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Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

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Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
1,481 Ratings
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States
highlandbrewing.com

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by stirgy on 01-11-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#14,148
Reviews:
538
Ratings:
1,481
pDev:
11.81%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
329
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,481 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of jifigz
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint.

A: A coppery red with a nice off white head that lingers and leaves some good lacing. The color is pretty hazy.

S: Slightly toasted and buttery malts.

T: It is slightly bitter but mostly a blend of malt like flavors: bread, lightly toasted grain, and sweet sugars. There is a slight tart candy like twinge at the end.

M: There is nothing special here but it certainly isn't bad.

O: This is a very easy drinking ale. It is a beer that is good for any weather and is one that someone who isn't into more craft like beers could easily handle. Pretty Good stuff.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Highland brewery has taken off over the last few years (at least here in NC), due to the quality beer they have produced, classics and seasonals alike. I recommend all of highland’s offerings, but their standard is the Gaelic ale. The brewery calls Gaelic an amber American ale, but BA says red Irish ale.
Gaelic ale is a smooth combination of hoppy bite and malt smoothness. Actually, while the beer does have some hop taste, the malt levels it out, giving you bitter tastes on the front of your tongue, with sweet hints at the back, flavors of caramel, and possibly apple and cinnamon arise. An easy drinking beer, Gaelic has a beautiful dark amber and ruby color. A nice tan head appears to start, but quickly dissipates, as the beer is not an overly carbonated affair. I always have a 6-pack of Highland’s Gaelic ale in my fridge. It’s a great beer for any occasion.
Cheers...

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Photo of tlema1
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dubman003
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent beer, but if Highland's Oatmeal Porter and Gaelic Ale were both available, I'd definitely do the porter. The Ale is not thick as a porter, obviously, but it has hints of the porter taste--a porter light, perhaps.

Even though the "style" is irish red ale, the gaelic is on another level of red ale excellence. It's distinct and should be the first thing you order when it's on the menu. Enjoy.

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

I bought this thinking it would be a scotch ale. Started drinking this and I was sayins this is the lighest scotch ale I have ever had. I agree this is noting more than a red/brown ale.

appearance: red/brown. garnet glow

smell: slight sweetness of caramel but not much

taste: taste like a less sweet bready fat tire. Easy drinking. little hops at all and semi sweet. A goos session brown ale

mouthfeel: very light considerign it's style

drinkability: I liekd it once I realized what it was. A good traiing beer for the rookies and well made. Like I said this is a better Fat tire

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Photo of collinssm2
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to limesmut for this one!

Poured this into a pint glass.

Gaelic Ale pours a nice amber hue with a finger thick khaki colored head which dies down to a thin lacing pretty quick. Stickiness is spotty, but there. Smell is a bit weak, but a toasted nut malt seems to dominate the nose. A small bit of earthy hops seems to emerge as well. Taste was quite a surprise, but a pleasant one at that. Very nice caramel malt with a good balance of citrus hops which gives this one an overall sweet character to it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Drinkability is definitely there, but the sweetness may take away from it after a few. Possible session beer. Thanks again to Sean for this one.

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Photo of JonMich13
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Nice deep amber, small whitish head and lite lacing.

S = Sweet smell of caramel malts, very lite notes of hops.

T = Delicious sweet caramel malt dominates the palate. There is some lite hop bitterness that tries to come about, but the balance is heavily in favor of the sweetness. A little better balance on the back end would do this one some good.

M = Nice medium to slightly thick mouthfeel.

D = This one is definitely an easy drinker. I could easily go 3 or 4 deep.

Solid brew from an underrated brewery.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chossboss
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gefinley
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Caskaway
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a nice head and serious lacing. Smell is slightly underwhelming, compared to the rest of it's traits. I avoided this beer for a while because of the Gaelic name, assuming it were Wee Heavy Scottish Ale - which it is not. This is an American style amber/red. However, Highland Brewery does, after all, stylize itself after traditional Scottish breweries, so it is impossible to be completely rid of that malty influence. The result is almost perfect: an American well-hopped amber that warms and smooths itself out with sweet, bready malts. Flavor is caramel and honey-ham with a prevalent earthy hop bite.

This insane balance is both this beers high-point and set-back. The character is neither a hoppy and bitter nor smooth and malty, which is pleasing balance, but it is also a bit underwhelming. Deciding which way to think about this beer is a little like deciding between two really great movies you want to watch: once you settle down and pick one, you miss the other.

 1,010 characters

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of klikger
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A - Orange-red ale, decent off-white head, and fair lacing.

S - Caramel malts, robust grains

T - Sweetness & dark caramel --> a touch of vegetation - peat? --> a little bit of hops on the end, but not enough. Tasty/inoffensive as a whole, though - the malt profile is solid and stands out from the majority of red ales I've had.

M - Medium-bodied; fine carbonation.

D - Good, not great. A little sweet to session, but it's the style, not the beer.

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Photo of Douglas88
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to tronraner. Pours a bright and clear amber color with a medium tan head. A sweet nose of rich caramel, some toasted malt and sugars. The flavor is also dominated by loads of caramel malts, some balance is achieved by a decent hop profile. A soft and fizzy mouthfeel. A light bitterness in the finish. Fairly earthy and nice.

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

With a bearded bag-pipe player set against the mountainous backdrop of Asheville NC gracing the label, how can this lose? Filled on 10/7/14. The beer pours with a bright amber clarity, and a rocky manilla head. 2 fingers of foam recede, leaving lavish lacing on the glass. The nose is dominated by biscuity malts. Tart cider-like notes and piney hops battle for second fiddle. The flavor delivers caramel sweetness, and a buttery toffee that reminds me of an English ale. However, the tangy hop bite quickly takes over, washing away the malts and leaving only nice toasted grain in the finish. The mouthfeel is a tad watery, with tame carbonation, though it doesn't detract from the experience. This brew achieves a very respectable balance. A classic American Amber, true to the style. Nothing earth shattering, but a delightful and well-crafted treat from the Tarheel State.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber red glass with good clarity, but only holds a thin partial cover that gives a little lace.

Smell: Bit of English hops and yeast on a slightly candy sweet malt base.

Taste: Clean, slightly sweet crystal malt flavor, nicely balanced with no off flavors; easy drinking.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium light carbonation, slightly oily finish.

Overall: A nicely crafted beer. Everything an amber/red should be, easy to drink, enough flavor to make it worthwhile.
Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

 514 characters

Photo of KWolf
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mild slightly hopped amber. Very drinkable

42 characters

Photo of patpbr
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- deep color, looking amber with a little head.
S- malt and carmel.
T- up front malt, it has some sweetness. Hops and some fruit.
M- full flavor that leaves a nice malt linger. this is coming from someone that likes hops
O- Friend brought some back from Ashville. Its a good brew

 281 characters

Photo of Backer2004
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite North Carolina beers that I first tried in the mountains and was glad when I saw it available in Charlotte. A very drinkable amber that can be enjoyed all evening. Floral scent with flavor to match, not too hoppy. Great Irish Red. Nice frothy head and lacing around the glass . . . would like to see it in the stores as well.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am quickly becoming a fan of Highland Brewing Company. I just had two of their other beers at Barley's Taproom and Pizzaria in Knoxville, Tennessee. I picked up a six pack of this on the way home. This offering did not let me down.

The pour was a dark amber/copper with a good half inch head that quickly dissapated into a dark lace around the top of the glass.

The smell was very spicy with a light floral overtone.

The taste started with a sweet malt kick, medium hops in the middle and a clean, sweet finish. The smell was misleading as to what the taste was going to be. When I first smelled it I thought it was going to be a hop head's dream, but I was wrong. The hops are noticeable, but not overpowering. Plus they don't linger around after the drink.

All and all a very drinkable and refreshing beer that would go well as a session beer or with dinner.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of dball
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Gaelic has been a favorite drinking beer of mine for a long time. It is my favorite brew from Highland in Asheville. It pours a deep golden color with a burgundy tint. The head is light and fluffy and the beer laces lightly on the glass. The smell is average and carries a solid blend of hops and malt. Drinkability is missing from the scale these days and I think that is one of the strengths of the Gaelic. It has a slightly bitter feel but a smooth malty finish. I think it is a solid go to beer for entertaining and for good afternoon hang. Delightful despite it not being an "A" beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 578 characters

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 1,481 ratings
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