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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

974 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 974
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%


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: 974 | Reviews: 488 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Goukbeergals
Goukbeergals

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber color I can barely see through. Not much head. Subdued malty nose. Bready caramel taste up front with a sharp hop kick in the middle with a malty finish. Pretty tasty and well balanced. Dry light mouthfeel highly carbonated. Overall a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2013 06:40:56 | More by Goukbeergals
Photo of drmystery
drmystery

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

im starting to think highland brewing cant get their shi-stuff together.

their year round beers are, to be frank, underwhelming. especially this beer. to me it tastes like burnt hops...i do like the roasty characteristics of stouts and porters but in an ale im expecting it to taste, well, ale-y; i like those citrusy and hoppy smells and flavors from a good ale.

this beer looks good-it has a nice reddish/copperish/brown apperance. it smells good-nice hops and malts and all that.

but as soon as i taste it, it just tastes like burnt hops. that burnt taste is either from the amount of malts they use-this beer has 5 different types of grain and 3 types of hops., or from not enough hops. i am no "hophead" by any means, i just think this beer is too malty and not hoppy enough for what it is.

overall, i think this beer-and just about every other highland beer is underwhelming for the style it is. i think people tend to overhype this beer when its just an average beer. its not nasty, but its not great. i think this beer is like the guinness of asheville/nc because people come up to asheville and drink it because its one of the more popular beers here, just like how people go to ireland and drink guinness even though its an average beer. im not saying highland brewing are gimmicky, im just saying their beers are overhyped and just average.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2013 18:05:05 | More by drmystery
Photo of acsprouse
acsprouse

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: red amberish. Little cloudiness. white creamy head with a little lacing.

S: malts, bready, toasty, slightly sweet with a floral hop scent well in there (smells great)

T: malty, the taste follows the nose as far as maltiness. The hops fall short and so does the taste.

m: medium body yet slightly on the thinner side. Nicely carbonated. Very very drinkable.

o: highly drinkable. Well balanced blend of malts.the hops are lacking but ehh thats not always bad. Its not bad.. its good.. but its not great. I do urge you guys to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2013 06:37:09 | More by acsprouse
Photo of lewzer99
lewzer99

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a light copper color with a nice finger width head. Head lasts a pretty good while, leaving lacing.
S- alot of floral hippiness. A little bit of grape fruity citrus, and malty sweetness.
T- starts with a balance of hoppy bitterness and malty sweetness, then citrus. Finishes with a hoppy bite.
M- nice medium body. Very drinkable.
O- tasty. I would get it again

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2012 22:09:09 | More by lewzer99
Photo of ThePopper
ThePopper

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful, dark copper color; nice foamy head.

S: Malt notes, with a whiff of pine.

T: An amber-style ale with nice caramel and malt notes, very subtle hops, and tones of vanilla and sassafras.

M: Rich and smooth.

O: A very drinkable, high-quality ale, with more malt complexity and full flavors than a pale ale. On par with the very best ambers – highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2012 21:07:21 | More by ThePopper
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Carrboro Beverage Co.

Nice amber pour with a small head. hm...

Definitely a malty red. Toffee and caramel come to mind, but they fade away into a grassy malty thing.

Very sweet and full bodied. Hints of toffee caramel accent what seems like a light Scotch Ale. Very smooth and full bodied. This would be my go-to if it were available in more places. Plus Rally Drum Red from Great Lakes is just plain better.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2012 21:51:48 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of ummswimmin
ummswimmin

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got a pint of this beer at the Yardhouse in Palm Beach Gardens. I hadn't had this beer yet, and I was looking to get something completely new.

This is a pretty good amber beer. I like the very malty smell. The flavor had some very good scotch presence. It wasn't exactly scotch, but it was like a scotch feel/taste. It had some very strong flavor, which I found satisfying.

This beer was really good. It was a much better as a follow-up to Monk in the Trunk.

I liked my beer, but that was a pretty expensive trip. Yardhouse checks can get high quickly.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2012 01:58:58 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Served a dep amber color with a nice head that fades to lacing.

S: Aroma of caramel, malt sweetness with a bit of citrus and pine.

T: Starts with a malty sweetness and some grain. There is some citrus that peeks through from time to time. There is a nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F:Medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy. Nicely balanced. Has nice character.

O: Goes down easy, good amber ale. Worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 11:57:49 | More by soju6
Photo of rangerred
rangerred

Tennessee

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap.

Arrived a clear medium ruby with a thin layer of foam.

Smell was caramel malt with some hoppyness present. Also seemed to be a slight yeasty quality.

Taste was quite malty up front with caramel being a predominate flavor. A moderate hoppy bitterness soon took over and lasted through the finish.

A decent beer from highland but not really my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2012 00:35:49 | More by rangerred
Photo of busterwhite
busterwhite

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange to amber color with 1 finger off white head.

Smells of malty sweetness with slight floral/peppery hop aroma.

Malt sweetness in the taste balanced well with the hops. Nicely balanced.

Smooth, medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Overall a solid Amber Ale with a solid malt backbone. This one goes down easy.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2012 23:52:20 | More by busterwhite
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice amber color, not much reddish hue but it was dark in the bar.

S: smells of bitter hops and a ton of caramel malt. Sweetness comes through.

T: This is about malt mostly, but the hops give it a bite.

M: medium body, crisp, yet smooth feeling due to sweetness.

O: very good amber overall, this had the sweet malt and hop crispness that makes an amber interested and multi-leveled.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2011 15:52:51 | More by Holland
Photo of KMcG
KMcG

Virginia

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this served from a pitcher. When poured into a pint glass, the head developed nicely. It was creamy, off-white, and pretty thick. The color of the brew is a clear, rich amber. 

The smell is sweet and caramely with hints of bright, light citrus hops. 

The taste is toasty, malty, and sweet with a mild bitter bite of citrus hops at the end. 

This brew is medium bodied with mild carbonation.  It's easy drinking and not filling. 

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2011 18:43:17 | More by KMcG
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lynnwood Grill

Arrived a nice copper-amber but no head. Nose is malty with mild hops and fruits. Taste is caramel malts up front with a nice fruity sweetness too. There is just enough hops in the finish to lend balance to this beer. Medium bodied and very smooth.

I think this is a very good beer. I come back to it again and again when I want something rich, balanced, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2011 15:11:52 | More by tdm168
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at 2011 LEAF Festival, just a few miles form the brewery.

A - Pours a beautiful clear amber with a very ample and remarkably creamy tan head. Fine carbonation is visible.

S - moderately good aroma of toasted malt and a trace of hops.

T - Nicely balanced mix of caramel and other malts with a hint of toasted bread, but has a fine lasting hop finish.

M - very creamy, but with a medium to medium/high carbonation level -- a great combination.

O - excellent for style. Easy recommendation, even for beer aficionados, but particularly for newcomers to craft beer. (verified on sept. 16, 2011 -- pairs great with chocolate.)

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 14:50:13 | More by chinchill
Photo of dmbsteve
dmbsteve

Tennessee

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a one finger off-white head that quickly dissipated to a thin layer. Left decent lacing.

Smell is malty - sweet and bready. Not much hop aroma, although both my nose and taste could have been a bit off after drinking a couple of hoppy IPA's earlier in the session.

Taste is, again very malty. A sweet tinge stays on the tongue for a while. Small amount of bittering hops. I had actually thought this was a scotch ale because of the malt character (and the name), until I looked it up on AB. Either way, it tastes good.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side which is strange. I expected more body in a malty brew like this. However, it was served in a cold mug so that probably attributed to the lighter perceived body.

Overall a tasty and very sessionable beer from what I think is one of the Southeast's better craft breweries.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2011 17:03:39 | More by dmbsteve
Photo of atomicbeer
atomicbeer

New Mexico

4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pint at Sine Irish Pub at the Pentagon City Mall. Red copper color arrived with 1/2 inch white head. Malty sweet fruit cocktail (candied peach, pear, cherry, and orange) aroma with a kick of grapefruit hops. Fruity taste with grapefruit zest. Remarkable balance of sweet malt and bitter hops. Really enjoyable!

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2011 22:39:56 | More by atomicbeer
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap at Molly MacPherson's Scottish Pub. It was served in a standard pint, the beer is a rusty/brown in color. There is minimum beige head. It has nice sticky lacing.

The beer has a nose of brown sugar and grains.

It is slightly sweet with nutty notes. This is a bit of brown sugar cookie of a beer.

The mouth is slick and well suited to the beer. It is an easy enough drinker, served a bit to cold but it improved as it warms.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 23:37:48 | More by Redrover
Photo of MTNboy
MTNboy

Germany

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a bread like aroma with a slight hint of herbal hops. The body is a deep amber with average tan head but great lace. The body is full and has a normal amount of carbonation. There is a bitter but not too bitter taste with some malty bread like sweetness at first. It finishes with a some what herbal and roasted finish.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2010 11:39:02 | More by MTNboy
Photo of mixedbrewer
mixedbrewer

Tennessee

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap this poured a nice amber color with two finger head and slight lacing.

The aroma is of spiced bread, almost like graham crackers.

This beer is just spicy enough. It has a nice sweet and bready taste with a good mouthfeel. It goes down easy with a clean and pleasant finish.

Recommended try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2010 17:57:14 | More by mixedbrewer
Photo of feelmefoam
feelmefoam

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had Gaelic Ale on tap at the only bar in the tiny town of Hot Springs, North Carolina, right on the Appalachian Trail. I was up there with some friends enjoying a cabin they'd rented and we frequented this bar for a few nights, and they had several Highland beers on tap.

Gaelic Ale pours a bright, fresh honey amber color with plenty of carbonation running up into a finger of light caramel head that had some really nice retention and left some beautiful lacing around the glass.

The nose consisted mainly of caramel malt and some light spicy, citrusy hops. It smells good, but I need just a bit more intensity from it.

The flavor mirrors the nose, but has a bit more presence. Crisp sweet caramel malt and some light fruitiness balanced by a spicy, citrusy blend of hops on the tail end of the flavor, but the bitterness is just right for a red ale. Good stuff.

The mouthfeel is a notch below medium, smooth and crisp, thanks to a moderate amount of carbonation. A tasty beer for a fall night in the mountains.

I'm becoming a bigger fan of Highlands as I try more of their beers, especially when I can foray up into North Carolina and get them pretty fresh. Another solid offering from a brewery that's growing on me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2010 03:33:39 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of TheKingofWichita
TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2010 15:59:34 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of thatguy3579
thatguy3579

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, copper toned, and with very little head.

S: Sweet like raisins and with some citrus.

T: A good citrus bite balances well with roasted sweetness which lingers.

M: Thin and lightly carbonated.

D: Lots of nicely balanced bitter and sweetness, which is not overpowering.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2010 19:07:16 | More by thatguy3579
Photo of Schwarzwald
Schwarzwald

Tennessee

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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 japcmiller
japcmiller

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2009 00:53:45 | More by japcmiller
Photo of FloppyDog
FloppyDog

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass with a thin, fast-dissipating white head. It had a nice orange amber color to it as well.

The aroma was predominantly of spicy and floral hops with a slightly noticeable caramel background.

The taste began with floral hops up front, followed by caramel sweetness, and finished crisp and dry. It was fairly well balanced, although I prefer a slightly more malt driven version of the style.

The mouth feel was slightly prickly from the carbonation, with a medium-light body. It was easy drinking and went nicely with the bbq chicken pizza I was eating.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2009 21:00:51 | More by FloppyDog
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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.