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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,119
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 26
Gots: 86 | 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
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Ratings: 1,119 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerisgood3

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%

A: A nice medium amber that has a slight cherry copper color. One finger light tan head which fades fairly quickly leaving a ring. Spotty lacing left as you drink.

S: Faint malts with a bit of pine. Very subtle smell.

T: Much better than the smell. A bit more hop presence than i expected in the first sip. A few sips in and you'll notice a strong malty finish. Malts tend to dominate the flavor more as it warms but you will be left with a finish just bitter/citrus enough to cut through the sweet and keep it in balance.

M: Good medium bodied beer that makes you want to take another sip. Goes down smoothly.

D: Easily a session beer.

Overall, a good beer. I would gladly drink these again. The BA grade will be lower than it should be simply because i did not rate the smell favorably as it was super subtle. Tastes good though.

02-16-2010 05:09:52 | More by Beerisgood3
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass. No date on the bottle.

A - Amber in color with great clarity, a small tan head and well defined lacing.

S - Caramel and toast with the smallest hint of fruit.

T - A nice malt foundation with caramel, bread, biscuits and a mild sweetness. There's a touch of hop flavor, a suggestion of fruit and a mild bitterness. This is a well balanced beer that sticks to the basics and doesn't disappoint.

M - A firm consistency with a moderate carbonation that allows the flavor to come through.

D - This is an easy drinking beer that few could object to.

02-13-2010 19:35:47 | More by GJ40
Photo of mullenite


3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

Glassware - Imperial Pint

Appearance - Dark amber/red in color, which makes sense. Nice two finger white head that leaves a lot of really great lacing on the glass.

Nose - Sweet caramel aroma, lots of caramel actually. Pretty sweet smelling. There is some biscuit in the background but I'm not picking up any sort of hop aroma.

Taste - Tastes very similar to the smell, lots of sweet caramel and some biscuit in the background and a slight bit of alcohol in the finish. Again there are no discernible hops in the taste. Kind of a bad thing, I like my ambers a little bit hoppy at least. The beer tastes good none the less. (On subsequent sips I started to pick up some chocolate?)

Mouthfeel - Nice medium body with decent carbonation. Has a surprisingly dry finish for how sweet the beer is overall.

Overall - Pretty good, I'd buy it if I were out and saw it but I don't think I'd grab a six-pack of it. Even just a little bit of bitterness to counter that sweetness.

02-10-2010 00:54:56 | More by mullenite
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

A-Pours a hazy amber with an off white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S-Sweet, with some caramel. There are some malts and hops present.

T-Hops up front with a nice malty finish. Caramel and a hint of toffee are present. This beer is perfectly balanced, crisp, and refreshing.

M-Perfectly carbonated.

D-Very,very drinkable. It is a session beer all the way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I am glad I bought a six pack and I will deffinitely drink this more often.

02-08-2010 03:48:05 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of rockyfire

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.3%

I had this beer at the Lighthouse in Wrightsville.This beer is clear in body. Amber and Red in color. Off-white head is ok and pops butt does not last long. Big malt in aroma backed up by s light citric flavour. I wonder what hops they use. Flavor is malt with moderate hopping. Not a bad North Carolina beer.

02-07-2010 02:44:23 | More by rockyfire
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -6%

Appearance: Poured a clear copper colored amber. One finger head with little retention. Visible carbonation. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Fragrance sweet and juicy hops, with a mild malt backing. Sweet citrus and cherry. Very fruity smelling (in a good way).

Taste: Definitely more malts in the taste than in the nose. Sweet citrus (grapefruit) hops with a strong backing of roasted malts. Very simple in taste, but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. Slightly filling.

Drinkability: A good solid amber ale. More hops in the nose than usual, but the taste is well balanced between hops and malts. A quality offering.

Buy Again? Yes

02-06-2010 04:33:20 | More by jonziefle
Photo of CBlack85

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a nice amber/orange color with lots of copper highlights throughout. There is a nice off white head that disappears rather quickly, with a fair amount of lacing.

Quite a bit of malty sweetness at first with some hints of caramel, a little bitter hop aroma starts to come through as the beer warms.

Lots of caramel in the taste, much more in the taste than in the smell. Also, quite noticable, is the taste of spicy hops, lots of citrus in the overall hop presence. Well balanced, and just the right amount of carbination. Easy to drink.

Overall impression, is that this is a very nice, well put together beer.

01-24-2010 02:41:18 | More by CBlack85
Photo of nrbw23


2.05/5  rDev -46.2%

A- I'm not sure if I got a bad bottle or what but this one poured a hazy golden orange color. Also had quite a bit of floaters and a large amount of sediment at the bottom of my glass.

S- First thing I noticed was citrus hops and that was about it.

T- Citrus hops and a sour metal taste is about all that I'm picking up.

M- Medium in body and pretty much no carbonation.

D- Wow, couldn't finish this one at all. I hope I just got a bad bottle.

01-12-2010 09:59:19 | More by nrbw23
Photo of cpetrone84


3.1/5  rDev -18.6%

A-the bottle pours a reddish amber color with a thin one finger of an off white head that has no retention and leaves no lace on the glass

S-very light nose, almost nothing there. what i do get is a bready malt with some caramel. also seems to be a note of pale malt in there with a little citrus.

T-the taste is also very light and brings pale malts with a touch of caramel giving way to a hint of citrus that is over taken by bitterness in the finish

M-has a nice medium body and is slightly syrupy with a slickness at the back of the throat

D-great mouthfeel on a rather pedestrian tasting beer.

01-12-2010 00:21:17 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of elgiacomo


3/5  rDev -21.3%

Aug 4, 2009

12oz. bottle. Pours dark amber with a small off-white head.

Aroma is piney hops.

Flavor is caramel malts up front and piney hops on the finish. Some molasses, brown sugar, and spice as well.

Mouthfeel is creamy with medium carbonation.

This one got MUCH better as it warmed. When cold, it was quite dull and 1-dimensional, but came to life as it warmed in the glass.

01-11-2010 03:54:22 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of MrStark

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a farily amber with hints on orange and an off white one finger foamy head with good retention and lacing.

Smell consists of slightly sweet malts with a bit of hops thrown in as well.

Taste is nice blend of toasted, almost caramel malts with a hop presence in the finish. While not the most complex flavor it is pretty well balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good amount of carbonation leaving a little bite on the tongue.

Drinkability is great! Its a tasty brew that goes down easy and would make for quite a nice session beer. I look forward to having quite a few of these in the future.

01-08-2010 02:09:19 | More by MrStark
Photo of maleman


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. no freshness dating noted on bottle.

A - a cloudy dark amber with a one finger head that receded quickly into a thin cap. thin, clingy lacing.

S - very heavy sweet malt aroma with a bit of chocolate, or coffee.

T - toasted malt that belied the sweetness in the nose. the coffee/chocolate tones continue coming through. a good bit of piney resin in the aftertaste.

M - medium-bodied. average carbonation. tasty finish.

D - this brew was given as a christmas gift but ended up being one of the best gifts i received! nice job by this small brewery in asheville. will purchase more of this brew when i'm in the area again.

12-31-2009 20:06:32 | More by maleman
Photo of GeezLynn


4/5  rDev +5%

Attractive red-amber color with a thin beige head.
Rich caramel and biscuit malty smell with noticeable pine hop and another particular aroma that I can't put my finger on.
Flavor matches the aroma for the most part with full sweet malts - toasted biscuit and a little bit of roasted malt flavor - which are nicely complemented by a touch of bitterness from the Cascade hops. Finish is long and sweet with just a bit of floral spicyness. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied.
I have had this beer on tap a few times before and was not impressed. But poured out of the bottle, I was pleasantly surprised with this beer and found it not to be another one of those bland, boring Amber Ales. Definitely interesting enough to enjoy a few in succession.

12-17-2009 05:13:54 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of thain709


4/5  rDev +5%

A - Poured your typical amber body with some reddish tints...a cream, one finger, off white head formed and slowly fell into spots of a cap but a solid ring...decent lacing

S - The malts stand out because the are sweet and slightly roasted...but the hops are not overlooked as the provide an earthy backbone

T - The taste mirrors the nose...a sweet, caramel malt bill up front with some hints of roastiness...the middle provides a light buttery biscuit flavor but just very faint...the ending of this beer is pleasant...it's a tad bitter from the piney hops...the hops are then taken over by the malts and in rushes a finish of chocolate...you then get a slight bitterness from the cocoa beans and hops

M - Medium bodied...smooth and creamy with a nice finish

D - This was my first offering from Highland and I am very pleased...I wish I could get this around here regularly...a good malty yet slightly hoppy amber...I'm looking forward to more from Highland

11-23-2009 21:55:32 | More by thain709
Photo of RomaniIteDomum


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a beautiful dark amber color with an epic foamy head that sticks around for some tiem. Nice lacing.

Smells hoppier than expected. Great malty nose among the hops.

The taste is very nice. The malt is great with some nice sweet notes. Not as hoppy as the nost, which is a shame, but still a little bitter on the finish.

The beer is nicely balanced in the mouth. Nice creamy feeling.

Very drinkable. Too bad the store I found this in only had individual bottles and no sixers.

11-20-2009 05:04:30 | More by RomaniIteDomum
Photo of EvilPumpkin


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

A: Deep ruby red with a nice thick off white head that retains well till the bottom of the glass with a little lacing.

S: Strong malt with a noticeable sweetness and a very slight hop spice at the very tail end.

T: Very similar to the smell. The malt comes through sweet initially followed by a nice bready flavor. The hops follow with a slight spice and then a clean bitterness that lingers for a bit.

M: An initial creaminess is broken by a moderate level of carbonation that dances on the tongue until the beer is swallowed.

D: Highly drinkable. A well rounded beer balanced nicely between malts and hops as well as creaminess and carbonation. If I lived around here I could definitely use this as a basic session standard.

11-14-2009 02:59:56 | More by EvilPumpkin
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +1%

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

a-deep amber red color...classifies the style except for the lack of head however there is decent lacing and nice bubbles

s-malts dominate up front...a little caramel and the slightest hops in the finish

t-malty bread up front..a tad bit of caramel in the middle..hops finish this brew out quite nice and linger on the tongue a bit..

m-creamy smooth makes this a really nice drink...fluffy and a tad slick...slightest bit of stickiness from the hops

d-could have a few of these a night and not regret it..

11-09-2009 23:29:57 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of 0tt0


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours a nice, reddish amber with an creamy off-white head. Nose is of caramel and bread with a light honey-like sweetness faintly in the background. Flavor is remarkably balanced: Caramely, rich malts dominate with a nice hop tingle. The hops, however, don't get lost at all. The finish is long and lingering.

The real star of the show, though, is the mouthfeel. Its medium-full and creamy and pushes what is clearly a good beer into another realm. Terrific on a cool fall evening.

10-22-2009 00:36:00 | More by 0tt0
Photo of dstc


4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a rosy amber with a nice light tan head that falls slow to a minimal head. Thin lacing.

Aroma is sweet but hops are present as well.

Obvious hop taste although it's rather mild. Has malt characteristics too. Nice balance with the sweet and the mild, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Smooth and somewhat full in the mouth.

Easy drinking.

09-22-2009 13:44:27 | More by dstc
Photo of smcolw


3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

I have heard about this brewery for a couple of years but have yet to find any their beers offered in New England. I found this one at a restaurant in Atlanta.

Traditional neutral amber color. Mild head with no specific lace.

The aroma most closely resembles warmed milk to me. I don't detect any specific malts or hops but it is overall appealing.

The taste is better than most. I particularly enjoy the balance. There's a solid (lighter) malt base with a pleasant hop counterpoint--not really bitter or biting. The body is okay, but the carbonation seems to be a little high.

09-18-2009 21:26:13 | More by smcolw
Photo of BlackBearForge


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a bright coppery red with a foamy white head which leaves thick curtains of lacing as it subsides.

The smell is faint but I pick up fresh malts and a light floral hop aroma.

The taste is hop bitterness first and then finishing on sweet malt. There are tastes of apple and toasted malt, resiny notes from the hops with a background citrus. There are also notes of caramel and nut, say pecan and also sour fruit. Nicely integrated flavors.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and on the light side of medium. It is slick, creamy and finishes smooth with just a slight touch of alcohol.

Very nice beer to drink and goes down quickly. Highland Brewery lives up to it's reputation!

09-16-2009 22:46:09 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of BeerMark


4/5  rDev +5%

Highland Gaelic Ale is my first beer from Highland Brewing. Nice amber color but appears a little thin. Makes up for the watery look by being pretty flavorfull. Malts and caramel are present with just a touch of hops. A better than average American Amber Red Ale. Excellant drinkability.

09-10-2009 11:43:10 | More by BeerMark
Photo of botham

New York

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

12 oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours a rich aber/copper color with a half finger of eggshell colored head. good retention and lacings.

aroma is of rich caramel malts and lightly breaded malts with a bit of crystalized sugars. lightly sweet in the nose.

taste is of lots of caramel malts up front with a mildly sweet character along with a very light finish of residual malts, dark and a bit of bready malts.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly sticky on the palate. nice finish of sticky, lightly sweet caramel malts.

drinkability is decent, but it ends up a bit bland without any real character to call its own. just another amber beer without any redeeming qualities. drinks easily though.

09-10-2009 01:02:17 | More by botham
Photo of Mosstrooper


4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

Poured from 12oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a sort of cloudy amber color with a small, thin whitish-tan head. The head is gone quickly, but leaves a bit of foam around the glass and floating at the top of the beer.

Smell: Sweet, toasty malt with hints of butter and a floral hop aroma rounding it all out.

Taste: Starts of buttery with a hint of apricot, finishing with a bitter, nutty hop taste and toasty malt.

Mouthfeel: Sort of "sticky", with a medium body. Balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall this is a very nice ale and offers exactly what I expect from the style, though it may not necessarily be enough to be considered outstanding. A nice find at Kroger, and definitely worth it when shopping at a place like that.

09-07-2009 19:09:06 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of wahhmaster


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-bronwn kinda tawny color with a foamy head. Head leaves considerable lacing as it dissipates.

Smell: Smells sweet and definitely malty. A small hint of hops comes out in the smell as well.

Taste: Definitely hoppy with a nice malty taste to it as well. Leaves a strong but pleasnt hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth. A little on the thin-and-carbonated side but not overpoweringly so.

Drinkability: A solid ale. Definitely one of the better Scottish-style ales out there. Give it a shot!!

09-07-2009 19:08:44 | More by wahhmaster
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,119 ratings.