I thought I would start my Beer of the Month series with what I consider to be as close to the perfect all-around beer as I’ve had, the Highland Gaelic Ale. The Gaelic has an incredible combination of roasted maltiness, a present (yet not overpowering) hop twist, and a creamy complexion. What does that all mean? There is something there for everyone.The Gaelic Ale has a deep amber color and a very creamy body. It definitely lingers with you after you take a sip. The aroma and taste begin with a hoppy character, but they quickly give way to what I consider to be a roasted malt sweetness. However, I would not describe this beer as “sweet.” It has just enough hops to counteract the malt and give it a good balance.
The only downside I have with this beer is that the aftertaste does tend to linger. It has a thickness to it that does stay on your tongue for a while. A hophead like myself would also like a little more hoppiness to it, but the subtle hop character is probably more appealing to a wider audience. Less hops also makes it better when I have this beer in combination with other beers, since I can’t go less-hoppy once I’ve had a super-hoppy beer.
Overall, the Highland Gaelic Ale is a very easy drinking beer that has a wonderfully intense malt flavor that can really captivate you. It is middle-of-the-road enough to appeal to almost everyone without compromising it’s flavor and complexity. When you are ready to graduate from Killians, this is a must-have.