Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale | Moylan's Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 397 | Ratings: 734
Photo of tronester
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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 +6.7%
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 +1.9%
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 -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.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
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 -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.

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Photo of evilhorse
1.8/5  rDev -51.6%
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 +5.4%
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 -0.5%
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 +5.9%
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 -1.3%
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 +2.4%
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 -5.1%
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 -3.5%
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 -8.1%
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 -28.2%
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 +0.3%
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 +10.5%
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 -12.4%
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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Photo of Brewsephus
1.96/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served in pint out of a 22oz bottle.

I had previously had this beer at a bar while on vacation. I remember it being very smoky, complex and woody. The bold malt characteristic and the finish of the Wee Heavy bite at the back.

The bottle I tried tonight was anything but an enjoyable beer.

The pour was slightly hazy, head was off white and produced a 2 finger head which quickly dissipated. No lacing left on glass.

I thought when diving into this glass that I would be assaulted by peat malt, caramel, woodyness and a solid balance with intriguing nuance flavors.
It tasted like a poorly made Kriek. cherries, cherries, and more cherries. The malt was almost undetectable. Slight peat and oak, but had to really search for it. I tried to let this beer warm up slightly to allow the malt to break through, still cherries.
I fell in love with the style after having this beer years ago, but it is so far from what I've come to know in Scotch Ales, let alone wee heavys.
I hope it was just a bad batch, sour bottle, etc. it's just sad.

Note: side of bottle said "live ale, keep refrigerated". It was at room temp in the store. I hope my other bottle isn't bad as well.

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Photo of BradAndAdele
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delightful beer. Pours a cloudy, luscious deep golden brown. Decent brown-white head.

The smell is yeasty, a little off -- like someone left food at the back of the barn. Earthy French smell.

The taste is mellow and caramel, with a sharp, yeast-driven initial hit. Lots of malt too. A slight tartness to the taste, a little bitter but nothing overpowering. The taste blends to a malty, caramel aftertaste.

As for the mouthfeel, it's intriguing and kind of chewy -- like its coating the mouth.

Another very good beer from Moylans. We like it.

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Photo of Pahn
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks to BA KevSal for sending this to me in a recent trade (I think it was an extra, but I'm not really sure)!

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch offwhite head that dissipates steadily, leaving a half inch wall of lacing. Pours a hazy red brown and leaves occasional spots of lacing.

Smell: Very very bready, like cutting some reasonably hearty bread and putting your nose directly into it. Some dark fruit and molasses in the background. Gets a little smokier and more malty with time, but remains mostly crusty bread. I like it.

Taste: Wow, first sip indicates that this is a very well put together beer. Up front it feels very full bodied and creamy, with mostly caramel, cake, and dark fruit flavors. These flavors are actually neither decadent nor profound, but rather subtle (welcomely so; it's not overly rich or sweet). Transitions into a dry, bready finish. Next sip brings out some East Kent Goldings hop flavor tying everything together through the middle.

With time, more prune flavors come out. As it often does in beers where it's present, the Special B malt plays a prominent role in the flavor, but it's not as distinct or overpowering with the dark fruit flavors... it's subtle and matches well with everything else that's happening.

The overall flavor is not extraordinarily complex, but very pleasing. Despite the variety of malts used to create the beer, the flavor is tight... caramel, bread, EKG, and great malty, dark fruit highlights.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied, mildly low carbonation, dry finish. Feels fuller bodied at first. Tingle of alcohol heat, but mostly hides its 8% ABV.

Overall: This beer speaks of very skilled brewers. It has a unique mouthfeel and overall flavor profile, but neither are weird--they're just very distinct and refined. This is the kind of deftly crafted beer such that even if you don't like it, you ought to recognize how well made it is, while if the flavors they chose to go for match your tastes, you would probably want to drink it every day.

Myself, I liked it very much.

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Photo of BoatsSinkBro
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber into a snifter.
-Clear dark amber brown color.
-Head is very short lived.
-Aroma composed of caramel, some toasted malt, with some alcohol burn in the rear. Maybe a bit of hop notes if you swirl it in a glass, but it's buried in there. The toasty caramel smell is pretty overpowering.
-Taste is nutty caramel with some sweet malt ride into a dry finish and bitter aftertaste. Can definitely taste the alcohol.
-Perfect amount of carbonation to cut through an otherwise intense sweetness.

An interesting drink, would've liked a better integrated aroma. Sweet start with a dry and bitter finish.

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Photo of dgilks
2.36/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy, hazy amber colour with a smooth, tan head. Fair head retention.

Somewhat chalky aroma with some cardboard. This isn't that old so the oxidation is a little odd. Distinctly lacking in toffee and caramel. Mild fruit. Not really a Scotch Ale.

Mild malt with a distinct green tea flavour. Mild fruit. Where is the toffee and caramel. This is not a good Scotch Ale whatsoever.

Medium to medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

I don't like this beer and it doesn't tick the boxes for style either. Pretty poor really.

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Photo of obrike
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought a bottle to celebrate St Patty's (I know, it's a Scotch Ale, but what the heck...I'm Irish, and i let it slide).

Poured a dark copper, a bit murky. A thin head that disappated rather quickly. Little to no lacing.

Sweet malt...caramel, a bit of dark fruit. You can clearly detect the malt assault to come.

Taste follows...a big malty kick up front...sweet bready malt, not much of the fruit i dectected in the scent. Good flavor though. So smooth...very easy to drink considering the abv.

This is a nice scotch ale. Easy drinking and a big kick to boot.

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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
3.72 out of 5 based on 734 ratings.
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