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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,180 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,180
Reviews: 501
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 28
Gots: 118 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,180 | Reviews: 501 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tmm313
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

tmm313, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

ILikeGoodCider, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of csiewert
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall I am not normally a red ale or amber fan, but this beer really turned me on to the style. The beer pours a reddish amber color with a finger of foamy head that retained ok and left some lacing. The aroma had notes of caramel malt, bread and a good amount of hoppiness. The taste starts with the caramel and bread maltiness and then becomes slightly bitter and hoppy. This really is the pale ale / IPA man's amber. The mouthfeel is nice and balanced and the flavor lingers just the right amount of time. Overall a great beer.

csiewert, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of billhelm
4/5  rDev +5%

billhelm, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a medium amber with a frothy tan head. Aroma is light, with clean and toasty malt.

Taste is a toasty, bready pale malt with only a very mild hop bite. Some caramel sweetness tries to come through, although it never becomes overtly sweet. Finish is only very lightly bitter with a lingering crystal malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium, soft and dusty, very drinkable. Not much about this one stands out but it is perfect for a rather neglected and underappreciated style and would make a great daily fridge staple.

assurbanipaul, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of wahhmaster
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-bronwn kinda tawny color with a foamy head. Head leaves considerable lacing as it dissipates.

Smell: Smells sweet and definitely malty. A small hint of hops comes out in the smell as well.

Taste: Definitely hoppy with a nice malty taste to it as well. Leaves a strong but pleasnt hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth. A little on the thin-and-carbonated side but not overpoweringly so.

Drinkability: A solid ale. Definitely one of the better Scottish-style ales out there. Give it a shot!!

wahhmaster, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of Soonami
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Soonami, May 04, 2011
Photo of mwa423
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

mwa423, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a small off white head. Not much retention with splotchy lacing.

Very malty, fruity, sweet scent. To be honest, there's not really a whole lot to the nose here.

Taste matches the nose, but the flavors take the main stage while the aroma takes the backseat. Sweet and very malty with a twang of hop bitterness at the very end. Dry finish.

Feel is very smooth. There's a nice creaminess. Medium body. Excellent balance. Quite drinkable.

Gyle41386, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of slowdaddy
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

slowdaddy, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of MMAJYK
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

MMAJYK, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of jonathaniler
3/5  rDev -21.3%

jonathaniler, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of csmiley
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to mikesgroove for this Highland selection

A - Pours a murky amber color with some hints of brown thrown in for good measure. The beige head topped out at just under half inch and didn't stick around for too long. Lacing is minimal.

S - Quite malty in the nose. Some caramel and bready aromas really dominate. Nuts and granola finish it up. Hold on, I think there are some hops in there too but they are VERY mild. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Aroma is simple yet nice.

T - Starts out with caramel and toffee. Could be some brown sugar mixed in as well. Bread flavors push through around midway (crust and whole grain). Hop bitterness definitely rounds out the flavor. Touch of lemon and grapefruit. Hop flavor is pretty mild and doesn't get in the way of the malt.

M - Medium bodied with carbonation that is just right. Finish starts out sweet but a lingering bitterness from the hops holds out for a while longer.

D - Dinkability is really good. This would make for a great session brew. There is more than enough going on in this beer to keep it interesting and it is simple enough to put away all night long. Alcohol is hidden behind the flavors pretty well which just adds to the overall drinkability. Kudos to Highland for a tasty brew.

csmiley, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice dark golden orange/copper color with a small light tan head which reduced to the thinnest of bubble layers. Aroma is very balanced with hops and malts. The hops are mainly grapefruit and fruity in nature. This is well balanced with a sweet malty smell. There is also a slight caramel aroma. Taste is mainly hop oriented consisting of pine hops which lead to a nice bitter finish. Similar to the aroma there is a nice balance to this which makes it really drinkable. Overall the flavor is light and refreshing. Coats the mouth well and is relatively full bodied for a red ale. This is a good beer overall and is quite quaffable. I can see myself enjoying this easy drinker on a warm summer day…definitely worth a try.

blitz134, Mar 17, 2005
Photo of kshankar
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with a white head..decent retention on the head. Good lacing all the way down.

Aroma is sweet caramel and some biscuity aromas. Hop presence is low.

Taste is sweet with a nice caramel profile and a biscuity malt backing. Very good

Mouthfeel is medium and well carbonated. Drinkability is high, could use some more hops though. Rather muted in that department. Otherwise, a good beer.

kshankar, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of wmobley
4/5  rDev +5%

wmobley, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of dankjohn
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

dankjohn, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of BigRedDog
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

BigRedDog, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of DuffDaddy
5/5  rDev +31.2%

DuffDaddy, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of BDIMike
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is pale reddish color. Small carbonation and a great sized head.
Smells awesome. Starts with a smell of malts and nuts. Smells of hops, sugars, and other sweet smells after.
Great taste. Hoppy at first. Balanced with a good caramel malt taste. Ends with a sweeter taste. Very well-rounded. Lots of flavor.
Mouthfeel has a nice thickness. Smooth going down. Not sharp at all.
Great beer. I did not expect this to be as good as it was. Could drink this one all day.

BDIMike, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of addiwilliams
4/5  rDev +5%

addiwilliams, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of tjsmith910
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Red amber mix with a 2-finger beige head with a good and relaxed lacing.

S: i rate all beers a 3 on smell due to the fact that I have no since of smell

T:. The malty ness and hoppiness mash up really makes this a very good beer. it is as the label says the perfect mix of hops and malty flavor.

M: not heavy not over powering. how about nearly perfect overall

O: Period, this beer is great. one of my top 5's. not just in style but over all. i enjoyed every aspect of this beer.

tjsmith910, Jun 21, 2012
Photo of orfeu
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle provided by the almighty oberon, shipped to him fresh from North Carolina -- many thanks! Ever-so-slightly-hazy burnished copper with an effervescently noisy onionskin-hued head. Mild citric hop-tea scent (bergamot and bitter orange) with an earthiness atop some biscuity malt aromas. Doughy and toasty -- the before and the after of bread? -- malt flavors come to the fore at first, followed by some mellow lemon and bergamot flavors; leafy hop flavors through and through. Bit of biscuity taste at the back. Solid taste, for sure. Medium light body, eminently quaffable. I know Irish Red Ales are supposed to be easy-to-drink, but this one here just about defines sessionability. Very nice ale.

orfeu, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant medium amber with a 1 finger head and good lacing. Aroma of an earthy malt with good caramel notes. Slight citrusy hop aroma. A nice earthy caramel malt with citrus and pine flavors. More hoppy than other Irish reds I have had. A nice example of the style. Try some if you get a chance.

sabrills70, Sep 18, 2005
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,180 ratings.