Gaelic Ale
Highland Brewing

Gaelic AleGaelic Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #72
Ranked #25,410
3.83 | pDev: 11.75%
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
Gaelic AleGaelic Ale
Notes: A deep amber colored American ale, featuring a rich malty body. Cascade and Willamette hops add a complex hop flavor and aroma. This ale is exceptionally balanced between malty sweetness and delicate hop bitterness.

Hops: Chinook, Willamette and Cascade

32 IBU
Reviews: 566 | Ratings: 1,571 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Griffin2
Griffin2 from Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can dated 7/31/21 into a Willi Becher pint glass.
L - Pours a reddish color with a significant white head.
S - Smells malty.
T - Tastes of caramel with a slightly sweet finish.
F - Medium body and carbonation.
O - Very easy drinking red ale.

Sep 20, 2021
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shu from Georgia

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

great beer but was expecting a little more of the malty. its sweet enough but actually comes off a little more like an IPA BUT still very tasty. Light great aroma, clean after taste. plus a lower abv means a couple extra!

Aug 13, 2021
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puck1225 from Texas

3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this with dinner at an Asheville restaurant. Poured into a shaker pint. Reddish amber color with good head and lacing. Subdued caramel smell and taste, but a nice malty backbone. This beer does have a nice, satisfying feel. It is one of those beers that could be great with just a bit more flavor.

Jul 06, 2021
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RaulMondesi from California

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’m into it and it does the trick like putting on a jacket when it’s cold. Right now, in this very moment, I needed a mind altering substance that wasn’t nasty on the palate. So like putting on my Dodgers Columbia jacket when I am cold, I am satisfied. Nothing more, nothing less.


Jun 04, 2021
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RedStickPhil from New Mexico

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Offered up by the Hamiltons on a fun visit to Greensboro. A solid beer from a genre that isn't my favorite. Deep, robust color. Not much in the foam or carbonation areas, and I smell almost nothing. In the mouth there's nice balance of maltiness but not sweetness, with a warm finish.

May 13, 2021
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SaltofOH from Ohio

3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can dated 2/2/21. DFH tulip.

A: pours a super dark, blood red, crystal clear with one finger of beige head that lingers as a frothy cap with islands of bubbles.

S: sweet malt, hint of cherries, tootsie pop chocolate.

T: arrives with a mild sweetness, filling the mouth with that rounded maltiness. Ending on a clean, very mild and traditional, if not a little earthy, hop bitterness.

M: midweight, chewy, but somehow retaining superb attenuation for an ale. Plenty of carbonation, but not excessive.

O: a pretty spot-on American red ale. Perfect for pairing with a wide variety of foods. A little darker malt toastiness makes this a better fall beer than spring. I like Bell’s Amber better, perhaps Fat Tire, too (if it’s fresh). Would have again on draft, but would not buy six more for home.

Mar 21, 2021
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arizcards from North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up as part of a mixed 12 pack on 12-19-20 for $16.97. No bottling date visible, consumed on 12-20-20.

Beer poured amber red with a nice off white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is light on malts and hop aroma.

Taste is really well done. A classic amber ale the crystal and caramel malts used form a nice sweet based that is really well balanced by the herbal and grapefruit hops. Finishes with a light trace of bitterness; 5/10 on my scale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall a tasty old school amber ale that makes for a nice flavorful session ale.

Dec 20, 2020
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Seamus_Hanrahan from Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

at Highland Brewing on tap -smooth and balanced red ale. An easy drinking beer with a good crisp flavour.. and not too sweet. Thin head. In the average category.

Dec 18, 2020
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mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours red with tall, long lasting, fluffy off-white head. Aroma is of caramel malt, grassy hops and red fruit. Body is medium and crisp. Taste is of good amount of herbal hops, caramel malt and red fruit. Finish is long and dry. Nice brew.

Oct 30, 2020
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nick_perry from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty aroma, but the taste features more hops than the aroma lets on. Not too boozy. Somewhat sweet up front, but then a drier, carbonated finish. Well structured.

Aug 07, 2020
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, no date. "Asheville's first beer"

Very clear dark amber with a long lasting khaki top. Smells like spicy hops and amber malts. Tastes like a very good amber homebrew, with a good amount of hops, but still malt dominated. Some dark fruit and hard water flavors emerge as it heats up.

Very tasty and easy to drink

Jun 07, 2020
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've drank this beer on many, many occasions, bottles, and tap.
Appears amber, with a nice foamy tan head that lasts.
Smells lightly bready, floral.
Taste follows the nose, with enough bitterness to keep my interest.
Mouth feel is medium for the style.
Overall, this is a very nice beer that I would definitely order again.
The brewery is definitely worth a visit.

Apr 06, 2020
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mthelm85 from Texas

4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In 2019 I find that it's not too often I come across a really well done brown ale. I know this is classified here on BA as an American Amber, but I think of it as more of a traditional (English) brown as the hoppy character is quite subdued (which I like). I don't review beers very often but I was so pleased with this beer that I decided it deserved it! I highly recommend this beer if you like a good brown ale.

Jul 09, 2019
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Buckeye55 from North Carolina

3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish amber clear color with a small but sustained head.
Takes a more cultured nose than mine to tell you what'sgoing on there.
Has a smooth taste, medium mouth feel and just a hint of bitter at the finish. I like this brew, just not as much as some of Highland's other offerings.
Rates an 7.5 out of 10 on the would you like to sit down with a 12 pack of this brew scale

May 02, 2019
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ArchimedesSox from Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper color, 1/2 inch off white head, good lacing
S: Bread, bisquet
T: Sweet caramel, transitions to bread then a little bitterness from a some hops, really nice flavor
M: Medium to light
O: Really good malty beer. Visited the brewery when I was in Asheville and met the founder. Really nice guy and he has some really great beers.

Mar 29, 2019
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hottenot from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really hits the spot when you want a true Ale.

Highlands Brewing is one of the first and their Ale is still one of the finest.
Nice blend of malt and hops. With a little lean towards the hops.

Curious because Ale wasn't originally brewed with hops.

Still, a great tasting Ale that may or may not, be Gaelic.

Jan 14, 2019
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mj24053 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really solid beer. This one gets overlooked a lot by me because it's been around so long, as Highland was one of NC's first microbreweries. Malty, biscuity taste. Carbonated. Hops are there but they blend in nicely. Good balance of bitterness. Really great beer.

Nov 17, 2018
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle dated 8/20/18
Dark copper, clear, hard to raise more than a few mm head.
Bready, along with light floral aromas.
Hops win out over the malt, a little nutty taste.
Light bodied, what little head first appeared sticks around with good lacing. Dry finish.
A little thin and lackluster for an amber ale. Not bad, just average.

Oct 28, 2018
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Speartron from Maryland

3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel and sweet mix of hops on taste. Nose tingling sweetness on the nose. Nice amber alert colour, a bit watery but a oily lingering bitterness. Bitterness lingers but is not overwhelming. Very drinkable

Sep 13, 2018
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber with a one finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Light caramel aroma. Caramel forward with tart hops on the end. A bit of a watery finish. Hops linger on the tongue. Medium body and carbonation.

Aug 12, 2018
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Tridentric from North Carolina

4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Love this pleasant easy drinking ale. Great to look at and smell when poured. Smooth tasting and nicely hopped. A little caramel coming thru after first swig. Great everyday beer.

Aug 09, 2018
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Alan_Bats from Missouri

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L- great color for an amber. Head dissipates quickly.
S- caramel notes are forward and hoppiness in the back
T- starts with a nice sweetness and hoppiness balance but then turns a little too sweet. The finish is stellar with a toasty malt that lingers.
F- a great medium body and moderate carbonation are perfect for an amber.
O- this is a solid beer. Perfect for a flagship beer and highland should be proud. Other than a little too much sweetness, the beer has nice balance and the sweet/toasty/hoppy profile is nice. Could drink everyday.

Apr 26, 2018
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BigGold from Mississippi

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had at The Lounge, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, poured from 12-oz. bottle, stamped “FILLED 12/27/17,” into clear plastic beer cup, and had at The Shrimp Factory, River Street, Savannah, on draft into clear plastic pint beer go cup.

The expected caramel malt sweetness of this hugely aromatic amber ale is nicely balanced by hop bite in the finish.

Apr 09, 2018
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chitoryu12 from Florida

3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Look: Dark, crystal clear amber with a finger of frothy white head.

Smell: Very light citrus and not much else.

Taste: Bitter hops intermingle with hops. Not a ton of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Average in every way.

Overall: Pretty typical bitter amber ale. Nothing too special.

Mar 20, 2018
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes 12/7/14: Pours a clear deep amber producing 2.5 fingers of beige, frothy, somewhat lasting head that leaves wispy, webby lacing. Aroma is toasted and lightly buttered pumpernickel, pale malts, with hints of roasted nuts, caramel and herbal hops. Taste is similar to the nose but sweeter and with much more hop character than expected. The bitterness is nicely balanced with the roasted maltiness. Honey and brown sugar join the caramel on the sweet side with flora/herbal and resinous hops in the bitterness profile. Finishes faintly dry and peppery but sweetly bitter which develops into a piney but sweet dark tea like bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated; silky, lightly prickly and a little chewy. One of the better amber ales outside of the amber imperials.

Mar 10, 2018
Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1571 ratings