Fraoch Heather Ale | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
1,151 Ratings
Fraoch Heather AleFraoch Heather Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
williamsbrosbrew.com

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by purplehops on 10-06-1998

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,151
Reviews:
722
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
13.07%
 
 
Wants:
76
Gots:
81
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,151 |  Reviews: 722
Photo of Rognvaldr
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of DarrenBrule
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of tzunoi
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of MIP229
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of Flashyspoons
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of bigox420
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of admh1972
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of souljorn
4.99/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far my favorite beer of all time. It's made from a recipe from thousands of years ago. It's what a good beer would have been like around 500A.D. And it still stands true till today.

 192 characters

Photo of MrStark
4.92/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a nonic pint glass!

Appearance is of a hazy golden orange with a white, two finger foamy head that dissipated slowly after a few minutes! Small amounts of lacing.

Smell is wonderful! A nice sweet and floral aroma that is in the right amount. Not too strong.

Taste is Fantastic! The floral notes hit first followed by a flowery sweetness and a slightly spicy finish!

Motuhfeel is quite smooth with light carbonation!

Drinkablity is very good! A wonderful taste with a light abv makes this quite an enjoyable beer! I could certainly have a few of these at one time. It is one of my favorite brews!!

 636 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"It looks pretty," said the young clerk, scanning my bottle, "is it good?" Good only begins to describe this beauty, and while the label is among the best designs in the world of beer, prettiness continues on every aspects of this classic ale.
Color is a rich orange, and the head is moderate, off-whitish. Aroma is refreshing and upliftingly lovely : honey, foremost, and flowers, roses, herbal, vegetal, fresh, and sweet. Light in body, but full in flavor, incomparably smooth in taste. Perfect balance. Solid malt, less hops, but the heather and honey flavor make up for lack of hoppiness, and make for a perfectly delightful beverage.
The taste is so light, sweet, and utterly ethereal, this belongs in a class of it's own. Lovely, full texture, honey, citrus shining through with every sip! Perfect with food, dessert, or when you deserve a reward for being an exceptional example of humankind.

 901 characters

Photo of mattmaples
4.84/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great beer, hops or no hops. Light malt up front and a beautiful floral aroma. A must try.

90 characters

Photo of Corum
4.77/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of JoeyRamone
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of altmer
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of leokbelo
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of Wobbly
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of tellish33
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of SetarconeX
4.74/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well now, this IS a unique little brew, isn't it? I must confess, I was a little uncertain about this one. Heather's a plant usually confined to new age scented candles, isn't it? Thought it might be a bit girly.

Boy, was I ever wrong! It's got an odd taste to it, which I would call citrusy, but I expect it's more the heather. Not sure, really. Never bothered to eat any heather before. Smells wonderful though. Looks wonderful. Feels wonderful going down. Citrus isn't quite what it is though. More herbal. Like Chamomile.

Great brew. Highly recommended.

 564 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.74/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, brilliant amber with golden highlights. Frothy, big-bubbled head with a collar that sticks. Aromas of honey suckle, heather flowers, sweet clover honey, and iced tea. Minimal malt aroma and zesty earthy/spicy bits. On the palate, a sharp floral character braces things up, followed by metallic carbonation and a sweet, tea-leaf mid-palate that finishes off half-sweet, half-dry, and unlike a conventional beer. No hop oilyness, instead just soft flower oils that have some sweet flavors but no oily heaviness. Surprisingly full-bodied and flavorful, and very unique. What a wonderful beer.

 609 characters

Photo of rpenterics
4.66/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great because I said so

23 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a cloudy golden body with no head to see. Overall impression of appearance is of an nice light ale. Scents of heather flowers and general floral aromas, light sweet malt and honey aromas and a backing of peat moss, a touch of grainy malt and a faint hint of mineral water. Overall impression of aroma is of a nice floral beer with a more pronounced malty aroma than modern style ales due to use of flowers instead of hops. A nice gruit, true to ancient Gaelic origins. Flavor begins floral, with flavors of heather mingling with lightly sweet malt and honey flavors and a grainy malt at moderate levels. Middle adds a further level of grainy malt and light honey sweetness mingling with floral flavors that provide bittering to balance the malt character. Finish is dry with floral heather flavors and grainy malt backed by very light honey and sweet malt to provide balance. Aftertaste is dry, grainy malt and floral heather. Overall impression of flavor is of a very nice, flavorful beer. It is full and malty but balanced with a pleasant floral character and dryness that make it quite pleasing. The use of flowers over hops makes the flavor unique, though to compare it to a modern style it would be most similar to the clean, bright, malty and floral character of a German Pilsner, despite being an ale. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied and smooth, with a creamy character at the finish and medium-high carbonation. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a nicely light, refreshing beer, something many of these ancient styles have in common. Overall this is an excellent take on the ancient gruit. A lovely aroma gives way to an excellent clean flavor and a refreshing mouthfeel, the sort of beer to drink when clean water wasn't available and flavor was desired.

 1,775 characters

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my kind of beer. Fraoch pours out a deep golden colour with very little head. The nose is pleasantly floral and herby. Taste is also herby. I admit to no knowledge of the flavour of heather, but the taste I got from this beer was similar to rosemary. The flavour wasn't too strong, but was well equipped for the strength of the beer's own flavour. Not too heavy a feel in the mouth and went down smoothly. Only loses marks tor the lack of head.

 459 characters

Photo of Greenfloyd
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Heather ale. I once dated a girl named Heather. I'm glad to say this beer had a finish much better than that did...Apparently I love Gruit...Slainte

Poured into my large tulip glass with a rich, dark Scottish golden hue (yes, I did make up that color, thanks for wondering). An impressive creamy off-white head, rested on top like a beer induced cloud. A good swirl brings it right back to life midway. The nose was of sweet malt and cold biscuits, with traces of clover honey in the finish. This fantastic malty tasting beer had a very low hop presence, as it finished with a light, sweet, eucalyptus like cooling sensation, I'm guessing a product of the heather flower. Seeing as though I haven't exactly trampled through the highlands gnawing on fresh heather, I can't really be sure. It had a VERY smooth mouth feel, with a medium body that lent to easy drinking. This beer pairs very well with panko breaded pork cutlets, served with London chop sauce. A firm nutty cheese like Samsoe (a Danish cheddar), or the semi-firm Cheshire, with it’s buttery finish, would be great served as an appetizer……Enjoy

 1,111 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.61/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out a hazy, rusty orange with a weak head. Smells lightly of bready, biscuity malts with a humongous perfumey heather aroma. Almost smells a bit minty and berry-like. Some yeast in the nose, as well. Flavor is big on the heather and berries with a light malt backbone. The malt really seems to take a back seat to the "flavoring," but that seems to work out just fine here. Flavors thin out a bit in the end. Mouthfeel is light and prickly with bubbles. This drinks way too fast.

 485 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 1,151 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.