Highland Tasgall Ale | Highland Brewing

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Highland Tasgall AleHighland Tasgall Ale
Highland Tasgall AleHighland Tasgall Ale

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 182
Reviews by DavoleBomb:
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my recently purchased Highlands pint glass.

4.5 A: Clear deep amber brown color. Two fingers of tan creamy/frothy head with very good retention and a good amount of lacing. Good here.

4.5 S: Grainy malts with ample amounts of caramel and toffee. A decent toastiness with some roastiness and hints of chocolate. Lastly, the thing that sets this apart is a pleasant herbalness. I'm not sure what heather smells like, but I think this might be it.

3.5 T: Taste is good, but it really doesn't compare to the appearance or nose. Lots of toastiness with a strangely noticeable burnt flavor. Grainy and bready malts. Again a good amount of toffee and caramel, but not much sweetness overall, at least not for the style. Also a reasonably noticeable bitterness. Whether this comes mainly from the hops or the roasted malts is up for question.

3.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. A bit lighter than I like for the style. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier, but good smoothness.

3.5 D: Not a bad beer, but I expected this style to be perfected by THIS brewery. Anyway, worth a drink if you stumble upon it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep caramel brown with hints of red at the edges. Creamy tan head lasts quite a while and leaves chunks of lace on the glass.

Aroma is full-on malt sweetness with hints of winter warmer spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) in the background. Only the slightest hint of alcohol sweetness which hides quite nicely with the caramel malts.

Very nice taste - sweet but not overpowering with notes of caramel, molasses, candied fruits, vanilla and spice. Deep, rich, mellow combining of flavors.

Medium to heavy bodied with an amazing silky creamy texture. Light carbonation and light hopping provide a clean finish. Very mild alcohol vapors in the back of the nose but no burn on the palate. Surprisingly no oily or sugary residue on the tongue.

Wow, wow and wow. I'd put this beer up for about nine months and I don't know how it compares to fresh but this bottle was damn near perfect. The only way it might be improved on is if it were put in oak for about six months and then you might just have the ultimate scotch ale.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a glass mug)
thanks to SincereNc for this brew
A- This beer pours a dense but crystal clear dark body with a faint glow of walnut brown at the base of the glass. There is a sea of tiny bubbles on the perimeter of the glass supporting a thick creamy meniscus of light tan head.

S- The smell of sweet earthy roasted malt has a dark toasted note to it.

T- The taste of roasted brown malt has some nice fresh chocolate malt flavors with a tobacco leave quality to it. There is a light fruity quality to the malt that is followed by a roasted peanut shell note. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol note that is pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft warm alcohol heat in the finish.

D- This is a big beer with some unique qualities to the malt that make it very interesting to drink. Even though it has a bit of alcohol, that really supports the malt, it goes down smooth.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is the best Highland brew I've tried, bar none. Drank this right from the tap at the brewery during a brews cruise of Asheville. Great robust smell with a a bit of chocolate and molasses perhaps. Heavy mouthfeel but clean finish. Quite yummy indeed.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz thanks to my most recent bif

dark ruby, barely shows any light despite an untarnished clarity. slight foamage, nothing too impressive to look at. scents waft up of nutty, husky malts enrobed in a burnt sugar candy shell. watermelon rinds and dark berries accent the aroma. first sip broadens over my tongue, picks up a perfect level of scotch sweetness to accompany the freshly hopped bitterness- somewhate excessive by classic standards. alcohol burn is present in the post-sip breath, but not so much in the flavor. that's a welcome happening which increases drinkability.

when i want a wee heavy, i generally want something with a little more processed malt, less hops, and boozier. still, this beer succeeds in being clean and uncommonly balanced. it's more of a porter than anything, and presents itself well. maybe not what i expected but still decent. would happily revisit, and perhaps im thankful tonight for the lesser version since its so f-ing hot out.

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Photo of Ivanthehero
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stole this from my roomate, will replace tomorrow. Promise.

Nice looking brew. Dark, dark brown with hints of red near the bottom of the glass. Hardly any head.

Smell-Peat and a fruit roll-up? Basicaly a hint of smokeyness and alot of fruitiness. I think I'm getting cherries most of all. Got me very exited to drink up.

Taste-The smokey flavor is more dominant than the nose would indicate, with the fruityness taking a backseat. Its still there but I was hoping for a little more from the smell. I think it is going to be sweet but just before that sweet sensation the smokiness jumps in and puts a stop to it. But wait, the sweet fruits return in the after taste and...yes, in the burp.Sorta reminds me of a toned down and Scottishized version of Terrapin's Big Hoppy Monster. Thats a good thing.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation with small bubbles leads to a creamy and pleasent mouthfeel

Drinkability- Its a heavy beer and not draining fast. Could be the fried chicken I just ate though.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by noting that I'm not 100% on the ABV of this beer, I'm going by what the bartender told me.

Dark mahogany pour with burgundy highlights. Rather hazy with a small, but creamy beige head. Moderate lace.

Nose is filled with caramel and honey malt, soft wildflowers, a hint of peaty smoke, and notes of pine hops.

Sweet caramel and brown sugar malt flavors dominate. As it warms, lots of other flavors come out: light fruit, peat smoke, a hint of roasty chocolate, and a pleasantly large hop presence of pine, floral, and even citrus. Nicely balanced, unlike typical Scottish ales.

Body is medium, with a chewy, slightly coarse texture and a creamy mouthfeel. Probably the tastiest Scottish ale I've had, this style normally eludes me due to it's extremely malty nature.

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Photo of fingolfin72
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color- Cola mahogany. Palomino head.

Nose- caramel and raisins I think; the people next to me in the bar were smoking.

Palate- Big, tasty, caramelly and smooth. Hints of peat and smoke, with a tinge of bitterness in the back. Nicely integrated and easy to drink. Very satisfying, and not cloying. A bit rich to have more than one, but I would anyway.

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Photo of kingjames1
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not that familiar with the style (only had one other Scotch ale), so I'm not sure what to compare it to. It pours a cloudly,opaque coca-cola amber, with a sticky, tan head. The nose is good, but weak. I smell chocolate, coffee, and bready malts (I can tell that this is a sister of their black mocha stout).

The taste is better than the smell, with the roasted malts being balanced with tangy hop bitterness. How to describe...coffee, for sure, bitter dark chocolate, some oily pine resin, molasses, pumpernickel and a hint of cherry. Very interesting ale. Leaves a distinct after taste in my mouth.

Mouthfeel is nice, balancing the oily aspect of the beer with good carbonation.

very drinkable and enjoyable. A 22 oz is enough, but its a good amount (at least for little ole me).

recommended - give it a try.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An update to my 4/1/07 on 8/2/09
I let this one sit a spell...the caramel character was more pronounced and a salty butterscotch note came out that was impressive...A real sweet drinker. It'd be hard to pick between this and Imperial Kashmir as to my favorite Highland brew.

Almost opaque brown color with a full finger light tan head that is pretty tight but fades to light lacing fairly quickly.

The smell is primarily an earthy light roasted chocolate malt with subtle caramel character.

The mouth feel has a bit of a bite from the hop and carbonation. Its on the lighter side of medium body. Finishes with a similar kick as the first, but slightly bitter and lingering.

The flavor is uncomplicated. Dark malt caramel chocolate. I'm getting a slight warming from the 8% ABV, but for the most part it's hidden. I'd say that its far less smoky than the Scotch Ale style.

Where are the Warrior Poets when you need them?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, nearly opaque brown with a slight, ivory head holding minimal retention.

Smell: Mm-mmm! A good, solid roasted malt aroma with a background of earthy hops.

Taste: An envigorating upfront roasted malt surge. There's also a toothsome sweetness about it, and that's entirely a good thing. More hopped than other scotch ales I've had, but the hopping is still quite light, and only helps to round out the malt flavors. The hops follow through in the warm, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a careful amount of carbonation lends to a great mouthfeel!

Drinkability: While not your typical scotch ale, the Tasgall Ale is an exceptionally approachable beer. This brew is quite pleasing, and the 8% ABV is indiscernible. I know *I'm* up for another one!

Congratulations to Highland on their first higher alcohol brew!

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Photo of blitz134
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark garnet color. You have to hold it to the light to see any light coming through. Head is a light tan color and came up two fingers thick. Reduced down to a quarter inch layer with lacing sticking all around the glass.

Slight toasted malt aromas with lots of caramel sweetness. Some nuttiness to round it out. Nice amount of hops, floral in nature.

A good flavor overall. It comes across with some chocolate and toasted malts. Some earthy flavors as well. Finishes with a bit of a bite, mostly likely from the alcohol, although there is no alcohol taste in any part of this beer.

Mouthfeel is a true highlight of this beer. This is the fullest bodied scotch ale I've had. It coats the mouth with an almost creamy feel.

Drinkability is superb. A nicely balanced flavor with a full body. No hints of alcohol. Well done Highland...

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Photo of dgallina
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint, 6 fluid ounce brown bomber. No date on the bottle or label.

Pours clear dark brown (nearly black), with a small amount of off-white head that rapidly disappears. A bit of thin sticky lace left over. Smells of sweet powdery cocoa, lactose, perhaps with the faintest herbal or dark fruity edge. Flavor is a pleasantly subtle surprise. Starts off somewhat thin and grainy, with a touch of cocoa and hop bite in the center. Builds slowly to a good chocolate and dry burnt toast finish. Some gentle lingering alcohol spice and warming. Medium body that's mostly creamy and thinly carbonated; mouth-coating and slightly oily. Uninspired at first blush; ultimately held together by a satisfying finish.

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Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good ol’ blackie sent this to me in the NoBSBIF Beta. Appreshit!!

I’ve never seen a scotch ale so dark brown, almost black – showcased topped by a foamy and lacey tan head.

A deep aroma of wood peat moss tingles the nose. Rich and full bodied, a real malt bomb of scotch ale flavor, smokiness, and coffee. Very nice indeed, I notice the 8% at the end of the bomber by my rosy red cheeks, but not during the quaff. A solid offering by Highland.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown (almost black) with a nice tan head. The aroma is very malty with notes of toasted bread, caramel, molasses, toffee, smoked peat and a bit of earthy hops. The flavor is very malty with big notes of toasted bread, smoked peat, caramel and molasses, vanilla, toffee, and some earthy and floral hops that balance the sweetness. The mouthfeel is full and rich, and drinkability is quite good for a beer of this magnitude. An excellent offering for highland, easily my favorite of their beers...complex and beguiling.

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Photo of israel
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brown with a beautiful tan frothy head along with some really nice lacing.

S - smell doesn't seem to be overwhelming in fact its quite faint, but I do pick up on a sweet maltiness that one would expect from this style.

T - this is where this beer shines for me; lots of maltiness but not overly sweet. the balance in flavors is astounding and I really enjoy the taste of this beer. It tastes exactly like I would expect a scotch ale to.

M - really creamy with nice carbonation and a bit of sweetness in the aftertaste.

D - all day long or until I fall over from the Alc%

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Photo of bjohnson
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blackie for sending this along for my ba anniv. package.

Pours a very murky swamp like dark brown with reddish hues. Thin one finger off white head dissipates rather quickly leaving big bubbles on the edges of the glass. Big dark fruit notes of grapes, figs, and prunes. Sweet cherry, caramel, and molasses aromas also. Extra heavy sweetness.

Sweet caramel malt and slight molasses notes. Dark fruit of grapes and figs lather the taste buds. Sweetness lasts well into the aftertaste. Residual sugary sweetness left on the lips. Thicker to full bodied with a coating mouthfeel. Prickly carbonation adds to the enjoyment on the palate. Packs a punch with the higher abv, but it goes completely unnoticeable. Definitely another nice one from Highland--everyone I've had has been good so far.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Merlin48 for the offering, and thanks to Kmpitz2 for not bogartening. A very good beer, though a little muddled in the style. Very little, if anything, wrong with the brew in terms of its recipe or brewing methods. Out of character with it's heavy feel and sweetness that over-rides the Scottish cleanliness and crispness. Could easily become an Old Ale if aged properly. Malty sweet with chocolates and nuttiness. A constant, but soothing alcoholic sweetness and strength. Lightly spicy and low on the hops. Nevertheless, a good brew independent of style.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice translucent brown in color. Decent head retention. Smell is somewhat hoppy, and enough malt to be balanced.
Taste is full in body, very creamy. Plenty of toffee, and is well hopped. There is a nice amount of chocolate that adds a nice twist. This is a very good beer. Goes down really smooth and easy. Never noticed the ABV while drinking.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep ruby color with a spectacularly formed, tight, creamy head that leaves generous lacing down the glass. No sign of carbonation below the surface.

Aroma is caramel malts. I can tell there is more but with a slight stuffy nose, Its hard to detect. But I know it must be good. I can feel it.

Taste is superb. Very creamy. Caramel malts. Again, hard to tell.
I taste the alcohol a little bit as well but definitely adds to the complexity of the beer.

Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel that seems untouchable to me. Great beer!

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Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's key to the enjoyment of this one to drink it only very slightly chilled.

appearance: The pour into the snifter creates a .5" khaki head that dissipates, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. The color of the beer itself is a very reddish mahogany.

smell: The first aroma I notice is of sweet, buttery toffee...maybe some caramel. Some dark tree fruits are there too...dates are obvious. Pretty sweet and malty, but not overly so. The hops are just right, and slightly spicy.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower end of the medium spectrum, and is very "gentle" in character. The body of the beer is a light heavy. Slightly slick on the tongue.

taste: Dark fruit flavors from the malts blend well with the slight hops used. Not much to the flavor, but definately tasty. The alcohol in this beer is very well hidden. The finish is somewhat bitter with a caramel slickness left behind.

drinkability: It's good, and not hard to drink at all.

I stuck one bomber in the cellar fridge with the intention of waiting two years, but I doubt it will make it very far past one.

1-29-07: Bottle cellared since 1-21-06. Still looks great, with a dark chestnut color. The tan head soon recedes to leave behind wispy patterns on the surface and a healty ring around the glass. Great body, not sure if I can say for sure that it has improved...full and smooth with a gentle carbonation. Sweet, rich malts on the tongue with subtle roasts (interesting) and a building hop flavor. Dark tree fruits (date maybe) after the swallow. Interesting chalky chocolate flavors in the aftertaste. The finish is cleaned nicely by a still formidable bitterness with some peaty flavors lingering. Seems to have gained some complexity in the taste. The aroma seems to have become more subtle (maybe), and theres a slight metalling twinge. Still, I do find a subtle and lightly sweet, while complex, blend of malts. Even slightly minerally with a subtle and spicy ethanol/hop combo. Conclusion: the experiment was a success, and I'll be cellaring this one again in the future...probably for not quite as long. 4.5 4.0 4.5 4.0 4.5

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a dark, deep brown with a malted chocolate like head. Aroma is sweet, brown sugar and caramel and dark chocolate. Taste is outstanding and incredibly sweet - it's not a bitter dark chocolate, but also not quite milk chocolate in the taste either; it is in the middle. Reminds me of chocolate syrup on an ice cream sundae. This is a very thick beer, chewy and lip smacking in its sweetness. You may be able to use this as fondue, I'm not sure. Probably the sweetest wee heavy I've had. There is a nice, underlying bitter aftertaste as it goes down, real smooth. Reminds me more of a stout in some way. But all in all a great beer, perfect for dessert.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber provided by AKSmokedPorter via the BS-BiF

Pours a dark mahogany with some reddish highlights. A Creamy white head forms and thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and malty and a bit fruity. A rather mild, but pleasant aroma.

Taste is sweet and malty upfront with a slight caramel taste. A slight breadiness is detected and then washes away sweet and malty.

Full, rich body with a creamy texture.

Easy going down, a fine Scotch ale indeed.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, brought by blackie on his tractor from the NC, yay for highland

appearance: pours a slightly ruby tinted mahogany into the snifter, just a slight khaki head that dissipates into nothingness

smell: heavy on the toffee, lots of caramel sweetness, a strong raisin aroma, very slight alcohol, sweet malt, chocolate covered fruit...pretty decent overall

taste: quite smooth, raisins are the dominant flavour, caramel toasted malts are heavy, sweet plum, milky chocolate covered fruit, plenty of roastiness, slight espresso, sweet alcohol predominantly hidden. a solid effort from highland, but not on lake louie level

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, alcohol well hidden

drinkability: pretty drinkable

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Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pours ruby red/brown with a 1/4" tan head ring. Good lacing & some head retention

S: Rich choclate malt

T: Choclate with slight bitterness up front. Then cinamon, honey, licorice & molasses all surface at some point. Finishes sweet, malty, with choclate & warming alcohol notes

MF: Slick, medium body with good balance & understated carbonation (perfect)

Very drinkable despite the heft, really enjoy this style & this is an outstanding example from an outstanding brewery!

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Highland Tasgall Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 182 ratings