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Heather | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Very Good
18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 11-12-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of mattmarka1
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of briguy93
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub with the Fmonk, Al McArthy. Dark, no head. Some sourness from the peatiness, like a good brown. Medium mouthfeel, tasty with some sweetness and hibiscus. Carbonation above average. Not too drinkable. Wierd but worth trying to expand what a beer has been.

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub

Town Hall is right, this beer seems perfect for Thanksgiving. It's super smooth with a mellow caramel malt flavor compliments by a very earthy (matches turkey flavors) herb and root bitterness. I've only had one other gruit to compare this to, but I'd say this is on the sweeter side, with a fuller body (on par with most American brown ales). Tastes good, worth trying.

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Photo of edbeered
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the brewpub, this pours a clear amber color with a substantial white head. There is little lacing on the glass. The smell is toasty and malty. The taste is herbal with a strong gingery component, a substantial tea flavor, a hint of lemongrass, and an underlying smooth maltiness. Even though no hops were used, the beer possesses a refreshing crispness(from the heather?) . This ale has an unusual combination of flavors and it's drinkability depends on how much you enjoy that. I found it pretty good, but one per sitting is enough for me.

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Photo of Hollister
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer traveled 1,130 miles in the back trunk of a blue 1997 Chevy Lumina. The nose grows on you, but not in a Pinocchio way. I'll tell you what... I'd like to meet this Heather. Damn, she must be hot, and Scottish. As this style of beer goes - it's very drinkablLIghter body than you might expect from a Scotch style ale, but I think the ugly beauty really pulls it off - the lighter mouthfeel helps dodge what might otherwise be a soggy-yeasty mess.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Last beer of the night, poured a wierd orangish earthy tan, with a whitish half inch head. Aroma is as expected, very floral and herbal and something like I'd never experienced. Actually pretty nice, just an odd bunch of flavors and aromas from grains that I clearly wasn't ready for. Body and mouth is pretty decent, and while its not quite my bag, I could get used to this.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on December 2, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Burnt-sienna orange pour, clear whitish head. Light aroma or sour lemon. Dusky flavor that immeadiately reminds me of two things: the sheep barn at the Minnesota State Fair and a tour in a copper mine shaft in the Copper Country. It gets bonus points for this, but besides some smokey sweetness, I don’t think this is a flavor that I would pursue. Finishes with dry herbness.

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Photo of slyke
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heather pours a caramel color with a nice tan head that fades to a thin cap after a few minutes. The aroma is sweet and floral/herbal. Taste is similar with a healthy dose of malt. Mouthfeel is good, although without much experience with gruits, I don't know what should be expected with this style. Drinkability is good. The absence of hops is noticeable, but that doesn't negatively affect the enjoyment factor. Try this one.

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Photo of dfried
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep toffee/copper in color, thin off white head. The aroma is sweet and malty, caramel like, as you might expect from a Scotch beer, with a lot of herbal undertones. The taste is of a good, clean, crisp and sweet malt. You can tell there is a distinct herbal flavor at first, but as the malty flavor fades it become more apparent. It doesn't get stronger, but remains as a pleasant, gentile aftertaste, soothing almost like a tea. Pretty light bodied, easty to drink.

Verdict: herbal flavors never become sharp, they remain balanced with the malt and soothing, which gives it a step up on most herbed/spiced beers. Still the beer peaked my interest mainly because it is an old and rare style. I think it would be a pretty good session beer.

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Photo of bucko
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I thought I was going to miss the Heather ale this year, but talked my wife into spending some of the cash her grandmother sent us and had a chance to taste all of Town Hall's current seasonals.

This particular beer pours a deep amber color with a light head. Like others have said, the aroma of the heather shines through and whether or not you know the smell, you will... you will! To me it seemed to be somewhere between herb and flower. The taste is good, not unlike an 80/- Scottish ale, but with the herby addition of the heather in place of the hops. Sweet and malty but yet not overpowering. The mouthfeel is medium... not heavy, not light... somewhere in the middle. Overall, pretty good. I'd be interested in trying more... I may just have to brew some on my own.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-cask at the brewpub: re-release, hell ya, this stuff is pretty damn good. Dark, bold, opaque orange with a moderate capping of light lemony white froth thats thick, lush, and foamy. Lots of lacing sticks in sheeting.

Aroma is sweet and floral that transcends an encompassing Scotch ale-like candyness mixed with freshly mowed weeds.

Taste is warmingly sweet and candy-like with nice drying touches of flower petals in the finish. Very deeply toned and darkly set with malts. Not heavy mind you, easy, calm, and present. The floral nuances fly through and then float steady after the finish with mint leaves, dried herbs, black tea, and sweet potatos. Very intestingly complex in through the finsihing areas.

Feel is about medium for what it's worth. For such a malty, seemingly malty anyways, cask draw, its quite light and easy going with smooth malty warmth and nice additions to flowery things. The Heather tips really add some interesting, deeply grassy, herbal stations along the malt body. Hense adding to its drinkability quite favorably. A fine brew thats akin to a Scotch ale with more of a woodsy, grassy, herbalness that adds to the mix well enough to make up for what seems a lighter sided malt carriage. Nearly Belgain style in some regards. Strangely good and grows on ya. The cask-conditioning definately helped I think.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is dark red in color with a creamy white head. The aroma is of herbs and cherries, and is generally sweet. The taste is herbal and sweet, with cherries hiding in the bakcground. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very, very smooth. It is, however, completely flat. This is my first cask-conditioned ale, so I am not sure whether or not it is supposed to have so little carbonation, but I think that this brew would be better if it had some light carbonation. Overall, I would choose this brew over Fraoch Heather Ale anyday. It had a lot more flavor than Fraoch, and was, of course, a lot fresher which seems to make a world of difference for this style of beer.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely an odd one. Light copper in colour with an herbaly citrus (but not citrusy hops) aroma. Fairly light mouthfeel with lots of different herbal flavor notes that I just couldn’t put my finger on. There’s definitely a floral quality to this brew, and I could swear that I could also taste peaches. Strange and good, but confused the heck out of me. I'd probably have to brew with heather myself to really understand this style.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper tone. Not much CO2 visible. Nice looking creamy bone white head. Good retention. Great smell. Like a walk through the Botanical Gardens. Sweet and flowery. Flavor follows suit. Nice botanical, herbal, flowery tones. Quite sweet, but not in the deep malty sense. Easy drinking and tasty. Good rendition of this historical style (at least from what I understand).

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Photo of ZAP
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not my type of beer but a good example of the style...nose is big on the flowers...like smelling a bunch of dandelions or something like that....flavor is sweet...nice looking dark copper color....body is medium...solid example of the style from what I know if it but not one I would seek out personally

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never tried the style, to m y knowledge, but this beer sounded interesting, and it was my first time at Town Hall in many months. Poured a deep maroon color, totally clear in body. Smell was very fruity, with traces of honey and heavy on the maltiness. Taste was like a fruit beer, very sweet, with a slightly dry aftertaste. Flavor was almost like a piece of juicy fruit. Good maltiness, definitely different.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After 2 pints enjoyed with meal of sauteed vegetables, mashed potatoes and elk, I now review this tasty ale via growler...
Clear and crimson in color, with thin white foam, slipping soon away.
Aroma is sweetness itself, floral and fruity, herbal, bright and happy.
Smooth entry on the palate, then the taste is laregly herbal, mineral, vegetal, with a rosy, bright dark fruit character. Body is on the light side, though the flavor resounds, and the finish is too swift.
I had to contrast this with memories of the last time I tried Fraoch Heather Ale, and it lacks a certain depth and complexity, but they share in common that they are both sweet and beautiful brews. Malty, and tasty, with an astounding ease of drinkability, and I sure appreciate the historic brews and this pub's efforts to re-create them, but, you know it...I'm missing the hops!
Didn't catch the abv, but it feels small.
Cheers to Mr. Hoops for trying out this unique style!

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Heather from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 18 ratings
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