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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale - Moylan's Brewery

Not Rated.
Kilt Lifter Scotch AleKilt Lifter Scotch Ale

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672 Ratings
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Ratings: 672
Reviews: 384
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 20
Gots: 41 | 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: 672 | Reviews: 384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nbree00
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found that this beer single handedly reaffirmed my love affair with scotch ales. The color is nice, a deep brown with some orange hues to it. The hops really come through in the smell layered on top of the roasted/caramelized barely. I found this to be a very hoppy bitter beer, which I absolutely love. The caramel and biscuit notes really help to balance the flavors with the high ABV and hoppiness. Fantastic!

Photo of DavidEddie
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Rusty amber with a khaki head that falls to some sticky lacing.

Smell - Strong sweet malt, light smoke, and mellow earthy hops.

Taste - Chocolate, carmel, biscuits, tons of roasty malt, and a hint of smoke. Just the right amount of sweetness lingers. Some bitter hops were detected, but not very much.

Mouth feel - Medium bodied and somewhat rich. Fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - Very easy and enjoyable. Did not detect the ABV whatsoever. Will seek this one out again.


Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange/caramel with 1 finger of semi-tan head into my Douglas Scotch Ale Thistle glass. Above average lacing & head retention

S Slight breadyness, & some biscuitty notes

T: Huge breadyness, some slight brown sugar, herbal hops & some tiny bits of smokeyness up front. Toasty malt comes through as this warms, plus dryness & much biscuitty malt quality. Finishes dry with caramel & a touch of butterscotch

MF: Medium bodied & bit more carbonated than the style asks; settles down once real warm

Drinks very easy, a bit dry; otherwise a nice Wee Heavy

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly fogged deep amber/brown. Nose is strong malts with a sweeter earthy edge to it. A lot of it smells like grape soda. Flavor is sweet yes. Has a nice earthy edge to it, but it lacks a real complexity that would make it interesting. Feel has a low carbonation to it and a slick liquid. Overall this is a good wee heavy, but not great by any means. It doesn't totally suck, but it won't blow you away either.

Photo of illidurit
2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark rust color, but not dark enough to be opaque. You can easily see through and notice the clarity. Head is a nice height but a bit fizzy, as it dissipates quickly to an ultra thin halo, which slowly dissipates to nothing. No lacing whatsoever.

Aroma has an odd vegetal quality that's out of place and unappealing. The lack of head retention makes it difficult to detect any other notes.

Taste is one dimensional with cola-like sticky sweetness. There's also an unpleasant peaty off-flavor in the finish. I don't detect any smokiness, hoppiness, or rich booziness.

Mouthfeel is ok here. Too thin for a normally rich style, and the carbonation is too fizzy and not dense enough. Finish is quite dry, an indication of the thinness.

This is one of those beers that needs to have its recipe reformulated. There's a flaw in every facet of this beer, and it seems only tolerable when ice cold. Compare this with Alesmith's Wee Heavy and you can tell it's very obviously deficient. Not one of Moylan's better beers.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Leaves a one finger biege head with excellent retention, yet not much lacing. Body is a dark garnet, not quite opaque.

Smell - plums, caramel, toffee, and a little bit of spicy alcohol.

Taste - pretty much the same as the smell. Plums, caramel, and toffee, with some grainy malt on the finish. The alcohol is better hidden on the tongue than in the nose.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied.

Drinkability - this is a decent ale, but not a great one because I think it is a bit subdued flavorwise for a wee heavy. Also high abv limits sessionability.

Photo of srandycarter
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Into the tulip it goes...

A - Looks right, thin head and laciing, deep red tinged brown.

S - Lots of malt with the Scottish nose, for sure.

T - Falls short. Malts, hops, all die fast.

M - See taste, that includes mouth, too.

D - Not my cup of beer. Maybe the style, but I think it just comes up short.

Photo of dbalsock
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm shocked there aren't more reviews of this. The first time I had it was in Boston, and now that I live in Northern California, it's pretty common.

App: 1 finger off white head that gives a little lacing to the sides and reduces quickly. The body is a dark amber, just what it should be.

Smell: Very sweet light malts. It smells like a lot of lightly kilned malts whose liquor was carmalized during the boil... which is dead on. I'm picking out some subtle honey and caramel as well as some slight biscuit.

Taste: The taste is dominated by a rich pale ale malt, maybe maris otter, and followed up by a slight biscuit taste and a little diacetyl. I'm impressed at how fresh it tastes from the bottle. It's not overly sweet like i remember it being.

Mouthfeel: Smooth except for the alcoholic bite. The malt tastes seem to provide a texture to the beer as well. It's light-medium bodied and goes down very easy. Seems very well balanced between body and alcohol.

Drinkability: This is pretty easy to drink, but the noticable alcohol would stop me after the second glass. Otherwise, due to the taste and the body, I would be able to fly through a bomber of this and start working on another.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby to mahogany brew with a huge head that takes a few minutes to dissipate. Only isolated flecks of lacing.

S - Strong malt with a subdued smokiness. A bit of an orange citrus under the high malt. Nice for a Scotch Ale.

T - Very malty, very sweet, but more of a malty profile. Smoky with a strange woodsy medicinal flavor. It is not unpleasant, miraculously. It is an interesting flavor that works for the style. A bit of a slightly fusel alcohol - mostly peppery though.

M - Smooth in spite of high carbonation, very thick, a tad gummy and pretty refreshing save a smoky finish on the throat - not untirely unpleasant. However, when food presents with that, it just makes me want to wash what I am eating down with a beer. Now I know how Tantalus must feel. In modern times perhaps the gods damn you in more subtle fashions, such as having you drink only Wee Heavy's for all eternity.

D - This style is extremely hit or miss with me (and in Scotland I think I have a low batting average). If anything is too pronounced - the brew is offensive. This one pulled it off. Moylan's pleases me again. It is an easy wee heavy to drink and it is pleasant. The brewery is close, I will definitely have to check it out sometime.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahogany. Head starts off as a fluffy tan mass but quickly dissipates to a slight ring.

Nose is smokey caramel maltiness. Sweet overripe dark fruit. Subdued piney hop presence.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Strong caramel malt character. Sweet dark fruit along with a strong pear impression. Biscuit and toffee. Hints of woody nut. Resinous piney hops round this one out. Finish has a light peat smokiness with lingering malt aftertaste. Alcohol is well concealed and presents only a slight warming.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the style. Very little carbonation makes this one almost too easy to go down.

An enjoyable easy drinking brew. Very smooth and sweet. A little light on the mouthfeel and the smokey flavor I expect in a scotch ale. Strong fruit character. Be sure to let this one warm a bit as that is when the flavor really comes out.

Photo of yelterdow
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at between cellar and fridge temperature in a tulip glass. Purchased while on vacation in Napa and brought home intact to NJ... time for a big and welcome tasting.

Appearance- Slightly hazy, the beer pours a luscious caramel red which supports three full fingers of creamy, light tan foam. As the crown settles, spotty lacing dots the inside of the glass. A good, solid Scotch Ale appearance.

Smell- The first thing that comes to mind is "rich, chocolate Ovaltine!" A marked chocolate aroma is surprisingly out front, conceding to notes of rock candy and sumptuous toffee. Way in the back, but nevertheless present, are some fleeting hops that zap the nostrils. Finally, I'm getting what seems to be smoked peat that reminds me of a just-used fireplace in the middle of Winter.

Taste- Not as dynamic or interesting as the nose... the sweet, candylike malts reveal some tannins, reminiscent of fully steeped tea leaves. There's even a modicum of lemon, offsetting the sugars and providing an interesting, though not altogether successful balance. The alcohol is well hidden, not interfering with my enjoying this slowly.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Rich and decadent, the frothy texture in the mouth accentuates all of the flavors well. It goes down just a bit harshly in the throat, otherwise it's easy. Overall, it's on par for the style though it lacks the lingering, sweet malty finish I've come to love about a Scotch Ale.

Photo of tonistruth
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- mahogany to garnet in color, 1 finger off white head, little retent and little lacing

S- caramel, burnt sugars, dark fruits, malty

T- dark fruits, caramelized malts, molasses, unfermented sugars, roasted malts, chocolate

M- medium body, coats palate, somewhat viscous

D- awesome scotch, great on cask, warms well

Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am generally a huge fan of the style and I was a bit disappointed in this case that I wasn't blown away by the beer. That said, it is 'good' and good is well... good. So, not every beer is going to be out of the ballpark.

Appearance: Pours a bronze brown color with an off white head.

Smell: Butterscotch, caramel fruits and biscuity malts.

Taste: Very pleasant, slightly warm fruity sweetness, malty bread like attribute and a little alcohol heat again at the finish. Overall it was decent, it just didn't blow me away this time.

Mouthfeel: It had the mouthfeel more of a Scottish Ale than a Wee Heavy IMO but the ABV of the latter so ... again not bad, just a bit light in the mouth for the style.

Drinkability: One bomber is no problem but I didn't fall in love so I am moving on.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of bosco7
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in color with creamy sticky head. Molasses like lacing slowly crawls down the glass.

Big fresh baked bread aroma with some chocolate and banana following.

Very sweet. Wallop biscuit, malt, and bread flavors upfront. Followed by chocolate, molasses, prunes, sherry and just a touch of banana.

Chewy and a bit cloying (especially during the begining of Summer) which is expected. Low in carbonation.

Usually have this during the colder months but couldn't resist buying this today as a change of pace from the Summer ales/lagers I have been consuming lately. Truly a treat.

Photo of bgraney
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reddish/tan, more red when held to the light. Half finger white, sudsy head.
Bready malt aroma with a definite alcohol presence. Some sweet caramel as well.
Intense caramel/alcohol hit right off the bat. Follwing sips a little less intense. Surprisingly I didn't pick up any of the bready aroma in the flavor. A bit on the harsh side.
All that lingers for me is the sweetness, thick on the tongue.
This is a one and out experience for me. I think it's well made but not something I want a lot of.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to BeerRun13 for this bomber (SecretBunny).

Pours a clear mahogany color with an ample light tan head. Very little lacing. Great color.

The smell is slightly sour. Dark chocolate covered raisins, sweet caramel, light roasted nuts. Sweet, fruity, and a little earthy.

The flavor mimicks the aroma. Dark fruits, caramel, chocolate covered raisins, slight nuttiness. Hops aren't really evident anywhere in the taste.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. Good carbonation. Dry, raisin flavored aftertaste with a hint of bitterness. This malty brew is good, but I don't think I would ever grab one myself since there are better examples of the style out there.

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

This is a style I'm not too familiar with, and it kind of reminds me of when I first tried a Barely Wine. It's also similar (or at least this specific beer is), in that it is fairly malty, and quite warming. There are big differences though. This beer is much thinner, and has a lighter body.

Ignoring the comparisons, this is a very bold beer with lots of flavor. Hops are there, but the sweet malty flavor makes it hard to tell that. It has a somewhat fruity flavor, like apple cider (the real thing, not the lackluster type from grocery stores). Allowed to linger in the mouth, and a sourness becomes apparent, but most sips won't show that.

Overall, I'm more interested in trying some other variations on this style. I'm not totally sure I like it, but it is still a quality beer.

Photo of Stoneman78
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Off-white, creamy head that is mostly diminishing; excellent lacing throughout; hazy thinlight-brown orange hue
S- Big caramel malty nose, roasted nuttiness, moderate alcohol presence, subtle fruity and chocolate tones
T- Sweet caramel malt dominates, mellow sweet (honey?) in the middle, finishes up with a slightly dry, sweet aftertaste
M- Full and thick body, syrupy texture, soft carbonation
D- Well balanced Scotch Ale, nice caramel malt feel with subtle roastiness and short finish. Easy to drink, alcohol feel quite subtle despite 8% ABV. This is a solid entry in the Scotch Ale genre, but not quite top-tier.

Photo of Nipitato
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Brown hue with significant deep ruby highlights. Clear. Nearly no head.

S: Very strong sweet caramel malt aroma that mingles with some fruity esters and some roasted notes.

T: Malt flavor is strongest though not particularly appealing. Roasty not smokey. Raisiny esters are also detectible. Dry finish.

MF: Medium light. Well carbonated. Dry.

D: I am not a huge fan of this style and after drinking Kilt Lifter I am still not. The biggest absence was the subtle caramel malt flavor. Kilt Lifter was just really sweet. I didn't find it to be drinkable.

Photo of Talisker
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nod to St. Patrick's Day. I love Moylan's beers - criminally underrated among their Northern California brethren - and it has been more than a year since I've tried this one, their flagship, I believe.

Pours an almost sludgy light brown with red highlights. No particulate matter, but no clarity. Uninviting. Minimal head, but persistent lacing.

Smells like pure malt mash (in a good way) with a vegetal overtone (in not quite a good way). The nose is the only indication of peat, as the taste is very rich dry malt with just a tiny bit of non-citrusy (UK-style?) hops for balance. The dryness sticks around pleasantly, but doesn't scream for another drink.

Not bad, but not my favorite among an otherwise spectacular lineup. Moylan's and Marin Brewing are great for remembering that malt is an important component of beer - love that house style that leads with malt, even in the super-hopped examples. But this Scotch Ale doesn't rise above the pack.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good beer. Nice head and retention. Great malty smell with some alcohol. Flavor is good, very malty. Caramel and chocolate malts. Alcohol is kept in balance. Malts cling fairly well, a little dry aftertaste.. However, this beer is very easy to drink. Nice and sessionable.

Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale pours a dark brown with a tan head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is malty and a bit fruity. Malt dominates the flavor and is well balanced with hops. Perhaps a bit too well balanced for the style, this seems like a very American (read hoppy) version of a Scotch ale. That being said, it is a pretty tasty beer. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of zuggy9
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This reddish-amber ale pours a think tan head that thins to bit of a crown. The smell is a bit nut like with too heavy a vegetable scent. The taste didn't catch me much, just maltiness and a little bitterness. The mouthfeel was pleasant, but a bit thin. Not very drinkable for my tastes.

Photo of Ego
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a nice glowing ruby tone, small head fades quickly, kind of like the giants the second half of the season... decent amount of carbonation, decent looking

very peaty and malty, slightly toasty with almost a hint of smoke, smells dry as well, really nice aroma.

nice medium to full mouth feel, the carbonation comes off a touch low, the malt and peat flavor seem a bit under-pronounced, this seems to lack character. it drinks easy enough and the ABV is well hidden but something seems to be missing.

this didn't lift my kilt.. nor did it fit the bill. not terrible but terribly average in the most important departments

Photo of Greenfloyd
4.62/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer so much, I homebrewed a Scotch Ale shortly after....

The appearance of this beer is a nice light amber with an ivory head that lasts for a minute or so. Smelt of heavy malt, slight honey and biscuit. The taste was again, heavy with sweet malt,extremely low hoppiness (indicative of any good Scotch Ale), and low smokey tones. Mouthfeel was medium to medium heavy. This is definetly a "big" beer. I could easily drink this over, and over, and over...

Goes fantastic with bacon wrapped scallops....Enjoy

Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 672 ratings.