Skull Splitter | Orkney Brewery

2,189 Ratings
Skull SplitterSkull Splitter

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,189 |  Reviews: 1,004
Photo of Arborescence
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of derkfromwi
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before July 2014 stamped on bottle

A: Half-inch just off-white head, hazy orangish amber color, good carbonation, little bit of lacing

S: Dark fruits, malts, touch of ginger

T: Toasty malts, bready, some fruit, warming alcohol and spices

M: Decent feel, creamy, light carbonation, medium bodied

O: Above average Scotch Ale, gonna try cellaring a couple and see what happens

 383 characters

Photo of ensign11
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Blueribbon666
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Enjoyed many times over the years, making it official here. Along with Young's Old Nick one of the very 1st Scotch Ales I ever tried that made me seek out this wonderfully warming style. Poured into Duvel tulip a rich dark amber with a half an inch of dense head that has great retention. Smells of yeast, malt and dark fruits like plum, raisin and fig. Mouthfeel is good and spicy on the front end, retaining it's wonderful maltiness that almost has a peat like quality that mixes with the sweetness of the aforementioned fruits, a bit of yeast and good carbonation. Finishes spicy and velvety on the palate with the 8.5% abv being evident to be sure making it a wonderful winter warmer. I've always wondered about the listed abv of 8.5% as it seems higher and definitely lives up to it's name, Skullsplitter.

 829 characters

Photo of RrrStory
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of cates1tg
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of MCDuhamel
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip. A moderately aggressive pour yields a nice, dense one inch ivory head that follows the beer down the glass. The beer is dark amber, with lots of small bubbles. The aroma is butterscotch and toffee. Lots of that in the flavor, and some fruitiness, with a surprising dryness at the finish. A hint of smoke. Some diacetyl? The carbonation is a nice counterpoint to the sweetness. Somewhat coating, medium bodied. This is an excellent wee heavy, very well balanced.

 508 characters

Photo of RoryOMoore
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of FanofHefe
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle with no freshness dating apparent. Pours a deep amber color with brown tints, slightly hazy. About a one-finger eggshell white head that dissipates quickly and leaves on a smattering of lacing.

Very earthy and malt forward aroma. The malt presents both a sweet caramel and bread-like characteristic. Only the slightest note of hops.

The flavor is very rich and malty, as expected. The dense malt flavors are accompanied by an almost sour taste that is close to orange peel, but comes through only in small doses. A minor bit of chocolate/cocoa in the background.

The mouthfeel is of medium thickness and does present a bit of alcohol but not to the boozy level. A solid wee heavy and I would definitely recommend it.

 733 characters

Photo of jamisonspitzer
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of redoak075
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of bertram
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Pillowburn
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of tobelerone
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jujigatame
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into nonic pint.

Aggressive pour got 3 fingers of off white head. Dark amber with a slight haze. Creamy foam. Not to the level of a Guinness but there’s an island of it in the middle that’s hanging around pretty well. Moderate lacing on the sides as the glass goes on.

Smells of malt and dark fruit. Also something woody in the background, not unlike woodchips after they’ve been soaked and ready to go on a grill.

Booze comes across right away in the first few sips. It’s not overpowering but very much present. The flavors in here are very well blended. Nothing seems to take over that much but all of it is good. Little whiff of smokiness in the aftertaste once or twice. I also get a touch of bitter grain when the interim between sips goes a few minutes. It’s not unpleasant though. Halfway through and the alcohol is building up its overall effect but has backed off from the prominence it had initially in the taste. The flavor has depth but it’s understated to a degree.

Feels slick and rich. Quite easy to drink for the style I think. It never felt that heavy.

The last wee heavy I had was Founders Dirty Bastard and I recall it having a stronger, more aggressive flavor. SkullSplitter is more balanced. It’s got a lot of the same parts but doesn’t come off as bold. If you want to have a few at a time I figure that’s good since I remember thinking I probably would not have wanted more than one Dirty Bastard at a sitting unless it was going to be with a good hearty meal. I liked SkullSplitter a lot and would definitely look to have it again.

 1,587 characters

Photo of wibrewer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of meanmutt
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of AllenSmith
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of atr2605
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a nice deep orange/red amber color with an offwhite nearly tan head with great retention that forms a small lace around the glass
S-a little boozy, raisins, and caramel
T-Wow this is amazing. a mixture of caramel and hop bitterness in the front that is quickly snuffed out but a sweet raisin and plum flavor that lingers on the palate.
M-Medium with a fair amount of carbonation
O-Absolutely fantastic scotch ale. great balance and lots of dark fruit complexity that meshes with just the right amount of hops. Best scotch ale ive had by far.

 549 characters

Photo of Whitrabbt74
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of mpit11
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of RepMichigan
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle was poured into a tulip.

Appearance: A nice hazy orange amber color with one finger head that has reduced to a creamy layer. Lacing is on the glass and there are signs of carbonation coming up the side of the glass.

Smell: Super malty. Bready and caramel notes. Dark fruits too. Raisins, bananas, plums, figs, etc.

Taste: All the above, but the dark fruits are pretty mellow. Burnt molasses and caramel blend in with the wheat and bready malts. Alcohol is noticeable in the back of the mouth. Still blended nicely though.

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, boozy, light to medium carbonation, medium bodied, and easy to drink.

Overall: Not to familiar with scotch ales or wee heavys, but this is a good start into the style. Nice and tastey and boozy too. My cup of tea.

 781 characters

Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,189 ratings.
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