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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

1,249 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,249
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 168 | 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
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Ratings: 1,249 | Reviews: 521
Photo of tmitch75
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with toasty head and some lacing.

Smell is malty with some nuttiness.

Toasty caramel & nut flavor with sweet malt with a slightly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied & smooth.

A very tasty beer that I will definitely seek out next time I am in the region.

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.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pint on-tap at the Red Drum Taphouse in NC. It arrives a clear chestnut, with low carbonation and a half-inch of khaki head that leaves decent lacing. Smells earthy and smoked, fruity, with some caramel, light hops, and a dash of currants. It is a fairly malty beer, with earth, caramel, toffee, and toasted notes, barely balanced by herbal/minty and grassy/spicy hops that impart a medium bitterness. Nearly full on the palate, smooth and coating, with light carbonation and a medium finish. Overall a tasty brew, and well-balanced despite the large amounts of malts.

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

11/20/2007 Beer Thirty

Thanks stopbarking for sending this one.

Nice clean, flavorful and uncomplicated beer. I detected citrus and earthy aromas. A touch of brown sugar.
Fizzy. In this season of RIS, fizzy was a surprise. Thin head.

Mouthfeel wasn't there for me. Thin...Lacks body
Easy enough to drink several.

Photo of jokelahoma
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quaffed a pint at Old Chicago in Wake Forest, NC

This one came to me a pretty little tawny brownish-red pint, with a fairly decent sized and very sticky head that laced like grandma's doilies. Nice and appetizing to look at.

The aroma was very malty, with a lot of dark fruits and a bit of buttery toffee coming to the front. It smells really sweet, and yet nice and roasty/toasty. Surprisingly mouthwatering nose, to mix anatomical references.

The taste isn't as sweet as the nose suggests, as the roasted malts seem to balance the sweetness with the faux bitterness they provide, even in the absence of much in the way of hoppiness. In other words, this isn't terribly hoppy to say the least, but the chocolate malts with their bittersweet dark chocolate flavors seem to keep everything well in line. The enticing toffee aroma doesn't ranslate to the taste, thankfully, as there is no buttery diacetyl flavor here at all. This is definitely a malt-forward beer, as the style would dictate, but roasty enough and with just enough bitterness to make it well balanced. Quite nicely done, really.

The mouthfeel leans toward the heavier side. Certainly not an imperial stout, but heavy enough to be substantial. This adds to the complexity of the beer, and is a nice fit for the style.

This one drinks bigger than what it is, and that's a compliment. It's not overly sweet or caramelly, as far too many ambers or red can tend to be, but neither is it too roasty, like a stout with a serious pigmentation problem. This is a well balanced, fruity, malty, chocolatey beer. Well made, and worth trying.

Photo of shivtim
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange/brown with a dense foamy head. Leaves some lacing too. Nose is simple sweet malts and some alcohol. Taste is mild hops with molasses sweetness, some spice, and toasted malts at the end. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is pretty good too.

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bboven for this one.

Pours a nice amber color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy white head, some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight bitterness, and a good dose of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice above average amber ale.

Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice frosty sent via the CEO / Old farters BIF from unclejedi.

Deep orange amber brew, with a massive ivory head. Almost hard to control this volcano of head, which left thick lacey rings.

Aroma checked in with a woody pine, plus some citrus. And for a bottled beer, this sure seemed like a cask ale – smooth and warmly conditioned without a lot of excess carbonation. Sweetish caramel nicely submits to a well balanced hop finish, with a dose of grapefruit tossed in.

Very good drinking beer, glad to have had the chance.

Photo of Durge
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one of my experiences at Tyler's Tap Room in Durham, NC. This poured a dark brown-copper color with a decent head and great lace throughout. It had a mild but nice chocolate malt aroma. The taste brought more sweet malt goodness with touches of caramel and butterscotch quite evident. There is a more subtle hops presence which brings in a dry grassy quality in the finish. I even detected a slight fruit highlight, like melon maybe. Very active carbonation and quite drinkable for this style. Definitely recommended for a try and I will enjoy again.

Update 07/30/08: A dark copper color ale with a solid off-white head and some goodly gobs of lacing. The aroma is a mild malty cereal deal, hard to nail down and not particularly strong. The flavor is much more definitive in great malt character with some clove and raspberry/cherry and chocolate. Really complex and fun to drink. Well carbonated and not heavy in alcohol so it is easy drinking for the style. Medium feel, maybe even a bit light for this type of brew but very enjoyable. Definitely try this one as something easy to like and a little different. Malt is the theme and it's a good one.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish-brown body with an ivory-colored head.

Smell: There's a light caramel maltiness to the aroma as well as notes of flowers and citrus. Some spice in there, too.

Taste: Flavor of toasted grains with a soft caramel sweetness. Citrusy hops with a subtle spiciness. Mild bitterness on the semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Highland's given us a pleasant, easy drinking amber, which is awfully decent of them.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this on-tap at the Hibernian in Cary, NC.

Pours a transparent, mahogany-amber hued ale with a generous light tan head that was well retained and left excellent lacing. The aroma was pretty weak (may have been due to other bar smells), but some notes of sweetened malts and a bit of piney hop are present.

The taste was quite good. A big malty backbone with touches of carmel and brown sugar dominated the palate, while a decent hoppiness rounded off the flavor. A slight fruitiness rounded out the flavor. Mouthfeel was smooth and light-bodied, with a lack of bitterness to it that was more than made up for by the malty sweetness. Drinkability was superior as well, I could've had a few of these if time had permitted.

Photo of cracgor
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an excellent beer that I can find pretty readily at the bars in my location. It's got a nice refreshing and crisp feel. It tastes very well balanced with a light malt touched with a bit of piney hop that is far from over the top. Smells similar with a bit more emphasis on the hop. The beer looks like a beer. It has a light head ontop it's amber body.

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

12oz. bottle from bobbyc881 - Thanks!

Clear, orange/brown in color. Medium sized, creamy, light tan head.

Smells like a malt bomb. Toffee and raisins. Honey. Herbal notes.

Taste is quite different from smell, more bitter than sweet. Herbal hops. Touch of coffee/roast notes. Biscuity in the middle. Bit of caramel sweetness as it warms.

Medium body. Medium to high carbonation. Fairly dry.

Overall quite drinkable. Nicely balanced. I would certainly have again.

Photo of hellcatsjg
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber color with little to no head. About right for an amber ale.

Smell: Sweet, malty, and a tiny bit hoppy.

Taste: Starts with a nutty sweet flavor with hints of malt and caramel. Finish is slightly hoppy and very clean.

Mouthfeel: A bit thicker than many other beers of this style. Light carbonation makes this very smooth. Does not leave much of an aftertaste, but what is there is faint hops.

Drinkability: Good beer. The sweet and nutty flavors blend well with the hops at the end for a tasty combination.

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep amber hue with ruby highlights topped by just over two fingers of dense, tightly-bubbled head that displayed good retention.

S: Big bready malt notes in the nose, smells quite delicious, on par with other amber ales.

T: Grainy malt flavors rush forth in the intro and transition smoothly to a light hop bitterness that fades into the finish, leaving a tasty residual aftertaste.

M: Carbonation is at a prime level for enjoying the flavor, and the mouthfeel seems to go from light and crisp up front to creamier and thicker toward the finish.

D: Pretty good job on this amber ale, definitely stands out. The balance of this beer is what makes it a great choice, and the malt character is one for those who are looking for that bread-like fix.

Photo of loren01
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured amber reddish color, good sized white head. Slight lacing down the glass
S: Sweet, malty/biscut scent. Hint of maple syrup
T: Sweetness up front. Caramel/toffee flavors. Plenty sweet, some might think too sweet....for me pretty tasty, just right in my book. A slight bit of hoppiness in the aftertaste
M: Medium bodied beer, smooth goes down easy.
D: Very good beer, if I could get this beer I would drink it quite often. I think I need to find a clone recipie so I can try making this beer cause I think it would go over pretty well with most everybody.

Photo of kirok1999
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear off amber color. Smell is rich and malty promising deep caramel and slight hops.
Taste is very nice, rich malt at first, nice caramel, some dark fruit in the finish and maybe some citrus hops. The frutiness becomes much more apparent as it warms a bit. Not overwhelming but just there enough to let you notice it.
A very nice sipper or a hot afternoon brew.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

served in a 22oz brown bottle with a crimped cap into a tulip glass.

Deep rich amber color,hazy, with a 2" frothy white head with good retention and lots of tiny bubbles stringing from the sides of the glass.

The aromas were on the faint side,mostly fruity tropical fruits,light toasty malts with some nutty carmell.

Fruity tastes that are sour/tarty,faint malt tastes of carmell/toffee with a bit of nuttiness. Finished with a dry tart finish.

Light to medium body,grainy,on the rough side. Had a hard time finishing the bottle. Liked the two other beers i tried from this brewery this one was nothing like the two others i had tried.

Photo of meechum
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great offering from the brewers at Highland..since this is a fairly easy brewer for me to get a hold of has become my go to brewery of choice.. I haven't met a beer from their place I haven't totally enjoyed.

On to the Gaelic Ale..

A - Poured a nice amber with red notes into a pint mug, poured aggressively with a great head that dissapates slowly with a nice sticky lace

S - You can smell some citrus hops smells along with the malts and some piney hops smells.

T - This was good..for me it started with a slight bite of hops up front moving quickly on to a long middle of malty taste with hints of biscuit then finishing with another hop bite that was just right

M - Creamy with middle carbonation

D - I had 3 before I knew it..this was a luxuriant beer and I enjoyed them very much..at 5.8% it's a little on the high side for a session beer..so I had to slow down but it went well with dinner and after

Notes: Like I said at the front of this review..I just love the offerings from Highland..this is no exception this was a great beer for a relaxed evening..If you have the opportunity to pick some up..it's a can't miss

Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured brown with 3+ fingers of tan head. Great lacing & above average head retention.

S: Bready with seet malt & a hint of maple syrup

T: Cakey with herbal & piney hops up front. Roasted malt comes to the fore as this warms along with grapefruitty & piney hops. Finishes with loads of caramel & earthy hops

MF: Medium-bodied with a little slickness & low carbonation

Drank really easy, colud session on this, no problem!

Photo of SwillBilly
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased on our vacation to the OBX. 12 oz bottle with a pretty neat label. Bagpipe player with a huge mug of beer in hand. Blurb on the back of bottle about being an American Amber made with Cascade and Willamette hops. Lets give it a go.

Appearance: Poured aggresively into my imperial pint glass, Gaelic Ale is a hazy amber in color, spot on for the style with a nice and creamy off-white head that dissipates slowly to a coating of large bubbles and wispy lacing. Streams of carbonation rise to the surface.

Smell: Somewhat fruity with hints of caramel and a slight wiff of citrusy hops. Aroma somewhat subdued for the style.

Taste: Starts with a malty sweetness. Dark fruit and caramel dominate. The middle moves the beer along to a finish that is more of the malty sweetness but the hops finally make an appearance. Hop bitterness is light, has an iced tea like quality in the finish. Tilted more to the malty side than to the hoppy side. Nice nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Medium in the mouth with bit of creaminess. Carbonation is somewhat on the light side. Makes for easy drinking.

Drinkability/Notes: Highland Gaelic Ale is a very drinkable beer. Plenty of malty goodness with a fair amount of hops in the finish to lend a bit of bitterness. Lots of dark fruit and sugary sweetness with a light, citrusy bitterness and flavor thrown in for good measure. At 5.8% abv this might be on the high side of what most people consider a session beer, but I could easily put a few of these back without any complaints. A very good amber ale that is worth seeking out. Glad I was able to pick this up in NC. Seek and Enjoy. Now I wonder what the Imperial version whs like...

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

On draught Taco Mac East/West Connector Austell, Ga. USA
I gave this one 4.0's across the board. I have had this several times in the bottle but only just today on draught. It poured up a really dark reddish bronze colour with a nice looking khaki coloured head.
Smell was pleasant with a nicely balanced offering of herbal hops and toasted cereal malts. Taste was well balanced, too, with a nice blast of bitter hops up front followed by a nice malty dry finish. This was very drinkable and a great brew on draught.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber with a thin white head the leaves a trail of frothy lace behind.

S - Caramel n altiness with some citrus hops in the back.

T - Caramel and toffee with a nice breadiness and some citrus hops.

M - Medium body, smooth and creamy.

D - A tasty and easy drinking red.

Photo of shertz
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from undated bottle into a Pint glass on a hot afternoon.

A- Two finger head, amber red in color. A few small bubbles run towards the top to join the foamy head.Nice lacing throughout.

S- Sugary malts. Some hops are around.

T- Very complex taste. Bready, oatmeal taste comes through at finish. Very malty, with floral hops fighting their way through. Very different, but good.

M- Oily start, numbing finish. Love that numbing finish!!

D- Average ABV leads to a nice possibility of drinking more than one which I would be more than glad to do. However, only have one. Will have to get a sixer next time I'm in the Outer Banks for the beach. Good stuff from good brewer.

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,249 ratings.