Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale | Moylan's Brewery

397 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Kilt Lifter Scotch AleKilt Lifter Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-07-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 397 | Ratings: 735
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Don for bringing back from SD. Like a liquor. Sweet from the carmel and malt. Scotch up front and then carbonation kicks in with hoppy aftertaste that tingles the tongue. Bit of lace. WIne-like. Scotch colour and body, drinkable.
The name implies going wee-wee a lot from drinking so much of it, right?

 310 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with a caramel flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is a decent American example of the style but nothing all that exciting.

 653 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice clear dark amber color. With a slight tan head on it that stuck around for a while. The smell was earthy, not a lot of hops in this brew or anything, not that there should be for this style. The taste was smooth and with some good malt in the body of the beer. The mouthfe was on the heavier side but not thick. Overall its pretty good and totally worth another round.

 399 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber. Memories of leafy suburban Portland are evoked by this label, and by that, I mean a cool little liquor store there where I first encountered this brewery's offerings. The name 'Kilt Lifter', though, already has two predecessors in my local market, both of which (their mutual lawsuit aside) have recently faded out of existence. Welcome, then.

This beer pours a clear, red-brick amber hue, with two fingers of tightly puffy, bubbly, and fairly creamy pale beige head, which leaves a random array of islet and archipelago lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of slightly smoked, strong caramel/toffee malt, with a hint of old-world treacle, some indeterminate whisk(e)y notes - the peat suggestive of Scotch (along with the name), but the additional vanilla and soused spice seeming all too Bourbon County, USA to me. The wood is non-denominational, really, as are the leafy, earthy hops. The taste is big and malty, with a surprisingly reserved smokiness, the sugary caramel fairly brash, with foreign toffee candy bar notes, some wet breadiness, dark-ish orchard fruit, mild wooden whiskey esters - vanilla, grainy planks, and a certain rye spice character. Some of those tame earthy, leafy hops from the nose do tend to linger.

The carbonation is really understated and hard to quantify, the body a decent medium weight, smooth like a Christmas fruitcake, and even a wee bit creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, fo sho, the somewhat clunky malt now exposed for its American heritage, and I utter that with love, as the hops, wispy smoke, and ABV whimper in the shadows.

A decent, if one dimensional (and by that, I mean multidimensional, but in the wrong way) wee heavy ale, the complexity of the style forgone by the demands of the West Coast, I presume. If you're gonna make an ale not of that ilk, as I imagine the design meeting proceeding, let's make it so true to its origins (i.e. no real discernible hops), that you couldn't mistake it for anything else. So there you have it - good, but a bit unbalanced, with a well-sublimated ABV overall.

 2,086 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a modest head that doesn't retain particularly well, although it does manage to leave a few dots of lace

Smell: Nice caramel malt aromatics, with a nutty rather than peaty character

Taste: Opens with caramel and shortbread flavor, with a developing nutty aspect; after the swallow, the flavor profile becomes astringent as it is joined by a noticeable presence of alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; considerable warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: While this beer has some nice aspects, it lacks the peat and full bodied mouthfeel of the top flight wee heavies and, in failing to disguise the alcohol, these flaws are accentuated

 697 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark but clear amber, moderate head retention.

Smell: Sweet and malty in the forefront, somewhat earthy, organic.

Taste/mouthfeel: Rich and caramelly with an herbal hoppy bitterness. A bit medicinal, with a slight peaty flavor lingering in the background. Something toward the finish actually reminds me a bit of peanut butter. The aftertaste is bready and bitter, leaving a slight metallic twang on the tongue. Medium in both body and carbonation.

Notes - A decent scotch ale, certainly not the best around, but solid.

 534 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a light copper color with a small, thin, fizzy, white head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, raisin and mossy/earthy notes.

T - It tasted of rich cereal malt, spice and moss/peat. Very well balanced mix of flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice scotch ale. I want to try mre beers from Moylan's.

 403 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. The color is an amber-brown without any real head, lacing, or legs. Not much going on here. The nose is some caramel, dark fruits, and a bit of booze. The flavor doesn't really bring much other than a bit of malt and some alcohol. Booze on the palate and in the finish. Not my cup of tea.

 333 characters

Photo of mothman
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour into Sam Adams Sensory Glass
Pours a 1 finger creamy yellow tan. Doesn't last too long. Leaves some splattered lace. Color is a slight hazy rustic orange brown. Nothing too appealing.

Aroma: Robust and malty. Caramel and chocolate. Pine hops. Toffee. Just a big malt bomb.

Taste: Very malty as well (not to surprising). Toffee, caramel, chocolate. Slight alcohol. Pine hops definiately shine through here. I actually prefer Sam Adams Scotch (I don't know why this is relevant, it just happened to be in my notes).

Mouthfeel is creamy, yet bitter. Medium to full bodied. Seems to be overcarbonated. Leaves a very sticky malty aftertaste. Not anything I am enjoying.

Overall, I thought this beer would be a little better. The combination of malts and hops just didn't click for me. I won't be having this again.

 818 characters

Photo of superspak
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy deep ruby red color with a small fairly dense cream colored head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Slight spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, toast, toffee, caramel, brown bread, brown sugar, tobacco, leather, peat, light smoke, light chocolate, and earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and big complexity of malt and light fruity notes. Taste of raisin, prune, molasses, toast, toffee, caramel, brown bread, leather, tobacco, peat, light smoke, light chocolate, and earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, molasses, toast, caramel, toffee, brown bread, leather, light tobacco, peat, light chocolate, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt and light fruity notes; but the overall flavor robustness feels weak for the style. No cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick and creamy mouthfeel that is ok. Mouthfeel feels much thinner than I expected. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice scotch ale style. Other than it being a bit thin in robustness of flavor and mouthfeel; there is a lot of nice flavor complexity and balance; and it is very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,396 characters

Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed the Moylans bews I have had and this was no different but not earth shattering,poured a chill hazed amber/brown with a thinner off white head leaving spotty lace.Deep fruit aromas with some molasses and brown sugar almost like a Xmas fruit cake,not as full bodied as most Wee Heavy styles I have come across but it adds to its drinkability.Flavors are on the sweeter side with brown sugar and alcohol dipped dark fruit up front as it warms a little a light leafy hop presence is noticed but it is there only in token form and honestly for the style thats all it should be.A quaffing big Scottish style ale not bad not bad at all.

 644 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber with an orangish-brown tint, topped by a thin but creamy, very light golden-tan head that drops but leaves a good collar and some nice lace. I give them great credit for nailing the fruit and malt character of a true Scottish ale - very nice big fruit (some nice strawberry) with a caramelized maltiness. Medium body with a gentle carbonation lending to a supple, silky mouthfeel. The flavor is well balanced with a bitterness that is omni-present but never really emerges, clearly playing a supporting role to the malt. The maltiness is light and has a lightly burnt or caramelized sugar quality to it. My guess is that they're using mainly pale malt with a small dose of roasted barley that is caramelized in the kettle - rather than using British crystal - although there may be a small percentage. The peat smokiness is most apparent in the finish, but quite restrained amongst a somewhat sticky malt. It becomes much more apparent, however, as you move through the glass eventually leaving you with a light mouthfull of smoke. Very authentic. Not exactly what I would call a "Scotch Ale", but I won't quibble over the designation other than stating that I'd personally term it a 90 -/- ale. Quite nice. Extremely well balanced and very drinkable. I'd love to try this cask-conditioned.

 1,301 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, roasted malts, vanilla and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and smoky up front with sweet flavors of caramel, bourbon and vanilla, although not as heavy as most Scotch ales. There's a mild but complementary hops presence. The after-taste is sweet and slightly smoky.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, it's flavorful and since this beer isn't as thick as most in the style, it's a good one to drink for a long time.

 788 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazed, dark amber body with a very thin, off-white head (they did generously fill my glass).

Smell: First, it's fruit, with esters delivering notes of dried cherry, golden raisins, and plums. Also, there's a mild scent of lightly grainy bread dunked in alcohol.

Taste: Without delay, without so much as a "hi", it's sweetish, bready, and fruity. A mouthful of fruitcake springs to mind. Lesser hints of steeped grain and a bite of caramel emerge. It's a continuous sweetish fruitiness until the drying finish punctuated briefly by a faint touch of bitterness and some lightly peppery alcohol hints.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Politely put, it's a fine, serviceable scotch ale that's more wee than heavy, leaving me wanting for a more hearty malt backbone. For the time being, I'll be reaching for a 90 Shelling instead.

 877 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 1,942 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
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

 560 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A gorgeous looking tan head that reached a height of around three inches came across the top and cascaded throughout the glass. This settled after a couple minutes and left behind an very nice pillow of tan foam that lasted well into the night. Great side glass lace as well, really quite the thick looking liquid here for sure.

The aroma was very sweet, with a big malt nose. Lots of earthy smells, grain, some raisin maybe and a touch of spice. Nice bit of caramel as well, with a woody sort of alcohol mixed in. This all translated over to the flavor, which also was very full and really just a very nice example of the style. Loads of sweetness in it, with candied sugar and caramel laced earthy malts making the big splash here. Very big body on this one as well, with really a tremendously smooth feeling to it. Nice carbonation that never really quit, and a long lasting sweet finish that was not overly dry but really left you looking for another sip. The alcohol was up there but was very well hidden, making this very drinkable, considering how strong it was.

Overall, I thought this was really an excellent beer, and one of the better I have had in the style.

 1,172 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 421 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The Kilt Lifter is great...the second time around. I brought this from Sick-n-Twisted in SD to Utah to share with my good friend the Chicken Man. The beer pours a pretty rich clear amber with thin white head that is not lacing. The scent has a purty caramelly malt base. The taste is a nice evenly balanced beer with smooth carbonation. Overall...this is one heck of a solid scotch ale and I would recommend it to anyone Scotch Ale fan.

 436 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle:

Pours reddish amber with a thin tan head - trailing lace slides down glass without sticking. The thin cover eventually becomes a patch, then a ring.

The smell is of caramel, some peat, some fruity (raisiny) notes.

The taste is of a nice caramel/toffee maltiness with some peat and a hint of earthy bitterness keeping it balanced. Alcohol gives a kick without being sharp or masking. A caramelish sweetness finishes it off, with a whisky-ish dryness in the aftertaste.

Carbonation comes across a bit strong, especially in the first half. I was hoping that the body would pick up a bit more in the second half, which it does to a degreee, but never quite reaches the fullness that it could potentially have. The carbonation level is almost a double-edged sword, here, though. It does help it glide along, but seems to lower the fullness of it.

Don't know that it really reaches "wee heavy" status, despite the alcohol level, but comes close enough. A nice malt-accented brew though!

 1,003 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 464 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed crimson hue, high carbonation, huge head. Dies down quickly.

Sweet, sweet sweetness in the nose. Big caramel apple. Toffee, cherries...candy and fruit. With a tickle of wine, too. Small bitterness.

Taste: Chewy malt, slick sweetness, again, it's mainly candied fruit. Fruit roll-ups, without the sour slap.
I'm not totally sure what I think of this one. It's sweet and malty, but lacking something.

But, you know what? More I drink it, the more I like it. Maybe it's the 8% abv, or maybe the butterscotch creeping in...tast-ee! mmm, hmmm! And here comes the booze. Yummy, yummers.

Good stuff.

 611 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

06/03/05- Purchased at Nuggett Market in Vacaville, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no dating. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark red or amber in color, foamy large bubbled head and decent lacing.

Smell- Still can't describe the smell or taste of this one. Definite sweetness, which I guess is the malt.

Taste- Kinda sweet and sour at the same time. Odd tasting malt and some werid tasting bitter hops in the tail end. Wondering if I got a bottle gone awry.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, sweet on the tongue.

Drinkability- May need to try this one again in the future. Still can't get a hold of describing the flavor, even though it's still in my damn mouth from last night!

 707 characters

Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy, amber/brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of dark citrus, sweet malt, slight metallic, and slight tart malt. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, dark citrus, hint of spice, hint of alcohol, and some bitterness. Overall, a smooth, easy-drinking, good blend, but not too strong of body.

 470 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from Boise Co-op. Dark amber/ brown color with frothy head. Normal earthy, peaty aroma, but flavor comes off as a bit sweet, molasses and brown sugar. Mild bittersweet finish.

 182 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
3.72 out of 5 based on 735 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.