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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 KentT
KentT

Tennessee

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

An excellent fruity, well balanced between hops and malt, easy to drink session ale. Delightful finish. Has a slight caramelly note. Rich and complex enough to be interesting but never dull. I recommend it very highly. And it is reasonably priced here in East Tennessee.

Serving type: growler

06-21-2012 01:28:16 | More by KentT
Photo of ectomorph
ectomorph

Tennessee

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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 jbridge127
jbridge127

Kentucky

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The name of this beer sounds like it's straight out of an Elder Scrolls game. A crystal clear red/brown color. Smells of strong wheat. Tastes sort of like a cross between an Amber and a Wheat ale. The aftertaste is quite pleasant unlike some other beers I've had. I personally Loved it!!! I am always impressed with Highland's creations!!! Prost!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 02:31:41 | More by jbridge127
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep clear copper with a moderately creamy tan head. The head has great retention and leaves some nice lacing. The aroma is malty with some mild earthy hops. The taste is very similar. There aren't any notes that lend themselves to ID, but it it is still an enjoyable quaff. It is not as thick as other ales, but it does make it a little easier drinking. This ale comes off better than the sum of its parts

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 16:52:13 | More by delta490
Photo of TastyAdventure
TastyAdventure

Kentucky

4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A - deep amber 1 finger head. Clear. Looks great

S- didn't send much time here but it's a great balance of malty and hop aromatics

T - big maltyness with mild caramel and smooth sweetness. Hops provide perfect balance, but more than just bittering balance. Williamette and cascade go great together. Flowers, spice, mild citrus. "Rounded"

M - it's a little watery, slick. Could be better, but makes it a nice session beer.

Session beer you say?? Yes! This is MY new favorite session beer. Grab me a six pack on the way to the party please!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 00:19:29 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of zimm421
zimm421

Ohio

3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 20:39:48 | More by zimm421
Photo of watermelon
watermelon

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Gift from my family in their trip to NC. $3.75 price tag on a 22oz I don't know whether to be amazed or scarred.

Pours somewhat dark amber in color with some slight hues of copper and red. Head is about 1 finger and retains nicely also leaving some lacing.

Smell is about $3.75. Sweet corn like malt is forward and not appealing. Some herbal hop aromas are present but very light.

Taste has a good light caramel malt flavor before a more corn like grainy sweetness dominates the midsection and persists into the after taste. Aftertaste is bitter but not in a hoppy way.

Mouthfeel is light for the appearance, light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 01:06:57 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of slusk
slusk

Virginia

3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
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 jkrich
jkrich

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. freshness stamped bottle: beautiful and clear, deep red with a foamy, beige head that slowly dissipated.

The aroma solidly emphasized the malt profile: sweet and malty with some hints of spicy hops.

Very nice and refreshing flavor that is well balanced by the cascade hops. The flavor is sweet and slightly fruity with a gentle hop bit at the end. The malt profile never becomes cloying even as the ale warms in the glass.

The mouthfeel is soft and silky with a light to medium body. The carbonation is not overpowering yet keeps the ale refreshing and zesty on the palate. While the palate is coated with the malty sweetness, there is a pleasant, lingering bitterness.

This ale reminds me why I always enjoy trying the amber ale style; you never know how the brewer will interpret this vague style. This is one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 23:33:20 | More by jkrich
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 18:14:46 | More by stakem
Photo of Mikecap
Mikecap

Louisiana

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a medium amber into a pint glass with a thin whitish head that fades quickly, leaving nice lacing.

Smell: Rather malty, with sweet notes and a bit of fruit in there . Not a ton comes to mind but solid smell overall.

Taste: Malt forward with caramel notes and a bit of earthy character from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation and a bit of creaminess. Pretty smooth and easy drinking.

Overall: This is a really solid Amber Ale and perhaps the best beer I've had from this brewery. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 22:05:38 | More by Mikecap
Photo of DesertRat
DesertRat

North Carolina

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Personal preference, but the malt starts too strong. It finishes very well and the aftertaste is great. For a red ale, it is above average and is definitely enjoyable. I feel like the carbonation is high, similar to a pils, but not overwhelming. Definitely a beer worth buying. Pair it with a cabbage based meal and see if you turn green.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 04:59:30 | More by DesertRat
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent reddish amber with a white head.

The smell is dark fruits,plums and raisins.

The taste is malty with some of the dark fruits coming through.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a great take on the style, one of my favourite Highland beers.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 01:51:18 | More by Dave1999
Photo of JordanHageman
JordanHageman

Missouri

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the first time tonight with dinner and I gotta say I enjoyed it. It had a good sweetness balanced with a tale end hop bitterness. Made for a good ale. A good ale but not my favorite I've had. I'd drink it again if it was available to me. Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 02:00:08 | More by JordanHageman
Photo of IchLiebeBier
IchLiebeBier

Virginia

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

Appearance: Amber/copper; medium off white frothy head; good lacing

Aroma: Malty; light caramel; citrusy hops

Taste: Slightly sweet, caramel malt followed quickly by light citrus hops; a little thin, but smooth; finishes semi sweet with minimal hop bitterness. Overall decent; good session ale

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 13:41:04 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 23:10:35 | More by KYGunner
Photo of scvance
scvance

South Carolina

3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Crimsonfloods
Crimsonfloods

Florida

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pint glass

Nice amber/orange tinge on it. Creamy white head with a nice lacing.

Smells bold caramel and malt, almost an oaky sent in the background.

Taste is a fine balance between hops and malt, slight bitter.

Feels good, smooth relatively dry finish.

Pretty good overall, nothing too ground breaking.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 19:15:03 | More by Crimsonfloods
Photo of ShawnB
ShawnB

District of Columbia

4.76/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite beer. The perfect balance of easy-drinking and complexity.

Appearance: A beautiful red. One of the reddest beers I've ever seen. Pretty much transparent. The head isn't particular thick, but it lasts.

Smell: Mild, slightly boozy. Can detect the slight hoppiness present in the beer, as well as a strong malty scent.

Taste: My favorite tasting beer. Hoppy, but not overly so. A strong caramel, malty backbone that counteracts the moderate hops well. Has some of the strong flavors of a porter or a stout, but with the obvious taste and mouthfeel of a thinner ale.

Mouthfeel: If I have one complaint about this brew, I'd say it might be carbonated a little heavily. It is rather thin, but I prefer a thinner mouthfeel so that's fine with me.

Overall: I love this beer. Such a complex flavor profile, but nothing is overpowering. Really a must try.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 02:03:18 | More by ShawnB
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: Clear amber brewed tea appearance with minimal khaki head. A foamy halo rest on top leaving the occasional leg of lace behind.

S: Toasted italian herb and cheese Subway bread, toasted caramel and orange juice and bitter orange peel.

T/M: Toasted caramel, bready malt, orange peel and spicy pippali pepper. Finishes dry with lemon zest and toast. Prickly moderate body. Once the beer warns it starts to have a metallic aftertaste to it. It's not bad but does throw it off a bit.

O: Well balance and simple. An easy drinking ale to throw back after a long day of work. The spicy kick at the end really makes this. Without it I think it would be dull.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 00:24:19 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

A: The beer is a rusty deep orange and red color. Head is 2 fingers of off-white to really light tan and sticks around a while. Good looking beer.

S: Nice balanced character - sweet and matly for a quick second - bread and maybe some toast. Then comes a well proportioned hoppiness. Pine and light citrus. Well done.

T: Surprisingly hoppy at first then calms down to a nice balance. Has some light fruits throughout the middle there, but mostly citrus peel and some light piney notes. Bready malt holds it altogether. Nothing really stands out, just a solid beer with a good kick.

This is a super drinkable and flavorful beer with a great amount of balance. I could drink this all day in any season, but really reminds me of fall.

Well done Highland

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 22:25:17 | More by BucBasil
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light amber with a frothy one inch khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of holy lacing.

Nutty, toasty, slightly sweet caramel malt and floral hops form the aroma.

Flavor reveals sweet, caramel malt at the base, becoming slightly toasty, dry, and a touch bitter at the finish. Floral hops are evident throughout. Nutty, toasted malt add complexity. There's a hint of citrus at the base.

Body is moderate to slightly watery, with moderate carbonation.

Malt is definitely dominant, with bready, roasted caramel notes surfacing throughout. Slight bitterness at the finish rounds out the flavor profile well. Malt complexity is somewhat lacking, though, as well as hops for an amber. There's a metallic tang that is offputting.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 21:02:08 | More by barczar
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
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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.