Highland Gaelic Ale | Highland Brewing

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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:
#16,246
Reviews:
542
Ratings:
1,502
pDev:
12.07%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
338
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,502 |  Reviews: 542
Photo of fmccormi
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to my trusty Cigar City snifter. No bottling or freshness date visible.

Appearance (4.0): Beautiful pour, a very nice red-amber color with a light khaki head, maybe one very fat finger thick, fading to some splotches on the top, a ring on the edge of the glass, and moderate lacing. Clear body, nice and red.

Smell (4.0): Nice mix of light caramel and mildly sugary-sweet malts, blending well with some tropical hop fruitiness—smells faintly of fresh, ripe pineapple. Bready malts in the back.

Taste (4.5): Just-barely-sweet, bready malt base quickly followed by some grassy hop bitterness, mixing smoothly with a slightly astringent quality coming off some mild toast in the barley here. Very nice, smooth transition with distinct phases. Grassy / herbal bitterness from the hops sustain in the finish, relatively pronounced on the grassy side. Yeast note has the feel of an English bitter, like an ESB.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Dry finish, medium-bodied in the middle with a nice, slightly creamy effervescence on the front end. Nice mouthfeel, for sure.

Overall (4.5): I’m definitely impressed with this beer. Red Ales usually aren’t my thing—I can dig super hoppy American Amber / Red Ales like Nugget Nectar, but I generally don’t derive much joy from Irish Reds, for instance. This is pretty tasty, though. Nice mix of Old and New World takes on the Amber / Red category. Definitely not the Nugget Nectar hop bomb type of AA/R, it leans more towards the Irish side of things. Maybe because of that, I bet this would be killer on cask, too. Surprised by how much I liked this, actually, especially after not liking the Oatmeal Porter very much. Nice work, Highland.

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Photo of joepais
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to ncvbc for being able to sample this one
Bottle poured into my pint glass produced a good two fingers worth of head that goes to a thick lace on top of a clear amber body

Aromas of sweet malts and light hops slight earthiness as well

Flavors of malts and delicate hops great balance on this one

Mouthfeel is great very easy to hammer this if you wanted to

A great drinking beer I'm going to go have a pizza with it right now will probable grab another one while I'm at it

 496 characters

Photo of sendsilk
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of ZachKelly
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of sommersb
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with a date of 9-22-10, poured in a New Belgium globe glass.

Amber colored beer came out cloudy. After a while it had cleared up a bit. I got a little bit of off-white head, maybe a finger. Little lacing was seen. The aroma was predominantly of hops with citrus and floral qualities. After it warmed to room temperature, I noted some additional malt aroma.

The label on this beer says that it is "exceptionally balanced" between malts and hops, but I felt the taste of the hops were quite a bit more evident. Came across as hoppy/bitter, although that did give it a nice crisp bite. Body was medium, with a high amount of carbonation. The finish was bitter.

I felt this was a good beer, but could have used more malt characteristics to be in better balance as the style goes.

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Photo of Jeffrey2310
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of ybnorml
2.74/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clean cooper/amber beer. Has a small creamy off white head with some lace. The aroma was a bit of sweet malt with a caramel note. There was a salty seaweed aroma in the back ground. The flavor starts with a bit of sweet malt with a hint of smoke in the background. The finish has a quick promise of hops and then its gone. The label says " a wee bit different". That difference did not capture me.

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Photo of dankjohn
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

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

12 oz bottle.

Big shout out to my buddy Mike for hooking me up with a 5'er (yea i said 5'er) of this after his recent trip to NC. It pours a brilliant ruby brown color with a big brown and white spotted head, awesome sticking/lacing. Nice nose of wood, chocolatey sweet malts, some spice and some cherry and other fruit notes. Mostly malty, semi sweet malts at that, pretty crisp fruity feel to it, a bit of smokey wood chips and tobacco, a touch of citrus and hop bitterness upon the finish. It leaves a very woody, malty, bitter aftertaste, im loving it, this may turn some people off though. After it sat for a while the aftertase became a bit metallic, not very offensive. Good medium mouthfeel, decent complexity, light carbonation and pretty damn easy to drink. Good beer!

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

Photo of mwar
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of craft_shannie
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark hazy amber; minimal head; no lacing.
S: mostly bready malts, some caramel; slight citrus pine hops.
T: good balance of malt and hops; follows nose - bread, some caramel sweetness, slight piney citrus. dry, balanced and minimal bitterness.
M: crisp, clean; medium carbonation
O: picked up a sixer in nashville as i have heard very positive things about highland brewing. i was a bit underwhelmed with this particular style. solid american amber, but nothing all that spectacular.

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Photo of Fcolle2
2.77/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Gift from my family in their trip to NC. $3.75 price tag on a 22oz I don't know whether to be amazed or scarred.

Pours somewhat dark amber in color with some slight hues of copper and red. Head is about 1 finger and retains nicely also leaving some lacing.

Smell is about $3.75. Sweet corn like malt is forward and not appealing. Some herbal hop aromas are present but very light.

Taste has a good light caramel malt flavor before a more corn like grainy sweetness dominates the midsection and persists into the after taste. Aftertaste is bitter but not in a hoppy way.

Mouthfeel is light for the appearance, light carbonation.

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Photo of OompaMentor
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of ramrod666
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of yaksurf
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of aaronh
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy, orange copper color topped by a generous tan head. The head fades to a layer of film interspersed with pillows of foam. A sheeting lace is left on the glass. The aroma is strong roasted malt, with caramel and a touch of peat. A bit of fruit and fresh bread smells are also mixed in. Hops are not discernable. The taste is very appealing, with the strong raosted malt dominating, but with a decent smoked peat component. A hint of sweetness and carmelized sugar chimes in as well. A bit of bitterness lingers on the finish, but it is faint enough to make one wonder if it is hops or just bitterness from roasted malts. The aftertatse reveals a bit more of a pine note, verifying that there really is a low level hopping in this brew. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with mild carbonation accentuating the buttery feeling on the tongue. The drinkability is very good, and I wish I had more than one of these beers. It is an excellent brew that I will purchase again.

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Photo of bjohnson
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

thanks to blackie for the chance to try this offering.

Pours a perfect hazy reddish amber color with a one finger white head that keeps nice retention. Fluffy head hangs onto the sides mostly. Figs and dark fruits hit the nose first. Sweet malt notes give this brew a nice base aroma. Spicy hops mix well with the sweet caramel malt.

Malts seem to rule the base of this brew. Sweet caramel and biscuit malt flavors. Smooth on the palate after an initial carbonation blast. Slight bitterness that continues into the finish, but it's not very prevalent. Thin body to this brew--almost watered down in my opinion. It wants to be more thick than it is, but it just doesn't have the legs. A session brew that didn't wow me as the mouthfeel isn't very good--too thin. Highland does good things, but this may be the most pedestrian of their offerings.

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Photo of Strix
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice solid ale here.

Some sweetness of toasted malts present.

Very bready and toasty. A slight hop finish. Pleasant, yet not too far out there. Would be a good gateway beer to get Bud drinkers to step up.

Mouthfeel medium-bodied.

Certainly worth a try. Everything I've had from Highland has been pretty good.

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

Photo of Apellonious
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz from six at the Teeter.

A- amber with orange highlights, solid but clear, pours with just a thin lace .

S - Sweet smell, some nut/malt and fruit, slight alcohol.

T - there is a mild fruit sweetness, some malt chewieness, some light brown ale suggestions, with some hops on the back end. Noting some vanilla. I am going to go out a limb and say Fat Tire was modeled after this beer.

M - great balance and carbonation, a tad watery.

O - this review is long overdue ( was reviewed on another beer review site a while back). This has been one of my "go to" beers for many years. Definitely recommended. An amber ale with some additional complexity while being highly drinkable.

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Photo of BigRedDog
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of huntermop
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of botham
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours a rich aber/copper color with a half finger of eggshell colored head. good retention and lacings.

aroma is of rich caramel malts and lightly breaded malts with a bit of crystalized sugars. lightly sweet in the nose.

taste is of lots of caramel malts up front with a mildly sweet character along with a very light finish of residual malts, dark and a bit of bready malts.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly sticky on the palate. nice finish of sticky, lightly sweet caramel malts.

drinkability is decent, but it ends up a bit bland without any real character to call its own. just another amber beer without any redeeming qualities. drinks easily though.

 709 characters

Photo of spedprof
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

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