Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,302 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,302
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 196 | 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: 1,302 | Reviews: 532
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.

Photo of wcdoyle
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of cktison
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of beermanbrian
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of bjohnson
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Photo of atsprings
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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

Photo of ikats
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of ski271
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium-dark ruby color with a touch of amber and a small, off-white, milky, quickly-diminishing head. The smell has a good balance of toasted malts and citrus and piney hops. Brown sugar sweetness in the nose and taste. Caramel, grainy bread and doughy yeast. It has a medium body, dry texture and low carbonation. Smells better than it tastes, but it’s still refreshing and above average.

Photo of nriech
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper. Lots of head dissapating quickly. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: Citrus and hoppy. Obvious flavors coming from the type of hops used. Caramel and alcohol are present also.

Taste: The hops actually are blended in nicely. Almost like an extra hoppy ale but not so far as an IPA. Very easy to drink. No alcohol taste present. Good balance on the aftertaste with fruit and malt. A good choice.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice amber color with a slight haze. There isn’t a lot of head and no lacing. The smell was caramel and malty with a hoppy freshness. The taste is malty with a nice hop balance. The mouthfeel is full without being heavy. The carbonation is noticeable. This is a smooth beer which is quite drinkable.

Photo of Conrad
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely colour to this one. A rich copper/gold with a thin off-white head that settled quickly and left a medium lacing.
Smell was hard to pick up on at first. I had to bury my nose in the glass to identify them. But then I discovered a nice balance of toasty malt and floral hops. Maybe a bit of citrus or pine.
Taste was the winner. An amazing balance between malts and hops. A very well built beer. The taste is just plain good beer. No pretentions of grandeur. You don't have to wax poetic on the comples flavours because there ain't none.
Body is medium, with a clean dry finish. Very nice on the palate. the bitters don't remain long, which encourages going back for another slurp.
Drinkability is my favourite category. This one wins hands down. It goes down smooth and easy. This is a good session beer. Maybe a six pack with a platter of junk food in front of the TV to watch the game of your choice.

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

got this via trade! Gotta love BA!

A - Rich ruby red, with a thin off-white head.

S - Nice malty smell, caramel and a little floral hops.

T - Similar to smell. Nice caramel flavors with just enough hops to keep it from being too sweet.

M - Medium body, decent carbonation. Finishes clean.

D - I like my beers on the maltier side and this one worked great for me. Yes sir, may I have another?

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark gold slightly rust colored from a 12oz bottle. Smells very hoppy with a strong whiff a citrus. Not much head and there is medium lacing. First taste…quite smooth but less hoppy than I thought base on the smell, but more hoppy than malty. I cannot wonder what this ale would be like on draft. Another fine showing from the folks at Highland!

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,302 ratings.