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Bad Santa - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Bad SantaBad Santa

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 91
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 16.2%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ccrida on 01-03-2008

17.0degree Plato
Alcohol: 6.7% by volume
Bitterness: 65 IBU
Color: 60 SRM
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 91
Reviews by YieldToNothing:
Photo of YieldToNothing
3.5/5  rDev -10%

More User Reviews:
Photo of GilGarp
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber served cold into a pint glass.

Bad Santa is a dark brown colored ale with good clarity and huge long-lasting head. It leaves some really nice lacing behind as it settles.

Aroma is not as hoppy as expected but it was bottled in late October so that doesn't help in that respect. It has a nice roasted malt and earthy hop aroma.

Flavor is bold and bitter but not over the top. It's definately a dark IPA rather than an imperial anything. The fuggles are earthy and spicy which pairs well with the roasted malts and the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall and excellent version of the style. Pelican only makes high quality beers and this is no exception.

 701 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a big three finger light tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet and toasted malt, piney hops; slightly earthy. Flavor of citrus hops, citrus rind, toasted malt, nicely balanced. Finishes with long lasting citrus hops. Medium bodied with some creaminess. The flavors are so well melded that no one flavor dominates the taste. One of the best integrated black ales I've had. Nicely done.

 479 characters

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Jeff (Jdense) for the opportunithy to try this beer.

BS pours a very dark brown/black color with excellent head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is complex and intriguing, consisting of coffee, dark chocolate and dry citrus. The coffee and chocolate seemed to dominate the aroma profile initially, but as the beer warmed, the dry citrus was more and more pronounced. The flavor profile generally replicated the nose, though the hoppy bitterness, in combination with the chocolate and coffee, seemed to give the beer something of a licorice finish. Also, while there was some initial sweetness in this beer, the finish was dry and fairly bitter. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a fairly long, licorice, bitter finish. Alcohol is fairly well integrated into the flavor profile, though the beer does come across as having a 7% alcohol level.

Cascadian dark ales are a style I don't always understand or appreciate, but this was pretty good.

Thanks Jeff!

 982 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/30/2013. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, light coffee, light char, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with a fair amount of roasted malt balance; and decent strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, coffee, light char, light pine, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, orange/lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, roast, cocoa, toast, light coffee, light char, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of citrus hop flavors with moderate roasted malt balance; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Black IPA. Flavors seemed to lean towards a standard American IPA overall, but there was still a fair amount of roasted flavor going on. Very smooth and crisp to drink; and a very enjoyable offering.

 1,500 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very nicely done beer! Poured at a good temperature with a huge, foamy, frothy, billowy, tan head that lasts all the way down and some lace. Color is a clear, dark mahoganey with an enormous amount of bubble trails. Aroma is at first subdued and then it's hop, roast, malt, spice, fruit. Flavor's like nose, very slight sweet, plenty bitter and good tang that's not out of place. Body/carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, very long, boozy, yet easy drinking. Bad Santa is very good beer.

 498 characters

Photo of BurdockBoy
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with two fingers of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thick lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Rich, earthy, aromas of bready toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted pumpernickel bread, as well as aromas of brown sugar, licorice, clove and quite a lot of assertive, floral, piney, grassy, resin-like, hops.

Taste: Nice flavors of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of brown-sugar and caramel-like sweetness, some spices of clove, star anise, and a touch of black pepper, finished with quite a bit of assertive, floral, piney, grassy, resin-like, hops. Maybe too much hops for my liking.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 6.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a good beer, but not a great one, at least to my palate. I like the flavors of the bready, toasted malt, the sweetness and the spices, but to me the beer is too far out of balance in favor of hops. The floral, piney, grassy, resin-like, hops are way too assertive to my tastes, but I’m certain that hop-heads will love this beer.

 1,281 characters

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of hreb
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle promises Winter Warmer with its evil looking Pelican on the label, but the caption promises CDA (American Black Ale on BeerAdvocate). Served in a chalice, beer pours dark reddish brown in color with a thick, dark head. Very little aroma to speak of, which would not be a good start if we are to expect a CDA. Flavor is however very much like a CDA: spicy (there's your Winter piece) hop bitterness accompanied by a relatively thin body that just so happens to be dark in color. Drinkable and enjoyable, but as others have said, not a great example of the style.

 578 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, bottleworks

appearance: served in capital brewery shaker pint, rich mahogany body, creamy tan head with nice retention

smell: pretty subtle nose - dry cocoa, licorice, pine, hops

taste: nice cascadian dark - rich cocoa, evergreen, ruby red grapefruit rind, licorice, dry roasted malt. nice balance of chocolate malt and fresh NW hops. I like what I'm seeing from Pelican.

mouthfeel: rich and creamy, moderate to high bitterness from the roast and hops

overall: quality CDA

 490 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a sexy looking beer. It's not completely pitch black, but it's very close. Even up to a light you can barely see anything other than night. The head is a finger thick of offbrown foamy bubbles, both large and small. As the middle falls out of the head, there is a gentle lacing left behind.

Early on, it's all roasty malt scents. As the beer warms, the strange smells of the Fuggles hops shine through. Very Earthy, vegetal. Not exactly my liking, but a strong scent.

Has a roasty, charcoal like taste with an Earthy flowery finish.

You don't notice it's a pale ale of any type til the bitter finish. It's actually pretty bitter from start to finish, but it's definitely kicked up a notch in the swallow. There is bitterness from the roasted items followed by a wave of even more bitterness from the hops.

I try to be open about every beer I try, but I just haven't developed a tongue for black IPAs. There's something about each of them that just doesn't work for me and this is no exception. It's not that it's a bad beer, just not what I'm looking for.

 1,069 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jellikit
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark brown with light ruby highlights. Clear when held to light. Fizzy. Thick foamy head.
Smell: slightly sweet malts. Light Grassy hops.
Taste: black patent and pine tar hops. Bitterness from burnt malts.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Medium body. Dry.
Overall: although I'm not a huge fan of the style, this is a decent beer. Not sure if I can review it fairly as I don't enjoy black patent.

 427 characters

Photo of Docer
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: (4.5)
- Nice super dark brown brew with a very beautiful slow forming 3 fingers of thick light tan head.. lacing all over and a thin pillow left for your upper lip. Great looking beer.

Smell: (3.5)
- Grainy smell.. bread, light alcohol aromas. Subtle sweet dark chocolate smell as well perhaps with a bitter grassy and earthy hop. Scent is a tad subdued.

Taste: (4.0)
- Roasty light bready grain, light chocolate flare. Not overly sweet at all, and has a nice grassy and herbal hop presence. Quite good. Light alcohol presence detected. Light spice flare, and floral hop.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium bodied with a nice creamy feel. Certainly drying and chewy. Well carbonated and not so bubbly light. Certainly a good drinker.

Overall: (4.0)
- Solid hoppy and tasty brew. Not at all sweet like many others, but more dry, and drinkable. Certainly is one to try, and one I would buy again for sure.

 913 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Black with three fingers of tan head that lasts about 15 minutes leaving lots of lacing behind. Flashlight shined from the backside reveal a ruby red color. Smell is brown bread crusts and herbal hops. Taste begins with the dark roasted malt character which is almost sweet then the herbal hop bitterness chimes in and never lets up. Mouthfeel is light to medium with perfect carbonation. Long bittersweet dry finish. Overall a fine beer from a style I have rated but don't typically swoon over. If you like really dark ales and want big flavor give this a try. This brewery does a fine job with all the beers I have tried from them.

 633 characters

Photo of hannaho
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of suncrust
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured to a pint glass.

A- Dark cola brown with a beautifully thick, two finger, lightly toasted marshmallow head. Sticky lacing that continued to coat the glass as I drank. Alluring head retention and a very aesthetically pleasing beer. At times I felt I could almost eat this with a spoon.

S- Mildy present floral and piney hops. Some dark chocolate buried in there with smoked apple woodiness. Aromas are there and seemingly complex, just muted a bit.

T- Light piney hops hits the tip of the tongue, followed by a quick swarm of dark brown sugar and chocolate that isn't overly dominant on the palette. Bitterness shines back through in the finish with a little grapefruit and cocoa left in the back of the throat. As it warms, light chicory root, a touch of caramel, and smoked apple. Interesting complexity.

MF- Medium carbonation and good balance. Great hop bitterness, a bit chewy, a touch creamy, and a residue reminiscent of a banana.

O- This beer has complexity and none of the flavors are overwhelmingly powerful- which is nice. Each sip opens the palate to more characteristics and leaves your tongue searching to break apart the beer's intricacy. Really easy to drink and enjoyable hop profile. Tasty.

 1,231 characters

Photo of Hopmodium
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Buckeyeboy provided this at a recent tasting... Thanks Jeremy... this one was waaay off my radar. Pours a pretty standard dark brown... decent looking tan head drops pretty quickly leaving some spotty lace.

Nose shows more piney hops than anything else.. good hops with some background roast and slight coffee notes.

Flavor mirrors the nose but a little bit more roasty elements emerge... some slight sweetness brings the hops and the malts forward... the finish drops pretty quickly... not quite hoppy enough to meet my expectations...

Good.. but not really multidimensional as I would hope for. A bit of a one trick pony.


Thanks Jeremy... appreciated.

 675 characters

Photo of tjcamm
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of OregonGrown7
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GeorgeAKeim
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of danwho
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of mrunseen
3/5  rDev -22.9%

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Bad Santa from Pelican Pub & Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.