Thursday, March 19, 2009
TBG Drinks: Kilt Lifter
Brewed By: Four Peaks Brewing Company
Brewed In: Tempe, Arizona
Type: Scottish Ale
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.