Pipes, drums, and hops
A Review of Gaelic Ale by Highland Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/7/2011 by Chops
Good beers adhere to stylistic principles and are worthy representatives of their respective style. Great beers are the ones that further define the style and add something meaningful to the equation. Gaelic Ale from the Highland Brewing Company out of Asheville, NC is one such beer. This delightful nectar is not only a solid American amber, but it has also fully embraced the concept of a consistently reliable session beer. Gaelic Ale will never blow you away as some ground breaking creation. What it will do is something that most beers can't: never get old.

In the glass, this beer has a deep dark amber coloration with a ruby red tinting. It is much darker than standard amber ales, but still well within the assumed spectrum. It comes with a frothy white head that has really good retention. On the nose, I found that signature sweet malty aroma of a great amber complete with notes of caramel, tangy citrus and some piney hops. Everything is nicely balanced and restrained, creating a very warm introduction.

It doesn't take but a few sips for you to discover the endless appeal of this beer: a delightful balance of silky smoothness and savory flavors. This beer manages to find the ''liquid bread'' vibe of a good Belgian but without any syrupy thickness. It is creamy smooth and very easy to drink. The flavors mirror the aroma with malty sweetness, caramel, citrus and piney hops. There is also a toasted bready base character that acts as a solid foundation. The beer finishes clean with a mild malty bitter aftertaste.

Overall, Highland's Gaelic Ale is a fantastic session beer that you can enjoy all day long. The beer is very easy to grasp and has a high level of accessibility. Consequently, I can recommend it to all levels of beer fans. Seasoned drinkers and novices alike will never grow tired of its smooth malty goodness. As a result, Gaelic Ale is one of the very few perfect bridges into better beer. This is a beer that you can utilize to get you in the door, and a beer you can enjoy forever once you are inside.

In closing, I cannot help but hear ''Scotland the Brave'' echoing in my skull whenever I enjoy a pint of Gaelic Ale. With that in mind, I can think of no better send off than some pipes n' drums. Cheers and enjoy!

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Gaelic Ale by Highland Brewing Co.
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