Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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very good

1,213 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,213
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 29
Gots: 135 | 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: 1,213 | Reviews: 507 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CBlack85
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of nrbw23
2.05/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of elgiacomo
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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.

Photo of EvilPumpkin
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of stoutfiend27
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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..

Photo of 0tt0
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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!!

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

I bought this thinking it would be a scotch ale. Started drinking this and I was sayins this is the lighest scotch ale I have ever had. I agree this is noting more than a red/brown ale.

appearance: red/brown. garnet glow

smell: slight sweetness of caramel but not much

taste: taste like a less sweet bready fat tire. Easy drinking. little hops at all and semi sweet. A goos session brown ale

mouthfeel: very light considerign it's style

drinkability: I liekd it once I realized what it was. A good traiing beer for the rookies and well made. Like I said this is a better Fat tire

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice slightly cloudy dirty amber. A bit of head from an aggressive pour, but it dissipated quickly.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, and slightly like ripe fruit.

T: Tart up front, then some mellow caramel and burnt sugar tastes come in.

M: Slightly thicker with appropriate carbonation.

D: Very nice. Not sure I'd pick it up every week. But a good beer for a change of pace. Tasty, I would drink it again.

Photo of rnd6510
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Ingles in Arden, NC. Beer had been bottled about a week and a half earlier.
Poured it into a standard pint glass. An aggressive pour yielded a two finger head. Left nice lacing if I might add.
Smell is a little sweet. It smells just as good as it tastes.
Goes down as smooth as yohoo. Smooth toasty malts with a hint of caramel.
Just enough of a hop bitterness finish to balance this beer out.
I am a huge fan of the Gaelic. It should be even better on a crisp fall day.
This is a beer that I keep all the time in my fridge.

Photo of jbone78
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tasted several of Highland's beers and I think only one was about par. The rest were above.

A- Pours light brown/red with a bit of a haze. Nice lacing head.
S- Nice malty smell. I can not identify malt smells.
T- The thing with Scottish ales is the malty taste, but the malty taste is always unique.
This one has a flavor of malt that has a tiny hop character that fades and finishes with maltness. I like.
M- light malt mouthfeel that is not all sweet.
D- Being an American beer fan, I will buy again!


Photo of Reagan1984
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, damn good looking beer out of the bottle.

Bright reddish amber color with perfect clarity. Nice white head that's about a finger and ½ thick. Slowly settles to a small cap.

Aroma is classic for Amber ale with some sweetness, but a nice toasted malt aroma. Bread crust.

Flavor is nice and deep. Toasted malt with a fresh fruity background. Then you get a nice hop bite. Really well balanced. For some reason I am really drawn to the toasty notes here. The aftertaste is a wonderful mélange of toasty notes and some hop bitterness. Nice bread notes.

Body is medium... Carbonation is spot on...

Wonderfully drinkable.

Nicely done!!

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

Amber color, lightly carbonated. A little cloudy but a lovely color that is very inviting.
Roasted malts, hops, caramely from the malt most likely. Gives me a hint of roasted pecans and brown sugar. Very crisp and clean smell.
The taste starts with a very roasted malty sense, and then progress to a very hoppy taste that moves into a bitter tone and finished with that bitterness. Doesn't finish clean but has a fantastic taste that makes it a very drinkable beer. Finishes sticky, lingers in the mouth.
This beer lingers in the mouth leaving a very sticky almost barky feeling in the beer. It doesn't take away from the beer but I feel it adds to the malty charicteristic of the beer.
I really enjoy this beer and have had it on multiple occasions. I think it really represents a good example of the American Amber Ale Style. It is not a "clean" beer but a lovely malty and hoppy beer. Has great drinkability.

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,213 ratings.