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 strangemusic
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours rich, lustrous red (really nice) but with a very thin and short-lived head (not good!). If it weren't for that deep lovely red, this would be a really uninteresting look for a beer.

The smell is quite something. Really exceptional! It changes over time as the beer warms, but it's very complex with lots of chocolate, big big malt, some alcohol, ripe red fruit, walnut, woodiness, rose petal... oh man! So many layers! As it warms up the woodiness, red fruit and malt dominate.

The taste is a lot more subdued than the smell. Still fairly complex, with a big malt backbone, chocolate and nuttiness to it with a lingering tartness behind in the finish. It's just not as interesting as the aroma but still pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel starts out thick and creamy but thins out at the finish and as time goes on and the beer warms. Full-bodied throughout and a little bit oily.

The drinkability is just alright... it's a very alcohol-present beer, and should last you a WHILE sipping slowly. Fortunately the alcohol doesn't dominate the taste, though.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Very dark amber with a thick and frothy tan head that showed some big bubbles on top. Average retention and left a little lace behind.

A: Roasty-toasty caramel malt, sticky toffee, dash of hops, wood, some dark fruits that remind me mostly of figs, and a little booze. Promising smell...

T: ...which delivers its promise to the palate. Tastes like toasted caramel malt with a roasted edge that gives a little chocolate, while the sticky toffee slathers across the tongue nicely. I'm getting some wood notes underneath the dark fruits which are strategically placed in a manner that doesn't demand attention, but lends itself nicely to develop a nice complexity. Some smoke comes out on the back end, along with some butterscotch and a minimal hop presence that tries to balance things out, ultimately failing in the end. Booze is hidden very well but warms the chest a bit upon swallow.

M: Medium-full with a rich, ever-so-slight creaminess underneath the moderate amount of carbonation that keeps it rather airy and lets it "breathe" enough to avoid being oily. I would have liked a little more to it, but it worked well enough.

Notes: Overall, I'm impressed with the Kilt Lifter. It's definitely more on the subtle side rather than big and bold, which means you kind of have to dig for the flavors. But, once it warms up to room temperature, it's a little more forthcoming. Ends up a little on the sweet side, but never overwhelms the palate because the balance is never too far out of whack. Enough interesting flavors and complexity to keep me interested through the bottle, but I don't know about a bomber of this stuff. As is, it was quite enjoyable.

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

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove, MN. Appeared a clear amber with a short off-white head. This was a pleasant beer for an unusually cool summer evening. The flavor and aroma are a mix of sweet apple juice with caramel and toffee candy. Drinkable for the style and slightly warming. All in all, a very good Wee Heavy. Not too dry, not too thick, and not too sweet - all my typical complaints with this style. Give ti a try.

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Photo of bstewyb
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep amber brown, little to no head that quickly faded

S - Sweet, roasted malts with hints of caramel, syrup, and chocolate. Banana bread is a good way to put it.

T - Roasted, sweet, slight orange. Some caramel.

M - Slightly oily, very little carbonation, tart bit at the end

D - Easily drinkable for a strong ABV. Very nice scotch ale.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured in to a goblet.

Pours a clear dark amber, light brown with an off white head. A little lighter color than normal.

Smell is mellow rich earthy wheat bread and some sweet molasses.

Taste is buttery malt with a dry hoppy finish. a whiff of booze at the finish also. Slightly different than most scotch ales, but very good.

Huge creamy mouthfeel that opens up when each sip hits the palate.

Very good beer, but not as cloyingly sweet as many in the style.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lemme tell ya, this is not a beer to impress from the get go. Into my pint glass, pours a bit lighter than I'm used to for this style, but had lovely head to start with, a nice two inch fluff that evaporated in a few minutes to nothing. A rough pour brouhgt it back for a bit. Not much lacing. Aroma is woefully shy, don't get much but you can make out some some caramel malts and fruits, no peat, no smokiness, not really earthy, nothing like I'm used to.

Taste even started off slow. But thankfully, I started to realize that this is perhaps a more traditional take on the style, more subtle than bold. The flavors took a while to unfold, but once they do, quite nice. Caramel malts and overripe apple take the lead, the peak showing up toward the end. The mouth is medium, doesn't feel light though, decent carbonation. In all, based on the other Molyan's I've had, I was expecting more. Instead, I got either a beer reveling in its subtleties, or an off beer, or its just stock. Decent enough to drink, regardless.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

From a 12oz. bottle.

A - Pours a nice mahogany color with a thin tan head that leaves quickly.

S - Smell is very malty and sweet. Hints of prune and molasses. A smooth chocolate smell is there as well with some dark wood as well.

T - Some roasted malt and also some honey present. It is very malty, nice caramel and some alcohol sweetness. Very interesting style in my opinion. There is a mild vanilla finish and also some prunes that arise.

M - Creamy and well carbonated. Crisp and smooth at the same time.

D - High ABv and overwhelming sweetness prevent me from enjoying more than one.

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

Picked up a single of this brew at Hop City in Atlanta, GA. Poured into my Stone Barleywine glass. Pours a amber color with nearly no head. Sweet brown sugar and candy in the nose. Taste is malty, bready, and sugary sweet. Slightly watered down mouthfeel. Overall, a decent scotch ale, but I've had better.

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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.

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Photo of pinotboy007
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Gorgeous French Rosewood coloring with a khaki-colored cap that settled quickly but does leave some lace tracings.

S - Dark chocolate w/oak, vanilla, and peat. The floral hops are interwoven making this almost an oily perfume-like scent.

T/M - It finishes with a tracing of what I'd call "Scotch," believe it or not which might be due to the 8% ABV. This is VERY nice ale that has a nice peat character and a bit of a hop finish. The creamy finish has some nice carbo-fizz to it that I just love.

D - The 8% makes this a tough call but I can see this going down a bit easier in cool weather, afteer a meal w/a decent stogie. The lable says it's food friendly and I agree.

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

This poured a translucent mahogany with light tan head. It smelled like nutty malt with creamy and bready yeast, and some light lemon hops. It tasted like light nutty malt with some honey and caramel and bready yeast, and a bit of lemon hops. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a mild malty aftertaste. Overall this was definitely just a "wee" heavy, with a lighter malt flavor than some other richer Scotch Ales. But this had a very clean and refreshing flavor that hid the alcohol quite well, so it was very easy to drink. It had decent body too. So definitely not a bad beer, but not as rich a maltiness as I prefer for this style.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moylan's Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale pours a finger of tan foam over an opaque, cloudy, dark amber brew. Carbonation is slow and steady, the head collapses to a cream ring pretty quickly. The nose is yeasty, fruity funk- something like overripe apple. The flavor is sweetish malts trending toward tart cidery notes and a bit of herbal hop off the back (though there is little perceived bitterness). Mouthfeel is round, finishing a bit dry, and there's a bit of an herbal tea flavor in the aftertaste. Alcohol by volume is a decent 8%, though at no time is the alcohol noticeable. Usually, I like my Scotch Ales a little maltier and smokier than this one- something that echos the Scotch it could be if it was distilled. This one, though confounding my expectations a bit, was yet pretty tasty- a nice sipper to be sure.

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Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 220z bomber into a pint glass

A- Crystal clear deep amber/red. 1/2" tan/off white creamy looking head fell leaving behind no lace. Looks heavy.

S- Muted peated smokiness coupled with sweet caramel and toffee.

T- Mild alcohol flavor shows up right away complementing an amazing smoky chocolate malt flavor. (who knew you could smoke chocolate?) Noticeable hop spice delivering a bite and cutting through thick caramel malt. Very mild toasted malt throughout.

M- Tingling alcohol mixed with full bodied smoky malt and mild hop spice dance in the mouth. Carbonation is mild and complements the style appropriately. Once again, full bodied and heavy.

D- I absolutely love this beer but I find it hard to finish more than one. I suppose it might not deserve a deduction due to this but no beer is perfect so...4.0. Such a great beer as it warms and its subtlties shine through. Great American rendition of this style. A must try beer from a great brewery!

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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.

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Photo of sarahspat
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark rusty/amber color with a caramel-tinted head, which departs too quickly. Very little retention.

Smells of caramel, toffee and scotch. Not too complex, but near perfect for the style.

All of the above also make appearances in the taste along with some dark fruits, coconuts, and peaty/woody/earthy notes. Caramel and toffee are by far the most forceful... and they taste fantastic, so that's okay with me.

Medium bodied, but very smooth and drinkable. Although alcohol heat is evident on the palate, it is not strong enough to adversely affect drinkability or flavor.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable and easy drinking (even for an 8% ABV) Scotch Ale. I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, poured into a large mug.

A: Muddy reddish-brown color with a modest off-white head.

S: Lots of toasted notes and caramel. Very sweet nose, but not sickly sweet.

T: Intense caramel and toffee sweetness dominates the taste. There's just enough hop presence to keep it from becoming too sweet. A warm, toasty character wraps it all together. Pretty nice.

M: A sturdy medium body, and on the lower end of the carbonation scale. Feels silky and a tad slick on the tongue. Warm, caramel aftertaste.

D: A sipping beer, and it gets more complex as it warms.

This is what I envisioned a good Scotch ale would be. Big and robust, sweet, toasty and smooth. The 8% alcohol might keep this from being an everyday beer, but I could certainly make it a regular in my fridge. This may not be the beer for you if you don't like toasted caramel flavors. I loved it!

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Photo of jwinship83
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- this one pours a dark amber colored body with a minuscule cream colored head that leaves behind faint marks of lacing.

S- very faint and what ive come to expect for this style. smoky and earthy/peaty malts with a little bit of sweetness to it. very subtle and inviting.

T- the taste follows the nose. very earthy and peaty. a little bit of smoke, and some sweet caramel and toffee malts. something almost cherry like is faintly noticeable.

M- light and crisp with almost no aftertaste. the alcohol is well hidden in this one.

D- a decent american scotch ale that i probably would buy again because its so cheap. 4.39 for this bottle on sale. the bottle wasnt hard to finish, but i wont crave this one any time soon.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper-orange color with a semi-glowing haze to it. The light tan head is on the short side of medium and somewhat creamy, with average retention and some lacing.

S: Loads of caramel malt and toffee up front. Earthen and vaguely citric fruitiness. Bourbon-like notes of alcohol. Slight hints of oak and leather as well.

T: Sweet caramel malt, with flavors of toffee and brown sugar. Dark fruit, mostly figs and some cherries, along with vaguely citric flavors at times. Some earthy and woody spiciness to this one, again lending a bourbon-esque character. A bit of alcohol, but it fits in pretty well.

M: Surprisingly light-bodied. Carbonation is fairly active. This could really use a stickier, more viscous mouthfeel to enhance some of the nice flavors it has going on.

D: This drinks easily - a little too easily in fact, if that's possible. It tastes really nice, but with a beer of this style, you want it to be a huge, chewy, sticky brew, not some mild-bodied imitation.

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Photo of JamesS
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a mid-copper color, a bit light for a Scotch Ale, with very little head and no lacing. Nice deep scent, very dark and rich, good malt tones with excellent peat aromas. Deep peat flavor with good tangy malt flavors, fairly sweet with just a tiny hop hint at the very end mingling with the other flavors. Goes down a bit rough, the alcohol is not well hidden. Not my favorite Scotch style ale, but still good.

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

A: burnt orange amber red color with thin head and no lacing
S: a burnt vanilla smell with some caramel malts kinds like a bourbon
T: has a vanilla citrus taste that is kinda light and summery
M/D: quite strong in the alcohol sense but light in texture. Quite drinkable but not really my style.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber to tulip

A: Very dark amber to light brown. Despite an aggressive pour, a small white head has barely arrived before it dissipates and leaves a small bubbly ring.
S: Roasted to burnt aromas. Deeper pulls reveal sweet caramel and fruit. There's an interesting (and heavy) sugary sweetness on the nose.
T: Super sweet kick immediately, more specifically caramel. Each sip ends in a fruity ester followed by sweet liqueur and ethanol. Flavors are overwhelmed by a pretty boozy flavor.
M: Light carbonation and light body, leaving very little residue (which was welcome).
D: I wasn't really in the mood for an boozy and sweet combination. A syrup-like flavor really takes over as the beer warms. I'm dying for a bit more balance in this beer!

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22-bomber poured into a tulip.

A = Chocolate brown with light coppery tint at the edges. Small and medium bubbles compose the medium sized yellowish white head.

S = There is an interesting tropical fruitiness in the smell which is good but unexpected, also present are caramel and light wood smoke.

T = The taste profile of this while not bad is all wrong for my expectations of a beer that styles itself a Scotch-style ale. English strong ale is perhaps more like it. Very noticeable hops flavors seem to predominate up front and into mid-palate. It's not highly bitter, but there are citrus fruits, pineapple, some earthiness. Starting at mid-palate and lasting into the finish are the more common flavors I was looking for. There are some syrupy, caramel flavors, mild peat smoke, and a long sweet finish.

M = Medium body, foamy carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = Drinks easily at first but gets cloying relatively quickly.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrific red color with exceptional clarity. Still body. Two level fingers of loose beige foam. Nice stretchy lacing.

Rich candy sweet aroma. Followed by a deeper malty fragrance.

Taste begins with a deep but sweet maltiness. Plenty of toffee. Mild undercurrent of hops are for balance only, and they don't quite do the job. Finishes a little too sweet.

Thick chewy mouthfeel does justice to the style.

Better than average drinkability for the style.

Scotch style ales aren't the first thing you think of with California crafts, but this is a good take.

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Photo of Nick3
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured into a Douglas Scotch ale glass. No head whatsoever. Gorgeous burgundy color and a steady, methodical flow of carbonation. Nose is heavy malt with some toffee notes, simple but very appealing. Taste is malt heavy with an alcohol burn in the finish. The brew has a thin appearance and mellow carbonation so the mouthfeel was a little thin as I suspected but the carbonation surprised me and provided a champange effervescence. I enjoyed this Scotch ale but have had some better ones.

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

22oz bottle into a half liter Victory mug pours a crisp dark copper with a thin diminishing off-white head. Aroma is a nice amount of caramel malts. Taste is loads of malts, both caramel and brown, almost no hop presence, but you can tell they're there doing their job. The beer is medium bodied, but the smooth carbonation hides the alcohol well. This is a very enjoyable Scotch ale.

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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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