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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale - Moylan's Brewery

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Kilt Lifter Scotch AleKilt Lifter Scotch Ale

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676 Ratings
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Ratings: 676
Reviews: 386
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 21
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-07-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 676 | Reviews: 386
Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice clear dark amber color. With a slight tan head on it that stuck around for a while. The smell was earthy, not a lot of hops in this brew or anything, not that there should be for this style. The taste was smooth and with some good malt in the body of the beer. The mouthfe was on the heavier side but not thick. Overall its pretty good and totally worth another round.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A gorgeous looking tan head that reached a height of around three inches came across the top and cascaded throughout the glass. This settled after a couple minutes and left behind an very nice pillow of tan foam that lasted well into the night. Great side glass lace as well, really quite the thick looking liquid here for sure.

The aroma was very sweet, with a big malt nose. Lots of earthy smells, grain, some raisin maybe and a touch of spice. Nice bit of caramel as well, with a woody sort of alcohol mixed in. This all translated over to the flavor, which also was very full and really just a very nice example of the style. Loads of sweetness in it, with candied sugar and caramel laced earthy malts making the big splash here. Very big body on this one as well, with really a tremendously smooth feeling to it. Nice carbonation that never really quit, and a long lasting sweet finish that was not overly dry but really left you looking for another sip. The alcohol was up there but was very well hidden, making this very drinkable, considering how strong it was.

Overall, I thought this was really an excellent beer, and one of the better I have had in the style.

Photo of raszputini
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bomber to the pint glass. Pours a cloudy dark copper with a creamish head. Smell is slight with toffee notes and malts. Taste is mild with malts (munich?) and toffee/caramel. Hops are understated and sweet. A nice solid Scottish Ale with the elevated ABV buried well.

Photo of dalri
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells super sweet like a burnt marshmallow, or sort of butterscotchy. I was expecting that kind of caramelized flavor, but it was overwhelmingly flavored with peaty malts - which I liked, but wasn't expecting to quite this extent. Very mineral, almost dirt flavor with the malts - couldn't really taste any hoppy flavors in it.

It felt maybe a little syrupy in my mouth as it got warmer, but that could have been just a salivary response to the harsh, almost astringent peat, I dunno.

Drink this expecting the aftertaste of a nice scotch, but I really couldn't imagine drinking more than a couple in a session as it gets to be a bit much over time. All the same, a very impressive beer if peat is what you want to taste.

Photo of ChugginOil
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kilt Lifter

This one pours murky brown and settles a hazy honey brown that is almost opaque. There's 2 fingers of cream colored head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving spotted lacing throughout.

The nose offers sweet bready malt with toffee. The sweet malt dominates here.

The taste is similar to toffee or caramel up front, surrounded by the biscuit/ bready sweetness offered by the malt overload. Barely any hop presence. Malt bomb status.

The mouthfeel is very smooth. A silky cream sits on my palate before engulfing the tasty liquid. A light amount of carbonation plays out well towards the back end of each sio. The 8% ABV is very well hidden underneath the sweetness.

Overall, pretty tasty scotch ale that sits right and is very drinkable.

Photo of theboozecruise
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Londoner in Baton Rouge.

The beer came out in a pint glass... not much head but that's to be expected from a bar pour. It's a reddish brown color, not bad.

The aroma is malty with hints of dark fruit and vanilla, very nice.

The taste is about as expected... very malty with caramel and coffee notes to it, not a lot of 'scotch' flavor but still a damn fine beer and one I'd order again.

Overall this is probably my favorite beer on tap at this bar, so I'd definitely have more of it... I'd like to try it again in the bottle as well.

Photo of righthereisay
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered on draft at Mad Mex in Pittsburgh.

Came in a nice glass, very nice looking. Nice and creamy head.

The smell was one of the best. I ranked it 5.0. For smell, this was great. Can't pinpoint the smell, but maybe fruit and pine. Nice and sharp.

I really couldn't recognize the high alcohol content. The first thing I thought was it was a cross between a cider and a beer. Nutty, fruity, toffee, nice body, not bitter. I was pleasantly surprised.

Drinkability...you could drink these all night. But since it is 8%, most would pass out about an hour into the night.

Photo of climax
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a glowing mahogany brown with a modest head. Retention was dismal, except for a ring and some bubbly patches.

The aroma was rather mild for a scotch, yet very smooth. Toasty caramel, brown sugar, some pear, and overripe banana come to mind right away.

The flavor boasts the same smoothness. It is somewhat tame when it comes to the style, but all of the flavors work together well. Some black cherry flavors, a bit like cough medicine, emerge through a mostly malt army. The finish has a slight earthy grassy twang before ending up pretty clean.

The body is around medium with good crisp carbonation. The feel almost has a gritty quality to it before seemingly becoming chewy.

I expected more spunk from this brew. Everything about it was good but not memorable. Makes for a good drinker though. The ABV is hidden quite well for such modest flavor. There's no bagpipe serenade as kilts go a'flyin, but I'm fairly content.

Photo of haddon
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic glass and released lots of effervescent bubbles. Fizz all over the place. Translucent copper color with
little to no head even with hard pour.

Sweet smells that remind me of sticking my nose in the middle of a butterscotch sundae. All sweet malts on this one. Pretty one dimentional. Hope I am wrong but so far thinking this may be a little light and watery.

Tastes like it smells... Very sweet that dominates with butterscotch. Sherry wine, sour with a bit of hops on the back end. Flat and watery aftertaste.

Light body with not much carbonation. Too flat and lacks body.

For a scotch ale coming in at 8% abv, this beer tastes a bit light. Nothing about it would ever make me come back for more.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lighter orange 'round the edges with a darker brown color in the body. Head is tanned and fairly thick; great lacing. Nose is a bit of a shock: vinous and grapelike, with notes of earthiness, vanillin, peat, and brown sugar.

Toffee up front, with caramel and brown sugar notes on the malt end. Finishes with dark fruit and white grapes. Odd notes of grape are prevalent throughout; oxidization? This beer could lift the kilt of a Scottish Ale drinker, but it lacks the smoke and overall potency of the true Scotch ale.

Not a bad beer, just a little surprisingly given the style guidelines. If you like the style, check this one out. Not as bold as the label would have you believe.

Photo of gnemesis
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into snifter on 11/23/2010.
Pours dark brown with small, creamy, off-white head. Smells of honey, roasted malts, toasty, dark fruit (fig), slight earthy hops. Perhaps a bit of smoked malt as well. I get the same from the taste in addition to some bread character and some caramel. Definitely malt forward but I can detect a small amount of hoppiness. Medium body, medium carbonation, and a slightly dry finish. This was a tasty scotch ale. Winter is about to set in here in Michigan and this warms the soul at 8%.

Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very transparent amber with a nice and frothy head. The retention on the head is quite good, takes several minutes for it to die down and it leaves a generous ring around the edge. After pouring the remainder of the bottle into my glass it went opaque, interesting. Must have a lot of sediment at the bottom.

S - Sweet and bready smelling malts, with floral hops contrasting it nicely.

T - Simple but solid. Definite hops as one would expect from Moylans. I've been holding onto this bottle for a while, I imagine the hops would be much more pronounced had this been a few months fresher. Definitely leans toward the malt but the hops balance it nicely.

M/D - Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel, medium body. Very drinkable as well.

Would love to pick a newer bottle of this up and see the difference.

Photo of renolayton
4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't drink a whole lot of Scotch Ales, but I was pleased with this guy.

Simple, but good taste and smell. Great appearance and mouthfeel.

It was an incredibly smooth brew, which made it exceptionally drinkable.

Overall, a very tasty Scotch Ale worthy of the 50,000 award seals they splattered all over their label.

Photo of cdizinno
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz. bomber.

A: Brownish amber, slight red tint. Mildly hazy with a decent light tan head and moderate lacing.

S: Bready, malty sweetness with an undertone of floral hops.

T&M: Nice mouthfeel. Almost full-bodied. Nice mix of flavors, caramel, floral and piney hops with a smooth malty texture. Well-balanced with a great flavor.

Excellent for a scotch ale. I'm not a big fan of the style, but would definitely have another one of these in the future.

Photo of JMad
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 22 oz bomber into my tall beer glass...

The beer was a murky, brownish, red copper color with a thin filmy off white head.

I could smell sweet caramel malt, dates and chocolate, it was almost like candy.

Tastes like toasted, buttery biscuits, fig, and a very slight smokey bitterness.

It's so smooth, it's a little warming and has low carbonation.

This is a good brew, it hides the alcohol extremely well.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

That's a damn fine lookin' beer. The head is stunning -- dirtied white and creamy, with a pockmarked surface that sort of looks like clustered puffed rice. Color is a fiery, burnt reddish color. As the head slowly sinks, it's replaced by big wide sheets of lace.

Smell-wise, most of what I get is alcohol-draped malts, and those malts are musty-smelling, peat-like, very English in character. Smell of Boston baked beans (the candies) is here too, which is a combination of nut husk, hop greenness and lightly burnt malt. Quite nice, with some subtleties that are appreciated. Good depth here.

A pretty wild taste as this crosses over the tongue. Not a terribly traditional take on the style, but that would be expected from a brewery known for a heavy hop bias. Indeed, green hop goodness provides a sharp bitterness to the proceedings. Malts are musty, nutty and toasty and, as with the aroma, quite English in character. Toffee just barely ekes its way through. Alcohol makes its presence known, but doesn't stomp all over everything else. Light citrus sweetness adds depth, as does a pretty big herbal tea essence, and there's a dark fruit sort of thing happening, somewhere between fig and raisin. Interesting. Kilt Lifter finishes with a serious bit of citrus rind tartness.

Lots of spritz to the feel, a bright and tickling texture, yet having a slick, round, almost syrupy side, which keeps it from feeling abrasive.

The label calls this "robust and strapping," and I would totally agree. While it didn't totally blow me away, it's enjoyable enough and well-balanced enough that I can't award it anything less than a "4" for drinkability. A unique take on the Scotch Ale, one that will have style-fascists running for the hills...and I like that.

Photo of GPHarris
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that settled into a thin ring of lace. head retention was lacking. the body was a dark amber color.
s - big, dark malts.
t - dry hops, raisins.
m - medium thickness.
d - good beer and i enjoyed but i've had better wee heavies.

Photo of jj311
2.97/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color with slight orange hues. What little foam-head it does have dissipates very quickly. No lacing.

Smell: A sweet malty aroma, bourbon barrel, slightly hoppy.

Taste: Fruity up front, followed by sweet malt (overly sweet) and some brief woody flavors. A faint presence of hops can be detected, but not allot. A Slightly bitter, light bourbon finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy, somewhat creamy. Abundance of carbonation.

Drinkability: Average at best.

Overall: Well, I am glad that I got to try this one, but I'd have to say I was pretty disappointed. Aside from a few minor flavor variations, it's not much different then drinking a cheap 40 oz. of malt liquor. The buzz is there, but that's about the best thing going for this one.

Photo of charlzm
2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Consumed at Tony's Darts Away, Burbank, CA on December 21st, 2010. Labeled on menu as "barrel-aged" with no information regarding barrel type.

Beer is a rusty caramel with a thin head that barely covers. Mostly clear, a bit hazy.

Aroma is of scotch whiskey and caramel malt. Fairly subdued.

Flavor is somewhat weak, with a dominant smoky wood flavor (probably from a whiskey or bourbon barrel). Sweeter than I would like. The caramel malt and fruity character I normally associate with this beer is there, but watered down or faded. Some bitterness on finish, more woody than hoppy.

Mouthfeel is thin, more watery than expected.

Not a successfully barrel aged beer, in my opinion.

Photo of dotsonjamesg
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours thick, foggy, and dim amber. Almost no head, or fizz. 

S - Dark fruits, hops, and alcohol are big and present with the nosr.  

T - flavor of dark fruits is somewhat present. Rich malts and hops is also in there with it. The aftertaste is delicious. Nice bitterness too. 

M - there is just enough fizz to make this brew feel comfortable in your mouth. Thick and syrupy. 

D - if you can enjoy a rich brew, you can drink this one. 

Photo of Russellmania
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When i poured this beer it had a dark caramel color. It had a light head and it went away very quickly. I smelled roasted malts and even had a little alcohol smell. Roasted malts was the the first taste I got and it quickly went bitter like cacao chocolate.
I really like how big this beer is and how easy it is to drink. I will defiantly be buying this beer again and getting my Kilt Lifted.

Photo of cbg79
2.64/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is the second of Moylan's brew I have had and the first scotch ale I have tasted. Not really sure how to rate this one as it is the first "scotch ale" I have had. Sadly I didn't care for it much at all. It has a bland taste which I was not at all impressed with. The smell was very nice, If Moylan's could bottle the smell and make a candle out of it the candle lovers of the world would be astonished. Which for me the taste fell very short. I'm gonna try some other "scotch ales" so i can give a better review, but who knows maybe I'm just not a "scotch ale" fan.

Photo of stevenseg
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found Moylan's Kilt Lifter as I roamed my local craft beer store in search of a solid scotch-style ale. I truly think we can leave"style" off that description as these beers are known for their sweet caramely characteristic and low hop profile. When you're looking for Scotch ales, the term "kilt" anywhere in the name is a dead giveaway.

So I pulled this bomber off the shelf, paid $5.99 plus deposit, and stuck it in the freezer to chill as I made dinner. I think it came out a little lower in temperature than the style is intended to be served, so I will let it breathe and warm up.

I expected its appearance to be a little darker given its body and earth notes. It is a hazy amber with virtually no head. However, I have a tendency to baby my pours so as to not lose the carbonation, so a more aggressive standard pour may beget a more impressive head.

I love the roasty earth notes. A little bit of caramel and virtually no hops, just as it should be. Scotch ales are so different than standard pales and such in nose, the power of the mellow notes is a great element of the style.

Kilt Lifter seems sweet only. Its taste isn't as robust as its nose suggests it may be. I think a bit more roasted malt could have been added in place of sugar, which I'm sure was used to increase the ABV. I expected a huge malt character and it just didn't come through, but I should have known given its color/alcohol characters, both of which indicated the use of sugar and lack of deep malts. Dang it smells good though!

Even though I don't think I let it warm long enough, the chewiness of the beer came through. The carbonation is subtle, and the body is outstanding. A little more malt flavor would have topped it off.

As far as Scotch ales go, I have definitely had better, though I wouldn't kick Moylan's out fo bed. While an entire night or tipping back this alcoholic sugar water at 8% ABV might not be advised, the 22oz. bomber was just enough to get my fill.

Photo of radioscooter
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm currently on a Scotch Ale taste test to try to replace (and if possible, eclipse) my long-time favorite Mcewan's. We can't get McEwan's anymore in the US.

Skip to the chase - this ain't it. Another Americanized (read HOPS) version of a very specific style that doesn't do it enough justice. Again, I don't know why these hop-crazy American craft brewers can't just stuck with the styles that use all the hops and just work on that 24/7. Why they feel they need to reinvent Wee Heavys, Quads and Barleywines is beyond me. But here we are.

There is also a big difference between Scottish Ale and Scotch Ale. I shouldn't even have to say that here and certainly the Moylan brewmaster knows it. Or do they?

No creamy head to speak of. Just some lacing. With some styles this shouldn't matter. With Scotch Ale it does. You want a sweetish, creamy froth to chase down the blackness. Nothing here.

Taste is heading toward Scotch Ale flavors, there's a bit of malt, a bit of caramel. But certainly not enough. And right when you think that warming it up might help, in drive these hops like a freaking redneck truck through the heather field.

As a "Scottish Style Ale" made in America, it's fine. I could drink a few in a night. But if you're expecting a Scotch Ale, move on. Grab the Duck Rabbit, which kills this one and nails the style.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.37/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Kilt Lifter comes out of the bottle in a dark amber color, with a ferocious off-white head. Actually not much retention though, and just a bit of lacing down my pint glass.

Smell: Lots of dark, roasty, chewy caramel malt combined with some great oak and earthy notes.

Taste: The flavor of this beer is big enough to really keep my interest but not cloyingly sweet. Great malt profile, with some complex spices and oakiness. Figs and dates start to emerge as it warms up a little bit. Just a bit of earthy hops toward the end help to round out the flavor nicely. The finish is malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, maybe just a touch heavy on the carbonation for my taste. Leaves my lips feeling a bit sticky.

Drinkability: There is no two ways about it - this is just a great value. I ordered this out to try something new without knowing anything about it, and I was quite satisfied with how that decision worked out. Full bodied, smooth, and quite drinakble, I may have to pursue some Scottish Ales and Scotch Ale/ Wee Heavy's to really explore this style.

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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.