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Skull Splitter

Name – Skull Splitter
Country – Scotland
Type – Scotch Ale

Appearance – Pours a dark brown with really no head at all on it.

Smell – Very sweet smells here.  Caramel, apple, cherry, grapes.

Taste – Pretty much right on with the smell.  Has an ever so slight alcohol sting at the end.

I was walking down the aisle at the beer store and this one just stuck out to me.  The red foil on the top and then the really corny viking on the label.  Plus it has an awesome name.  Who wouldn’t want to try something called Skull Splitter.  Plus this was my first Scotch Ale so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I was a little heavy and sticky but overall not bad.  I guess I will visit this corny viking from Scotland again someday.

Overall Grade – B-

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  • Reply Scott-TheBrewClub

    You’re right about the marketing. Crazy name, funny picture – I see it all the time in my favorite place, but I can’t bring myself to buy it because it seems so, cheezy! I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and all that, but in this case I do! It just seems like they went overboard on trying to ‘manly-ize’ this beer with the look.

    They should come out with a beer called ‘Puppy Saver’ or ‘Grandma’s Doilies’ or something just to balance it out.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:11 am
    • Reply Mike

      Yeah I agree. I see tons of corny looking labels and always think they are stupid but just felt compelled to try this one. And it wasn’t bad.

      February 6, 2009 at 11:10 am
  • Reply Michael Reinhardt

    I like Skull Splitter. Personally, I think it’s a great example of what might be called “wee heavy” or 90 Shilling Ale. The label is cheezy there are no two ways about that. However, if you are expecting a Scottish Ale of this style to be anything but malty and sticky, then you are certainly in for a surprise. Orkney does make some good hoppy and malty products (we reviewed Red MacGregor by them on our site), which are far less heavy. As playful as the label might seem, people in England objected to it conjuring up the violent images of viking conquest. In fact, it was to such an extent that Orkney was being forced to change the label for distribution in England. To me that’s far more cheezy than the label. Of course, I guess cheezy is in the eye of the beholder. That is readily apparent in this case. You see “cheezy” and they see offensive “violence.” I suppose this is my way of saying that you really can’t judge this book by its cover.

    February 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm
    • Reply Mike

      WOW Michael, thanks for the information about Skull Splitter. I did not know all that and it really was eye opening. Thanks for the comment and hope you enjoy the site. I have graciously put a link to your site on my blog roll.

      February 7, 2009 at 11:28 pm
  • Reply Scott-TheBrewClub

    I learn something from almost everything Micheal writes – be it a post of a comment. He adds a lot to the community!

    I didn’t know that about the label uproar either – now when I pass the Skullsplitter in the aisle chuckle at the label, I’ll be doing so with a bit more knowledge! I can’t imagine that the Brits are still upset about the Vikings. Talk about holding a grudge!

    Thanks Mike for the review, and thanks other-Mike for for the interesting info!

    February 8, 2009 at 10:43 am
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  • Reply Don

    I’ve been drinking this beer for years. Great beer, classic wee heavy, thick, malty, tons of flavor. I love the label, don’t think it’s cheesy, has far more charactor than the Coors Silver Bullet train any day. Hope they don’t change that! I have a official Skullsplitter T-shirt!! Don’t agree with the overall B rating, to me it’s more like an A- at the worse.

    August 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm
    • Reply Mike

      Thanks for stopping by and voicing your opinion Don. That’s what I love about the site is getting other people’s opinions on beer. I do still think this is the best wee heavy I have had. Any recommendations on some others?

      August 28, 2009 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Adam Anderson

    I agree Don, I enjoy the beer and take the logo as a nod to my Skull Splitting Viking ancestors. Skål!

    November 24, 2009 at 1:39 am
  • Reply Art

    Fact is, this is an amazing beer! Check out Beer Advocate and your own taste buds. This is great stuff. You can never tell by a label or by ANYTHING if a beer will be good. Look at the cheesy label on Chimay Grande reserve. Taste Skullsplitter and decide. I found a treasure today, in this beer.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:09 am
  • Reply Art

    Ooops, sorry to mention another website on beer…hope you still post my comment. I think this is a great site, and I love your open-mindedness, Mike. And–I didn’t even know what “wee heavy” style was before today. I just know this is a great beer. To me, this is the Scottish version of Chimay GR. SO easy to drink, and full of complexity, while being so strong…this one just has a tad more adventurousness in the character, than Chimay…my all time favorite. Now I have two all time favorites. (along with much from Dogfish Head brewery, of course!)

    December 30, 2009 at 1:17 am
  • Reply Mike

    Thanks for stopping by Art. Please do not mistake my thinking the label is corny as my entire review on the beer or as the basis of my likings. As you can see I very much did like it. Plus part of the fun of blogging about beer is discussing it with others. Not everyone has the same tastes so while some will enjoy a particular beer others will not. Some of my fellow beer bloggers are not as big on IPAs or DIPAs than I am. I personally still find barley wines very difficult to drink while others love them. Just because a majority of people on BA like something doesn’t mean you will. That is the fun in beer! 🙂

    December 30, 2009 at 8:29 am
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