1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

974 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 974
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 974 | Reviews: 488 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2007 05:11:32 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of cracgor
cracgor

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2007 18:18:10 | More by cracgor
Photo of


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 13:14:59 | More by
Photo of hellcatsjg
hellcatsjg

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 01:41:20 | More by hellcatsjg
Photo of CharlieMopps
CharlieMopps

Virginia

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 20:16:57 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of loren01
loren01

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2007 06:20:59 | More by loren01
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 00:49:13 | More by kirok1999
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio

West Virginia

2.25/5  rDev -40.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 23:30:07 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of meechum
meechum

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 14:12:51 | More by meechum
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 20:51:59 | More by russpowell
Photo of SwillBilly
SwillBilly

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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...

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2007 22:56:06 | More by SwillBilly
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2007 23:36:13 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2007 01:58:14 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of shertz
shertz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2007 22:09:08 | More by shertz
Photo of wcdoyle
wcdoyle

Florida

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber colored with a light caramel head. This beer is translucent, but not cloud, which was interesting (the translucent part) considering how light the color is. Head does fade, but there's solid lacing. Smell was a combination caramel/brown sugar with a very faint bit of orange/citrus. Nice combo. Hops kick in with the taste but the maltiness doesn't die down either. Still mostly caramel, but also some roasted quality blended in..Solid balance. The hop bitterness is there toward to finish, but doesn't actually linger, which may make this beer seem too sweet for some. Nice medium mouthfeel. This is a beer that seems longing to be served on draft.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 20:08:32 | More by wcdoyle
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark amber in color with a one finger head that slowly falls. Nice lacing paints the glass.

Smell: caramels and ripe fruit sweetness are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: caramel, plums, red grapes, and a decent bitterness level make up a simple flavor profile that is enjoyable and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smoother towards the finish. Medium bodied. Very short caramel and fruity aftertaste.

Drinkability: definite session ale here as several of these can be had in a single session. I had this on tap and it seemed quite fresh so the flavors were nicer than what you may get in an older bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2007 12:26:47 | More by Gavage
Photo of tctruffin
tctruffin

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 14:10:25 | More by tctruffin
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy, murky amber. Very little head and what head was there quickly vanished.

S: Sweet smell. Malty up front with some caramel character. Not a lot of hop smell. Aroma seems nicely balanced but there just isn't enough hop in it. At times aroma seems to take on a burnt or roasted character.

T: Sweet taste up front with a nice caramel character, much like the aroma. Very malty. A little hop bitterness to finish it off with maybe a slight hint of "grassy" hops. A mild representation of the style I believe.

M&D: Medium bodied, landing on the lighter side of the medium spectrum. Nothing impressive. This brew wins points on the drinkabitility scale, however. I could easily drink a pint or 3 of this.

My 1st Highland beer. I was a little underwhelmed with it, maybe I was expecting too much, maybe I just picked up the wrong offering. Either way, I will visit this beer again and will certainly continue to try Highland offerings. This brew is very drinkable but is nothing spectactular.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2007 01:52:01 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to limesmut for this one!

Poured this into a pint glass.

Gaelic Ale pours a nice amber hue with a finger thick khaki colored head which dies down to a thin lacing pretty quick. Stickiness is spotty, but there. Smell is a bit weak, but a toasted nut malt seems to dominate the nose. A small bit of earthy hops seems to emerge as well. Taste was quite a surprise, but a pleasant one at that. Very nice caramel malt with a good balance of citrus hops which gives this one an overall sweet character to it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Drinkability is definitely there, but the sweetness may take away from it after a few. Possible session beer. Thanks again to Sean for this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2007 00:58:33 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of cktison
cktison

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pour to pint glass.
A: Hazy amber with off-white 1" head. Nice retention, very little lacing.
S: Sweet malts, caramels and very little hop notes.
T: Really nice balance. More hops appear, nice sugary sweet and caramel hops. Great taste.
M: Nice and smooth, no bitterness, alcohol is not apparent at all.
D: Great. This is a good beer that really goes down smoothly. Nice session beer, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 13:09:51 | More by cktison
Photo of beermanbrian
beermanbrian

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with a nice red tint. Creamy off white head that holds nicely. Smell of bicuits and caramel with maybe a hint of figs. Taste is very malty but somehow manages to avoid being cloying. Finishes stong with some wood notes that hang around in a pleasant aftertaste. I'm impressed with this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 01:15:20 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

thanks to blackie for the chance to try this offering.

Pours a perfect hazy reddish amber color with a one finger white head that keeps nice retention. Fluffy head hangs onto the sides mostly. Figs and dark fruits hit the nose first. Sweet malt notes give this brew a nice base aroma. Spicy hops mix well with the sweet caramel malt.

Malts seem to rule the base of this brew. Sweet caramel and biscuit malt flavors. Smooth on the palate after an initial carbonation blast. Slight bitterness that continues into the finish, but it's not very prevalent. Thin body to this brew--almost watered down in my opinion. It wants to be more thick than it is, but it just doesn't have the legs. A session brew that didn't wow me as the mouthfeel isn't very good--too thin. Highland does good things, but this may be the most pedestrian of their offerings.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 20:50:58 | More by bjohnson
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served a crisp deep ruby amber with a thin frothy head. The aroma was mild with caramel malts and citrus hops. The taste was a good balance of caramel malts and citrus hops, the beer was light and crisp. This is a very refreshing beer and definitely makes for a great session.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2007 03:47:44 | More by atsprings
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a fluffy egg shell colored head that leaves nice splotches of lace

Smell: Biscuity caramel malt aroma with some piney undertones

Taste: Lays down a nice biscuity caramel backbone which underlies some woody and earthy hop flavors, mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweet malt flavors re-assert themselves but the woody dryness keeps them in check

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of the best NC session brews out there; nice all around

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 23:40:36 | More by brentk56
Photo of ikats
ikats

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice red color, clear and glowing. No head, no lacing. Nice color, but need more carbonation.

Biscuit notes in the aroma. Some caramel. Filled with malty sweetness.

Taste is similar to aroma, but malty sweetness is complimented by some hops bitterness. Not spectacular, but still pretty tasty. And very drinkable. I would make a good session beer for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 04:48:19 | More by ikats
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.