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Laughing Skull Amber Ale - Red Brick Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Laughing Skull Amber AleLaughing Skull Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

103 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 408
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 12
Gots: 84 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-30-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Laughing Skull Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 103 | Hads: 408
Photo of rebel1771
3.54/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (913 characters)

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.1/5  rDev +21.3%
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 (634 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.28/5  rDev -3%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of zebco
2.89/5  rDev -14.5%
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? (645 characters)

Photo of billab914
2.81/5  rDev -16.9%
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. (999 characters)

Photo of mooseisloose
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of steelerguy
3.38/5  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. (911 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
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 (455 characters)

Photo of aepb1
2.98/5  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 (356 characters)

Photo of semibaked
2.15/5  rDev -36.4%
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. (491 characters)

Photo of aubuc1
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.41/5  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. (832 characters)

Photo of tchenery
3.01/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of corby112
1.86/5  rDev -45%
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. (884 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (835 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (1,441 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (1,136 characters)

Photo of everetends
2.97/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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. (1,966 characters)

Photo of brownbeer
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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. (357 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.16/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (740 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (310 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,310 characters)

Photo of ATPete
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (432 characters)

Photo of Deus1138
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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! (695 characters)

Laughing Skull Amber Ale from Red Brick Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.