Skull Splitter | Orkney Brewery

2,188 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,188 |  Reviews: 1,004
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5/5  rDev +23.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of RickS95
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I found this beer in the back of my fridge. I had a previous bottle too many years ago to remember, long before I joined this site, so I have no idea if it's any good or not. But, I'm praying that at 8.5% ABV, it ages well.

It's kind of strange looking. It's very clear, though the pour is a dark mahogany/red color and is full of particulates suspended in the beer. There's no head to speak of although there are some random bubbles around the edges up top.

The scent is what you'd imagine from a Wee Heavy named Skull Splitter. It's all malt. Alcohol dominates. Dark ripe fruits, figs, dates and raisins are plentiful. Maybe some cinnamon, possibly some chocolate. With a second pour after a first sip, caramel malts really shine, I would imagine since the beer has warmed for a few minutes.

The taste is extraordinary, and far better than I remember, and probably because it's aged and my palate is a bit more mature. Everything from the smell is there. Large quantities of malt, caramel, dark fruits are all prevalent. It's slightly Scotchish in taste, but over time has developed a Belgian quality. It's really good and the alcohol has been tamed from what I remember.

it's sweet at the front of the tongue, but not too much so. In midsip it evolves into more tart as there may be some pear in there, before eventually turning faintly hot, slightly bitter, and somewhat carbonated. It's medium to full bodied and leaves your palate clean with its crisp finish.

Much better than the one I had a decade ago. Still a sipper, but it comes in a small European bottle so it won't do too much damage. Tastes nothing like other Scotch ales I've had, presents more like a Belgian, and that's a good thing.

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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +17%

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3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +17%

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2.87/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

pours transparent brown amber, highly carbonated, but the 1/2" head very quickly dissipates leaving only a trace of lacing.

the smell is not hoppy at all, clearly leaning toward a biscuit malt or perhaps fig-like, but with a slight metallic note which put me off immediately.

the mouthfeel was slightly creamy and smooth- the one good point. But the beer was too thin-bodied overall.

taste was slightly carmel and sweet, but the fruity overtones were a little funky or metallic, and I detected no pronounced flavorful spiceyness.

very little complexity to hide the immediate head rush. the beer lived up to its name "skull splitter" and I could sense the headache to come almost immediately. This is not a 'sipping' beer... It's more like a whiskey blend. Straight and to the point; hangover to follow...

will pass it by next time, despite the intrigue of the Orkney isles and the cute term "wee heavy"... I'd compare this to a Belgian tripel.

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Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,188 ratings.
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