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Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale - Empyrean Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Burning Skye Scottish Style AleBurning Skye Scottish Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

77 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 77
Hads: 161
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 5
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PhantomVodoo on 08-11-2002

Brewed in the tradition of Scotland's malty-sweet beers. Sweet and smooth with a wee hint of smoked character. Brewed with American, English & German grown barley and American hops.

13 IBU
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 161
Photo of maximum12
2.06/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Anybody else have cool, well-meaning friends who bring back beer for you from their trips to add to an already overflowing cellar? It's good to have friends! Thanks for this one, non-BA people who'll never read this.

The pour is a dead ringer for warm oak trim. Smell is mellow to the point of non-existence. I'm imagining sweet malts, & nearly had beer up my nose trying to inhale something, anything.

Burning Skye is weak tea. The first thing that comes to mind is "watery", like a beer bag that's been steeped like tea in a cup. Grainy to the point of a hefe. There are slivers of other tastes floating around in this concoction: caramel, apple bubblegum, sickly sweet malt.

At first I thought this was just OK, but as the beer warms, there's more & more strange - and not good strange - flavors coming off of it. Doesn't rise to mediocre, & am not planning on polishing off all 12 ounces. Disappointing.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.36/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(from notes)

Had this on tap at Lazlo's. Looked about right for a scottish ale, honey brown and clear, but i can't speak to the head because it may have been sitting a minute or two before it got to our table. Not much odor because they served it really freakin cold. Taste was much weaker than i expected. some malt flavor but i wanted more. Went down smoothly enough but i don't really want another.

Several of Empyrean's beers seemed like watered down versions of the beer types they were supposed to represent, including this one, their oatmeal stout and their honey gold. I thought this was strange. Maybe in Nebraska they play it safe with their brewing (although Thunderhead in Kearney gets everything right so that theory doesn't hold water).

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Photo of ballz50401
2.57/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle (enjoy by 7/10) into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Pours a cloudy yellow/orange with a lot of carbonation, way out of style. A light scent of malts in the nose but not much there, after letting it warm a bit I can sense a little smokiness in the backround. Taste is pretty bland, not much malt presence for the style, some toast/bisciut, almost has a slight sourness to it. Mouthfeel is thin and the carbonation level leaves the mouth dry. Not a very good example of a Scottish style ale.

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Photo of BeerBob
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Burning Skye “Scottish Style” Scottish Style Ale from Empyrean Brewing Co. pours a bright crystal clear amber from a 12 oz dark brown glass bottle with a twistoff cap. Head went to less than one finger before going flat out gone... POOF! no foam or for that matter any trace of foam at all.

Nose is a citrus sour with a malt sweetness. Palate is a light grapefruit zest with a backing of barely malt sugars and a finish of carbonation bight.

Nothing is saying, take me home and I will be your significant other. A not unpleasant brew this Burning Skye “Scottish Style” Scottish Style Ale from Empyrean Brewing Co. but it’s not blowing up my skirt either because in my humble opinion... this is no Scottish Style Ale.

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Photo of Fugazme
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale copper color with a small head. Sticks pretty well to the glass, but the appearance is still weak. Not impressed.

Smell is all grain. Not what I was expecting. Nothing great here.

Taste is a bit better. Some nice malty notes. No hops. It is ok. I was hoping for something stronger with more of an alcohol bent to it.

I remember having this beer a few years ago. I haven't bought it since and might not again. Doesn't measure up to Empyrean's brown or porter.

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Photo of u2carew
2.71/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz stubby. Brought back from Nebraska by a buddy on vacation.
A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles quickly to lacing at the edge of the glass. Transparent body. Minimal upward carbonation. Copper in color.
S) Citrus notes - orange. Mellow caramel tones.
T) The caramel sweetness is light and mixed with some nutty flavors. The hops in the finish but very mild, hardly noticeable. The aftertaste has some lemon like characteristics - sour and dry.
M) Fizzy and creamy. Light to medium body, not what I was expecting for a Scottish ale.
D) Not a great beer. I wouldn't have another one.

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Photo of Jayli
2.71/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired this from a77cj7 via Under 100 Fishing for Minnows BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a nice, hazy, amber color with a one finger of off white head. Head recedes relatively quickly. Nice sweeps of lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is pretty muted - mostly caramel malts with hints of hay.

T: Taste is pretty one dimensional. Caramel malts dominate the taste though it is a muted caramel malt flavoring. A bit of breadiness comes through and then toffee and butterscotch flavoring finish this out.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp but thin.

D: Goes down easily, not filling, ok representation of style, body is a bit thin. Flavoring is quite muted - drinkable but not one that I would reach for again.

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Photo of sulldaddy
2.73/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer pours much lighter color than expected with a clear golden orange color and a creamy off-white head of .5 cm foaming up and fading slowly. Eventually becomes a thin surface layer..
Aroma is a grainy and malty with some caramel and just a hint of herbal hops.
First sip reveals a lite to average body with mild yet tingly carbonation. The texture is a little watery, which is a downer.
Flavor is decent with some caramel and toffee and just a bit of grain again. Some general sugary sweetness too. No hops or alcohol anywhere on the flavor. The beer drinks very easy but isnt the most enjoyable flavor. Decent but certainly not great.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at Lazlo's in Lincoln, NE. The color of this beer was lighter than expected. Most Scottish Ales I have had were darker and had a rich earthy nose. The color and nose of this beer is much lighter. It is a light orange-gold in color with a very light malt nose. The flavor is very light as well. I do pick up malt and a very slight smoky / peaty flavor but very little overall. The Mouthfeel is very light with moderate carbonation. While it's one of the best I tried from the Empyrean Brewing Company, it still comes off as watery and too light in body.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a sixer in Omaha. The color is an orange amber hue. Much lighter then a typical Scottish style ale. The beer is clear as well with next to no head and lacing. Also noting there are color variations around the edges, which seems a little watered down. The smell is way sweet uncharacteristic in a Scottish style as well. A good malt tone which is what you want and is a strong scent which not all are.

The taste is mostly malt but sweet. Like syrup or a molasses. At the end there is a citrus hop flavor that is light and blends with the malt. But really, it seems too much hops. The body is light and it has a slightly watery characteristic to it.

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Photo of Vancer
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This Burning Skye was more of a twig fire. Wimpyest Scotch ale I’ve ever had. Even the pour was a sissy amber color with a bit of brown around the edges.

No aroma to speak of, if I inhaled hard enough, I could pull in some malt notes. Taste was more of a hoppy PA than Scottish ale – but it did have some subtle notes of malt and caramel to at least make it average. Watery and thin, I wouldn’t spend any hard-earned cash buying a sixer.

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Photo of udubdawg
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a coppery gold color, quite light for any scottish style. very nice clarity, topped with a moderate light tan head that quickly fades to an uneven cap before sticking around.

aroma is light on caramel, with a sort of toasty malt like victory or something similar. some biscuity character, low leafy hop seems mildly out of place but isn't obtrusive. slight minerally character, sort of a faint green apple fruitiness that could be a bit of acetaldehyde. alcohol comes out as it warms.

light on caramel in the mouth again, toasty, nutty, and some sweetness. bitterness is quite light though the light roasty character increases apparent bitterness a bit. More apple fruitiness and some smoke character comes out in flavor especially as it warms. Bit of alcohol is OK, well integrated.

medium light mouthfeel, moderate carbonation is fine, fairly crisp, no astringency. easy drinker.

on its own merits this is a better than decent beer, though other than the smoke character in the flavor (which isn't exactly per style either) there is nothing that really screams scottish. Just a bit of a chocolate character and it'd be closer to Northern English Brown, another highly drinkable style. again, fairly tasty beer, flaws are easily ignored and it drinks easy. I'd have it again...just not when looking for anything authentically scottish.

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Photo of MorningBeer
2.97/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been interested in scotch and scottish ales lately. Saw this one was new at the local store. Picked up a bottle and poured into a pint glass. Hard pour produced a two finger head...off white/creamy in color. Head turned to ring and light film after a few minutes.

Interesting appearance. Looks like a cloud that coherently hangs together...like there's one substance swirling around in another. Deep golden brown in the center but light golden around the edges.

Smells citrusy. Grapefruit. A bit odd for the style. A little bready.

Taste is similar. Fruity. A little butterscotch in the background, initially, but as I drink it down, not much aside from citrus.

A smooth beer. A nice fresh carbonation, but the flavor just hampers the nice mouthfeel. Although it's quite drinkable, the fruitiness makes it not all that desirable to drink.

Not much alcohol, yet leaves you feeling warm...which contrasts with the fresh, crisp taste.

Perhaps this beer would be more appealing if it were a different style.

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Photo of FosterJM
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

375th review on BA
bottle to pint
12 oz

Tavern on the Square, Lincoln, NE

App- Very light brown with a little bit of spotted pockets of amber. Had a thin one finger head that dissapated quickly. A very thin whisp of cling.

Smell- Burnt malts and a bit of a grainy grinded smell. A little fresh crisp barley.

Taste- The malt is there but there is something else that I am just not feeling. It was thin and a bit like a watered down diet coke.

Mouth- Bordering on light bodied but still a touch medium with a paired medium carbontion.

Drink- I was already six deep at this point and I wanted to try something different and this didnt help. I was not a fan and if I go back to NE probably wont have this one again.

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Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beige head. Decent lace. Color is a hazed burnt gold.

Aroma: Smokey malts, caramel, and a light chocolate malt. All malts here.

Taste: Lots of malts. Smoke and peat. Caramel sweetness. This pretty much sums it up.

Mouthfeel: Smokey, yet clean. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a little touch of smoke.

Overall, a very straight-forward beer. Not to much going on here. Very average.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Radiant pumpkin orange with banana colored edges and a thick slice of putty colored foam up top. The head has a decent look, lasts for a spell, and does an okay job with respect to lace deposition.

There isn't much going on in the nose. Maybe hints of toasted malt with a light earthiness, but that's about it. Also, there's no 'wee hint' of the smoked malt that the brewery says is present. Looks like there's some work to be done on the palate.

Burning Skye is an okay little Scottish ale that tries so hard not to offend that it forgets to impress. Like the color and the aroma, the flavor is on the light side. I wasn't expecting a wee heavy, but I was expecting more than this.

Specifics include lightly toasted bread, a faint nuttiness, a faint earthiness, a faint fruity sourness, and a (very) faint smokiness. Sorry, but this offering screams 'average' at the top of its American-brewed Scottish ale lungs. Warming helps a little, just not enough.

The mouthfeel is a little lacking at 5.3%. What body is present on contact dissipates quickly. The bubbles are slightly too sharp-edged and don't inject any creaminess whatsoever.

Even though the ABVs on most their lineup are low enough to have been legal in Iowa prior to the recent change in the alcohol laws, Empyrean beer only started appearing on local stores in the past several months. After trying Third Stone Brown and now Burning Skye Scottish Ale... we weren't missing much.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear golden colocr. A super thick, just off white head sits on top with tiny bubbles feeding it from below. Almost champagne like bubbles. Highly carbonated, as a gentle pour produced a mostly head filled glass. Once it settled though, it looked pretty cool.
Kind of a fruity aroma. A slight touch of caramel that does get better as it warms. Almost caramel apple like on the first wiff.
Definately fruity. Somewhat apple like. I wonder if something's gone wrong with this one. A little bitterness, and again a little warming helps this beer out.
Light to medium bodied. Highly carbonated. Seems a little light.
I have to think this one's past it's prime, or at least on the verge. I just don't think this style is supposed to be this fruity. I'd love another opportunity to try this one, but in the mean time I've got to give it average marks.
If there were a 6th cattegory for Sound, this one would get a 5 for the Snap-Crackle-Pop.

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Photo of Bdc
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled from bottle, traded with bditty187 from NE. Pours a clear copper with a collared white head and minimal lacing. Aroma is very subtle with just a hint of crystal malt and a floral/candy sweetness. Flavor is semi-sweet, smokey with a small floral, pine and spice hop flavor addition. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. An interesting interpretation of the style.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a77cj7 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a dark golden color with a white head. Not quite what I expected from a Scottish Ale.

The aroma is toffee and grain, but it is very faint. There is hardly any aroma at all when the beer is cold. As it warms, a little bit more aroma comes through but still not enough to really get a read on what the beer smells like.

The flavor is more prominent than the aroma but it is still not an in-your-face experience. I get some toffee and bready malts, as well as some grassy hop notes. I don't get any of the peat or smoke notes that are common in some Scottish and Scotch ales.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent brew that captures some of the intended Scotch Ale peat, campfire character, and with crisp, well-attenuated malts. Enough hops to balance, but not enough to compete with the sweetness or the prominant smoky character. Lightly phenolic (plastic and smoke) with a big bruised apple flavor and quite yeasty. Finishes mostly crisp, with a linger of the apple, fruity flavors. Good beer, but the apple is a bit distrating, and a better malty body would have drastically improved the beer.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightish side of a brown color, decent head with not much retention. Some lacing.

Heavy on the malt aromas, some sweet caramel, but the smell is a little underwhelming.

The bedrock here is caramel malt, although there is a little buttery diacetyl that leaves some toffee character in there as well. Smoky aftertaste after a smooth finish, shy of creamy but still medium body.

Overall a very clean drink. Wouldn't hurt for some more complexity, but what can you do without using hops...

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Photo of TheCondor
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%

I love a good scotch style ale. I love scotch. I love beer. So what could possibly go wrong with scotch and beer put together? Well, lots of things. But we'll get to that later. For now, we are reveiewing Burning Skye. Side poured with standard vigor from the bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance - Pours a nice copper/burnt orange color with a decent one finger head that dissipates within 1/4 of the beer and leaves pretty good lacing. Nothing too spectacular with the presentation, but not bad.

Smell - Bready, malty sweetness, with a bit of caramel in there. Not what I expected, I like my scotch's to be a little boozier in the nose (and the ABV, for that matter), but it could be good. Just don't detect much whisky, burnt notes, or anything of that nature.

Taste - There is a tiny bit of smokiness on the palate, which can bebarely detected over the matly, bready sweetness. Still, nothing as strong as I have come to expect my scotch styles to be. Relatively bland in nature. Just isn't much going on.

Mouthfeel - Thin, watery, finishes ok. Very mediocre

Overall - Alright at best. I would never buy it again, nor would i recommend it to anyone. While it wasn't so bad as to lead me to drain pour it, nothing impressed me about it. Dirty Bastard is one of my favorites of this style, and this falls way short of that. If you're going to buy this kind of beer, just get Dirty Bastard or even Loch Down.

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Photo of beergoot
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Cloudy burnt orange body with a foamy, white head (3.25). Caramel and toasted grain aroma (3.5). Mildly sweet, very faint roasted grain flavor; a bit of orange and caramel; low-key hop bitterness (3.25). Medium body yet feels somewhat weak and watery (3.25).

Not bad but far from being a beer I'd run back to. Weak and underwhelming all around.There's a mild charred grain and brown sugar depth to things but it's pretty wimpy overall.

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Photo of Adamthome1
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish copper smokey look from a 12 oz bottle, has a half finger head that quickly dissapears and a thin ring of lace is formed. Citrus flavors dominate the taste, especially after warming. Aftertaste is dominated by mild alcohol, citrus, and a little hop and and malt. Feels heavy on the palate and goes down relative easily.

Pretty good beer for the style, just not my favorite, I wouldn't recommend consuming more than one of these at a single sitting.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #71 (December 2012):

Although it’s a bit too sweet and could use more malt backbone, what we have here is an average Scottish Ale. There’s not enough examples of the style in the US, so fans of the style should give it a try, as should those who enjoy beers brewed with smoked malts.

STYLE: Scottish Ale
ABV: 5.3%

LOOK: Hazy, dirty blonde with a thin creamy lace

SMELL: Cereal grains, tea, mild smoke

TASTE: Light-bodied, smooth, crackery, nutty malts, golden syrup, tea leaves, golden fruits, gum, faint watery smokiness, bone dry finish, lingering smoke

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Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale from Empyrean Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.