1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,126 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,126
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 27
Gots: 90 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Gaelic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,126 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hellhammermario

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

06-27-2013 18:04:22 | More by hellhammermario
Photo of twowheelssoar

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

02-21-2012 00:07:43 | More by twowheelssoar
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

3/5  rDev -21.3%

Highland Gaelic Ale...

Appearance-Deep dark red color, residual sticky lace, fairly nice appearance.

Smell- malty sweetness, some hops and alcohol, nothing crazy but nothing off hand.

Taste/Mouthfeel- malty sweetness upfront, some hops, something else I can't quite detect, lots of carbonation. Smooth and active going down, what is that slight off flavor?

Drinkability-a fine amber ale, not exactly refreshing but would be good in a pub.

Overall-a malty sweet version of the amber ale style. A fine beer with an interesting off flavor, I wonder what that is. Either way, an ok beer.

07-13-2008 19:48:47 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of BeerDawgs


3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

A - An amber red with cloudiness and 1 finger of head. Slight lace left on the glass. Looks good!

S - Lots of sugar, molasses, and brown sugar. Huge maltiness in the nose.

T - Malts kick in up front. Like the smell, sweet, sugar and caramel. Nicely balanced with some bitterness at the end.

M - Light bodied and fairly well carbonated.

O - A very drinkable amber ale. Well balanced, and good.

11-30-2012 01:30:51 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of Sturmthis


3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

06-20-2013 14:17:26 | More by Sturmthis
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

2.25/5  rDev -40.9%

served in a 22oz brown bottle with a crimped cap into a tulip glass.

Deep rich amber color,hazy, with a 2" frothy white head with good retention and lots of tiny bubbles stringing from the sides of the glass.

The aromas were on the faint side,mostly fruity tropical fruits,light toasty malts with some nutty carmell.

Fruity tastes that are sour/tarty,faint malt tastes of carmell/toffee with a bit of nuttiness. Finished with a dry tart finish.

Light to medium body,grainy,on the rough side. Had a hard time finishing the bottle. Liked the two other beers i tried from this brewery this one was nothing like the two others i had tried.

08-21-2007 23:30:07 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of jeffthepony


3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

11-16-2011 16:55:06 | More by jeffthepony
Photo of kmos27


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

10-10-2013 02:44:14 | More by kmos27
Photo of philipquarles


4/5  rDev +5%

12 oz bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber with a creamy tan head. Dissipates to leave a nice cap and good lacing. Smells of nice caramel malts; sweet and with just a hint of yeasty spice. Impressive thick caramel maltiness; medium bitter hop character in the background gives it a slightly dry finish. As full-bodied as it is full-flavored. Pretty pleasant overall.

06-02-2009 02:45:06 | More by philipquarles
Photo of inspektor

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

11-30-2013 19:52:50 | More by inspektor
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

Pours a transparent reddish amber with a white head.

The smell is dark fruits,plums and raisins.

The taste is malty with some of the dark fruits coming through.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a great take on the style, one of my favourite Highland beers.

07-03-2013 01:51:18 | More by Dave1999
Photo of beergod1


3.58/5  rDev -6%

Pours a beautiful deep dark red color with medium foamy tan head. Aroma is very caramel sweet with a touch of citrusy hops. Flavor to me is lacking, of course I was told it was a Brown Ale, and I didn't believe him, so the Hops now make sense, now that I see it's a Red ale. some sweet caramel, some bitter hoppiness, but nothing that really stands out. Overall, not bad, but I'm glad I didn't pull the trigger and trade for these 5 different Highlander beers I just got for free from a friend.

01-25-2011 20:54:55 | More by beergod1
Photo of weaselchew


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

04-28-2012 17:51:38 | More by weaselchew
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5%

03-30-2012 02:24:47 | More by Naugros
Photo of PEBKAC

New York

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Hard drive data scraping is well worth the money, let me tell you. Priceless family photos, rebates & receipts, insurance forms, music, nah... kb after kb of old beer reviews. That's what it's all about. :D

Thanks to bboven, whether these beers sit well with me or not.

Rounded pint glass. Unusual, lop-sided, dough-colored milky head. Uniform lacing over a dirty amber, chill-hazed, iced tea-like body.

Caramel & spicy/tangy orange hop notes. A little dry bread crust & heavier then expected alcohol.

Taste isn't as big as the nose suggests. Slightly resinous/rindy hops, honestly in balance with the doughy malty. A lingering spicy citrus sizzles along with the enthusiastic carbonation. Astringency is at a minimum.


01-10-2009 03:57:33 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of TheMarkE


4/5  rDev +5%

01-10-2013 22:00:52 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of mooseisloose


3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Next up in the highland variety pack tasting is this Gaelic Ale. Popping the cap the first smell is earthy hop tones then followed by sweet almost butterscotch smell. Pours to a deep transparent reddish brown with a multi size bubble head with lots of action. Head laces nicely upon receding. Taste is very earthy, peaty hops with a big malty backbone. Mouthfeel is solid. This brew approaches chewable. Definitely a different hop approach, much more earthy, with flatter bitterness. Tastes more like an English ale than an American ale to me but so be it, it is a very good beer.

08-08-2009 00:58:09 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of dwoolley1

New York

4/5  rDev +5%

03-15-2014 00:54:14 | More by dwoolley1
Photo of djeucalyptus


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

pours a beautiful bright amber with hints of red. a creamy two-finger cream colored head has impressive retention, fading to a thin frothy cap that leaves beautiful lacing.

aroma is malty and earthy with hints of caramel and toffee. brown sugar and hints of hoppy spice... pepper and a bit of clove... but sugar and malt dominate. relatively neutral... not bad, but not stunning.

Taste is malt, caramel, and some hoppy spice. a bit peppery, a bit tangy, and then a bit of pine and a touch of citrus hops pull through. more malt, a hint of peat, a bit of smoked wood and more caramel. fairly sweet with a lingering roasted malt bitterness. Right on the line between 3.5 and 4... i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

mouth is smooth, full bodied for the style, with beautiful creamy carbonation that makes this one a pleasure to drink. the carbonation carries across the spice nicely without being overwhelming, and remains soft enough to be creamy. a nice lingering bitterness hangs subtly.

all in all, one of the better ambers I've had. appearance is incredible, and flavor doesn't fall far behind. the delicious mouthfeel really makes it enjoyable, and just goes to prove that highland can make some fairly impressive brews. Nothing amazingly out of the ordinary, but a damn good amber.

05-03-2009 07:15:25 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of bucklemyshoe


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

12 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: It pours brick-red with a finger of off-white head that holds and laces okay.

S: Strong caramel, light peatiness, and some chocolate.

T: Again, the strong caramel takes president with peat, chocolate, and toffee mixing in.

M: The carbonation is a little low with a slightly syrupy palate.

O: This is a decent hybrid of Amber Ale and Wee Heavy.

05-18-2011 13:33:12 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of Elicoleman


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

08-28-2014 07:29:21 | More by Elicoleman
Photo of nitter


3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

03-08-2014 02:19:18 | More by nitter
Photo of paulthebeerguru


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

A: pours a wonderful clear orangish red. Light tan head with a low retention rate. Decent lacing.

S: some light hop aroma. Some outdoor wood notes, like a hiking trip to me.

T: malty, almost biscuity, but something is missing. Nice caramel malts. Moderately hopped. A little grassy.

M: easily drinkable. Very smooth and crisp. Good carbonation.

03-22-2009 16:57:31 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of archero


4/5  rDev +5%

08-12-2013 02:48:38 | More by archero
Photo of Fcolle2


2.74/5  rDev -28.1%

Gift from my family in their trip to NC. $3.75 price tag on a 22oz I don't know whether to be amazed or scarred.

Pours somewhat dark amber in color with some slight hues of copper and red. Head is about 1 finger and retains nicely also leaving some lacing.

Smell is about $3.75. Sweet corn like malt is forward and not appealing. Some herbal hop aromas are present but very light.

Taste has a good light caramel malt flavor before a more corn like grainy sweetness dominates the midsection and persists into the after taste. Aftertaste is bitter but not in a hoppy way.

Mouthfeel is light for the appearance, light carbonation.

10-30-2013 01:06:57 | More by Fcolle2
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,126 ratings.