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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

517 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 517
Hads: 1,322
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.42%
Wants: 31
Gots: 212 | 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:
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: 517 | Hads: 1,322
Photo of tctruffin
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of rockyfire
3/5  rDev -21.5%
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. (309 characters)

Photo of DesertRat
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of xybreeder
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
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! (521 characters)

Photo of introvertedone
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of ShawnMN
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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 (261 characters)

Photo of jimsimply
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of FungusBrewer
4.61/5  rDev +20.7%
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!!! (746 characters)

Photo of Dudeletter
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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 (533 characters)

Photo of malvrich
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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. (628 characters)

Photo of beerhandy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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 (399 characters)

Photo of redelephantdane
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of beldin96
4.43/5  rDev +16%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of maki88
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (1,010 characters)

Photo of lewwjr
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of ZacHart
3.82/5  rDev 0%
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. (644 characters)

Photo of KentT
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (270 characters)

Photo of cruzbay
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle, and has a surprising red color, with little head.
The initial taste was sweet and malty, not overpowering or overly bold. The finish was a light grapefruit taste but did not last too long. Overall it had both the malt and hop flavors associated with an ale, but they were light, which makes this beer enjoyable for the taste, and drinkable. (360 characters)

Photo of EvilPumpkin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep ruby red with a nice thick off white head that retains well till the bottom of the glass with a little lacing.

S: Strong malt with a noticeable sweetness and a very slight hop spice at the very tail end.

T: Very similar to the smell. The malt comes through sweet initially followed by a nice bready flavor. The hops follow with a slight spice and then a clean bitterness that lingers for a bit.

M: An initial creaminess is broken by a moderate level of carbonation that dances on the tongue until the beer is swallowed.

D: Highly drinkable. A well rounded beer balanced nicely between malts and hops as well as creaminess and carbonation. If I lived around here I could definitely use this as a basic session standard. (730 characters)

Photo of japcmiller
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (966 characters)

Photo of Goukbeergals
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of Beerisgood3
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (836 characters)

Photo of Walker8810
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

deep amber in color with a thin head of foam. delicious sweet aroma of molasses. smooth even mouthfeel. well balanced, deliciously sweet taste on top finishing with a mild hop bitterness. very smooth and very drinkable. could drink this beer all day. an excellent example of an amber ale. (288 characters)

Photo of Jericho7x
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

New to beer tasting, so take this with a grain of salt.
SMELL = Honestly, smelled like a foot. Not a ripe, all day while running foot, but maybe like 2-3 hours in a sneaker. Did not like the smell.
LOOK = Carmel color with a cream colored head. Not thick.
TASTE = Bitter. Could not get too much other taste, but it did have a very slight sweetness at the end.
OVERALL = not for someone like me getting away from the mass-produced American beers. This would be for a more veteran taste. (486 characters)

Photo of jtm3
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice amber color. Decent head retention with nice layered lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt, touch of hops. Something else in there that I cannot quite detect...some sort of spice?

T: Smooth from the get-go. Light sweetness give way to a heavier malt. Getting a hint of fruit...and there is that spicy flavor again. Also getting a little cream soda taste out of it. Finishes with a bit of hoppy bitterness, that doesn't overwhelm or last too long.

M: Not as heavy to me as most people seem to think. More medium to me.

D: I give it high marks here. Seems to go down well. Once again, back to my cream soda comment.

Overall, nice, easy-drinking beer. Not overly complex, but enough is present to please the palate. (718 characters)

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.