Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,273 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,273
Reviews: 527
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 29
Gots: 183 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 01-11-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,273 | Reviews: 527
Photo of jazfst1
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid amber that is very drinkable and goes well with any type of bar/pub/grilled food.

Photo of Bis4beer70
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had some of this while on vacation coming back from Florida & North & South Carolina,along with Georgia too...I had beers from each state in the span of two weeks & this was the top of the heap...drank it while in Knoxville,TN the day after driving up thru N.Carolina...The mountain town of Asheville & their beer! Wow! It's UP THERE! Cheers! good stuff indeed!

Photo of GOBLIN
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pretty solid beer. Sweet and malty. Not bad overall and worth trying if you see it.

Photo of helios7
2.18/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Underwhelming and boring, even for the style. A half notch up from water.

Photo of Bosoxbennie
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I truly cannot make up my mind on ambers..One second I think I'm just done with them, and then I try one like this that changes my mind...very very solid brew

Photo of ManBearPat
4.73/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This was a great amber, and I never say that.

Photo of ab39z
1.33/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Just not my style. And, I was required to write something.

Photo of KWolf
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mild slightly hopped amber. Very drinkable

Photo of tone77
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts are present. Taste is hops up front, malts at the finish, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of Daytonbeerguy
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

May not be ground shattering but is a very good selection to pair with food and is extremely drinkable and good for meeting with friends and shooting the breeze.

Photo of drdiesel9483
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Incredible beer that I need to pick up and give a deep analysis on.

Photo of winningwes91
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not really a fan of highland

Photo of Chug-a-lug
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers. Best from the tap.

Photo of DeaconsBrew
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very drinkable and food-friendly. This is a go-to red ale as it is now readily available in my area. Stirs up a craving for brats or sausage sandwiches. I keep this in a wine cooler at 50 degrees and the flavors and subtle complexities really come out at that temp.

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful, fat-bubbled, deep-ruddy red-amber ale, I find myself unfortunately not as impressed with the remainder of this Highland flagship than I expected to be. It has a very mild, slightly malty odor, but that'd be forgivable if the flavors weren't also so excessively mild. Besides being a bit thin in texture, Gaelic Ale is quite lean on the flavors I expect from a well-crafted amber: the malting is clean, but doesn't do much to make its presence felt besides a bit bite on top of its moderately sweet substructure; and the overall impression is certainly a little less than the "rich malty body" promised on the label. Meanwhile, the hopping is nice, but largely straightforward: not a lot of fragrance or florality, with the Cascade and Willamette primarily serving to ripen the sweetness a bit with some grassy bitter notes.

It's a fairly drinkable beer—though I wouldn't quite call it "sessionable," despite its fairly light body, since the sweetness outweighs the crispness, respective to Gaelic's malt elements (and malt is the crucial component of an amber, as far as I'm concerned). But, as stated, it's a little disappointing, given that I've liked other products from Highland, and this is their ur-product. I've been told that on draft it better matches its promises, both in terms of official description and critical profile, but I suppose I'll believe that when I taste it; from the twelve-ounce bottle, it was decent, but underwhelming.

Photo of DMACH
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites from Highlands. Very drinkable

Photo of Milchad
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Great taste, more filling. Great local brew.

Photo of JohnnyI
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

With a bearded bag-pipe player set against the mountainous backdrop of Asheville NC gracing the label, how can this lose? Filled on 10/7/14. The beer pours with a bright amber clarity, and a rocky manilla head. 2 fingers of foam recede, leaving lavish lacing on the glass. The nose is dominated by biscuity malts. Tart cider-like notes and piney hops battle for second fiddle. The flavor delivers caramel sweetness, and a buttery toffee that reminds me of an English ale. However, the tangy hop bite quickly takes over, washing away the malts and leaving only nice toasted grain in the finish. The mouthfeel is a tad watery, with tame carbonation, though it doesn't detract from the experience. This brew achieves a very respectable balance. A classic American Amber, true to the style. Nothing earth shattering, but a delightful and well-crafted treat from the Tarheel State.

Photo of beerrat
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Has a strong taste like it has more kick then it does.

Photo of Harvest06
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very food friendly, well rounded amber ale with slight sweetness, medium body and dry bitter finish. Its less hoppy than many west coast amber ales but more hoppy than many east coast red ales.

Photo of CIBoy10
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark orange or amber brown with a head that leaves quickly. Lacing stays around on top and clings nicely. Smell is bready and malty. Taste is awesome! Clean and refreshing ale with a hint of hoppiness. This is a taste that I think many people would enjoy (ala Sweetwater 420). Feel is superb. Clean, refreshing, and tasty. The three headed combination I prefer. Overall I would gladly drink this again - one of the more superb sessionable craft beers I've enjoyed. Cheers!

Photo of velopack
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Probably favorite beer tried so far

Photo of jman42
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Deep orange color with moderate head
Malty aroma typical of an amber
Nice taste but nothing stands out
Clean mouthfeel
Nothing outrageous stands out but I really like it. Could drink a bunch of these

Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: An opaque bronze. An off-white one-finger head that dissipates fast. Filmy lacing.

S: Caramel, bourbon, leather.

T: A barrel of caramel with cherries. A nice malty base. Smooth, sweet. Chocolate enters the scene late with a peat-y finish.

M: Medium with medium carbonation. A dry finish.

O: A terrific ale, one I'd drink again.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into a mug. A gift from my cousin Joe, Thank you!
The beer pours a clear amber color with an eggshell white colored head that is creamy and sticky with clingy tightly packed lattice on the glass after each sip. Aroma is caramel with a bit of grainy malt. HInts of herbal hops in the background. Nose is not strong and it takes some pretty serious sniffing to get the scents right.
First sip reveals very fine and tingly carbonation. Average body and smooth texture make for a very drinkable brew.
Flavor is similar to the nose, with some grainy malt and a bit of toffee. Finish moves to hops with that same herbal almost tea leaf flavor coming through the sweet malt. No hints of any booze and the beer finishes clean with just a little lingering hop profile. A well balanced and highly drinkable brew. Well done.

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.