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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

978 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 978
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%


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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 978 | Reviews: 488 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beerinator
beerinator

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Reddish brown clear with ruby highlights. Nice tan head with lacy retention.

Aroma: Malty sweetness. There are notes of fruit and maybe a touch of maple syrup.

Tastes: This beer is very malty. There is not very much bitterness in this beer. The sweetness carries through the taste. The finish is a slight bit dry with touches of bitterness but overall the malty slight nutty flavor carries across the tongue.

Notes: Good body. Solid beer but not too outrageous or anything. Just very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 22:05:27 | More by beerinator
Photo of tmitch75
tmitch75

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with toasty head and some lacing.

Smell is malty with some nuttiness.

Toasty caramel & nut flavor with sweet malt with a slightly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied & smooth.

A very tasty beer that I will definitely seek out next time I am in the region.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 05:08:57 | More by tmitch75
Photo of botham
botham

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 01:02:17 | More by botham
Photo of goblue3509
goblue3509

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a one finger head which disappates to skim with a small amount of lacing. The aroma has a nice caramel backbone with piney hops and dark fruits. The taste is of caramel malt and sweet malt for a backbone there are hints of dark fruits, the middle and back have a nice hop kick of piney and earthy hops to really round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated with a creamy finish. The drinkability is good, it is well balabced and a fairly easy drink. Its complex enough that it keeps u interested.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 23:42:54 | More by goblue3509
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
DeltaGolfSierra

Tennessee

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If you like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, then you'll like this beer - both seemed nearly identical in appearance, smell, and taste. Gaelic Ale is a tad darker (a dark cooper) with a bit less head and lacing, and the scent was weaker. The taste is nicely balanced, with a light grapefruit flavor from the hops. A good beer, but nothing that stands out as exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 12:18:40 | More by DeltaGolfSierra
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 23:14:03 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Some caramel malt, toasty, slight fruitiness, herbal.

L: Crystal clear amber, white head that dissipates.

T: Sweet, light caramel malt. Medium low herbal bitterness leading to an additional caramel maltiness with some hop flavor. Fairly clean and simple throughout.

M: Medium light body, medium carbonation.

Ok, a little above average all around, solid classic amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 03:20:45 | More by bum732
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright clear amber color with a nice white head. There is some carbonation present.

Aromas are really faint. Just a hint of dusty sweet malts.

Flavors are pretty good. A bit of a bitter hop bite right on the front. Beer then settles in to dusty, creamy, and carbonated notes, then finishes quite dry.

Mouthfeel is above average, but nothing special. Finish seems a bit fleating.

Overall... pretty good. But not a beer that wowed me at all. It's very drinkable, and I could have another. But I wouldn't seek this one out.

Bottle courtesy of Loki.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2007 03:24:07 | More by flexabull
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for this one. It pours a cloudy amber color. The head is one inch in height, bright white in color, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma of caramel, toffee, and grapefruit. The taste is like the aroma, and very sweet. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, but it is nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 22:20:53 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of hustlesworth
hustlesworth

Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- nice clear reddish brown with a foamy buff head, good retention, some ok lace.

S- very toasty aroma with butterscotch, diacetyl, and an underlying nuttiness

T- toasty cereal grain flavor with some earthy hop bitterness

MF- medium body, medium carbonation, pretty standard.

D- easily drinkable, bought a single from a farmers market in NC.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 17:04:19 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Two fingers of white head on an amber-brown body with good clarity. The head doesn't stick around long, but there is nice lace.

S - Moderately dark malt character with light caramel and a hint of toffee. Some slightly fruity yeast with light sulphur.

T - Rich, moderately sweet malt with notes of toasted grain and toffee. The flavor darkens towards the finish with some plum notes and increasing toffee character.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A reasonably drinkable, malty beer. There is very little hop character and while the beer remains balanced due to a surprising level of dryness. Unfortunately this robs the beer of complexity and causes the toasted malt character in the finish to become cloying.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 06:41:51 | More by nickfl
Photo of TheStig
TheStig

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, translucent and reddish caramel color with a fast receding head and no lacing. A soft, sweet smell of cool, wet forest wafts up, but is very subtle. Gentle, bittersweet notes interlaced with oats and a very minor yeast taste. A proud hoppiness pulls through entire tasting experience, but is not overly strong. A hearty, honey-like sweetness exists as a subtle base. Fair carbonation and an overall lightness produce an enjoyable mouthfeel.

Thank god this comes in a six-pack, because it's a very tasty, very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 23:33:56 | More by TheStig
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 00:22:10 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of gerite
gerite

Alabama

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Average one to two finger head with a thick cloudy copper color with good lacing throughout. Only the slightest bitterness with a smooth malt taste. Very little carbonation. The mouthfeel is full and robust with just a hint of hops. A very enjoyable well balanced beer that gets better with every sip.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 03:26:09 | More by gerite
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Served a dep amber color with a nice head that fades to lacing.

S: Aroma of caramel, malt sweetness with a bit of citrus and pine.

T: Starts with a malty sweetness and some grain. There is some citrus that peeks through from time to time. There is a nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F:Medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy. Nicely balanced. Has nice character.

O: Goes down easy, good amber ale. Worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 11:57:49 | More by soju6
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanx Damian74Shensky:

Into a nonic:

A: hazy yet somewhat clear amber body with a two finger head that rose a bit and died leaving some nice spotty spider web lacing in its wake

S: malts through bready/slightly caramel, subdued citrus/pine hops only coming through as the beer warms

T: mainly balanced through previously mentioned flavors but adds some slight bitterness

M: light to medium, sessionable, crisp clean aftertaste and finish

O: this is good for its style and good for me as I would have this again

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 01:28:41 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highland Brewery's flagship beer. "Just a wee bit different."

Presentation: 12 oz amber bottle with a happy bag-pipe-toting lad on the label. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a dark copper color with minimal white head. A minimal white lace sparsly laces the glass.

Smell: For a pale ale/bitter classification, there was a lot more malty sweetness in the nose that expected. A twist of citrus hops are present, too.

Taste: Mostly malty sweetness with a little bit of bittering effect from the hops. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Low-medium body and a fairly creamy texture.

Drinkability: I liked this more as it warmed. There was an aftertaste I just can't figure out that was on the unpleasant side. Not one that I'd ask for again, but drinkable in its own right.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2003 16:37:23 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2005 14:15:15 | More by AlexJ
Photo of doppelmeup
doppelmeup

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2006 03:39:19 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of Nipitato
Nipitato

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle at Chips Wine and Beer Market in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

A: Nice dark amber hue. Very clear. Off white head with good retention.

S: A good melange of citrusy hop aroma with some light and subtle malt aroma. Some caramel in there.

T: Also a very good balance between caramel malt and a west coastesque grapefruty citurs hop flavor. Nice lingering aftertaste.

MF: Medium full creamy mouthfeel with a tingling light carbonation.

D, notes: This is a good drinkable red.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 19:26:55 | More by Nipitato
Photo of TheKingofWichita
TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red brown color with a tan head and a little lacing. Smells of malts and some hop aroma. Tastes sweet with a strong hop flavor for a well blended smoothness. Mouthfeel was smooth with a crisp, clean finish. Drinkability is really decent.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2010 15:59:34 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highland Gaelic Ale is the first beer I've had from the Asheville brewery and it is not a bad beer but definitely not a great beer either. This is deep burnished copper with almost no head, despite the rough pour. I think that any beer especially an American hopped amber should have the carbonation and head to bring up the aroma. The bee smelled mostly malty, with a bit of fresh hops, but mostly just grainy malts. The taste was mostly the same dominated by a biscuity malt and balanced only by a modicum of hoppiness. I think that this style (and not the double) should have an assertive hop character with grapefruit and tropical flavors and medium-high bitterness, which I find lacking in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 06:49:23 | More by Soonami
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber hue there was a thick head that fleeted from view quickly.

The scent is quite weak but a biscuity malt aroma is present and quite nice when you find it.

The taste, as well, is weak but when you catch it, its quite good. Biscuit malts, roasted, bready with a slight cracker aftertaste it is crisp but tends to watery.

Amp this thing up and it's a great ale but at its present form it is just above average.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 23:10:35 | More by KYGunner
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. The brew appears a clear amber color with a finger of khaki head that fades leaving patchy lace on the glass. Rising bubbles maintain a film of lace.

The aroma is quite malty with a buttery diacetyl note and sweetness like toffee or caramel. A hint of cheesy quality with minerals or metallic aspects and earth.

The taste is malty sweet like caramel before giving way to some fruity hop/alcohol component. It is faintly raisony before getting a bit mineral filled with carbonic or sulfur qualities.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is an ok offering, that I could take it or leave it in the future but wolkd probably opt for the later.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 18:14:46 | More by stakem
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beautiful, clear body somewhere in between deep amber and ruby. Off-white head is ok, but doesn't last long. Big malt in aroma backed up by citric hops. Flavor is nice toasty malt with the support of moderate hopping. Not a bad beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2002 00:38:19 | More by aracauna
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 978 ratings.