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Black Cuillin - Isle Of Skye Brewery

Black Cuillin
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very good

40 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.32%

Brewed by:
Isle Of Skye Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with oats and heather honey.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2001)
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of metter98

New York

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: From afar, the beer is close to black in appearance, yet when held up to a bright light the beer is clear dark garnet red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the dark malt flavors are stronger and there are also notes of chocolate malts and hints of nutty malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: To me, this beer tastes a lot more like a lighter version of an English Stout compared to a Scottish Ale. The low alcohol content definitely makes this very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 01:28:52 | More by metter98
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle with freshness date. Poured a thick dark brown blackish colour and a nice cap of creamy tan head, good retention and lacing. Nice retention of whispy film cap. 4

S – dark roast chocolate malt, roasted coffee, thick waves of roast notes with some fruits as well, apple, nuttiness. Dark cherry and pomegranate, balance is excellent and inviting. 4.25

T – mild dark chocolate, smooth coffee, thin caramel, nuttiness and some wafer-like malt. Bitterness is mild, finishes dry with some residual coffee chocolatey flavor. Some dried fruity character, peanuts, trace of vanilla, honey and sweet molasses a little on the beginning, rounded and quite complex. 3.75

M – very smooth and creamy, light carbonation and a pleasant smooth malty body, just a tickle of bitterness on the finish to draw it up. Works fairly well I would say, easy drinking and rather tasty. 4

O – very nice, enjoyable ale, lot of flavor and it works together, a bit of a thin light body for my taste but still a nice beer that was quite enjoyable. Smooth and tasty. 4

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 16:41:07 | More by mick303
Photo of MRsojourner


2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

strong mineral smell with an array of light caramel malts with a bit of chocolate
Pretty dark with burgundy/ruby highlights.
mineral taste that is very dry with bitter chocolate. slightly vinous with a light roast
I was hoping it would be a tad sweeter like a scotch ale tends to be but I think the honey just totally dries it out to much and doesn't leave enough of a mouthfeel

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 01:00:10 | More by MRsojourner
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A three inch, dense foam is light coffee colored over a clear, dark, ruby-to-brown ale. The lace forms a fine coating as the head ever-so-slowly drops to seafoam.

The aroma is that of coffee and cream with some alcohol and oats.

Malty with sweet notes in a Roosterfish pint glass. The finish is long and sweet with some notes of cherry.

Fair carbonation, light body and fine texture.

An easy, quick-drinking beer for a session with friends.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 13:15:47 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of tenesmus

United Kingdom (England)

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Isleornsay Hotel, Skye.

A - Deep, dark ebony body with a thick white lustrous head.

S - Roasted barley, a little coffee on the nose.

T - Toasty, warm malt with roasted coffee undercut with a citrus streak, and a gentle prod of bitterness.

M - Smooth, creamy feel, very nice.

O - Quality beer.

Serving type: cask

11-20-2011 13:26:42 | More by tenesmus
Photo of smcolw


3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color where a bit of light passes. Off white head which leaves nice ring lace. 

Very mild aroma -- no burnt smells.  In fact, it smells mostly creamy. 

I would categorize this as a hoppy brown ale. There are darker malt flavors but no burnt sugars. The body is thinner like a brown ale as well. (The server thought this was a stout).   Decent hop presence. 

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 20:17:42 | More by smcolw
Photo of GRG1313


2.15/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with an off white short lived head.

Nose is light toffee/light vanilla roasted grain that then quickly falls off to almost nothing.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery and with no balance and no real character.

Flavors are citric bitter like a lemon infused black coffee that goes to a bitter burnt ash.

Finish is bitter burnt carbon. There is almost something uniquely appealing after a few sips, a "bright burned character" but it just doesn't quite make it there. Tastes like someone just "left it in the oven too long."

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 22:24:24 | More by GRG1313
Photo of MoreThanWine


2.75/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I had great anticipation for this beer yet it turned out quite boring. Poured a 2" head. Very dark raw umber in color. Very little smell, even after warmed up, mild coffee at most. Flavor as well was pretty simple and subdued - some mild coffee, a little sour rye, a little acidity. Body was quite lightweight. Surprisingly timid and disappointing considering where where it's from and how dark the brew is.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 10:08:19 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4th Beer in a random British Tasting Evening on 8th Jan 2011.

The 500ml brown bottle was poured into an 'Abbot Ale' glass tankard.

Dark red, ruby, ruby, ruby red! The off white head fell away to a collar and wispy covering too fast, sadly.

Roasted Barley aroma, couldn't find Heather Honey or Oats in the smell, both are mentioned on the label as being in the brew. It smells sweeter than it tastes.

Mellow malty flavours flow through the mouth and this easy to drink beer covers a host of styles, toying with Stout, Porters and Winter Warmers with a Scottish dark bitter/ale feel.

Smooth and rich, a fine beer.

Different and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 19:10:02 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Belfast Beer Festival.

Pours oxblood black with a thin bubbly film. Black strap molasses, raisin, brown sugar and barrel on the nose. Sour prune and sultana malts with tart berry, then kola, branch and clove oil hops. Tight dry finish, old ale linger with a bit too much leaf. Oily, medium, some chew.

Defies style: one beer site has it as Scottish Ale, the other says Porter, the bottle label says "dark Scottish ale" and the Festival guide says Strong Dark Mild.

As a mild, boozier, less fruity and drier than others. Nice feel and hops, but not crazy about the aftertaste.

Serving type: cask

12-03-2010 19:12:04 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of dqrull


3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with tinges of red, a slightly off-white head that lasts quite a while, elaving a little runny lacing.

Smells a bit like the Red Cuillin from the same brewery, a sort of strawberry-fudge that has a sweet thing to it. Complemented here with some carramellized malt, and some additional fruits, raisins and a little plum.

Taste is also of the same strawberry fudge, but not as prominent as in the nose. There are also a hint of vegetables, a little honey and caramel. Very slight sweetness and a little bitterness, could maybe have used some more bitterness, little to no hop flavour in this one.

Light mouthfeel, almost a bit creamy, but just almost, with a luxurious carbonation with small soft bubbles, refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 18:20:16 | More by dqrull
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle-Deep, deep brown lets in some light, leaving ruby hues at the rim. Nice stable off white heading in this one. Roasty, coffee bean, cocoa and dark chocolate nose leads into a bitter, roasty, fruit flavour profile with dark chocolate and coffee. Nice and creamy bitter roasty finish. I liked this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 13:29:37 | More by mrmanning
Photo of seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

50cl bottle into imperial pint glass.

A- Murky mahogany body with tan head (3 fingers) reducing to 1 finger/crown quickly. Lacing is good.

M- Coffee beans, toffee caramel malts, biscuityness.

T- Lots of toasted yet sweet malts in the beginning changes to a nuttiness with a sharp roasted malt note in the finish.

M- Light to medium bodied.

D- A standard scottish ale, inoffensive with enough flavour for a session. Simple and effective

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 18:23:21 | More by seanyfo
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly dark reddish brown with a somewhat slight head that fades to a ring and leaves some scant lacing. Smells bready and slightly herbal and earthy. A slight hint of honey right at the end. Pretty mellow stuff with lots of breadiness in the mouth and some more very light herbal and honey flavors at the end. There is a slighty "browned" taste that makes the whole thing taste like honeyed toast a bit with an herbal tang. Smooth, but a bit lighteer than I'd like in body. My first from the brewery, I'll be sure to try some more.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 00:25:36 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger beige head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, faint highlights. Medium carbonation and Medium bodied. Roasted malt nose. Flavor is roasted malt and caramel with honey in the background. $7.00 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 22:45:50 | More by jdhilt
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml. bottle

A deep, dark amber with firey hues, rocky-shore head, clumpy and sticky, slow dissipation.

Dank, wet-musty yeasy aroma, caramel and honey, all very natural smelling. Deep red fruits, raisins, dates and oats in the malt aroma with green and peppery hops. yeah.

This is a crispy, roastie malt with really good complexity. a sweet nuttiness, herbal and earthy balance that is totally sublime. Brown sugar and honey with dry, semi-bitter hops. Medium bodied feel but crisp and smooth. This is not massivley complex but still really good. Crispy and healthy right 'til the end.

a very attractive presentation with a good price.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2009 23:00:06 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer. Has a small off white head leaves tiny traces of lace. Aroma has a smokiness up front with asweet malt backbone and a hint of licorice in the background. The sweet malt notes wash over the tip of your tongue. Then slowly the smoke start to fill your mouth giving way to toffee and coffee. The finish has a roast malt bitterness that becomes smoky then coffee. a tasty smooth drink

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 22:06:28 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Brad007


3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red color with a one-finger head into my pint glass.

Upon inspection, my nose was hit by a barrage of smooth, sweet and smoky flavors. A bit of flower/herb was detected as well.

Taste is smoky/sweet that fades into a sweet, almost caramel-like flavor in the middle.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweetness/smokiness and feels a bit chewy as well. Otherwise, goes down good.

A good example of its' style. It is low in ABV and quite drinkable. My only qualm would be that it could be fresher or even chewier. Otherwise, a good find.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 04:13:59 | More by Brad007
Photo of Jeffo


3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a beautiful thick 2 finger off-white head. Colour is dark brown and it's somewhat clear. Basically zero carbonation. Head is pretty persistent and fades into a thick cap, then eventually to a decent film. Leaves nice lacing all the way down. Very good looking pint.

SMELL: A scent of roasted and smoky barley malt and dark fruits, such as dates and prunes. A bit of chocolate in the nose as well. Scent is medium strong and quite stout like.

TASTE: A roasted and smoky dose of barley malt, a bit of pure bitter chocolate and some sweet malt that resembles sweet wood. A long lasting but mild bitter-sweet aftertaste of roasted malt, smoke and sweet wood at the end. Nice and complex, but the sweet aftertaste might be a bit too much.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Goes down smooth and finishes rather dry on the palate. No bite and pretty average.

OVERALL: Enjoyable and drinkable enough, though nothing memorable. The bitter sweet aftertaste might be a little too much for some. Though this was a fantastic looking pint, I don't think the rest of it would cause me to go out of my way to get it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 15:36:52 | More by Jeffo
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Peckhams, Edinburgh...

Poured a dark mahogany brown colour. Slightly off white head poured very tight, thick and foamy with a whipped meringue like topping. No real carbonation... some light lacing...

Aroma - Lots of dark spicy fruits (raisins, dates, prunes), black treacle notes, toasted bready malts, coffee, some faint peaty smoke, fruit loaf, chocolate notes mixed with black cherry, some woodiness, nutty burnt butter, some anise...

Taste - Pretty much as above with maybe some more pronounced chocolate notes... figs, definite smokey notes, coffee, some liquorice...

M&D - Quite smooth... medium bodied... A good sessionable brew at only 4.5%...

Overall - A good straightforward example of a Scottish ale.... recommended...

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2008 14:38:26 | More by mdagnew
Photo of tpd975


3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Joey R for this one

A: Beer pours a dark brown hue with amber showing thru. The head is bold and nice with good retention.

S: Hints of smokey roasted malts, licorice, honey sweetness along with a blast of coffee.

T: Nice nutty flavors with hints of dark fruit. There is a touch of sweetness along with a hint of sour.

M: Medium in body with light carbonation.

D: Not bad. Not my favorite style but drinkable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2008 12:38:09 | More by tpd975
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle
4.5% ABV

The first of three new Scottish beers at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto. I tried this beer on March 20, 2008. The beer poured a blackish-brown with a creamy tan head that lasted throughout. The aroma was roasted malt, some licorice hints, and some hops. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, with medium carbonation, and some sourness on the sides of the tongue. The flavour was malty, and nutty with continued sourness.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 05:27:56 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smokeless Joe's. Basically a good British style porter. Black, not much head. Smooth Stouty roasty, a whisp of smoke and tabacco and licorice. Drinkable, but a sipper. Because minerally finish, it would fare better with some food, as a coffee replacement. Filling.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 17:20:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of JohnfromDublin


3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this 500ml bottle on 16th july 07 (Best by end Jun 09).
Poured a very dark and intense brown brew with a thin cream coloured head. Ruby tone when held to the light. Some lacing.

Not much to smell at first, but improved as it warmed. Malty.
Tasted quite nice at first; again malty but thinnish. I can't really put my finger on the taste, but I tired a little of this beer as I drank it which accounts for the low "drinkability" score.

Overall, a bit disappointing. This came as a present from Scotland of a pair of Scotch ales. I much preferred the Three Sisters (Atlas brewery) one. This might be better with food.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2007 08:46:09 | More by JohnfromDublin
Photo of kmacphail

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I stopped in at the Brewery on Uig, Skye the last time I was waiting for the ferry and picked up this for the first time.

Upon pouring the beer is very dark, hold it up to the light and there is a faint hint of amber, but this beer is black. A dark cream coloured head formed immediately, but then also died within about 10 seconds and left no residue, this looked like I had a pint of pepsi.

The smell of roast oats, I felt it wasn't sweet enough to be malts, with a faint hint of coffee and a faint spicy, fruity smell.

This continued onto the taste, however I was surprised at the bitterness of the beer. I was expecting a porter style with a dominant sweet malt but instead I got a bitter taste similar to a stout (mackesons not guinness) with a great deal of roastiness, slight hint of coffee. This swirled nicely in the mouth but then came the best part, the aftertaste was nicer than the initial taste. A mixed plate of dried fruit, possibly dried figs, and a nice bitter sweet taste from the spices made this a very pleasant pint.

I did enjoy it, but one did not leave me with a desire for another, instead I simply moved on to try some of the other beers I purchased. It is very drinkable, but not enough to capture my taste throughout an evening.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 16:56:22 | More by kmacphail
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Black Cuillin from Isle Of Skye Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.