Fraoch Heather Ale | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Fraoch Heather AleFraoch Heather Ale
BA SCORE
56.9%
Liked This Beer
3.75 w/ 1,154 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
Ranking:
#20,664
Reviews:
724
Ratings:
1,154
Liked:
657
Avg:
3.75/5
pDev:
13.07%
Alströms:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
82
Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,154 |  Reviews: 724
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 Burkbom23
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of neil104
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Martine
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DougT
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of captaincoffee
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a medium head, large bubbles, just a touch of lacing. Nose is floral, obviously, but a surprisingly nice floral, more like very floral hops than just heather. Taste is like a solid traditional bitter with light fruit and floral undertones. Mouthfeel is medium-light, crisp.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought this would be lousy, but I quite liked it.

 387 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 Ppin
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of leginsh
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beginner2
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, this is what my father's ancient ancestors drank !
The Williams Brothers should be commended for keeping alive this style and others lost to history.
Not being a fan of lots of hops, keep trying those different spices !

I note when a beer is listed in one of three books comprising my classical beer education.
Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
"1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", page 882. The reviewer claims it goes with rich and spicy food. I think I will test this.

 503 characters

Photo of Slpriceysteve
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of HattedClassic
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer doesn't pour a lot of head and seems to be very lightly carbonated but what head does form is very white and creamy. The beer itself is a cloudy pale gold that is actually nice to look at. At the very least, it definitely looks like an ale.

The smell is very nice and subdued. It doesn't have the super bitterness of an ale but it's spices and ingredients make for a very alluring smell. The heather is definitely front and forward while surrounded by a very nice sweet malt note. There is a definite overall floral note to this beer.

The taste has the same floral note created by the heather and malt note. There is also a slight bitterness to it as well that isn't found in the smell.

The feel is very good and very drinkable. It's a light bodied beer but on the heavier side. The beer seems to go down with a nice creamy texture. The carbonation is very light and almost non-existent but is enough to add a little texture to it.

Overall, a good beer and one definitely one to have at least once. It's definitely a unique style that isn't very common but still makes for a good drinking experience. Get it and enjoy it.

 1,135 characters

Photo of EvilMidnightBomber
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vinicole
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale yellow colour. Tight, frothy head.
Floral aroma with a hint of malt and honey.
Spicy malt taste.
Quite light and easy to drink if a bit unusual.

 150 characters

Photo of sherillc
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SeymourDunn
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of BcCraft710
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Saviour
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of GSS
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Electros
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jcarriglio
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of nihudob
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 56.9% out of 100 with 1,154 ratings
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