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 oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the mixed 12 pack, one of the overall best ones in their IMHO. Beautiful amber color, nice frothy head. Hoppy aroma. Taste smacks you with caramel upfront, a nice sweetness balanced with hops and a good malt backbone. Finishes smooth and clean, just a great beer all around. A very common style but this is one of the better interpretations I've had, worth seeking out.

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 russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured brown with 3+ fingers of tan head. Great lacing & above average head retention.

S: Bready with seet malt & a hint of maple syrup

T: Cakey with herbal & piney hops up front. Roasted malt comes to the fore as this warms along with grapefruitty & piney hops. Finishes with loads of caramel & earthy hops

MF: Medium-bodied with a little slickness & low carbonation

Drank really easy, colud session on this, no problem!

Photo of gabe23
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear dark amber with an off white head. Good retention and great lacing.

S - Caramel malt with some hops in the background. As with most Highland brews, it has a nice natural, earthy smell.

T - The taste matches the smell almost perfectly. Sweet caramel/brown sugar malt that is well-balanced with bite from the hops. The finish is nice and clean.

M - Medium body with plenty of smoothness. Not overly carbonated.

D - I love this beer, and I could drink a lot of it. I've become a real Highland junkie, and the Gaelic Ale is one of their better offerings.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pint on-tap at the Red Drum Taphouse in NC. It arrives a clear chestnut, with low carbonation and a half-inch of khaki head that leaves decent lacing. Smells earthy and smoked, fruity, with some caramel, light hops, and a dash of currants. It is a fairly malty beer, with earth, caramel, toffee, and toasted notes, barely balanced by herbal/minty and grassy/spicy hops that impart a medium bitterness. Nearly full on the palate, smooth and coating, with light carbonation and a medium finish. Overall a tasty brew, and well-balanced despite the large amounts of malts.

Photo of rustymoore
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper with a thick robust head that leads to a good amount of lacing. Smells of spices and hops. A bit fruity as well. Taste is sweet with brown sugar and caramel with a strong hop presence. Very tasty. Will have to incorporate this brew into my regular rotation as well.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, damn good looking beer out of the bottle.

Bright reddish amber color with perfect clarity. Nice white head that's about a finger and ½ thick. Slowly settles to a small cap.

Aroma is classic for Amber ale with some sweetness, but a nice toasted malt aroma. Bread crust.

Flavor is nice and deep. Toasted malt with a fresh fruity background. Then you get a nice hop bite. Really well balanced. For some reason I am really drawn to the toasty notes here. The aftertaste is a wonderful mélange of toasty notes and some hop bitterness. Nice bread notes.

Body is medium... Carbonation is spot on...

Wonderfully drinkable.

Nicely done!!

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It comes out of the tap a rich, translucent mahogany with a fine-bubbled tan head. Aroma is mainly malty with a hint of spice. Flavor is rich and malty and has a strong spicy undertone. This ale's texture is smooth, but it goes down with some sass and zing.

Photo of ralph-pine
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excelent and beautiful beer! Very recommendable!

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Bell's pint glass and the brew is a clear amber (duh) color with a smallish off white head. There is thinnish sliding lacing on the glass.

The aroma is amber malts and hops (Cascade and Willamette according to the bottle).

The flvor follows the nose and it is very well balanced malt and hops bill with the bittering hops leaving a bit on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is a hint under medium with lowish carbination and a semi dry finish thanks to the bittering hops. This brew is spot on as far as style description goes and it is definately a great drinker that could easily be consumed all day long or untill one was face down in the gravel.

Although it's not that complex, it's an AAA, there's no need for it to be. Tipping my old worn out Dale Earnhart hat to you Highland Brewing, for a great American Amber !

Photo of JISurfer
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer form the South! These guys know thier stuff about brewing. It's ashame though, that I can hardly find it here in Va. It is abundant down in my home state of SC. It's golden and has a little head to it, but that goes away after a few minutes. But the head doesn't necessarily make the beer and this prooves it. They have a good line of quality beers, so give 'em a chance if you can.

Photo of charlesw
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours, well, amber. A little on the orange side and yet dark. Small tan head that fades quickly to a lacing that completely covers and lasts forever.

Smell? Wow. Like, malts. A huge caramel nose - like, hmm, an Eku 28, you know what I mean?

Ah. Well, it's not a 10% abv beer so you shouldn't expect it to taste like the Eku... A pleasant amber session ale. Nice and easy on the tongue - no one flavor really shouts anything else down (well, you can just taste the aforementioned malts - but not overly so. Enough to know that they're there). Very very easy to drink... And, hey, it makes a great sorbet, too. Probably because it is so smooth and even... Really, with your buddies in the pub and pitchers of this, well, you're all set!

The body is on the lighter side of medium, but with the crisp freshness of the flavor that goes just fine.

Edit: Ok, ok, the taste is good and has been upgraded! Still, it's not a beer that I'd go out of my way to get - _for_me_ it's a very pleasant session beer...

Photo of Ryan011235
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 12/10/09

10/20/09 etched on the bottle

A - Hazy, dark copper with highlights of burnt amber, crimson & rust. An aggressive pour resulted in but an 1/8th inch all but disappears quickly. Swirling causes this process to repeat with some bubbles clinging to the perimeter. Small spots of lacing line the glass.

S - Sweet caramel malt is most notable with a decent dry biscuit-like aroma as well. This is offset by modest hop notes; most evident as earthy & floral with just a few faint hints of citrus.

T - Thankfully the hops are more assertive here than in the nose. Floral hops greet the tongue & are followed by spicy bitterness - hints of pine & maybe tangerine. Still prominent is the malt bill which comes across as very toasted. Caramel, though, is still distinct.

M - Heavier side of medium bodied. It leans more towards the creamy end of the carbonation spectrum, though plenty of prickles are to be found on the front end. Bitterness lingers shortly on the finish.

D - Drinkability is awesome. This is a nicely balanced beer with plenty of good flavor. I do like that it is fairly hoppy. Easily recommended.

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 japcmiller
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Amber color, lightly carbonated. A little cloudy but a lovely color that is very inviting.
Smell:
Roasted malts, hops, caramely from the malt most likely. Gives me a hint of roasted pecans and brown sugar. Very crisp and clean smell.
Taste:
The taste starts with a very roasted malty sense, and then progress to a very hoppy taste that moves into a bitter tone and finished with that bitterness. Doesn't finish clean but has a fantastic taste that makes it a very drinkable beer. Finishes sticky, lingers in the mouth.
Mouth:
This beer lingers in the mouth leaving a very sticky almost barky feeling in the beer. It doesn't take away from the beer but I feel it adds to the malty charicteristic of the beer.
Drinkability:
I really enjoy this beer and have had it on multiple occasions. I think it really represents a good example of the American Amber Ale Style. It is not a "clean" beer but a lovely malty and hoppy beer. Has great drinkability.

Photo of wedge
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-red color under a tight off-white head. Balanced aroma of sweet caramel malts and citrus and floral hops. Great hoppy flavor...a mixture of sugary tea and citrus that doesn't get too bitter. A rich maltiness rounds it all out nicely. A little dryness in the finish makes me practically chug the whole glass. Firm, medium body. I can't believe I've never rated this one. It's pretty darn tasty.

Photo of mntlover
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite everyday ale.Nice clear amber color pours with nice head that almost vanishes. Smells wonderful malty sweet with slight hops aroma. Taste is smooth and sweet with slight tingle of hops at the back on the way down. Light carbonation smooth wonderful to drink. Great amber ale my favorite, love the Cascade and Willamette Hops flavor use them for my homebrewing.If you live in North Carolina area have to try it, just leave me a six at the store.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled multiple times on tap in Wilmington. Served in your standard pint glass.

Poured a clear, brownish dark amber with a fluffy off white head. Nice retention and lacing.

The aroma is mostly roasted malts, but there is some citrus and floral hops tossed in as well.

A great tasting beer. Not too malty, but not too hoppy. This beer really rides a fine line, and does so excellently. An initial rush of malt gets toned down nicely with the hop background. Goes down crisp and smooth.

A very nice session brew, worth having several.

Photo of MrHolland
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany red with a thin off white head into my pint glass.

Smell - Has a citrus hop front to it not really much of anything else.

Taste - This is a pretty hoppy beer and is very balanced with the malts. Bitter hops at first then has a malt sweetness to end with.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and clean, soft on the palate with ample amount of carbonation.

I really enjoy this brew.. One of my first of this style and will deff. be revisiting.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy amber with an off white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S-Sweet, with some caramel. There are some malts and hops present.

T-Hops up front with a nice malty finish. Caramel and a hint of toffee are present. This beer is perfectly balanced, crisp, and refreshing.

M-Perfectly carbonated.

D-Very,very drinkable. It is a session beer all the way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I am glad I bought a six pack and I will deffinitely drink this more often.

Photo of mwa423
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very nice ruby red color with very little head that dies down quickly

S - Typical malt smell, though not overpowering like many of this style tend to be.

T - Lots of malt to go along with the aroma, with a wee bit of hop bite at the end. There is also a caramel aftertaste. Very good!

M - Very smooth, goes down extremely easy, makes you want the next sip!

D - Easily sessionable, if I could get more of this in Ohio, I would put it in regular rotation.

Photo of wmthorne
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A gift brew from a friend moving to Asheville. Great gift

Poured into a chilled mug. Pours a very rich amber color with little head. Nice lacing.

Very light carbonation in the mouthfeel. I taste caramel immediately.

This is quite a drinkable beer. The label mentions "hop bitterness" but I really don't get that until much later in the aftertaste.

This would be a great fall brew on a crisp morning sitting and setting up at a tailgate.

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 ArrogantDeadGuy
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of veech
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been a staple for me over the years because it's just damned good. A: Pours a tawny auburn with creamy light tan head. Solid carbonation and lacing persists. S: Carmelized malts dominate the nose with some hoppiness. T: Smooth with enough body to provide a sweet foundation that is evened out by a moderately hop laden finish for crispness. M: Slight viscosity with medium body D: Excellent flavor and medium body add up to a very drinkable smooth Irish Red. As with all Highland products, I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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