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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

520 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,349
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.16%
Wants: 32
Gots: 220 | 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: 520 | Hads: 1,349
Photo of rustymoore
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper with a thick robust head that leads to a good amount of lacing. Smells of spices and hops. A bit fruity as well. Taste is sweet with brown sugar and caramel with a strong hop presence. Very tasty. Will have to incorporate this brew into my regular rotation as well.

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

thanks goes to Ross from another site for this. Poured a nice copper with a big light tan head that left some good lacing. aroma, malts, brown sugar,I swear, cererly, hops, a nice sweetness. flavor, a nice caramel comes out than the hops and malts, brown sugar as it warmd got a touch of alcohol. this was a very drinkable beer could throw down a few of these. Thanks again Ross you ROCK ON

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Photo of veech
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been a staple for me over the years because it's just damned good. A: Pours a tawny auburn with creamy light tan head. Solid carbonation and lacing persists. S: Carmelized malts dominate the nose with some hoppiness. T: Smooth with enough body to provide a sweet foundation that is evened out by a moderately hop laden finish for crispness. M: Slight viscosity with medium body D: Excellent flavor and medium body add up to a very drinkable smooth Irish Red. As with all Highland products, I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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

Pours a deep redish copper color with a three finger width tan head. Smell is malty with a nice soft and rounded hop aroma. Taste has a nice maltyness well balanced with hops (cascade and at least one other). Mouthfeel is good, the beer's thinkness on the tongue is well balanced with its carbination. Good drinkability.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This classicaly-colored Irish red has a big head that quickly vaporizes but leaves a nice lacing. It offers up quite fresh aromas of sugary malt, earthy and fruity hops, wood, light spices, and fresh baked bread. Great balance of deep malt sweetness, metallic dryness, hop bitter, and fruitiness. Fruity hop finish makes this one a bit different. Mouth and gut feel are both just a tad heavy, but I'm sure I could still do some damage to this.

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Photo of MattBrooks
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice head with good color and body. Has caramel aroma that blends nicely into the taste and a nutty, smooth, clean finish. I found it very easy to drink, with not a lot of aftertaste, but enough to get it by. Received in a trade, and I sure wish we could get it up here all the time.

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Photo of rowew
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck. Nicely designed plaid themed logo, no freshness info.

Appearance: Clear red color with a nice head that leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Smell: Lots of caramel sweetness, with a bit of spicy hops.

Taste: Starts off sweet and malty - with caramel flavors dominating. The hops come in a bit later to balance things, but the sweetness just barely wins out.

Overall impression: Very nice amber - just a bit too sweet to be a session beer for me though.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle, no date info, but bottle bottom inkjetted with 5149 B-11355.

Foggy bronzed orange. Popping, tall head of small and medium khaki bubbles that slowly settles to a frosting spread of fine bubbles. No carbonation streams. Caramel malts and fruity sweet hops with just a touch of grapefruit rind tartness. There is a slightly sweet malt character that bridges to the fruit and slightly peaked citrus hop finish that lingers for the blink of an eye. This is balanced to the point of equilibrium, but nothing stands out. There is no carbonation present which gives this a bland, flat mouthfeel that is not appealing. Medium to light body, but overall the mouthfeel was sub par. Merely mediocre, balanced, but neither the malt nor the hop component were distinctive. The missing carbonation did this one in.

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Photo of AaronMcDonald
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with about 3/4" head that quickly fades. Smell is earthy but with a hint of freshness. The malt is the first thing I noticed when drinking but some fresh hop flavor hit me at the end. Very high drinkability. Could definitely drink several of these. This is my first Highland brew but will have to check out more.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red with golden hues. 1/2" head quickly recedes to a spotty rim atop the beer.
Smell is earthy and flowery. Reminds me of spring time on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Taste is well balanced with some heavy maltness and a nice earthy and floral hop finish.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, but I think it is meant to be for this particular beer.
Well balanced, but still complex. Low in abv and light to medium bodied. The perfect session beer.
Yet another fine offering from Highland Brewing.

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

Poured a deep reddish ruby color with a nice one inch head that left some sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma was malty with just a little bit of a hop/pine smell. Taste was very malty and caramelly at first and ended with a good dose of hop spiciness in the finish. This beer was very smooth in the mouthfeel and easy to drink. Definitely a good session beer and I'm glad it was available on tap. The other choices were all bland macros in the particular pub I was visiting.

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

Pours a hazy deep amber/mahogany color with a thick tan head. Good head retention as well as some belgian lacing. Sweet malty caramel like aroma with just a little citrusy hops in the background. Flavor is nice caramel malts, spices of clove and a little pepper, and earthy hop bitterness. My first Highland beer, but I hope to try many others.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Scottish delight. Poured a mostly brown clear color with some reddish hues. A good off white head that stuck around and created swirls. Ok lacing as well.

The smell is a little sudsy and some lighter notes of malt. Not much of an overall smell really.

The taste has a spicy malt flavor. The malt is basic but limited caramel flavor, but at the end there is a spicy almost peppery finish to it. The hops are mild but some bittering hops are noticeable. A touch of earthy and piney flavors. There is a little bit of citrus finish but very subtle.

The body is mid to light. Some wispy flavors that aren’t exactly watery but close to it. Very easy to drink but could use more malty caramel flavor. Nice enough to enjoy in the Scottish hills of North Carolina.

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

Had this on tap at a local drafthouse.

Good looking beer. Nice head, not a lot of lacing. Dark, amber color.

Smelled good, hints of smokiness and hops, similar to a scotch ale.

Taste was good. Pretty good body to the beer. Lots of malt, kind of smoky flavor, again, similar to a scotch ale.

Not overly carbonated. Went down pretty easily.

Not sure if I would order this again or not. It wasn't a bad beer, but there are lots of other beers out there that I've liked better than this one.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful orange-bronze with a healthy dose of brick red. The cap is pale caramel in color, a perfect match for the beer beneath, and is firmly creamy with a multitude of surface bubbles and pits. There's no shortage of glass coverage either (several chubby rings eventually show up at mid-glass). Highland brews quality beer and their appearances, along with everything else, never fail to impress.

The nose is a little lacking, both in terms of power and in terms of personality. It's maltier than it is hoppy, with a brown sugary caramel malt presence and a subtle, spicy hoppiness. I get the sense that there's something good going on, but I need more to go on.

There's definitely no shortage of goodness where the flavor is concerned. I'm not a huge fan of Irish red ales, but this one is very much to my liking; possibly because it tastes exactly like what I think beer of this style should taste like. Toasted caramel malt still leads the way and puts me in mind of fruit marmalade and apple butter slathered brown bread toast. Dee-licious.

There's a fair amount of spicy, citric hop flavor without a lot of attendant hop bitterness. The hop bill is a 'should be impressive' combination of Chinook, Willamette and Cascade, but the brewers have apparently decided not to make their Irish red taste like an IPA. Can't say that I blame 'em. There are plenty of hops to go around, even though they defer to malt throughout the entirety of the mouthful.

The finish is gorgeously balanced and is much more extended than anticipated; the better to enjoy the wonderful flavor that much longer. Highland hasn't let me down yet when it comes to body/mouthfeel, and hasn't here. The mouthfeel is easily the equal of the flavor and is a perfect fit for it.

Gaelic Ale just might be the best Irish red that I've had yet and is another wonderful example of the brewing brilliance on display down in the Tar Heel State. This one is a keeper, but then these guys only brew keepers. Slainte!

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Photo of MrHolland
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany red with a thin off white head into my pint glass.

Smell - Has a citrus hop front to it not really much of anything else.

Taste - This is a pretty hoppy beer and is very balanced with the malts. Bitter hops at first then has a malt sweetness to end with.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and clean, soft on the palate with ample amount of carbonation.

I really enjoy this brew.. One of my first of this style and will deff. be revisiting.

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Photo of redelephantdane
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the bottle.

This beer pours a dark garnett-red with a frothy off white head that laces a little and leaves a bit of film the whole way down. The smells seems to be a mixture of pale and subtle roasted nutty malts. The taste brings back the same flavors present in the aromas however there is also a dimension of balanced subtle hoppiness that adds a slight bit of bitterness. There is a good amount of carbonation that combines nicely with some thickness that makes this beer have a good mouthfeel. Overall another good offering from the Highland Brewing company out of Asheville, NC

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Photo of clemtig76
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow - what a great looking beer! Pours a beautiful deep amber/mahogany color with a thick tan head. Good head retention as well as some sticky lacing. Sweet malty caramel like aroma with just a little citrusy hops in the background. Taste is a near perfect balance between the rich, sweet malts and hop bitterness. My first Highland beer and certainly not my last.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer is pleasant and mellow. Glassy reddish/ruby color. Modest foamy head settles pretty quick from an aggressive pour. Carbonation is there but slow and steady.

Smell is primarily malty, which brings out an almost cherry Nibs candy aroma, with some obvious hop undertones. Aromas could be more out front, I don't have a cold or anything and I'm just not "feeling it". Flavor is full, satisfying, crisp and dry, with an unobtrusive hoppy snap. Mouthfeel is really nice. With the insane amount of beers and styles out there, some don't even feel like Beer with a capital B, but when you have this one in the mouth, you know it's the real thing.

Good stuff that you could enjoy a few of in one sitting.

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

A solid beer from Highland, courtesy of NClifestyle. A bit more hoppy than the customary Irish Red, more in line with the American amber. Poured a chestnut with amber highlights. Not a lot of head on aggressive pour. Hopping was firm, but not excessive for the style, with a hint of grass and mild herbal notes. Went just a bit acidic at the finish, which helped clean up.

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

Draft pour produces a bright, copper amber brew with a small, but dense head of oatmeal hued froth, which leaves delicate lace as it disappears.

Aroma is predominantly sweet, roasty malts with touches of wildflowers, earthy hops, and a faint essence of citrus.

Flavor is mild and smooth with malty flavors on the fore and soft wildflower, honey, and English-tasting hops in the finish.

Body is medium, smooth and silky, with sift carbonation stemming from a constant stream of tiny rising bubbles.

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Photo of beerhandy
4/5  rDev +5%
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

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

appearance: thin white head, copper in color

smell: There is a nice balance of malt and hops. Plenty of fruity caramel type malt sweetness comes through, and some fresh hop aroma provides some balance. Very nice aroma for a red.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is around medium and the body the same, with a slight slickness left behind on the tongue.

taste: Very much like the aroma in terms of balance. The malts are well offset by the hops, which contribute bitterness as well as flavor. One of the more bitter reds I''ve had, and well done.

drinkability: limit of about 4 for me

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Gaelic Ale was served in a pint glass with a mediocre head and very impressive lacing. The color was a wonderful red-amber. I did my best to take in the bouquet and decipher what made it up, but couldn't get a good read. Maybe served too cold, maybe just a beer with mediocre aromatics.
The taste started off interestingly, somewhat bitter and quite hoppy, but quickly faded into a watery, tasteless beer. It had no tatse of being skunky or anything like that, but just finished with litle or no taste at all. The mouthfeel was also relatively flat, watery and uninteresting. it was a decent beer to have with friends but nothing very impressive.

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.