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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1566   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55/5   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 ’Satiny smooth in the mouth, deceptively light and dangerously drinkable’."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
TH28 (285) - - APR 18, 2015
330ml bottle. No date on bottle. Appearance: Deep ruby red and clear, with a thick khaki head. Aroma: Crystal and bready malts, withy fruity yeast notes of pear and apple. Taste: Caramel and bread crusts up front, giving way to richer notes of raisin and plum, with a hint of spice. Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderately high carbonation. Higher than I was expecting for the style. Alcohol warmth is strong. Finish: spice and alcohol warming on the finish, with some lingering raisin and fig. Overall: A deep and rich Scotch Ale with strong dried fruit flavors, and spicier than it’s style counterparts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
daniele (6927) - ITALY - APR 12, 2015
bottle ramato carico leggermente velata discreta schiuma media persistenza naso matato caramello toffee frutta matura datteri cosi anche in bocca con leggere tostature caramellate luppolatura contenuta non stucchevole discreto corpo lieve warming

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bodega95 (85) - - MAR 31, 2015
I really enjoy this Scottish heavy for the price that is available. Very complex with lots of toffee, fruit and malt flavors

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 16/20
BierMeHoos (432) - Maryland, USA - MAR 8, 2015
Poured from a 330 ml bottle. Appearance is murky amber with a thin off-white head. Aroma of caramel malts, toffee, and dark fruit. Flavor is sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, toffee, and vanilla. There is a light smokiness throughout and some booziness. Palate is thin. Interesting beer lots of sweet malty flavors make this a rich and pleasant beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
tekstr1der (222) - New Hampshire, USA - FEB 21, 2015
Reddish-brown pour with minimal head. Looks almost syrapy. Appearance is it’s only low-point. The smell is from heaven - malty and fruity. Flavors are strong malt sweetness with some slight wine notes. Incredibly smooth, and way too drinkable. This one could get me in trouble.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
androman (1138) - Maarssen, NETHERLANDS - FEB 21, 2015
33cl bottle @ home from Edinburgh. Body is clear deep ruby red, Head is medium, slightly creamy, beige, average lasting, good lacing. Nose is malty, Aroma is fruity, caramel, dried fruits, light licorice, herbs, chocolate. Taste is medium sweet, medium roasty bitter. Finish is medium lasting caramelized roasty bitter-sweet, later more dried fruits. Medium to full body, oily and sticky texture, average carbonation. Easy dessert beer, reminds me to some bockbeers, a bit too sweet for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1503) - 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 I’m always impressed. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a Scotch Ale from Scotland, though. I’d heard good things about Orkney Skull Splitter, but I was a little disappointed to find that it wasn’t quite the world class standout I was expecting. That being said, it’s definitely a classic, to-spec example of the style. It’s just a little more mild than I’d 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 they’re 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 there’s 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 it’s incredible soft and yet in way cloying. At 8.5% ABV it’s pretty hefty, and the alcohol does generate significant head – 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 (331) - ITALY - FEB 13, 2015
È 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 è abbastanza complesso e si gusta meglio dopo 2-3 sorsi. L’alcol c’è ma è nascosto, si nota poco.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Hugi (472) - 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 (638) - 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.

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