The Burrito Tribune


randomness, truth, and burritos

Craft beer: Highland Brewing Company Gaelic Ale


Gaelic ale

My apologies to my readers.  I’ve been on a hiatus for nearly 2 weeks due to a headcold and then travelling.  I’m finally back in the saddle and decided to get another craft beer review going.  This beer is a “Gaelic ale” I found here in North Carolina.  It’s brewed in Asheville, NC, which is now considered one of the craft beer capitals of the world.

Gaelic Ale is a 5.6 ABV beer, and goes for a standard craft beer price of ~$11 per six-pack.

My first impression of the smell of the beer is that it’s oaty with a hint of honey and brown sugar.  It has a very engaging malty sweetness that is different than most standard beers you will find, even in the craft-beer arena.

Taking my first sip, I am actually very surprised at how hoppy the beer is initially.  It is a stark contrast to the sweet smell I experienced as I poured it from the bottle.  The flavor combination makes me think of it as the beer-version of sweet-and-salty like fudge covered pretzels. This beer has a tartness to it that isn’t quite citrus, but closer to that bold raw tartness of nearly-ripe canteloupe.  This flavoring of the hops provides a great contrast to keep it from being overwhelmingly sweet.

This shifts gears very quickly, but also very smoothly.  The second the beer leaves your tongue the sweetness hits you quick.  The malty-wheaty flavor rolls through and gives you a great finish without being too heavy.

Since “Gaelic Ale” isn’t the most standard of beer-types, I would qualify this in the realm of a darker Brown Ale.  It is delicious and full-bodied, and has a heft to it that makes it pleasantly filling.  For drinking time, I would probably have two of these at most.  I tend to not drink too many hoppy beers, or malty beers at once because they tend to be so strongly flavored.  This beer is 50/50 each, and the two different halves still add up to a whole that can be overwhelming to my pallet after more than two.



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