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

192 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: 192 | Ratings: 654
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the Scottsdale location, brewed of course at Tempe brewpub. Their very popular but merely serviceable beer has a dark yellow coloured body and a white head with white lace. Their is light smoke in the aroma and more in the taste. Average mouthfeel and drinkability.

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Photo of brentk56
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a head that forms impressively and leaves a fair amount of lacing behind

Smell: Toasted bread and treacle with fruity tones of raisin and strawberry

Taste: A rather sweet opening, with the treacle dominant; the raisin and strawberry tones develop, in the middle, and the finish is a refrain from the opening

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A nice, easy-to-drink, malty beer; lacks some subtlety but is a well-brewed example of the style

Thanks, mikedR (from the other site), for the opportunity

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Photo of LXIXME
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Medium sized maybe a bit bigger off white to light tan head sort of just sits above a clear bright caramel colored beer with some bronze highlights added to a deep color.

Light caramel roasted and biscuit malt aroma with just a touch of some hops characteristics adding to it.

Warming lightly roasted caramel malt taste that has sort a of biscuit like quality.

Light dry aftertaste that keep a caramel malt taste lingering on with this medium bodied beer.

This is a pretty decent Scottish Ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip glass. The color is a moderate brown with a bit of slight haze. The nose is some light caramel, toffee, bread, and hints of dark fruits. The taste is along similar lines with a bit of brown sugar and molasses. Light date flavors and caramel. Good body and everything lends well to the flavor. Drinks pretty well, but nothing too special about it.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly hazy and cloudy orange copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, raisin, toast, bread, floral, light peat, and floral earthiness; some light phenols as well, but not too bad. Some nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity; the phenolic note knocks it down a bit. Taste of caramel, toast, raisin, pear, bread, floral, light pepper, light peat, and floral earthiness; slight phenols noticed after the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, toast, bread, floral, light pepper, light peat, and earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance of flavors with solid complexity; good robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. The phenolic note was noticeable, but not too detracting. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice Scottish ale. Good balance of malt/fruity flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Four Peaks Kilt Llifter ale is sparkling clear dark amber with a moderate white head and lacing.

Mildly malty nose with a touch of what seems to be a fruity off-odor.
No off-flavors, however. Just a faint touch of smoke. Limited malt flavor.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Fairly smooth.

O: a bit too light flavored for style, but then "flagship" brews are usually tame.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange-amber with a short and foamy bone-white head that dissipates shortly. The nose expresses a sweet malt and a touch of smoke. The body is medium with a fine and restrained carbonation that leaves it lightly creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor is exactly as the aroma indicates with a sweetish, honeyish malt that has a thread of peat-smoked character running through it. There's some minor hop flavor in there as well, but it's character is hard to pin down... it's somewhat floral and a touch leafy (the bottle lists Goldings and that appears to match up). It finishes drying with a short lingering residual maltiness and a touch of residual hop flavor. I'm not sure where it would rank in the Scottish / Scotch Ale category. It's loaded with sweet malt, but not nearly enough to fit the 110 -/- or Scotch Ale style; and yet a bit too full to be an 80 -/-. Regardless, it's an interesting and enjoyable beer with poor head retention being it's only drawback. They've brought on a new brewer who was at Alaskan for a few years, and they've also acquired a "real" bottling line (to replace their Meheen) so I'm looking forward to trying their beers again soon!

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Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Modest tang of roast malt greets the tongue. More on the slightly tart side than most Scotch ales, which isn't really a complaint. Amber color in the pint glass with very modest head. Slight sweet tang on the lips. More than a touch of perfume in the flavor.

Fairly rich and highly drinkable. I'd call it more of an American Amber, though it's less bitter than many in that style. It's OK on tap, though I would prefer the more carbonated bottle version. On tap at the Bass Pro Shops restaurant in the deep suburban expanse of what might be Scottsdale.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dried apricot with more rising bubbles than the size of the khaki colored cap would suggest. I had no trouble getting all twelve ounces into the glass... with room to spare. The foam looks acceptable and leaves a passable amount of residue. Not exactly eye candy.

The aroma is more amber ale than the stated style. Since Scottish ales are, essentially, amber ales, I'm okay with it. The beer doesn't smell like it will be very sweet, nor does it smell like the peat-smoked malt will be very prominent on the palate. That isn't surprising since the label says that only the 'slightest hint' is present.

Kiltlifter SSA is a pretty good Scottish ale that isn't exactly knocking my... er... kilt off. It has an earthy nuttiness that is similar to an Oktoberfest in some ways. Not only that, but smoke and peat are still tough to appreciate. I would never have chosen the correct style if blinded.

Flavors include toasted brown bread (complete with crunchy crust), oven-baked peanuts, wood, leather, a hint of tangy fruitiness and an earthy-herbal bitterness due to the East Kent Goldings hops. Sweetness and bitterness are both moderate and are relatively balanced in the end.

The mouthfeel improves as the beer spends time in the glass. It seemed too light and too rambunctiously bubbled at first, but firms up and settles down over time.

Kudos to Four Peaks for creating a Scottish ale that straddles the line between Scottish ale and Scotch/wee heavy. I wish they had done a little more with it, though. Less earthiness and more peat-smoked malt would be good places to start. Thanks to tayner for the toss-in.

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Photo of russpowell
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel with a 4 fingers+ tan head. Very good lacing & pretty good head retention

S: Sweet malt & caramel, with a hint of peat,

T: Big biscuitty malt & caramel then just a hint or 2 of peat up front. A little maple & toffee surfaces as it warms. Finishes dry, just a little peaty & a nice kiss of caramel

MF: Medium bodied, a little chewy, great subdued carbonation & good balance

Drank very easy, nice take on the style & loved the subltleness of the smokey peat flavor. Finding this & old monkey shine was the highlight of my trip to AZ!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was shipped to me by sKafifer in the hopes of furthering the ongoing madness known as The CANQuest (TM). Believe me, I am awash in CANs at the moment and am trying to get caught up.

From the CAN: "Pack It In - Pack It Out".

I was at Baltimore County's Tilted Kilt back in June and I'd like to mention the beauteous Hardee whose kilt I showed amazing restraint in not lifting. Yeah, I know ... sexist pig, blah, blah, blah, but I notice that none of them seem to mind my generous tips when I show at Flying Saucer, Tilted Kilt, et al. That, and with age comes wisdom. It is poor form to lay hands on the waitstaff.

My Crack & Glug produced a finger of light-tan head that disappeared like Xi Jinping (this is a current events allusion and may be Googled at your leisure). Color was a tea-like brownish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was quite sweet, like liquid caramel. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and the maltiness was just too much for this self-avowed hophead. If it is going to be this sweet, it should have some more body to it, IMHO. It lacked any subtle smoky quality, which is what I really look for from the style. This would be a malt lover's dream but for me, it was over the top. Finish remained very sweet and I was happy to have tried it, but it was a once-and-done for yours truly.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty unusual style to see available. And I'd have to say that this one is pretty good. Nice caramel roasted tones with sweet aspects that don't overdo it at all. Well rounded and smooth, as much as can be for this style. Nice to be able to try this one out.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a clear, deep amber hue, and an impressively thick, full, creamy head. Aroma: much on the mild side, and shy to offer itself up, but we do perceive bits of nuts, toffee, cocoa, soft spices, herbs.
On the palate, a nice malty-sweet flavor at first. Body is medium, texture is good, hops are very light, if attending this function at all. There's a slight smokey feel, if I'm not imagining it, with lush taste of caramel and such behind. Body feels too thin, though, and those promising flavors soon fade out. Easy to drink, but not much to admire, I'm sorry.
Thanks go to Gusler for providing.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
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 drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a Four Peaks Kiltlifter Pint Glass because I am able to.

Beer is reddish amber, dark mostly clear, thin wispy white head, low carbonation, mild lacing. Looks good.

Aroma is mildly sweet, a little grainy, mild toffee.

Beer is medium in body and has a nice finish to it. Beer is sweet, clean finish, mild graininess through the beer but this was a staple of mine in college. It is fun when a blast from your past. Beer is seriously drinkable and has a great, subtle, candy / toffee flavor that makes me want more. All the beers I grew up on have such horrible reviews on beeradvocate, people no longer know what good beer tastes like.

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Photo of Duff27
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
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 tempest
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle from AJ's in Tucson. This is just a nice, clean Scottish ale with mild caramel and a touch of roast. The aroma, like the flavor, is all malt, but with more of a bready bent to it. The softer caramel taste rolls over your tongue with a lighter carbonation and a very slight herbal, earthy edge. I wouldn't call it peaty, but it's close. Worth a try.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle given as a gift from Halcyondays. Given I've tasted this from draught in Tempe, this bottle sample will be interesting. On to the beer:

The head forms low on top of this dark orange amber colored beer. Only a tiny bad of lacing sticks. The nose: sweet camel, fruity esters, and a little bad of cardbaord. Taste is sweet; alittle peat runs around, but for the most part I'm getting a mix of cookies and caramel, akin to a Twix w/o the chocolate. I should also make note of the fruit esters I'm getting. There's a touch of sweet metallic flavor in the aftertaste that actually seem to work for me. Light bodied with a hint of alcohol, maybe a little too thin for its size.

Noticably more enjoyable tonight than what I remembered. I say go for it.

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Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer courtesy of the creator of the can quest, woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a deep brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malty. Taste is malts, molasses, a good bit sweet, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours orange copper with a large, off-white head. the aroma is very sweet, with some caramel and apple notes. The flavor is caramel, apple, sweet malt and some other fruits including cherry. No real smoke or peat character. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured ontap into a pint glass. A light brown in color, lighter than most.

Smell: Sweet malt comprises most of the aroma.

Taste: Once again, lightly malty with some caramel and nutty notes. No peat or smoke to be found, slightly roasted and hints of Scottish style malt.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied, smooth and certainly easy to drink.

Notes: This is not the best example of a Scottish Ale, but certainly popular with the locals and is a great gateway beer for the masses.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer sits a brilliantly clear, amber-ruby color in my glass. It is topped by a 1 finger thick frothy, tan colored head that is held up/ generated by a fairly strong level of carbonation. The aroma is malt dominated with notes of caramel, toasted bread, a hint of chocolate, perhaps a hint of peat smoke and just a dash of fruitiness. The beer tastes of a caramel sweetness that shows up from start to finish. There is also a nice level of fruitiness here, perhaps reminiscent of raisins, cherries, and even some hints of strawberry. The finish is dry, despite the malt sweetness, and has a hint of astringency that seems to be derived from the wisp of peat malt that was used in this beer.

There is also a nice level of hop bitterness in this beer that adds just enough bite in the finish to help balance the malt. I also think that some of the fruitiness found in this beer is from the flavor hops used. This is a nicely quaffable brew, and it has a fair amount of complexity for a beer of this strength.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, listed as 6%,

A: Pours a caramel red brown with a soft light white head, nice retention, no lace.

S: Toffee, sweet caramel malt, hint of peat.

T: Lots of sweet caramel malt, very bready/cake batter. Nice flavour, not huge but really tasty.

M: Fairly light-bodied, smooth, tad thin.

D: A real nice little beer. Malty and delicious. This is as common as BMC in the Phoenix metro area and clearly superior.

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

A fairly mellow but solid enough Scottish style ale, and pretty true to style. I'm a little surprised this only rates a B. Perhaps a little dryer than most, but still enjoyable. Pours copper with a fairly thin head. Smells nicely malty, and a little nutty with the smell of toasted oats. Nicely balanced in the taste, with slightly chewy malt, restrained earthy and spicy hops, some dry graininess on the finish, and a touch juicy in the middle. I enjoyed this.

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Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale from Four Peaks Brewing Company - 8th Street Brewery
3.66 out of 5 based on 654 ratings.
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