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
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,151 |  Reviews: 722
Photo of barnzy78
1.5/5  rDev -60%

Photo of harrymel
1.66/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes on 9/27/10

A: Medium gold ale, touch cloudy. No head, no lacing.

S: Smells like grain, citrus, skunk. Not impressive at all.

T: Semi-sweet, hints of jasmine, muscat grapes.

M: Beer is light in body with low/faint carbonation. Poorly done.

D: This is a very poorly executed beer. Only saving grace is in the taste, but unfortunately all other aspects lack severely.

 390 characters

Photo of Urk1127
1.82/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 1 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.25

Cloudy pale yellow
Grape juice, smells like wort
Intensely herbal, berries, cilantro type herbs, mint? Dandelions.
Dryish, little to no. carbonation

Im sorry and i don't want to shit on an ancient recipe, but i am not a fan of the minty, herbal flowery taste. This is not for me. If you enjoy things like herbal tea. And i mean INTENSELY HERBAL like you physically took a bite out of a flower in the woods, youd enjoy this. I can not get into it myself.

 456 characters

Photo of fionn13
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of Drummermean
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of JackTheRipper
2/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured a dull reddish-amber color with zero head.

Smell: Faintly floral. Aromas are pretty hard to detect.

Taste: Malty sweetness up front with a bit of a heather taste to it.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is there, but in very low levels. Finish is clean.

Drinkability: I don't know if I got a bad bottle, the best before date is June 2005 so it seems like this beer should be pretty fresh. I'll review this beer again a few months from now, but as far as this particular bottle goes, I'm not impressed at all. If it weren't for this breweries Gooseberry and Wheat ale, I wouldn't even think about giving this beer a second chance. Not a good beer.

 667 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
2/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I don't really know what heather tastes or smells like, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer. And it didn't really taste like anything unusual...it was just kind of generic, not great, beer.

Appearance was rather pale, with just a touch of white head. Aroma was pretty minimal. Flavor was a bit cerealy, but also very subtle. Mouthfeel was a bit watery.

Far from the best beer I've had in recent memory.

 415 characters

Photo of msromberg
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of alysmith4
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tried this on-cask last night. Was sevearly lacking in flavor, color, and texture. Very flat (I'm sure the cask has something to do with that) and kind-of watery. Some floral notes came through as it warmed, but it was a very lackluster beer overall. Not one that I would recommend in the least.

 295 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. botlle. Slight head quickly recedes to surface skim, no lacing. Body was a slightly hazy yellow orange amber.

Smell - biscuity, doughy malt. Some grassy, herbal, and floral ( but not floral as in hoppy) aromas.

Taste - not qiute like the smell. This ale tastes like a stale and weak gin and tonic, or like old stale, flat lemon/lime pop.

Mouthfeel - very thin and fluid with low carbonation.

Drinkability - goes down with some effort, was nice to try this ancient style, but that's it, don't want another one.

 542 characters

Photo of goldbot
2.1/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 6/16/2010. Bottle best by 10/2010.

Pours a hazy straw yellow with some small particles visible. Medium white head that dissipates very quickly with no lacing.

Bready malt aroma up front, turning to a sourish, very floral, herbal aroma from the heather. Pleasant for the most part.

More bready malt in the flavor. More floral heather but it is a bit more subdued. The aftertaste is all heather, but is very planty, almost sourish, and not very pleasant at all to me. Almost nauseating due to the earthy plantiness.

The body and mouthfeel mostly light. Low carbonation. Overall I just didn't find this beer enjoyable at all. It was interesting to try something like this, but the flavor of the heather just didn't sit well on my tongue or in my stomach.

 767 characters

Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Photo of SimonTHGolfer
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.28/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - a tinny light brownish gray ale, with a thin white head that laces quickly, there is tons of sediment suspended within the body, very scant carbonation meander betwixt the sediment

S - the bouquet is a amalgamation of floral, honey, grassy, and pesto sauce, no one in the room believes me until they smell it, then they agree

T - these aromas translate to the taste, pesto, basil, floral like clover, and honey. and again, no one believes me until they taste it

M&D - it is smooth going down, however the odd taste holds me back a bit, but not difficult to drink

a weird experience, but worth a try

 614 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.31/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy light orange brown with a one finger head that dissipates quickly. Intense visible carbonation and no lacing. Not too impressive.

S - A potent sweet chemical aroma with a bit of light bodied malt underneath. The sweet odor is strange, it seems like something that smells like it would taste good, but then would kill you if you drank it. In line with how an upholstry glue, antifreeze or some kind of poison would smell like. I don't like the odor, in fact it quickly became a bit nauseating.

T - A light sweet malt flavor with a slight appearance of the same taste as the smells seems like it would taste like, but much, much milder. Since it is milder, it is not as sickening to taste as the corresponding smell is to smell. There is a dry grainy finish to the beer. Although out of the ordinary, I'd say the taste is a little below average.

M - Moderately smooth, carbonation is just a tad bit strong, a tad bit refreshing.

D - The smell really gets to me. If it wasn't so potent I think that I would like this more. I can't take another sip without holding my nose. The insert said that it goes with "rich and spicy foods" so I tried it with some pepperjack cheese which overpowered it's taste completely. Went very well with a slice of Manchego though. If one could get past the smell then it wouldn't be so bad.

 1,339 characters

Photo of Noxious26
2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

500ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Clear, golden colour. White head is 1/8 inch on the pour, but quickly recedes to a thin ring.

Aroma has a definite sweetness to it with underlying floral and herbal tones.

Definitely has a unique taste to it, though I can't say it's to my liking. Malty at the start with a strange undertone that I can only assume is the heather. A little too sweet for me at the start. Tastes kind of like herbal tea with a touch of malt at the finish. Aftertaste is herbal/floral.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a bit of an oily feel to it.

Too sweet and I'm not big on the background flavour that I'm assuming is heather. This might actually be a good example of the style, but it sure doesn't do anything for me. I can't even choke back the entire bottle.

 808 characters

Photo of Damian74
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of HuntDaddy540
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of timmy2b
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of kvnstfrd
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of Pecan
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of Fettpopps
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of meatmallet
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color with a tiny white head that quickly disappears.

Smell: Earthy and floral with hints of hay and grass and some sweetness coming from honey and malt.

Taste: Much sweeter than the smell but nothing great. Honey and grain with a bit of a floral taste in there as well.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Low carbonation and a light body. This beer was nothing special and kind of felt flat.

 419 characters

Photo of cgraham5
2.53/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a cloudy tan-orange color. Very little head, which dissipates quickly.

S - Light floral and berry smell. The smell isn't overwhelmingly strong.

T - Crisp brew with almost a hint of lavender and once again berries on the palette. The aftertaste is how I would imagine a flower petal tastes.

M - For only being 5%ABV the beer is quite thick and almost syrupy. Carbonation is perfect though.

D - Not a beer that I would recommend throwing back quickly. The thickness of the beer makes you relax and enjoy the floral nature. Overall it is a tasty beverage.

 566 characters

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Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 1,151 ratings.
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