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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale - Moylan's Brewery

Not Rated.
Kilt Lifter Scotch AleKilt Lifter Scotch Ale

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664 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 664
Reviews: 382
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 20
Gots: 36 | 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: 664 | Reviews: 382 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ReDave
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another fine product from the Rock steady Moylan's!

A nice brown ale colored.

Very nice thick [two fingered at least] head, cream colored. Nice thick Brussels lacing all the way down!

This is what a Scotch ale should be in my book.
Some earthy slightly smokey aroma
Malty well balanced flavor.
Easy to drink, careful of the % Eugene! Seems like a session beer [minus a few alcohol percentage points of course]
Tasty beverage!

Photo of BradBLR
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer I've had from Moylan's. The beer poured a dark brown chocolate color with a light yellow brown head that lasted the whole beer with superior lacing. The smell was that of malt, a little chocolate and hops. the aroma was balanced very nice.

The taste was a very smoothe taste of a sweet malt with a slight tartness on the front and a nice hop bitterness on the back. The mouthfeel was very good, with the CO2 being very good and the beer having a very nice thick feel to it.

A very nice Scotch ale that is worth a try if you get a chance to try it. Worth the purchase.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliantly clear red-mahogany. Two finger off-white head; dense, and shows good retention. Produces a few specs of lasting lacing. Toasted crystal malt nose, with some faint smoked notes. Biscuity malt and dextrin sweetness upfront, followed by deeply toasted crystal and a very mellow oak aged flavor. Drying aftertaste, very light on hop bitterness, but the mild oak taste helps bring a very good balance to the overall flavor. Alcohol is very well concealed, especially considering it's thin body and low carbonation. Finishes semi-dry with lots of residual caramel and woody flavor, but no detectable booze. The lighter mouthfeel allows an excellent drinkability, on the other hand, the flavor is fairly weak for a Wee-Heavy.

Photo of Estarrio
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up by accident whilst reaching for the Moylan double IPA. Figured I'd give it a shot!

Poured an amber toned translucent copper color with a big tan head. Moderate retention and some persistent lacings.

The aroma is sweet malt, molasses and orange peel with a nutty presence.

Sweet roasted, earthy dough flavor with hints of orange. Alcohol is masked extremely well. The first sweet tastes give way to a very slight bitter flavor. Very smooth, balanced taste.

Not very carbonated and somewhat light bodied for the style. I have to wonder if this bottle may have been sitting around for too long.

Decent Scotch Ale with a well balanced, smooth flavor. Palate was disappointing: I'll have to review another bottle to see if mine was simply flat.

Photo of cbl2
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. No best by date.


Pours a very hazy deep brown tinged with hints of orange when exposed to the light. Mostly still, thus producing only a faint ring of offwhite head around the circumference.


Biscuity with overtones of yeast, smoked peat, sugar and ripe dark fruits.


Extremely smooth mouthfeel starts off a nicely balanced ale. Mildly sweet upfront with muted undertones of peat, blossoming into a rich malt finish highlighted by ripe dark fruits. Finish is slightly bitter and dry.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a dense pillowy beige headcap over a hazy crimson auburn offering. No bubbles rising up.

Malty based aroma, well proper for the style. Slight peat and grain meets a touch of fruity balance.

First swigs: Slightly smoky peat scotch. Just a tad of the peat for the flavor. Slight biscuit caramel and a generous flavor component of cidery red apple and raisins. 8.0% ABV is invisible!

Feel is restrained and easy going. A touch of cloying vegetal finish leaves this underwhelming.

Last swigs: A Scotch has to do some tricks to stand out and this was is a basic brew. I'd seek other Scotch styles. Overall not bad but doesn't leave me wanting more.

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

22oz.brown bomber poured copper-mahogany with a finger plus of off-white / tan head, into a tulip gass. Good carbonation and a little lacing.

Big, sweet malt aroma with alcohol permeating with some authority. The hops are buried by the malt in this ale, the alcohol gets more noticable as it warms up.

Rich sweet malt from start to finish. The alcohol rips through the malt and finishes the swill where the mild hops leave off.

Mellow malt mouthfeel, medium to heavy in body and a plenty high ABV all add up to an ale that definitely pegs it's style.

Some strong , tasty Scotch Ale from beautiful Marin county...Cheers!

Photo of lackenhauser
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, orange to amber color. Decent carbonation level. Low aroma-malty and a tad sweet. Sort of "wet carboard" like. Malty flavors dominate. Some caramel flavor. Trace of alcohol flavors. Moderate mouthfeel-not as full as some wee heavies I have tried. Above average drinkability. Just doesnt hit the mark as well as I expected. Worth you trying to decide for yourself.

Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of roasted and bisquit malts. It's is sweet and toastey with a breadlike aroma. The taste is decent. It has a wonderful toasted malt flavor that is breadlike and warm in the finish. It's not as malty as expected, but quite complex and full of flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I prefer Scotch ales with a peated edge, but this has a mellow bisquity flavor that's easy to drink.

Photo of ggaughan
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My cousin brought this bottle back to PA from CA and we shared it at a wedding over the weekend. The beer poured a brown color with some redish tones and a slight off-white head and good lacing. The aroma was malty, sweet, a bit toasted. The taste is equally malty and sweet but enjoyable. The body is a bit heavy but very drinkable.

Photo of Billolick
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, without freshness indication, pours typical almond amber, slightly cloudy, with a slight tan head and not leaving much if any lacing. Minor malty nose. Smooth, malty brew, decent sessioner if this style is your thing. For me this style is dull and this version lives up to my preconcieved notions...fairly dull, well crafted and malty smooth, but dull. The best thing I can say for scotch ale is that it works well as a cooking or marinating liquid.

Photo of NVbeer
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into a goblet glass. When poured into the glass it takes on a transparent ruby brown color, with about 1/4" white head that dissipates quickly.
Smell of sweet malty odors, with underlying hints of alcohol. No hops noted, but not expected of this style.
Malt flavor definatly dominates, with mild hops to provide balance, but the malt is king here. Mild alcohol flavor noted, but matches nicely with the malt. This ale has a wonderful mouthfeel that holds strong in the mouth and trough the swallow.
This scotch ale drinks quite nicely, and matchs the style well. A beer that I will return to again.

Photo of BeerRun13
4.6/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish, rusty brown color with an okay off-white to tan head. It left a little lacing.
Malty caramel and butter aromas waft up and smell like candy.
Wow! This beer is stellar. Caramel and butterscotch with some hint of fruit. Just the right hop flavor and bitterness keep everything in check. The hops do seem to fade a little as the beer warms, but it is still very tasty.
Medium to full bodied. This beers flavor dances throughout the palate. Very good.
Moylans Kilt Lifter is very drinkable, but I imagine that the 8.00% ABV would catch up with you after a while. This might be one of my favorite beers. I've got to try some more Wee Heavys to see how they are... Off to Scottland.

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

Poured brown with a slight redd/amberish tinge. Lots of white foam that fizzles down to a fine layer of scuzz. Nose is slightly sweet with a noticeable pungent-ness.

The odd thing about this beer is that it tasted like wet wood. And I liked it. Lots of sticky candy flavors too--toffee and brown sugar cookies. Medium body that was slightly cloying.

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

Pours almost a black amber with a single finger cream colored head that slowly, every so slowly melts to very thick lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt...toasted malt...creamy malt.
Taste is sweet raisins and dried fruit with sweet toasted malt...just a hint of coffee. Slight smokey flavor is noticed in the swallow.
Mouthfeel is thick and creamy...tiny soft carbonation....warming alcohol.
Drinkability? 8% ABV....I don't think so..plus very sweet. Nice beer to finish the night off with. It may be difficult finishing the bomber, but not because I don't like it...just because I've reached that point of total satisfaction and contentment. Amazingly at 8% I don't notice the alcohol at all...at least not in the taste or mouthfeel.

Photo of carln26
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color topped by a thick light tan head. Very pretty beer. The nose has lots of rich malt. Pralines, toffee, dark roasted caramel, a little caramel-apple. The taste has more caramel, it’s like you’re biting into a Brach’s caramel treat, light citrus bitterness midway through the drink. Finish has a little fig and sweet apple. Smooth mouth feel, almost slick. Very drinkable. This may be the best American version of a wee-heavy I’ve had so far.

Photo of MrSeth
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App: Pours a deep copper, but settles to a nearly opaque walnut color body with a creamy tan head. Impressive for a bottled ale.

Sm: The idea that this ale smells malty cannot be stressed enough. It almost smells like malt syrup itself! There is also chocolate malt balls and floral hoppy-ness.. the nose keeps getting more complex as the ale warms.

Ta/Mf: The attack is malty with myriad different levels of malt flavor, sweetness, earthy tones, dark chocolate, bready and green grass as well. The finish is just a trailing off of these same elements. Not really bitter, looking for bitterness brings about a tea-like flavor. The mouthfeels is good but not as smooth as it could be.. yet not nearly as edgey as say Belhaven's Wee Heavy.. No replacement here.

Da: Good stuff if you can't get ahold of any Belhaven.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Deep, dark brown color with ruby edges, a thick light tan head and moderate carbonation.
Rich caramel and roasted malt aromas. Lots of fruitiness, too. Lightly earthy aroma but missing the lightly smokey notes I come to associate with this style.
The taste had a hearty roasty malt tone with carmelized fruits. Hints of black dirt and such but lacking anything remotely resembling a peat-infused smokiness. Mainly, this is all about the caramel and roasted malt with a solid fruity background. Very low bittering. Alcohol content was superbly concealed. The feel was medium- to full-bodied, smooth and almost velvety.
All in all, this Moylan's offering was quite drinkable. A pleasant brew that's worth a try.

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

Poured from a bomber.

The brew pours a medium brownish color with a white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing on the glass. The nose is all about malt, sweet and mouth watering. The first sip is thick and creamy, the alchohol is subdued but it tells you know your drinking an 8% abv brew. There is no strong alchol burn in the mouth but a warm feeling in the belly. The finish is smooth with little to no bitterness. Drinkability is good but this brew is for slow enjoyment.

Overall a very good brew. I'm happy I was able to enjoyed this staple of the West Coast and I would buy it again.

Photo of pjwilson
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This to me is a classic, one of those beers around often. Used to get this pre BA. On with the review.

appearance: sort of between a red and a brown, little head.

smell: chocolate malts, mabey some aromatic malt. i'd love to know the bill on this. yeah, malt head action here

taste: wow, that's roasty. I remember being more smooth. Actually, it is pretty smooth. As excepted there is little bitterness, but there. This is sort of reminding me of Hairy Eyeball without the bitterness. Nice brown tasting malts, there is a malt here i don't see often. A hint of sweetness, it's nice. Just a little strange drinking such a flavorfull beer, with such little bitterness, but that's Scotch ales

mouthfeel: nice and medium. There may be a hint of sugar in here to cut down on the body. it's nice.

drinkablity: this is a sipper. that said I've brown bagged this one in the park, it works for that too. Just one of those beers, you say "ah kilt lifter" and throw it in the basket and just kick back and enjoy it, no worries. A beer that will be bought time and time again. That, and it's the scotch ale i can find with any regularity.

Photo of Pegasus
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber color, quite clear, with a very small white head.

Aroma: Vegetal aroma with slightly nut notes, tobacco, and vanilla.

Taste: Opens with a slightly smoky, earthy note, followed by burnt caramel notes. A slight flourish of herbal hops brings the taste to a close.

Mouth feel: Smooth, syrupy, and quite full, with a soft feel.

Drinkability/notes: A wonderfully pleasant example, quite excellent, and worthy of the effort to obtain it.

Photo of HardTarget
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Brown bomber, label lists lots of metals, but only helpful detail is the 8% abv (no date).

Aroma: A very different vegetal nose. I call it celery, but others referred to peanuts or peanut butter which I can’t argue with. Also a hint of spice, perhaps coriander.

Appearance: Clear amber glass sports a good cover of dirty white head that lasts and laces.

Flavor: A very gentle malt flavor gives some mild dark fruit tastes such as red cherry and plum. No peat malts noted and a nice chocolate flavors came out as it warmed.

Mouthfeel: So smooth, very silky with a gentle carbonation.

Overall Impression: Massively drinkable, even for a style I don’t particularly care for. This is a solid brew; I’ve nothing but respect for the brew masters. They earned those metals.

Photo of frazbri
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Moylan's Kilt Lifter poured a deep ruby brown with a tall, creamy, off-white head. Aromas of toffee, and apple. Flavors of toffee, raisin and herbal bitterness. Smooth creamy body. Moderate carbonation and medium body.

This is a big bold american style scotch ale.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coral-orange-bronze with bright orange accents. The pale caramel cap nearly exploded out of the glass on the pour. I seem to remember another Moylan's beer that I had a similar issue with due to gross overcarbonation. The brittle, unsticky head has fallen quickly and has left very little lace in its wake. A little bubble bath-like sudsiness is about it. Good color, bad head.

The nose rights the ship. The beer smells well-malted with plenty of dark, earthy aromas (as befits the style). It smells more like bourbon than it does like Scotch whisky, with elements of brown sugar, oak and even vanilla. Minimal peatiness, if it's there at all. No smoke that I could detect.

Kilt Lifter isn't much of a Scotch ale on the palate. Scottish? Sure, but it isn't big enough or flavorful enough to be a wee heavy. The malt backbone is osteoporotic for the style, while still managing to deliver a decent amount of caramel-toffee flavor. Although it's still mildly whisky-like, its sweetness forces comparisons to a Rusty Nail or a shot of Drambuie rather than a dram of single malt.

Remarkably, there's no hint of alcohol, even at 8.0%. Dark fruit (dried figs) begins to appear on the palate as the beer warms. KLSA absolutely cries out for more chewiness to give the wonderful flavors a chance to grab hold and soak into the taste buds in proper fashion.

Since I've already alluded to the body/mouthfeel several times, I'll skip any further description, except to say that it's Scottish ale appropriate and Scotch ale/wee heavy inappropriate. The active carbonation fits the mouthfeel. Fewer bubbles would have been perfect though.

How does one score a wee heavy that's tasty, but falls outside the lower bounds of the style? Oh the hell with it, this is good beer and I'll treat it as such. Kilt Lifter doesn't lift my kilt, but it is improving as I get deeper into the bomber. Perhaps I'll change into clean underwear just in case.

Photo of baiser
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this ale from Moylan's. It pours a pretty thick, dark copper colour with a thin head. Thick and syrupy appearance. Lots of caramel and sugar in the nose. Also fruity and toasty. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Taste was a medley of sweet caramel malts, with some fruity flavours and an earthy touch. Aftertaste is sweet and alcoholic. Would've liked some smokiness to it. Overall, pretty good.

Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.