510. Highland Brewing Co – Gaelic Ale

510. Highland Brewing Co - Gaelic AleAs I mentioned in my last couple of posts, I found several beers in my beer fridge that my sister had given me from her friend. Much like this and the Highland Kashmir IPA I had, they all seem to be from North Carolina. I’m very appreciative, but I’m not sure how long my sister had them, and they’ve been hiding in my beer fridge for a while, as they all seem to be at least a year and a half old.

The bottle says, “ a deep American amber colored ale, featuring a rich malty body. Cascade and Willamette hops at a complex hop flavor and aroma. This ale is exceptionally balanced between malty sweetness and delicate hop bitterness.

Location: Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass from the bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 5.6% ABV, 30 IBUs, 175 Calories

Ingredients: Grains: 2 Row Brewers Malt, Munich, Caramel 40, Caramel 60 & Extra Special Malt; Hops: Chinook, Willamette, & Cascade

Appearance & Aroma: It’s crystal clear and perfectly amber in color. There’s a ton of carbonation in it, leaving a thin, creamy head, that left some nice lacing on the glass. It’s also got a very nice caramel malt aroma.

Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium, and the mouthfeel is mostly smooth and watery, with a bit of creaminess from the head. It’s got a bready and lightly sweet caramel flavor up front. In the middle, the caramel flavors balanced out with an earthy hop bitterness. It finishes with a bit more earthy hop bitterness, but still, a fair amount of caramel malt backbone, leaving the same flavors in the aftertaste for a few minutes.

Food Pairing: This has a good balance of caramel maltiness and earthy hop bitterness. Therefore, I’d pair this with something like a chicken masala or other seasoned chicken dish. The caramel and earthy bitterness would mix nicely with the seasonings and wouldn’t take away from the chicken.

Overall Impression: I wish this beer were a little fresher, so I could be more fair in my review, but it was still a pretty balanced amber ale.  The flavors were more bready and caramel-like up front, and the hop flavor came in during the finish and aftertaste.  In general, it was a bit watery with lighter flavors up front, which picked up a bit in the middle and finish.  I’d like to try this beer when it’s fresh, but this one was a bit lackluster.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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