Skull Splitter | Orkney Brewery

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,185 Ratings
Skull SplitterSkull Splitter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
orkneybrewery.co.uk

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
Ratings:
2,185
Reviews:
1,002
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
12.32%
 
 
Wants:
197
Gots:
306
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,185 |  Reviews: 1,002
Photo of chinchill
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle with a best before date of July 2014. Served in a Unibroue snifter.

A - Poured a medium brown with orange-red highlights and tones; clear; tan head is modest size and duration, but leaving nice lacing.

S - Dark malt, toffee, raisins and brandy: Inviting, but rather a bit tame compared to the flavor. High ABV evident.

T - the flavor quickly builds to a crescendo after the swallow, then tapers off, leaving a moderately bitter, mildly spicy and slightly smokey aftertaste with a solid base of dark malts. 4.25

M - Smooth and crisp, if slightly harsh and warm with its 8.5% alcohol. Medium-bodied beer.

O - A striking Scotch Ale, not to be missed by fans of this style. High ABV evident in feel, aroma and taste - a bit more pronounced than ideal - but this is a beautifully crafted beer in which the higher alcohol effects are an integral part of the experience. Flavor dynamics changed with some additional warming, becoming tamer and more refined.

 969 characters

Photo of tourdot
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of TheResidentialOP
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of bh123
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Smokey_Hamlin
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Stalgondo
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mungus
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - Pours caramel colored into the glass and sets up a one-finger head that's fluffy and ecru, which disappears quickly and leaves a very thin sheen of lace and tiny bubbles around the edge. Beer is deep amber sunset orange and slightly opaque. Thin, constant stream of carbonation rises up the middle, leaving an island in the center of the surface.

S - Wonderful, full caramel malts. Rich and dark dried fruits, like figs or moist raisins. A suggestion of booze in the background. Breadiness almost suggests a light, coarse rye.

T - Rich, medium toasted malts mixed with brown, dark sugars, dark fruits, and spices, like muted cinnamon and white pepper. Hints of moderately dark roasted grains. Alcohol and bittering hops snap the sweetness off in the finish.

M - Good carbonation makes it somewhat fizzy. Complex structure with substance and good body. Finish is drier than nose and initial taste would suggest, and doesn't linger, although an echo of the toasted malts shows up later on the palate.

O - Very well put together. Boozy, but delicious. Malts, sugars, spices, and fruits are nicely balanced together as well as against the hops, which clearly exist to create a clean finish, but are not in the nose. A great alternative to a shot of single malt at the end of the day. More of a sipping beer, although two or three across a relaxing evening wouldn't be out of the question. Definitely worth having a four-pak in the fridge for appreciative guests. A sophisticated, amped version of the style.

 1,562 characters

Photo of WildHighlander
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far my most favorite of Strong Scotch Ales. It has a creamy maltiness that is very appealing. A slight peat flavor comes through and the alcohol content of 8.5% ABV complements the malt sweetness nicely. I had this at the Hair of The Dog pub in Chattanooga, TN and really wish I could get this in Oklahoma.

 317 characters

Photo of mikepcarney
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of GoodOmens1986
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of shelby415
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of maleman
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark tea-colored, with an off-white two finger head that dissipated into a medium thick cap and heavy lacing. The nose is heavy with malts and molasses. On the bready side taste-wise with a hint of pepper and dried figs. Mouthfeel is more than medium-bodied with an oily texture. Even though I prefer ales, a Scotch Ale is not one of my top choices. This, however, is one of the best I've had of that genre.

 455 characters

Photo of BFro
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Mumra1979
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of redfox405
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of jmccraney
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of tenacioustomato
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of C2H5
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of machalel
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark copper-brown, with a dense off-white head. Medium amount of lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Deep and dark. A slight bit of alcohol, but the main aroma is of raisins, caramel, malt, treacle, and dark plums. There is a bit of oakiness and a touch of butterscotch as well.

Taste: Wow, this is nice! Very deep and rich malts, with a toffee and toast streak through the middle. There is a little bit of alcoholic hotness, but just enough to enhance the flavour, rather than detract from it. Again the raisins, caramel, treacle, and dark fruit make themselves known. Aftertaste is a "woody" bitterness with a little bit of smokiness. Very well blended with a lot of depth.

Mouthfeel: This has a medium body with lowish carbonation. The warming effect of the alcohol matches well with the smooth creamy texture. Rich without being heavy.

Overall: Very very nice! This was my first Scotch Ale, and i chose it without knowing how good it was going to be. It reminds me almost of a really rich and dense christmas pudding that has been marinating in scotch whiskey! One of my favourite beers that I have tried so far!

Other Info: I picked up a second bottle of this about a month after I first tried it, and it was nowhere near as good. The sweetness wasn't there, the bitterness was harsh, and the aroma was almost non-existant. I assume this must have been treated very roughly when being shipped, as it was nothing like the first.

 1,444 characters

Photo of Snowrs
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Vylo
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of josh32219
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,185 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe