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Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
531 Reviews
Highland Gaelic AleHighland Gaelic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 01-11-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
531
Ratings:
1,429
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
288
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 531 | Ratings: 1,429
Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish amber color with off-white colored head. Caramel malts, bread, floral notes, and some light hay on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with decent maltiness.

 202 characters

Photo of Korbynlehr
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a pleasant surprise. This ale has a dark color I liken to just lighter than coke. Little to no head. The nose is deceiving as it has little to nothing as far as a nose. Taste is all beer with a late caramel hint....very little caramel though. Overall this is a great ale.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Due South in DC 5/16/16.

L: One finger head with little retention. Beer is indeed an amber sliding into red, like a fall maple leaf. (poetic, look at me!)

S: Clean smell, lots of caramel malt. Maybe some mulling spices?

T: Malt-forward, only a little sweet with caramel presiding. Bready. Piney, bittering hop aftertaste hangs around a bit too long.

F: Light bodied, light to medium carbonation. Decent construction. Balance so-so, but not bad. Crisp and clean.

O: Very nice example of the style, enhanced much by freshness. Looking forward to trying more of their beer.

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Photo of jpro
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass... Pours a crystal clear, copper with a smallish head of light tan foam. A ring of sudsy retention leaves a few spots and specks of lace. Toasty aroma with some sweet malt hints and citrus-pithy hops. Taste is about as balanced as it gets... Bready, caramel malts countered by a leafy, citrusy hop finish. Feel is just right... Medium bodied with moderate carbonation... Finish is not too bitter or sweet. This is one of my all time favorite, go to, craft beers. So enjoyable.

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Photo of jasadewi
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is a dark amber and red ale. It smells like caramel. It smells like a masculine and bitter toffee or candy. It tastes great and sweet and bitter at the same time. It feels relatively light and its a great beer to finish a night.

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Photo of The_Dude_31
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a shaker glass. Love the malty caramel taste. My favorite ale, this is one of those that you can't just have one. The Lays potato chip of beers.

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Photo of holtonwes
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a lovely transparent dark amber with an offwhite head with fairly good retention and lacing
Smell: bready, nutty, hints of caramel, some raisin or fig
Taste: Same as smell, a little bit of hoppiness in the middle, but a lovely malty caramel finish
Feel: Smooth and velvety
Overall: one of my favorite beers, and growing up around Asheville, one of my favorite beers. Tastes like home!

 396 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep amber color with off white head little lacing thin film of head stays after a couple of minutes
Smell little caramel some dark fruit notes slight hop smell
Taste get the caramel as well as a slight nutty taste
Feel very smooth medium body
Overall easy to drink would go well with a meal

 297 characters

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 rapayn01
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a new mix 6 choice, part of my fall exploration of the style. It was a good beer, but not my kind of red ale. In short, I found that it could use a bit more hop.

 170 characters

Photo of c014572
2.82/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Sorry, I just can't rate this as what others have. There is a very off-putting aftertaste with this, perhaps I got a bad bottle? I just don;t get the vive others and the bro's have had.

 186 characters

Photo of Mitzvahman72
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

With a bold amber color, it gives off fresh, crisp, roasted toffee malt with a very hoppy aftertaste within the malt. This piney hoppy aftertaste tries to disappear into a balanced state, but it clings to your mouth not wanting to let go. This is basically the Alley Cat from Lost Coast Brewing, but slightly more hoppier, less intertwined with the malt and hops and the hops don’t fall back into a balanced state before you know the bitter hops are there.

 458 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. The color is a golden amber with a creamy, light tan head and lacing. The smell is a nutty, bready malt and toffee. The taste is similar: caramel, toffee, nuts, and roasted malt, with a mildly hoppy finish. This is a medium-bodied, pleasantly carbonated ale, and very drinkable at 5.6 AVB. Overall, this is a tasty and very enjoyable American ale; it's favorable but light enough to enjoy more than one.

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Photo of illpass78
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle with my father in law. Poured my half into a house pint.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a short eggshell head. Minimal head.

Aroma: Toffee, caramel, maybe some brown nuts, some darkish fruits. Bread.

Taste: Follows the nose closely.

Mouthfeel: Standard for the style.

Overall: Very OK red ale. Inoffensive, but doesn't really distinguish itself. Most things about Asheville are more exciting than this beer.

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Photo of chamberscreek
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this ale from Highland. Enough punch and depth of flavor for an ale, but crisp and light enough for a summer refreshment. A good utility infielder of an ale (that's a complement).

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look-This beer pours a crystal clear dark amber color that glints with a reddish copper hue in the light. The
head settles into a bready layer after settling.

Smell-It smells like oak, caramel, spices, fruits and such.

Taste-This tastes like sugar cherries, caramel, nutmeg/spices, fruits, and candied almonds. The alcohol comes at the end with the carbonation.

Mouthfeel-It feels smooth and medium-bodied. There is a pleasant coating on the tongue that reminds me of an oak bourbon barrel for cellaring barley wines and such although this one is just an ale.

Overall-I keep getting surprised by Highland Brewing. Although they can’t compete with Ommegang, they are still quite good though.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.99/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Phenomenal all around beer. Had on tap at magnolias in charleston sc. Great amber ale with a nutty scotch Bready malt front with some subtle pine hop notes at the back. Not heavy like some other Amber ales. Great beer. Would seek this out.

 246 characters

Photo of Jericho7x
2.99/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

New to beer tasting, so take this with a grain of salt.
SMELL = Honestly, smelled like a foot. Not a ripe, all day while running foot, but maybe like 2-3 hours in a sneaker. Did not like the smell.
LOOK = Carmel color with a cream colored head. Not thick.
TASTE = Bitter. Could not get too much other taste, but it did have a very slight sweetness at the end.
OVERALL = not for someone like me getting away from the mass-produced American beers. This would be for a more veteran taste.

 486 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear amber bodied with a light cream head with a touch of ruby.

Aroma/Flavor: Nutty and bready up front with some notes of toffee, and a fruity aroma that doesn't show through quite as bright on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a touch of hop bitterness lingering. Not much, but doesn't compliment well.

Overall: A prototypical standard.

 371 characters

Photo of Bis4beer70
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had some of this while on vacation coming back from Florida & North & South Carolina,along with Georgia too...I had beers from each state in the span of two weeks & this was the top of the heap...drank it while in Knoxville,TN the day after driving up thru N.Carolina...The mountain town of Asheville & their beer! Wow! It's UP THERE! Cheers! good stuff indeed!

 361 characters

Photo of Bosoxbennie
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I truly cannot make up my mind on ambers..One second I think I'm just done with them, and then I try one like this that changes my mind...very very solid brew

 158 characters

Photo of tone77
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts are present. Taste is hops up front, malts at the finish, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 253 characters

Photo of Daytonbeerguy
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

May not be ground shattering but is a very good selection to pair with food and is extremely drinkable and good for meeting with friends and shooting the breeze.

 161 characters

Photo of DeaconsBrew
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very drinkable and food-friendly. This is a go-to red ale as it is now readily available in my area. Stirs up a craving for brats or sausage sandwiches. I keep this in a wine cooler at 50 degrees and the flavors and subtle complexities really come out at that temp.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful, fat-bubbled, deep-ruddy red-amber ale, I find myself unfortunately not as impressed with the remainder of this Highland flagship than I expected to be. It has a very mild, slightly malty odor, but that'd be forgivable if the flavors weren't also so excessively mild. Besides being a bit thin in texture, Gaelic Ale is quite lean on the flavors I expect from a well-crafted amber: the malting is clean, but doesn't do much to make its presence felt besides a bit bite on top of its moderately sweet substructure; and the overall impression is certainly a little less than the "rich malty body" promised on the label. Meanwhile, the hopping is nice, but largely straightforward: not a lot of fragrance or florality, with the Cascade and Willamette primarily serving to ripen the sweetness a bit with some grassy bitter notes.

It's a fairly drinkable beer—though I wouldn't quite call it "sessionable," despite its fairly light body, since the sweetness outweighs the crispness, respective to Gaelic's malt elements (and malt is the crucial component of an amber, as far as I'm concerned). But, as stated, it's a little disappointing, given that I've liked other products from Highland, and this is their ur-product. I've been told that on draft it better matches its promises, both in terms of official description and critical profile, but I suppose I'll believe that when I taste it; from the twelve-ounce bottle, it was decent, but underwhelming.

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.
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