Brewed by Orkney (Sinclair Breweries)
Style: Scotch Ale
Stromness, Scotland
Serve in Thistle


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1550   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
Available filtered in 330ml bottles.
"Named after Thorfin Hausakliuuf, the seventh earl of Orkney, this reddish coloured ale has an intense vinous nose, is rich and satiny in the mouth with a long dry finish and deep rich fruity notes. Described as íSatiny smooth in the mouth, deceptively light and dangerously drinkableí."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1421) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 19, 2015
Scotch Ale is not one of my favorite styles, but whenever I have a really good example of one Iím always impressed. I donít think Iíve ever actually had a Scotch Ale from Scotland, though. Iíd heard good things about Orkney Skull Splitter, but I was a little disappointed to find that it wasnít quite the world class standout I was expecting. That being said, itís definitely a classic, to-spec example of the style. Itís just a little more mild than Iíd prefer.

I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a goblet. It had a best before date of June, 2017 and cost $5.05 ($0.45 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark maroon or garnet color, but translucent. Pours to a small, tan, frothy head which laces and retains pretty well.

Smell: Mild overall with dark fruit dominating and the faintest trace of smoke or peat; some alcohol is noticeable.

Taste: Scotch Ale has a lot of the same flavor profiles as Belgian Abbey ales: dark fruit (especially dried fruit: plum, fig, raisin, red grape) at the front with sweeter, more confectionery-like taste on the finish (toffee and caramel, especially). Those flavors are all present in Orkney Skull Splitter, but theyíre surprisingly tame. Not much in the way of hops, though the alcohol does account for a good portion of the palette. I do enjoy the finish, though, as thereís a rum-dipped cherry flavor that gives it a bit of a tang.

Drinkability: One thing I do enjoy about beers like this is just how smooth and comfortable they are in the mouth. This is a thick beer, but itís incredible soft and yet in way cloying. At 8.5% ABV itís pretty hefty, and the alcohol does generate significant head Ė which is a little distracting at first, but it quickly becomes part of the experience.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
lello4ever (251) - ITALY - FEB 13, 2015
» una scotch ale prodotta in scozia, colore marrone e una schiuma poco persistente. Molto buona, tendente al dolce ma in modo equilibrato con malto e caramello, il sapore Ť abbastanza complesso e si gusta meglio dopo 2-3 sorsi. Líalcol cíŤ ma Ť nascosto, si nota poco.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Hugi (463) - Waldkirch, GERMANY - FEB 12, 2015
Light brown, clear, slightly tanned head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, malts. Sweet-malty taste with biscuit and caramel and notes of pears. Full malty body, low bitterness, medium carbonization.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
twindadplus2 (629) - Wisconsin, USA - FEB 11, 2015
ruby brown color with a thin beige head. Aroma is sweet, toasty malt, dark fruit and brown sugar. . Taste is sweet malt with a tang of hops, dark fruits with a strong, crisp finish. Medium to full bodied with a smooth, creamy palate. Very drinkable and satisfying.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ordybill (665) - Douglasville, Georgia, USA - FEB 7, 2015
Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass Aroma- Has a great malt smell with a hint of fruit on the follow through. Appearance- A deep dark reddish brown with a small light brown head. Taste- Excellent flavor!! You can really taste the malt and has a hint of caramel. Palate- This is a great medium bodied beer with a creamy finish, mildly carbonated. Overall- This is an excellent beer. I love the name, the flavor and the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
paolo71 (112) - Alviano, ITALY - FEB 5, 2015
In bottle. Dark amber, a bit cloudy. Beige, rocky, fairly persistent head. At nose intense and fairly persistent.Dark honey, raisin, prunes, a bit of sherry. Strong taste, intense, warming sensation, alcohol, medium body and carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
reggiedunlop (3451) - The dub c, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 30, 2015
Nice clear ruby pour with a medium tan head...nice lacing and retention. Aroma has mild booziness along with nice toasty malts, dark fruits...raisin, prune, and a bit of burnt toffee. Flavor follows suit and adds nice earthy/leathery bitterness...definitely boozy. Mouthfeel is medium and silky smooth with a dry earthy/leathery almost woody finish. Fabulously delivered for such a boozy beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
beer_est_deus (911) - Ųrebro, SWEDEN - JAN 20, 2015
Grymmt grumlig och brun med ett vitt skum. Doft: Jšnka, sprit, malt, tuttifrutti. Smak: Som doft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CharlieTwoPies (32) - United Kingdom, - JAN 13, 2015
Bright deep red colour. Thin white head. Aroma is chewy malt, fruity spicy hops, caramelised sugars. Fresh red grapes. Lots of caramel malts but hops too. Taste is fruity and rich thick malt sugars. Sweet. Soft tangy edge, but not exactly bitter. Vinous fruits with a finish that hides its strength moderately well. Pretty decent mouthfeel. A little one dimensional but thatís probably more representative of the style rather than the beer. Overall it is highly drinkable and smooth. Good amounts of fruit too.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mbgrayson (622) - Anaconda, Montana, USA - JAN 11, 2015
Pours a very cloudy dark amber, with white head. Aroma of dried fruits and wine. Taste is smooth and ale like, with mellow notes of fruit. Alcohol kick is there, for sure. Palate is fairly non-descript. Overall, not too bad, but not a great beer.

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