Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale | Moylan's Brewery

Kilt Lifter Scotch AleKilt Lifter Scotch Ale
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Average: 3.75 | pDev: 12.8%

Reviews: 403 | Ratings: 753

#153 ranked Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy | 8.00% ABV

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Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Notes: Rotating availibility. 
Kilt Lifter Scotch AleKilt Lifter Scotch Ale
Reviews: 403 | Ratings: 753
Photo of jmac11420
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: very dark, nice foam head
S: Not too much aroma, you can smell the toasted malt
T: toasted malt, scotch, caramel, malt, toffee
M: medium body, dry finish
O: A favorite beer that I've had many times. One of the best scotch ales around and not overpriced like many are. A defining beer for Moylans Brewery

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Photo of Libationguy
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Opaque reddish-copper color with a light tan 2-finger head. Medium+ retention with a fine structure to the carbonation and a moderate level of lacing in the glass.

Light caramel, butterscotch, christmas pudding, white pepper, light hop spice and light brown bread on the nose. Feels a little sweet and disjointed.

Brown butter, caramel, butterscotch, brown malt and a light spice. Light bitterness on the palate.

Medium+ bodied and sweet. On the verge of cloying. Medium length to the finish.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Kilt LIfter pours a a clearish light brown color with a nice lacing head. There is a creamy put pettish aroma. The taste is a nice creamy but sharp malty taste, with hints of alcohol coming through. The taste is a little too watery, and weak body. Overall a pretty average Scotch Ale, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of rangerred
2.49/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Had on nitro.

Pours a clear medium brown with a little head and leaves tons of lacing as the beer is drunk

Aroma is weak as is often the case with nitro beers but there is some licorice and grass along with a touch of smokiness.

The flavor is quite weak as well. Some smoke and char along with a little bit of grass. There is a little nuttiness and a moderate amount of sweetness with just a light bitterness.

Overall, I was quite underwhelmed. Flavor was lacking all-around and it is just a boring beer. Maybe the nitro hurt it but I doubt I will be picking up a bottle anytime soon.

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Photo of tronester
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear reddish/copper, with an almost non-existent head. Aromas of plums and a hint of copper(metallic). Taste begins with dried fruit, then some dark caramel, then a husky grain, and an earthy, sugary finish. Mouthfeel is a touch light. Overall a nice ale, though a bit too sweet for me, even for the style. I also wish there was a bit more smokiness to it.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber/copper color with a one finger tan colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the heavy of toasted grain and sweet dark fruit of raisin and prune. There is also a big and heavy boozy smell of a Scotch whisky as well as a lighter aroma of a toffee sweetness giving it a big and sweet boozy smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a flavor of roasted malt and a brown bread taste. There is a big sweetness of caramel and brown sugar up front that transitions more toward a toffee like flavor as a buttery taste joins the flavor as well. Along this time some other sweeter dark fruit flavors of raisin and figs hit the tongue, with the first taste of a bit of alcohol mixed within. The alcohol is light with the dark fruits taking on a light rum soaked flavor with a slight amount of smoke also coming to the tongue to produce a somewhat whisky like boozy taste. Toward the very end some notes of a bittering earthy hop join the tongue and will all the other flavors leaves a rather sweet taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and smoother side with the carbonation level being lower to moderate side. The creamier body and thinner carbonation suit the style rather well with the smooth flavor at the end making for a very easy drinking brew.

Overall – A sweet and tasty brew with a great drinkability at 8 % abv.. A nice drinker and one to try.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this many times but never reviewed...until now. I love that Moylan's also sells the homebrew kit for this brew. Cool. Plaid label is spot-on.

Pours a really nice burgandy/bronze colored ale. A big cream colored head is produced but consistently dwindles to a slight ring around the glass.

The aroma has nice plum/prune whiffs, big caramel and also apple, light grape and booze. A touch of malt. Candy.

The taste is sweet fruit with a light hop spice on the back of the buds. Caramel, malt and plum are the driving force here. A light splash of alcohol. Sweet malt on the swallow.

Mouthfeel was a touch thin but not troublesome.

Overall this may not compete side-by-side against some of the Scotch Ale heavy hitters, but this holds it's own. The flavor is there without being too boozy and it definitely pairs well with food. Now it must be my trek to get this brew into more Scottish Games festivals.

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Photo of superspak
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

P: Vivacious iced tea appearance with a small dollop of tan micro bubbles.

S: Sugar dates soaked in scotch with a spicy base. Toasted toffee, and damp grains.

T/M: Herbs, subtle b-vitamins, dry straw, barley, cherry Ricola cough drops, chocolate covered cherries, tea tannins, scotch soaked figs and dates. Sweeter and more herbal than I expected from the nose. The scotch flavor is muted unlike the more boozy nose. The live cultures really create pa different taste than most wee heavies. Body is on the lighter side and actively carbonated. Semis dry finish.

O: An interesting take on the style that create a terrific easy drinking beer. Some of the flavors test the taste buds. All in all a successful beer that I would like to drink on St. Patty's day. Cheers!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of evilhorse
1.8/5  rDev -52%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Nose is somewhat metalic. Sort of a murky brown color. Initial taste somewhat tart. Fairly thin for an 8% beer. No rich malt character as promised. Hops seem to be right for the style. I'm detecting a lactobacillus infection. Kind of a tart raisiny finish. Not very enjoyable. I'm guessing I got a bad bottle

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Photo of JessyRink
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my first beer review, so bear with my amateur nature, please ;-)

I did as the beer suggested, and poured this beer into a glass and allowed it to warm just a bit before enjoying. This is the first 'live' beer I had ever had.

Has a very nice, appealing appearance. A nice, rich amber, just slightly hazy, gives it a warm inviting nature.

A somewhat gentle aroma, a bit of the fruits detected, as I learn more about reviewing beers, I could probably describe the fragrance better, but again, very inviting and pleasant, not overwhelming in the least.

A nice bold taste, but not too dark or bitter for my taste, very smooth.

This beer has a very nice mouthfeel, until I read the description on here of 'how' to taste a beer, I had never thought to give it a moment before I swallow the beverage. The flavor and aroma of this beer fully enveloped my taste buds, not overwhelmingly carbonated (I'm curious to learn how much the 'live' beer effects the feel of it as you drink it) allowing just the slightest of fizzy feeling in my mouth as I enjoyed it.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers I have ever had, I am very glad I came across it! Hope this review helps you and thanks for taking the time to read my ramble a bit ;-)

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Opaque burnt amber. A tan, one finger head that dissolves to big bubbles. Frothy lacing.

S: Prunes, peat, leather.

T: Dark fruits, malts, cherries, chocolate, clove. Sweet, smooth, robust. A dry finish.

M: Medium to heavy. Frothy carbonation.

O: A full meal deal. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width khaki head. Very low retention, no lacing. Head has large bubbles and some floater around the top. Dark, coppery color with no clarity.

S- Toffee, butter, brown sugar, caramel malts, some scotch whisky.

T- Rich, roast malts and caramel. Scotch whisky flavor. Smooth and flavorful.

M- Smooth with whiskey smoothness and big carbonation. Smooth and wet finish.

O- Solid all-around beer. Few weaknesses.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a snifter. A "scotch ale"? Intriguing.

Color is brownish amber, with a generous one finger wide head of carbonation that dies down in a few minutes. Swirling maintains the head a bit, but it's evident that the alcohol leggings are pretty massive in this case. There's a fair amount of bubbles that rise to the top, but otherwise, there's a clear, nearly distilled looking appearance on this brew that could easily fool a passive whiskey drinker of this being being genuine scotch. It's still kind of sloppy in presentation overall, but it is nevertheless unique.

There's an immediate burst of sweetness on the nose, aided by the alcohol and caramel-toffee malts. Definitely the sweet flavor is overpowering, but when it subsides there's a combination of smokiness and sour-infused woodiness topped with crisp, subtle hops. Here, I feel the beer actually hits home towards creating a proper scotch-style ale - albeit a lite-version of one, but still properly balancing between the smoky and medicinal flavors present in scotches.

The flavor however seems to be a different story. Rather than continue the trend of sweetness in the flavor, it is instantly malty, and while definitely bittered, it is not hoppy at all at the finish. Very strong indeed - the malts definitely whack the tongue to slight numbness, and the smokiness and aged wood prevails in a delicate manner. Bittered traits from these flavors seem to last in the mouth for a long time indeed. This is perhaps a little TOO malty for me, but at the same time it's impossible to deny this beer's smoothness and distilled-like mouthfeel. The alcohol is fact so subtle in the flavor that if it weren't for the strong malts I'd probably down this quicker than desired.

Definitely a very interesting beer, and by the end part of my palate was questioning whether it was drinking either a strong malt-based beer or a watered down scotch. This is pretty recommended for non-hop heads and huge fans of whiskey or scotch who want to try something new. Not my personal favorite, but I personally wouldn't be able to make a better take on this style myself. I'm most definitely intrigued to trying more beers like this in the future.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a clear ruby brown color with a soapy of-white head. Very pretty beer.

S - Rich toasted grains, cherries and apples, sharp alcohol, raisins.

T - Toasted malts, sweet brown bread, caramel, hints of wood, cherries soaked in rum, lots of green figs, raisins, walnuts, reminds me of fruit cake. Some bittering hops are detectable but subtle, tannins come through toward the finish.

M - Medium wet body with a semi-dry finish. Low carbonation.

A good sipper. Lots of breadiness and I like the fruit aspect as well. The malt was there but seemed shallow. The fruit and bread was the showcase. Very clean but the tannins helped out with that. I wouldn't call it bold but a good drinker for the price.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at brewpub yesterday:

Pours a beautiful dark brown with decent coffee-coloured head and resultant lacing. Sweet, malt-forward aroma has many of the woody and earthy tones I associate with this style, although without any smokiness or "peat" that I could pick up. Flavour was sweeter in the finish than I would choose, but the body had the expected caramelized and roasted malt tones.

Believe this to be a well brewed example, but not a style of beer I personally enjoy often.

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Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass from a 22 oz bottle

It has a nice brownish orange appearance with a half finger of head.

The smell was a fairly malty reminding me of being n a small brewery on a tour. It was not what i expect out of a Scotch ale.

It redeemed itself quickly as I really enjoyed my first taste which was sweet caramel followed by a woody earthiness that produced a lingering finish. I could not taste much alcohol.

It has medium body and finshes smooth.

I like this style of beer and enjoyed it but I would probably not get it again unless I visited California.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a large glass mug. Half finger of head, copper colored body.
Smells like ripe fruits, bananas and wet hay.
Sweet and fruity taste. Ripe dark fruits. Long and sweet finish.
Sticky texture, low carbonation.
Did I mention it is sweet? That's the style but it's too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of frankiepop
2.67/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Looks fairly nice with a medium brown look and a tan foamy. The second noticeable trait is the nice Scotchy ale aroma, but the flavor fell flat for me. This is a bitter beer. Some may love the non sweet beer. Overly carbonated fizzy ass beer burns the house up for the week.

Would go well with the Van Morrison and the Chieftains cd.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was on tap at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock River Market area. I love Scotch style ales or wee heavys, so I figured I would give this one a shot. I compare most all of them to Founders Dirty Bastard. Served in a snifter. I also dominated the jalapeno reuben after I drank this. I will caution against that combination, as it almost made me poop my pants later on that night. But I digress...

Appearance - Poured a tasty looking amber color, on the hazy side, with a nice two finger head that stuck around for a minute. Leaves little lacing. Love the name!

Smell - Strong maltiness, just like many of this style are. Has a caramel backing with some breads as well, but the prime mover is certainly the maltiness in the nose. Yum

Taste - A combination of nuttiness and maltiness, with a caramel flavor as well. A nice woody backbone compliments the flavors. I really like the taste of this.

Mouthfeel - I think this is where this beer really separates itself from others of the style in that it finishes very smooth and lucsious, unlike some of the style that kind of bite you at the end. this beer is remarkably smooth, so much so that drinking a bunch would be relatively easy. Not good for a dude like me

Overall - Certainly try this beer! I would recommend it, I will buy it and drink it again. Love the name, and although the beer isn't necessarily a world beater, it is a solid representation of this style.

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Photo of Brubaker
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful copper-cinnamon color with a 1+ finger creamy, cream colored head that shrinks to a thin cap that persists. A definite haze that's clear in the corners.

S- Malts, caramel, sweet, bread-like. No Alcohol.

T- Sweet, nutty, slight fruits, caramel, bread-like, bitter/alcohol. strong flavors. Dry and clean.

M- Good medium body, fine textured, dry. Good carbonation

O- Very enjoyable alone or with a meal.

Would Drink
Would Buy
Wouldn't make

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep reddish amber with an off-white, near 2-finger head. Retention is average, leaving behind a sparse lace.

Smell - Aromas are heavy on caramel, but with a pungent astringency. Fairly off-putting.

Taste - Sweet caramel is the frontrunner in this beer, with bready malt notes not far off... but there's a strange earthiness to this beer that comes into play around mid-taste... almost like bitter chocolate and coffee grounds. Finishes semi-sweet with that earthy tone.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Smooth, but fairly flat.

Overall - A decent beer. The aromas a bit off-putting but can be overlooked. Unfortunately once overlooked, there's not much to look forward to. Probably wouldn't buy again, but I'd drink it if offered.

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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 753 ratings