Monthly Feature

Wayne and Leah give you the skinny on beer.

Happy Early Thanksgiving Mighty Rib Readers, we are in again with November’s beer review, this time Skullsplitter Ale from the Orkney Breweries in Scotland. We want to first preface this review by saying that we tried out a European beer this time again and to our American beverage standard chilled the beer. We’re sure that in Europe this beer might be best enjoyed at room temperature, but we cooled anyway. Secondly, maybe our beer drinking palates are less refined than those in Europe and have been ruined by the like of Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors light, but Skull Splitter wasn’t for us.

Overall Taste

Wayne’s Take

Scotland is best known for it’s Whiskey or Scotch, and that was truly evident after trying Skull Splitter Ale. Skullsplitter had a nice darker caramel color and a nice head, can’t say much for the aroma as the malt smell wafted off strong. I wouldn’t say that Skull Splitter was undrinkable, but it was simply too malty for my taste. I did research some online reviews of Skullsplitter and saw that they had good reviews, but alas, I can’t say I share that opinion.

Leah’s Take

Skull Splitter is a strong beer for strong Scottish men, and perhaps the odd macho hunter or unwashed mountaineer.  It did have a nice color and head, and I did not think the flavor was too strong, but it was almost there.  Upon tasting Skull Splitter, I was instantly reminded of the time Wayne and I went to an Alamo Drafthouse and ordered a pitcher of Arrogant Bastard, and spent the entire movie trying to figure out if it had gone south or if we were just sissies.  We later decided it must have been the former.  Basically Skull Splitter is not what I would consider a recreational sipping beer, but there are times when I can see enjoying glass (but just one). See below for more.

Meal Pairing

Wayne”s Take

Usually for our reviews we do  not eat and drink at the same time, but rather let our clean palate decide what would go with our feature beer. Again, Again, I wasn’t a huge fan of Skullsplitter, but I can say that I think that this beer would go best with a heavily battered fish and chips dinner. I hate to take the easy route and pair this beer with a U.K. favorite, since this is a U.K. beer, but I have to believe that the vinegar used to dress the fish and chips, would be a good complement to this drink. I also think that the batter and fried preparation of the fish and chips would go well with the malty taste of the beer.

Leah’s Take

I think Skull Splitter would actually be quite pleasing with a nice hearty stew, possibly also as an addition to the stew while its simmering. I have never had Haggis or some other possibly appropriate Scottish classics, but I do know that a heavy meal on a cold day would stand up nicely to this heavy beer.  A heavy meal and then a nap.


Laddie, have a Skull Splitter Ale and then ye can brag about drinking it even if ye didn’t enjoy it.