1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Skull Splitter - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Skull SplitterSkull Splitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,718 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,718
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 123
Gots: 106 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-08-1998)
View: Beers (10) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,718 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by eclaycamp:
Photo of eclaycamp
eclaycamp

Kansas

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say that the bottle redesign on Skull Splitter is among the best I’ve ever seen. Ornkney really amped it up, going from a somewhat lame stock photo to a menacing looking comic character brandishing a huge axe. Nice work and hats off to whoever had a hand in the redesign.

Popping the cap on this I’m immediately concerned. The bottle opens with nary a hiss, so we could be dealing with something spoiled or even a possible infection. Luckily the nose smells okay. I don’t get any kind of sour or off flavors, instead I get a lot of fruity notes followed by dark malt. Peat is there somewhere as well.

In the purposes of full disclosure, this is a purposely aged bottle, as I’ve had it since a trip to KC in January. I’ve treated it well; storing it in my fridge at around 38 to 40 degrees F. The beer shows it’s age somewhat, as there is a slightly oxidized, almost sherry like quality to my first sip of beer. Having had this fresh (or at least as fresh as we can get here in the states), I notice that the peat character in this aged version is very subdued. This is unusual. Fresh this beer is almost a peat bomb, a heavy toffee and syrupy affair tinged with wonderful smoky malt character. That said, I like this too. There still a beautiful caramel toffee background, but it’s augmented by this amazing dark fruit character. It’s almost like a Belgian Dubbel or something similar. I love the finish. Sweet and smoky peat malt comes through first, before giving way to a light sense of alcohol; there’s an ester character going on that leads to a pleasantly warming finish.
The body of the beer is thin and less syrupy than what I’ve had in the past. This could and likely probably is a byproduct of the nearly still state this beer is in. There is almost no carbonation, which isn’t really surprising considering that the lid came off so easily. The beer has a nice residual malt sweetness throughout.

Overall this is a deep beer, more well-rounded and complex than versions I recall having in the past. This aged version has developed a wonderful dark fruit character that has helped to smooth out the rough peat edges of the fresh version. I have another bottle of this in the fridge so I may try it a second time to do a comparison. Either way Skullsplitter remains one of my favorite versions of the Wee Heavy style, and a beer that continually surprises me every time that I have it.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 01:02:08 | More by eclaycamp
More User Reviews:
Photo of TLA
TLA

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

07-30-2014 01:26:54 | More by TLA
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

07-28-2014 08:02:30 | More by Kelp
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4/5  rDev -2%

07-27-2014 01:27:04 | More by aasher
Photo of Draesith
Draesith

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

07-26-2014 04:46:07 | More by Draesith
Photo of DustinBlaker
DustinBlaker


5/5  rDev +22.5%

07-25-2014 19:11:45 | More by DustinBlaker
Photo of thufflife
thufflife

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

07-23-2014 16:15:22 | More by thufflife
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim

China

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

07-22-2014 01:46:22 | More by patre_tim
Photo of DaryleEverett
DaryleEverett

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +22.5%

07-21-2014 21:52:54 | More by DaryleEverett
Photo of StuporJew
StuporJew

Texas

4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A perfect example of the style. Rich, malty, and complex, with darker fruit notes, and hints of peat. Slick, slightly oily mouthfeel, and a creamy, lingering head. Dangerously drinkable, and insanely well done. (I'm on vacation, so this is a half-assed review.) Cheers!!!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2014 02:07:25 | More by StuporJew
Photo of John_Beeryman
John_Beeryman

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

07-21-2014 01:31:33 | More by John_Beeryman
Photo of Davefleming79
Davefleming79


3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Had this while eating muscles in garlic sauce. First mouthful gives the impression of cough mixture, but this soon dissipates to a smooth drink. Pours lovely from the bottle with a nice colour to it. Enjoyed the experience but don't think I'll be adding it to my regular list

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2014 18:38:32 | More by Davefleming79
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2%

07-19-2014 06:40:11 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of papman
papman

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

07-18-2014 05:54:25 | More by papman
Photo of MickeyMonk
MickeyMonk

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

07-18-2014 05:51:54 | More by MickeyMonk
Photo of sfboulder92
sfboulder92

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

07-17-2014 21:35:19 | More by sfboulder92
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of malt
Head small (1 cm), off white, creamy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring and broken layer
Lacing virtually none
Body dark red amber
Flavor of sweet malt and caramel; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl, no peaty smokiness
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

I first had this in a restaurant in Kirkwall, before I knew what a wee heavy was. Then I didn’t particularly care for it. Now, however, I find it to be a delightful drink with the alcohol well hidden. This meets the criteria for a Scotch ale very well.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2014 17:13:49 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of jroberts8811
jroberts8811

Missouri

4/5  rDev -2%

07-17-2014 15:52:20 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
mnredsoxfan69

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -2%

07-17-2014 08:15:18 | More by mnredsoxfan69
Photo of noperative
noperative

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -2%

07-17-2014 00:28:16 | More by noperative
Photo of MalibuKenny
MalibuKenny

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

07-16-2014 13:08:45 | More by MalibuKenny
Photo of msumike89
msumike89

Michigan

4/5  rDev -2%

07-15-2014 19:43:44 | More by msumike89
Photo of little_star
little_star

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

07-14-2014 22:00:21 | More by little_star
Photo of ToddThompson
ToddThompson

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2%

07-14-2014 19:33:22 | More by ToddThompson
Photo of Cam1991
Cam1991

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

07-12-2014 22:34:23 | More by Cam1991
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 1,718 ratings.