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Laughing Skull Amber Ale - Red Brick Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Laughing Skull Amber AleLaughing Skull Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

370 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 370
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 17.35%
Wants: 11
Gots: 47 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-30-2009)
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 370 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Radiant kumquat orange with honey colored edges. One smooth pour produced nearly two fingers of yellowed ivory foam that looks both creamy and reasonably sticky. Nice lace too.

The nose has a fair amount of toasted-earthy malt, which is a valid variation on the style. This amber ale also smells pretty hoppy, although the hops themselves aren't especially distinctive. Bravo and Cascade if you're keeping score. The former is a super high alpha variety that is supposed to be similar to Columbus.

Laughing Skull is hoppier than most, which is almost always a good thing. This bottle is going on four months of age and it still has a nice buzzsaw effect on the tongue and a pleasantly tight and focused finish.

The malts are in the amber range, with accenting contributions from both caramel and toasted bread. A small percentage of chocolate malt isn't appreciated. Top notes are slightly citrus peel-like, though the effect is more English hop fruity-herbal-earthy than anything else. Odd that. This isn't great beer by any means, but it works.

The mouthfeel seemed very good right out of the chute. With time, however, that initial medium-full creaminess fades and the stinging quality of the carbonation is beginning to annoy.

Laughing Skull Amber Ale is a good all-rounder that is flavorful enough (and hoppy enough) to stand out from the crowd. A memorable name and a cool label don't hurt either. Thanks to Mavajo for the bottle.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head with little retention on a clear amber golden body.

S: mostly sweet caramel malts.

T: slightly earthy with caramel malt sweetness.

M:lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: simple but drinkable. Few qualities to deprecate it from others in the genre.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another new one for me. I had seen this one floating around on the shelves locally for a while now and decided it was about time to give it a try. Decent pour here, again nothing spectacular but it worked for the style and offered up some nice looking lacing when it was all said and done. Medium amber with a mostly clear body, there was a big puff of white that reached up as high as three fingers before settling back down to a more modest looking level. Aroma is light hops, grassy, herbal notes mixed in with a nice and clean buttery sweet note that peeks through toward the end of the session. Clean flavor, light with the carbonation prickling at the tongue. First flavor is a wave of light citrus hops that takes over the profile and offers a nice dry and bitter touch. As this starts to fade mid palate a malty sweetness kicks in with notes of light cereal grains and a hint of grassy notes. Smooth, even finish leaves you quickly looking for another sip.

Overall a very solid little ale. I was not expecting terribly much but I have to admit it was more then decent. I might pick up a sixer for the in laws if it was on sale.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $4.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The first official pint of Atlanta Brewing's revived and reformulated Laughing Skull poured at this location from a handle-less ta. It's been more than a few years since we've last seen Laughing Skull. The last encounter I recall, was when I lived within walking distance of their previous location on William Street. Heck, I may even have a well-worn LS shirt around here somewhere.

Appearance: Served up a crystal clear, appropriately amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. Though thin, it is lasting and provides for some nice lacing.

Smell: Offers a modest nose smelling lightly of toasty amber malts, a vague hint of fruit, and some spicy, herbaceous hop notes.

Taste: Toasty, sweetish flavor of amber malts with a background hint of light brown sugar. A little blip of fruitiness passes by now and again. A touch of crisp graininess arrives late in the taste. Earthy, spicy, lightly zesty hop character but with only a subdued bitterness. Beyond a small, final hint of toast, Laughing Skull finishes quite clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: I recall the old Laughing Skull performing well in terms of ease of drinkability, and this new rendition definitely follows in its footsteps.

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

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a standard pint glass a clear lighter amber color with a decent sized white head that never really completely settled.Lightly toasted aromas with some caramel tones but they are faint,pretty ho hum.Same can be said for the flavors of this beer,somewhat toasted with a little caramel and fruit,not much hop going on in my mind wich differ from some other reviewers.Pretty basic,easy to throw down but not alot of substance.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a stemless globe.

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

Let's pack in another amber tonight, eh? It pours a mostly clear amber (damn, what a shock there) topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises toffee, dark greens, bitter orange rind, and pine needles. The taste holds notes of orange zest, light caramel, light wheat, and very light lemon zest. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a nice little amber, nothing special, but something I could easily enjoy again.

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Brick Laughing Skull Amber Ale
12 oz. brown bottle, code date is illegible
$2 @ Whole Foods, Tampa, FL

Appearance: Very deep amber/caramel colored body. Hazy. The frothy off-white head holds quite well, and leaves walls of rolling craggy lace surrounding the glass.

Smell: Distinctly caramelish and toasty. Bready sweet. Some hops come through behind the malt.

Taste: Richly malty backed by a good smear of spicy, floral, and grassy hops. The malt is caramelish, toasty, bready, and slightly chocolatey. It's almost like a candy bar. Surprisingly, although it does falls towards the sweeter end of things, it's balanced by just enough hop bitterness and flavor that it never really becomes 'sweet'. Drying, lightly malty lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a dextrinous edge. Creamy and smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation.

Overall: A surprisingly well-balanced amber ale in what is now a sea of over-hopped ambers from the U.S.. Very pleasant. Really enjoyable. Easily accessible to the uninitiated, yet satisfying for even the biggest beer geek.

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle.

Big foam crown of head, yeah ... amber with a yeasty haze. Biscuity, yeasty and fruity nose. Slick medium body with a long smoothness. Malty with toasted biscuit, dried grass and shortbread on the taste buds. Kiss of orange peel from the hop bitterness. Ends with a drying yeast and grain flavor.

A pretty good amber, a bit less yeast in the bottle and this beer would be a champ.

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam, resting on top of a clear, copper colored body. Vigorous carbonation gives the beer excellent head retention.

S - A bready aroma of caramel malt with some musty hops.

T - Caramel malt and light toast up front. Some moderate hop bitterness in the middle with a little bit of herbal, musty hop flavor. Finishes with a blend of herbal hops and dry, toasted malt.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A drinkable, dry amber ale with an emphasis on the hops. The dryness helps to make this beer drinkable, though a bit more residual sweetness might make it more enjoyable. The hops are accentuated by the dryness as well as by the high level of carbonation. A pretty nice beer overall, nothing exciting but a pretty reasonable American session brew.

Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of corby112
1.83/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle received as an extra in a trade with GatorBeerNerd.

Pours a murky golden orange color with brown hues and dark golden orange hints when held to a light source. Two finger frothy, soapy white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with hints of bready yeast, earthy hops, caramel malt, butter and toffee. Slightly toasty with a subtle funky presence. The earthy character is a bit much and it smells kind of like dirt/soil.

Fuller bodied than expected with some soft carbonation up front followed by a dry, bitter earthy hop flavor which is a bit stale. The malt backbone isn't as strong as I expected or hoped for. Slightly toasted caramel malt with subtle hint of rye, bready yeast, toffee and butter. Not very well balanced with an odd solvent alcohol astringency and an unpleasant metallic finish.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Laughing Skull looks more like the hypnotic skull to me. But it's what's inside that matters. Coming out of a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

The beer is dark amber colored with a somewhat, albeit short white head. A thin creamy layer rests on top the beer, which leaves its mark around the glass. It's earthy, fruity smelling beer, with a raw bite of toffee crisp. Pleasant overall.

Laughing Skull goes down the maltier side of the amber ale scale. Sips of caramel enter first. A modest hoppy aspect The beer also has raw malt tones, husk, earth, and a zap of grassiness. The beer finishes clean with a lingering caramel aftertaste. It's medium bodied, gently carbonated, and easy to drink.

Fat Tire of the South? That's not a bad thing to be.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a clear iced tea brown body with a rocky off-white head supported by a big carbonation.
S- The aroma of brown malt has a butter note to it and smells lagered with a slight fruity hint coming through as it warms. There is a dry toasted caramel hints with some biscuit malt in the background.
T- This beer has a smooth soft toasted malt flavor with a brown malt note to it. There is a soft green pungent hop that turns bitter and lingers in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a soft fizz that grows a bit as it warms. There is no alcohol heat noted. D- The malt flavor is a bit muttled with hops being mostly bitterness and a bit to much of a kick in the teeth. There is no real description on the bottle so I don't know what they were trying to achieve in this brew.

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery.

Crystal clear orange, amber, with a small near white head.

Nice medium toasted malt aroma.
Some citrus hops appear upon tasting.
Medium body with good carbonation.

A tasty beer that could serve as a good introduction to craft brews.

Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of billab914
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured amber in color with some gold coming through in the light. It had a thin frothy head to start with and had moderate retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a malty, bready, toasty sweetness with some caramel and maybe some chocolate malt coming through. A little earthy hop presence is there but not a lot.

The taste has a grainy, malty sweetness to it right up front. Surprisingly, it has a bit of a chocolate malt flavor coming through which I can't say I enjoy. Mixed with the hoppy finish it tastes a bit soapy. Some toasty and bready malt are present and pretty decent. Overall I can't say I enjoyed the flavors though.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability isn't that great, the flavors just didn't work together for me. The chocolate flavor I got just seemed out of place and didn't mesh well with the other flavors for me. Interesting but not something I'd have again.

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy copper-gold coloring with a sparse film of head over the top. Steady flow of A LOT of carbonation. Awesome caramel malty-sweet nose with some nutty and roasted highlights. Smooth, sweet malt with a muddled blend of nu, toffee, and caramel head the flavors, with a balance of hops on the back end. The beer shifts a little on the sweet side. Bitter hops and slightly sour towards the finish, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Light, but leaves a good lacing. Decent beer.

Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of glid02
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery.

Pours a clear amber color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted caramel malts with mild amounts of leafy hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Lightly toasted malt flavors with good amounts of graininess kick things off. Midway through the sip the flavor profile turns mildly bitter with the addition of leafy hops. The ending follows suit and is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also OK. I finished my glass without any problems however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I wasn't terribly impressed with this beer but it is what it is - a no-nonsense amber that is at its heart a contract brew. Not worth seeking out but not worth avoiding.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

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Laughing Skull Amber Ale from Red Brick Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.