Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale
BA SCORE
66.1%
Liked This Beer
3.81 w/ 1,473 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:
#13,096
Reviews:
538
Ratings:
1,473
Liked:
973
Avg:
3.81/5
pDev:
11.81%
Alströms:
4
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
325
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,473 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of costanzo_mike
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of barczar
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light amber with a frothy one inch khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of holy lacing.

Nutty, toasty, slightly sweet caramel malt and floral hops form the aroma.

Flavor reveals sweet, caramel malt at the base, becoming slightly toasty, dry, and a touch bitter at the finish. Floral hops are evident throughout. Nutty, toasted malt add complexity. There's a hint of citrus at the base.

Body is moderate to slightly watery, with moderate carbonation.

Malt is definitely dominant, with bready, roasted caramel notes surfacing throughout. Slight bitterness at the finish rounds out the flavor profile well. Malt complexity is somewhat lacking, though, as well as hops for an amber. There's a metallic tang that is offputting.

 754 characters

Photo of Beerisgood3
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice medium amber that has a slight cherry copper color. One finger light tan head which fades fairly quickly leaving a ring. Spotty lacing left as you drink.

S: Faint malts with a bit of pine. Very subtle smell.

T: Much better than the smell. A bit more hop presence than i expected in the first sip. A few sips in and you'll notice a strong malty finish. Malts tend to dominate the flavor more as it warms but you will be left with a finish just bitter/citrus enough to cut through the sweet and keep it in balance.

M: Good medium bodied beer that makes you want to take another sip. Goes down smoothly.

D: Easily a session beer.

Overall, a good beer. I would gladly drink these again. The BA grade will be lower than it should be simply because i did not rate the smell favorably as it was super subtle. Tastes good though.

 836 characters

Photo of bigjohnn
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of LittleBreeze
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11/20/2007 Beer Thirty

Thanks stopbarking for sending this one.

Nice clean, flavorful and uncomplicated beer. I detected citrus and earthy aromas. A touch of brown sugar.
Fizzy. In this season of RIS, fizzy was a surprise. Thin head.

Mouthfeel wasn't there for me. Thin...Lacks body
Easy enough to drink several.

 315 characters

Photo of sweethome
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky dark amber color. White head look a little out of place for this dark beer. Sweet carmel nose. Nice, rich malts await. Just a hint of hop resins on nose too.

Medium mouthfeel - sweetness flows out to envelope palate. Clean malt flavor profile. Not overly complex, but again - clean malty profile. A hint of clover honey. Just rich enough to satisfy. Flavorful with out being complex - an easy drinking Scottish style ale. Not overly true to style - but it works nicely.

 476 characters

Photo of jhutt
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of xybreeder
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very nice amber/orange color, little to no head with slight lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, slight hop aroma, but mostly malt aromas.

T - Malt on the front, hops on the back, slight bitterness lingers. Caramel and grapefruit seem to dominate the flavor profile. Very nice & balanced tasty brew.

M - Medium body, carbonation seems good despite the missing head.

O - A nicely balanced brew, that is very drinkable. Could use just a little less bitterness on the back-end, besides that, it's a fine tasting brew!

 521 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a full, light brown head that sits atop a clear deep amber-ruby beer. The aroma is sticky with malt notes and a hint of herbal, grassy hops as well. The aroma is quite intoxicating, with its sweet caramel malt notes. The taste is malty as well, though it is not as sweet as the aroma suggests, and it has lots of toasted malt notes. This is almost quite dry in its maltiness, perhaps there is a hint of smokiness as well. The finish is quite drying with its mix of toasted, cracker, roasted, and smoke malt flavors. This is a solid enjoyable beer.

 558 characters

Photo of velopack
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Probably favorite beer tried so far

35 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and copper in color with an off-white, half finger head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of surface suds. Not much for lacing outside a few minuscule spots.

Smell - Aroma hits on a good amount of caramel, with a bit of slightly earthy, slightly fruity character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Plenty of caramel that's almost overridden by the hop character that exhibits character of spice, some citrus, slight floral and earth elements. Finishes much the same, but with a bit of toastiness. All in all, a well balanced ale.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with fair carbonation. Slightly slick texture with a somewhat dry finish; easy drinker.

Overall - A very solid, but not spectacular amber. No real weak points, but it simply doesn't stand out. They say it's their flagship, and that makes sense. It's an easy drinking brew with a flavor profile that should work well enough for most consumers.

 945 characters

Photo of JohnL9013
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I took a huge risk at the store and picked up a 6-pack of this stuff since I wanted something heavier to go with my Sam's Summer Ale. Well, I'm darn impressed!

A: Pours a deep amber into my pilsner. Really great color, and very good lacing.

S: The malt really hits you at first. Honestly, it has as strong a malt smell as some Bocks that I've tried, but it doesn't carry over to the taste. There's also some really great hops going on here. These guys know what they're doing.

T: The taste has a lot of really great hop flavor going on, in fact, it tastes more of hops than of malt, but it's just really, really well-balanced overall. I took my first sip and said, "Damn good!" because I didn't expect what came out of this bottle.

M: My main complaint would be that this stuff's a little overcarbonated.

D: Very light stuff. You could easily make a session of it.

Overall, I'm highly impressed with this beer. Most beers I try that have such fancy packaging suck. I'll definitely look for it in the future, and I'll definitely have to go back to the store to try their IPA that was sitting next to this stuff.

 1,116 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheRock7755
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this via trade! Gotta love BA!

A - Rich ruby red, with a thin off-white head.

S - Nice malty smell, caramel and a little floral hops.

T - Similar to smell. Nice caramel flavors with just enough hops to keep it from being too sweet.

M - Medium body, decent carbonation. Finishes clean.

D - I like my beers on the maltier side and this one worked great for me. Yes sir, may I have another?

 407 characters

Photo of stegmakk
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark copper with a tan medium size head...
Aroma is roasted malt and almost earthy kind of tones
Taste...mmmm...Roasty malt from start to finish HINTS of some hops to keep a balance...that same earthy presence is there but barely...I did not taste caramel or sweet or fruit (this beer is good and doesnt need those flavors in it)
Mouthfeel was nice and slick...I could drink a few of these...Thanks to Loki for this sampling

 440 characters

Photo of Durge
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one of my experiences at Tyler's Tap Room in Durham, NC. This poured a dark brown-copper color with a decent head and great lace throughout. It had a mild but nice chocolate malt aroma. The taste brought more sweet malt goodness with touches of caramel and butterscotch quite evident. There is a more subtle hops presence which brings in a dry grassy quality in the finish. I even detected a slight fruit highlight, like melon maybe. Very active carbonation and quite drinkable for this style. Definitely recommended for a try and I will enjoy again.

Update 07/30/08: A dark copper color ale with a solid off-white head and some goodly gobs of lacing. The aroma is a mild malty cereal deal, hard to nail down and not particularly strong. The flavor is much more definitive in great malt character with some clove and raspberry/cherry and chocolate. Really complex and fun to drink. Well carbonated and not heavy in alcohol so it is easy drinking for the style. Medium feel, maybe even a bit light for this type of brew but very enjoyable. Definitely try this one as something easy to like and a little different. Malt is the theme and it's a good one.

 1,161 characters

Photo of ectomorph
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a little aggressively, this brew pours a nice amber/mahogany color with slow fading head leaving thick lace on the glass.

S - Malt breads are picked up in the front, with a mild bitterness at the end.

T - Malty and sweet balanced with a mild hop bitterness. Some nice bread notes here.

M - Medium body and nice carbonation, very nice.

D - Very high drinkabilty. Could be paired with anything foodwise.

 416 characters

Photo of tchenery
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color looks good, maybe a bit lighter than I expected, but there's hardly a head on this one at all. A bit of white lace around the edge but not much.

It smells almost fruity and sweet. I'm picking up a bit of malt but not much.

The malt definitely comes through in the taste. It has a wonderful marshmallow toasty bread flavor with a touch of bitterness on the very end. I wish it had a big fluffy head with the flavor that it has.

Mouthfeel is extremely fine. Very smooth, very rich flavor profile.

Totally drinkable.

 524 characters

Photo of bigbutter
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Schwarzwald
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer on tap. I have had the bottle as well and it's not so good. I really like a cold tap though. Great with pizza and the taste can hold up to rich food. It has a great orange-rust color with a lot of bitey carbonation. Give it a try on tap... a lot better than the bottle.

 289 characters

Photo of kindestcut
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another beer from my homeland courtesy of Loki. Thanks!

The Gaelic Ale pours a pretty clear amber. When poured, the head is just massive. Perhaps I poured a bit harshly but the head is just great...fluffy like a cloud. It's also slow to dissipate.

The aroma is really appealing without being overpowering...sweet, malty, hoppy in the faaaar distance. I know this is not going to be a bitter beer.

The taste is good...flavor is good...again, sweet and malty. A very slight beer. I really wish the carbonation was more active, or active at all. It's not totally flat but man, I think the head used up the entire allotment of bubbles! Points off for mouthfeel.

All-in-all a good beer. I enjoyed the Oatmeal Porter more but this is a very good effort.

 759 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SomethingClever
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into shaker pint on tap

A: medium caramel coloring very little head great clarity

S: very cold so not much nose

T: light bready sweetness with a little bit of caramel

M: light to a tad medium in the mouthfeel

O: it's not bad but not mind blowing it definitely easy drinking.

 286 characters

Photo of xcdarrel17
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very solid amber

16 characters

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 66.1% out of 100 with 1,473 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.