Thorfinn Hausakluif, a.k.a. the Skull Splitter, seventh Viking earl of Orkney, was by all accounts a badass, at least until he converted to Christianity and presumably ceased splitting so many skulls. Yet now, more than 1,000 years after his death, old Thorfinn might face his final defeat at the hands of a bunch of nannying busybodies:
A Scottish brewery has jumped to the defence of its ale called Skull Splitter amid claims its Viking-branded bottles have an aggressive theme.
The Orkney Brewery fears Skull Splitter could be withdrawn from sale following a report commissioned by alcohol watchdog the Portman Group…
It was highlighted in a report by management consultancy PIPC on the grounds its name could imply violence and also the impact the strength may have on the drinker…
A Portman Group spokesman confirmed: “A complaint has been made by PIPC about this product to the Independent Complaints Panel.”
The name of this beer is less an inducement to drink than a warning — a warning I failed to heed at the end of one particularly memorable night at Birreria Paradiso with Crispy on the Outside blogger Baylen Linnekin that left me sleeping on the floor of the coffee shop and with a raging headache the next morning. Skull Splitter indeed.
It’s a wonderfully strong ale. At 8.5% abv, it’s rich, dark, and malty with distinctive sweetness and notes of dark fruit. Not an everyday beer by any means, but absolutely perfect on a cold winter night. It’s got 20 years of brand value behind it that could all be lost if the Portman paternalists get their way. Here’s hoping the complaints panel sends them packing.
Previous label nannyism from the US:
No such thing as legal weed