With the fires blazing all over the southland in California, the air tastes like campfire all day long. Your eyes and, more importantly, your throat seem to stay dry all day. So I headed down to my local brew provider for a little something to wet the palate. Being a pushover for a good name, I couldn’t resist grabbing this little bottle of The Orkney Brewery’s Skullsplitter.
Though I’m not much of an ale fanÂ it’s mostly because most “ales” around here are from commercial breweries with more chemicals than beer.Â However, smaller breweries like this can sometimes yieldÂ hidden gems so I took a chance. The brew’s name actually was an alias for Thorfinn Hausakluif, a 7th Viking Earl of Orkney around 1000 A.D.Â Orkney is a small island on the northern tip of Scotland.Â
Great idea for a beer titleÂ but a pretty cover doesn’t always make for a good read right? Fortunately this ale lives up to it’s name and then some. It has a silky smooth, heavy mouthfeel with slight fruit flavors. It’s almost as if you’re drinking some sort of ancient Viking mead.
There is absolutely no alochol burn despite it’s heavy content and the flavors are aged and absolutely dilectible.Â This little 11.5oz bottle didn’t crack my skull open but it sure got it spinning.Â Â An absolutelyÂ fantastic ale that is actually more akin to a barley wine. Thick and robust yet smooth and delicious. As I drank I imagined myself with this brew in hand,Â a giant sword in the other, relieving Viking enemies of their heads. If you can find this ale, count yourself lucky and grab as many as you can!