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Highland Tasgall Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Tasgall AleHighland Tasgall Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

179 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 7.62%
Wants: 35
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AlexJ on 08-26-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cvstrickland:
Photo of cvstrickland
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

Back from an extended hiatus, Highland's Tasgall Ale served as their 2009 "Special Release", in history, a descriptor of a lights-out lineup of one-timers which in the past has included such limited edition goodies as "Imperial Kashmir IPA", and "Imperial Black Mocha Stout". The good news is that Tasgall Ale (named after "the cauldron of the gods" in Norse mythology) isn't just making a brief encore appearance-- the brew is back in Highland's seasonal rotation for good this time. Valhalla be praised!

The lightly-chilled 22-ounce bomber bottle pours a hazy hazelnut-tinted amber color and is capped with a finger-thick lid of fine-grained pale beige bubbles. As the crowning topper of foam relaxes, an impressive freckled web of lacing remains clinging to the inner walls of my Duvel tulip.

The aroma is sweetly chocolatey with a firm vinous whiff of dark caramel and candied dried fruit. A deeply-imbedded backbone of toasted-pecan nutty mellowness is augmented by notes of brown-sugary dates and succulent figs that supplement Tasgall's savory richness and aromatic sweetness.

The taste is caramel-sweet with a note of burnt toffee and an apple-like splash of alcohol fruitiness. Dusty cocoa, roasty dark chocolate, and a prickly smattering of molasses join together with more mild nuttiness, but even in concert the potently savory/sweet flavor components fail to prevent a vague whiff of earthy smokiness from softly drying the finish.

The drink is full-bodied and silky-smooth with quite a bit of lingering palate-stick and lip-smacking chewiness. Carbonation is unobtrusive and appropriate; the 8.0% ABV is well-managed and the beer highly drinkable. Lovely stuff for warming the belly of a chilly Viking on a blustery mid-winter day.

cvstrickland, Jan 03, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -1%

Pours a deep mahogany with an off white creamy head very rich and full looking,aromas are smokey and caramelly sweet with an underlying roasted malt note wich was expected.Quite fruity up front like prune and raisin some bitter chocolate as well a healthy dose of drying earthy hop rounds out the finish.A nice newer "big" brew from Highland a very quality NC brewer.

oberon, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%

Appearance – This ale is a light orangish-brown in color with a similarly-colored head.

Smell – The malts are rich and powerful here and have a light scotch aroma to go along with them. The sugar is like a sticky, liquid sugar syrup and I can pick up some light alcohol in the foreground.

Taste – This is super-sweet once it hits your tongue. It’s a very refined sweetness and lightly swabbed with alcohol. It’s reminiscent of Southern Comfort if you’ve ever had that.

Mouthfeel – This just does meet the bar of medium-bodied with a slick, sticky mouthfeel and some good boozy notes.

Drinkability – This is a sharp but somewhat broken down Scotch Ale.

RoyalT, May 17, 2006
Photo of blitz134
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

Pours an extremely dark garnet color. You have to hold it to the light to see any light coming through. Head is a light tan color and came up two fingers thick. Reduced down to a quarter inch layer with lacing sticking all around the glass.

Slight toasted malt aromas with lots of caramel sweetness. Some nuttiness to round it out. Nice amount of hops, floral in nature.

A good flavor overall. It comes across with some chocolate and toasted malts. Some earthy flavors as well. Finishes with a bit of a bite, mostly likely from the alcohol, although there is no alcohol taste in any part of this beer.

Mouthfeel is a true highlight of this beer. This is the fullest bodied scotch ale I've had. It coats the mouth with an almost creamy feel.

Drinkability is superb. A nicely balanced flavor with a full body. No hints of alcohol. Well done Highland...

blitz134, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev +2%

My first bottle of a North Carolina beer since the 6% abv cap was lifted. Pours a dark mahogany body that is opaque until backlighting reveals a radiant garnet clarity. Light brown head is small, but lasting and leaves some sketchy lace behind.

Aroma has toffee, caramel apples, a hint of chocolate, cherries, and a kiss of earthy, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium body and a restrained carbonation that is just enough to contribute a silkiness. Slight warming alcohol is approriate for style.

Taste has buttery toffee, caramel apple, and a prominent chocolate presence that adds a Porter character. Hops are earthy, with a note of pine, and add a pleasant balancing bitterness. I didn't notice the smokiness that was evident in the draft version I sampled several weeks ago. The 8% abv is cleverly concealed but for some mild warming presence that is welcome on a cold winter evening.

Very tasty and user friendly. Its smoothness contibutes to an excellent drinkability. One of Highland's better brews and an excellent "popped cap" effort. Not as much to style as the tap version, but this 22 oz bottle is a very nice sipper.

merlin48, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

22oz brown bomber served into my mad Elf tulip glass.

Opaque,cloudy,muddy black with a 2" very creamy tan head with good retention leaving nice clingy lace curtians down the glass.

Very roasy aromas,smokey,peat like erthyness with sweet carmell and dark fruit with prune notes.Bakers chocolate very good scotch ale aroma,very complex.

Strong roasty tastes up front with black coffee,robust with good balance,earthy,woody with some dark fruitiness. Nice clean sharp bitterness to finish.

Suprizingly light mouthfeel,zesty,well-rounded. Extra pleasing aftertaste creates an extreamly drinkable scotch style ale. one of the best i've had. Had some Highland beers while on vacation at the OB last summer,all well good beers. This was their best offering by far.

Thaks to Kwakwhore for the send,would love to get more of this one.

jcdiflorio, May 08, 2008
Photo of kingjames1
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

I'm not that familiar with the style (only had one other Scotch ale), so I'm not sure what to compare it to. It pours a cloudly,opaque coca-cola amber, with a sticky, tan head. The nose is good, but weak. I smell chocolate, coffee, and bready malts (I can tell that this is a sister of their black mocha stout).

The taste is better than the smell, with the roasted malts being balanced with tangy hop bitterness. How to describe...coffee, for sure, bitter dark chocolate, some oily pine resin, molasses, pumpernickel and a hint of cherry. Very interesting ale. Leaves a distinct after taste in my mouth.

Mouthfeel is nice, balancing the oily aspect of the beer with good carbonation.

very drinkable and enjoyable. A 22 oz is enough, but its a good amount (at least for little ole me).

recommended - give it a try.

kingjames1, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev -1.7%

williamjbauer, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Appears a deep ruby brown hue with murky dark edges forming thick tan head and sporadic lacing around my chalice, sampled courtesy of jcdiflorio's stock from beer trades. Aroma contains deep roasted nutty chocolate tones with raisin and mild alcohol notes this is such a strong dominant malt nose with subtle subdued tobacco leaf hop notes rolling in, Tony likey. For a Wee Heavy much more dark roasted malt tones that traditionally used but the way they're blended here makes you appreciate American craft brewing that much more. Flavor is chalk full of vinous ripe fruit notes with a mild tartness and earthy grape seed nutty character I feel like I'm getting my antioxidants from this brew, well rounded grain doses a balance between dark roasted dry chocolate and caramel roasted bready malt layers colliding. Light presence of hops with herbal earthy highlights and a kiss of pine cone edged hops, but a yeast note that screams funky UK ales gives off a great flavor really adding some of this beers most interesting qualities. Although I thrive on the hops a well done malt bomb always hits the spot and this one is like poetry in the smoothness category. Mouthfeel is medium bodied even soft carbonation touch of residual sugars bringing a sticky texture on but it's welcomed hered never cloying in any way. Drinkability is incredibly effortless at 8% abv you can barely notice which says it's definitely a well constructed brew, so far the best of the lot I've sampled from the South.

WVbeergeek, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of ByTor2112
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

I had this on draft at Old Town and I have had almost all of Highland's except this one and my Cold Mountain which is aging as I write. Very nice malty aroma with some hops and alcohol present, a hint of piney woods? A nice tan head that hung around but disappeared. Deep dark copper not quite brown color. First sip I tasted the malt and hops and acohol. My first thoughts were a DIPA because it had an almost resinous taste and feel. Good thick mouthfeel, a little peat smoked malt? but did NOT taste smokey. Anything Highland brews is gold and this Wee Heavy is choice. I felt as if the taste was bold in the beginning then finished cleaner. A killer balance of a strong malt backbone, generous hops and the alcohol is present but not overbearing. This Wee Heavy beats the other I have tried that begins with a " B ".

ByTor2112, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of glid02
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of heavy toasted malts with hints of darker roasted malts. Also present are moderate amounts of light molasses and lighter amounts of toffee. Finally, earthy hops and very slight smoke waft in and out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet toasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of toffee and lighter amounts of molasses. Midway through the sip very slight amounts of smoke come into play before being pushed aside by earthy hops. The hops soon give way to the toasted malts which carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this beer had escaped me for some time but I’m glad I finally had the chance to try it. It’s short of exceptional but it is very good and is worth a shot.

glid02, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

(Served in a glass mug)
thanks to SincereNc for this brew
A- This beer pours a dense but crystal clear dark body with a faint glow of walnut brown at the base of the glass. There is a sea of tiny bubbles on the perimeter of the glass supporting a thick creamy meniscus of light tan head.

S- The smell of sweet earthy roasted malt has a dark toasted note to it.

T- The taste of roasted brown malt has some nice fresh chocolate malt flavors with a tobacco leave quality to it. There is a light fruity quality to the malt that is followed by a roasted peanut shell note. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note that is pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft warm alcohol heat in the finish.

D- This is a big beer with some unique qualities to the malt that make it very interesting to drink. Even though it has a bit of alcohol, that really supports the malt, it goes down smooth.

rhoadsrage, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours so dark it is almost black...almost, but not quite.
Slightly off white half finger head melts to very sticky top covering lacing.
Aromas are toasted malts and light brown sugar.
Taste is of toasted dark malt...moderately sweet but balanced with the toasted or burnt flavors, dark brown sugar, belgium yeast. A little bit of mocha-coffee on the end.
Mouthfeel is wonderfully rich, creamy and comfortable. Chewy, in fact.
Alcohol is totally hidden.
This is a wonderful beer.
A wee heavy? Perhaps a bit more hops than you would normally find, but the hops are not bitter...just totally balancing.

IntriqKen, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

The aroma isn't as expected, but remains quite nice. Raisin, fig and other dark fruits fight for space amidst the dominance of chocolate cake/liqueur-injected chocolates. So do the hops, which are there but nearly drowned out by the more dessert-y aspects. Smells like a porter, maybe a stout. Looks that way too: opaque color somewhere between brown and black, and a mocha-colored head.

Flavor is again not exactly true to style, but even Highland admits this on the label: "...increased hop level is a modest departure from a true Scotch-style Ale..." The flavor is hearty and bready overall, all kinds of roasty toasty malts happening, succulent dark fruit elements...and the hops keep it from moving into the realm of liquid cake. Alcohol is detected but it's far from dominant, giving a nice warming glow, like a sherry or bourbon.

The mouthfeel is a wee bit heavy (sorry...), feels real good, appropriate for what's happening here. But considering that and the 8% ABV, it's safe to say this is a special-occasion ale, or an occasional indulgence. Not a daily thing. Good good stuff.

Metalmonk, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

A nicely quaffable and moderately smoked scotch. Good balance and smooth. Brown and decent dark head. Chocolate, spice, good carbonation and mouthfeel. Tasty. North Carolina is rising in the charts since they popped their cap.Sampled with the Atlanta B.A. crew at Brick Store Pub.

Sammy, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of haddon
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

pours a dark cola color with a brown frothy head. lots of carbonation bubbles released throughout the glass. very traditional looking scotch ale.

smells sweet with malts: caramel, cola syrup, butterscotch & brown sugar.

tastes of caramel, smokey wood, dark chocolate and a nice lingering bitter aftertaste. very unique to catch the hop character in a wee heavy. start to feel the warmth of the alcohol as it comes to room temp. very nice.

full body. creamy and thick feel. good amount of carbonation mixed in. well-balanced. may be best part of the beer.

this is one of the more layered and complex scotch ales i've had. again, it seems that they added a little more hops than an average scotch ale. more body & depth than old chub. would put it up there with skullsplitter. will go back to this one.

haddon, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Two fingers of tan head, creamy, lasting. Body is a hazy dark brown. Laces decently, too.

Smell is malt, some nut character.

Taste explodes with semi-bitter malt-- roasty, nutty (bitter hazelnut?), with some slight cocoa nuance. Not quite Skullsplitter, but similar take on the style. Trace of peat in the aftertaste.

Nice rich creamy mouthfeel.

Solid Scotch style, another winner from Highland.

zaphodchak, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

22oz bomber, brought by blackie on his tractor from the NC, yay for highland

appearance: pours a slightly ruby tinted mahogany into the snifter, just a slight khaki head that dissipates into nothingness

smell: heavy on the toffee, lots of caramel sweetness, a strong raisin aroma, very slight alcohol, sweet malt, chocolate covered fruit...pretty decent overall

taste: quite smooth, raisins are the dominant flavour, caramel toasted malts are heavy, sweet plum, milky chocolate covered fruit, plenty of roastiness, slight espresso, sweet alcohol predominantly hidden. a solid effort from highland, but not on lake louie level

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, alcohol well hidden

drinkability: pretty drinkable

dirtylou, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours a very deep brown (almost black) with a nice tan head. The aroma is very malty with notes of toasted bread, caramel, molasses, toffee, smoked peat and a bit of earthy hops. The flavor is very malty with big notes of toasted bread, smoked peat, caramel and molasses, vanilla, toffee, and some earthy and floral hops that balance the sweetness. The mouthfeel is full and rich, and drinkability is quite good for a beer of this magnitude. An excellent offering for highland, easily my favorite of their beers...complex and beguiling.

silver0rlead, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%

22oz bottle pours ruby red/brown with a 1/4" tan head ring. Good lacing & some head retention

S: Rich choclate malt

T: Choclate with slight bitterness up front. Then cinamon, honey, licorice & molasses all surface at some point. Finishes sweet, malty, with choclate & warming alcohol notes

MF: Slick, medium body with good balance & understated carbonation (perfect)

Very drinkable despite the heft, really enjoy this style & this is an outstanding example from an outstanding brewery!

russpowell, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Kegatron, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of Backer2004
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

This one is the best Highland brew I've tried, bar none. Drank this right from the tap at the brewery during a brews cruise of Asheville. Great robust smell with a a bit of chocolate and molasses perhaps. Heavy mouthfeel but clean finish. Quite yummy indeed.

Backer2004, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of dgallina
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

1 pint, 6 fluid ounce brown bomber. No date on the bottle or label.

Pours clear dark brown (nearly black), with a small amount of off-white head that rapidly disappears. A bit of thin sticky lace left over. Smells of sweet powdery cocoa, lactose, perhaps with the faintest herbal or dark fruity edge. Flavor is a pleasantly subtle surprise. Starts off somewhat thin and grainy, with a touch of cocoa and hop bite in the center. Builds slowly to a good chocolate and dry burnt toast finish. Some gentle lingering alcohol spice and warming. Medium body that's mostly creamy and thinly carbonated; mouth-coating and slightly oily. Uninspired at first blush; ultimately held together by a satisfying finish.

dgallina, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of morimech
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a dark caramel color with half inch of tan head that has good retention before settling to a thin cap. A little spotty lacing is left on the glass. I had to really stick my nose deep into the glass to pick up anything in the aroma. What I did detect was toffee with earthy and floral hints. It smells good but I wish it was more easily picked up. The flavor consists of toffee and earthy elements. A bit more alcohol than what is typical. The body is really the best part of this beer. Medium body and silky smooth texture. I enjoyed this beer and is an easy drinker. Looking forward to trying more beer from Highland Brewing.

morimech, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is dark brown with good carbonation. The head is tan thick and fades to a this lace.

The smell is good notes of chocolate and smoky peat.

The taste follows, a quite good and interesting scotch, great malt a bit of alcohol and hints of smoke and chocolate not as much caramel as some of the style.

The mouthfeel is good nice body and ok carbonation.

The drinkability is good a must try if you want to experience the full range of the style.

Prosit MK

MuenchenerKindl, Aug 18, 2008
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Highland Tasgall Ale from Highland Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.