April 16, 2009


Tonight I hand picked a beer from the Isles of Scootland. My new beer connection has had it on stock for a while and I wanted to try it. When I was in Kalamazoo last month, I tried to get it at the Irish pub, but they were out. So tonight I’m reviewing SkullSplitter by the Orkney Brewery in the Orkneys, Scotland.


It came in a 12 oz brown bottle with a red foil seal over the bottle cap. The label shows a picture of a Viking on a beach. The name of the beer is at the top, and Orkney Ale on either side of the Viking. The back label says “Orkney - a small group of islands off the northern tip of Scotland, shrouded in magic and mystery, was the home of Thorfinn Hausakluff (SkullSplitter) 7th Viking earl of Orkney around 1,000 AD.” The front label also states the beer has a 8.5% Alcohol by Volume.

There is a dark nut brown color to the beer with copper accents. There is a slight haziness to it, not enough to impede light passing through. When poured a quarter inch, off white head formed. It dissipated quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass and a slight film at top. There was no lacing at all.

The scent was almost overly sweet. Toasted malts, molasses and caramel are most notable. There was also just a slight hint of alcohol. The flavor was a combination of caramel malts, dark fruit, brown sugar, and touch of acrid alcohol. There was also a slight bitterness to the finish. The aftertaste was almost buttery.

This is a medium bodied beer. A slight creamy coating forms in the mouth.

This was not exactly what I was expecting from a Scottish Ale. It was a bit sweeter than I expected, however I was surprised that the 8.5% ABV wasn’t as noticeable as one would think. As it warmed towards room temperature, the flavor opened up more, and the body seemed to gain a thickness to it. Towards the end it was almost like I was drinking beer flavored melted butter. The butter analogy comes from the buttery taste to it. I’m not sure that I would want to drink a lot of this beer in one sitting, but a bottle every now and then definitely would be nice. Thankfully the name had nothing to do with how your head feels after drinking it. I give it 6 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion in Alcohol at April 16, 2009 07:43 PM | TrackBack

Did you have to pay $10.90 for that beer also?

Posted by: wil at April 18, 2009 08:17 AM

Nope, $10.99 for a four pack.

Posted by: Contagion at April 18, 2009 02:21 PM