Review: Kilt Lifter, Four Peaks

Kilt Lifter
Four Peaks Brewing Co. — Tempe, Arizona

  • Style:  Scottish Ale
  • Bitterness:  21 IBU
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • Malts:  Two-Row, Carmel 80L, Carapils, roasted barley
  • Hops:  Goldings
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "Kiltlifter is our award-winning flagship brew.  Made in the tradition of great strong ales from Scotland.  This is the beer that made Four Peaks Famous.   Take one sip and you'll swear that it was brewed by men in kilts.  And maybe it was.  Notice its amber color, malty sweetness, and a hint of smokiness.  A true Scottish Ale.  The only thing missing here is a man with the funny accent and the bagpipes." — Four Peaks Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:   This is the first Arizona brew I've profiled.  I picked this up as part of a mixed-six pack from Total Wine & More.  A Scottish Ale Festival is being held in Portland this weekend, so I thought I'd get a jump start. 

The tasting:   Caramel (deep golden orange) in color, clear, with a white head that dissipated quickly. Very nice color.  Aroma of sweet, toasted, and caramel malts.  The flavor is very similar to the aroma with the addition of a subtle smoky flavor.  Four Peaks' description of this Kilt Lifter is spot on with what I tasted.  Medium bodied with an effervescent mouth feel.  It finishes with some sweet malt and smokiness. Very drinkable.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   I enjoyed this beer and can easily see why it's Four Peaks' flagship brew.  It has a nice strong caramel malt base and is minimally hopped.  It's very different from most of the beers I've tasted lately.  I'd like to try more of Four Peaks' beers, but since they don't distribute in Oregon, I'll have to wait until my next trip to Arizona.

Have you tried Kilt Lifter or any other Four Peaks beers?

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  1. Wow... how were they able to use the same name Pike has been using for years? Just a lack of Pike's trademarking or something? Sounds like you liked it though, and it must have been tasty!

  2. It was a nice beer.

    Apparently, Pike and Four Peaks know how to "play nice"--very unlike the folks at Gordon Biersch. I expect when one of them gets "big enough" the lawsuits will fly.

  3. Pike's Kilt Lifter was one my first favorite Micros.

  4. I'm going to add Pike's Kilt Lifter to my list. It's about time I tasted one of their beers.

  5. I drink Four Peaks Kilt Lifter here in the Phoenix area occasionally. A great beer out of the bottle, but pales in comparison to the 'on-tap' experience. Nice smokey flavor with a proper kick!

  6. is it gluten free by chance?

  7. No, it's not gluten free. Check out Widmer's Omission beers if you're looking for gluten free. They taste like "normal" beer!


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