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Laughing Skull Amber Ale | Red Brick Brewing Company

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109 Reviews
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Laughing Skull Amber AleLaughing Skull Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-30-2009

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 439
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Laughing Skull has a medium, fluffy, off-white head, nice lacing rings, and a hazy, amber appearance, with lots of white and gray chunks floating throughout. The aroma is of sweet, brown bread, and the taste is of the same, with an initially strong hop bitterness, which subsides. Sugar and a touch of citrus can be picked up as well. Mouthfeel is light and watery (lager-like, really), and Laughing Skull finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, dry, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is an excellent beer. Check it out, y’all!


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Photo of Deus1138
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I noticed this clever bottle as I walked through Total and Wine and more in Kennesaw. The sign outside of the Vortex?? I must investigate!

Poured into a standard pint glass. Color is light red, mostly orange. Very clear. Not a lot of carbonation, but I got a decent amount of frothy head. It dissolved after a few minutes, leaving a thing slab of head on the surface. Good lacing.

Smell is bready with indistinct hops.

Taste is very good. Bready malts with some mild sweetness, dry bitter finish. Very nice.

This is a really excellent brew. Easy to throw back, but also great for slowly enjoying. I'm glad this will be available year round. This will make an excellent beer for grilling out!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a thick, yellowish, light tan head that sticks around - very appealing for any beer, and superior to nearly all amber ales. Aroma is crisp and malty with fruity and hoppy underpinnings. Pleasing flavor is mainly malty and has hints of fruit - mainly apple - and hops, with just a touch of bitterness. Texture is quite fizzy and lively. This is one of the best amber ales I’ve ever had. I have downed this before, but didn’t realize how good it is - maybe because previously I’ve had it only from a bottle.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 8-24-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Poured a nice two fingers of foam, lots of carbonation present tan/copper colored, pretty good head retention with a nice layer of foam around the glass

S - Malts and caramel, slight hop aroma with orange peel

T/M - Medium to a lighter bodied brew, smooth taste at finish. Well blended malts and caramel with orange sweetness. Slight hop bitterness at finish

D - Very tasty brew, not overly powering. Nice clean amber ale, a must try if your into ambers. I would like to have this brew again, got this one from Shango42. Big thanks for this one. I recommend this brew

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Photo of Midlifejacoby
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a good amber beer, kind of strong and malty, beautiful copper color. Good smell to it. But over powerful in taste for my liking. Sells fantastic

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Photo of Lillie1128
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the brewery on 7/15

A - Pours an amber color with medium thickness head, some lacing

S - Yeast, malts, citrus, and a sugary note

T - Caramel malts with masked hoppiness

M - smooth, medium bodied

D - Easy to drink!

A really delicious and sweet amber ale. One of my favorites from Red Brick.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to G311 for leaving me one of these after his recent trip to Tampa, if it wasn't gifted to me, I'm not sure I'd ever have bought it. I have seen this beer so many times, but always assumed it too plebian for my tastes. I was wrong; it is quite nice, and just about spot-on for what I call easy-drinking. It pours a surprisingly turbid copper-amber hue, and is capped with some dense ecru head and a good deal of lace. Both the flavor and aroma are prevalently malty, although I would say this is not a malt-bomb by any stretch. It is, however, quite malty, tending towards biscuity, earthy and toffeeish notes. The hop contribution is good in terms of balancing the maltiness, but does not seem to lend any specifically discernible character. The feel is lighter-than-medium, and the brew has serious tooth... Overall, I am very happy with this beer, and will revisit often.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Brick Laughing Skull Amber Ale
12 oz. brown bottle, code date is illegible
$2 @ Whole Foods, Tampa, FL

Appearance: Very deep amber/caramel colored body. Hazy. The frothy off-white head holds quite well, and leaves walls of rolling craggy lace surrounding the glass.

Smell: Distinctly caramelish and toasty. Bready sweet. Some hops come through behind the malt.

Taste: Richly malty backed by a good smear of spicy, floral, and grassy hops. The malt is caramelish, toasty, bready, and slightly chocolatey. It's almost like a candy bar. Surprisingly, although it does falls towards the sweeter end of things, it's balanced by just enough hop bitterness and flavor that it never really becomes 'sweet'. Drying, lightly malty lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a dextrinous edge. Creamy and smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation.

Overall: A surprisingly well-balanced amber ale in what is now a sea of over-hopped ambers from the U.S.. Very pleasant. Really enjoyable. Easily accessible to the uninitiated, yet satisfying for even the biggest beer geek.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a golden color, with a small white head. The aroma is malt with some citrus. The taste is mostly malt with a little fruit in the back end. A good ale.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rooster's Beak.

A: It is a beautiful amber-orange color with a frothy finger of snow-white head that holds and laces very well.

S: Toasty malts, caramel, some light citrus notes, and mild hoppiness.

T: It begins with citrusy hoppiness and becomes progressively more malty with caramel, earthiness, and light toasted bread notes late.

M: The body has average thickness and carbonation; no surprises here.

O: This is tasty and sessionable. I'm sorry I waited so long to try it.

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Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a snifter that settled into a nice ring of lace with a little sheeting that billows nicely. the body is a bright amber color.
s - biscuity, sweet maltiness.
t - crisp hop bite with biscuit malts.
m - medium thickness.
d - highly drinkable and a solid amber.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Son of a gun, Ding beat me to it.

This beer pours a slightly orange gold color with excellent clarity. Head is average - just a bit under two fingers thick and basically white. Decent retention and lacing.

Aroma and taste are both pretty mild and easy drinking. Sweet malts at the forefront with a tame bitterness like unsweetened tea (but no where near the intensity of, say, an English Brown). Mouthfeel is smooth with appropriate carbonation - it's there, but doesn't dominate or distract. Drinkability is superb. Very crisp and refreshing. This didn't taste boozy at all, but there's no ABV label on the beer. If it's not too high, then this is a perfect session beer. There's nothing mind blowing here - it's simply a very well made and enjoyable beer.

EDIT: Spoke with brewer. The ABV is 5.7

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle with cool label. On the label it looks like the skeleton from the freaky doll from the movie Saw. No glass available, drank straight from the bottle. Aroma includes caramel malts and mild sweetness with a slight hop presence. Taste seems like a well balanced amber, maybe leaning a touch towards the sweet side. Highly drinkable. I assume it weighs in around 4.5%. Refreshing, smooth and easy to drink. Nice beer.

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Photo of JimKal
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a NB globe.
Look: amber brown with a nice tan head. Nice lacing on the drink down.
Smell: mild malt aroma.
Taste: really quite nice malty taste with a hint of bitter.
Feel: medium mouthfeel but really quite good for this style as so many other ambers just seem too light for me.
Overall: I"ll be looking for this one again as it is getting hard to find an amber as good as this one.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: A whole bunch (a full hand) of creamy head. Startlingly long retention. After minutes, it's as huge as ever. Cloudy-clear with tons of bubbles. Sticky lace.

S: Creamy and fruity. A bit biscuity dry?

T: Much better than I was expecting from the label and ratings. Yeasty-spicy fruit, clean and crisp with a touch of hops and a dry malt endtaste. Only the aftertaste has any drawback. It's light and somehow unpleasantly bitter. Fortunately this lasts only briefly and a mundane beeriness takes over. Maybe not huge on flavour, but what's here is good.

M: Sturdy, smooth, and quenching.

O: A pretty good amber ale. Not exceptional, but easy-drinking and pleasant. If I think it's boring, maybe that means it would appeal to lots of people. Not recommended, but I wouldn't every snub one.

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Photo of eggodoom
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it into a pint glass. Poured a beautiful amber red color with wisps of carbonation and a small amount of head. Has a sweet caramel malt flavor that falls awy to a slight dry hop taste. Left some great lacing as I continued to sip. You can smell the caramel malts. This beer is a good amber ale and drinks nicely.

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Photo of StarSAELS
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really can't say it better than Ding and Mavajo. I haven't had an ABC brew in a while, mainly because I've been trying many, many other things, so this is sort of a "welcome back". It's a nice, warm one. :-)

Picked up at GA World of Bev. in Fairburn and poured it into a Pauwel Kwak coachman. I have to agree with everything previously said except the soapiness. Didn't detect that. I really like the mild, lingering bitterness.

Cool label -- doggone it, the label is a plastic sticker! Easy-off-the-bottle and easy-onto-the-Beer-Fridge. :-D

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Photo of Lahoi
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this amber ale, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. I liked it because it was more like an APA than an amber ale. It was darker, bolder, maltier, more bitter than most Amber ales. If you're looking for a solid APA, then this is a good one, but if you're not accustomed to those smells and tastes, then steer clear. I would definitely drink this beer again, and enjoy doing so.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours russet. Head is medium in stature. It dies off to a tan shadow. Body is murky. Hard to tell how murky in such lighting.

S-Pleasant balance. Hops are woven into the malts. Hops are a mixture of spicy and citrusy. Malts are rich and they complement the unique hoppiness.

T-The spicy and citrusy hops really take the cake. The maltiness reminds more of caramel glazed sweet buns. This is a pretty tasty brew. I really enjoyed the spiced citrus hops. They even turn a bit herbal in the finish. Yum.

M-Has a casky feel to it. Light bubbles. Creamy and moderately dry. Bitterness lingers on the tongue for quite a while.

O/D-Maybe the best of the weekend for me. Just a nice little Amber/Red that boasts its own individual flavor profile. Pretty good! One of the only beers I had on-tap that I would have happily had a second glass.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - low loose eggshell head. Perfect amber color.

S - nutty. With a few stone fruits. One can't help but wonder if a few Georgia peanuts got in the mix. Some meaty German hops.

T - zesty fruits. Some spices. Cumin or parsley something like that. Citrus tang and malt sweetness. Not overly hoppy for an amber. I like it.

M - sparkling and evervescant. Just right. I want to try it again in summer.

D - overall a surprisingly refreshing beer. Stands out compared to so many of the hop only NW Anvers.

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Photo of nickfl
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam, resting on top of a clear, copper colored body. Vigorous carbonation gives the beer excellent head retention.

S - A bready aroma of caramel malt with some musty hops.

T - Caramel malt and light toast up front. Some moderate hop bitterness in the middle with a little bit of herbal, musty hop flavor. Finishes with a blend of herbal hops and dry, toasted malt.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A drinkable, dry amber ale with an emphasis on the hops. The dryness helps to make this beer drinkable, though a bit more residual sweetness might make it more enjoyable. The hops are accentuated by the dryness as well as by the high level of carbonation. A pretty nice beer overall, nothing exciting but a pretty reasonable American session brew.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Don't get me wrong, Red Brick's amber ale has that quintessential American hop kick, but the real star of the show here is what's going on with that tasty, savory, peppery malt balance.

Laughing Skull Amber Ale fills the nose with a savory grilled grain fragrance. Bread crust, medium toast, roasted peanut, peppery pumpernickel, lightly scorched caramel and an almost meaty scent preludes its dark bronze and amber hues and leads to a savory-sweet taste that's transcendent of its scent.

As the beer opens up, the middle palate shows a release of sweetness but those toasty, savory, seared flavors remain. Along side, the hops finally share their taste of white grapefruit, orange peel, grassy and piney flavor. As the ale trails into the finish, its hop balance is moderate but the ale remains malt-centric at its core.

Medium-bodied and with a crisp and snappy bitterness, the taste trends malty-dry but with a drying resinous quality of hops. The beer's bold toasty and peppery edges also facilitates dryness; enough to take and edge off of the lingering sweetness and bring the deep finish into proper "American" balance. A trailing aftertaste of peanut skins, rye and grapefruit peel extends deep into the gullet.

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Photo of tone77
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a brown/amber color with a 1/2inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. Taste has hops up front, caramel malts at the finish, balanced and smooth. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the name, cool label, BOTMC dropped it at my door, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top doesn't yield much smell, but what there is, is a zesty red licorice and malts. Pouring into my pint, I get a deep gold colour with a light pillowy head. Taste is balanced and bold. Sweetness mixed with a sharp bitterness right off the bat. The taste then transitions to a more chaulky bitterness combined with a honey-like sweetness that returns back to the tip of the tongue. The finish is bitter and parched. The hops are very zesty in this brew. This is biting beer for an amber ale, perhaps that is why the skull is laughing. Not for the beginner or faint of heart but for a conessier a fine brew.

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Photo of olimpia84
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured the 12oz bottle into a Pint glass.

A: rich dark amber color with a small head that went away pretty quickly. Some lacing present.

S: a balanced sweet malty aroma with tones of sugar and fruits. Hoppy presence is felt as well.

T: malts with sweet tones that end with a bitter hoppy presence.

M: very drinkable ale, a bit on the watery side but good still. Light to medium body, light to medium carbonation.

O: a solid choice for its style, this will probably suit better for those looking for lighter and more drinkable options.

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Laughing Skull Amber Ale from Red Brick Brewing Company
3.41 out of 5 based on 439 ratings.
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