1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,078 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 22
Gots: 70 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Duvel

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

03-08-2013 14:34:24 | More by Duvel
Photo of PittsburghHopHead83

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

08-28-2012 20:45:12 | More by PittsburghHopHead83
Photo of patpbr


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- deep color, looking amber with a little head.
S- malt and carmel.
T- up front malt, it has some sweetness. Hops and some fruit.
M- full flavor that leaves a nice malt linger. this is coming from someone that likes hops
O- Friend brought some back from Ashville. Its a good brew

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 03:55:33 | More by patpbr
Photo of Bartos


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

01-16-2014 16:19:52 | More by Bartos
Photo of Johnny_Duck


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

05-05-2014 16:23:26 | More by Johnny_Duck
Photo of LaughingZebra

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

07-05-2014 01:38:24 | More by LaughingZebra
Photo of bigaltemple


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

02-28-2014 12:43:36 | More by bigaltemple
Photo of scvance

South Carolina

3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, amber red color. Crystal clear, with a good half inch of very fluffy and creamy foam. Smell is malty sweet, with caramel and oak notes. Very slight hop aroma. Taste is well balanced, with a malty beginning fading to a nice lingering hop bitter finish. Medium body and carbonation, makes this beer very easy to drink. Smooth, and fairly thin mouthfeel. This is a good beer overall, however, Highland has several others that I prefer and will be sticking to over this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 21:30:18 | More by scvance
Photo of akorsak


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle served in a seidel mug.

A: The ale is a copper red with a 1.5 finger head.

S: The aroma is a cascade hop fruitiness, not too intense but pleasant.

T: The ale has an assertive taste of grapefruit hops up front that smoothly transitions to a malty biscuit flavor before finishing with the hops. The hops are a star in this beer, not too assertive but imparting a brilliant bitterness.

M: Surprisingly good mouthfeel. For an Irish red, I was expecting a strong malt character and restrained hops. This beer flips that around and does a good job of it.

D: Very drinkable with a nice hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2006 22:09:47 | More by akorsak
Photo of stegmakk

New York

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper with a tan medium size head...
Aroma is roasted malt and almost earthy kind of tones
Taste...mmmm...Roasty malt from start to finish HINTS of some hops to keep a balance...that same earthy presence is there but barely...I did not taste caramel or sweet or fruit (this beer is good and doesnt need those flavors in it)
Mouthfeel was nice and slick...I could drink a few of these...Thanks to Loki for this sampling

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2003 22:27:29 | More by stegmakk
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Date on the bottle says bottled on 8/27/13

A: Looks good, pours a copper amber with a healthy tan head that left little lacing.

S: Very malty scent. Not very complex.

T: Carmel malts up front with a slightly hoppy finish.

M: feels good nice full body with medium carbonation. Goes down about what I would expect from the style.

O: I like everything highlands makes and this is no exception. Nicely balanced beer at a great price.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 00:57:23 | More by watermelon
Photo of ectomorph


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a little aggressively, this brew pours a nice amber/mahogany color with slow fading head leaving thick lace on the glass.

S - Malt breads are picked up in the front, with a mild bitterness at the end.

T - Malty and sweet balanced with a mild hop bitterness. Some nice bread notes here.

M - Medium body and nice carbonation, very nice.

D - Very high drinkabilty. Could be paired with anything foodwise.

Serving type: growler

08-25-2008 20:15:29 | More by ectomorph
Photo of tchenery


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color looks good, maybe a bit lighter than I expected, but there's hardly a head on this one at all. A bit of white lace around the edge but not much.

It smells almost fruity and sweet. I'm picking up a bit of malt but not much.

The malt definitely comes through in the taste. It has a wonderful marshmallow toasty bread flavor with a touch of bitterness on the very end. I wish it had a big fluffy head with the flavor that it has.

Mouthfeel is extremely fine. Very smooth, very rich flavor profile.

Totally drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 00:29:37 | More by tchenery
Photo of ckeegan04


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep reddish-amber color with a two finger off-white head. Slowly fades to leave a thin layer on top and excellent lacing throughout.

S - Sweet biscuity malt aroma with hints of cany sugar. A light spicy hop note also exists.

T - Initial caramel sweetness with a light spicy/piney hop note coming through. Finishes with a toasted caramel taste.

M/D - Light to medium bodied, a touch on the thinner side of things. Not a remarkable brew but still a very solid session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 01:16:45 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Schwarzwald


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer on tap. I have had the bottle as well and it's not so good. I really like a cold tap though. Great with pizza and the taste can hold up to rich food. It has a great orange-rust color with a lot of bitey carbonation. Give it a try on tap... a lot better than the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2010 01:17:19 | More by Schwarzwald
Photo of jrallen34


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer pours an extremely dark amber, probably as dark as you can get before it becomes brown. Slight clearness to it. The head and lacing are both light.

The aroma is very light some rye and a little skunk.

The taste is a little better than the aroma but there is some lingering skunk. It starts out pretty boring then brings some rye and a light hop finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 01:10:31 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Beerisgood3

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice medium amber that has a slight cherry copper color. One finger light tan head which fades fairly quickly leaving a ring. Spotty lacing left as you drink.

S: Faint malts with a bit of pine. Very subtle smell.

T: Much better than the smell. A bit more hop presence than i expected in the first sip. A few sips in and you'll notice a strong malty finish. Malts tend to dominate the flavor more as it warms but you will be left with a finish just bitter/citrus enough to cut through the sweet and keep it in balance.

M: Good medium bodied beer that makes you want to take another sip. Goes down smoothly.

D: Easily a session beer.

Overall, a good beer. I would gladly drink these again. The BA grade will be lower than it should be simply because i did not rate the smell favorably as it was super subtle. Tastes good though.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 05:09:52 | More by Beerisgood3
Photo of babaracas


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark orange with one finger thick white head, a few splotches of lace left on the glass. Smell: predominantly toasted grain with some caramel, hopping is leafy with a little citrus peel. Taste: toasted grain, caramel, kind of a graham cracker thing going on, a little grapefruit and spicy hopping with an earthy finish. Medium bodied, caramel, apple, and earthiness in play at the finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 06:01:30 | More by babaracas
Photo of slusk


3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a favorite of mine. It pours with a two finger light tan head that partially dissipates but a small head rides the beer to the finish. A nice amber/copper color. The smell is a bit piney with some citrus and bready notes, a nice balance from malt to hoppyness. The taste is of a nicely balanced red ale that dreams of being an IPA.

I applaud the use of Chinook as a bittering hop and it drinks as a nice session beer that straddles the divide between an ale and an IPA. It's a good session beer that will appeal to those who don't necessarily like the IPA hop smack. A medium mouth feel makes this a nice afternoon thirst quencher.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 17:55:21 | More by slusk
Photo of RickS95


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the looks. It pours brown and cloudy, with particulates. The head is thin and doesn't last long, but lacing starts almost immediately.

Not a lot of smell, but I picked up some flowery hops and something similar to peppery rye bread.

The more sips I took, the more I liked the flavor. The malty flavors dominate. Also, I notice a rye bread taste as well.

It's a medium-bodied beer and the malts give it some smoothness and body. There's almost a sweetness to it, but not enough to make more than a cameo before the spicy bitterness comes thru in the finish.

This was easy to drink and it would be easy for me to drink these all night.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 03:13:40 | More by RickS95
Photo of Beejay


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice slightly cloudy dirty amber. A bit of head from an aggressive pour, but it dissipated quickly.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, and slightly like ripe fruit.

T: Tart up front, then some mellow caramel and burnt sugar tastes come in.

M: Slightly thicker with appropriate carbonation.

D: Very nice. Not sure I'd pick it up every week. But a good beer for a change of pace. Tasty, I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 02:18:12 | More by Beejay
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red with golden hues. 1/2" head quickly recedes to a spotty rim atop the beer.
Smell is earthy and flowery. Reminds me of spring time on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Taste is well balanced with some heavy maltness and a nice earthy and floral hop finish.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, but I think it is meant to be for this particular beer.
Well balanced, but still complex. Low in abv and light to medium bodied. The perfect session beer.
Yet another fine offering from Highland Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 05:14:32 | More by wcudwight
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Florida Beer Co. tapered glass. Base of bottle says Filled 02/19/14.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that doesn't retain long before dropping to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and random specs of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Sweet smelling cereal grain malt that carries with it a slight hop presence bringing light notes of pineapple and grapefruit.

T- Flavor is less unique with some standard bready malt and a faint hop bitterness. A bit of caramel sweetness.

M- Also standard. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- I like that this contains a bit more hops than your average amber but it still falls short of greatness.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 22:09:40 | More by Immortale25
Photo of wcdoyle


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber colored with a light caramel head. This beer is translucent, but not cloud, which was interesting (the translucent part) considering how light the color is. Head does fade, but there's solid lacing. Smell was a combination caramel/brown sugar with a very faint bit of orange/citrus. Nice combo. Hops kick in with the taste but the maltiness doesn't die down either. Still mostly caramel, but also some roasted quality blended in..Solid balance. The hop bitterness is there toward to finish, but doesn't actually linger, which may make this beer seem too sweet for some. Nice medium mouthfeel. This is a beer that seems longing to be served on draft.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 20:08:32 | More by wcdoyle
Photo of Misfit138


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into my Guinness pint glass

A- Nice looking ale. Amber in color, much like a pale ale. Good two inch foamy head

S- The smell is good. In many ways reminded me of a barleywine for some reason. There is fruit in the smell for sure, I also detect honey and hops.

T- Much like the smell. Initially a bit sweet, with citrus and perhaps honey flavor followed with hops.

M- Good body to it considering its not a stout or even a porter. The carbonation is moderate.

D- I think this has potential to be a session beer, for me its a bit sweet to have too many of. Highland makes some good stuff, and this is certainly a good one as well. This is only the second time I had this and I remember liking it more the first time, but certainly good.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 03:11:28 | More by Misfit138
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.