Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
1,502 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:
#16,262
Reviews:
542
Ratings:
1,502
pDev:
12.07%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
338
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,502 |  Reviews: 542
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.

 878 characters

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.

 344 characters

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.

 874 characters

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.

 580 characters

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.

 593 characters

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

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

Deep amber color I can barely see through. Not much head. Subdued malty nose. Bready caramel taste up front with a sharp hop kick in the middle with a malty finish. Pretty tasty and well balanced. Dry light mouthfeel highly carbonated. Overall a good beer.

 256 characters

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

Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 1,502 ratings