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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 Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a deep, dark, opaque, amber-tinged brown color. It is topped by a four-finger thick, amber-hued tan head that is mostly frothy, but a little creamy in consistency. The aroma is rich with a mix of fruit and malt; I get notes of fig, rich toffee, hints of salty-chewy malt, concentrated raisins, condensed toasted grain, and a touch of lightly roasted coffee. The aroma is quite enjoyable; rich and concentrated, which makes for an intriguing nose.

A solid, thick mouthfeel is only partially offset by an ample carbonation that seems a bit out of place in a beer like this. Luckily a quick swirl and the carbonation is gone; I much prefer more carbonation than less, as I can always get rid of the former. Ah yes, it is much creamier with less carbonation, and it still has just a touch of prickly carbonation. This is a malt lovers dream and exactly what I was in the mood for right now. I get notes of just barely sweet caramel, rich toffee, ample toasted grain, hints of chocolate and something good that I can only describe as a mix of dust from freshly crushed biscuit and melanoid malts. Underneath all of this malt is something unexpected. It is hops of course, subtly at first in the background, but here the whole time. Supporting the huge malt notes, the hops supply a substantial bitterness from start to finish. They also supply some fruit character, which amplifies the fruit notes from the malt; I get notes of figs and raisins (from the malt), moving to a currant/ berry component that is contributed by the hops. The hops also bring a touch of spiciness and a hint of herbal character as well.

This beer is definitely hitting the spot; rich, chewy, but not at all cloying, with a surprising depth of hop character, but only if you look for it underneath all that malt character. There is perhaps a bit of hot alcohol, at times, in the finish, but nothing too detracting. As the beer warms up, it becomes even maltier and richer; quite nice, yet always with that off-setting bitterness, which, just keeps the malt in check, well makes a valiant attempt to anyway.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown body, like concentrated cola, letting only a little light show through, near the bottom of the glass. No head.

Smell: Sweet and very roasted, full and rich.

Taste: Burnt carmel, roasted with hints of coffee. Drinks easily, subtle bitter finish. Sweet, not cloying, big malt flavors.

Drinkability: A large and flavorful scottish ale, a nice treat from a brwery I had not even heard of until Blackie sent me a bottle.

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

This is what a Scotch Ale should be. Sturdy with a big, fairly sweet malty smoothness. The abv was apparent, but not only did this beer handle it, it benefited from the touch of pepper. The break from tradition was a bit more hops and not much smoke in the malt, but this was not a detraction (but did make the beer a bit more barleywine-ish). Thanks to NClifestyle for the treat.

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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 clvand0
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sam for bringing this beer our way. Pours a murky brown color with almost no head and it doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is nutty with some caramel in there for a nice, malty smell. The flavor has a lot of the caramel malt character along with enough hops to balance it and hints of roasted malts in there for some character. The body is moderate and the drinkability is good. Nice brew.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep earthy brown color, almost muddy brown, with a skin of head over top. Nose is nice, with notes of thick caramel and a light roasted quality. I get just a touch of smokey phenolic character as well. Flavor is much the same, with the caramel being dominant with a modest roastedness and a mild hop bitterness on the finish. The hop finish fades quickly leaving a light smokeyness and caramel sweetness. Feel is moderate with a solid moderate carbonation. As far as drinkability goes, this one is very drinhkable. I'm getting a little heat in my stomach, but its not keeping this one from disappearing too fast. Alcohol is not apparent in the aroma or flavor.

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

I must admit, this is the first Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy I've ever tried. It sort of reminds me of a Strong Porter, make that an Imperial Porter. Poured out of a 22 oz. bottle into a straight sided tumbler, the color is an extremely dark mahogany, the initial very dark head quickly disappeared and leaves no lace on my glass. The aroma is of caramel, raisins and plums. Taste is of thick malt, raisins with little hop to balance. The mouthfeel is medium, just about where I feel it ought to be. The hops come in on the finish, and the balance is absolutely spot on. The finest product I have tried from the Highland Brewing Company. The drinkability is good with little alcohol burn, considering the alcohol, (8%.) I definitely could not session this beer. I'm kinda thinking maybe I'll try this again, maybe not.



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

Appearance: Darker than expected. Nice tan rocky head with excellent lacing. The beer isn't quite black, just very very dark brown. Hints of light show ruby highlights.

Aroma: Malty and spicy smells. Hints of cherry peek through the sweet caramel malts. Smells dessert-like with fruitiness and almond sweet nuttiness. The aromas here remind me a bit of Highland's Cold Mountain.

Taste: The spices and sweet malt are balanced by a dry finish. The mouthfeel is bready and cake-like alongside the caramel sweetness. Fruitiness is present and well accounted for in the flavor as well.

Notes: Highly drinkable. The upfront flavor is a bit sweet, but it quickly drys out and leaves you wanting another taste. Good Beer.

Thanks GCBrewing! or AKSmokedPorter! (whichever one of you guys actually got me this one... I forgot...)

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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 Brewfan
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Konabrewer for the bottle.

Poured a hazy dark ruby color with a minimal head. Receded rather quickly to off-white lace with decent retention.
Had the aroma of butterscotch and pine. Nice backbone of chocolate malt, toffee, some smokiness and caramel.
Malty right off the bat, with toffee, caramel, and some mild coffee background. There was also a slighty sour hoppiness that surprised me a bit. Nice, but unexpected.
Mouthfeel and drinkability: Mid level carbonation, creamy medium mouthfeel. Quite drinkable. Different from many Scotch ales I've had. Was intregued by the coffee and sour matchup.

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

Malty aroma with a touch of raisin sweetness. Dark amber/red at the base of the glass and black toward the top. Two finger thick tan head. Raisin in the fore followed by thick chocolate malts and an almost prune like finish. Very thick mouthfeel. This brewery needs more exposure. Some very solid beers

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, opaque brown with a medium frothy head. Aroma is a mix of mild brown malts and a very light hops. Leaves a little lacing.

Taste is a nice, sweet caramel malt with just a touch of bitterness. Molasses elements, dry chocolate malt, some peat or burnt flavors, maybe even a tar and toffee quality. A faint hoppiness that's barely perceptible and certainly not distinguishable. No alcohol in the flavor or nose.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and clean. A nice slight twist on a wee heavy, quite drinkable. I could session this.

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

This beer is a pretty good beer. I first had this on tap at Brewgrass back in October. The beer is a deep reddish black color. The beer had a good head that has gone away. It has left some lacing in the glass. The smell is a faint one. Some spices thrown in. The taste is of spiced maltiness. The alcohol has sneaked into the taste. The mouthfeel is a little bit dwindled due to the alcohol bite but not enough to keep me away. The drinkability os good. Certainly not a session beer but a good beer to enjoy on Christmas Eve. I will drink this again from time to time.

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Photo of mentor
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle provided by mntlover. Thanks for the opportunity. Pours a thin layer of dark caramel colored head over a cloudy and very dark red brown liquid. Smells toffee, caramel, chocolate, and milk sweet. Tastes coffee and chocolate covered toffee. Yummy sweet with a milk creaminess to it. A bit of a sour zing to it that I'd guess is from black patent. Dry roasty early and wet sweet to finish. Has a nice lasting toffee & chocolate aftertaste. Md-thick body and moderately carbonated. As I progressed through the beer it became a bit sharper and unpleasant in the black patent tang, in fact I'd even say burnt grains. Plus, the ending sweetness became a bit cloying. I'll let it warm and see how things change.

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Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first bottle of a North Carolina beer since the 6% abv cap was lifted. Pours a dark mahogany body that is opaque until backlighting reveals a radiant garnet clarity. Light brown head is small, but lasting and leaves some sketchy lace behind.

Aroma has toffee, caramel apples, a hint of chocolate, cherries, and a kiss of earthy, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium body and a restrained carbonation that is just enough to contribute a silkiness. Slight warming alcohol is approriate for style.

Taste has buttery toffee, caramel apple, and a prominent chocolate presence that adds a Porter character. Hops are earthy, with a note of pine, and add a pleasant balancing bitterness. I didn't notice the smokiness that was evident in the draft version I sampled several weeks ago. The 8% abv is cleverly concealed but for some mild warming presence that is welcome on a cold winter evening.

Very tasty and user friendly. Its smoothness contibutes to an excellent drinkability. One of Highland's better brews and an excellent "popped cap" effort. Not as much to style as the tap version, but this 22 oz bottle is a very nice sipper.

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Photo of waldowin
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a smoky amber, almost black when held up to the light. Strangely dark for a Scotch Ale. A nice light tan head forms on the pour, and fades to a thin ring.

Smells of dark malts, and roast, with a hint of chocolate. Taste is mostly smooth malts and vanilla, with a kick of roasted grains halfway through. Very roasty, more a porter than a Scotch Ale. Nice and toasty, a good winter brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly carbonated.

This is a good beer for a cold night, a bit hearty, and smooth (if that makes any sense). Many thanks to merlin48 for sending this my way!

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with an off white creamy head very rich and full looking,aromas are smokey and caramelly sweet with an underlying roasted malt note wich was expected.Quite fruity up front like prune and raisin some bitter chocolate as well a healthy dose of drying earthy hop rounds out the finish.A nice newer "big" brew from Highland a very quality NC brewer.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Much darker than I was expecting. Looks like a porter. Nice finger sized creamy, tan head. The head disapates but leaves a lasting lace. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, mild bitterness. Taste like a high grav., hoppy, porter. Roasted grains, chocolate, and coffee dominate the taste buds. Mouthfeel is thick and filling. Also warming. This is a drinkable beer, but I wouldn't consider it a session beer. 22oz is enough for me because of the 8% and it is filling.
This is Highland's first higher gravity brew and it is excellent. I'm glad they went with a darker beer, because I like their darker beers better. I recommend this to everybody. I want the world to see the fruit of N. Carolina's battle to pop the cap.

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

The beer poured into the glass brownish black with an amber hue and a brown frothy head which rose well and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a caramel, toffee malt character. The aroma was also lightly fruity with a chocolate malt essence.

The flavor was malty and smooth with a silkiness that was well done. The flavor contained a light chocolate with a slight expresso roastiness. The bittering was light and in the background and the alcohol was lightly present in the flavor.

The finish was just dry with a lasting caramel malt flavor and light chocolate and low coffee into the aftertaste. The body was medium full to almost full. A nice beer, not quite the norm for a wee heavy with the coffee character, but a well crafted tasty beer. The alcohol was present lightly in the flavor and more in the warming after consumption.

22 ounce bottle.

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