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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,251 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,251
Reviews: 522
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 29
Gots: 171 | 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: 1,251 | Reviews: 522
Photo of HardTarget
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber red glass with good clarity, but only holds a thin partial cover that gives a little lace.

Smell: Bit of English hops and yeast on a slightly candy sweet malt base.

Taste: Clean, slightly sweet crystal malt flavor, nicely balanced with no off flavors; easy drinking.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium light carbonation, slightly oily finish.

Overall: A nicely crafted beer. Everything an amber/red should be, easy to drink, enough flavor to make it worthwhile.
Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

Photo of Neorebel
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brownish amber beer with a very small head and very little lacing. Nice sweet aroma and taste that reminds me a bit of a Bock beer. Earthy raisin, toffee, and also a bit of grapefruit zest from the hops. The medium mouthfeel and balance makes this a drinkable brew almost anytime.

Photo of fmccormi
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to my trusty Cigar City snifter. No bottling or freshness date visible.

Appearance (4.0): Beautiful pour, a very nice red-amber color with a light khaki head, maybe one very fat finger thick, fading to some splotches on the top, a ring on the edge of the glass, and moderate lacing. Clear body, nice and red.

Smell (4.0): Nice mix of light caramel and mildly sugary-sweet malts, blending well with some tropical hop fruitiness—smells faintly of fresh, ripe pineapple. Bready malts in the back.

Taste (4.5): Just-barely-sweet, bready malt base quickly followed by some grassy hop bitterness, mixing smoothly with a slightly astringent quality coming off some mild toast in the barley here. Very nice, smooth transition with distinct phases. Grassy / herbal bitterness from the hops sustain in the finish, relatively pronounced on the grassy side. Yeast note has the feel of an English bitter, like an ESB.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Dry finish, medium-bodied in the middle with a nice, slightly creamy effervescence on the front end. Nice mouthfeel, for sure.

Overall (4.5): I’m definitely impressed with this beer. Red Ales usually aren’t my thing—I can dig super hoppy American Amber / Red Ales like Nugget Nectar, but I generally don’t derive much joy from Irish Reds, for instance. This is pretty tasty, though. Nice mix of Old and New World takes on the Amber / Red category. Definitely not the Nugget Nectar hop bomb type of AA/R, it leans more towards the Irish side of things. Maybe because of that, I bet this would be killer on cask, too. Surprised by how much I liked this, actually, especially after not liking the Oatmeal Porter very much. Nice work, Highland.

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

Ruddy brown with a khaki head leaving decent lace.

Smell is sweet caramel malts, a hint of golden raisin, and herbal hops.

Taste is also nice caramel, a little bread pudding vibe, nice bitterness to balance the finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is good, a a tasty amber, nice maltiness.

Photo of oline73
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a half finger of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Malty sweet with some caramel and cherry hints.

Taste: Malt is the dominant flavor with some sweetness that reminds me of caramel and some cherry as well. There is a hint of bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I had this while watching a Penn State game and it served its purpose well. It's good, but not very interesting.

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

Bottle poured into a pint.

A: A coppery red with a nice off white head that lingers and leaves some good lacing. The color is pretty hazy.

S: Slightly toasted and buttery malts.

T: It is slightly bitter but mostly a blend of malt like flavors: bread, lightly toasted grain, and sweet sugars. There is a slight tart candy like twinge at the end.

M: There is nothing special here but it certainly isn't bad.

O: This is a very easy drinking ale. It is a beer that is good for any weather and is one that someone who isn't into more craft like beers could easily handle. Pretty Good stuff.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy dark amber color with a nice head that dissipates quickly. Nose includes flowers, toast, some citrus, and cooked veggies.

The flavor is slightly sweet and grainy with a nicely balanced hoppy zing. Primarily, the flavors I get are toast, marmalade, and a touch of citrus. The flavors don't really last though and the finish is a bit mild. Still, what flavors there are tend to be balanced and refreshing. There's also a sizeable punch of cascade hops. I used to homebrew and know cascade when I taste it (it was practically all I could get at the time). It's unmistakeable.

Photo of sweethome
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky dark amber color. White head look a little out of place for this dark beer. Sweet carmel nose. Nice, rich malts await. Just a hint of hop resins on nose too.

Medium mouthfeel - sweetness flows out to envelope palate. Clean malt flavor profile. Not overly complex, but again - clean malty profile. A hint of clover honey. Just rich enough to satisfy. Flavorful with out being complex - an easy drinking Scottish style ale. Not overly true to style - but it works nicely.

Photo of KMcG
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this served from a pitcher. When poured into a pint glass, the head developed nicely. It was creamy, off-white, and pretty thick. The color of the brew is a clear, rich amber. 

The smell is sweet and caramely with hints of bright, light citrus hops. 

The taste is toasty, malty, and sweet with a mild bitter bite of citrus hops at the end. 

This brew is medium bodied with mild carbonation.  It's easy drinking and not filling. 

Photo of bbeane
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... starts with a weak head that is gone in no time. Beer is a nice reddish amber color with some mild activity

S- Has a nice malty aroma, caramel, toffee, and some mild hoppy notes coming through

T- Caramel, toffee, slightly bready with some hinting hop flavor coming through. All the flavor ends kind of abruptly though. Where your hoping there a bit of bite in the finish, it just ends

M- Light carbonation, little slick... medium body

O- I'm starting to think it's hard to not make a decent amber ale. Almost every one that I've ever tasted had nice flavor and was a relatively worthwhile session beer... as is this one

CHEERS!!

Photo of CHADMC3
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber body with copper hues and a light tan head that is quite persistent before finally giving way to a thin lacing.

Very sweet malts highlight the aroma followed by an earthy or woody hop and perhaps caramel or toffee. On second thought, there seems to be some maple like qualities in the aroma as well.

The flavor offers a malt that is much more bread-like, again earthy hops, and perhaps some toffee hint but resorting back to grain.

Pretty smooth beer, medium in body and medium carbonation, but at times a touch chewy.

A fairly nice example, perhaps not the traditional American Amber/Red, but quite good nonetheless.

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

Poured bottle into Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Aroma was malt, but was subtle. Appearance was an orange amber hue with a finger-breadth tan head that dissipated in a minute leaving behind a small smount of lacing. Good carbonation with hops and initial bitterness greeted the palate before the malty sweetness provided the balanced finish. Overall, a very nice ale.

Photo of tdm168
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lynnwood Grill

Arrived a nice copper-amber but no head. Nose is malty with mild hops and fruits. Taste is caramel malts up front with a nice fruity sweetness too. There is just enough hops in the finish to lend balance to this beer. Medium bodied and very smooth.

I think this is a very good beer. I come back to it again and again when I want something rich, balanced, and highly drinkable.

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. I poured agressive & didnt get too much head on it. Pours a murky dark amber, very murky & opaque even when held to light. Off white/tan head leaves moderate lacing down the glass.

Bready caramel malts in the nose along with mild piney hop presence.

Taste is a mismatch, still bready but dominated by nutty flavors. Caramel malts & breadiness up front, transitions into an orgy of nutty flavors & finally washes back with mildly drying earthy floral hop bitterness.

Body is medium here (5/10) with a nice complimental drying finish.

Overall, one of the better Amber Ales I have had & very nice on the wallet @ $1.49/bottle or $8.49/6pak.

Photo of Matt1516
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A surprising pour: Dark amber with a small to medium foamy off-white head. Slight lacing through the session. Hoppy smell with breadiness.

Great creamy mouthfeel. Lots of caramel and hops in the taste, fresh bread and sour malts. Semi-sweet aftertaste with a touch of dryness.

One of the better red ales I've had of late.

Photo of ColdPoncho
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - amber/red body, clear, small off white head.

S - vanilla, sweet malts. Not bad.

T - dry, kind of hoppy (pine). this is bizarre. Weird malt profile, funny bitterness.. not very keen on this.

M - thin, light, reasonable.

O (D) - this is a strange beer. Nose and tongue are not in line. I do not care for it.

Photo of jgurley
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a really nice deep clear amber with a thin head which leaves a little lace. Smell is slightly dry white grape, yeasty malt and a bit of hop. Taste is light, malty, dry, and a little hop bitterness on the finish. Slight chewed aspirin on the finish. Fairly thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Not bad, but not quite as big a beer as I prefer. I prefer their Oatmeal Porter, but I heard recently that they were gonna stop distribution here in Florida. Oh well..

Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice deep amber color with ruby highlites. It has a smallish beige head thats sticky leaving behind some spotty lacing. About average carbonation.
Aroma is mostly malts, sweet and caramel hops are on the lighter sideand have a very sutle citrus or floral bouquet.
taste is what you might expect. It's rich malty backbone with some citrus hops for balance. Hops are very sutle and maybe only a suggestive.
it has a medium mouthfeel and some bitter aftertaste.
A good malt forward beer.

Photo of PierceMyers
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It produced a small head and wasn't very carbonated. The color is a great clear red however, which makes for a solid appearance.

It was served colder than recommended which altered the initial flavor of the beer. Once it warmed up some I could really taste its finer notes which I could best describe as woody and caramel(ly). The amber aroma got stronger as well.

The mouthfeel got better as it warmed, but it seemed to run over the palate without wanting to stick around. The last couple ounces were very enjoyable, however, enough to make me alter my initial ratings.

The beer has a very great combination of flavoring and drinkability. The aroma is nice and the tones are solid as well. I didn't see to much of the bite that I read about, and a little more carbonation would have been nice. All around, I will buy it again. And make sure to serve it around 45 degrees!

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

Overall I am not normally a red ale or amber fan, but this beer really turned me on to the style. The beer pours a reddish amber color with a finger of foamy head that retained ok and left some lacing. The aroma had notes of caramel malt, bread and a good amount of hoppiness. The taste starts with the caramel and bread maltiness and then becomes slightly bitter and hoppy. This really is the pale ale / IPA man's amber. The mouthfeel is nice and balanced and the flavor lingers just the right amount of time. Overall a great beer.

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Settles into an amber color with a fizzy head that doesn’t stick around very long.

S: Smells sweet like maple syrup, a bit of spicy cinnamon, and bready malts. Put it all together, and it’s a lot like french toast, really.

T/M: Tastes of mild citrus hoppiness, some syrup sweetness and bread malts in the finish. There is a medium amount of carbonation making this beer decently light and quite refreshing.

I don’t know if this beer epitomizes old Scottish tradition, but if so, then I’m feeling pretty Gael…

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

The beer is light orange, with a mild haze. The head is a finger or so thick, leaving a fair amount of lacing upon the glass. The nose brings malt, some sweet caramels, and some vanilla. The flavor is reminiscent of cream soda with some malt flavoring. I happen to like cream soda, but this isn't my favorite quality in a beer. The feel is creamy and smooth, with a growing sweetness. Not a repeat for me.

Photo of Btrue121
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a good burnt red
Smell is pretty faint, only small downfall
Taste is a toasted caramel biscuit. Havent never had that, but this is what it would taste like. More amber, than red.
Mouthfeel is smooth, a little thick sweetness and some thinning hop bitterness(slight) to end. Smooth.
Overall i will buy this beer again, not from a "wow its good" but just to have a "good" beer. Not my favorite, but i can say this; i hope one day i can brew some beer this good. So therefore i definitely enjoyed it. Recommended, at least to try my beer friends.

Photo of drabmuh
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another bottle shared by Lunch, thanks! You are suppose to be a red ale? oops. I thought something totally different.

Beer is reddish I suppose, mostly clear with an offwhite head of small bubbles, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, mildly caramel, not much of it there.

Beer is sweet and medium in body, the back is moderately bitter, finish is not dry. Overall a below average tasting ale. I won't have it again.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Lunch for sharing this beer. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head and a thin collar on the way down. THe nose carries an average amount of bready malt with a touch of caramel in there. The flavor has a light sweetness along with some bread crust and a bit of toast. Light caramel there and some very light hops. Light body with average carbonation; finish is slightly-dry and bitter. Decent enough, though nothing I'd go out of my way for.

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,251 ratings.