Thursday, March 19, 2009

TBG Drinks: Kilt Lifter

Brewed By: Four Peaks Brewing Company
Brewed In: Tempe, Arizona
Type: Scottish Ale
ABV: 6.0%

What They Say: "Kilt Lifter is brewed in the long tradition of smooth, full bodied Scottish ales. It is marked by a warm balance of hop and malt, with the slightest hint of peat-smoked barley. A traditional touch for a fine ale whose merits are many."

Website: The overall web design leaves something to be desired. Everything is nudged to the left resulting in an odd amount of empty space that takes up 40% of the screen. The intra-site links lead to the usual array of newsletter sign-ups, an infrequently updated blog, men/women's apparel and a way-too-short synopsis of their beers.

Why I Picked It: During That Bootleg Family's visit to Arizona, we spent an evening with the Mysterious Mr. & Mrs. S, who recently relocated to Glendale from San Diego. Always the gracious hosts, they offered us two different homemade appetizers followed by an entrée of bacon n' blue cheese sliders. A bottle of Kilt Lifter hit my hand the moment I walked through the door.


Presentation (5): The logo is deliciously risqué without ever crossing over to ribald. The "Kilt Lifter" name isn't all that original – as I've since discovered – but, considering this is one of Four Peaks' signature lines, the branding is clever enough to attract young drinkers and familiar enough to keep 'em coming back. 5

Originality (5): It's a Scottish Ale with a Scottish-tinged logo and the word "Scottish" in its name. If my random Google search for "Scottish ale" is any indication, then these are traits the beer industry requires of ALL Scottish ales released in America. 1

Body (10): It pours a slightly cloudy amber with a thin head not unlike the color of a comfortable pair of khaki pants. Decent, but unspectacular, lacing. Very similar to the mass-produced amber ales out there, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, I'd put this slightly ahead of the mean. 6

Taste (10): Toasty with a level of sweetness that might be too strong for some, but was pure liquid Goodness to me. The caramel and toffee gradually give way to a malty, creamy, smoky mouthfeel that finishes with light citrus kick. I know the words "crisp" and "clean" are usually synonymous with commercialized light beers, but when the adjectives fit… 10

Efficiency (10): I finished three bottles over two dinner courses. Truly one of the more drinkable beers I've had in that the higher-than-average ABV isn't the least bit noticeable until you're well into a six pack. Its smoothness and minimal aftertaste only help its case. 10

Versatility (10): Simple enough to be enjoyed by the pitcher at happy hour, with just enough complexity to be appreciated by more tolerant beer snobs. It's fitting that Kilt Lifter is only available in Arizona, as I can't imagine a better beer for the state's eight months of 212° weather. 9

Grade: 41 (out of 50) – Great beer

The above format has been lifted with permission from That Beer Snob Guy.


SHough610 said...

Have you tried Arrogant Bastard?

And no Groundskeeper Willie reference? SCOTCHTOBERFEST WAS RIGHT THERE!!!

By the by, part of what drew me to the bootleg originally was that you and I are kindred SImpsons spirits. Are you still watching the show? The last two or three seasons have rebounded nicely from the pile of puke that was season 16.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Have I tried Arrogant Bastard? Dude, I live 10 minute from their brewery! I'll be up there today for their vanilla porter tap. GLORIOUS~!

And, to think I thought I might've been the last Simpsons watcher out there. I absolutely agree that the show is better now than it was from, say, 2000-2005. Still nowhere near its peak and the writers' laziness/recycling gets downright offensive at times, but I'm still on board...

SHough610 said...

In a lot of ways I think that the show has matured thematically. There was an episode earlier this season where they branched into three different stories and really explored the idea of being attracted to someone else while married. It was a bold idea for a cartoon to take on.

I know a lot of people who say they don't watch it anymore and I always bring up the episode where Nelson befriends Bart. I contrast it with the episode where Nelson moves in and Lisa develops and eating disorder that was my least favorite episode of the series because it was just mean. But the one where Nelson and Bart becomes friends is just great.

I often compare the Simpsons to a pitcher in baseball. You have that rookie season where there's a lot of promise, then the second and third season where they're finding their footing and getting better (and are elite) and then there's 4-10 where you can't touch them. They're winning 25 games a season and carrying you in October. Then there's the drop-off period where they weren't what they were but still good (11-15) and then a couple of seasons where they're just painfully bad (16 and 17) and then they pick it up again and are a decent second or third banana (18-present).

Jay1 said...

the simpsons HAS rebounded nicely. i like how the comment section of this post turned into a simpsons message board. anyone see that epidode where marting is presumed "dead" and nelson plays columbo? that was great.

SHough610 said...

Yeah, I love Nelson's line "Gotta get home to the Mrs. You know, my mom? Mrs. Muntz? She's making chili." I also like his deadpan delivery of calling Bart "dingus" in the Kwik-E-Mart.