Skull Splitter | Orkney Brewery

Skull SplitterSkull Splitter
2,205 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,205 |  Reviews: 1,005
Photo of FanofHefe
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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 +10.3%

Photo of redoak075
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of bertram
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Pillowburn
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of tobelerone
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jujigatame
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
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 -2%

Photo of meanmutt
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of AllenSmith
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of atr2605
4.65/5  rDev +14%
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 -14.2%

Photo of mpit11
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of RepMichigan
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev -2%
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

Photo of jaidenjb
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of crnipeter
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been sitting in my cellar for more than year and is aged 6 months past the declared best by date. Pours hazed coppery brown body with chunks of yeast and light ruby hue when held to the light, overlain by a finger-thick beige head that slowly recedes. Decent lacing on the sides.

Nose is rich malty with strong caramel qualities and hint of chocolate, fruity with pronounced esters of plum and raisins, and hides alcohol very well.

Flavor is firmly malty with caramel and exhibits some herbal-spicy hops that help warming alcohol to balance the malt. Sweet yet finishes medium-dry. Fruitiness is lesser than expected after sniffing.

Above medium bodied with easy going carbonation.

In short, a malty, caramelly and fruity brew lacking smoke, earth or peat character one might expect from a Scotch Ale. (330 ml, Best before end July 2011, into tulip.)

 870 characters

Photo of mariposafan
3.09/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with a huge, creamy head. The head lasts, though it diminishes some, and leaves lacing with every sip.

The aroma isn't what I expected. There's far more herbal hoppiness and fruitiness there than I expected. Some caramel aroma as well but it's pretty well dominated by dark fruit and hops.

Again, far more hoppiness that I expected. Not was much as Lake Louie's Scotch Ales but not what I was looking for either. There's also a distinct fusile alcohol taste that is over the top and doesn't work well with the lingering bitterness of the after taste. On the plus side there is some nice caramel flavor in there, it's just overwhelmed by the other flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the light side, though the carbonation is smooth, creamy and just about perfect.

Overall I've got a feeling that this is one that will benefit from a year in the cellar. Smooth out the alcohol and the hops some and it would be very nice. With them still raw, though, it doesn't do much for me.

 991 characters

Photo of hopfacebrew
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been years since I had a Skullsplitter so I saw it on the shelf and said why not!? Poured from 330ml bottle to snifter.

A - The beer pours a thick fairly translucent brown color with a 1 finger beige head that had decent retention and lacing.

S - The aroma has a nice blend of molasses, caramel, fruit and honey.

T/M - Similar to the aroma the beer has a lot of caramel flavor. The middle brings a sweetness with notes of honey and fruit. The beer ends warm and coats the mouth fairly well. I found the carbonation to bring a distinct bite to the beer, which otherwise is pretty slick for a light/medium body.

D - Yes. Seemed to get more drinkable as it warmed up.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-11-2011 02:07:55

 866 characters

Photo of jojotech
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of marty21
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of NickMunford
2/5  rDev -51%

Photo of dprophet
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Williamsburg Winery wine glass.

A: Pours a deep, dark, slightly cloudy reddish color, featuring a two finger off-white head with impressive retention/lacing.

S: Both dark and lighter red fruits dominate the nose, along with a vinous touch.

T: Flavor-wise, this reminds me of a malty, yeasty red wine. No other way to describe it. Prunes, figs, currants on the opening, while the malty notes become a little stronger near the end. The yeast is subtle, but can be tasted throughout.

M: Medium bodied, with a dry, slightly chalky finish. Very low carbonation.

O: Who would have thought that a beer named SkullSplitter, featuring a burly Viking on its front, would seemingly be so appealing to the wine drinking (read: female) demographic? This kind of beer isn't normally up my alley, but I would pick this up again.

 832 characters

Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 2,205 ratings
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