1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale - Pike Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style AlePike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

393 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 205
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 10
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pike Pub & Brewery visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 205 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark amber color with red and gold hues peeking through in the light. No head, no real cap and not much lacing to speak of, maybe just a hint of tan and white floating in there. The smell is a sweet caramel-like scent. Not too complex. Some smokey tones linger there too. The taste was very much on the sweet side, but had a nice little spicey, smokey bite to it. Again though, not too complex. Light to medium bodied with a mildly carbonated mouthfeel. Goes good with the food at the pub, but I wouldn't necessarily be looking for this one otherwise.

barleywinefiend, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz from the Coop for about $1.50... shared with a buddy... mine from a small weizen glass.

Nice 1.5" head.. with pretty splotchy lacing.. color is amber at best.. It always suprises me that the color is not darker... I expect a bit more color out of a wee heavy.

Aroma is fruity yeasts for sure.. toasted malts and slight brown malts.. no hops to speak of.. still could use more maltiness in my opinion.

Flavor is bready and caramel.. there is an actual smoked flavor that undeniable (though lite until it warms up a bit) .. biscuits and yeasty phenols.. for this ABV, I expect a little more body.. not bad at all, and better than 5 previous notebook reviews reveal... Has Pike changed things up? It seems so.

I am torn over this one; I've never been impressed with this one, though Pike Kilt Lifter is my brothers "desert island beer". I've had it dozens and dozens of times over the years and have been underwhelmed for the most part.. tonight, though... it seems to be a better brew. Kilty still needs more over everything to really raise the bar.

JohnGalt1, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of SargeC
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy caramel-brown. Nonexistent head with a few large carbonation bubbles. Very still

Smell: Smoky sweet malt and alcohol.

Taste: Initial sweetness with a nice smoky finish. Hints of tobacco. Evolved as I drank it. It became very earthy and dare I say, peaty. It almost began to resemble a decent blend of scotch as the pint went down.

Mouthfeel: Coats well with a medium body.

Drinkability: Nice character. Had many scotch ale qualities, but made its own statement without going over the top.

SargeC, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of Pegasus
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium amber brown in color, with a touch of haze and a small white head.

Aroma: Earthy, fruit\y notes, no discernable hops, as expected, and a sweet, perfume note. The aroma seems less malty than typical for the style.

Taste: Mildly peaty and earthy from the start to finish, with a slight alcohol note. Finishes with a flourish of mild, but lingering earth and bitter chocolate notes.

Mouth feel: Smooth, but a bit thin, with very mild carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Very pleasant, although a bit understated, conveys a feeling of being light for the style.

Many thanks to Bill for generously sharing this uncommon Scotch Ale.

Pegasus, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of dnichols
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a plastic cup at a recent party.

A: It poured a copper hue with orange accents with a healthy light tan head.

S: It emitted a distinct caramel aroma with hints of dark fruits (plums).

T: It was smooth and creamy with a sweet malty front and light clean finish. I got the scotch side but not the wee heavy.

M: Medium mouth feel with a smooth body and clean sweet finish.

D: Nice easy brew but after a couple I needed something without the sweet fuzzy fullness to clean my palate and move me deeper into the party.

dnichols, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of tonistruth
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- orange and red tints on a bronze brew, with a thin 1 finger white head up top for a decent hold, lace is quick to fade

S- rich caramel, dried dark fruits, smells like a scotch ale, strong aromas

T- malty sweet, toasted caramel malts, slightly roasted malt flavors, molasses, dates, figs , raisins, and some unfermented sugars

M- smooth medium body with excellent carbonation and a semi dry finish that features some alcoholic heat

D- strong aromas, tasty brew, and great mouth feel, give this brew a whirl if you are into scotch ales

tonistruth, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Notes it’s Scottish and has 27 IBUS.

Aroma: Mild vegetal coriander and some smoke.

Appearance: Golden amber, much lighter than expected. Fair head that faded quickly.

Flavor: Mild overall taste. Very mellow and malty with just a few hints of peat.

Mouthfeel: Light body is surprising, but the low carbonation improves drinkability.

Overall Impression: A gentle lift of the kilt! I expected stronger flavors but this was dangerously drinkable.

HardTarget, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of beals
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

This is my favorite style, so of course I'm going to be a bit picky. To start, I take issue with this being called a Scotch-Style Ale, since it's only 6.5%. This should be listed as a Scottish Ale. Just saying...

A: Brown-amber hue, thin head.

S: Malty aroma, very little in the way of hops. Looking good so far.

T: Smoky / peaty! Pushes the smokiness to the limit of what I consider OK, but holds back just at the edge. Balanced nicely by the malty, almost chewy body.

M: Great mouthfeel, excellent body, as a Scottish ale should be.

D: Quasi-drinkable, only because of the smokiness. Rein in the smokiness vs maltiness, and you've got yourself a Scottish ale worthy of a session.

beals, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one seems only a bit above a scotish but not quite a wee heavy.

Pours a golden amber with a decent head that sticks around for a long time.

Aromas are Dark brown sugars and caramel.

Flavor is lightly toasted malt with light brown sugar sweetness and a bit of a caramel finish. Very, very light bitterness on the tailend.
Overall, a very balance, although not terribly complex, brew.

IntriqKen, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of smttycty
2.2/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From a 12 oz. bottle with IBU and OG info (nice) but no freshness date. A murky dark orange with a thin instantly dissipating head despite an aggressive pour into a snifter. The aroma was pleasant but faint; some ripe orange and sweet malt.

Whatever flavor there was tasted watered down. Some grainy sweetness, some bitter in back, dry finish. Just thin and lacking in character. I expected more body from a "Scotch Style" as well, but this offering from the Seattle brewpub just didn't have the stones to earn the title. I lifted the kilt and didn't find anything there!

smttycty, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of roblowther
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Lynx Pizza just outside Denali national park. The color is a reddish copper with minimal head and a bit of delicate lace. Do they use lace on kilts? The smell is rose hips and smoky malt. Now we're getting more Scottish. The taste has a nice hops bite followed by a sharp malt. Very dry finish. Not at all sweet, which surprises me a bit. The mouthfeel is nice but with minimal carbonation, although that could be the tap. There is some silkiness there to keep it all together. The drinkability is limited by the bone-dry finish but the malt balances that out as best it can before it is overrun. Not my favorite style but an interesting example of it. The alcohol is well hidden.

roblowther, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of ccrida
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an East End Brewing Co. shaker pint, Kilt Lifter is a clear amber with a slight eggshell head that quickly fades.

The smell is all malt, sweet bread, rich and almost a bit much as it warms.

The taste is also all malt, bready but with a lot more spice, Christmas cookie like, some bitterness, and the slightest touch of alcohol. There was a touch of funk to it that I could have done without.

The moutfeel is on the lighter side for the style, but the lack of carbonation makes it seem a little syrupy.

The was on the lighter side for a wee heavy, although at times it seemed like more beer then it was. Went down easy enough, but not really noteworthy. While not an average example of the style, it was average across the board score wise.

ccrida, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of Mandrake
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant copper which is extraordinarily effervescent, a large head forming and big bubbles continuing to surface for several minutes. The head is retained pretty well, and leaves some lacing. Smell is sweet and malty, but lacks the smokiness and peat that I'd expect in such an ale. Caramel is obvious, and a bit of alcohol. Taste follows the expected pattern, with a notable astringency in the finish. Nutty flavours come through as well, with lots of sweetness and just a hint of the peaty smoke one would expect. Mouthfeel has good body, with lots of carbonation at the beginning which subsides after a few minutes. Drinkability is quite good. Not bad at all, but I've had much better.

Mandrake, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of AndIWantYou
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruddy brown, with more red highlights as you hold it to light. Little head and thus lacing, but almost certainly an artifact of my pour.

S: Malty, with just a touch of peat. Nothing stands out, but I've had a touch of allergies lately so I may not be smelling everything.

T: Similar to the smell, I don't get a lot from this. It's just a nicely balanced, easy-drinking malty beer. Maybe a little syrupy on the finish? I don't know for sure.

M: Just a little carbonation makes this otherwise-thin beer feel more full-bodied. As some other reviewers have noted, this isn't a big Scotch ale, but rather more like a red. Taken as a red, it's great; as a Scotch, I'm left wanting more. My review number reflects the average of those two =)

D: Despite any negative implications above, I could drink this all night. I've often noticed an inverse correlation between the first four characteristics and this last one; this beer is no different.

AndIWantYou, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of woemad
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $1.29. It features a different label than the one pictured on BA. In addition to an abv of 6.5%, the label also lists an IBU count of 27, and an original gravity of 1.064. Prominent on the Pike Brewing Co. emblem is the legend “Family Owned.” From what a friend was telling me, the original owners of Pike have bought back the brewery and are using the original recipes. While I don’t know if that is strictly true, it’s definitely different from the Kilt Lifter I have grown used to.

This poured a copper color, with a big, beige head that took a few minutes to drop. Sheets of lace dripped down the sides of my Boundary Bay pint glass, leaving a spotty lace behind. Definitely lighter colored than Kiltlifters I’ve drank in the past.

This has a more restrained nose than past Kilt Lifters. It is still strongly malty, however, with a peaty scent hovering over things.

Like the smell, this Kiltlifter is a more restrained beer than it’s immediate ancestor. It starts out with a malty sweetness, but it’s a fairly mild sweetness. The peat flavor is still present, but it is more balanced with the sweet aspects. The only place hops come into play is at the swallow, which is mildly dry.

This is a thoroughly medium bodied beer. The mouthfeel is relatively soft.

Despite the abv, this seems more like a session beer than the Kiltlifter I am accustomed to. While it goes down easier, I personally think it is less distinctive than it was before. I wouldn’t mild drinking more of this but don’t feel drawn to by any means. I’d call this re-tooling/restoration a success only with some definite qualifiers.

woemad, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of xymyl
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Color is a slightly hazy deep amber. Head is a thin ring but remains present and easily stirred to life again due to good carbonation.

Aroma is rich caramel malt and spicy/citrus hops, with a background of smoke and alcohol.

The taste is lighter and simpler than expected but still quite good. Good interplay between spicy hops, smoke and alcohol. A very nice balancing act. The smoke shows up more as it warms but never quite holds your attention. I would have left the hops where they are and added more of everything else to create my perfect Scotch ale.

Body and other notes: Medium to medium/light body, with a dry finish. The label clearly says " Scotch Style PIKE KILTLIFTER ruby ale", And the addition of "ruby" completes a very good description, I just somehow expected it to taste more Scottish than (stereotypically) Irish. It is right down the middle in my estimation, still a great beer.

xymyl, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle. This was also called "ruby ale" on the bottle. It poured a light amber, very clear, with a small white head adn light lacing. Nose is mostly of malts and hops;. Medium mouthfeel and flavor is somewhat sweet. There is a little fruit and bit of herbal taste. Mild finish.

rkuhnel, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of TiMX
4.47/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. Overall very well blanced and clean. A bit of malty sweet taste but not too much. Light and easy to drink. Maybe a bit too light for a Scotish Ale but just fine with me. This will be a great summer ale.

I will buy this beer again. Pike again has put out another Great well balanced beer. If you like this ale you will love their Ruby Scotish Ale!!

TiMX, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of akorsak
2.63/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle from Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is an amber orange color, far to vibrant and clear to be a wee heavy. The head is practically nonexistent.

S: The aroma has some stronger malt notes and just a mere hint of smokiness.

T: The ale has an unremarkable malt body supported by some bittering hops and absolutely no smokiness. I think that the ale is older but not quite too old to support the big flavors in a wee heavy.

M: The mouthfeel is malty but lacks any real memorable aspect.

D: I'll try another one just to confirm or dispel my initial conclusions, but what I found here was not enjoyable in any form.

akorsak, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of MAB
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very drinkable ale, yet it was different than I expected it to be.

For one thing, it poured with almost no head and there was next to none to speak of once I finished pouring. However, the carbonation was fine and the mouthfeel was similarly fine. So who needs head?

Beautiful color. I tasted and got hints of caramel, which was very nice. The only thing holding back my score was the aroma- I wanted a sweet, maybe hoppier nose, but I couldn't detect one.

Overall, a fine effort and well deserving of the 84 score (when I wrote this review).

MAB, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of skillerified
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark amber color with red and gold hues peeking through in the light. No head, no real cap and not much lacing to speak of, maybe just a hint of tan and white floating in there. The smell is a sweet caramel-like scent. Not too complex. Some smokey tones linger there too. The taste was very much on the sweet side, but had a nice little spicey, smokey bite to it. Again though, not too complex. Light to medium bodied with a mildly carbonated mouthfeel. Goes good with the food at the pub, but I wouldn't necessarily be looking for this one otherwise.

skillerified, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of elricorico
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A deep copper colour with a thin tan head. Despite an aggressive pour, the head doesn't get very big and doesn't last at all.

Malty molasses and brown sugar smell. Faint peat in the aroma, but not much.

A bit watery to taste, though earthiness and molasses are there. The finish has a touch of peat, but again not much.

Feels watery in the mouth, not up to par for this style, where you expect some body. Lightly carbonated, to the point where it feels a bit flat.

Not impressive, possibly my least favorite scotch ale to date.

elricorico, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass.

A: Murky tan copper with abundant bubbles but almost no head after the pour. Within minutes, there is no head, none whatsoever.

S: Sweet herbal malts. A slight tangy smokiness. Brown sugar sweetness. Hints of alcohol (6.7% abv.).

T: Tastes like spiced oatmeal. Grains and sweet malt predominate. Very likable, malty flavors

M: Medium to light body but with a prickly carbonation and some spiciness. A little too light/weak IMO for a scotch ale.

D: Good enough to drink again. Yes. Worth seeking out. Maybe. Not the pick of the litter but not a bad beer at all...worth a try.

msubulldog25, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was my wife's favorite of The Pike, but I thought it was a bit light for being a Scotch ale. The dark golden color with a white head was nice in the glass, but the mouthfeel didn't match up, watery and light for style. Sharp bite in the taste over a solid malt, almost but not quite astringent with a very light hint of smokiness. Musty in the nose with a light malt, and little hop anywhere. Too be expected, a little off center from style, but a very good beer. And, this was one of only two pints my wife ordered in three bars, so a pretty recom there.

FightingEntropy, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of xoqx
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a straight copper color with a creamy off-white head exhibiting light retention and moderate lacing. The smell is malty and slightly earthy. The taste is focused on the malts, but there is a balanced hop presence. It tastes to me equally split between malt and hops, but the malt dominates the first several seconds of a taste and the hops fill in afterward. No significant fruit esters in this beer. One of the defining characteristics of the style, a drying finish despite a malty sweetness in taste, is spot on in this beer. The overall mouthfeel is drying due to the finish. This is a very drinkable Scottish heavy, but the higher abv, somewhat deceptively high, keeps it out of the session category.

xoqx, Oct 20, 2006
Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale from Pike Pub & Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.