Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,298 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,298
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 30
Gots: 195 | 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: 1,298 | Reviews: 530
Photo of Walker8810
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

deep amber in color with a thin head of foam. delicious sweet aroma of molasses. smooth even mouthfeel. well balanced, deliciously sweet taste on top finishing with a mild hop bitterness. very smooth and very drinkable. could drink this beer all day. an excellent example of an amber ale.

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 Lupe
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper in color with a tight off-white head. Good retention and a nice amount of lace is left behind.

Aroma of toasted and caramel malts with a touch of hops. A well balanced nose that is neither sweet or hoppy.

Balance is the theme in the flavor as well. Rich with toasted and caramel malt, and some toffee yet balanced but hop bitterness. Hops are herbal and grassy and blend well with the malt sweetness. Citrus and honey round things out. Finishes slightly dry.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Gentle carbonation enhances the mouthfeel. Great session beer with enough flavor to keep you interested. Can easily stick with this all night.

Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear amber/red into a pint glass from the bottle. Gaelic Ale has about a ½ inch thick tannish head that stays a while, leaving very good lacing on the glass as I drink it. The nose is a caramel malt with some spicy hop notes added in. The taste is a clean maltyness with a pleasant hop bite as the mid-note, ending with a bit of clean but biscuit flavor. Wow, very nice! It has a medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation bite. It is a very drinkable beer. It is a mainstay as one of my session beers when it is available. Have not had a bad Highland beer!

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the dark orangey amber brew. Head shrinks but still leaves something at the party, with average to good lacing. Aroma is sweet grains, with some fruitiness. Taste is dominated by the maltiness, with some light hops and fruit coming in at the end. Mouthfeel is great with all the malt smoothness, and drinkability is on the same page. Could be a regular drinker if it was local to me.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into a mug. A gift from my cousin Joe, Thank you!
The beer pours a clear amber color with an eggshell white colored head that is creamy and sticky with clingy tightly packed lattice on the glass after each sip. Aroma is caramel with a bit of grainy malt. HInts of herbal hops in the background. Nose is not strong and it takes some pretty serious sniffing to get the scents right.
First sip reveals very fine and tingly carbonation. Average body and smooth texture make for a very drinkable brew.
Flavor is similar to the nose, with some grainy malt and a bit of toffee. Finish moves to hops with that same herbal almost tea leaf flavor coming through the sweet malt. No hints of any booze and the beer finishes clean with just a little lingering hop profile. A well balanced and highly drinkable brew. Well done.

Photo of 0tt0
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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 Apellonious
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz from six at the Teeter.

A- amber with orange highlights, solid but clear, pours with just a thin lace .

S - Sweet smell, some nut/malt and fruit, slight alcohol.

T - there is a mild fruit sweetness, some malt chewieness, some light brown ale suggestions, with some hops on the back end. Noting some vanilla. I am going to go out a limb and say Fat Tire was modeled after this beer.

M - great balance and carbonation, a tad watery.

O - this review is long overdue ( was reviewed on another beer review site a while back). This has been one of my "go to" beers for many years. Definitely recommended. An amber ale with some additional complexity while being highly drinkable.

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

This unusual offering pours a dark amber with a fading beige head and threads of clinging lace. A malty aroma pushes forth and a trail of floral hops lingers, then fades. A sweet malt body is fairly substantial with some caramel and fresh bread tastes. There's a bit of grapefruit bitterness along with light peppery spices. A lightly peaty and mildly astringent medicinal taste can be detected throughout. The alcohol is noticeable, though not over-bearing. All in all a nice, different sort of beer.

Photo of gpcollen1
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lovely amber red into my nonic. Head rises and sticks around for a bit prior to drifting away. Aromas lightly sweet and hoppy - lots of subtle balance. Hits the mouth with a robust malty sweetness that ushers in the carbonation and cleansing mildly dry hops.

Quite a nice drinker with enough flavor to keep you interested. Light and dry on the hops makes me happy here and there and this one works well.

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 clemtig76
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow - what a great looking beer! Pours a beautiful deep amber/mahogany color with a thick tan head. Good head retention as well as some sticky lacing. Sweet malty caramel like aroma with just a little citrusy hops in the background. Taste is a near perfect balance between the rich, sweet malts and hop bitterness. My first Highland beer and certainly not my last.

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

Pours a dark red color with very little foam head. Very unique flavor. More hop character than a lot of amber ales but same sweet caramel malt flavor. Very good and unique taste. Highly recommended, even from someone that is not a big fan of this style.

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

Poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

A - Poured dark amber color with thin head that quickly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Malts, caramel and almonds.

T - Malts dominate followed by sweet caramel, toffee, honey with a slightly bitter dry nutty finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation.

O - Very good ale from Highland that's a bit unconventional but very tasty. I would highly recommend it.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my co-worker Drew for rocking this out to me from his trip back home for the holidays. The urge to try came from remembering our favorite college session beers.
Pours a very beautiful amber with a fluffy two inch head. The lacing looks like a paint splatter on the glass. Not much going for it in the smell area. Slight malts, tiny willamette scent. Eh. The taste is interesting. The bigger the mouthful, the heavier the taste. Very nice malt background with a fat burst of hops. The flavors mix together quite well. (Beats out my old amber session beer, Fat Tire.). There is almost no carbonation on the mouth, I have one more 12oz. so I'll see if it was a bottle defect. Other than that, very smooth. Super easy to drink. I could throw down a sixer (if I could get it here in SF.)

Photo of Foyle
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2" off white head with moderate lacing. Color is amber and slightly cloudy with moderate carbonation
Aroma: very pleasant aroma with biscuit and caramel malts plus a noticeable hop spice Mouthfeel: closer to medium than light body, finish is dry and refreshing.
Flavor: caramel, some citrus peel, whole wheat bread, a bit of raisin.
Overall: This is my favorite offering from Highland. Gaelic Ale to me is an outstanding beer. It is complex enough that it can taste quite malty or quite hoppy depending on what I am pairing it with. It is not too strong to be a session ale either.

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

thanks to Rob!

pours deep amber and copper. light fluffy white head with great retention. nice lacing left on the sides.

scents of rich malts and sweet caramel with light floral hops

taste is bold with a very vibrant malt backbone supported with floral and bitter hop flavors. a nice bitterness left behind that carries a malt profile.

a bit light but very smooth

this is one hell of an amber. very rich and vibrant all around. very easy to drink and very enjoyable. low ABV means this is a GREAT sessionable beer.

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

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Full, glowing amber in color; faint hue of auburn with noticeable carbonation. Creamy, slightly off-white head with stable retention. Ringed, thin lacing with good strength down the tumbler.

Semi-sweet toasted malts; light in aroma with lightly burnt floral hops. Faint hints of citrus, but not much. The yeast is fresh and the hops smell as if they're wet.

Fresh, wet hops; bright floral, but not exactly bitter. Fresh, clean yeast; no mustiness. Semi-sweet, completely balanced toasted malts. No detectable diacetyl notes or heavy-handed bitterness. Smooth, toasted with pleasant, subtle hints of spicy hops.

Medium bodied; smooth. The toasted malt character is practically creamy and nearly unobtrusive.

A highly quaffable, moderately hopped ale. Not a monumental brew in flavor, but balanced, delicate, and pleasant.

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

Appearance: This one poured a dark amber with good clarity, topped by a thin off-white head. My associate and I became certain that there was a very slight greenish colour to the head, but I didn't feel completely certain. I guess it could have been the lighting. Head retention was decent and was assisted by the constant formation of CO2 bubbles.

Smell: An excellent balance of sweet maltiness and citrus/floral hop character.

Taste: This one was balanced towards bitterness, but still had a good malt base with some nice sweetness provided by crystal malts. The hop flavour was mostly citrus with a little floral and grassy character as well. It also had a very pleasant, long, mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Good smoothness of body, but the carbonation was a little strong.

Drinkability: Another success from Highland Brewing. Too bad I need to find a new source for these samples...

12 oz. brown bottle with no freshness date or abv listed.

Photo of Drew966
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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

Pours a medium amber with a frothy tan head. Aroma is light, with clean and toasty malt.

Taste is a toasty, bready pale malt with only a very mild hop bite. Some caramel sweetness tries to come through, although it never becomes overtly sweet. Finish is only very lightly bitter with a lingering crystal malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium, soft and dusty, very drinkable. Not much about this one stands out but it is perfect for a rather neglected and underappreciated style and would make a great daily fridge staple.

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

I got a pint of this beer at the Yardhouse in Palm Beach Gardens. I hadn't had this beer yet, and I was looking to get something completely new.

This is a pretty good amber beer. I like the very malty smell. The flavor had some very good scotch presence. It wasn't exactly scotch, but it was like a scotch feel/taste. It had some very strong flavor, which I found satisfying.

This beer was really good. It was a much better as a follow-up to Monk in the Trunk.

I liked my beer, but that was a pretty expensive trip. Yardhouse checks can get high quickly.

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

Pours a nice, soft, light head. Sweet malt dominates the nose. Lovely, almost ruby, red. Starts with an unexpected hop bitterness (didn't smell that) which bright and citric. Moves up into a medium bitterness, then becomes more like citrus rind as the malt comes through. The finish is a stupendous blend of malt and hop, though.

A nice blend of the two dominate takes on ambers; malty and hoppy.

Swirling the bottom bits in the bottle gave it a much nice hop aroma and flavor.
As it warmed, the malt just became more pronounced, so it just gets better.

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 nriech
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper. Lots of head dissapating quickly. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: Citrus and hoppy. Obvious flavors coming from the type of hops used. Caramel and alcohol are present also.

Taste: The hops actually are blended in nicely. Almost like an extra hoppy ale but not so far as an IPA. Very easy to drink. No alcohol taste present. Good balance on the aftertaste with fruit and malt. A good choice.

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,298 ratings.