chinchill (5226) - South Carolina, USA - OCT 16, 2012
What the Gatsby? This "abbey style" ale is an insult to abbey beers and not worthy of the otherwise reliable Highland brewers. The brew is drinkable, and sort of hits the target suggested on the label: "a subtle version of a traditional abbey brown ale". At least it is subtle (i.e., underflavored) and brown (if veering into amber). There’s a hint of an abbey dubbel here but a finish that has more than a hint of overcooked green vegetables. dimenhetfield (2486) - , Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2010
The only thing exciting about this beer is the color. The aroma isn’t up to snuff, neither is the flavor. Doesn’t seem to fit the style at all. No character whatsoever. nickd717 (4822) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 30, 2010
12oz bottle via trade. Pours a clear deep reddish-amber color with a small, fading off-white head. The aroma is pretty authentic Belgian if also pretty authentic nondescript. Sweet malts, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, and citrusy hops. The flavor is all right. Caramel malts, sweet tea, plum, and Belgian yeast. A surprisingly big herbal and citrusy hop presence finishes it out. The mouthfeel falls a bit flat...literally. The carbonation is too low for this style. Medium-bodied and mildly syrupy. Overall, not a bad beer. Close to being very good, but as it is, it’s just...meh. NachlamSie (3534) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 13, 2010
12 oz. purchased at Adventures in Wine and Beer. Pours a thick, hazy copper color with no head to speak of. My expectations weren’t too high to start with and this one missed the mark. The problem with this Great Gatsby ale is the same as many Southern attempts at a Belgian style: it’s way too sweet and has massive esters that overpower everything else. I can get down with a little banana and clove in my beer, but man, this is over the top. Imagine pureeing a banana and adding a bunch of sugar. That is the sticky fruitiness I can’t get past. I’d suggest toning it down a little bit. raszputini (71) - North Carolina, USA - NOV 9, 2010
I was excited when I first saw this product. Highland brews are typically rock solid, and when I found they had brewed a brown abbey, I was, again, excited. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment unfortunately. While the nose and color are typical of the style, it lacks the complexity normally associated with abbey style ales. The various flavors (fruit, coriander, citrus, candied sugar) are noticeably slight. It’s like they took an abbey and blunted all of the edginess. I thought it was boring.
bubbleflubber (2235) - Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA - MAY 27, 2010
Pours a deep amber-mahogany into the glass, with a wispy head that reduces to a thin ring of lace down the glass. The nose has some muddy malts, yeast and light Candi sugars. The flavors are completely underwhelming and disappointing. There is an essence of toasted malt and strains of yeast at work, with a finish of yeasty esters. The mouthfeel is watery with a medium-light body and slightly active carbonation levels. There is no substance nor complexity to the palate, and makes for a very disappointing offering.