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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,122 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,122
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 27
Gots: 87 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 01-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by xybreeder:
Photo of xybreeder
xybreeder

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

A - Pours a very nice amber/orange color, little to no head with slight lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, slight hop aroma, but mostly malt aromas.

T - Malt on the front, hops on the back, slight bitterness lingers. Caramel and grapefruit seem to dominate the flavor profile. Very nice & balanced tasty brew.

M - Medium body, carbonation seems good despite the missing head.

O - A nicely balanced brew, that is very drinkable. Could use just a little less bitterness on the back-end, besides that, it's a fine tasting brew!

02-28-2012 02:12:21 | More by xybreeder
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%

Nice mahogany color,decent,had a musty somewhat fruity smell.A well-crafted brew like better on tap,its a little more fruity.Has a light touch of hops to finish it out,with no real lingering aftertaste.Highland is a nice brewing company have been to Barleys taproom to try many of theres on tap.

02-02-2003 14:03:16 | More by oberon
Photo of Zakk
Zakk

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

07-07-2012 20:29:48 | More by Zakk
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
JudgeRoughneck

Louisiana

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

This classicaly-colored Irish red has a big head that quickly vaporizes but leaves a nice lacing. It offers up quite fresh aromas of sugary malt, earthy and fruity hops, wood, light spices, and fresh baked bread. Great balance of deep malt sweetness, metallic dryness, hop bitter, and fruitiness. Fruity hop finish makes this one a bit different. Mouth and gut feel are both just a tad heavy, but I'm sure I could still do some damage to this.

07-22-2006 00:44:21 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of Spaten454
Spaten454

Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

06-14-2014 21:20:05 | More by Spaten454
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
ArrogantDeadGuy

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%

A hazy,deep plum color poured from 12oz brown bottle into New Belgium snifter. The head is a single finger and thick, though it dwindles in a minute or two leaving behind a descent amount to lace. There is freshness dating on the bottom ridge of the bottle. The aroma is initially sweet with alcohol quick to be noticed. There is an initial caramel malt flavor complimented by the advertised dry hop finish. The sweet maltiness is effectively balanced by the hop bitterness resulting in a nice dry finish. There is a pleasant dry fuit sweetness with a balance with hops. This is an even bodied brew that is in feel typical of its advertised style. Overall this is a good interpretation of style.

The carbonation in this brew was perfect and was a nice compliment ot the overall character of the beer. The density of this brew was also in great balance, not thin and not syrupy. This is a good brew cold a well above average as it warms. The fruit and malt slowly builds with temperature.red with a meal much more than standin alone.

08-10-2009 01:41:36 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -16.5%

A: Nice ruddy amber color; slim head

S: Weak hints of earthy malt aromas

T: Abundant caramel malts balanced well with a variety of hops; the finish is relatively quick with a slight lingering of hops.

M: Decent medium bodied with abundance of carbonation

D: Good ale, would probably go good with a roasted turkey leg or soup in a bread-bowl. Personally prefer more aggressive flavor profiles but this would be fine as an escape from American Macros.

The Highland line is generally one of my favorites but this particular ale is closer to mediocre. Not bad, generally enjoyable.

01-26-2008 23:44:44 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

It's Gaelic by name and hails the Highlands, if we trust the bagpiper on the label, but it's an American Ale. Chinook, Cascade and Willamette hops bring forth 32 IBUs--which means balance.

Pours with a gentle carbonation that leaves a bit of foam and a bubbly lace that sticks to the glass. Deep crimson amber hue has a slight haze to it. Malty nose with suggestions of caramel and freshly baked bread, with hops bringing some citric and mild pine to the aroma. Sublime, creamy, smooth mouthfeel; solid medium body with a reserved carbonation. A big mouthful of maltiness up front--caramel, toasted grain, bread crust. The malt character is more than enough to make the hops seem smaller than they actually are; quick spikes of citric and herbal hop bitterness and flavor come through. Maltiness lingers with a toasted grain flavor that melds well with the faded hop aftertaste. Finishes semi-sweet.

A beer like this makes North Carolina shine within the robust American craft beer scene. A slow-grilled dry-rubbed pork loin with baked sweet potatoes is a perfect pairing.

09-27-2010 18:23:32 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Bitzer
Bitzer

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

07-25-2014 22:53:22 | More by Bitzer
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

3.85/5  rDev +1%

A very nice dark golden orange/copper color with a small light tan head which reduced to the thinnest of bubble layers. Aroma is very balanced with hops and malts. The hops are mainly grapefruit and fruity in nature. This is well balanced with a sweet malty smell. There is also a slight caramel aroma. Taste is mainly hop oriented consisting of pine hops which lead to a nice bitter finish. Similar to the aroma there is a nice balance to this which makes it really drinkable. Overall the flavor is light and refreshing. Coats the mouth well and is relatively full bodied for a red ale. This is a good beer overall and is quite quaffable. I can see myself enjoying this easy drinker on a warm summer day…definitely worth a try.

03-17-2005 01:34:56 | More by blitz134
Photo of markallmon
markallmon

Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

03-16-2013 21:12:34 | More by markallmon
Photo of Walker8810
Walker8810

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

deep amber in color with a thin head of foam. delicious sweet aroma of molasses. smooth even mouthfeel. well balanced, deliciously sweet taste on top finishing with a mild hop bitterness. very smooth and very drinkable. could drink this beer all day. an excellent example of an amber ale.

06-21-2008 23:51:58 | More by Walker8810
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

It's darker than I'd expect from a red--more brown than amber. A 1" head thins out to a still creamy-looking foam top. Lacing is impressive, but ultimately I'm put off by what I think is too dark a red, amber beer.

The smell is good and malty--guess that's why it's so dark, huh? I also smell the hops. Although I've been improving on my hop-type distinctions, I admit I can't distinguish Cascade from Willamette. I do acknowledge a complexity with the hop/malt balance.

It's a good beer. As I rate each of the characteristics here, I'm continually surprised by the maltiness of this beverage. I'm more familiar with Cascade hops...perhaps Willamette are significantly more subtle? Or maybe this beer just has a lot of malts. That makes it taste good, but I can't help but feel that this much malt is inappropriate for a red, amber ale. Are malts what make reds red? Maybe that's why the beer's so brown. Regardless, the beer basically tastes good--though in a complex way:)

Not a whole lot to the mouthfeel. Again the malts dominate and leave a sort of chocolatey taste on the palate, but I still feel that that's not what I'm supposed to get from a red ale. This beer is much different than other ambers--not that it's much better or much worse--it's like it's mislabeled. Still, it's not a stout. Maybe it's more like a dopplebock. Though I'm not sure what exactly it is in terms of style, it tastes good and the mouthfeel is better-than-average.

Drinkability is below average because the malts make this a relatively heavy amber ale. Not that I expect to drink reds on a hot summer day, but I don't expect reds to conjure up images of Willy Wonka. A good beer, but one of the first I've come across about which I've questioned the style.

04-25-2009 00:40:48 | More by marvin213
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours a clear, copper/red body with a small, but lasting, beige head. Scattered lace patches the glass. The color is almost radiant in appearance, very attractive.

Aroma is very malty, with lots of toffee and caramel on the nose. Herbal hops and a definite note of spruce provide a delicate balance to the bouquet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a slight syrupy character.

Thicker on the palate than I initially thought, with a bigtime maltiness highlighted by toffee and caramel. Plenty of herbal hops bitterness, with spruce pine in the forefront. A note of smoked charcoal appears out of nowhere, and adds additional complexity.

This is a very tasty, nicely balanced Scots/Irish style red ale that I'm becoming quite fond of. Very well balanced.

06-14-2004 20:31:51 | More by merlin48
Photo of nem2006
nem2006

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

It is a hazy, deep amber color with a good head that dissipates throughout the beer.

There is the slight sweetness of the toasted malts.

The taste is sweet at the start and finishes with a nice smooth bitterness from the hops (Cascade and Williamette).

This is a smooth, medium to full bodied beer with a good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

07-09-2008 20:17:39 | More by nem2006
Photo of locckdown
locckdown

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

03-24-2012 22:15:36 | More by locckdown
Photo of maki88
maki88


3.85/5  rDev +1%

+

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Enjoyed at home.

A: Rich amber color with a thick, off-white head. The head lingered and laced well. This definitely looks like an ale, and the bold appearance suggests some of the strong scents and distinguished taste of this brew.

S: Sweet and malty, while also somewhat toasty, with hints of caramel.

T: A rich flavor. Smooth at the start -- lighter than expected, actually. The taste lingers pleasantly in the mouth. I'd say that this ale has a distinct flavor, but not an over-powering one. Compared with other ales, this one's taste is notable for its bold but drinkable character.

M: Medium-bodied, but perhaps on the lighter side of "medium." Certainly not too light for an ale, but there seems to be room for it to be a bit more robust here.

O: A solid ale, above average but not incredible. It is definitely drinkable and enjoyable, without some of the overpowering flavors of other ales. I'd enjoy it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out.

10-06-2012 01:30:52 | More by maki88
Photo of avitallo
avitallo

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%

08-08-2014 23:19:14 | More by avitallo
Photo of JC333
JC333

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

06-26-2014 23:52:53 | More by JC333
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Highland Brewery's flagship beer. "Just a wee bit different."

Presentation: 12 oz amber bottle with a happy bag-pipe-toting lad on the label. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a dark copper color with minimal white head. A minimal white lace sparsly laces the glass.

Smell: For a pale ale/bitter classification, there was a lot more malty sweetness in the nose that expected. A twist of citrus hops are present, too.

Taste: Mostly malty sweetness with a little bit of bittering effect from the hops. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Low-medium body and a fairly creamy texture.

Drinkability: I liked this more as it warmed. There was an aftertaste I just can't figure out that was on the unpleasant side. Not one that I'd ask for again, but drinkable in its own right.

04-11-2003 16:37:23 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of Prospero
Prospero

Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -6%

Pours out a nice deep amber color, almost ruby. The head is about 2-3 fingers but doesn't linger long with traces of lace. The nose is full of floral aroma and sweet like honey. This is where the Cascade and Williamette do wonders for the aroma of a beer. The taste was on the upper bitter end for an amber, but it while I thought it was well balanced with the malts, the bitterness lingered a little too long. A tiny hint of earthiness, spice and fruit came through in the taste making it a nice light-bodied, flavorful, semi-sweet amber with character. I'd say while it's drinkable for me, it may be a little complex for those seeking a session. But if you're looking for a unique amber, definitely give this beer a try.

03-12-2011 18:17:34 | More by Prospero
Photo of dankjohn
dankjohn

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

08-24-2013 21:29:35 | More by dankjohn
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio

West Virginia

2.25/5  rDev -40.9%

served in a 22oz brown bottle with a crimped cap into a tulip glass.

Deep rich amber color,hazy, with a 2" frothy white head with good retention and lots of tiny bubbles stringing from the sides of the glass.

The aromas were on the faint side,mostly fruity tropical fruits,light toasty malts with some nutty carmell.

Fruity tastes that are sour/tarty,faint malt tastes of carmell/toffee with a bit of nuttiness. Finished with a dry tart finish.

Light to medium body,grainy,on the rough side. Had a hard time finishing the bottle. Liked the two other beers i tried from this brewery this one was nothing like the two others i had tried.

08-21-2007 23:30:07 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of dirtysanchez843
dirtysanchez843


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

11-09-2012 06:06:10 | More by dirtysanchez843
Photo of Roscoe1847
Roscoe1847

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

05-22-2014 19:11:14 | More by Roscoe1847
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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,122 ratings.