Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
1,505 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:
#16,678
Reviews:
542
Ratings:
1,505
pDev:
12.07%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
340
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,505 |  Reviews: 542
Photo of HopHead84
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 696 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color here is a dark ruby, but there is no head that I can report. Aroma is sweet and fruity. Malt is huge in this ale, hops have a small role, but still, the body is full, and the mouthfeel generous and tasty. Much more flavorful than other ales I've encountered recently. Worthy to associate itself with Irish reds. Thanks to Uglyradio.

 338 characters

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

Nice mahogany color,decent,had a musty somewhat fruity smell.A well-crafted brew like better on tap,its a little more fruity.Has a light touch of hops to finish it out,with no real lingering aftertaste.Highland is a nice brewing company have been to Barleys taproom to try many of theres on tap.

 295 characters

Photo of papat444
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a haul of beer my parents bought me on their way back from Florida.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, bottled 10/05/11.

Appearance: Body is a nice mix of orange and amber. A voluminous head that slowly recedes yet hold strong at 2-3 fingers. Spidery lacing glues itself to the glass.

Smell: Resiny hops mixed with caramel malt, tangerine and orange.

Taste: Tea-like bitterness (discreet) with a strong caramel overtone as well as a biscuity side. Earthy hops but malt controls this. Plush fruit as well.

Mouthfeel: Low lying bitterness that tapers off as it warms. Overall nice feel.

Overall: Not a standout but i ended up liking it. Definitely a viable option as compared to bland beers.

 696 characters

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

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

Had this on-tap at the Olde Hickory Taproom last night. It came out to me with a average sized head. It was a nice red tone. It had a good aroma as well. The taste was very close to Killian's. The drinkability was good as well. I could have drank several more. I would order another one of these in the future.

 310 characters

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

Got this interesting guy thanks to beandip.

A: A light fluffy 1/2 finger head fades slowly and leaves a decent lacing. Some haze in the orange reddish slight rose colored beer.

N: Some toasty malts, little bready, fresh pale malt aroma, very light spices almost, little earthy juicy hop aroma too, and slightly grassy hops too.

T: Starts with toasty malts, lots of fresh malty pale malt flavors, little bready and toasty, light grassy hops, little earthy flavors, slightly spicy, crisp ale flavors.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly dry with a slight sweetness, slight bitterness with a little grassy mild hop flavor, and some earthy flavors lingering. Crisp ale flavors also linger.

 715 characters

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.

 306 characters

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

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

The Gaelic Ale was served in a pint glass with a mediocre head and very impressive lacing. The color was a wonderful red-amber. I did my best to take in the bouquet and decipher what made it up, but couldn't get a good read. Maybe served too cold, maybe just a beer with mediocre aromatics.
The taste started off interestingly, somewhat bitter and quite hoppy, but quickly faded into a watery, tasteless beer. It had no tatse of being skunky or anything like that, but just finished with litle or no taste at all. The mouthfeel was also relatively flat, watery and uninteresting. it was a decent beer to have with friends but nothing very impressive.

 652 characters

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.

 591 characters

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...

 886 characters

Photo of TonyLema1
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.

 417 characters

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

 584 characters

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.

 722 characters

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.

 518 characters

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.

 505 characters

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 1,505 ratings