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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,045 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,045
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 21
Gots: 54 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 01-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,045 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Skeeordye

A- pours a nice ruby red orange color that looks quite clean and crisp. A nice fluffy one finger red brown head coats the top of my beer and leaves a lattice lacing on the glass.

S- aroma is weak but i get hints of brown sugar and sweet malts. some caramel and/or toffee rounds it out.

T- a nice caramel and toffee type of taste. Its like it was caramelized with the brown sugar. very sweet and somewhat hoppy to round out the taste buds.

M- sweet and hoppy but in a good way. the complement each other quite well. smooth and crisp just like the way it appears.

D- a nice smooth clean beer. This is one you could pound back a sixer in a few hours but anymore than that and you would feel like you ate an entire 3 course meal. very filling beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 18:24:12 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of cnjohn19
cnjohn19

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

the more and more i taste beers from this brewery, the more and more i like them...their beer will not overwhelm you at first, but give it time, and don't give up on highlands...if nothing else b/c asheville is a hidden treasure...

pours a gorgeous red-orange...hold it up to the light and it becomes a deep red...the head is lacking for the most part and simply retreats over time...

a sweet smell of caramel, dark hard candy, and a tad mandarin orange...i think...malts dominate the nose...very balanced taste (almost too balanced for everything going on here)...a calm taste, malts def. shine through, with a slite piney hops aftertaste...very sweet, more than i was expecting, and i like it...the aftertaste takes a while to get used to, but once you do you grow to enjoy it...

at first the beer is very balanced, but upon swallowing it sharpens and becomes slightly bitter...i imagine the hops are coming through now...easy to enjoy several of these beers in the fall seasons...

the bottle reads: "a deep american amber colored ale, featuring a rich malty body. cascade and willamette hops add a complex hop flavor and aroma. this ale is exceptionally balanced between malty sweetness and delicate hop bitterness."...overall, i think they nailed it...cheers to highland for this one....

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 03:39:40 | More by cnjohn19
Photo of djeucalyptus
djeucalyptus

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a beautiful bright amber with hints of red. a creamy two-finger cream colored head has impressive retention, fading to a thin frothy cap that leaves beautiful lacing.

aroma is malty and earthy with hints of caramel and toffee. brown sugar and hints of hoppy spice... pepper and a bit of clove... but sugar and malt dominate. relatively neutral... not bad, but not stunning.

Taste is malt, caramel, and some hoppy spice. a bit peppery, a bit tangy, and then a bit of pine and a touch of citrus hops pull through. more malt, a hint of peat, a bit of smoked wood and more caramel. fairly sweet with a lingering roasted malt bitterness. Right on the line between 3.5 and 4... i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

mouth is smooth, full bodied for the style, with beautiful creamy carbonation that makes this one a pleasure to drink. the carbonation carries across the spice nicely without being overwhelming, and remains soft enough to be creamy. a nice lingering bitterness hangs subtly.

all in all, one of the better ambers I've had. appearance is incredible, and flavor doesn't fall far behind. the delicious mouthfeel really makes it enjoyable, and just goes to prove that highland can make some fairly impressive brews. Nothing amazingly out of the ordinary, but a damn good amber.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 07:15:25 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

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

A lovely amber in color (surprise!) with a pretty little creamy head.

It smells lightly of biscuit malt and hops.

A nice biscuit and caramel flavor with a well-balanced hop bitterness and a nice hop flavor to boot.

Good, solid body.

Another winner from Highland Brewing. This one is full-flavored and nicely balanced. A good all-around ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 07:05:56 | More by Shaw
Photo of nocheinsbitte
nocheinsbitte

North Carolina

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

had this bier from a 12-oz bottle.

A: Pour a beautiful amber color that is a shade darker than a fest bier and not quite as dark as a stout. Nice head that lasts a good amount of time; good lacing.
S: unassuming, caramel smell that is not overpowering at all. Maybe they don't want to take away from the taste.
T: Malty, caramelish with good carbonation. Not as crisp as I thought or would like, but not bad. No after taste, a little watery.
M: When you combine no bad odor with a creamy caramel taste, it is good.
D: I could have a couple of these, but that is all.

Overall, a good bier but not a great one. I do recommend it; do yourself a favor and try this bier. Prosit!

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 23:16:56 | More by nocheinsbitte
Photo of JonMich13
JonMich13

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Nice deep amber, small whitish head and lite lacing.

S = Sweet smell of caramel malts, very lite notes of hops.

T = Delicious sweet caramel malt dominates the palate. There is some lite hop bitterness that tries to come about, but the balance is heavily in favor of the sweetness. A little better balance on the back end would do this one some good.

M = Nice medium to slightly thick mouthfeel.

D = This one is definitely an easy drinker. I could easily go 3 or 4 deep.

Solid brew from an underrated brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 12:39:28 | More by JonMich13
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It's darker than I'd expect from a red--more brown than amber. A 1" head thins out to a still creamy-looking foam top. Lacing is impressive, but ultimately I'm put off by what I think is too dark a red, amber beer.

The smell is good and malty--guess that's why it's so dark, huh? I also smell the hops. Although I've been improving on my hop-type distinctions, I admit I can't distinguish Cascade from Willamette. I do acknowledge a complexity with the hop/malt balance.

It's a good beer. As I rate each of the characteristics here, I'm continually surprised by the maltiness of this beverage. I'm more familiar with Cascade hops...perhaps Willamette are significantly more subtle? Or maybe this beer just has a lot of malts. That makes it taste good, but I can't help but feel that this much malt is inappropriate for a red, amber ale. Are malts what make reds red? Maybe that's why the beer's so brown. Regardless, the beer basically tastes good--though in a complex way:)

Not a whole lot to the mouthfeel. Again the malts dominate and leave a sort of chocolatey taste on the palate, but I still feel that that's not what I'm supposed to get from a red ale. This beer is much different than other ambers--not that it's much better or much worse--it's like it's mislabeled. Still, it's not a stout. Maybe it's more like a dopplebock. Though I'm not sure what exactly it is in terms of style, it tastes good and the mouthfeel is better-than-average.

Drinkability is below average because the malts make this a relatively heavy amber ale. Not that I expect to drink reds on a hot summer day, but I don't expect reds to conjure up images of Willy Wonka. A good beer, but one of the first I've come across about which I've questioned the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 00:40:48 | More by marvin213
Photo of cjl1209
cjl1209

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"A deep amber colored American ale, featuring a rich malty body. Cascade and Willamette hops add a complex hop flavor and aroma. This ale is exceptionally balanced between malty sweetness and delicate hop bitterness." Website says Chinook hops too.

A - Medium brown/cola color with a very small tan head. Surprisingly nice lacing considering the lame head.

S - Intense floral scent with light malt notes

T - Finely balanced just like advertised. On the tongue expect plenty of roasted malts while giving a good mouth swirl will yield a nice hoppy bitter characteristic. Bitterness lingers after you swallow and the malt flavor returns.

M - Smooth with light carbonation. Not exactly creamy but a bit heavier than expected.

D - This brew is easy drinking. However I could see the hops being a bit much after several of theses if you're not a fan of bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 02:03:51 | More by cjl1209
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

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

A solid offering from Highland Brew Co.
A: Pours an amber/rose color that produces a nice bright head (off-white) that leaves nice lacing along the glass

S: Interesting nose...malts dominate the hops, but the hops are still there...Caramel, molasses, spicy, and earthy

T: Toasted malts, caramel, hops, brown sugar, spices, and again, an earthy note

MF/D: A little bitter in my opinion, finishes smooth and clean

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 01:15:19 | More by scottyshades
Photo of mwa423
mwa423

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very nice ruby red color with very little head that dies down quickly

S - Typical malt smell, though not overpowering like many of this style tend to be.

T - Lots of malt to go along with the aroma, with a wee bit of hop bite at the end. There is also a caramel aftertaste. Very good!

M - Very smooth, goes down extremely easy, makes you want the next sip!

D - Easily sessionable, if I could get more of this in Ohio, I would put it in regular rotation.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 21:56:53 | More by mwa423
Photo of ThaBobfather
ThaBobfather

Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very solid pour here. It's a reddish, deep ruby color with white head.
There is a little smell here, but not highly noticeable.
There is good amber spice here. Very smooth and the bit of bitter transitions into amber spice very well.
Very drinkable, and the amber stays with me for a bit on my tongue, which is great.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 01:36:44 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of UA8
UA8

Washington

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

A- Pours a reddish amber with with a thin tan head.

S- Leads with malts, a little background of dried dates and released alcohol.

T- Toasty malts lead the way a touch of floral hops on the mid-palate and finishes nice roasty with a slight nutty flavor.

M- Carbonation is moderate in a amount and soft in texture.

D- It's a touch rough around the edged but a very drink able brown/ amber I like this a lot.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 20:10:14 | More by UA8
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Brilliant ruby body with visible carbonation. Tan head initially but it fell.

S: Decent aroma. Good malt with a bit of caramel.

T: Nice malt body but maybe a touch too much malty sweetness. Decent bitterness. It's kind of a cluttered beer.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Not a bad ale but the balance is off.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 02:17:48 | More by drseamus
Photo of drink1121
drink1121

California

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown Ale meets Scots Ale,in pretty much every facet.

A - Good looking beer. Nice Auburn brown/copper color with a 3 finger head. Good retention.

S - Toasted malt smell, which naturally smells a bit nutty. Caramel/toffee hints.

T - Tastes like it smells

M - Brown meets Scots again here.

D - I had 2. Thats about all I could have, but def enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2009 14:35:21 | More by drink1121
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber/copper color with a small sirty white head. Nose is malt forward without a doubt. Taste os malty, taste much like a scitch ale than an amber. Hints of deep malts perhaps crystal, 2 row and hints of light cocoa, caramel and toffee. Some biscuity notes as well. Mouthfeel is nice, coating, light cocoa and toffee, Good indeed. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 03:32:20 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack at Whole Foods in South Beach. Appeared a dark amber-red, not far from a brown ale, and with a white head. The beer drinks dry, yet it feels a bit heavy at the same time. The flavor has a mix of herbal and citrus hops with light toffee, caramel, and biscuit malts. Overall, it comes off light an American red ale with a twist. Well made and certainly worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 01:26:14 | More by tempest
Photo of paulthebeerguru
paulthebeerguru

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a wonderful clear orangish red. Light tan head with a low retention rate. Decent lacing.

S: some light hop aroma. Some outdoor wood notes, like a hiking trip to me.

T: malty, almost biscuity, but something is missing. Nice caramel malts. Moderately hopped. A little grassy.

M: easily drinkable. Very smooth and crisp. Good carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 16:57:31 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy deep orange, almost brown color. Very little in the way of foam, but leaves a thin collar around the edges most of the way through.

Smells fresh and delicious. Nose is a bit on the light side as I get some cereal grain sweetness and a touch of grassy hops.

Wow, this is an extremely tasty brew. Very smooth and creamy. Citrusy hop flavor is much more pronounced in the flavor. Has a nice corn flake touch to it that adds a bit of toasty complexity. A very nice beer that I would love to have access to on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 18:54:30 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of bluegrassbrew
bluegrassbrew

Georgia

3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep and rich looking red. It has a nice off white head that leaves scant lacing.

Smell is caramel and toffee. Just a slight hop presence in the nose. Very nice.

Taste is where I was a bit let down. Some initial malt followed by a slight bitterness even sourness at some points.

Overall, this beer looks great and smells inviting. The mouthfeel is a bit watery for me and the flavors are not quite what the nose hinted at. Still a decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 18:14:13 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap on Twain's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark red with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles leaving decent lacing.

Smells of very lightly toasted malts with faint citrus aromas. An earthy spiciness, a notch or two down from rye spiciness, comes out as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The malt is once again front and center, mainly sweet but with traces of the aforementioned spiciness. Again, light citrus flavors join in late in the sip before giving way to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. Good thickness and carbonation for the style make this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished one without a problem, and could have more than one of these in a sitting.

Overall I'm glad I revisited this beer, as when I had it from the bottle on numerous previous occasions it had a metallic taste that turned me off for a while. A new recipe or the fact that I had it from the tap make this beer a whole lot better. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2009 03:07:42 | More by glid02
Photo of beer2day
beer2day

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours redish with borwn and gold tints. Building head that lingered through the first half of the pint. Yeasty, slighty peaty nose with hints of citrus and spice.

Flavor is mainly domninated by malt as suggested by the nose. Slight bitters in the finish, some citrus, but nothing to get excited about.

Wish this was more of a scotch ale, but just not there.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2009 01:41:33 | More by beer2day
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Highland Gaelic Ale pours a reddish copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. I like the aroma, it's mostly malty. Toasted malt up fr;ont and at the end with a nice amount of hops in the middle. The mouthfeel is on the thick side, especially for this style, but I find it enjoyable. Pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 00:45:34 | More by Drew966
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

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

Pours a light red/ruby tinted body with one-finger head and some lace. A mild sweet malt smell along with minor hop notes. Medium-bodied although it straddles being light-bodied, the malt notes and hops are subdued for a light, sweet sensation that gives the tongue a minor prick on the backbite. Caramel malts and citric hops are present but nothing overpowering. An alright red that I could have again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2009 18:22:48 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a small off white head. Not much retention with splotchy lacing.

Very malty, fruity, sweet scent. To be honest, there's not really a whole lot to the nose here.

Taste matches the nose, but the flavors take the main stage while the aroma takes the backseat. Sweet and very malty with a twang of hop bitterness at the very end. Dry finish.

Feel is very smooth. There's a nice creaminess. Medium body. Excellent balance. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 04:22:02 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of StarlightSeraph
StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish-mahogany color, with a three finger pinkish-white head. Left scattered lacing, and 1/4 of an inch or so of the head lingered for the entire glass

Smell: A lot of things I wasn't expecting. Smells very sweet, with hints of gingerbread and cinnamon. Smells a LOT like a winter warmer as compared to a straight amber. I like it, though.

Taste: Wow. Sweet, bready - the gingerbread is very evident. Has a very crisp finish, but that gingerbread flavor lingers in the mouth for a long time. Only a slight hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Leaves you wanting more.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation. *Slightly* thinner then I would have liked, but that's nitpicking.

Drinkability: Despite the sweetness/unusual flavors, it's a very easy drinking beer. This would make an outstanding base for a winter warmer, and has more flavor than any amber/red I've had so far. Outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 22:17:13 | More by StarlightSeraph
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.