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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Ratings: 738 |  Reviews: 399
Photo of LittleDon
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours cherry red and clear with a very short lived head and lots of carbonation. Odd, cherry cough syrup characteristic present in the sweet aroma which also comes out in the front and middle. Malty with same strange cough syrup characteristic. Sugary middle. Faint, faint bitterness that pops out after the finish. Medium heavy mouthfeel. This is an unfamiliar style for me.

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Photo of MOB210SA
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As smooth and creamy as Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, which has always been a favorite of mine. Beautiful deep mahogany scarlet in color. A lasting thin head of off-tan cream. Sweet malts and brown sugar and some dark fruitiness. Medium bodied, This is so smooth and velvety it is almost as if you are not even drinking it. Perfect amount of carbonation. Instantly leaves you wanting to take another drink. My first beer from Moylan's and I'm looking forward to try Hopsickle!

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

Bomber/stemless snifter

A: Copper with dense cream-colored head and good clarity. Lighter and more red than I was expecting from previous experience with other Scotch ales. Very pretty color, though, and well within the style.

S: Malty sweetness, caramel, a little brandy/whiskey-like alcohol, and maybe a little dark fruitiness.

T/M: Malty sweet, some caramel, warming alcohol, very mild peat smoke, and a black tea-like bitterness and astringency in the finish. Sweetness is neither unbalanced nor overpowering, and mouthfeel is lightened slightly by lively carbonation.

D: Very drinkable for a beer of this strength and style. The lighter mouthfeel from the carbonation makes this easier to drink, and the balance makes it deceptively smooth.

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Photo of pwsoldier
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep mahogany with a rich tan head that shows great retention. Lacing is moderate.

S - Very malty and a bit boozy. Notes of plum and a hint of oak make for a pleasant, complex nose.

T - Sweet notes of plum and cherry are dominant with a noticeable alcohol presence coming through in the finish. All in all, seems a bit one-dimensional.

M - Full-bodied and rich. The alcohol has a warming effect.

D - Easy enough to drink, but the boring flavor profile and conspicuous alcohol presence make it hard to justify having more than one.

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Photo of philbe311
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A moderately active pour with a slightly cascading head that peaks at a little more than fingers worth of creamy egg shell colored head that recedes leaving a splotchy thin veil of lace... A beautiful medium brown color with the slightest of glows... A faint reddish hue is noticeable when held up to the light... Trace amounts of sluggish carbonation can be seen climbing the sides of the snifter towards the top of the glass...

S - Near perfection for a Scotch Ale... A wonderful blend of caramel and dark fruit... Also some hints of butterscotch, toffee, and raisins... Nothing too complex, but that doesn't stop the this nose from being world class...

T - Loaded with a malty goodness... Carmel... Raisins... Toffee... A touch of fig and cherries... Perhaps even a hint of weak coffee... The finish is comprised of peat and a slight alcoholic warmth... Lacks a bit of the complexity I expect in a Wee Heavy and may be just a bit to cloying...

M - Medium bodied... Sticky... Light yet prickly carbonation... Dense... Juicy...

D - There should be no doubt that Moylan's Kilt Lifter is a truly world class Scotch Ale offering... Just a notch the rest of my favorites for the style... To strong to be a session beer, but not quite a sipper... Just a solid alll around offering and a wonderful introduction to Moylans...

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Photo of impending
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the source.

Surface only off white head, slightly more when served from a bottle. Rich dark copper amber hue. This color in a scotch ale usually means good things. Nice lacing after each sip.

Strong malt aroma with caramel & butterscotch followed by mild roast. Mild carbonation with excellent mouth feel, feels thicker than it is.

Excellent smooth flavor with lots of dominating malts followed by minor hops rounding out but perhaps a bit more hops than most scotch ales. Little lingering bitterness. I expected alcohol to be obvious but it is fully hidden in the flavor. Brendan says this is his flagship brew and who am I to disagree !

Most Excellent - Outstanding


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Photo of ElGordo
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Gordon tulip glass. Body is a bright amber color, topped by a big flourish of creamy, off-white head that quickly settles down to about a half finger. Aroma of slightly sweet caramel malt, with some roasty character and a whiff of peat smoke. A hint of dark fruit sweetness is also present.
Palate is well-balanced between sweet caramel malt and mild, fruity hops. A very mild hint of peat smoke lingers throughout. Finish is somewhat boozy, nice and warm. Body is smooth and creamy, with just a touch of stickiness. This is a highly drinkable beer - a little thin for a Scotch ale, but still very nice. It's a shame it's not available in Oregon due to a turf dispute with Pike Brewing.

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Photo of levifunk
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - reddish brown. murky. light brown head

s - dark fruit, heavy malts, grain.

t - same as nose, with the addition of caramel.

m - medium-heavy body. kind of chewy. good carbonation.

o - solid scotch ale. great representation of the style. could easily enjoy a bomber to myself. will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of 1759Girl
4.64/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A highland fling to celebrate the removal of various crutches and walking splints that have accompanied me for the last six weeks... Yes, it's a bit of a cheat to review something I already know I like, but I was so sad to discover that I've never reviewed this before!

Appearance> Red, gorgeous creamy head. Not terribly lively but good. If you have had a good wee heavy.. you know what I'm talking about.

Smell> Toasty. So good. Sweet. S'mores.

Taste> Sweet, strong, tangy, malty, alcoholic... like any good Scot... I jest! Really, it's great. Beauty of a hang. My co-celebrators were also quite impressed as this was their first venture into the land of scotch ales.

Mouf> good. decent

Drinkability> great!

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

Poured into a shaker pint glass. It pours a bright, slightly unnatural red that was very clear. A small 1/4 inch of head formed, and didn't leave much lacing in the glass.

Aroma was malt focus & caramelly sweet, not much else coming through.

Taste was dominated by the caramel, but i was an odd, thin, one-dimensional caramel. Often caramel sweet beers have a richness to then. This beer was lacking in this way. There was a bit of hop bitterness that came through to balance out the sweet malt.

Mouthfeel was thin & a bit overcarbonated. I was underwhelned by this beer & doubt I'll buy it again.

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Photo of cafemondegar
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This multiple award winner from Moylan's is decent in certain departments but not an out and out winner in my book. Poured into a pint glass from a bomber size bottle with average head that died quickly - there was an ever present lace on the surface which also sticks to the walls of the glass - which I like. As far as the aroma is concerned - Score!! If you like beer, it would be painfully hard to not take a sip right away since it smells so inviting. Taste is decent, I guess I just am not a Scotch Ale kind of person. The Scotch taste is unmistakable but you can also taste the malt and caramel. The Scotch in the beer made it not particularly drinkable for me. After half a pint, I was about ready call quits on it. At 8% abv, it is a stronger beer but the Scotch fumes make it very suitable for occasions when you are relying on just one beer or two to get you in a happy mood.

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Photo of KhourysBeerGuy
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First time finally trying this; been meaning to for a long time.

A - Hazy caramel color with a thin but lingering head.

S - very Belgian smelling. Raisins, caramel popcorn, toffee, dark fruits. Rum roaked orange peels. Almost no hop presence.

T - Candied orange peel with lots of malty sweetness. Hints of red fruit in the backgorund: think cherry/strawberry. Hides the alcohol very well, hard to tell that it's 8%.

M - Thins a little as it gets warmer, but sill full bodied.

D - Very easy to drink for a style that reminds me so much of a dopplebock.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would reccommend it to everyone.

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

22oz, champagne flute, no bottling date.

Rather standard but strong amber, or auburn if you like, and very clear. Small yellowish bone head that's reticent to grant us its presence for long. Does it need to be somewhere?

A bit of dark fruit behind prominent caramelized sugar, toffee, raisins, some peaty earthiness, and something akin to strawberries.

Taste mirrors smell, but isn't intense. Pronounced hop bitterness for the style but not flavor and a strong malt backbone. Some port -like aspects.

This beer has a full, creamy mouthfeel. Quite nice.

I am enjoying this stab at a wee heavy but would be fooling if I said I'd buy it frequently, or even again. There are better examples and I may soon have one of the best, or at least my favorites, in my market.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear orange-crimson color with a creamy off-white head. Good retention and light lacing of the glass.

Smell: Somewhat sweet lightly roasted malt aroma. Nice, but not too much going on.

Taste: Sweet toasted malts, caramel, and butterscotch. Some light bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied, with light tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite easy to drink; no hint of alcohol in the taste.

A nice beer. Nothing special, but a bit one-dimensional in the flavor.

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Photo of glid02
4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy brownish-copper color with a thin white head. The head quickly recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing.

Smells of smooth caramel and chocolate malts with large amounts of butterscotch and toffee and milder amounts of vanilla. The nose is this is akin to a beer involved with barrels.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Crisp caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness kick things off. Mild amounts of butterscotch flavors come into play midway through the sip and sticky malt flavors carry through to a mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side for the style with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a very good beer that was just a few flaws away from being great. Very good flavors and aromas however I would like it to be just a bit more robust in mouthfeel. Still, one of the best I've had from the style and well worth a shot.

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Photo of matjack85
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This stuff comes in a 22oz. brown bottle with a map to the brewery on the label along with a long list of awards it has won.

The pour and appearance were nice. The beer poured a clear dark copper color that made a fluffy four finger off-white head that lasted about 3 full minutes before settling down to just a thin rim. The lacing on the glass was everywhere - like the kind you would get with a root beer float.

The smell had a faint aroma of sweet malt, fruit, and nuts - and when I say faint, I do mean faint. While it's a nice smell, there isn't much to it.

The taste was also weaker than I expected for a beer that's won so many awards. One thing I must say is do not drink this beer ice cold or there won't be any flavor to it at all. Once it warms up a bit you can start tasting the 6 different malts that are in here. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar are the most prevalent flavors, coating some ripened and also some tart fruit flavors along with a touch of scotch alcohol. At just 25 IBU's there isn't that much of a hop presence, but that is typical of the style. I think the little bit of hop bitterness keeps it interesting, but overall this would definitely fall under the sweet beer category.

This is not a heavy beer, despite the" wee heavy" style classification. In fact, I found it to be pretty thin and only moderately carbonated.

Kilt Lifter is not a bad beer, but it's not a great one either. For all the ingredients in here I expected more flavor. Still, it's easy to drink and the 8.0% abv is not all that noticeable. It's not the best Moylan's has to offer, but it's still a decent brew.

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Photo of avocadoz
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep red/brown with decent amount of head. smells of caramel, toasted nuts, scotch and hops. Tastes of caramel, cherry and bitter hops. Drinkability is suprisingly good. This is a good scotch style ale that would pair well with a root vegetable soup or crusty bread.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/21/2010 (Bottle):

Pours a clear dark brown red color body. Average foamy off-white head. Strong scotchy aroma, dark caramel, very sweet dark cherry aroma. Strong cherry aroma. Sweet taste, caramel, light body. Fruity, light taste. Pretty tasty, clean. Almost like caramelized raisins.

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Photo of rapidsequence
1.87/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

22 oz bottle.

Appearance: Looks nice. Bright ruby, perfect clarity. Nice head, nice lacing.

Smell: At first I described it to myself as malty and earthy. As I went along I began to think of it as dirt. Smells like dirt. Not really oaky or peaty, just dirt. I long for malty sweetness, but its all dirt.

Taste: Dirt. Not sweet. Not tasty.

Mouthfeel: Its not bad. A little thin for a wee heavy. At least there's no chunks of the dirt I taste.

Drinkability: I poured it out. Thats a rarity.

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Photo of Kendo
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a pint glass from the bomber. Body is clear, coppery-amber with a very thin, off-white/ivory head that settles quickly, leaving behind no lace at all.

S: Mostly fruit, but also with a touch of sweet malt. Some sugary sweetness and a touch of yeasty stuff too I think.

T: Fruit is the dominant impression. Ripe apples and green apple skins up front. Dark fruits a bit as it warms. Also sweet caramel malt with sugar, toffee and even butterscotch. I get a touch of peat and even a slight hint of oak early -- though that goes away after awhile. ABV warms the belly pretty quickly. Something of a bittering element provides some balance, but all in all this is about ripe fruit.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is low. Feels fairly slick.

D: Too fruity and too sweet and slick. Not hearty enough in the malt department for my tastes for this style. An OK beer but not one I'd buy again.

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

Muddy brown body with a finger of tan froth that recedes fairy quickly but leaves ample lacing on the trusty Duvel tulip. Decent nose with hazelnut, dried fruit, and some sweet berry. Were it only stronger.

As is so often the case, the understated nose carries forth into the taste which, to be fair, certainly improves as Kilt Lifter warms. Plenty of dried fruit with a nutty finish, with caramel and sweet and sour berry (blueberry, perhaps?). It's definitely delicious, and the complexity merits praise. I guess I was hoping for a little more "Heavy" in Kilt Lifter in smell, taste, and texture.

Yet with some patience as it approaches room temperature, Kilt Lifter starts to lift that kilt, slowly but surely. Nice malt backbone, and a little of the chewy malt texture of the style emerges in the second half. So does the 8.0 ABV, giving a decent but unmistakable alcohol heat on the palate.

Moylan's has again produced a fine beer, albeit one that requires a little time, patience, and the leveling factor of room temperature to elicit its best characteristics. Very good stuff, and another example of why, after some time, Scotch Ale has ascended the ranks of my personal favorite styles.

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Photo of Jales140984
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy bronze-tinge of gold- good off-white head-

S- buttery caramel- very malty, slight clove

T- brown sugar, mild bitterness, a slight tinge of scotch - overall sweet- but very balanced

M- smooth- no harsh alcohol, medium body

D- very good- the slight scotch with the sweet and slight bitter is well balanced- very enjoyable a little on the sweet side

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Photo of tatoodkelt
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 2/1/2010- from notes.

22oz brown bottle as pictured poured into a pint glass.

A- Poured a hazy, rusty brown topped off by a chunky off-white head that hung around for a looong time. Good lacing. Classic scotch ale look!

S- Sweet caramel malt with some earthy ( maybe clove? ) notes.

T- Caramel malt, brown sugar, the earthy notes again and some toffee.

M- Medium to heavy, smooth but sticky.

D- Pretty easy drinker, I was looking for another bomber before I knew it. Definitely will pick this one up again.

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Photo of Gavage
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown in color with a short 1/2" head that falls quickly to a spotty surface foam.

Smell: malt and fruit sweetness is mild but pleasant.

Taste: malt sweetness, ripe fruits, brown sugar, a hint of earthiness, and a mild bitterness is wrapped in a soft alcohol tone.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish.

Drinkability: decent beer but it is a bit too sweet for me to have more than one bomber bottle.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy chestnut brown with a fairly thin and fast-fading off-white head, eventually settling into a very thin crown. I didn't pick up any of the reddish notes that others are mentioning here - I have no explanation for that discrepancy.

Nose is of dark caramel malts with maybe a hint of brown sugar. Taste has those dark caramel malts at the forefront - there's also a bit of a burning character not unlike scotch itself (although maybe it was just power of suggestion). Sweet overall with a bit of a bitterness like that found in unsweet tea. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is fair - I found the taste a bit intense, so I ended up sipping.

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Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale from Moylan's Brewery
3.72 out of 5 based on 738 ratings.
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