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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
76
okay

360 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 360
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 17.35%
Wants: 10
Gots: 45 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Laughing Skull Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 360 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a white head and no real lacing.
Smells of malts and some hop aroma, fairly average.
Tastes of sweet malts, with hop bitterness to even out the exchange, some hidden vanilla somewhere. Mouthfeel is pretty nice with some bubbles. Drinkability is nice.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of phideltashaggy
3.03/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought this at a bar while at a concert. From tap into (shudder) a plastic cup, so take this review with a grain of salt.

Brew looked interesting, a vaguely red, transluscent brew. Off white head that didn't stay long (again, probably because of the cup)

Boring nose. Not a lot to it, but it didn't smell bad. There was a little bit of a bready smell, but it was super faint.

It tasted similar to the smell. There was a crisp, slightly sweet, malty taste on the tongue, then a bit of a dry finish. Not bad, but a little underwhelming.

Nothing too noteworthy about the feel, nothing to complain about or praise.

This is a drinkable beer, all things considered. I could see me sessioning this brew, if the price was right.

Altogether, it's a decent beer. I wouldn't choose it over most craft beers, but it's definetly a little more fun than your standard domestic lagers.

phideltashaggy, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Transatlantic
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at the local English pub.

A - A nice amber color with maybe a slightly hazy orangish copper tint. Small creamy head that dissipated quickly without lacing

S - Not much
Infact, I almost found it hard to pick up the only smell it had, which was a grassy and metallic smell. Not very impressive.

T - Not much different from the smell. It was slightly sweet malty upfront and finished pretty dry. Slight caramel was about all I could pick up before the dry finish.

M - Light but not watery
There's really not much to it.

D - It's an okay beer to quench your thirst but once that's done, it's hard to bother drinking another.

Kind of shame, I was expecting something at least half good but all I got was an average beer.

Transatlantic, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of FanofHefe
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Irish pub. Little head and very little lacing. Faint hop aroma but very little nose to the brew. Surprisingly nice taste with just a little hoppiness. Not too much carbonation. Fairly drinkable brew and definitely the best offering on tap at this pub.

FanofHefe, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of feelmefoam
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This thing looks GOOD! Beautiful two inches of white plume on top of a hazy orange, slightly red color that provides a light orange glow when held up to the light. Pretty nice head retention and some really nice lacing left on the glass while I drink.

The smell isn't nearly as impressive as the looks, though. The beer has almost a metallic, slightly earthy hop aroma. Some slight maltiness as well. Not too much else I can detect, the aroma isn't the most assertive one I've come across.

The taste is on par with the nose. Unimpressive in the hops department (maybe some slight citrus and a little earthiness, but not strong at all), the fruitiness fades in and out, and it's mainly a slightly metallic graininess that comes to the forefront of the flavor.

The mouthfeel is alright as well. Thin, with a decent amount of carbonation... I wouldn't exactly call it smooth, but if the beer was a little hoppier and a little more oily, this would be good. Not bad as it is, but it could be better.

This is a pretty obscure beer. I thought it was more popular because my roommate from Georgia digs it, but it's not the most well-known amber around. I'm actually kind of glad too, as it needs a bit of improvement to be called quality. The nose and the flavor need a bit of a hop and malt injection, in my opinion. I probably won't be buying this again, but I don't regret trying it.

feelmefoam, Sep 21, 2010
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.

Jason, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber with a tannish head, not much lacing and decent carbonation.

S: About what I expected; biscuit malt and light floral hops. More malty, less hoppy. A fresh cut grass note in there hiding.

T: Nothing to write home about. Bitterish front and finish. Middle contains artificial hop-juice and liquid malt flavors. Too malty for the style.

D: Nahhh.

Value: Pricey for what it is.

WeezyBoPeep, Sep 09, 2010
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.

nickfl, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of rebel1771
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pale amber color with almost no head.

S: Aroma of toasted bread dominates with just a hint of caramel.

T: Toasted grain flavor that fades quickly to a dry cracker flavor.

D: Not a bad brew but not great either. Seems like a beer that is trying to get the attention of macro drinkers by keeping things simple.

rebel1771, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Mavajo for the extra!

Poured into a tulip pint: Hazy orange-amber with three fingers of foamy, sparkling, beige head. Just a few spots of lacing.

Smell is mostly orange peel & very lightly bready.

I expected a little citrusy sweetness in the taste, but it's mostly straight dry & bitter -- moderate, not overly so, but that's about it. There's a mineral quality, too; stony. Actually, the orange peel from the smell is in the flavor, the same way orange peel smells sweet & tastes bitter. Pretty much the same thing happening here. Not bad, fairly refreshing, but unexpected.

Medium-light body, smooth with just a little snap.

Not bad overall, but I can't help but feel like there are some holes in it. Almost no malt presence, kind of unbalanced even though it didn't lean to an extreme in the bitterness. This is not to say it's watery, but it seems like the water plays a big part in the taste.

OneDropSoup, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8-24-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Poured a nice two fingers of foam, lots of carbonation present tan/copper colored, pretty good head retention with a nice layer of foam around the glass

S - Malts and caramel, slight hop aroma with orange peel

T/M - Medium to a lighter bodied brew, smooth taste at finish. Well blended malts and caramel with orange sweetness. Slight hop bitterness at finish

D - Very tasty brew, not overly powering. Nice clean amber ale, a must try if your into ambers. I would like to have this brew again, got this one from Shango42. Big thanks for this one. I recommend this brew

FreshmanPour77, Aug 29, 2010
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.

oberon, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of zebco
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obviously, it fits the amber profile of an amber ale. Pretty clear. A white head, semi-thin.

I do catch some of the salty, briny aromas that the pamphlet suggests. Not sure I find it overly appealing.

Quite malty. Lightly sweet but also hints of spice. Toasty, bready, salty flavor is the main show. Hops are minimal and bitteress lingers around the medium level. I wish this beer toned down more of the toasty and saltiness and had more of a sweeter backbone. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall, I wasn't too huge of a fan. I just didn't enjoy the flavor profile. But I am glad I have one bottle left. Everyone deserves a second chance right?

zebco, Jul 20, 2010
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.

billab914, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of mooseisloose
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the name, cool label, BOTMC dropped it at my door, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top doesn't yield much smell, but what there is, is a zesty red licorice and malts. Pouring into my pint, I get a deep gold colour with a light pillowy head. Taste is balanced and bold. Sweetness mixed with a sharp bitterness right off the bat. The taste then transitions to a more chaulky bitterness combined with a honey-like sweetness that returns back to the tip of the tongue. The finish is bitter and parched. The hops are very zesty in this brew. This is biting beer for an amber ale, perhaps that is why the skull is laughing. Not for the beginner or faint of heart but for a conessier a fine brew.

mooseisloose, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of steelerguy
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This looks like a pale ale not an amber or red. The color is golden color, with moderate carbonation. One finger head on the pour that dissipated quickly, but left a small covering on top.

S - A little sweet light caramel malt, there is also a floral/fruity quality that doesn't really smell like hops or malt...kind of strange.

T - Pretty simple but non-offensive malt character, not a lot of hop presence, but it is refreshing. That same floral/fruity character is in the flavor also, not bad, but almost tastes like some kind of fruit additive.

M - Fairly light bodied, again more like an APA rather than an amber. The light body makes it refreshing and suits the mild flavors.

D - This is a beer meant to not offend a large audience and I think it is successful in that. More character than BMC type beers, but not that much more. Not bad, but nothing makes this beer stand out in a good or bad way.

steelerguy, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of CampusCrew
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, sublte fruit, and some spicy, herbaceous hop notes.

Taste: sweetish flavor of amber malts with a background sublte brown sugar. Earthy and light hop character but with only a subdued bitterness. finshes pretty dry..

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body.

Drinkability: decent beer, of course I would have loved some more hop presence, but it;s a good beer

CampusCrew, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of aepb1
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber with a generous white head and decent lacing

S- Light citrus hops, very minimal

T- Light malts up front that turns a bit hoppy at the end with the aftertaste being bitter

M- Light with decent carbonation

D- Ok drinability because nothing in there offends the senses but not really enough in there to offend the senses in the first place

aepb1, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of semibaked
2.13/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into my Chimay Goblet.

A - Pours a light amber color, doesn't look like there is much carbonation and very little head.

S - Not much going on here, a little hop and some sweetness.

T - Tastes like a combination of hops and soap, not a good combination.

M - Really light mouthfeel, definitely watery.

D - Ya try to avoid this, weird soapy tasting, watery mouthfeel and weak smelling, the only thing this has going for it is the cool looking label art, definitely a "gimmick" beer.

semibaked, May 28, 2010
Photo of aubuc1
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.

Pours a yellow orange with a almost white head. Not too amber.

Smell is a biscuity, metallic with some light citrus hops.

Taste is biscuity and light with a slight bitter finish. Simple.

Mouthfeel is very thin, but this is a pretty drinkable beer.

Pretty pedestrian.

aubuc1, May 27, 2010
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.

glid02, May 26, 2010
Photo of tchenery
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass.

Beer doesn't look too appealing to me. It's too light for my taste on an amber ale. It's almost orange-brown. The head dissapeared. It smells good. There are some nutty notes on the first whiff and bready notes on the next.

It tastes ok. It has a kind-of full flavor to it. I didn't think it was very complete at first and a bit watered-down tasting, but on the second swig and swashing it around a bit to agitate it, it filled up quite nicely. If they were to put this beer on nitro or to bottle condition it, it would do so much better.

Mouthfeel's a bit thin and tangy at times. It's a pretty drinkable beer though, only because it's not too flavorful in my opinion.

tchenery, May 22, 2010
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.

corby112, May 09, 2010
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.

rhoadsrage, Apr 21, 2010
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 17, 2010
Laughing Skull Amber Ale from Red Brick Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 360 ratings.