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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.

340 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 340
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 17.16%
Wants: 8
Gots: 37 | 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
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Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tchenery
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%

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 -45.9%

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 +4.4%

(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 +7.4%

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
Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

mikesgroove, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of everetends
2.95/5  rDev -12.7%

Had this on tap at Heroes Grille in Jacksonville, AL. Served up in a standard pint, and I believe I paid $3 for it. Not too bad.

A: Pours a pretty thin looking, light brown, I guess you could call it amber. Held to the light it somehow has a little bit of yellow/orange coming through will a little red in the amber tone. The color is very faint and not too impressive for an amber ale. It didn't have any head on the top, just a little bit of bubbly wisps. This may have been the bartenders fault or the lines, who knows? The carbonation is a medium with a nice dose of movement kickin around in there. No lace, not much of anything else mentioning.

S: Smell is of a little bit of grain, some lightly sweet malts and some medicinal hops. I want to say sometimes that it smells like some pine, but it really just comes across smelling like a band aid. Nothing much else worth noting here as well.

T: Taste is a little better here. The flavors are lightly sweet, a little biscuity, malt presence. There is a light note of pine along with some band aid as well, but the medicinal quality has backed off a bit in the flavor. The weird thing is that this doesn't really taste like an ale, though. I am getting more of a lager/pils flavor profile. The hops are the biggest flavor in here but it is pretty muted. I don't know

M: Thin and light bodied. There is no weight to this beer at all. It feels like a pils and I straight up thought it was one the entire time I was drinking it. Just very thin with a medium carbonation. No ABV to speak of, not bringing any heat and drinking mostly like water with some flavor. Aftertaste is hops.

D: This beer was easy drinking and had some flavor but it just doesn't strike me as a good Amber Ale. It came across as a Lager/Pils from the pour forward, and it still doesn't have me convinced it is anything otherwise. It is just weak all around and really has no wow factor or anything impressive/stand out about it at all.

everetends, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%

Pours bottle conditioned amber with a thin head. The aroma is of biscuity and nutty malts, and a citrusy hop balance. The taste is citrusy with tangerine and grapefruit, both in subtle balance with the bready, biscuity malts. Well rounded, though doesn't burst with vibrant flavors or aromas. There are more viable examples, but in a pinch, this would work.

brownbeer, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of cjgator3
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%

12oz bottle

A- Pours a very nice slightly hazy amber color with a nice off-white head with nice retention that leaves a lot of lacing around the glass. This one sure looks great!

S- The aroma is caramel malts that are slightly toasty. It is a little bit bready as well. Not bad.

T- The taste is a lot of toasted grains with some biscuity malt and medicinal hops in the dry finish. Okay, but I'm not a huge fan of this one. I don't really dig the hop profile in the finish. Not overly hoppy by any stretch but I found the hop flavor to be a little harsh.

M- The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and has a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a decent Amber but nothing I would pick up again in the future. Worth a try though.

cjgator3, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of tpd975
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%

A: Pours a lighter shade of amber with a tall white head. Nice retention and lace.

S: Hints of caramel, bread, and piney hops. A bit of something chemical or industrial as well.

T: Caramel malt, light roast with hints of pine and a bit of grassy hops.

M: Medium in body smooth.

D: Okay amber nothing great.

tpd975, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of ATPete
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%

12oz bottle

Thanks Tim. Awesome label design. Pours a transparent golden orange color with a medium sized snow white head that leaves excellent lacing on the glass. One dimensional sweet malt with a nutty background in the nose, a bit of a musty funk lays above it all. Soft, tangy and malt focused, leafy hops balance well enough, a slight medicinal character is sharp in the aftertaste. High carbonation allows for an easy quaff.

ATPete, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of Deus1138
4.33/5  rDev +28.1%

I noticed this clever bottle as I walked through Total and Wine and more in Kennesaw. The sign outside of the Vortex?? I must investigate!

Poured into a standard pint glass. Color is light red, mostly orange. Very clear. Not a lot of carbonation, but I got a decent amount of frothy head. It dissolved after a few minutes, leaving a thing slab of head on the surface. Good lacing.

Smell is bready with indistinct hops.

Taste is very good. Bready malts with some mild sweetness, dry bitter finish. Very nice.

This is a really excellent brew. Easy to throw back, but also great for slowly enjoying. I'm glad this will be available year round. This will make an excellent beer for grilling out!

Deus1138, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of KickbacksSteve
4/5  rDev +18.3%

12 ounce bottle with cool label. On the label it looks like the skeleton from the freaky doll from the movie Saw. No glass available, drank straight from the bottle. Aroma includes caramel malts and mild sweetness with a slight hop presence. Taste seems like a well balanced amber, maybe leaning a touch towards the sweet side. Highly drinkable. I assume it weighs in around 4.5%. Refreshing, smooth and easy to drink. Nice beer.

KickbacksSteve, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of StarSAELS
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%

I really can't say it better than Ding and Mavajo. I haven't had an ABC brew in a while, mainly because I've been trying many, many other things, so this is sort of a "welcome back". It's a nice, warm one. :-)

Picked up at GA World of Bev. in Fairburn and poured it into a Pauwel Kwak coachman. I have to agree with everything previously said except the soapiness. Didn't detect that. I really like the mild, lingering bitterness.

Cool label -- doggone it, the label is a plastic sticker! Easy-off-the-bottle and easy-onto-the-Beer-Fridge. :-D

StarSAELS, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of Mavajo
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Son of a gun, Ding beat me to it.

This beer pours a slightly orange gold color with excellent clarity. Head is average - just a bit under two fingers thick and basically white. Decent retention and lacing.

Aroma and taste are both pretty mild and easy drinking. Sweet malts at the forefront with a tame bitterness like unsweetened tea (but no where near the intensity of, say, an English Brown). Mouthfeel is smooth with appropriate carbonation - it's there, but doesn't dominate or distract. Drinkability is superb. Very crisp and refreshing. This didn't taste boozy at all, but there's no ABV label on the beer. If it's not too high, then this is a perfect session beer. There's nothing mind blowing here - it's simply a very well made and enjoyable beer.

EDIT: Spoke with brewer. The ABV is 5.7

Mavajo, Jan 03, 2010
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Laughing Skull Amber Ale from Red Brick Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.