Highland Tasgall Ale | Highland Brewing

151 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 182
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.

 391 characters

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.


 503 characters

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.

 608 characters

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.

 1,001 characters

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.

 428 characters

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.

 352 characters

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.

 893 characters

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.

 282 characters

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.

 782 characters

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.

 905 characters

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%

 583 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is dark brown with good carbonation. The head is tan thick and fades to a this lace.

The smell is good notes of chocolate and smoky peat.

The taste follows, a quite good and interesting scotch, great malt a bit of alcohol and hints of smoke and chocolate not as much caramel as some of the style.

The mouthfeel is good nice body and ok carbonation.

The drinkability is good a must try if you want to experience the full range of the style.

Prosit MK

 502 characters

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

Appearance: The darkest of ambers, nearly opaque and almost black. This is the darkest scotch ale I've seen. A one finger head rises and falls within the span of about a minute, leaving behind some spotty lace.

Smell: Chocolate, caramel and some bready undertones. Hints of raisins and dates.

Taste & mouthfeel: Evenly balanced between caramel malt and roasted barley flavors, this is a pretty bold scotch ale. Hops are subdued; bitterness comes more from the roasted barley. Earthy undertones appear as the beer warms along with a hint of dried fruit. It finishes on a semi-dry note, with the roasted grain and fruit flavors slightly overtaking the caramel.

Notes: Thanks to Loki for this one. Yet another great beer from a very solid brewery.

 747 characters

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

Murky asphalt with a rich lathery thick bodied tan head that holds a long retention and leaves a great looking sticky lace that holds even longer retention.

Wonderful nose of tea, chocolate, vanilla, yeasty, bready malts, caramel, some dried fruit with a dark fruit appeal. Sweet and succulent aromas that waft to the ole factor and makes it oh so happy.

Some peat smokiness shows up in the mid palate and finish that wasn't in the nose. A bitter ending of a piney resiny hop which also was not noticeable in the nose really shines through and cuts the sweetness of the malt. Creamy and silky on the tongue with a moderate carbonation that leaves a tingle in its path. Rich with caramel and vanilla, black tea, herbal notes, milk chocolate, red currant, and black cherry. A very nice wee heavy and easy to drink.

 814 characters

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.

 830 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

Received this in a trade with brentk56, thanks a lot Brent! Tasgall pours the darkest of reds bordering on bordering on black when no backlit. Mahogany highlights shine when held to the light and make for a good looking beer. A one + finger ecru head grew on the pour and faded to a solid cap leaving sheet lacing down the glass. An excellent looking brew!

The nose seems to be a little on the faint side what's there is certainly good though. Faint dark chocolate and a mild hazelnut combine over the top of a brown sugar malty base. There's a decent amount of roastiness in there which makes up the majority of the aroma. The more it warms the more peat smokiness comes forward. If the smell was a little more bold this would be excellent, the way it is its still good.

Flavor starts off with a hit of baker's chocolate and that peat smokiness. While the chocolate fades the peat wafts in and out of roasty malts, a sprinkling of brown sugar, a bit of the nuttiness, some dark fruit sweetness (prune and fig), and the faintest hint of citrus from the hopping. The chocolate makes its appearance on the backend but more in the form of dark then bakers. This here is a good beer.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter then expected but actually fits very well for this particular beer. Body is medium and moves at a decent pace keeping the flavors evolving.

Tasgall is highly drinkable for such a high abv beer. The constant changing of flavor and the moderate body keep the glass tilted.

I've become a big fan of Highland's beer. Every one I've sampled have been very good, this is no exception. I would pick this up often if it was available in IL. Thanks for the taste Brent.

 1,692 characters

Photo of turbine2475
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hellomcfly for the chance to try this brew!
A - Pour deep burgandy with a thick head that disipated quickly leaving a heavy lace.
S - Toffee, peat, burnt sugars, and sweet grainy malts.
T - Toffee, molassas, grassy hints complemented by some sweet fruits.
M - Smooth with a good carbonation with an alcohol burn.
D - Good scotch ale. Owns up to the hype, I only wish I had accedd to this beer more often.

 414 characters

Photo of dhd1491
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a one-finger head of tan froth that lies down quickly leaving a skim of lacing on the surface. Color is dark mahogany brown, and almost opaque. Mild aroma of alcohol, sweet toffee and molasses. The taste is the best part. Rich roasted malts, mocha, smoky and sweet. Earthy, peaty notes appear. Sweetness is toned down with bitter undertone with smoky coppery note. Mouthfeel is buttery and smooth, smoke lingering.

This brew has the robust flavors of a stout, but with better drinkability and mouthfeel, in my opinion. Potency and full flavor make it a nice one to have when you're havin' only one.

 605 characters

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

Thanks to hellomcfly for this 2-bomber of luscious goodness.

As stated, a 22-oz bottle poured into snifters.

A = Dark mahogany brown with light tan head of foam and small to medium bubbles, decent retention especially for style. Light lacing on glass.

S = Smoke, peat, chocolate, bitter coffee notes. Fairly complex and balanced, maybe just a little stronger sourness than I expected.

T = Rich creamy malt, light smoked peat, mixed milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate, long bittersweet finish.

M = Medium-heavy body, good mouthcoating, great foamy. luscious mouthfeel.

D = I really liked this beer. It would be a very good choice if you are in the mood for a meaty, malty beer. Quite drinkable and quaffable even with 8% ABV.

 734 characters

Photo of JDV
2.86/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of emacgee. Thanks!
Pours a rich murky brown with a light short lived tan head. Smell is lightly of peaty smoky malt. Taste is actually lightly hoppy to accompany the peaty quality and has a roasty, cocoa like quality to it as well. Not my style of beer at all, but this wasn't bad.

 298 characters

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

Thanks to ncvbc for this one
Bottle poured a dark reddish brown with a tan head which turns into a nice thick lace across the glass

Aromas of malts and bread with a hint of alcohol fill your nose.

Flavors of sweet caramel, malts, coffee and a slight hop bitter in the end

Medium mouthfeel with a smooth finish

Very drinkable ale enjoyed every drop of this one. will seek out again

 387 characters

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.

 1,492 characters

Photo of hops4me
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - black down the middle and brown on the sides. Very dark. This color hints at a very malty beer is soon to hit the lips. Good size tan head that leave a considerable aamount of lace on the glass.

S - fruity roasty chocolate. I smell a slight plum and raisin smell. This quickly gives way to a chocolate roastedness and rounds out with a caramel sweet smell.

T - initial bitterness up front that runs and hides for all the malt to come through. A little chalkiness then the caramel and chocolate come through and remain all the way through the aftertaste.

M - medium to full body. As the color suggests...this is alot of beer. With 8% there is no alch heat to speak of.

D - This is a very heavy beer. Definitely not a session beer. This would be good to have 2 or 3 with a big holiday dinner. I will look for this again.

 827 characters

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

got this one from Loki in a recent trade. thanks kip!

22oz bottle. sampled march 21/08.

pours deep brown with a big dark tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. rich caramel and toffee. touch of chocolate. bit of dms? toasted multi-grain bread. hint of alcohol.

taste is good. nice caramel sweetness. toffee and maybe a little butterscotch. toasted multi-grain bread again. low bitterness level. hint of dark chocolate. bit of earthy character. touch of alcohol. nice light fruity component too.

mouthfeel is good. smooth medium-low carbonation. medium-full body.

drinkability is good. the alcohol is hidden pretty well. nice balance. interesting malt depth. great stuff.

 716 characters

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.

 1,184 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.