterios
Photo of SamKetchum

District of Columbia

4.44/5  rDev +18.1%

The history behind this ale is fascinating. The bottle tells the story of the oldest Scottish Ale, dating back to 2000 b.c. At the initial sip it is sweet with distinct floral overtones. A slight twist of hops then appears, followed by light earthy malts- giving the beer its character. The aftertaste is slightly nutty and is strangely chalk like. Very good overall, a testament to the 4000 years its been brewed. I'd definitely go another.

07-19-2014 18:10:02 | More by SamKetchum
Photo of Ozzylizard


3.6/5  rDev -4.3%

$ 2.79/11.2 oz (330 mL) bottle at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH
Bottle best by Aug 2015 at 45 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma somewhat woody and herby
Head average (4.5 cm), white, frothy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm layer
Lacing good – broken rings and stalactites of small bubbles
Body light yellow, clear
Flavor light, slightly sweet, somewhat herby; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

I don’t know what heather smells or tastes like, not having been in Scotland in at least a decade, so I don’t know whether the herbiness is the typical heather aroma/flavor or not. I do know that this is an interesting if somewhat innocuous beer. I would like to find this on tap sometime.

07-19-2014 14:09:14 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom


3/5  rDev -20.2%

07-19-2014 05:06:53 | More by Cloaked_Phantom
Photo of andrewdanks


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

07-15-2014 19:03:57 | More by andrewdanks
Photo of Andy_Luft

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

07-15-2014 11:36:45 | More by Andy_Luft
Photo of randylangford


4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

07-14-2014 00:54:49 | More by randylangford
Photo of sammyg832


4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

07-12-2014 23:13:31 | More by sammyg832
Photo of wimteiss

New York

4.3/5  rDev +14.4%

A really really great Viking Style Pale. The Williams Bros are known for their super light mouthfeel and herbal flavors. Out of the whole lineup, the Fraoch Heather is my favorite. The pour is a clear amber, but the lack of head or lacing was originally concerning. Smells of sweet grasses and light florals. The taste... is.. spot on. Crisp and clean, Heather comes in for a quick kiss of herbs, sweet malt, and an earthy essence. She finishes quickly and leaves you refreshed, but wanting more. Thirst quenching, tasty, easy to drink. Definitely will drink again.

07-11-2014 23:19:15 | More by wimteiss
Photo of JMS1512

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

07-08-2014 03:56:41 | More by JMS1512
Photo of KAF


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

07-06-2014 22:07:45 | More by KAF
Photo of vrbulldog22


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

07-05-2014 23:16:19 | More by vrbulldog22
Photo of doktorhops


4.4/5  rDev +17%

Well, well: Fraoch Heather Ale, at last we meet - I have been wanting to sample this brew ever since I started reviewing beers and heard of the Scottish Gruit style. As I have always had a fascination with ancient history the idea of trying one of their original beers (Fraoch has been brewed for over 4,000 years) has managed to burrow its way into my soft grey matter like those brain worms from The Wrath of Khan. Now it's finally time to feed my brain worm.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice.

A: Presents with a hazy light Tangelo body and white soap bubble lacing that dissolves into a ring around the glass.

S: Flowery and fruity with a honeyed malt base. The flower notes are camomile and honeysuckle. The fruit notes are overripe pear and nectarine. A very pleasing aroma, quite sweet but nonetheless enjoyable.

T: Hmmm, it's different, in a great way - flavour is honey dominant without being overly sweet - if you wanted to taste a beer with the essence of honey this nails it. Those overripe pears and the flowery heather also round out the palate. The finish is a light medicinal herb bitterness with a dry vinous touch.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation.

D: The more this brew warmed up (I had it in the freezer - it was ice cold) the more spice flavours came out, such as mulled wine spices. Also the after taste was nothing like any other brew I've tried - a bit of herbal funk. This was a unique experience, however if I have better access to this beer it would easily find a place amongst the regulars - an excellent drop, air do shlàinte!

Food match: Roasted pig on a spit with a honey-glaze, roast carrots, potatoes and fennel - your typical medieval fare for an ancient ale.

07-04-2014 06:23:04 | More by doktorhops
Photo of Sad_Spirit

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

07-01-2014 17:23:05 | More by Sad_Spirit
Photo of makivele

4.25/5  rDev +13%

06-30-2014 17:51:00 | More by makivele
Photo of BrooklynPanch

New York

4/5  rDev +6.4%

06-29-2014 01:52:09 | More by BrooklynPanch
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped Jan 2015. Sampled on June 27, 2014.

The pour is a cloudy looking pale yellow with a modest white head that fades.

The aroma is full of herbal notes and flowers. Perfumed up with a malt mixture hanging out in the background.

The body is light to medium.

The taste has a thin grainy character but the herbal spices really define this beer. I will have to assume that the unusual flowery flavor comes from the heather flower, which I am not entirely familiar with. This most definitely has a unique quality to it.

06-27-2014 23:04:36 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

06-24-2014 02:48:30 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of jharris0624


4/5  rDev +6.4%

06-23-2014 01:16:55 | More by jharris0624
Photo of patre_tim


3.84/5  rDev +2.1%

A: Light filtered copper, highly carbonated, a two finger off white head. Foamy lacing, leaves the glass lookin like the icing on a gingerbread house.

S: Caramel sweet flowery smell, light and fragrant, perhaps some honey, and malt, some vanilla.

T: Light, herbed and malty. Getting lots of green herbs, as well as a flowery taste which I suppose to be heather. Smooth, crisp, finishes with a little bitter aftertaste from herbs but minimal and faint.

M: Light, foamy but moderate to high carbonation.

O: Similar to the Gooseberry wheat ale by the same company, in texture and somewhat in flavour, but more gentle and relaxed, not as intense. Would go well with haggis I reckon. Love the history, good flavour, but not really grabbing me, unless I can find out more about this unique brew.

06-23-2014 01:09:49 | More by patre_tim
Photo of jak

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

06-21-2014 21:22:02 | More by jak
Photo of mrcraft


3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

06-19-2014 17:35:20 | More by mrcraft
Photo of chaskins11


4.29/5  rDev +14.1%

Had this after a weekend camping trip to the Isle of Eigg in Mallaig. Really cool label and a style of Scottish beer that has been around for thousands of years. Great beer with floral notes, earthy feel on the palate. Surprisingly smooth with a good finish. Hoping I can find this when I return to the U.S.

06-17-2014 22:01:03 | More by chaskins11
Photo of DarrenBrule

Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +33%

06-15-2014 23:52:44 | More by DarrenBrule
Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.