Highland Tasgall Ale | Highland Brewing

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Highland Tasgall AleHighland Tasgall Ale
182 Ratings
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by AlexJ on 08-26-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of radioscooter
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of Kiknwitcooper
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of jak
5/5  rDev +23.2%

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 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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Photo of orfeu
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to oberon for securing this bomber for me. Highland's Tasgall Ale fills out my Duvel tulip nicely with a murky violet-mahogany color which lets only a tiny bit of blood-hued light through, all topped off with a dense and creamy tan foam crown. Spicy and floral nose. Stewed dark fruits mingle with mellow pine-scented hops and a bit of clove. A small measure of musty earth creeps in, as well. Primarily fruity in flavor, with notes of tart (yet slightly sweetened) black cherries, demure and faded coniferous hops, and moist, dense date loaf. Some caramel flavors come through later on. Dry, alcohol-laced finish with some high-quality fruitcake character lingering in the aftertaste. Very little residual sugary stickiness, yet pervasively fruity tart-sweet all the same. Just lighter than medium body but full and creamy on the palate. Superb webby sheets of lacing around three-quarters of the glass. Slightly chewy. Achieves the rare feat of being satisfying but not filling. All in all, a most drinkable representation of the style if I've ever encountered one. And delicious to boot. Quite frankly, this one surprised the hell out of me.

Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy has never been a style I have been able to get into, but this...this is outstanding. I'm extremely grateful to have been given this bottle in a "grab bag" sort of trade, because I probably would not have otherwise sought it out. Definitely a special beer. Thanks again, David, for the opportunity.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from unclejedi through the Little Guy BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very malty with strong notes of chocolate and dark fruit, along with a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out with smoky malts and dark chocolate, then flavors of dark fruit and a mild hops bitterness follow. Then a very slight alcohol burn ensues. The after-taste is smoky and very sweet. This is one of those beers where each sip makes you crave the next.

M: Crisp and very smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, a little bit filling, excellent representation of style, I liked this beer a lot. It's the perfect sipper and one that I could sip for quite a long time.

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Photo of ecmoon3
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of EasyReader
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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 objectivemonkey
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into my Duvel glass, pours a dark brown with a bit of a mahogany hue to it, a nice, dark, half inch head recedes to a ring and half moon, a fair amount of lacing in various patterns. The aroma is rather shy, but still gives off enough lovely malts, fruits like figs and raisin, leafy tobacco and other vague earthy like things. Very nice, just want more.

The taste, however, gives aplenty. The same aromas come out much more here, and gives more complexity too. Its very malty, of course, roasted and chocolate notes most prominent. There are the same fruity fig and raisin notes. There is definitely an earthiness that one would associate with a wee heavy, but little peat, maybe just a bit towards the finish. Instead, there is a faint leafy hop, then a bit herbal, not your average wee for sure, but definitely a neat twist.

The mouths is sumptuous, a full mouth and smooth body with a fine carbonation that mostly hides, with just a slight alcohol warming through the middle. In all, the folk in Ashville have it good, this is a damn fine beer, very easy to drink despite its heavy malt load and high ABV, and one I want to revisit. Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for this fine brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly dark brown color with a moderate tan head that leaves shards of lace

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma with undertones of dark chocolate and nutmeg

Taste: Starts out with a hermit cake flavor with rich dough, chocolate and cake spices; after the swallow, there is a modest bitterness that emerges to join the sweet flavors and keep them in check; the finish is well-balanced and long lasting

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Highland has produces a nice twist on the Wee Heavy that may well be their best brew - but wait a minute, what about that Imperial Gaelic - well, maybe their second best brew

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber served into my mad Elf tulip glass.

Opaque,cloudy,muddy black with a 2" very creamy tan head with good retention leaving nice clingy lace curtians down the glass.

Very roasy aromas,smokey,peat like erthyness with sweet carmell and dark fruit with prune notes.Bakers chocolate very good scotch ale aroma,very complex.

Strong roasty tastes up front with black coffee,robust with good balance,earthy,woody with some dark fruitiness. Nice clean sharp bitterness to finish.

Suprizingly light mouthfeel,zesty,well-rounded. Extra pleasing aftertaste creates an extreamly drinkable scotch style ale. one of the best i've had. Had some Highland beers while on vacation at the OB last summer,all well good beers. This was their best offering by far.

Thaks to Kwakwhore for the send,would love to get more of this one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appears a deep ruby brown hue with murky dark edges forming thick tan head and sporadic lacing around my chalice, sampled courtesy of jcdiflorio's stock from beer trades. Aroma contains deep roasted nutty chocolate tones with raisin and mild alcohol notes this is such a strong dominant malt nose with subtle subdued tobacco leaf hop notes rolling in, Tony likey. For a Wee Heavy much more dark roasted malt tones that traditionally used but the way they're blended here makes you appreciate American craft brewing that much more. Flavor is chalk full of vinous ripe fruit notes with a mild tartness and earthy grape seed nutty character I feel like I'm getting my antioxidants from this brew, well rounded grain doses a balance between dark roasted dry chocolate and caramel roasted bready malt layers colliding. Light presence of hops with herbal earthy highlights and a kiss of pine cone edged hops, but a yeast note that screams funky UK ales gives off a great flavor really adding some of this beers most interesting qualities. Although I thrive on the hops a well done malt bomb always hits the spot and this one is like poetry in the smoothness category. Mouthfeel is medium bodied even soft carbonation touch of residual sugars bringing a sticky texture on but it's welcomed hered never cloying in any way. Drinkability is incredibly effortless at 8% abv you can barely notice which says it's definitely a well constructed brew, so far the best of the lot I've sampled from the South.

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Photo of timtheenchanta
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good brown color with an oddly bleach white head. Tons of lacing. Slightly smokey with caramelly and chocolate malt smell to it. Hint of bready malt. Sweet dark fruity start. Roasted Starbucks coffee taste follows. Sweet caramel malt blesses the mouth as this beer finishes strong and dry with mostly the caramel taste coming back. The alcohol is extremely well hidden. This is a great beer that I plan on having again.

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Photo of FallsDamBrewery
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich, dark brown/black color

Smell: Red wine, alcohol, steak

Taste: Very robust flavor, tastes like a medium rare steak

Mouthfeel: Smooth, heavy bodied, robust feel in the mouth

Drinkability: Surprisingly good drinkability for a heavy brew...this beer pairs wonderful with red meat!

Serving type: bottle

Side note: One of my all time favorite beers, and I am deeply saddened that this is just a limited release now instead of a year round production.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Since North Carolina popped its cap this year, some the first official high gravity product from the state to make out to Georgia is the Highland Tasgall Ale. Since Highland has a Scottish theme going on all their labels, the artwork was nearly perfect for the style. The beer came in a 22 oz. bomber, which I emptied into a Tulip glass. The body looked almost like molten HersheyÂ’s chocolate syrup, due to its dark brown color, and opacity. The head was rather small at first, and then wend down in a hurry. The wispy spider web lacing left however was quite good.

The nose was very malty, with an elegant peat accent. Toffee, chocolate, and coffee aromas filled the nostrils with each breath. Floral hops were there to brighten things up a little bit. The taste was just what the aromas had been proclaiming in advance. Sweet, smoky, and robustly malty, this was undoubtedly Scottish in the flavor profile, but with a little more bitter and citric hop flavor coming through, thanks to being brewed in the Appalachian highlands instead.

I loved the way this beer felt on my tongue. The body was thick enough to be coating, but not so stout to be chewy. The velvety smooth swallows had enough of a prickly hop and alcohol bite to them to keep things interesting, but not so much that beer felt dry or astringent. If there is such a thing as perfect balance in mouthfeel, this one had achieved it. The aftertaste was more bitter than sweet, which served the purpose of drawing me in to take the next sip. Drinkability was much better that I was thinking it was going to be.

What a great leap forward for North Carolina! Welcome, northern neighbors to the wider world of beer.

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Photo of haddon
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark cola color with a brown frothy head. lots of carbonation bubbles released throughout the glass. very traditional looking scotch ale.

smells sweet with malts: caramel, cola syrup, butterscotch & brown sugar.

tastes of caramel, smokey wood, dark chocolate and a nice lingering bitter aftertaste. very unique to catch the hop character in a wee heavy. start to feel the warmth of the alcohol as it comes to room temp. very nice.

full body. creamy and thick feel. good amount of carbonation mixed in. well-balanced. may be best part of the beer.

this is one of the more layered and complex scotch ales i've had. again, it seems that they added a little more hops than an average scotch ale. more body & depth than old chub. would put it up there with skullsplitter. will go back to this one.

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Photo of n2185
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with reddish tints and two fingers of beige head that recedes into a thin cap with some decent lacing.

S: Caramel and vanilla at first followed by bubblegum and even a slight pineapple aroma. The finish has a touch a bready aroma with a touch of an alcohol smell.

T: Smooth, sweet caramel and vanilla followed by a slightly bitter yeast and bread flavor. The hops provide a little citrus and bitterness, but not much. Slight alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer manages to be sweet but not sticky or cloyingly so. It's nice and creamy instead and doesn't leave a sugary coating in my mouth. Very nice.

O: I have to say, this is probably the best beer I've had from Highland. I'm generally not a fan of them, but as Scotch ales go, this is quite good. It manages to avoid being a syrupy sweet mess like many, but is smooth, creamy, and sweet but not too much so.

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Photo of theformula
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It just happened to be a cold night and I just happened upon Coaster's Draught House in Elizabeth City, NC when stumbling upon this one.

Well, thank the deities that I did. This is delicious. This is one wee heavy I've never had before and it was on tap to boot!

A: Dark, mahogony body with a little ruby around the edges. Dense, creamy tan head that stuck quite well to the glass.

S: Nice. Dark fruits (plums, prunes), clove, all-spice (maybe), chocolate cherries caramel, and a little alcohol comes through but barely. A little roasted-like in the nose.

M: Medium body and very creamy. Just enough carbonation for the style. It has a great fullness in the mouth.

T: Very accurate flavors. Chocolate, caramel, coffee and dark, ripe fruits up front. Some spice and earthiness come through as well. This is balanced very well by a slight bitterness from hops, as well as some alcoholic infused spice, but not overwhelming in the least. It leaves a finish that's bittersweet and very clean.

D: One great wee heavy, and I didn't even realize it was local. The depth of flavors is perfect, and it's so easy to put a couple of these down despite the ABV level. Dry and clean.

Just go drink it.

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Photo of WAP
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost-opaque blackish brown, with a little ruby when held to light. 1/2" light-brown head leaves sticks to the sides a little. Nose is brown sugar and roasted malts. First sip reminds me of a porter, but with a little sweetness followed by a slight smoky finish and very slight alcohol warming sensation. Extremely tasty! Drinkability is very good for the style. A very nice effort from Highland.

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Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black that shown ruby when held up to light. The head was somewhat lasting and left spotty lacing. The aroma was surprisingly heavy on earthy hops. The bottle claims this beer is intentionally over-hopped for a scotch ale. I must say, that works great for this beer and gives it a unique character. The hops also slightly overpower the malts in the taste. This beer almost reminds me of Avery New World Porter. The alcohol is very well hidden by the mild hop bitterness and the beer sits surprisingly light to medium on the palate. As a hophead, this is my favorite beer of the style.

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

Thanks muddyfeet for this bottle!

A- 1/4" tan head on a dark body. You can see hues of a deep amber when held to light. Pretty much no lacing besides a collar.
S- Earthy tones with hints of fruits in there. Light hop smell with a bit of toffee malts too.
T- A blend of coffee malts with a cherry and plum fruit. Coffee comes through a bit stronger in aftertaste. A dry hop feel to it. Earthy tones come out quite a bit also. Alcohol leaves a little tingle on the tongue. Fruits come through a bit more as it warms. It balances out quite well.
M- Medium to full body with low carbonation.
D- It is very good as it warms up a bit. Balances out more. It is very easy to drink but at same time a sipper. Very enjoyable.

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