Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 93, Orkney Brewery Skull Splitter

This beer is considered a Scotch Ale or a "Wee Heavy" which are pretty much mega malty, have higher ABV and have a copper to brown colour from a longer boil and a caramelization of the malts.  Smokey peat malts are also used in this so expect a smokey taste.  It's pretty cool that I am trying this one as I am preparing to brew one this weekend and am stoked about it.

Homebrew points for the bottle!  Cheers!

I poured the beer at about 55 degrees F into a pint glass and it has an amber to brown colour with a tan one finger head that fades to just a ring around the glass and leaves some widespread polka-dot lacing on the glass, not much though.

Wow, there are some nice aromas at work here, first of of note are the caramel malts, smoke, cherries and raisins with a sherry like alcohol twang.

This beer tastes incredible!  Pretty much as the aromas smell, this beer tastes.  Caramelized sugar malts with smokey peat malt sweetness on top carry you towards cherries and other dark fruits that fade away near the end where alcohol warmth takes over and finally ending with some peppery dry hop flavors.  This is sweet, but not syrupy and actually balanced nicely!

The mouthfeel is sweet but not cloying or syrupy at all.  It's definitely full bodied but not extremely so.  The carbonation is under middle ground but higher than low.  Perfect.  Nice warming feeling afterward.

Overall, I would have to agree with many reviews in saying that this is world class.  I'm no expert but I would think this almost a 5 out of 5.  The only issue that I have with it is that the alcohol is pretty noticeable in the aroma and taste, but it is not detracting from the beer at all as the dark fruits are carried along with it like a chocolate cordial.

This is definitely a bucket list beer!  Stop wasting time on watery brews when you can be trying world class beers that are affordable as well!  Life is too short!  There are times and places for watery beer, but now is NOT that time!


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