Highland Tasgall Ale | Highland Brewing

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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.

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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 182
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: brown tinted, single finger head. Murky, very dark with little light passing through.

S: a subtley sweet and earthy aroma.

T: very mild sweet start with roasty finishing taste. Musky and caramel notes.

M: thick,mild carbonation. Initially smooth with crisp finish.

O: Very drinkable for a Scotish ale.

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Photo of cbeer88
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a 20 oz imperial nonic. Thanks commis!

Appearance: Deep reddish brown. Thin caramel tinted white head, about a half finger. Nice lacing.

Smell: Brown sugar, roasted malts, and chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate, lots of caramel, roasted malts. Very malty, and very sweet, but there are some bitter hops in there too. Decent kick of alcohol in the flavor. Bold and complex flavors abound - nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Thick body, medium carb. Smooth and creamy. Generally pleasant.

Drinkability: Not bad - it's 8%, which is right on point for the style, so you probably don't want more than one bomber of this in a sitting. Otherwise it goes down easy, but the alcohol reminds you that it's there.

Overall: This is a really good Wee Heavy. It's a widely made style with lots of boring bottles out there, but this guy stood out a bit from the pack. Worth seeking out if you're a fan of the style, or happen to be in the area.

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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 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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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 glid02
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of heavy toasted malts with hints of darker roasted malts. Also present are moderate amounts of light molasses and lighter amounts of toffee. Finally, earthy hops and very slight smoke waft in and out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet toasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of toffee and lighter amounts of molasses. Midway through the sip very slight amounts of smoke come into play before being pushed aside by earthy hops. The hops soon give way to the toasted malts which carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this beer had escaped me for some time but I’m glad I finally had the chance to try it. It’s short of exceptional but it is very good and is worth a shot.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottled March 4, 2011. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours dark brown with a decent sized tan head that leaves some spots of lacing and holds a light cap.

Aroma is caramel, brown sugar, some light peat/smoke, and some grainy, grassy notes. Moderate to good strength.

Flavor follows with more caramel, toffee, brown sugar, a hint of chocolate, some peat, some herbal notes, a bit of alcohol at the end. Mild sweetness, low bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, smooth, carbonation is on the low end.

A good Scotch Ale, but not the best I've ever had.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big brown color with ruby highlights and a huge tan head and tons of lacing. Smells of malts, a little hops and tons of toast and brown sugar. Tastes much the same. A heavy sweetness from the malt and plenty of hops to cut through it. Brown sugar notes and toasted goodness in there as well as a little caramel. Mouthfeel is thick and nice. Drinkability is high.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a light tan head, though not much lacing. The nose is brown sugar, some toasted malt, and not too much else. The taste is about the same and ends up being quite bland. There's some semi-sweet malt and a bit of toffee. A bit of alcohol in the feel and a decent body. Well made, but not all that great.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Pours dark amber-orange, little haziness, off-white head. Rich caramel tones, and boy do you smell the earthiness of the peat. Nice rich full-body, deep sweetness, touch of bitter and then a dry earthy dirt-like finish (which is exactly what I wanted. Great Scotch ale and I'd love to get my hands on another bottle of this.

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

Another winner from Highland. I drank this 22 oz bottle by itself on a warm day after mowing the lawn. Probably not the best setting for a Scotch Ale, but a nice experience anyway. Poured into a pint glass, this is a dark murky brownish color. When held to a light, light comes through from the sides and bottom of the glass leaving a reddish hue. The center of the glass stays dark. The head is about 1 inch and hangs in there for a while, light tan color. There is some spotty lacing.

The aroma is very nice. Pronounced caramel malts..slightly sweet..very pleasant. The taste is more of the same, sweet caramel malt, a little wine like presence and some bitterness in the finish...kind of like a wheat bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and smooth. Drinkability is good. This is a sipping beer. I could easily do another bottle today while tired from yard work and watching the Mets. If I had some cheese and other snacks...it would be even better. Very good beer!!!

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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 morimech
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark caramel color with half inch of tan head that has good retention before settling to a thin cap. A little spotty lacing is left on the glass. I had to really stick my nose deep into the glass to pick up anything in the aroma. What I did detect was toffee with earthy and floral hints. It smells good but I wish it was more easily picked up. The flavor consists of toffee and earthy elements. A bit more alcohol than what is typical. The body is really the best part of this beer. Medium body and silky smooth texture. I enjoyed this beer and is an easy drinker. Looking forward to trying more beer from Highland Brewing.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Back from an extended hiatus, Highland's Tasgall Ale served as their 2009 "Special Release", in history, a descriptor of a lights-out lineup of one-timers which in the past has included such limited edition goodies as "Imperial Kashmir IPA", and "Imperial Black Mocha Stout". The good news is that Tasgall Ale (named after "the cauldron of the gods" in Norse mythology) isn't just making a brief encore appearance-- the brew is back in Highland's seasonal rotation for good this time. Valhalla be praised!

The lightly-chilled 22-ounce bomber bottle pours a hazy hazelnut-tinted amber color and is capped with a finger-thick lid of fine-grained pale beige bubbles. As the crowning topper of foam relaxes, an impressive freckled web of lacing remains clinging to the inner walls of my Duvel tulip.

The aroma is sweetly chocolatey with a firm vinous whiff of dark caramel and candied dried fruit. A deeply-imbedded backbone of toasted-pecan nutty mellowness is augmented by notes of brown-sugary dates and succulent figs that supplement Tasgall's savory richness and aromatic sweetness.

The taste is caramel-sweet with a note of burnt toffee and an apple-like splash of alcohol fruitiness. Dusty cocoa, roasty dark chocolate, and a prickly smattering of molasses join together with more mild nuttiness, but even in concert the potently savory/sweet flavor components fail to prevent a vague whiff of earthy smokiness from softly drying the finish.

The drink is full-bodied and silky-smooth with quite a bit of lingering palate-stick and lip-smacking chewiness. Carbonation is unobtrusive and appropriate; the 8.0% ABV is well-managed and the beer highly drinkable. Lovely stuff for warming the belly of a chilly Viking on a blustery mid-winter day.

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Photo of Durge
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beauty is a dark mahogany color with a decent tan head and nice rings of lacing. The aroma brings bright cider and cinnamon raisin. I also note some nutty red wine. Really interesting and nice. The flavor is awesome, thick with molasses and sherry, a bit of nutty chocolate and nice herbal hop kiss. This is a full bodied brew with a very smooth feel. Finely carbonated. There are nothing but good things to say for this great Scoth ale, except it might not be suitable for sessioning, but for the style it's really not bad to pound for a few. Great beer.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Kingdom Liquors. Poured dark hazy brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly diminished with fair lacing. Moderate to heavy earthy, alcohol and toasted malt aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy toasted complex sweet flavor with a medium to heavy sweet finish and small alcohol burn of moderate duration. Good complex brew.

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Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for bringing this one back from Asheville.

A-Pours a murky light brown with a fluffy off white head and a bit of sticky lacing.

S-Figgy with brown sugar, a hint of molasses and raisins. Also a bit of sweet malt.

T-Sweet caramel on the front, followed by dark fruit, mainly raisins and plums with some fig. A whiff of alcohol at the end.

M-A bit light on carbonation with a medium to heavy body.

D-Very nice. I am usually a one Wee Heavy a night type of guy; this is a good one.


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Photo of Onenote81
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty excited to see a few bottles of this hit some local stores recently. This seems to be one of the more elusive offerings from Highland.

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a very dark tawny brown with a thick tan head on top. Retains fairly well and it leaves plenty of sticky lace in its wake. Smells of caramel, candy, and some dark fruits.

There's a good amount of body to this. It borders on the heavy side. Carbonation level is moderate. Flavors of toffee, plum, pumpernickel bread, and has a pleasant mild bitterness from the hops. This is very much a malt-forward beer and I like it. Recommend.

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Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gford217 for sending this my way in a late spring BIF, & as it's the day after Labor Day, it seemed a fitting day for it to go down. Split with the wife who picked it out of the fridge among other appealing options.

Pours dark with amber around the edges & only a little ringworm of head. Smells nice, some unidentifiable malts, prevailing westerly of alcohol, & some sweetish something or other.

Tasgall is a very interesting beer, above & beyond the nice name. Toffee is the leader in this pack, trailed by a nascent sweetness, dark malts, with bit parts given to rich chocolate and caramel.

All the candied elements give the beer a sweet, glossy smoothness that fills out a style-appropriate fullness. Drinkability is the star here. This is a good beer, but the perfect balance of fullness, sweetness, & a warm finish make it a beer to reach for quickly & often.

Excellent beer where I didn't truly expect to find one. I'd like to try this one again with a fresher bottle someday.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque brown color. No head to speak of. The nose is very heavily malty with rich sweet tones. The attack is smooth and easy for what is a pretty big beer. The flavor is pretty mellow and smooth as well. There are hints of cocoa at the finish. This drinks kind of like a barley wine in my opinion. I love Highland Brewing and all of their beer for the most part. They are one of the things I most miss about North Carolina.

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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 SaucyA
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very rich, opaque brown...almost maroon... with a nice crown of off-white soap bubbles.

S - Very nice, complex nose. Brown sugar, molasses, raisins, caramel malt. Fruity notes, sweet sugar notes.

T - Doughy, with qualities very similar to an Old Ale. Not as smokey as I'd prefer, but the chocolatey malts almost make up for it. Lots of random flavors come in and out... molasses, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, fruity sweetness. Add all this with an interesting and uncharacteristic dry hop note, it's quite the mixture of old style and new innovation. I'm a fan.

M - Quite thick, sticky body with a very light, subdued carbonation that works really well with the style.

D - This is as drinkable as any good Wee Heavy. I like it :)

Notes: I'm a huge fan of this, and wish it were available around here. This is a beer that makes me appreciate brewers abilities, and innovation.

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

22 oz. bottle. Nice thick brown pour. Tan head, not too big. Pretty sticky. Some ground roast nuts, coffee, toffee, very slight chocolate. Very medium bodied. Slight warming from the alcohol. Big beer, well done for the style. My favorite of theirs along with the black mocha stout.

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Photo of gford217
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Dark, dark copper body with light coming through only around the edges. The head is small, off-white and dissipates to a ring fairly quickly leaving little lacing.

The aroma is donminated by sweet roasted malts, caramel and toffee. There is also a generous citrus hop kick that I wasn't expecting.

The taste has the aforementioned hop kick up front though it is less pronounced than in the aroma. Then the sweet malts kick in with caramel, toffee and a little booze. The finish is sticky sweet but with what tasted like a bit of smoke.

The mouthfeel is sticky but very smooth with little carbonation, maybe just a tad too thin to be world class.

This is a very good scotch ale and extremely drinkable. One of the best offerings from Highland.

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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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Highland Tasgall Ale from Highland Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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