Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,302 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,302
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 196 | 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: 1,302 | Reviews: 532
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of ordybill
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
Aroma- Has a nice caramel and malt aroma.
Appearance- pours a murky copper color with a small off-white head.
Taste- Has a malt, hops and fruit flavor with little aftertaste.
Palate- A light to moderate bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Has a dry finish.
Overall- A better than average American Amber/ Red Ale. I would drink this again.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Nice amber in color with darker brown hues. This beer is non-transparent. Head is white and one finger, but has a little bit darker (off white) outline around the edge of the glass after a medium pour.

S- Buttery nuts and caramel are the first hits on the nose. After a swirl of the glass, I pick up some hoppy scents. There is a brown sugar, malty smell present too.

T- Tastes follow very closely to the nose, carrying over the nutty and buttery aspects. The malt is very sweet and very prominent in the taste. There is a slight biscuity taste here too.

M- The carbonation is low to medium and the thickness is on the thin side. Not my favorite aspect of this beer.

D- This beer is nice and smooth. The mouthfeel, to me, needs to be a little more crisp than dull like this one is. I feel it would be a little more enjoyable and refreshing if the carbonation was up a little.

Overall- This is a nice offering, but not on the top of my list. Of course, I am not too big on this style of beer either, but I was really excited initally with this one. Toward the middle to the end of this beer, I was let down. It was like it fell flat on its face after the first taste or two. BUT, I did like it, and I would definitely drink another.

Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber hue there was a thick head that fleeted from view quickly.

The scent is quite weak but a biscuity malt aroma is present and quite nice when you find it.

The taste, as well, is weak but when you catch it, its quite good. Biscuit malts, roasted, bready with a slight cracker aftertaste it is crisp but tends to watery.

Amp this thing up and it's a great ale but at its present form it is just above average.

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 bubseymour
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

a - dark reddish brown w/ 1 finger head

s - very sweet and malty. Lots of caramel / brown sugar scents

t - easy to drink, no hop pressence, lots of caramel. Sort of like a bock style

m - very watery and thin

o- an average beer , decent flavor, sessionable but a little lacking in body

Photo of doppelmeup
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a local drafthouse.

Good looking beer. Nice head, not a lot of lacing. Dark, amber color.

Smelled good, hints of smokiness and hops, similar to a scotch ale.

Taste was good. Pretty good body to the beer. Lots of malt, kind of smoky flavor, again, similar to a scotch ale.

Not overly carbonated. Went down pretty easily.

Not sure if I would order this again or not. It wasn't a bad beer, but there are lots of other beers out there that I've liked better than this one.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red brown color with a tan head and a little lacing. Smells of malts and some hop aroma. Tastes sweet with a strong hop flavor for a well blended smoothness. Mouthfeel was smooth with a crisp, clean finish. Drinkability is really decent.

Photo of Lukafer
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly reddish amber, with a golden head. Smells slightly nutty with caramel malts. Tastes very malty, slightly metallic and pretty smooth with some alcohol at the end. Mouthfeel is kind of thin, but okay. Pretty drinkable, I could put probably 3 down.

Photo of Nipitato
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle at Chips Wine and Beer Market in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

A: Nice dark amber hue. Very clear. Off white head with good retention.

S: A good melange of citrusy hop aroma with some light and subtle malt aroma. Some caramel in there.

T: Also a very good balance between caramel malt and a west coastesque grapefruty citurs hop flavor. Nice lingering aftertaste.

MF: Medium full creamy mouthfeel with a tingling light carbonation.

D, notes: This is a good drinkable red.

Photo of AlexJ
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pour produces a bright, copper amber brew with a small, but dense head of oatmeal hued froth, which leaves delicate lace as it disappears.

Aroma is predominantly sweet, roasty malts with touches of wildflowers, earthy hops, and a faint essence of citrus.

Flavor is mild and smooth with malty flavors on the fore and soft wildflower, honey, and English-tasting hops in the finish.

Body is medium, smooth and silky, with sift carbonation stemming from a constant stream of tiny rising bubbles.

Photo of Soonami
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highland Gaelic Ale is the first beer I've had from the Asheville brewery and it is not a bad beer but definitely not a great beer either. This is deep burnished copper with almost no head, despite the rough pour. I think that any beer especially an American hopped amber should have the carbonation and head to bring up the aroma. The bee smelled mostly malty, with a bit of fresh hops, but mostly just grainy malts. The taste was mostly the same dominated by a biscuity malt and balanced only by a modicum of hoppiness. I think that this style (and not the double) should have an assertive hop character with grapefruit and tropical flavors and medium-high bitterness, which I find lacking in this beer.

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

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. The brew appears a clear amber color with a finger of khaki head that fades leaving patchy lace on the glass. Rising bubbles maintain a film of lace.

The aroma is quite malty with a buttery diacetyl note and sweetness like toffee or caramel. A hint of cheesy quality with minerals or metallic aspects and earth.

The taste is malty sweet like caramel before giving way to some fruity hop/alcohol component. It is faintly raisony before getting a bit mineral filled with carbonic or sulfur qualities.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is an ok offering, that I could take it or leave it in the future but wolkd probably opt for the later.

Photo of soulfly1492
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Dark and roasty for an amber. Sweet crystal malt. Medium sweet caramel and bitter American hops.

Appearance: Medium copper. High clarity. Head is light brown, decent retention and tons of lacing.

Taste: Sweet malt with a bitter side, some Munich perhaps. Bitter floral and pine hops, little citrus character. Mildly toasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Somewhat oily, the finish is dry. Very little carbonation, but enough to be detectable.

Overall: On the roasty side of things. Not exactly pleasant and/or savory. Not memorable in other words.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy, murky amber. Very little head and what head was there quickly vanished.

S: Sweet smell. Malty up front with some caramel character. Not a lot of hop smell. Aroma seems nicely balanced but there just isn't enough hop in it. At times aroma seems to take on a burnt or roasted character.

T: Sweet taste up front with a nice caramel character, much like the aroma. Very malty. A little hop bitterness to finish it off with maybe a slight hint of "grassy" hops. A mild representation of the style I believe.

M&D: Medium bodied, landing on the lighter side of the medium spectrum. Nothing impressive. This brew wins points on the drinkabitility scale, however. I could easily drink a pint or 3 of this.

My 1st Highland beer. I was a little underwhelmed with it, maybe I was expecting too much, maybe I just picked up the wrong offering. Either way, I will visit this beer again and will certainly continue to try Highland offerings. This brew is very drinkable but is nothing spectactular.

Photo of zimm421
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Appears a clear dark amber color, with a light off-white, nearly tan, head. The head disappears fairly quickly, but leaves great lacing.

The nose is pretty laid back, with a bit of toasted malt, caramel and a little citrus sneaking through. The taste is very similar, heavy with caramel and toastiness, a little nuttiness coming through as well. Malt forward, as expected, but nicely complex and pleasant.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, barely sticky on the back end, and has good carbonation levels. Overall, this is a good amber ale, with nice complexities and good flavor. Nothing blows me away here, however, and was hoping for a bit more.

Photo of TheStig
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, translucent and reddish caramel color with a fast receding head and no lacing. A soft, sweet smell of cool, wet forest wafts up, but is very subtle. Gentle, bittersweet notes interlaced with oats and a very minor yeast taste. A proud hoppiness pulls through entire tasting experience, but is not overly strong. A hearty, honey-like sweetness exists as a subtle base. Fair carbonation and an overall lightness produce an enjoyable mouthfeel.

Thank god this comes in a six-pack, because it's a very tasty, very drinkable beer.

Photo of aracauna
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beautiful, clear body somewhere in between deep amber and ruby. Off-white head is ok, but doesn't last long. Big malt in aroma backed up by citric hops. Flavor is nice toasty malt with the support of moderate hopping. Not a bad beer at all.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a bold and vibrant burnt copper color with a filmy head and lots of spotty lace. Nose is kind of malty and not much else. Flavor is surprisingly complex, but muted. I got some taosted grains, biscuits, and dark chocolate. Hops are very mild and are mot noticeable in the finish where they provide a slight bitter kick. Mouthfeel is thin and watery--not much to hold this beer together. Great brew to share among friends.

Photo of Conrad
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely colour to this one. A rich copper/gold with a thin off-white head that settled quickly and left a medium lacing.
Smell was hard to pick up on at first. I had to bury my nose in the glass to identify them. But then I discovered a nice balance of toasty malt and floral hops. Maybe a bit of citrus or pine.
Taste was the winner. An amazing balance between malts and hops. A very well built beer. The taste is just plain good beer. No pretentions of grandeur. You don't have to wax poetic on the comples flavours because there ain't none.
Body is medium, with a clean dry finish. Very nice on the palate. the bitters don't remain long, which encourages going back for another slurp.
Drinkability is my favourite category. This one wins hands down. It goes down smooth and easy. This is a good session beer. Maybe a six pack with a platter of junk food in front of the TV to watch the game of your choice.

Photo of bditty187
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly murky reddish-brown, small beige head, fair retention, soapy, minimal lace. Pleasantly malty nose, it smells “thick,” somewhat sweet… lacks complexity though. Chewy malt provides a healthy foundation for the palate, lightly sweet; there is just enough hops influence, minor bitterness… light toastiness, caramel hints. Meager carbonation helps produce a rather full mouthfeel. As it warms, the hops grow in potency. This is a solid beer, a nice quaff… session brew material.

Thanks Loki!

Photo of craft_shannie
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark hazy amber; minimal head; no lacing.
S: mostly bready malts, some caramel; slight citrus pine hops.
T: good balance of malt and hops; follows nose - bread, some caramel sweetness, slight piney citrus. dry, balanced and minimal bitterness.
M: crisp, clean; medium carbonation
O: picked up a sixer in nashville as i have heard very positive things about highland brewing. i was a bit underwhelmed with this particular style. solid american amber, but nothing all that spectacular.

Photo of finepaws
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a copper penny color with orange hues. Light foamy tan head with good lacing. Has a sweet malty smell, with a slight fruit back ground. Tastes are malty, bread flavors, with some spicey fruit background, raisins? Has a nice floral hop flavor. Smooth, slick mouthfeel. Somewhat watery, and thin. Would like to see more body to this beer. It's a good session beer to drink among friends.

Photo of craytonic
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a beautiful orange-bronze-velvet.

Nice nose, not very aggressive.

You can really taste the toasted hops.. A hint of citrus peel & earthiness. Needs more hops and malt, a little bland.

The mouthfeel is perfect, great body and perfect carbonation. My favorite thing about the beer

Finish is a little harsh for me, but not my favorite type of beer.

Good on-tap choice in NC

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,302 ratings.