1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Fraoch 20th Anniversary Ale - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fraoch 20th Anniversary AleFraoch 20th Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

71 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 17
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jgasparine on 10-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 50
Photo of KYGunner
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The nose is a lot like a Barleywine with dark fruits and decadent chocolate malts, but there's a bit of earthy peat and perfume to set it apart.

This drinks like a port with alcohol laced prunes, dates and other dark fruits. This is a very smooth sipper.

Photo of IMFletcher
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PassMeAZima
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jaydoc
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Hohnbaum
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Chinookie
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had been saving this one in the cellar since 2009. Bottle #0997 of 7500.

Foamed up a bit upon opening but fortunately had a glass handy to avoid wastage. Immediate aroma of floral and crisp apple cider.

Poured into snifters; beautiful dark gold with a loose foamy white head. Aroma gave away the sour notes in the taste, but also smacked of wood and funk.

Bracing sour upon tasting, but progressed along with wood and sour mash notes.

An excellent beer to pull from your cellar in the summer. Refreshing and worth the wait. After five years, the funk and sour keep up. Nice all around.

Photo of DarrenBrule
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of ubufan2112
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a mini snifter. Plastic cork is strange.

Appearance - Deep orange with a fleeting white head. Nothing after a few moments.

Smell - Whoa, it's weird. Some acidity. Lactic. Malty and sweet. Whiskey. Oak. Crazy.

Taste - Again, it's all sorts of strange. Whiskey comes through. Still a bit of tang to it that I didn't expect. Oaky. Malty. Herbal. Very strange.

Mouthfeel - Sweet, low carbonation. Some tang, but not anything I'd call sour. Some booze.

Overall - Someone likened it to a whiskey sour. Probably an oversimplification, but an apt descriptor.

Photo of UTvolFAN16
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of emerge077
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks to be the 2009 vintage, marked down on a seasonal shelf in MN.
Carefully poured in a taster glass, it has some clarity but there are random floating chunks in suspension. Lasting ring of foam with arcs of lace in the glass. Maintains some froth during the whole glass.

Tart with a musty cellar funk to it. Apple notes remind me of sherry, could be from the cask.

Tart with a middling sherry sweetness, almost tangy. Fuller feel, savory with a pervasive tangy fruit taste. Lower carbonation. Unusual, not sure if its worth the price tag at this point. If you love sherry and tart old ale, this might be up your alley.

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 2019. $20.99 Bottle was a gusher and lots of particles in suspension.

A: light brown/amber color, gusher with lots of particles in suspension, huge creamy/frothy head, great lacing
S: clean, spritzy with a bit of sourness (CO2?), full nose with spicy qualities
T: clean, spritzy with slight sourness, herb qualities, highly drinkable and very refreshing, taste belies ABV of 11%, has almost a gueze quality
M: very smooth, refreshing

Photo of AngusOg
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of maximum12
2.97/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A wonderful tradition has begun in the house: my lovely wife goes out each Christmas & buys me 4-5 beers that I haven't had, & would probably never buy...read, imports. I look forward to it every year, & this is the first of the 2012 haul. 750ML bottle split with my wife (see how that worked out for her?).

First, the weird, hand-denting cork. Ahh. Towel stops the burning. Pour is...whoa! Gimme the towel back! Slow motion overflow & I have to suck a little off the top before I can grab a glass. OK, pour is light orange, cloudy, with enough sediment to cause a choking concern. Nose is very nice, light whiskey, pear, apple, almost a champagnesque vibe to it.

Fraoch 20th Anniversary Ale is great right up I take a sip. Heather, I presume? The bizareen of heather hits the palate like a jab: did I just ingest the Sound of Music? As close as I can come is this tastes like flowers, tea, harsh lemon. Whiskey is faintly heard in the distance, but grows as it warms. Heather & whiskey don't mix so well. Half a bomber of this is tough to swallow, so to speak.

Truly odd. The primary flavors of heather & whiskey aren't very complimentary, & that makes it hard to drink more than a few ounces. Mediocre is a word twisted into a pretzel to describe this beer, but. well.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle 0315 of 7500

Don't know how this was stored prior to it being in the fridge at work for 6+ months...

A lot of big flakes of sediment in the bottle - none of which was poured out. Poured it into several 6oz stemmed glasses and ample, spritzy carbonation. A little bit of lacing and a tiny swirl/collar of suds stayed the whole time. The color is a brilliant gold, hazy, with a touch of coppery hue.

Moderately vibrant floral (heather) scent with a touch of perfumy alcohol and a subdued undercurrent of old, musty fabric (cotton, burlap, etc).

The taste had some fascinating complexity - about 3-4 stages of dramatic flavor development. Floral esters are detected immediately and shine briefly, quickly followed by a mildly tart and sour, lightly metallic flare, trailed by a marginally longer stand of a sort of tenuous apricot-pineapple-mango (take your pick) fruity quality backed by a feather-weight, honeyish malt and, lasting long into the finish, it all drops off to reveal a surprisingly-bold, oxidized, just about cardboard /dry sherry flavor. Rises up like it's gonna explode, but falls short of the need to spit it out. And, you might not realize this comes in a 11%...

Through several sips, the palate adjusts to what's going on and the brew ends up coming across like a heavily-oxidized champagne. Not incredibly fruity, but enough. Pretty darn dry as well. Quite an intriguing drink. Wish their standard Froach had nearly the same complexity. I wouldn't guarantee every bottle to taste like this one.

Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Founders shaker pint glass.

Bottle #2471/7500. Apparently this one saw a second wave of distribution...? Regardless, it pours a clear sunset orange topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises ripe citrus fruits (so intermingled that it's impossible for me to pick the mass apart into its constituents), toffee, and a melange of vaguely herbal spices/spicy herbs (likely some combination of flowers, herbs, spices, and assorted plants and whatnot). A mild twinge of whiskey pierces in there at times, but never does it hang around very long. The taste brings in more of the same, painting one strange panorama of flavors ranging from tangy fruits, spices, mild whiskey, and earthy flowers, though not in that order (in fact, order be damned!). It's not bad, but it's a bit much at times, to the degree that I have been forced to call this flavoring "confusing" for lack of a better term. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, an interesting beer, one that shines more brightly than its naked counterpart and is generally tasty and deserves a high rank in its style, but one that comes across as too confusing (there's that damn word again...) for me to wanna return for future drinking.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ceetee26
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of MatthewWilde
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2009

A: Pours an extremely lively head that quickly dissolves into nothing at all, burnt orange in color with large quantities of sediment, as such, cloudy throughout

S: Citrus and tropical fruits, elements of medicinal herbs, spicy and sour notes at once, quite fragrant and complex

T: Much reminiscent of the nose, an excellent combination of citrus, dried fruits, mint, champagne, and a touch of alcohol, amazing

M: Well balanced, drinkable, mild dried fruit aftertaste, not lingering, but a touch drying

O: A complex and delicious limited edition, a must-try, nice representation of the style

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 165/7500 thanks for sharing this Maggie. This is a slow gusher that errupts the sediment from the bottom with lots of fizz. Chunks of sediment fill the copper colored brew and a white froth sits atop the pour.

The brew smells tangy with alcohol. Spicy undertones are evident that blend into some mild oak character. The smell is fitting for tge style with quite an interesting arrangement of tangy alcohok verse spice and mild barrel presence.

The brew is tangy on thr tongue with alcohol and underlying spices. Some fruit almost like cherry blends into barrel tannins, raw oak and a touch of vanilla. Some tart flavors include a minor hint of caramel malt. This is a unique brew here for sure.

This is a medium bodied brew with a fizzy level of carbonation. Lots of interesting stuff going in here. For 11% I don't think I could enjoy more than a serving. The alcohol creeps up the back of the throat with a solid warmth that clashes a bit with the tangy aspects and spice. i appreciative of the opportunity to give this a try.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Fraoch 20th Anniversary Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.