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 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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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 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

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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