1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fraoch Heather Ale - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fraoch Heather AleFraoch Heather Ale

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

1,036 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,036
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.07%
Wants: 48
Gots: 34 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fraoch Heather Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,036 | Reviews: 696 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LennyBound
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

LennyBound, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of derkfromwi
3.75/5  rDev 0%

derkfromwi, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Stigs
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Stigs, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of charlzm
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

charlzm, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of killcore
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%

killcore, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of Sellen
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Sellen, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of casapy
3/5  rDev -20%

casapy, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of cbnz
3/5  rDev -20%

cbnz, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of sommersb
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Tasted On: 09-11-2014
Freshness: Best by 09-30-2014
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Single from Liquor Barn, Bowling Green KY

Average white head sits on the semi-hazy beer golden in color. Fair head retention and good lacing. The aroma is floral, plus has lemongrass and other tart, citrus smells.

Taste has a light malty flavor, with grassy notes. Also honey flavors, and is overall somewhat sweet. Light in body with a clean feel, the beer is low to moderate in carbonation. Finish is lightly sweet.

Very enjoyable, for a beer with no hops. Kudos to the brewery for recreating an ancient-style ale that you hardly ever hear of.

sommersb, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Appearance – Cloudy and light golden amber. There is good evidence of natural carbonation a decent head of tight whit bubbles which retains reasonably well and leaves really good lacing.

Smell – Nice leafy bouquet up front with hints of berry and citrus. There is also evidence of earthy malt smells on the mouth and mild boozy aroma.

Taste – There is a clear sharpness to this brew. The earthy malt taste comes through with a little mild citrus. No hop to speak of but it does have a woody character from the heather the flavour lingers longest on the very back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel – A little sticky and coating the back of the tongue there is no warmth and little evidence of the carbonation I expected.

Overall – An interesting brew if a little confusing. It has a long history being the oldest beer style still brewed in Europe (dates to 2000B.C). Flavour difficult to pin down and may be very hard to review for some. It is probably not the best Gruit I have had but it is still more than drinkable and I would not steer others away from it even if I personally would not rush out to buy another.

BeerDrinkersWorldTour, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of EHopkinsi
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Enjoyed a bottle while in Scotland. Different, but good.

EHopkinsi, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Morakaton
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Morakaton, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of gory4d
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

gory4d, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of Cramshawbar
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

How do you rank water? I never thought of it before.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Fraoch Heather Ale but then there is really very little taste to describe here. Even the burp tastes of nothing.
This is a very refreshing summer beverage, just don't try to pretend that it's beer. It tastes nothing of the sort.
Reading some reviews, I am confused as to what they have tried. They talk of things that are simply not here. Could mine be an old beer? No...it says that it is good until January, 2015.
Very puzzled indeed.

Cramshawbar, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of Riik3
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Riik3, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of ale207
3.75/5  rDev 0%

ale207, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Jotora
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Jotora, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Bierleichen
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%

Bierleichen, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of Aleott
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Aleott, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of parintele
3.75/5  rDev 0%

parintele, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

A: Pours a golden color with almost no head

S: Malty, floral, and grainy. Zero hop presence, but the heather makes up for that

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the malts and graininess and then the heather and some fruitiness come through, making that the ultimate taste in the finish

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice easy drinker that has an underlying heather nose and flavor. Again, no real hop presence anywhere so it's a little different in that regard. Recommended for a nice change of pace

BEERMILER12, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of admh1972
5/5  rDev +33.3%

admh1972, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Justinsosmart
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Justinsosmart, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of timmy2b
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

timmy2b, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of MrMarkers
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%

MrMarkers, Aug 12, 2014
Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.