Fraoch Heather Ale
Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Fraoch Heather AleFraoch Heather Ale
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Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #12
Ranked #22,624
3.75 | pDev: 13.07%
Dec 09, 2021
Oct 06, 1998
Very Good
Fraoch Heather AleFraoch Heather Ale
Notes: 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.
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Photo of sorsh_a_ghlinne
4.89/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by sorsh_a_ghlinne from Scotland

Brilliant sort of rich looking reddish gold colour to it. Smell is floral and slightly sour and milky, taste however is herby, honey-sweet, a bit smokey/peaty, has a hint of ginger early in the bottle from the bogmyrtle that lessens as it is drunk - but all these words are just me scrambling to explain a taste that is like nothing else. Only detracting factor is the feel is a bit heavy and lingers a little too long. But I can't complain really. Must also note that I've not had this on draught so it could be even better that way.

The real question, though: as a nation, why on earth did we ever stop drinking heather beer?

Dec 28, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by JonnoWillsteed from England

The lable has been 'Yoofed' now being a vivid purple-pink with the main 'Fraoch' in a white graffiti-like font.
L- Pours a vivid golden, clear, with a 2mm white cap. ps 15mins later, holding well.
S- Wow it's mild, nothing clearly distinguishable comes through to me, not even the basics like grains/malts and so on.
T- Quite bright intitially, then a bready middle, into a moderately dry finish with a touch of a dry woody note right at the very end. Was the latter the heather? No idea... ps. I've just noticed it's leaving a mild residual 'dry zing' on my palate, though am unclear of the specific cause.
F- 'Medium dry'? It has dry facets yet they've wrung enough mouthfeel out of it's modest 5%ABV to almost come back to a 'medium' centre-point. All in, it's pretty gutsy for it's 5%.
O- I might have some winter congestion but even then any specific heather notes seem subtle. So fear not those who have visions of being beaten about the palate with a moorland's worth of said bushes. The dry zing has by now evolved slightly from dryness into almost a mildly spicy brush on my palate, and most unusually, even my lips! Is this what the heather does!? It reminds me of the subtlety of the spicy zing you get from fine-ground white pepper.
Interesting one. Something a bit different, and mercifully it's subtle rather than a big/OTT slamming statement.
500ml bottle BB: 04/2022
Now reading the lable: A-ha! Ginger - that'll be the zing. Funny thing though, I got zero ginger taste, just it's zing.

Dec 19, 2020
4.66 by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania on Nov 15, 2020
3.87 by smi69 from New York on Apr 17, 2020
Photo of CWINS65
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by CWINS65

Very good ale, crispy with a dark golden color. Somewhat sweet without going over the top, I taste honey & tea like hints. Not readily available but worth seeking out. Excellent!

Feb 14, 2020
Photo of octortus
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by octortus from Canada (ON)

330 mL Bottle. ABV 5%.
Appearance: Clear brownish gold, Above medium mesmerising carbonation, Terrific retention, Soapy lacing.
Aroma: Floral, Herbs, Spicy earthy yeast, Biscuit, Malt sweetness, Slight fruit, Very slight honey.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, dyry finish, Flat, Creamy, Slightly syrupy.
Flavour: Malt sweetness, Floral, Honey, Spicy yeast, Slightly herbal.
Overall: Quite interesting to try. I think it's a nicely crafted beer all things considered, but perhaps could be more balanced.

Review: 107

Jan 04, 2020
3.75 by MTKATL from Georgia on Oct 30, 2019
3.83 by NodakEric from Minnesota on Aug 13, 2019
3.67 by Dazka from Italy on Mar 14, 2019
4 by paulish from New York on Jan 19, 2019
2.75 by Macamah from England on Oct 26, 2018
4.02 by Captain68 from Russian Federation on Aug 11, 2018
3.78 by Branlott42 from Missouri on Jul 28, 2018
4.21 by Krajnyak from Pennsylvania on Jun 28, 2018
2.46 by Callednumbers from California on May 12, 2018
3.75 by Eric_Standard from Canada (BC) on Mar 27, 2018
3.94 by tux_alin from Romania on Mar 21, 2018
3.56 by bixby1971 from Canada (ON) on Jan 06, 2018
4.34 by namasaya from Canada (ON) on Jan 02, 2018
3.34 by jhart96 from England on Dec 25, 2017
3.47 by TheCrowsEye from California on Dec 10, 2017
3.5 by glf60 from Virginia on Dec 09, 2017
Photo of Jtee
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by Jtee from Canada (ON)

From a 330ml bottle served straight from the fridge at 8 degrees Celsius into a white wine glass. Best before date: 09/2018.

Look: The beer pours a brilliant gold with 1cm of bubbly, frothy, white head that dissipates into a partial film in less than a minute. Good lacing however the retention is just plain awful. Great colour and clarity with points deducted for the head.

Smell: Medium-light intensity and sweet. The aroma is very pretty (out of all things) and delicate. In a word, botanical. In more words, there's a pronounced floral character with a touch of spice and tea-like notes. The scent for me is slightly reminiscent of Dillon's rose gin (for the peeps who're familiar with this spirit).

Taste: Follows the aroma seamlessly with medium-light strength and sweet balance. The floral front transforms into a grainy-malty mid-palate, and a herbal finish which is quite faint, short, and balanced. I'm also getting tea-like notes somewhere in the middle of it all. Interesting.

Feel: Medium-light body with medium-low carbonation. Creamy, somewhat crisp, and definitely delicate with no alcohol warming or astringency to speak of.

Overall: Fraoch is a relatively simple and easy-drinking beer with some nice subtleties to it. Clean and nuanced however lacking some wow factor. It's worth a try if you have a chance but I wouldn't hunt for it. Having said that, I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Nov 29, 2017
4.41 by sharkgirl73 from Connecticut on Oct 31, 2017
4.29 by brp94 from Spain on Oct 20, 2017
Photo of MisterBanks6
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
by MisterBanks6 from Scotland

Bronze but clear golden colour with fruity and spicy aromas. I found this also had a certain peatiness to it which left a lingering taste of mild whiskey. The spices are present yet not overpowering and citrus taste is more apparent. Nice floral and slight caramel notes add that sweetness which creates the perfect balance with its slight bitterness and spiced peppery notes. Also fantastic and unique style. Preferred the old green label to the latest purple one but does not take away any positiveness towards the beer.

Aug 15, 2017
3.93 by ILOVEHAM from Canada (BC) on Aug 12, 2017
Photo of VoxRationis
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by VoxRationis from New York

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a Weissbier glass.
A: Pours a dark golden to light amber color with half inch with minimal retention but modest lacing. Yeast remnants evident.
S: Aromas of peach and grapes, with spicy, peppery, and maybe dill bouquet.
T: Toasty flavor, with weak caramel, pepper, star anise, and cinnamon notes. Pleasantly sweet aftertaste.
M: Light bodied with light effervescence.
O: Different by design and very enjoyable. Much, much lighter bitterness than hopped beers. Would definitely try again.

Aug 10, 2017
3.81 by zotzot from Vermont on Jun 21, 2017
4.34 by igl from Russian Federation on Jun 19, 2017
4.5 by AGoodStout from Kansas on Jun 18, 2017
Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by KrisPaulk77 from Mississippi

Picked up in Aberdeen.
Pours a bright gold-hued amber color with a tight white cap of foam. The head stuck around for a bit and a decent amount of lace edged the glass as I drank.
Nose is hugely floral and sweet candy, bright and fresh with a touch of herbal notes.
Flavor is crisp and floral, a touch sweet on the back end. Crisp and lively carbonation.
Decent beer overall.

May 06, 2017
3.83 by thepenguin from Massachusetts on Apr 05, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

It pours amber with a pillow-like head of great retention and lacing. Aroma is citrusy and floral. Taste is astringent, floral, and with hints of chamomile and ginger. Very carbonated on the tongue. Very refreshing!

Apr 03, 2017
3.69 by Glorithm from Canada (ON) on Mar 12, 2017
4.4 by Boo-urns from Canada (ON) on Jan 28, 2017
3 by jeffthepony from Georgia on Jan 26, 2017
3.9 by OompaMentor from Georgia on Jan 07, 2017
3.69 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida on Nov 14, 2016
Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1180 ratings