Skull Splitter | Orkney Brewery

2,191 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,191 |  Reviews: 1,005
Photo of JFrankParnell
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of kemoarps
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of match1112
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: murky reddish brown, fingers worth of off white head quickly settles into a thin ring.

s: sweet malts, dark fruits, spicy hops and alochol.

t: toasted malts, molasses, fruits and spice with alochol.

m: sweet full body with decent carbonation and a warming feeling.

o: pleasantly surprised with this beer. i was expecting something over the top with the name, but this is well balanced abd very drinkable.

 411 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes 12/30/2011.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: medium brown bodied beer with a small white head. spotty lacing.

Smell: Lots of caramel malts and dark fruits. Little toffee and little bit of mild smoke.

Taste: Really spicy and fruity. Not really that sweet or smokey beer. Its a bit boozey for the style, in my opinion. Its making the drinkability suffer a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation levels. Its a little bit creamy and no really smooth from the booze burn.

Overall: Not a bad beer, ut not what iam looking for in this style of beer. Overly fruity in my opinion, I could use more smoke in this beer.

 660 characters

Photo of liveKarl
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of wilfonzo
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of schoolboy
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just as a correction, the name is now two word instead of camel cased. This is the way scotch ale should always be. This is easily the most complex scotch ale I have tried. There is a lot going on here. Fruity, oaky, malty, hoppy. Not very boozy.

The aroma is sublime. The appearance is less so - a bit cloudy, but pretty colored. This is easily my all time favorite scotch ale and it might even prompt me to give others a try, hoping to find more great ones like this.

 470 characters

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

Poured a 2" light beige head. Body is brown in masstone but held up to the light it's a deep beautiful auburn amber. It smells like a complex array of malts, maybe a little dried fruit. Taste repeats the malt smells and also has a sweet and salty emphasis to them. Body is medium rich. This is kind of like a concentrated version of the Scoth ale style. And I'll add the price among imports wasn't too bad at all, and though I feared the SkullSplitter name was merely marketing it actually turned out to be deserving of it, both historically and due to the higher alcohol level.

 578 characters

Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of CoolBear
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Lantern
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Immortale25
2.17/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head signature snifter. Bottle says BBE MAR 14.

A- Pours a murky, dark brown that's nearly opaque with 3/4 of an inch of head that retains a bit and then goes down to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass with nice lacing trailing behind it.

S- Smells metallic and glassy with a bit of skunk in the background. Hopefully I don't have another oxidized import on my hands.

T- Gah! That bites! Now I see why it gets the name. For a mere 8.5% ABV, this one packs a heavy punch of booze. I guess that's why it's a "scotch" ale. It's hard to sip since all I get is burning alcohol on my tongue and in the back of my throat. Struggling to find layers or complexity in this. The label says "deceptively light character" which I must strongly disagree with.

M- Stinging, dry and intense with medium carbonation. It's hard to not make an "ew" face as I take sips.

O- Yuck! I think I may have my second drainpour ever...

 945 characters

Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of scott2269
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of AndAShotAJameson
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of JacketIPA
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Thullin187
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of dowen44
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of athouve1
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of mercyfulfate
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of animal69
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of eaphikap
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of ububru
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Brenden
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

These notes were taken at Rocky's in Toledo not too long ago.

Skullsplitter is a deep bronze-brown, thick with a somehow coexistent murky yet clear quality. A tan head sits about a finger high on top and retains itself well. Lacing is dropped in patches as it recedes.
Fruit pops in the nose, all kinds of raisin and dark fruits aromas pouring out. While a beauty, the only issue is that other elements that come out in the flavor are muddled underneath this powerful dark fruits note. Otherwise, I do get a bit of caramel, a lightly herbal and floral hops note, a bit of alcohol, and a gentle spiciness.
The flavor is where things really start popping. This beer, while offering caramel and plenty of fig, raisin, and other dark fruits, contrasts with an herbal, even vinous flavor. I assume it's the result of English hops varieties, and it works very nicely here. Alcohol is warming, easily noticeable but not overwhelming. Malts also provide some toastiness along with the caramel.
The feel is smooth, creamy and almost chewy, making this beer one that, while you're not forced to sip, may make you want to anyway.
This is a fantastic beer and one of the best Wee Heavies out there.

 1,187 characters

Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,191 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More