Four Peaks Brewery Kilt Lifter Scottish-Style Ale
While I really enjoyed the name and found this beer easy enough to drink, it oddly went almost exactly the same way as yesterday’s Blonde Ale. With a name like “Kilt Lifter,” I guess I was expecting more of a punch in my mouth, albeit a tasty one, rather than just a limp liquid barely w(h)etting my lips. Ah well, Four Peaks still has my attention with their Devil’s Pitchfork Pale Ale, which I reviewed at the beer tasting last Friday.
Just to clarify, when I say a beer was boring or bland or needed more “oomph,” I’m not saying it was necessarily bad, I’m just saying it could use a little more of what it has to make it even better. I’m not saying I know what is right for each beer either, as I am most definitely not a brewer nor a professional; this is strictly from the mouth of an amateur drinker and is based solely on my preferred tastes. And stuff. Okay, moving on…
The Kilt Lifter poured a root beer color with hints of reddish-brown sparkling in the light. Honestly, before I tried it, I thought about root beer floats for a minute or two before remembering I was reviewing beer, not soda. Is root beer soda? Other than that, it had a nice cream-colored head with little lacing left on the glass. Lots of visible bubbles that disappeared within the first few minutes, but the carbonation while drinking held its own until the very end.
The smell was quite faint again, but I did come across a light malty scent that wasn’t quite as sweet as I imagined it would be, but rather spicy, something smoky (I’ve read “smoky peat“) and also some fermented fruit – grapes perhaps. It’s an easy smell, but just a touch too light for what I feel the beer is trying to make itself out to be. So far the only thing that’s “lifted my kilt” was the color; I’m becoming way too easily excited.
Once in my mouth, this Scottish-Style Ale attempted to make up for the lack of nose by warming my entire body after each sip. So this is what 6% Alc/Vol feels like! I dig it. After my initial surprise at the quick warmth spreading through my chest, I found I enjoyed the light body with lots of carbonation doubled with a spiciness that snagged at my taste buds with each swallow. It did end a little dryer than I would have liked, but it also cut back on any aftertaste, which is always fine with me. I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to handle aftertastes well. The pleasant spice was dutifully accommodated by a smooth swish of caramel, smoky malt, and that unnameable fruit.
While the Kilt Lifter doesn’t compare to the other Four Peaks I tried last week, it is unique in its own way. This is a brew to enjoy on a crisp fall afternoon/evening while raking leaves and having a bon fire. Or, if you live in Arizona like I do and not in Wisconsin like I somehow forget every single time I get to this part in my post, it’s still best enjoyed on a crisp fall afternoon/evening near the beginning of December. So maybe it would actually be early winter, seeing as we only have two seasons down here. Either way, this is a November-December beer and should be enjoyed over the holidays.