Skull Splitter | Orkney Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
995 Reviews
Skull SplitterSkull Splitter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
United Kingdom (Scotland) | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-08-1998

BEER STATS
Reviews:
995
Ratings:
2,147
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
18.23%
 
 
Wants:
189
Gots:
290
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 995 | Ratings: 2,147
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat blurring the lines for me is this beer, equal parts wee heavy, scotch ale, barleywine, old ale, winter warmer, it offers up a little from all these categories.

Pours a deep amber color, 1/3" off white head. Aroma had all the candied malts, strong alcohol notes, a tiny bit of red/peat feels.

Taste was a strong red ale, alcohol very up front and not hiding from anyone. Brag to your volunteer firefighter or rugby touch butt crew about how strong this is, that's the type of people I always see being dumb asses drinking this beer and Guinness. Has a wooden old world feel.

 589 characters

Photo of jrsqc7
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A medium dark tastes malty like good dark plug smells awfully sweet like overripe dried dates deep red apples alcohol warming and tongue mutilating good and pleasant but hmmmmm that title is too damn ridiculous and I love heavy metal

 233 characters

Photo of MissGreen1987
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Good for two more months just opened
Floaties and very little ring, Slight alcohol taste, little carbonation, nice little buzz, would definitely try again

 154 characters

Photo of JRed
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark Amber in body with off white head that clings. Aroma of dark fruits, spice, molasses, raisins. Tastes of dark fruits, molasses, raisin, spice, some pine, booze. Heavy body with medium carbonation. Gets the buzz going.

 222 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass.
A - Pours a clear reddish brown with a small white head that settles to a ring.
S - Aroma is all malt.
T - The flavor is caramel, maybe a hint of alcohol on finish.
M - Medium mouth feel and carbonation.
O - Definitely one of my favorite scotch ales.

 279 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: cloudy - a lot of sediment floating; medium brown in color; 1+ finger reddish khaki head that receded to a thick collar; very nice lacing;

S: sweet malt; a little spice; a little alcohol; a hint of smoke;

T: sweet malt up front; caramel is predominant from the middle through the finish; a little nutty; very mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish; pretty smooth considering the ABV;

O: really nice;

 463 characters

Photo of NickTheGreat
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L (4.5) - A deep brown color, not black. Slightly clear, and yet cloudy at the same time. Very little head and dissipated quickly.
S (4) - Not a lot of aroma here, but a little bit of that sweet malt and then some raisin aromas.
T (4.75) - Tastes GREAT. Rich, earthy, slight roasted notes. A little alcohol taste, but not a whole lot.
F (4.25) - Slightly viscous, smooth beer. Not a lot of alcohol burn, but my bottle was a little old.
O (4.5) - I really like this style of beer, and this is a fantastic example of it. I'd kinda forgotten about it in my fridge, and I wish I had more.

 596 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 More Beers To Try Before You Die", a sequel to his CAMRA classic.
Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", my review and possible re-rating comes after I Have this again.

 211 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer mug.
Pours a nice dark brown color.
Not much foam to speak of, does have some sit around the edge of the glass.

Smells almost fruity and sweet.

Tastes dark, roasted malt, alcohol.

Feels full, bold, and flavorful. Smooth carbonation.

Overall, a very nice beer, The tastes are more complex than I can describe, it's worth checking out if you like darker beers.

 382 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated best by October 16 into pint glass. Pours a cloudy amber-brown with a light tan head. Initial impression is caramel and molasses sweetness, but this is nicely balanced by fruitiness. Mouthfeel is medium and the alcohol is well hidden. Very smooth and easy to drink. Slightly bitter finish, but still with overtones of caramel. Hard to describe, really.
I've tried quite a few Scotch Ales that were brewed in the US, and this one stands out from the pack. I must admit that I like the US-brewed ones better but perhaps my palate isn't sophisticated enough to truly appreciate the subleties of the true Scottish brew.

 636 characters

Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, dark breads, sweet. Taste is malts, alcohol, dark breads, fruits, some sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a bit boozy, but still a good beer.

 263 characters

Photo of deaddear
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, best by July 18 (assume that's '18?). Poured into snifter. Pretty sure I've had whatever game the guy on the label is from on my phone.

A: Dark ruby/garnet, a transparent reddish/brown when held up to light. Moderate head settles down to a whirlpool-looking covering. Lacing is low to moderate, spotty for the most part.

S: Caramel, burnt sugar, bit of cinnamon sweetness. Plum/raisin. Alcohol has a slightly rummy aroma.

T: Cinnamon, burnt bread. Raisin/prune-like sweetness. Mild but not unpleasant alcohol burn.

M: Moderate body and carbonation

O: An enjoyable classic.

 597 characters

Photo of Troy_P
4.92/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Red Coat Tavern was out of the usual Bellhaven Wee Heavy. Decided to try this one. Came in a bottle, poured into a nice cold glass.

Appearance: Nice head. Good creamy lacing. Wonderful dark, dark color.

Smell: Slightly fruity. Some caramel noted. Overall, a very positive beginning.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full body. Not as "thick" as expected. Very smooth. This seemed to be a bit lighter in the alcohol taste than the Wee Heavy from Bellhaven.

Taste: Nice malty profile. Wonderful complex notes which seemed to adjust slightly. Sweet caramel combines with some fruitiness. Nice finish.

Only wish I didn't have to stop at the second. Though, in truth, these were filling as well.

 686 characters

Photo of Dmiller25
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a subtle cloudy appearance, rich in amber color with a milky head. It smells like a wine and is very smooth. I enjoy the toasted malt and molasses favors.

 165 characters

Photo of jahbless
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Wow! the burn is very apparent from the first sip. Tastes like hard liquor, definitely not like other wee heavy that I have tried. Would not buy again. 

 153 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle, stamped BBE Apr 18. Pours transparent light amber with a large off-white head. Smells of white wine, sweet malt, apple, and floral hops. The taste follows closely with sweet malt, apple, fig, floral hops, and white wine. Some mild sweetness, dryness, smokiness, and booziness. Thin body and above average carbonation. Overall, it doesn't fit with other Scotch Ales, but it's still a tasty and complex beer. This is like a beer version of a good semi-dry white wine.

 487 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black cherry with a thin bite head. Not a big smell other than malt and alcohol. Decimate alcohol taste with some Luther dark fruit taste backed by sweet malt. Black cherry coming through. Going to let warm up. Not my cup of tea
I guess.

 249 characters

Photo of Wxb1111
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rust color=. Tastes malty, with a nice raisin with complex flavors. Peat and a bit of dried fruit as well. Warming alcohol present. It really tastes almost like a thin barleywine. Not a bad beer, I get it when I see it. It's kind of costly for for such a small 11.2oz bottle. BTW I HATE the 11.2 os bottles...

 322 characters

Photo of Social_Lubrication
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: interesting orange-brown. Cloudy
Smell: smells similar to a white wine. Hints of spices and sweet malt
Taste: tastes like apple cider but very complex and changing. This has a wine taste to it, spices and malts. A sweet beer.
Feel: highly carbonated, champagne like.

Overall a very tasty beer. I like it!

 311 characters

Photo of k8kruk
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - A bright, cheerful amber orange that's thick and cloudy. Not an abundance of foam and only a bit lingers, but what's there is dense and a perfect marshmallow white.

S - Madiera, alcohol, fruity notes and caramel.

T - Complex. Madiera and dried apricots hit you first with sweet biscuity malts and burnt sugars coming next. This is a very heady beer and while I enjoy it, you can really taste the alcohol.

F - Thick and smooth punctuated by carbonation.

O - Excellent and sophisticated, if a little too boozy. If you can get past the alcohol, its a really interesting and complex beer. Seems that the booziness is diminshed if you pour it out into a glass, I suggest that to anyone who takes a sip and double check to make sure they didn't grab hard alcohol or a fortified wine.

 790 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. It pours a dark amber with rose red hues and a two-finger, frothy, milk-white head and some very impressive lacing. It smells of malt and peat but not much else. The taste is complex and pleasant: in addition to the malt there are hints of wheat, fruit, caramel, and spice. It has a tanginess and finishes slightly bitter. You can also notice the alcohol This ale is fairly light in viscosity and carbonation and it is easy to drink despite a relatively high ABV of 8.5% Overall, this is a really good Scotch Ale that has a true Scottish feel to it. I'd like to try this in a pub in Kirkwall.

 624 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A kick awaits after you swallow, like a quick flash of scotch. Mouthfeel is overall watery, but aroma and flavor are quite sharp. Alcohol is apparent in burn, but taste reminds me of the whiskey barrel aged beers I’ve tried. Different

 236 characters

Photo of ajilllau
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had an apple cider smell. It looked brown and earthy. It had a semi sweet taste with a distinguished scotch barrel flavor. I taste molasses and tea with figs. This is a fantastic beer.

 184 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Described perfectly on the bottle. Caramel, molasses, malt and warmth from the spice on the nose. Caramel, malt flavor with dark fruit. Reddish/caramel color with some particulates. Nice finish - sweet, medium body, and a bit of booze.

 235 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Poured into a Propolis tulip. Small cream head that disappeared quickly. Dark amber body, multiple carbonation streams.

Smell: Vinous light fruits and an underlying creamy booziness. Notes of caramel and earthy tea.

Taste: Vinous light fruits again, and earthy tea. Note of wheat.

Feel: Highly carbonated, has a low bitterness at the end. Slight alcohol burn as well.

Overall: Not at all what I was expecting. Granted, the only other wee heavy I've had was a smokey caramel mix so that probably skewed my impressions.

 528 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 995 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe