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

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188 Reviews
Kilt Lifter Scottish Style AleKilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale

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

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: 188 | Ratings: 646
Photo of tucson_brewson
1.16/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Keeping my old review to remind me of a time before Four Peaks sold out to Bud and decided to change it to something awful.

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 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 snilsen13
2.33/5  rDev -36.2%
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 bennetj17
2.51/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ultra clear looking, with a mahogany color. The head is made of soapy white foam that settles quickly. Appears to have some pretty lively carbonation. Aroma is not very impressive, there's some light notes of tangy-sweet malt, with a hint of toastiness, but it also has that stale macro character.

The taste is pretty underwhelming too. While the malt has a decent toastiness, it seems too weak overall, as I am waiting for the flavor to come out of its shell. All I get is a faint touch of dark fruit and the slightest bitterness at the back. Thankfully the carbonation adds a little something, however the body is on the lighter side for style.

This beer is not very enjoyable, and sadly it's par for the course when it come to Arizona microbrews. A good Scottish Ale deserves more flavor, while this brew has been made for the masses. I would like to buy more local beers, but beers like this remind me of why I have to look elsewhere...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, light brown body with a thin, bubbly head.

Smell: Meager caramel-minded maltiness with a small waft of smoke and fruit note.

Taste: Mild dark caramel malt character with a pinch of earthy brown sugar. Very slight smokiness. Hint of fruit. Light, inexpressive hops. Overall, a bit lacking flavorwise.

Mouthfeel: It's downright light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Thanks, but no thanks. This is unacceptably bland! The things that pass for an "award-winning flagship ale" these days. Yeesh.

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Photo of mentor
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle provided by nvsblman, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a one-finger faintly blah caramel-yellowish head over a dull amber liquid. Fine suspended particulates nearly hide a hair from one of my cats, which floats near the foamy top. I fish it probably won't have affected the flavor. Smells...of wet cat. Just kidding. Smells very mild. With searching, caramel, alcohol, raisin, biscuit, bock. Overall...wet sweet, but I really had to stick my nose in there and suck in some air. Tastes a little bit sour-sweet to start, then soured caramel bock-like. I know I've had that grain before, but I can't place it. It's a flavor I've had in Bell's Batch 6000. Sour malty caramel with some alcohol zing and sting. It's aromatic, in a grassy sense, yet earthy like dried forest dirt. A little bit belgian phenolic funky in a yeasty manner. Yes! That's it. It's got a distinct phenolic clove flavor. Very much like the phenolic of a grand cru or clovey like a wheat beer. There is a sweet beneath, but it's not quite enough to qualify the beer as a Scottish ale, IMO. The dry finish does nothing to help overcome the edgy flavors.

The label reads "smooth full bodied Scottish ales". Smooth it is not. Further "with the slightest hint of peat-smokey barley". This I can believe. That might explain some of the clovey sting. Md-light body with moderate carbonation. I enjoyed the experience of this beer, but wouldn't seek out another. It just doesn't fit the bill for my sweet malty loving palette. I can, however, think of many fans of belgian beer that I think would love this beer.

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Photo of bditty187
2.66/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From very, very old notes...

Slightly hazed reddish-brown in hue with a smattering of copper as well; it is an attractive color. Skimpy off-white head, at the apex the foam was barely a half finer tall. Bummer… plus there was poor head retention. After a moment all that remained was a thin collar. Similarly, there was no subsequent lacing of note. Overall, the appearance is average.

The nose is vaguely malty but surprisingly hot and alcoholic, especially at only 6% abv. I found it fruity at the back. Here comes a big surprise. The burnt rubber traces and nail polish remover smells are not doing anything for me. Surprising, I know. Thankfully the potency is low, while I’m not totally turned-off I can’t call the nose inviting either.

The palate isn’t very impressive. Weakly malty but there isn’t much richness or flavor depth; all I detect is shallow caramel. Dark fruits run rabid and batter the burnt rubber and nail polish taste. While these alcoholic flavors are not strong, I don’t even like the trace amount it displays. Fluttering finish, malty but there isn’t much going on nor is there any other depth. Bland and flawed, not a winning combination... this is not a very good beer.

Medium in body, moderately-low carbonation, the mouthfeel doesn’t do much for me but it fits this beer well enough.

This Scottish Ale is just too soft spoken and flawed for me to want to drink this again (or any more). If the maltiness was louder and firmer, I think, many of the problems would be solved. Nevertheless, thank you Uncle Rick & Aunt Kathy for shipping me this beer from AZ. This is my finial review from the beers you sent. Thanks for all of them.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
2.68/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: 1/8" white head that dissipated quickly over deep amber liquid.

S: Grassy hops and yeast. Not too much going on here.

T: Slightly citrusy with some grassy flavours and barley malt. Not much to it.

M: Thin, watery and minimal carbonation.

O: This certainly doesn't lift my kilt.

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Photo of Duff27
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours a clear light ruby red with a full inch of white head. Some lacing and decent head retention. Nearly nil effervescence.

S- Smells grassy/grainy. Faint.

T- More grass. Caramel malts. Sweet aftertaste.

M- Not much carbonation what-so-ever. Thicker than water but watery none the less.

D/O- CAN a CAN increase drinkability? I think so in Four Peaks Kilt Lifter's case. You wouldn't guess it's 6.2%abv...drinks like a macro with some decent flavor.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.76/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Poured on-tap at the Frog & Firkin in Tucson, AZ.

Poured an amber color, finger width head. Roast malt and buttery nose. Awfully light taste for what I was expecting. Malty finish. Mouthfeel was very thin, unfortunate. Overall it was a good beer, I just wish it ran a little thicker.

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Photo of BrauKilR
2.79/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Clear, amber, nice head of fine, creamy consistency. Good retention.

S: Smell is neutral from the bottled version, slightly more malty from the tap version. Neither hops nor malt notes dominate overall.

T: I noted caramel and some subtle roast with the tap version, but get butter (diacetyl?) in the bottled version. Hop bitterness evident, but no hop flavor or aroma.

M: Thin in comparison to what I expect from a wee-heavy. Hop bitterness in the finish; also contrary to expected in a beer style which should showcase malt complexity.

D; A drinkable beer, which is important to success in a college town where kids expect to quaff rather than appreciate. This beer definitely reflects a house flavor, though, which is generally subtle but inoffensive. I'm drinking it now because I bought it, but I long for a Belhaven.

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Photo of mikechance
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My overall impression of the beer was average, but it had hints of promise. Although not a traditional scottish style ale in my opinion it did have some interesting aspects. The malts created some interested flavors which I would love to explore again. This beer is average is a bottle, but might be a completely different experience from the tap.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber color, medium head. Aroma is fruity with a touch of smoke. Malty flavor, nearly smoky, somewhat sweet. Medium bodied ale. Nice smooth smoky flavor as per a scotch ale. Mouthfeel is round and full. Finish is smooth and clean. Aftertaste is malty and slightly sweet.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a finger of head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is mild lemon.
The taste is mostly a mild caramel sweetness.
The texture is softer.
It's easy to drink.

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Photo of cerveza5150
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not bad, but nothing worth remembering. Tastes like a typical 'scottish ale' with a buiscuity malt flavor up front, followed by a little spice and a slight alcohol burn. The higher alcohol content actually helps this brew, as the hops don't really finish off the taste well. Reminds me more of a higher OG and higher alcohol Amber Ale, like a Fat Tire thats been kicked up.

Not my favorite, but not the worst I've ever had.

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Photo of iSip
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Four Peaks Kiltlifter Scottish Ale: I got to try a bottle of this brew at a conference in Phoenix. Deep amber color, thin head and little aroma. The flavor brings malt notes to the fore, and not much else. Feels a little thin for a Scottish Ale. This is a decent offering to partake if you are in the area. May as well support the local brew. It does not set the Scottish Ale world on fire, however.

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Photo of armock
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to NitroGen for sending this my way to try.

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaven lacing behind

S - Is very malty a little fruity and sweet

T - Kinda has an apple cider taste to me with sweet malt

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - To me this is an ok beer the style isn't my favorite but compared the the other beers from the style I've had this doesn't fit too well with them try it if you want

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Casey Moore
Poured a copper color with a small head but that is all that was going for it. Nose is off, not real convincing. Lots of caramel malts. Taste is caramel malts and seemed to be the only real taste to distinguish this beer. Taste was below average, nose was decent and mouthfeel was to light for a scottish.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: caramel, malts, sweet

taste: caramel, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: ok scottish ale. Nothing special and nothing really stood out. Glad i got to try it anyways.


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Photo of ScottyC
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, leather brown color.

Smell: Very little aroma. Malts, slightly toasted.

Taste: Not huge on flavor. Although it does offer malty, slightly toasted notes. A slight spicy hop bite finishes it off. Overall, you'll drink this beer for it's drinkability. Overall, very mellow taste.

Drinkability: This is the reason why you'll drink this beer. You can easily drink 3 or 4.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Last beer o the night courtesy of Phelps
Poured blind as part of the Blind BIF 4

Poured from a brown bagged 12 oz. can (all hail the can)

Pours a clear chestnut brown with 2 inches of off white foam that hung around for a while. Lacing is minimal.

Aroma is some light sweet malts, lemon and a tea like smell

It reminds me of tea but a bit malty, lemon, basically it tastes like a ramped up tea.

Light carbonation and medium-light bodied. Overall it reminds me of a stlightly alcohol laced lemon tea.

I have no idea, i'm not really digging this one and it doesn't really seem to fit a style I can name.
so with that, i rip off the paper...

Four Peaks Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale

I have to say, I'm just not a fan of this one. But hey, its in a can...


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Photo of msubulldog25
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received a sample pour of this at the brewery in Tempe, so I picked up a single bottle and tried it later that night. A 12 oz. bottle (undated/listed ABV 6.0%).

A: Warm orange, copper like a lightly tarnished penny. Large carbonation rising rapidly, some clinging to the sides. After cresting at about a finger, fizzy off-white head drops quickly, leaving a small star-shaped film and ringing cream. No lace. Though still after a couple minutes, I found the clarity and sultry-warm 'bourbon' color to be captivating.

S: Sweet aroma, basically like cereal grain (or wort, maybe?) Caramel, a little toasted nuts. Pleasantly malty but very simple.

T: Toasted grain is full-on 'breadcrust' sweet/dryness, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and heavily smacking of caramel. Barely enough grassy/spicy bitterness for balance and an ending that stays sugary, and also holds an odd (but tasty) orange/berry fruitiness.

M: Creamy mouthfeel with a modest soft carbonation. Light-medium feel, a little sugar/malt sticking around. Overall texture seems pretty thin for the style.

D: Not a great version of the style compared to others I've tasted, but it's an easy sipping 6% pint nonetheless. Wouldn't rush to get more (I tried other brews from Four Peaks I liked better) but I'd have again and recommend for a try.

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Photo of Treebs
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on draft at some place in the Phoenix airport at 9am. I blame the time change. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Poured a dark copper with lighter edges. Not hazy, but hard to see through. Little head with a nice film hovering around the top.

S: Some biscuit malts on the nose with some hints of caramel.

T: Same basic malts from the nose. Light burnt toffee and caramel. Bready malts come back in to the picture on the finish.

M: Crisp and refreshing. A little doughy malts left on the palate but subside quickly.

O: Meh. Wasn't the my favorite. I haven't had that many Scottish ales but can name several better than this.

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Photo of boomer31
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark tan near brown with a light khaki head. The head disappears to a thin lace after only a few moments.

S - Caremel malt and some yeast but not much else. Underwhelming.

T - More caremel malt a hint of molasses and maybe some sugar. Not as complex as I was hoping for as I guess this is their flagship beer.

M - Rich with that classic 'can' carbonation which works well for the style.

D - A very drinkable beer as its very balanced and nothing really stands out (a backhanded complement if I've ever given one)

Not too bad overall. I wouldn't seek this out or even purchase again if I had the chance. Just OK

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of this Scottish Style Ale was a medium deep brown that when poured was sort of thick. The flavor of roasted malts with a hint of barley was evident. Not an overpowering ale, but it was pleasant. Also, the taste was sort of flat and lackluster.

Not a favorite of mine and will not bother to purchase it again!

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Photo of beagle75
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a goblet.

A: Clear, medium amber color with one finger of diminishing golden foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass and large bubbles rise occasionally at the center of the column.

S: Caramel is refined in the nose, with mixed fruit also detectable. A fine thread of toasted bread is stuck in between other layers, requiring some study to find.

T: Begins off-dry, with husky malt that is bready and earthy, followed by yeast esters and acidity that is moderate for the style. Sweetness peaks into the middle, where it complements well-developed caramel and toffee flavors. The finish is mild and minimally bitter, influenced by vanilla and scant peat smoke.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly syrupy and acidic on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a fairly tame contribution to the style, notably but appropriately lacking in hop qualities. It offers a level of compatibility with other flavors that really shouldn't be surprising in a malt-focused beer of normal strength.

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Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale from Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 646 ratings.
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