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Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

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BA SCORE
86
very good
535 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 01-11-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
535
Ratings:
1,447
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
19.42%
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
298
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 535 | Ratings: 1,447
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice red/orange, semi-transparent brew with a finger of tan foam. The foam settles into a nice top-layer and leaves lovely lacing on the sides of my Sierra Nevada pint glass.

The aroma is brown sugar, caramel and hops. This is a great smelling beer. The taste leans toward the malts, but the hops are there. I think the brewers at Highland really balanced this red ale perfectly. I've been looking for something a little less hoppy for a change of pace. This and my last review, Sweetwater Georgia Brown really have hit the spot. I'll give this one a slight nod as it's not as sweet and the hops are a little more noticeable throughout, but particularly on the after taste. Don't get me wrong, this will not knock you over with hops but it uses them extremely well.

The mouth feel is medium and not too carbonated. A tad more carbonation might help this beer some, but perhaps not. I'm really splitting hairs here.

This is a great beer, and one I'll come back to again.

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Photo of beerdown77
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite Highland beer by far. It is well balanced beer. Different than Kashmir and St. Theresa, it doesn't have a metallic taste. It is slightly darker than you would expect. It pours almost brown. In addition to the hops and malt, it has a little bit of what you would expect from a brown ale...maple?

It's packed with flavor, but not too heavy or chew-spitty. Simply put this beer exceeded my expectations and is a must try if you ever find yourself in Ashville, NC.

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Photo of Misfit138
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into my Guinness pint glass

A- Nice looking ale. Amber in color, much like a pale ale. Good two inch foamy head

S- The smell is good. In many ways reminded me of a barleywine for some reason. There is fruit in the smell for sure, I also detect honey and hops.

T- Much like the smell. Initially a bit sweet, with citrus and perhaps honey flavor followed with hops.

M- Good body to it considering its not a stout or even a porter. The carbonation is moderate.

D- I think this has potential to be a session beer, for me its a bit sweet to have too many of. Highland makes some good stuff, and this is certainly a good one as well. This is only the second time I had this and I remember liking it more the first time, but certainly good.

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Photo of johnrobe
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew looks stunning in the glass...a clear deep reddish amber with a cream colored head that reduces to a cap. The smell is of caramel malt and a combination of fruity esters and citrusy hops....I can pick out some grapefruit, pineapple, maybe grapes. There's a nice hops bite to this one and it continues to be quite fruity in taste. Some candy-nougat sweet malt comes up for support but lacks some oomph, IMO, which contributes to a slightly thin mouthfeel. Still the taste is pretty good and this would make an excellent session pale/amber ale.

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Photo of gbarron
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. bottle.

A - reddish copper in color, slight chill/protein haze. Head is a very fluffy off-white. Retreats to a ring leaving good lacing. Retention is excellent.

S - tangy hop aroma, almost slightly sour. Some malt/caramel sugar and alcohol (although alcohol content is average). Hop aroma is floral.

T - slightly sweet beer, good caramel/toffee/rock candy malt sweetness with mild fruit like pineapple. Bitterness is average to a little below. Hop flavor is subdued, a little earthy and floral. Overall flavor of the beer is tilted toward the malt. Seems like there is a bit of diacetyl here, too.

M - body is moderately thin, carbonation average to low, smooth somewhat dry finish.

D - tasty little beer, flavor is a little "quiet," could use a little bigger body in all respects. Another solid offering from Highland, give it a try.

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Photo of watermelon
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Date on the bottle says bottled on 8/27/13

A: Looks good, pours a copper amber with a healthy tan head that left little lacing.

S: Very malty scent. Not very complex.

T: Carmel malts up front with a slightly hoppy finish.

M: feels good nice full body with medium carbonation. Goes down about what I would expect from the style.

O: I like everything highlands makes and this is no exception. Nicely balanced beer at a great price.

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Photo of 88caprice
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

Overall: Just so great. One of my favorite American Amber Ales.

This is a real amber color. A red hue like peach tea with a slight haze. Dense creamy head that sticks.
Has a bright, sweet, mouth-watering smell. Like sweet grapefruit, malty caramel, and a touch of dried apricot.
Taste is first a pronounced hop bitterness, fresh and citrusy. Then it rounds quickly to a caramelized malty backbone.
So smooth. Substantial body.

 468 characters

Photo of jsdunlop
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice ruby looking amber color, decent head forms quickly, then fades. Moderate lacing remains on my glass as the minutes pass. Has a very floral and malty sweet aroma to it, definitely some hoppiness going on in this red ale. Some piney, earthy hop flavor to start, bitter floral aftertaste that lingers around on the tongue nicely. This is a very malty tasting beer, quite bready and biscuity, with a pleasant sweetness and a very dry finish. The mouthfeel is quite thin, leaning towards the light-light medium body with a perfect level of carbonation. All in all, this is a good beer, very flavorful in the hop department, nicely done and easily drinkable.

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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!

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Photo of MrStark
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a farily amber with hints on orange and an off white one finger foamy head with good retention and lacing.

Smell consists of slightly sweet malts with a bit of hops thrown in as well.

Taste is nice blend of toasted, almost caramel malts with a hop presence in the finish. While not the most complex flavor it is pretty well balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good amount of carbonation leaving a little bite on the tongue.

Drinkability is great! Its a tasty brew that goes down easy and would make for quite a nice session beer. I look forward to having quite a few of these in the future.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A servicable scottish-american beer with a strong finish.

Appearance: An reddish-amber with an ample head and a decent lacing

Smell: Nearly non-existant

Taste: Slight smokey malt flavor with a hint of bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Overall smoothness with an extended malty finish

Drinkability: Smooth enough for a meal and quite versatile. Try it with a haggis or some neeps and tatties...it's a spot on scottish ale.

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Photo of nriech
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper. Lots of head dissapating quickly. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: Citrus and hoppy. Obvious flavors coming from the type of hops used. Caramel and alcohol are present also.

Taste: The hops actually are blended in nicely. Almost like an extra hoppy ale but not so far as an IPA. Very easy to drink. No alcohol taste present. Good balance on the aftertaste with fruit and malt. A good choice.

 422 characters

Photo of tigerpaws
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very average amber ale, not the best but worth drinking again. Nice malty taste, not much aroma and very good appearance. Its a good beer for the novice who drinks mass produced crap...............CHEERS

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a nice dark red/caramel color and malty nose, but it surprisingly didn't have the taste to back it up. It was also on the thin side for me. It wasn't what I expected based on what I had heard about it, but it would still make a nice session beer nonetheless.

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Photo of genaro
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once poured it is a nice amber/ruby color. The aroma is very fragrant. The taste is smooth. A good blend of flavoring hops with the malt (some caramel and sweetness). According to the label the hops used are Cascade and Willamette.The finish is just a little dry. All in all a very flavorful and enjoyable beer.

 311 characters

Photo of n00tz
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice amber body, w/tall dirty blonde head. Fairly active inviting carbonation

S - Clearly defined cascade hops presence, detectable sweetness in the malt.

T - Very unique in the sense that it starts with the hoppy floral tast and bridges into a malty sweet flavor

M - Medium bodied ale with a clean finish

D - This is a great beer once it reaches about 50 degrees fahrenheit. I'd love to grab this again next time I need a growler fill at Riverside and they have it available.

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Photo of slusk
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a favorite of mine. It pours with a two finger light tan head that partially dissipates but a small head rides the beer to the finish. A nice amber/copper color. The smell is a bit piney with some citrus and bready notes, a nice balance from malt to hoppyness. The taste is of a nicely balanced red ale that dreams of being an IPA.

I applaud the use of Chinook as a bittering hop and it drinks as a nice session beer that straddles the divide between an ale and an IPA. It's a good session beer that will appeal to those who don't necessarily like the IPA hop smack. A medium mouth feel makes this a nice afternoon thirst quencher.

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Photo of ghebel
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours Amber/Copper color with an off-white, orange 1/4 inch tight bubbled head. Leaves lacing on the glass on the way down to a thin ring.

S - Caramel malts dominate. Spicy, citrus and earthy hop aroma in the background.

T - Sweet and bready malts up front. Moderate bitterness that lingers after swallow.

M - Moderate body. Moderate carbonation bite. Some resinous dry hopped-like sensation coating in the mouth. Warm swallow.

D- Drinkable. I would buy six pack.

Overall - Enjoyable beer. Malts up front with balanced, background hop profile.

 552 characters

Photo of acsprouse
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: red amberish. Little cloudiness. white creamy head with a little lacing.

S: malts, bready, toasty, slightly sweet with a floral hop scent well in there (smells great)

T: malty, the taste follows the nose as far as maltiness. The hops fall short and so does the taste.

m: medium body yet slightly on the thinner side. Nicely carbonated. Very very drinkable.

o: highly drinkable. Well balanced blend of malts.the hops are lacking but ehh thats not always bad. Its not bad.. its good.. but its not great. I do urge you guys to try it.

 538 characters

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.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Translucent red amber with a soft white two finger head. Smells of sweet biscuity malts with just a litlle spicy and citric hop aroma and some subtle fruity esters. Much more citric hop flavor than aroma. Citrusy hops are the first and last flavor, with soft bready malts in between, not sweet, but very biscuity. A bit of alcohol in the finish, especially as it warms. Mouthfeel is soft and doughy with very little carbonation. This beer is extremely well balanced and highly drinkable. I wish I had more to make it a session. Thanks to mntlover for this fine brew.

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Photo of gabe23
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear dark amber with an off white head. Good retention and great lacing.

S - Caramel malt with some hops in the background. As with most Highland brews, it has a nice natural, earthy smell.

T - The taste matches the smell almost perfectly. Sweet caramel/brown sugar malt that is well-balanced with bite from the hops. The finish is nice and clean.

M - Medium body with plenty of smoothness. Not overly carbonated.

D - I love this beer, and I could drink a lot of it. I've become a real Highland junkie, and the Gaelic Ale is one of their better offerings.

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Photo of hobbes2112
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Mellow Mushroom in Chapel Hill, NC.

This came a nice dark gold hue with a 1-1.5 finger head of varied bubble size. The smell was hoppy and floral, mixed in with toasted malt. Really sharp when cold, but as I ate I let this one warm up a bit. The taste warm is very smooth and the hops seem to pull away from the other tastes, in a good way.

A great tasting beer that needs to be served a little warmer than I got it. Try it if you can!

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Photo of nem2006
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is a hazy, deep amber color with a good head that dissipates throughout the beer.

There is the slight sweetness of the toasted malts.

The taste is sweet at the start and finishes with a nice smooth bitterness from the hops (Cascade and Williamette).

This is a smooth, medium to full bodied beer with a good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of jbone78
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tasted several of Highland's beers and I think only one was about par. The rest were above.

A- Pours light brown/red with a bit of a haze. Nice lacing head.
S- Nice malty smell. I can not identify malt smells.
T- The thing with Scottish ales is the malty taste, but the malty taste is always unique.
This one has a flavor of malt that has a tiny hop character that fades and finishes with maltness. I like.
M- light malt mouthfeel that is not all sweet.
D- Being an American beer fan, I will buy again!

-Bye

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Highland Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,447 ratings.
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