Brew Review: Skull Splitter

23 Jun

Brew: Skull Splitter

Brewed By: Orkney Brewery (Scotland, UK)

Style: Scotch Ale (8.5% ABV)


Another installment in my search for good scotch ales. I have seen the Skull Splitter on tap at a few local gastropubs so when I spotted it on the shelf at the store I figured I might as well give it a go. This is a brew that hails from across the pond, actually brewed in Scotland and it seems to have been around for a few years so I got the impression that this one could be a keeper. At a solid 8.5% this wasn’t one the mess around with so I saved it for a Friday afternoon after work.

It poured out a great color. It was dark murky and looked like something you would find in some mythical Scot’s hand after a day full of battling hill giants or something. It was murky but the edges showed hints of dark red and purple. A great looking beer. It had a pretty decent head, a little tan, not as dark as the beer would suggest but it was present for the whole beer.

The aroma on the beer was what you would expect from a classic scotch ale. It was heavy, you could smell the smoked scotch flavors as the drifted up. There were tons of sweet malts that kept the booze of the scotch in check.

The taste of brew was great. A classic to say the least. It was very smooth, it just glided down. It was a very filling beer with all those malts leading to a big taste. The scotch was present in the taste, the smoked grains had just the right amount of kick to give it a little bite, that also might have been the hint of scotchy-booze. Either way, it was blended just right to give you a bit of everything. There really weren’t any hops to speak of, but I don’t think there was supposed to be so I’d say that it got that right as well.

To sum it up, I think I found a winner. This was not a scotch ale that really knocked the socks off of me but it hit all the right notes and stayed true to the style perfectly. I think Orkney brewers have had enough trial and error over there with the tradition of beers from Europe and the fact that Scotland has a similar name to Scotch as a booze. I’s say for those searching a classic of this style this is one you should definitely seek out as it will satisfy again and again.


Final Grade: A-



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