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Highland Tasgall Ale - Highland Brewing

Highland Tasgall AleHighland Tasgall Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 7.62%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AlexJ on 08-26-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 151 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JDV


2.83/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of emacgee. Thanks!
Pours a rich murky brown with a light short lived tan head. Smell is lightly of peaty smoky malt. Taste is actually lightly hoppy to accompany the peaty quality and has a roasty, cocoa like quality to it as well. Not my style of beer at all, but this wasn't bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 19:03:16 | More by JDV
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ben for sharing! Poured into a goblet. Nice very dark color that appears black. There is a nice tan head that is enough to barely cover the body of the brew. Adequate lacing.

There is a nice caramelly malty aroma tha has just a touch of burnt aroma to it.

The taste is all malt and sweet caramel. There isn't much balance here; this is a sweet, slow sipper. Very tasty. There is a slight roasty after taste.

The body is medium to thick and has a nice carbonation to it that isn't over-powering.

This is tasty, nothing too special but well worth drinking for fans of the sweet sippers.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 01:32:52 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of JBStith

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Highland Tasgall Ale at first taste was interesting. Not my favorite beer ever, but it was average.

A: Beautiful deep red color with a tan creamy head. Retention and lacing were low. Moderate clarity.

S: No real aroma to speak of. Could smell light malts, but no apparent hops or bitterness.

T: Surprisingly sweet and very malty. Much like the smell, there was very little bitterness present. As the beer warmed, it became even sweeter with a sticky finish. Acohol was masked by malt and sweetness.

M: Mouthfeel was heavy and sticky, especially as it warmed.

D: I could not and would not want more than one of these at a time because of the sweetness.

Overall, this was an average beer for me. Too sweet and sticky. Most of Highland's offerings are much better than this. Having said that, I always recommend that others try to make a judgement of their own.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2006 14:24:50 | More by JBStith
Photo of Thorpe429


3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a light tan head, though not much lacing. The nose is brown sugar, some toasted malt, and not too much else. The taste is about the same and ends up being quite bland. There's some semi-sweet malt and a bit of toffee. A bit of alcohol in the feel and a decent body. Well made, but not all that great.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 00:32:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mentor


3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle provided by mntlover. Thanks for the opportunity. Pours a thin layer of dark caramel colored head over a cloudy and very dark red brown liquid. Smells toffee, caramel, chocolate, and milk sweet. Tastes coffee and chocolate covered toffee. Yummy sweet with a milk creaminess to it. A bit of a sour zing to it that I'd guess is from black patent. Dry roasty early and wet sweet to finish. Has a nice lasting toffee & chocolate aftertaste. Md-thick body and moderately carbonated. As I progressed through the beer it became a bit sharper and unpleasant in the black patent tang, in fact I'd even say burnt grains. Plus, the ending sweetness became a bit cloying. I'll let it warm and see how things change.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 06:09:40 | More by mentor
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Ryan011235

The color is a neutral red-brown with hints of purple. The head is short with not much lacing.

Caramel and lots of butterscotch. There is a lot of cocoa powder as well. A little hint of chocolate and coffee roast. Some grassy hops.

Grainy. Some toffee, some butterscotch and some dark cocoa. Grassy hops on the back.

The body is on the heavy side of medium. Carbonation could be toned back a little.

A decent Wee Heavy. Its got a lot of maltiness, which is good. I think the richness and fruitness could be pushed.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 19:02:44 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty excited to see a few bottles of this hit some local stores recently. This seems to be one of the more elusive offerings from Highland.

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a very dark tawny brown with a thick tan head on top. Retains fairly well and it leaves plenty of sticky lace in its wake. Smells of caramel, candy, and some dark fruits.

There's a good amount of body to this. It borders on the heavy side. Carbonation level is moderate. Flavors of toffee, plum, pumpernickel bread, and has a pleasant mild bitterness from the hops. This is very much a malt-forward beer and I like it. Recommend.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 19:11:28 | More by Onenote81
Photo of RoyalT


3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 01:27:16 | More by RoyalT
Photo of jameaterblues

New York

3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I have been experimenting with this style and I finally feel comfortable enough with it to begin reviewing it. This was my first experience with Highland's, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that all of the highland bombers have been filled by hand in their Asheville brewery since the beginning (some of their beer is contracted elsewhere).

A-Dark mahogany, with light browns and reds on the edges where the light hits...1/3-1/4 inch head that was coffee colored head had risen....there is visible carbonation near the surface. and a very thick lace.
S- Thick toffee and caramel....there is a hop presence, but it is not as pronounced as the description on the bottle makes it out to be.
T-Caramel malts strong up from, and there is also a surgery alcohol sweetness...a very mild hint of chocolate...hops hit in the middle of the body, much bigger than the hops in other beers of similar style, but still not as big as the description made it out to be...more alcohol/sweetness in the finish.
M/D- Moderate carbonation for a heavy syrupy beer....very rich. The hops drastically increased its drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2006 16:40:09 | More by jameaterblues
Photo of AndoBrew


3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*did not mind would not buy*

app: looks like dark coffee in the light. cute little tan head.. not very big or powerful looking. I like scotch ales to look powerful some ok lace

smell: smells like a standard brown ale.. nice toasty malts, clean booze. weak smell though.

taste: oh how it taste much more rich than the smell. nice. very toasted smokie almost malts.. yes smokie.. mostly some brown malt sweets then toasted more black smoke filled warmer nuttier malt flavors. lotsa carbonation, and some clean water flavors as well.

nice booze flavors start to pop out.. not te cleanest or clearest booze, maybe a little sour.. but its okie dokie.

I think the building sour aspects, the over carbonation, the lack of richness and an almost one dimensional flavor really limit this beer.

A lack of anything offensive really help this beer.

mf: a little watery and to much carbonation

drinkable?: it is. its just not great.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 07:27:02 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost through trying this breweries lineup thanks to a generous trade! I liked this and am glad to have tried it. Could be a skewed preference but I like a more pronounced carmel flavor in the brew.

A - Dark brown with a reddish sides of the glass. Brown thick head took a while to dissipate.

S - A nice malty mix of caramel and toffee.

T - Similar to smell but with faint touch of roasted grain and hops. ABV is well hidden.

M - Medium bodied, dry finishing. Nice carbonation levels.

D - Smooth nicely quaffable scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 18:33:23 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

really pumped for this one...always a fan of a good scotch and have heard good things about this one.

a - opened the bottle and filled capt lawrence taster tulip. really nice deep plum. great shine and the head built to be about a finger of off tan. beer has a darker heart than the outskirts. really attractive, classic looking.

s - purple grape malts. plums and barley. crisp. fresh grape juice. soft and timid.

t - slam in the face with barley, grape, malts, finishing with grass. malty caramel. little watery. pretty earthy almost like an esb.

m - full and leaves a tea-like after feel.

o - overall, not bad. i had higher expectations based on what i had heard. i felt that it was a little watery. it was good, but there are many better scotches out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 02:30:41 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of elgiacomo


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottled March 4, 2011. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours dark brown with a decent sized tan head that leaves some spots of lacing and holds a light cap.

Aroma is caramel, brown sugar, some light peat/smoke, and some grainy, grassy notes. Moderate to good strength.

Flavor follows with more caramel, toffee, brown sugar, a hint of chocolate, some peat, some herbal notes, a bit of alcohol at the end. Mild sweetness, low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, smooth, carbonation is on the low end.

A good Scotch Ale, but not the best I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 02:49:54 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of hopsaplenty


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle, with no obvious date information.

Clear, deep rubied amber. Thick, dense head of dimpled khaki bubbles that left strands of lacing as it settled. No carbonation streams are present. Some light hints of vanilla, but amazingly nothing else in the nose. Strange. Full, sweet malt, some dark fruit that is vinous. These fruit notes persist throughout along with a subtle bitterness that keeps it from being cloying. The finish is long and sweet with only a slight bittering hop bite. This one seems well put together. Full bodied with some modest carbonation give it a nice and creamy mouthfeel. Drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 16:54:41 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of waldowin


3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a smoky amber, almost black when held up to the light. Strangely dark for a Scotch Ale. A nice light tan head forms on the pour, and fades to a thin ring.

Smells of dark malts, and roast, with a hint of chocolate. Taste is mostly smooth malts and vanilla, with a kick of roasted grains halfway through. Very roasty, more a porter than a Scotch Ale. Nice and toasty, a good winter brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly carbonated.

This is a good beer for a cold night, a bit hearty, and smooth (if that makes any sense). Many thanks to merlin48 for sending this my way!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 09:45:06 | More by waldowin
Photo of Bendurgin


3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Grant. Thanks again. Poured into a tulip. This one pours brown with a finger of slightly off white head. It settles with just a thin rim of lace.

Rich cocoa in the aroma with a little bit of a plumb aroma in the background. Nice caramel aroma rounds this one out. Light coffee flavors with a wheat bread kind of malt character to it. Caramel and some dark fruits sum up the pallet.

The body is a bit thin here but the carbonation is where it should be. Seems to linger on the palelt a bit though. Overall a well made beer and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 01:33:39 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a pretty good beer. I first had this on tap at Brewgrass back in October. The beer is a deep reddish black color. The beer had a good head that has gone away. It has left some lacing in the glass. The smell is a faint one. Some spices thrown in. The taste is of spiced maltiness. The alcohol has sneaked into the taste. The mouthfeel is a little bit dwindled due to the alcohol bite but not enough to keep me away. The drinkability os good. Certainly not a session beer but a good beer to enjoy on Christmas Eve. I will drink this again from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2005 04:13:45 | More by Enola
Photo of kingjames1

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 01:29:08 | More by kingjames1
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my recently purchased Highlands pint glass.

4.5 A: Clear deep amber brown color. Two fingers of tan creamy/frothy head with very good retention and a good amount of lacing. Good here.

4.5 S: Grainy malts with ample amounts of caramel and toffee. A decent toastiness with some roastiness and hints of chocolate. Lastly, the thing that sets this apart is a pleasant herbalness. I'm not sure what heather smells like, but I think this might be it.

3.5 T: Taste is good, but it really doesn't compare to the appearance or nose. Lots of toastiness with a strangely noticeable burnt flavor. Grainy and bready malts. Again a good amount of toffee and caramel, but not much sweetness overall, at least not for the style. Also a reasonably noticeable bitterness. Whether this comes mainly from the hops or the roasted malts is up for question.

3.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. A bit lighter than I like for the style. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier, but good smoothness.

3.5 D: Not a bad beer, but I expected this style to be perfected by THIS brewery. Anyway, worth a drink if you stumble upon it.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 22:46:00 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of ByTor2112

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 ".

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2006 21:02:37 | More by ByTor2112
Photo of bort11


3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from ncvbc for the BA Anniversary Bomber BIF

22 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Mild tan head the recedes fairly quick, but has a nice filmy lace with legs. Color is a dark malty brown with ruby red highlights in the center and caramel brown tinge at the edges.
Smell is little weak. It does have a sweet brown sugar note, a little bit of caramel. Taste really steps up where the smell did not. It has a sweet caramel malty body with a subtle hint of smokey spices and fruits. A very mellow hops bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel has a solid medium body. Very enjoyable. I was able to finish the bottle on my own with no problems.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2007 02:49:33 | More by bort11
Photo of dgallina


3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 23:22:32 | More by dgallina
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish color with a tan head. Aromas of a sweet caramel and butterscotch maltiness. In the taste, sweet caramel maltiness. A smooth mouthfeel, with a mellow toffee-ish aftertaste. Balanced, and a nice malty sweetness, but not too over the top.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2007 13:56:15 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Jadjunk


3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"A scotch-style Ale named from Norse mythology, combines the heritage and tartan of our brew team. The roasted barley and chocolate malt lend a bold flavor to this delicious dark beer. The increased hop level is a modest departure from a true Scotch-style Ale and we hope that you agree - this is a beer worthy of the name Tasgall, "Cauldron of the Gods". Brewed in the style of a Wee-Heavy Scotch Ale. This beer was previously brewed in the fall by Highland and available in 22 oz. bomber and draft formats, but seems to have been put on indefinite hiatus.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Highland pint glass. Served above 52º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy, crisp tan-white head over a deep hazy medium brown body, very dense. Carbonation is sporadic and light. Retention is average at best, and lacing is spotty and thin. 3

(Smell) Medium roasted malts, light molasses, unsweetened cocoa, licorice and toasted nuts make up the build of the aroma, fairly well-preserved if this beer just happens to be 2+ years old. Hops have faded if they were ever present to begin with. A bit of thin alcohol is detectable but hardly a distraction from the remaining aroma. Overall the aroma is smooth and favorable. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Tasty molasses with a hint of biscuit and light roasty malt, peat smoke and licorice up front. Sweetness is modest and doesn't overwhelm the palate, any imperfections due to the age of this beer are virtually imperceivable. A dash of char and smoke linger in the finish. Sessionable and flavorful. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is mildly viscous, smooth and smoky. Carbonation adds some smooth silky frothiness, keeping the texture simple and enjoyable. Body is medium for a Scotch Ale and medium+ overall. Alcohol presence is moderate. 3.75

(Overall) It's truly a shame that I haven't seen or heard from this beer since I stumbled upon a single 22 oz. bottle of it about a year ago, and all mentions of it have been removed from Highland's website upon the latest changes. A fairly sessionable Scotch Ale that undoubtedly would harness more flavor benefits at a fresher age, but plays fair with the peat smoke and roast flavors. A highly quaffable and reputable Scotch Ale if there ever was one. I await its humble return. 3.75

Highland Brewing Company's
Tasgall Ale

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 21:28:56 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of goodbyeohio


3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz thanks to my most recent bif

dark ruby, barely shows any light despite an untarnished clarity. slight foamage, nothing too impressive to look at. scents waft up of nutty, husky malts enrobed in a burnt sugar candy shell. watermelon rinds and dark berries accent the aroma. first sip broadens over my tongue, picks up a perfect level of scotch sweetness to accompany the freshly hopped bitterness- somewhate excessive by classic standards. alcohol burn is present in the post-sip breath, but not so much in the flavor. that's a welcome happening which increases drinkability.

when i want a wee heavy, i generally want something with a little more processed malt, less hops, and boozier. still, this beer succeeds in being clean and uncommonly balanced. it's more of a porter than anything, and presents itself well. maybe not what i expected but still decent. would happily revisit, and perhaps im thankful tonight for the lesser version since its so f-ing hot out.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2006 01:35:57 | More by goodbyeohio
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Highland Tasgall Ale from Highland Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.