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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

1,078 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 22
Gots: 70 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerisgood3

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 05:09:52 | More by Beerisgood3
Photo of Walker8810

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 23:51:58 | More by Walker8810
Photo of Kiknwitcooper

North Carolina

1/5  rDev -73.8%

01-15-2012 23:42:50 | More by Kiknwitcooper
Photo of zigzag8336

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%

04-05-2014 05:29:17 | More by zigzag8336
Photo of westy_far

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

02-01-2014 14:03:31 | More by westy_far
Photo of jtm3


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice amber color. Decent head retention with nice layered lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt, touch of hops. Something else in there that I cannot quite detect...some sort of spice?

T: Smooth from the get-go. Light sweetness give way to a heavier malt. Getting a hint of fruit...and there is that spicy flavor again. Also getting a little cream soda taste out of it. Finishes with a bit of hoppy bitterness, that doesn't overwhelm or last too long.

M: Not as heavy to me as most people seem to think. More medium to me.

D: I give it high marks here. Seems to go down well. Once again, back to my cream soda comment.

Overall, nice, easy-drinking beer. Not overly complex, but enough is present to please the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 00:43:39 | More by jtm3
Photo of nhces29

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

05-07-2012 02:52:42 | More by nhces29
Photo of jbridge127


3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The name of this beer sounds like it's straight out of an Elder Scrolls game. A crystal clear red/brown color. Smells of strong wheat. Tastes sort of like a cross between an Amber and a Wheat ale. The aftertaste is quite pleasant unlike some other beers I've had. I personally Loved it!!! I am always impressed with Highland's creations!!! Prost!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 02:31:41 | More by jbridge127
Photo of Necronomicon

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

08-10-2013 04:35:28 | More by Necronomicon
Photo of Rex827

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

02-16-2014 16:16:07 | More by Rex827
Photo of AaronMcDonald


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

Pours a deep amber color with about 3/4" head that quickly fades. Smell is earthy but with a hint of freshness. The malt is the first thing I noticed when drinking but some fresh hop flavor hit me at the end. Very high drinkability. Could definitely drink several of these. This is my first Highland brew but will have to check out more.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 21:14:22 | More by AaronMcDonald
Photo of mixedbrewer


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

On tap this poured a nice amber color with two finger head and slight lacing.

The aroma is of spiced bread, almost like graham crackers.

This beer is just spicy enough. It has a nice sweet and bready taste with a good mouthfeel. It goes down easy with a clean and pleasant finish.

Recommended try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2010 17:57:14 | More by mixedbrewer
Photo of ShawnB

District of Columbia

4.76/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite beer. The perfect balance of easy-drinking and complexity.

Appearance: A beautiful red. One of the reddest beers I've ever seen. Pretty much transparent. The head isn't particular thick, but it lasts.

Smell: Mild, slightly boozy. Can detect the slight hoppiness present in the beer, as well as a strong malty scent.

Taste: My favorite tasting beer. Hoppy, but not overly so. A strong caramel, malty backbone that counteracts the moderate hops well. Has some of the strong flavors of a porter or a stout, but with the obvious taste and mouthfeel of a thinner ale.

Mouthfeel: If I have one complaint about this brew, I'd say it might be carbonated a little heavily. It is rather thin, but I prefer a thinner mouthfeel so that's fine with me.

Overall: I love this beer. Such a complex flavor profile, but nothing is overpowering. Really a must try.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 02:03:18 | More by ShawnB
Photo of drmystery

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

im starting to think highland brewing cant get their shi-stuff together.

their year round beers are, to be frank, underwhelming. especially this beer. to me it tastes like burnt hops...i do like the roasty characteristics of stouts and porters but in an ale im expecting it to taste, well, ale-y; i like those citrusy and hoppy smells and flavors from a good ale.

this beer looks good-it has a nice reddish/copperish/brown apperance. it smells good-nice hops and malts and all that.

but as soon as i taste it, it just tastes like burnt hops. that burnt taste is either from the amount of malts they use-this beer has 5 different types of grain and 3 types of hops., or from not enough hops. i am no "hophead" by any means, i just think this beer is too malty and not hoppy enough for what it is.

overall, i think this beer-and just about every other highland beer is underwhelming for the style it is. i think people tend to overhype this beer when its just an average beer. its not nasty, but its not great. i think this beer is like the guinness of asheville/nc because people come up to asheville and drink it because its one of the more popular beers here, just like how people go to ireland and drink guinness even though its an average beer. im not saying highland brewing are gimmicky, im just saying their beers are overhyped and just average.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2013 18:05:05 | More by drmystery
Photo of baj

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

08-18-2013 02:36:54 | More by baj
Photo of Maxmduarte

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

01-05-2014 20:42:28 | More by Maxmduarte
Photo of bv74550p


4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer at several places around Savannah. If you are looking for it on tap try Molly Mcpherson's or the Crystal Beer Parlor.

The beer is a deep red/brown and is completely opaque. Great head retention about two fingers.

Malt is good. Hops suprised me very much in this beer, but it made it very smooth and nice to my IPA liking. With this beer it pretty much smells the same as it tastes.

Definitely a great session beer where you should drink at least 3 to appreciate it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2008 16:43:09 | More by bv74550p
Photo of Octasox

5/5  rDev +31.2%

01-21-2013 22:09:58 | More by Octasox
Photo of BlackFlag10

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%

03-17-2014 18:42:25 | More by BlackFlag10
Photo of Jon_Burritt

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +31.2%

07-14-2014 02:15:52 | More by Jon_Burritt
Photo of toti1972


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

07-24-2014 01:44:42 | More by toti1972
Photo of Slater_Mounts


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

07-24-2014 03:43:45 | More by Slater_Mounts
Photo of bikehorn

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: chestnuty, cherry colored almost, pretty light tan head

Smell: fresh grainy bread, maybe apple as well

Taste: malty, bready and ended with a twist of hops - a little too bitter for me

Mouthfeel: medium bodied

Drinkability: not so good for me, too malty and i didn't like the hops chaser at the end. for all the bready smells i was hoping for a little fuller-body and a little less bite

Overall: not quite what i was expecting, but mostly a good beer, with a little kick

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 19:29:19 | More by bikehorn
Photo of rnd6510

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 00:59:51 | More by rnd6510
Photo of Bacchus

5/5  rDev +31.2%

05-29-2012 18:36:37 | More by Bacchus
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.