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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

526 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 526
Hads: 1,377
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.42%
Wants: 34
Gots: 240 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 526 | Hads: 1,377
Photo of PierceMyers
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It produced a small head and wasn't very carbonated. The color is a great clear red however, which makes for a solid appearance.

It was served colder than recommended which altered the initial flavor of the beer. Once it warmed up some I could really taste its finer notes which I could best describe as woody and caramel(ly). The amber aroma got stronger as well.

The mouthfeel got better as it warmed, but it seemed to run over the palate without wanting to stick around. The last couple ounces were very enjoyable, however, enough to make me alter my initial ratings.

The beer has a very great combination of flavoring and drinkability. The aroma is nice and the tones are solid as well. I didn't see to much of the bite that I read about, and a little more carbonation would have been nice. All around, I will buy it again. And make sure to serve it around 45 degrees!

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Photo of dubman003
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent beer, but if Highland's Oatmeal Porter and Gaelic Ale were both available, I'd definitely do the porter. The Ale is not thick as a porter, obviously, but it has hints of the porter taste--a porter light, perhaps.

Even though the "style" is irish red ale, the gaelic is on another level of red ale excellence. It's distinct and should be the first thing you order when it's on the menu. Enjoy.

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Photo of cjl1209
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"A deep amber colored American ale, featuring a rich malty body. Cascade and Willamette hops add a complex hop flavor and aroma. This ale is exceptionally balanced between malty sweetness and delicate hop bitterness." Website says Chinook hops too.

A - Medium brown/cola color with a very small tan head. Surprisingly nice lacing considering the lame head.

S - Intense floral scent with light malt notes

T - Finely balanced just like advertised. On the tongue expect plenty of roasted malts while giving a good mouth swirl will yield a nice hoppy bitter characteristic. Bitterness lingers after you swallow and the malt flavor returns.

M - Smooth with light carbonation. Not exactly creamy but a bit heavier than expected.

D - This brew is easy drinking. However I could see the hops being a bit much after several of theses if you're not a fan of bitterness.

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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.

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Photo of c014572
2.82/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Sorry, I just can't rate this as what others have. There is a very off-putting aftertaste with this, perhaps I got a bad bottle? I just don;t get the vive others and the bro's have had.

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Photo of bluedognever
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Original Review 5-11-2014

Poured from a bottle into a frosty mug. It's a nice deep rich amber color with a soft, thick beige head. Rich taste without being heavy feeling. Biscuit and caramel with a slight hint of citrus. A very slight hop finish - just right. After a few minutes, head is mostly gone with some lacing.

This may be the best beer I've had in a quite a while

Added 6/13/2014

I discovered that I had another bottle of this. Rather funny but it paired extremely well with Mexican food - a very nice balance with the cilantro, peppers, tomatoes and other seasonings.

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Photo of dataskatt
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite American Amber/Red Ale so far. It pours a rich reddish brown with a generous head. This beer is wonderfully malty and creamy, with enough hops to balance it nicely. It is full flavored and rich, but not overly heavy. The smell is very malty with hints of caramel and nut. A very balanced red ale.

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Photo of tctruffin
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a rather limited cream colored head that disappated quickly. Not too much aroma; just a slight cascade hop presence. Taste is where this ale shines. Got some roasty caramel notes from the malt with earthy citrus hops on top. The Gaelic does a good job of unifying these disparate flavors. In the mouth, it's a bit stickier than called for, but that doesn't make any less drinkable.

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Photo of rockyfire
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer at the Lighthouse in Wrightsville.This beer is clear in body. Amber and Red in color. Off-white head is ok and pops butt does not last long. Big malt in aroma backed up by s light citric flavour. I wonder what hops they use. Flavor is malt with moderate hopping. Not a bad North Carolina beer.

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Photo of DesertRat
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of xybreeder
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very nice amber/orange color, little to no head with slight lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, slight hop aroma, but mostly malt aromas.

T - Malt on the front, hops on the back, slight bitterness lingers. Caramel and grapefruit seem to dominate the flavor profile. Very nice & balanced tasty brew.

M - Medium body, carbonation seems good despite the missing head.

O - A nicely balanced brew, that is very drinkable. Could use just a little less bitterness on the back-end, besides that, it's a fine tasting brew!

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Photo of holtonwes
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a lovely transparent dark amber with an offwhite head with fairly good retention and lacing
Smell: bready, nutty, hints of caramel, some raisin or fig
Taste: Same as smell, a little bit of hoppiness in the middle, but a lovely malty caramel finish
Feel: Smooth and velvety
Overall: one of my favorite beers, and growing up around Asheville, one of my favorite beers. Tastes like home!

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Photo of introvertedone
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Gaelic Ale was presented to me at the Grey Eagle when it was in Black Mountain, NC in '95 or so. Since then it's been a long time love affair.

I've had this fine ale both from the tap and from the bottle. While I love them both I prefer the tap. It's a beautiful beer in appearance, aroma and taste. This would definitely be my everyday beer if I didn't enjoy trying out fine new brews.

The fine folks at Highland Brewing Company have a fine line of brews with this one being my favorite.

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Photo of ShawnMN
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm from Louisiana , a really close friend brought me a party pack of the Highland brewing company. I enjoyed this, for an amber/red ale. I have a dark beer preference but enjoy a refreshing caramel malty lighter beer with good body on occasion. It was right on

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Photo of jimsimply
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark amber with a small, taupe head.

S: Light caramel notes, little hop aroma.

T/MF: Balanced for the style. I had had two chewier beers earlier in the day, so it felt light in my mouth. Fits style, but left me feeling less than happy. Carbonation not overpowering, but pleasant.

D: Easy drinking ale.

I'm a fan of Highland, but this isn't my favorite of their offerings. Still, not bad.

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Photo of FungusBrewer
4.61/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Crisp and cool with a hop bite under the kilt. I'd sell my soul to the Blarney Stone to drink this brew above the fog--Spitting on Long-shanks while picking breakfast Haggis out of my dentures.

Smell: Sweet malt, nutty, clean.

Taste: Incredibly drinkable and well balanced. Light malt sweetness up front followed by an extremely pleasant hop aftertaste. Bright and clean flavors unadulterated by any heavy bread like notes, or unpleasant astringency. Stable from start to finish.

Appearance: Reddish-copper almost carnelian in color; clear with no haze. Medium head, medium carbonation.

It only took one Gaelic Ale before organizing a small militia amongst my neighbors to fight against big beer and praise craft brew FFRRREEEDDDOOOMMM!!!

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Photo of Dudeletter
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Amber love and southern addiction is the Highland Brewery. Their beer is from Asheville, NC and the locality promises the freshness of the sample. The beer is on the hoppy end of the spectrum, but the mellowness of a well crafted amber permeates through the hopped nature of the beer. The beer’s cascade hops add a citrus freshness to add punctuation to the malty caramel taste. The carbonation adds a baked bread, almost a toasted desert bread scent to the nose of this wonderful beer.

http://www.dudeletter.com/?p=1000

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Photo of malvrich
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Stella glass
bottled July 15, 2014
ABV is actually 5.6%
A: Hazy copper/amber color with a tight beige head some of which refused to pour out of the bottle. Head lasts a few minutes with nice lacing. Fair clarity.

S: Mostly getting caramel and toast.

T: Fruit. Nuts. Orange zest and burnt toast. The sweetness from the smell is thankfully absent.
Delicious.

M: Lighter bodied perhaps, than it looks. Refreshing with zippy carbonation.Dry tart finish leaves you wanting more.

O: This is very good amber ale. Maybe the best I can think of. Highland has a hit and at $8/6 it's a no brainer! Extremely good.

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Photo of beerhandy
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle Pint glass
Apearance: Nice amber color with a quickly fading light tannish head
Aroma:Sweet malt and Caramel with some hop spicyness
Taste:I thought this was a scotch ale, the maltiness was dominate the hops drys up some of the sweetness but I didnt notice a big
PNW hop profile .
Drinkabilty: heck yea get you some!I think its a great amber that should appeal to most beer lovers

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Photo of redelephantdane
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance : dark orange, apricot colored and murky, one finger head that quickly dissipates leaves a little lace.

smell: light floral notes, some sweet fruit, grapes, berries.

taste: well balanced, bottle says a good amount of malty sweetness but i didnt really taste that much malt. little to no hops come throught, floral and balanced.

mouthfeel: smooth as hell, i could drink a sixer of these with out hesitation. flavor stays on the top of your mouth long after swallowed.

drinkability: real easy. fans of balanced beers will love this ale. drinking this beer brings me back to my parents garden, smelling all the flowers around me.

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Photo of beldin96
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Highland Gaelic Ale is a great amber. The Ale has a great nose. On the nose it has some light malts, with some very light floral. The mouth feel is very light, but with lots of flavor. The Gaelic Ale has a good balance of malt and hops, not one overpowering the other. It finishes very clean and crisp. At 5.8% ABV is could be a good session beer.

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Photo of maki88
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

+

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Enjoyed at home.

A: Rich amber color with a thick, off-white head. The head lingered and laced well. This definitely looks like an ale, and the bold appearance suggests some of the strong scents and distinguished taste of this brew.

S: Sweet and malty, while also somewhat toasty, with hints of caramel.

T: A rich flavor. Smooth at the start -- lighter than expected, actually. The taste lingers pleasantly in the mouth. I'd say that this ale has a distinct flavor, but not an over-powering one. Compared with other ales, this one's taste is notable for its bold but drinkable character.

M: Medium-bodied, but perhaps on the lighter side of "medium." Certainly not too light for an ale, but there seems to be room for it to be a bit more robust here.

O: A solid ale, above average but not incredible. It is definitely drinkable and enjoyable, without some of the overpowering flavors of other ales. I'd enjoy it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out.

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Photo of lewwjr
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my perspective, this is a nice combination of malt sweetness and hop balance that makes for a very refreshing brew. It pours a nice amber color with malt and hop overtones dominating the nose. My first thought was Pale Ale but after further review, it was definately an amber ale at heart. I like it. The nice smooth hop finish and sweet malts give you something to come back to.

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Photo of ZacHart
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: crystal clear, beautiful amber colored brew that produced a thick but wispy off-white head with light lacing.

Smell: aroma dominated by sweet caramel with hints of smoke and fruit.

Taste: malty but not overly sweet flavor dominated by bread crust and caramel, with hints of smoke, earth, and fruit. Hop flavor subtle but present enought to nicely balance the brew. Flavor reminiscent of a Scotch ale but overall more restrained.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin and highly carbonated, this beer doesn't really linger on the palate.

Overall: a flavorful yet highly drinkable session beer that's rightfully the flagship of Highland Brewery.

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Photo of KentT
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.