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.
BA SCORE
80
good

157 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 13.47%
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
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 78
Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

someone explain to me how this is a scottish ale? unless its a dumbed down sort of version for the masses, because theres nothing authentically scottish about this. the pour is mostly clear golden, maybe a tad darker, like so many of their beers. a good inch of head on top. the nose is sweeter, but the malt profile is indeed lighter than i am used to in the style not much hops to speak of, but an earthen character that makes me ready for a big gulp. refreshing, too light for the style again, but crisp in the finish for the sweetness. nothing too interesting here, but a sessionable english pale ale style with a medium to light body and enough bubbles to wash away some of the spicy food they serve at lazlos there. overall im not too impressed with this, but theres nothing wrong with it either. kind of par for the course, maybe a little better for nebraska.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden color with bronze highlights and a one-finger, khaki colored head. There was minimal lacing.

S - It smelled malty and grassy. Not much else.

T - It had a biscuity malt taste with some grassy and earthy hops.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This is an okay ale but it falls short of looking like a Scottish ale and doesn't deliver as much flavor as I expect in a Scottish ale.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up a good sized head of frothy off-white foam. It drops shortly to a half inch or so, but holds well from that point on and leaves some minor lace. The amber body is just slightly hazy, and fine bubbles can be seen slowly rising towards the surface. A touch of smoke and a gently toasty malt are present in the nose. The smokiness is far from overwhelming, and accentuates the malt nicely. The body is medium, and the soft carbonation gently caresses the tongue - it's smooth and lightly creamy across the palate. A softly sweet and mildly biscuity/toasty malt carries through the majority of the flavor, only truly revealing it's subtly smoky side in the finish. Well balanced. Well brewed. Satisfying and very drinkable!

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours bronze & effervescent with a 1" white head. Good head retention & lacing

Smell: Slight smokiness, honey notes, & caramel

Taste: Caramel, slight oakyness, with slight cinamon (?) & orange? notes. Finishes with a slight alcohol burn, dry & kind of fruitty& slightly over sweet IMO

MF: Pretty well balanced, good carbonation & a nice slick heft that expect with this style

Drinks pretty good& I enjoyed it. But the sweetness prevents this from being a session ale. I reccommend it just the same. A pleasant suprise!

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.09/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color a tawny brown, orange around the edge. Head: short, small, white. Aroma: Deep and rich, smoky and peaty, full of earthy notes, some dark fruit, and a touch of caramel sweetness.
Good initial hop feeling, nice buzz on the tongue, softly fades away into a roasty, toasty, even burnt feeling on the palate.
Malt is very big here, too, and contributes significantly, giving off even more caramel character. Body is full, texture is good, and the beer is rewarding and easily and happily drinkable.
All in all, a complex and very tasty Scottish ale from Nebraska. Thanks to bditty for sending it up here!

Photo of Mora2000
3.21/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Buzzard Billy's Lincoln, Ne. Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly no lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet smokey nose. Starts sweet, clean finish, malt comes through late, hops in background. $3.75 for a 16oz glass.

Photo of Wasatch
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to jhammerly for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, some sticky lacingin around the edges. The nose is malty, slightly piney, and lots of caramel. The taste is bitter, malty, piney, and lots of caramel. The finish is dry. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice tasty brew.

Photo of ZAP
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First whiff and not much for smoked malts...not expected much but I am surpised...really a full flavored beer for a scottish style ale (this is not a wee heavy)...there is mild light smokiness on the taste along with some sweet caramel biscuit like maltiness...hop impression is not impressionable :) which is fine for this style..

Good solid scottish style ale....don't expect a wee heavy...a lot of people get confused on this....this actually has more of a malt impression than a lot of scottish style ales I've had but is much short of a wee heavy.

Would I buy a sixer of this? Sure

Photo of maximum12
2.06/5  rDev -41%
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.

Photo of blackie
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: A thin white head is produced by the pour, and soon recedes to just a thin ring. The beer is the color of new copper.

smell: Buttery biscuits and a touch of toffee. Some light fruits and a light, herbal hop aroma. A touch of smoke.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a high medium with a lighter body. Seems a little thin.

taste: Buttery, biscuity, moderately sweet caramel malt flavor. Light, nondescript hop flavor and bitterness. Nothing off, but no complexity.

drinkability: Pretty easily drinkable, but not much for the style. At first I had this rated pretty low, but apparently it is some sort of sub-style of the scottish ale category of which I was previously unaware, so I went up accordingly.

received in a trade with jhammerly

Photo of FosterJM
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burning Skye possesses a medium golden color, clear throughout, with a creamy white head which recedes rapidly, leaving a fine, thin layer, but no lacing. Nose was a bit bready and slightly toasty on the malt side, with vague whisky-ish notes as well. Body was a nudge less than medium, and though fairly smooth, it had a little bit of a rough edge on the tongue. Taste has bready malt here, too, with a touch of sweetness. Has a mild, floral hoppiness, though well understated, with a finish on the dry side. Decent bier, though no one thing really comes to the fore and stands out. Thnx to bditty187! Prosit!!

overall: 3.5
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

707

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.35/5  rDev -4%
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%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

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

Photo of Vancer
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of pat61
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: copper tinted amber with a 2” clingy white foam cap
S: Spicy, malty aromas.
T: Has the definitive Scotch ale flavor of malt, spice, grain, a whisper of anise to cardamom, a rich malt finish with some hints of caramel in the malt. Hops are very mild.
F: Medium body, fine soft carbonation, below average carbonation.
O: An easy to drink, well constructed Scottish ale.

Photo of sulldaddy
2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Photo of Herky21
4.01/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark golden brown ale. Not much of a head, but it does stick to the sides. Burnt caramel-like hue.

Smell: Smell is mostly of malt, hard to detect any hops or really any other scent. Really not an aromatic beer.

Taste: It has a great malt taste. Almost a dark and roasted sort of flavor. It's simple, but strong. The alcohol lingers after the malt, sits on your tongue with sharp and refreshing bite.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is nice. Feels a bit lighter than it looks, but still delivers.

Overall: Great beer. Hits good notes of caramel and finishes with that roasted, full bodied taste. Almost seems as if it was conditioned in a smoked wood barrel.

Comments: Good beer. Really refreshing, with a great copper color.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hyper-clear copper and gold hue. Color seems way too light for a Scottish Ale. Small thin dull whie head forms and immediately evaporates.
Aroma has notes of honey sweetness, some caramel and just a faint hint of smoky tones.
Flavor is a light molasses or brown sugar hit with soem residual light hop cone bittering. Scottish Ale this isn't.
Mouthfeel is fairly thin, not unpleasant just does not have underlying characteristics of the style. Good easily be mistaken for a marzen or even a light brown ale.
Drinkability is slightly above average, its a decent beer taste wise. Very one-dimensional and simple but works for a drink. Can't say I'd wholeheartedly recommend but pleasant enough.
Special to Brent (Bditty) for sending in the package of NE beers.

Photo of bditty187
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear coppery-bronze hue, slight tawny influences too, it is a pleasant color but I can’t help but think it is going to be thin tasting. This is not a good first impression. A very hard pour is required to produce a head of a finger in height; it faded quickly to a very sparse soapy collar. Subsequent lacing was absent. This is my number one grievance with Empyrean, the head retention of all of their core beers are lousy! The nose is unique with a mix of chocolate malt, honey-like sweetness, and a trace of faint hops spice. The potency is very limited; it seems more inadequate on this sample that I am reviewing than others I’ve had over the years. I’ll still review it, as I smell it. The palate reminds of an Oktoberfest-style lager with smoked peat/barley and chocolate malts added, the hoppiness is a little strong for a Scottish Ale, which this beer is trying to be. On the other hand the maltiness is a touch thin. But with both of those negatives stated I find Burning Skye to be a tasty beverage, it works well with BBQ. It is on the simple side but I find it tasty. Medium in body, the carbonation is low and typical for the brewery. It is also plenty drinkable. It is a solid offering from Empyrean and a beer worth trying if you are visiting the Cornhusker state.

Photo of beergoot
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.28/5  rDev -6%
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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Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale from Empyrean Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.