Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale | Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery

205 Reviews
Kilt Lifter Scottish Style AleKilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale

Brewed by:
Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery
Arizona, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
21 IBU

Added by mzwolinski on 09-24-2002

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Reviews: 205 | Ratings: 687
Photo of Scotchboy
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Reviewing from both tap and bottle.

A: Lightly-hazed molasses color, with a creamy head and lacing.

S: Malty, bready, hints of fruitiness and toffee, some nuttiness, faint dark fruits (raisin).

T: Same as the nose, malty and fruity with notes of caramel, toffee, fig, raisin, and sweetness.

MF: Creamy and light/medium bodied.

O: A decent and easy drinking Scotch Ale. Not enough going on to revisit.

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Photo of raspy22
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had last night at Hooters. Pretty good.
L: dark copper molasses brown color. Nice looking.
S: what you would expect from a Scottish-style ale. A little muted, but still there is a lot of malt, toffee, nuttiness, caramel.
T: Again, what you would expect from the style, but done pretty well. It is a crushable beer. Malty, nuttiness, toffee, molasses, caramel, and a bit of hop bitterness to ensure that this is not dominantly sweet.
O: I am not impressed by Four Peaks on the whole, but this is a tasty doable beer to get at Hooters and your larger sports bars.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

How many kilt lifter ales are there? This is one of those so ubiquitous type of names that they can't even trademark it I suspect.

Anyways, when I used to go to spring training in Arizona (back when I had a shawty living down there) I would find myself buying a few of these for my lady friend. For those wanting a malty kick, this is your jam methinks.

Pours light brown, amber, off white head, 1/2". Aroma of malt, lesser peat, earth.
Taste is smooth, malty, unsweetened grandma toffee candy. This is kind of like Fat Tire, but with a little bit more malt and less hops, in terms of who it is marketed towards. Nutty unsweetened cola aspect to it.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper, maybe even amber hue with not much going for the head. And this was a fairly aggressive pour.

The smell was a real nice nose of sweet malts and just a hint of smoke in the background.

The taste is stone fruits, figs and lots of raisins. There was just a touch of a smoke on the taste like on the nose. I really pick up a lot of raisins on the flavor. Maybe a bit much?

The mouth feel is a bit more towards the medium side with a wet finish to it.

Overall I find this to be a nice beer for those cool winter nights we have here in Vegas. Might even work for an even colder night as well. A very well crafted beer that just was a bit over the top on the raisins for me but nothing extremely off putting.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent Scottish style ale. Pours a nice ruby color with a thin tan head. Lacking in caramel sweetness and no peat presence, but an easy drinking ale. Cheers!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first Arizona beer I had when we arrived for our niece's wedding.
In a pint glass it was a dark amber color with a tiny tan head.
Sweet caramel aroma.
Sweet caramel taste.
Light-to-medium bodied.
Rather enjoyable.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the can , it pours a darker amber with a small head. Caramel malt in the nose. The mouth enjoys the malt flavor, caramel of course and very slightly sweet. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Meyers1023
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured a clear dark amber color with just a little under one fingers worth of off white head. The nose is caramel with biscuits. You definitely get a malty ready taste with some caramel like the smell suggests. The feel is medium low with low carbonation but a little creaminess to it. Overall this is an above average beer. I have had many of them and have enjoyed it each time.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very beautiful color, rich amber. Very nice head, holds for little time with nice cascade effect on pour. Smells like malt and honey/syrup. Taste is smooth with little bite, opens up nicely with a full flavor in mouth. Has a background oak or something cannot pick out. Feel is very nice and clean.
This is a great any day beer, very easy to drink and very rounded taste and feel, cheers on this one.

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Photo of snilsen13
2.33/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

16 oz can
Lacks proper malt flavors and tastes like it was made with syrups. Yes, it is drinkable but only the shadow of a properly crafted Scottish beers. You might pick it over Bud, but you might not.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Native Grill & Wings in Sierra Vista, AZ. Pours a clear reddish amber with a decent off white head. Initial impression is heavy malt, sweetish and uncomplicated. Smooth mouthfeel and quite drinkable. Much less complex than most Scottish Ales I've had. Drinkable but unremarkable. I found myself hurrying too finish this so I could order something better

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the brewpub in the PHX airport

amber in color, white head. sweet malty aroma. taste is similar, about what I'd expect for the style. medium bodied.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed poolside at W Scottsdale, 12 oz can (stamped "canned on 03/16/16") poured into a plastic beer cup. Pours a very clear, brownish amber, with a good froth of tan foam. Aromas of grainy bread, toasted malt and caramel. Flavor is full and malty without being too sweet: more grainy bread and toasted grains, salted caramel, earth and herbal hops. Medium body and carbonation. Overall a full, malty brew with the savory malt notes keeping any sweetness well in check. Drank well in the Arizona sun for so much malt and higher ABV.

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Photo of STLBeerNut
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a place in my heart as it's from my hometown. Kiltlifter can be had throughout the Phoenix area and is a sort of right of passage in the Phoenix craft beer scene. This beer is an excellent balance of hops and malt for the style. Less sweet than some o f my other Scotch Ale favorites. The beauty of this beer is its universal appeal. Even drinkers of bad beer like this as it is easy on the palette without a ton of complexity. Great every day beer.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 9 January 2016.
Clear, transparent chestnut.
Smells nutty and malty.
Really nice! Malty-robust. Brown sugar sweetness, with a pleasant crispness and round body. Touch of tartness.
I see why it's a flagship. Solid!!

ABV: 6%
IBU: 21
SRM: 16
Malts: Two-row, Caramel 80L, Carapills, Roasted barley
Hops: Golding

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the most popular beers that are brewed in AZ. I tend to have it once every time I visit. Very nice nutty beer that is really a great beer, but nothing outstanding makes you want more and more. Great option to have when in the Phoenix area.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually have this about once/year as I'm passing thru PHX. It has gotten considerably better from what I remember... Very smooth, quite sweet. Rich mouthfeel. Whatever you're doing to this one Four Peaks, keep doing it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a deep, caramel coloring with a sparse, clingy, off-white head. Aromas of roasted caramel, vanilla, peat and earthy tones, and thistle and floral highlights. Very smooth and balanced aromas. Flavors are heavily roasted caramel forward, tangy and sweet, with highlights of vanilla and floral notes. Very sweet and smooth, on a full, almost chewy body. Smoky and earthy notes on the back of the palate and into the aftertaste, enhancing the rich, sweet notes. The finish is smooth, rich, and layered. Solid beer.

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Photo of kabirmarwah
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer; shared a pitcher with my friends at the brewery itself. Pours a beautiful red; head wasn't too remarkable. Very delicious; crisp and refreshing without being too bitter. Easy to down while being slightly stronger than the average beer. Four Peaks needs to step up its distribution beyond AZ!

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Photo of tucson_brewson
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Guess I just happened to have two instances of bad brew experience, as my recent trip to the Four Peaks brewery and another bottle of it turned out to be the old, familiar taste I recall. Looks like they haven't changed the recipe, it was just an unfortunate batch that went sour. Review below is accurate. But for the record, there was a time when I thought Kilt Lifter had changed forever, but thankfully I was mistaken.

12 oz bottle, poured into pint glass.

Look: Pours a darker amber copper color with little to no head.

Smell: Breaded, toasted malt, caramel

Taste: Sweet and malty up front with a nutty and biscuit-like finish. No trace of any bitterness/hops.

Feel: Smooth, medium-bodied, very drinkable. Not very much carbonation and the 6% ABV doesn't kick in right away; so smooth for how strong it is. Very balanced.

Overall: Probably a good representation of a Scottish ale, and the flagship brew for Four Peaks. I'd say it's better/best on tap, but a definite solid brew for those looking for less hop but the same strong kick.

***Updated 9/2016 review***
After selling out to InBev but promising nothing about the beer would change...everything about the beer changed. I've tried to give this beer a chance in both the bottle and on tap. I thought I just got a bad batch out of the bottle, but the bad pint confirmed that this beer has changed for the worst.

The folks at Four Peaks were nice enough to address my concern, say they were going to look into it, compensate me with a gift card (whenever I make the 2 hour-trek to Phoenix) and throw in a beer koozy. But, the beer itself remains undrinkable.

Something in the recipe must have changed. It pours a cloudy, amber-orange color with some yellow foam that dissipates quick. The biggest changes are in smell and taste, described in one word: sour. It smells sour. It tastes sour. It's as if someone crossed out the recipe and wrote in "add a bunch of lemon juice to some malt over there and these hops here and see what happens." I don't know if it's an unfortunate coincidence that I would have had a bad 6-pack and 2 bad pints at 2 different establishments, but my feeling is that the old Kilt Lifter is no more, and it's really a shame. Drink local, but make sure it's ACTUALLY local.

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Photo of Houlio_99
4.36/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Easy drinker for a Scott. Enjoyed multiple pints at the Biltmore in Phoenix. The bartender should be on the payroll as he moves about 25-30 pints a weeknight ... no complaints on my end .. seems justified.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2015-06-21 in Phoenix, AZ at their pub at the airport. On tap

Sweet malt with a touch of smoke. Caramel and medium roasted grain. A bit of bitter for balance.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.89/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz can, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, semi-clear, deep, dark, amber/mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with lots of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked bread and biscuits, along with aromas of caramel, black pepper, honey, honey-suckle, heather, and touches of floral, grassy, hops.

Taste: Delicious! A serious malt bomb, with tons of toasted malt up front, flowed by lots of caramel and brown sugar, some black pepper, and finished with just a touch of floral, grassy, hops to round it all out. A malt-lover’s dream!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely effervescent as there’s some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Four Peak’s Kilt Lifter is one of my favorite session beers. Malty, sweet, easy to drink, flavorful, satisfying and delicious! I love it!

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Amber/copper in color with some visibility. Pours about a one finger head which rapidly dissipates.

Aroma- Muted aroma but sweet caramel is definitely noticeable.

Taste- Lots of toasted caramel sweetness up front and in the finish The finish has a very tiny presence of peated/smoke but barely any (if any actually). Little bit of a herbal/spice hop presence towards the end too.

Feel- Very light up front, but richer and more of a medium body in the finish.

Overall- This is a ok/good beer that has some nice toasted caramel malt flavors but a little too light at times. Definitely grows on you as warms up, so serving at at least 45 degrees would probably be best. Worth the try and maybe worth going for again.

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Photo of sloggettstrength
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

Look: A nice medium brown copper color. Poured about one finger of head that left quickly.

Smell: A nice toasty malt aroma to it. I don't get any fruit at all in the nose.

Taste: A nice nutty malt through and through from start to finish.

Feel: Very smooth, quite crisp but not too much carbonation.

Overall: A very nice beer.

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Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale from Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 687 ratings.
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