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Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale | Empyrean Brewing Company

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83 Reviews
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Burning Skye Scottish Style AleBurning Skye Scottish Style Ale

Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by PhantomVodoo on 08-11-2002

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 175
Photo of Herky21
4.01/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

 735 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. I have already reviewed this on on-tap.

A: Cloudy, orange-brown. Little head. Some lace.

S: Chocolatey caramel tones over malt.

T: A sneaky smokiness hides amongst big malt and a decent hop bitter. A little non descript in flavor but good. A bright finish is good.

M: Average.

D: I've had a number of these now and it is pretty decent.

 372 characters

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.

 717 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy orange amber with a white head that is initially almost three fingers, but settle's quickly. There's pretty nice active carbonation. Nothing wrong here, could be a little clearer.

S: Malty, a little cloying with some herbalness going on. It's not bready at all, there's not toast, which is exactly what I want. Maybe a little more herbal/licorice would be appreciated.

T: Mostly smooth, lighter maltiness with some bready, heathery character as well, perhaps a little fruit. Overall very nice, but could be a little more complex.

M: Pretty darn good, but could be a little less bitey.

D: Very drinkable Scottish for a less cold and blustery day. A summer scottish?

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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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.

 681 characters

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 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.

 913 characters

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 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 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.

 597 characters

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.

 1,446 characters

Photo of MinorThreat
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle purchased while at a wedding in "The Good Life", Lincoln Nebraska.

A-Very light color compared to even the lightest Scottish 30 schilling beers. Amber with good clarity, nice white head that settles down to a skim and decent lacing.

S-Slight cereal grain notes and an ever so subtle smoke hint. Some caramel and yeasty bread are in there too.

T-Light, refreshing, soft notes of caramel, cereal grains, smoke (a tiny bit) and some fruity esters. None of the flavors are too powerful but they are well integrated.

M-Good amount of gas to keep it light while having a high enough terminal gravity to have a slight viscosity compared which is surprising based upon the overall lightness of this beer.

D-Very high, this is the quintessential session beer. Great flavors in light amounts. I miss Empyrean Ales, they do a fine job.

 856 characters

Photo of katan
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light brown color, with just a few golden highlights. Off white head formation, about 2mm in size. Seems to be a bit hazy.

S - Light amount of peat malts, some off sweetness. Otherwise, a very muted beer.

T - Starts off with a lightly astringent, husky, grainy note. Mid-stream gets a bit of the smoked peat malts, but little hopping. Slightly malt forward. Finishes clean.

M - Moderate to light beer body. Carbonation is also very restrained. Finishes clean on the tongue. No sting to the tongue.

D - Very easy drinking, especially for a scottish ale. ABV is low, very sessionable. Not filling.

 631 characters

Photo of Misfit138
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Nice hazy cooper color with a generous head

S- Smell mostly caramel malt followed by some sweet citrus.

T- Very mild smoke taste that leads to a smooth caramel malt flavor with a tinge of bitterness.

M- Fairly light bodied with mild carbonation

D- While not the most interesting of beers, I don't have any problems with it at all. Its pretty easy drinking and certainly would go well with a pulled pork sandwich.

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Photo of tedpeer
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - copious white head that settled to an 1/8th inch layer. Light amber/orange/gold color. A little lace.

S - Lightly smoke, malty and sweet.

T - Yeasty, caramel, malty with a bitter finish.

M - medium to light body. Mild carbonation.

D - Yeah, it also is on the thin end of the style.

 325 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber hue with a 1/2 finger head that dissipates quickly to a razor thin film of a head; lighter than expected for the style; lacing is quite good

S: Sweet caramel malts up front; something earthy and grainy as well; a slight sour funkiness that comes from the earthiness pervades rather unpleasantly

T: A balanced beer of roasted grainy malts and slightly sweet caramel; a bit watery but with a good finish

F: Even mouth coat but rather thin

D: A pretty tasty offering from Empyrean; this easy going session beer is pretty good in any season; there is, however, something slightly off puting about the sweetness over time

 635 characters

Photo of emsroth
4.35/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz with freshness date

App: Beautiful, unfiltered amber ale. Quickly dissipating head

Smell: Roasty malt. Lots of caramel. Hints of dry, floral UK hops.

Taste: Greeted by a strong smoky, roasted malt. Followed by a wonderfully balanced hop bitterness. Ends with more smoke, leaving a nice aftertaste.

Medium, malty body with a crisp carbonation. Nice low ABV (4.3% despite what it's currently labeled as).

My first foray into scotch beers and I loved it.

 462 characters

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.

 575 characters

Photo of Zadok
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper color with a slight amber hue. Had a small head that dissipated quickly.

Smells of a hoppy malty mix. Slight sweet smell.

Interesting flavor, initial impressions were of a lifesaver or starburst..strange. Has a slight malt flavor. Overall very sweet.

Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall pretty light bodied.

An interesting beer, sweet and light makes for easy consumption but will also give you cavities. Overall a little to tangy but kind of tasty at the same time.

 499 characters

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.

 491 characters

Photo of AgingWarrior
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this brew on New Years Eve after a couple of domestic brews and I drank it straight from the bottle. The first whiff of this brew was nice, a semi sweet fragrance. This brew has a great mouth feel and a nice finish. This is my first experience with a Scottish ale, but I like it enough to sample some more.

 314 characters

Photo of CamuMahubah
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah the Skye is burning me lads! I've had this beer a few times and I always have felt I got me shillings worth. Pours a light amber into the mug. Maybe a caramel color is a better way of saying it. Mine are out of date as they say drink by 10/12/07 or something like that. Maybe that's why the head is a bit weaker than I remember. Tis a good beer to be sure. I like the malty profile with the sweet butterscotch finish. I remember reading somewhere that this beer goes good with barbecue chicken, Jolly Ho! I believe whoever said that was on to something. One must sip this beer to enjoy it. I plan on getting some of these for next Summer when I fire up the grill and smoke some leg-quarters. Will make a good fire putter-outter as well as thirst quencher, mind ye, I don't be using just any beer for pouring over my BBQ!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer I picked up on my last trip to the midwest.

It pours a crystal clear coppery brown with a thin ivory head. It smells of sweet earthy malt, lightly smoky and lightly sweet.

The taste is no surprise as it mirrors the smell. Earthy and sweetish, hops way in the background here. I like the smoky flavor that they get in this beer, a lot of brewer's downplay that aspect of Scottish ales. (I find later that they do use Rauch malt.)

Body is a touch light but it's plenty drinkable. I've had better but it's still a fine Scottish ale.

 546 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 354 characters

Burning Skye Scottish Style Ale from Empyrean Brewing Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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