1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,241 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,241
Reviews: 519
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 163 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,241 | Reviews: 519 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of winningwes91
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not really a fan of highland

Photo of Chug-a-lug
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers. Best from the tap.

Photo of JonesWaffles
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of aleromadoc
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DeaconsBrew
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very drinkable and food-friendly. This is a go-to red ale as it is now readily available in my area. Stirs up a craving for brats or sausage sandwiches. I keep this in a wine cooler at 50 degrees and the flavors and subtle complexities really come out at that temp.

Photo of kotzbauerm
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful, fat-bubbled, deep-ruddy red-amber ale, I find myself unfortunately not as impressed with the remainder of this Highland flagship than I expected to be. It has a very mild, slightly malty odor, but that'd be forgivable if the flavors weren't also so excessively mild. Besides being a bit thin in texture, Gaelic Ale is quite lean on the flavors I expect from a well-crafted amber: the malting is clean, but doesn't do much to make its presence felt besides a bit bite on top of its moderately sweet substructure; and the overall impression is certainly a little less than the "rich malty body" promised on the label. Meanwhile, the hopping is nice, but largely straightforward: not a lot of fragrance or florality, with the Cascade and Willamette primarily serving to ripen the sweetness a bit with some grassy bitter notes.

It's a fairly drinkable beer—though I wouldn't quite call it "sessionable," despite its fairly light body, since the sweetness outweighs the crispness, respective to Gaelic's malt elements (and malt is the crucial component of an amber, as far as I'm concerned). But, as stated, it's a little disappointing, given that I've liked other products from Highland, and this is their ur-product. I've been told that on draft it better matches its promises, both in terms of official description and critical profile, but I suppose I'll believe that when I taste it; from the twelve-ounce bottle, it was decent, but underwhelming.

Photo of Wo1fpacker
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bigbutter
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bieretutor
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of NickTinyRace
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DMACH
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites from Highlands. Very drinkable

Photo of Milchad
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Great taste, more filling. Great local brew.

Photo of JohnnyI
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

With a bearded bag-pipe player set against the mountainous backdrop of Asheville NC gracing the label, how can this lose? Filled on 10/7/14. The beer pours with a bright amber clarity, and a rocky manilla head. 2 fingers of foam recede, leaving lavish lacing on the glass. The nose is dominated by biscuity malts. Tart cider-like notes and piney hops battle for second fiddle. The flavor delivers caramel sweetness, and a buttery toffee that reminds me of an English ale. However, the tangy hop bite quickly takes over, washing away the malts and leaving only nice toasted grain in the finish. The mouthfeel is a tad watery, with tame carbonation, though it doesn't detract from the experience. This brew achieves a very respectable balance. A classic American Amber, true to the style. Nothing earth shattering, but a delightful and well-crafted treat from the Tarheel State.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of justinm4bama
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of bawaddell
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of beerrat
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Has a strong taste like it has more kick then it does.

Photo of Harvest06
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very food friendly, well rounded amber ale with slight sweetness, medium body and dry bitter finish. Its less hoppy than many west coast amber ales but more hoppy than many east coast red ales.

Photo of CIBoy10
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark orange or amber brown with a head that leaves quickly. Lacing stays around on top and clings nicely. Smell is bready and malty. Taste is awesome! Clean and refreshing ale with a hint of hoppiness. This is a taste that I think many people would enjoy (ala Sweetwater 420). Feel is superb. Clean, refreshing, and tasty. The three headed combination I prefer. Overall I would gladly drink this again - one of the more superb sessionable craft beers I've enjoyed. Cheers!

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of velopack
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Probably favorite beer tried so far

Photo of Curtis_Wilson
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,241 ratings.