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Highland Gaelic Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale

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

1,135 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,135
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 28
Gots: 95 | 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: 1,135 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +5%

Consumed at 2011 LEAF Festival, just a few miles form the brewery.

A - Pours a beautiful clear amber with a very ample and remarkably creamy tan head. Fine carbonation is visible.

S - moderately good aroma of toasted malt and a trace of hops.

T - Nicely balanced mix of caramel and other malts with a hint of toasted bread, but has a fine lasting hop finish.

M - very creamy, but with a medium to medium/high carbonation level -- a great combination.

O - excellent for style. Easy recommendation, even for beer aficionados, but particularly for newcomers to craft beer. (verified on sept. 16, 2011 -- pairs great with chocolate.)

chinchill, May 17, 2011
Photo of Bighuge
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

A dulled scarlet red appearance. A good sized fluffy off white head forms on the surface. Retention is pretty good. After a few minutes, a nice little film is still present as well as a good sized collaring. Lace is quite bountiful. Nose is rich with caramel maltiness and laced with some PAC10 hop character as well as spiciness. Pretty good aroma. This seems like a hop lovers amber to me. It does have a nice firm crystal malt backing, but the hop tones are a bit exotic for an amber. I personally like them. They are citric and lemony....rind-like and piney. What an interesting take on the style. And this comes from an East Coast brewery. Excellent. Body is a little better than medium and the mouthfeel is appropriately carbonated.

Thanks for the unique amber AKSmPort

Bighuge, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

DrJay, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of dmorgan310
3/5  rDev -21.3%

dmorgan310, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

5/8/2012

A: Red tinged orange with an inch of dense beige foam.

S: Expressive caramel malt melds with earth and baked bread. Light pine and grapefruit notes linger in the distance. Lightly sweet.

T: Like the aroma, the flavor is malt centered, focusing on baked bread, biscuit, faint caramel, and toasted notes. There's a low earthy bitterness with a light apple fruitiness. The finish exhibits a stronger apple presence with the complex bread and toasted malt notes carrying through to an ultimately dry, earthy, and lightly bitter ending.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, sticky, and dry.

Overall: An enjoyable malty red ale. Smooth and easy drinking.

HopHead84, May 09, 2012
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Had this on-tap on Twain's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark red with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates fairly quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles leaving decent lacing.

Smells of very lightly toasted malts with faint citrus aromas. An earthy spiciness, a notch or two down from rye spiciness, comes out as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The malt is once again front and center, mainly sweet but with traces of the aforementioned spiciness. Again, light citrus flavors join in late in the sip before giving way to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. Good thickness and carbonation for the style make this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished one without a problem, and could have more than one of these in a sitting.

Overall I'm glad I revisited this beer, as when I had it from the bottle on numerous previous occasions it had a metallic taste that turned me off for a while. A new recipe or the fact that I had it from the tap make this beer a whole lot better. Worth a shot.

glid02, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

rolltide8425, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

harpus, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a vibrant, slightly hazy, amber-copper coloring with a low profile, clingy, filmy, off-white head. Aromas of toffee sweetness, caramel and nut sweet, roasted notes, and subtle earthy notes. Flavors are roasted and richly sweet forward, with toffee and caramel creating a tangy sweet blend. Hints of roasted notes, honey, wood, and thistle help round out the palate. The body is smooth and light, with a tangy sweet and roasted aftertaste. The finish is slick, smooth, with a sweet linger. Solid brew; well balanced and tasty.

GarthDanielson, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Received in trade from limesmut and mikesgroove, thanks for the opportunity guys. Pours a deep amber color with a nice size dirty white head that stick around a bit and laces the glass all the way down. Aroma is caramel malty with some citrusy hops in there as well. I smell loads of caramel and some mineral in the background. Tastes malty, caramel and hops round it out nicely. Maybe a touch sweet. Mouthfeel is quite creamy, medium body that finishes quite dry but lingers with bitterness in the finish. Decent brew for an American amber, I'm not sure what makes it a Gaelic Ale though. There are better brews out there, but this one is pretty good, I'd drink one if it was offered to me.

johnnnniee, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +5%

bottles bought at harris teeter in charlotte

appearance: see through amber, foamy head with decent lacing

smell: very malty, caramel, typical earthy highland scents, slight hoppiness in the nose as well

taste: very earthy, nice caramel, quite malty, subtle citrus/pine hops. This is one of the better irish red's out there...I have been enjoying this one for 3 or 4 years now

mouthfeel: medium, crisp, smooth balanced carbonation

drinkability: very sessionable

Highland is definately my favorite NC brewery, and this brew puts some nice NC mountain twists on the irish red category. I dig it

dirtylou, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +5%

Ruddy brown with a khaki head leaving decent lace.

Smell is sweet caramel malts, a hint of golden raisin, and herbal hops.

Taste is also nice caramel, a little bread pudding vibe, nice bitterness to balance the finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is good, a a tasty amber, nice maltiness.

ccrida, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer pours an extremely dark amber, probably as dark as you can get before it becomes brown. Slight clearness to it. The head and lacing are both light.

The aroma is very light some rye and a little skunk.

The taste is a little better than the aroma but there is some lingering skunk. It starts out pretty boring then brings some rye and a light hop finish.

jrallen34, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of avalon07
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a rich amber color and a fairly opaque texture. Didn't exactly have a huge amount head on it, but had a fair amount of lacing.

There was a sweet smell about this one. Hops, malt and something I couldn't figure.

The hops in this one seemed like the main component. There was a fruitiness about it, along with a malt flavor.

The mouthfeel was okay. There was a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, not too bad a beer. It isn't the most complex beer I've ever had, but it has a good bite and is surprisingly refreshing.

avalon07, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Cynic-ale, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

atrocity, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
3.85/5  rDev +1%

Served from bottle into Stone nonic. Pours deep copper with one-finger off-white head that lingers. Maintained nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, slight fruit, and nuttiness. The flavor is comprised of smooth and crisp malt notes with a subtle nutty flavor mixed in. It has a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this is a very nice brew from Highland. It is quite drinkable and enjoyable. Worth a shot if you get the opportunity.

thagr81us, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of Dogbrick
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

My thanks to johnrobe for sending this to me. This was pretty good, deserving of this brewery's "flagship beer" status. Pours a deep amber color with a medium and foamy light tan head. Aroma of malt and caramel. Medium-bodied with an assertive malt flavor and a touch of hops. Finish is sweet but not overly so. Not bad at all.

Dogbrick, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Pours a slightly hazy deep orange, almost brown color. Very little in the way of foam, but leaves a thin collar around the edges most of the way through.

Smells fresh and delicious. Nose is a bit on the light side as I get some cereal grain sweetness and a touch of grassy hops.

Wow, this is an extremely tasty brew. Very smooth and creamy. Citrusy hop flavor is much more pronounced in the flavor. Has a nice corn flake touch to it that adds a bit of toasty complexity. A very nice beer that I would love to have access to on a regular basis.

twiggamortis420, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours a clean copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet maltiness and balanced with a small hop. In the taste, a dryer malt, and almost a bit peet like. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a dry maltiness in the aftertaste. A ballsy ale, feels big, a nice flavor for a ale.

OWSLEY069, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of tavernjef
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

Copper pumpkin color. Carbonation is steady. A smooth, firm, evenly placed, dark beige cap of medium stoutness is roofing it. Great retention too. Keeps a generous whipped foamy coating the entire glass through. Sporatic sticky thickly set lacing in flimsy sheeting.

Pleasantly clean but fairly subdued aroma of earthy woody hops with a brisk under sweeping of husky toasty malts. Very light fruity hints emerge as it warms.

Nice little taster here. Toasty with a rounded out fruity nudge of malts. Mild hoppy finish with leafy earthen hop tea noting off into a fluffy spicy drying aspect and gradual fade into a return of red apple skin fruityness. Extremely light citrus

Crisp and bold medium feel with a smooth carbonation and flow. Good subtle flavors, tones, and dryness makes for some fine drinkin'. A pretty solid red ale, which are few and far betwwen.

tavernjef, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

It comes out of the tap a rich, translucent mahogany with a fine-bubbled tan head. Aroma is mainly malty with a hint of spice. Flavor is rich and malty and has a strong spicy undertone. This ale's texture is smooth, but it goes down with some sass and zing.

Cyberkedi, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.43/5  rDev -10%

thagr81us really tossed in a ton of beers as extras in our recent trade. Thank you, Calton.

Served in my Founders 10th Anniversary glass, Gaelic Ale is clear amber with copper highlights. A dense, light brown head is present, receding to a disk leaving some lace. Solid.

The nose is decent. Plenty of caramel with brown sugar and a little toffee. There really isn't a lot else going on here, some hop character is present, but this is mostly just sweet.Hops are mildly chalky. The palate opens with a moderate bitterness with some citrus hops with more pith-like bitterness than flavor. Again, there's a moderate malt character as well, with a hodgepodge of caramel, brown sugar and toffee, all rather muddled. There's a moderate sweetness on the finish, along with a rather surprising coffee note. A touch of citrus as well, there's some bitterness present. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this is decent on the palate. Decent stuff.

DefenCorps, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of claspada
1.5/5  rDev -60.6%

claspada, Jul 03, 2013
Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 1,135 ratings.