Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Santa's Butt - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Santa's ButtSanta's Butt

Educational use only; do not reuse.

271 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 271
Hads: 438
Avg: 3.4
pDev: 18.53%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ybnorml on 11-25-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 271 | Hads: 438
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although the name might be slightly off-putting to some men, Santa's Butt enjoyed at cellar temperature delivers a thoroughly rewarding and drinkable pint!

It's opaque black body barely lets any light through, and only the occasional glimmer of ruby through the body, or its cusp of dark mahogany along the rim of the glass can be seen. The creamy, dark tan head holds well; but it leaves little more than tiny spots of lace about the pint.

The nose is clean and, surprisingly, restrained; yet it's combination of delicate malty roastiness and soft, berry-like yeasty fruitiness is quite charming.

It's oh-so smooth across the palate with a medium body and an exceptionally fine-bubbled and moderate, natural carbonation from bottle-conditioning.

The flavor is perfectly balanced with caramelish and subtly toffee-ish malt notes upfront; a yeasty fruitiness developing across the middle; and some lighter chocolate notes that appear towards the swallow. It's alcohol is never apparent; and it's low-key bitterness never does more than play a supporting role from backstage. It finishes drying with some fruit-drenched, subtly roasty, and milk-chocolatey malt that slowly erodes in the aftertaste.

For lovers of English style ales, this one is not to be missed! It's brilliant in it's delivery of rich and satisfying character... meaning that unlike many American ales, it sweeps you off of your feet rather than clocking you in the back of the head! It's a delicate and supple beer in so many ways - and that's a huge part of its charm. Brilliant!

 1,566 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent chestnut with ruby tinges & 2+ fingers of tan head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Some iron & bit of cocoa, plus coffee

T: Chocolate & iron up front. As this warms, dryness comes through, more chocolate & slight fruityness. Finishes dry with a bit cocoa & brown sugar

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks easy, just not very interesting, more malt please

 415 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch black tone at first with ruby highlights when held toward the light. Aroma is upfront with dark fruits and roasted malts a bit of chocolate coffee and mild cherry nice. Flavor has dark roasted malt flavor blended with a bit of Christmas spunk including dark fruits and other variables into the mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied solid medium bodied even carbonation. Drinkability is solid all around solid drinking Christmas ale I look forward to more of.

 468 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Impressive three-finger head that leaves some light lace on the glass. Dark brown, but light does shine through.

Light cocoa aromas; very mild

First impression is the relatively thin body--almost like a dark lager. The flavor is relatively light as well--some semi-sweet chocolate, light hop for balance.

Overall, this is an innocent beer that doesn't do anything wrong. No flaws but nothing unusual either.

 411 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a full ebon countenance, with some ruby highlights peeking through the edges, with a smallish, grey/brown head.
Aroma: sweet and creamy, lightly spicy, roasty, very mellow and groovy, not as bitter as some porters, and in this case, that's a plus.
Taste: hard to get a handle on this one. For a "holiday porter", nothing really sticks out as far as flavor. Minor dark fruits, small coffee notes, a hint of chocolate, ....medium bodied, light finish, leaves the palate easily and cleanly. Lingers just a little. An easy drinker, but the flavor makes no real impression. It's really not clear what makes this more a "winter porter" than any other kind...
Useful for the punning name and amusing label, for sure, but it's yet another too-expensive English ale that can't hold a candle to porters brewed here in the U.S.A. Good enough beer, but $5 a bottle good? Afraid not.

 885 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cola-like color with ruby highlights. A thin head soon fizzles to a patch.

Some charcoal smokiness is detectable in the aroma, but otherwise not much else other than a slight alcohol tinge. Thin, but non-offensive. Very soft aroma.

The taste is of mild, dark-roasted grains - sweet with a subtle smokiness. A touch of smoked wood. Balancing hops in finish gives it a bittersweet character. Very mild.

Thins in the feel to low end of medium. Some fizzy carbonation noticeable.

Not a bad drink - Hovers around an average English porter. Nothing much wintry about it. Funny label and name. Worth having only to have. Inoffensive, but rather dull.

 663 characters

Photo of Mora2000
2.31/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours dark brown with a very small head. The aroma is very, very faint with some malty sweetness. The flavor is just simply not very good. I get a strong medicinal flavor and no real roasted malts or anything else you would expect in a porter. Not sure if something is amiss in this beer or if it is just not very good, but I barely finished a 4 oz sample. Low to medium carbonation and medium body.

 399 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color, with a short 1" head that quickly fell to a surface foam. Spotty lacing forms on the glass. The aroma is of mellow chocolate and weak coffee. The flavor is of roasted malt, watered down coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and prunes. Also sports a buttery tone with some light bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a dry finish. Nicely drinkable. Didn't put me in a christmas mood, but enjoyable.

 425 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an opaque, deep brown, almost black color; it is topped by a thin pale brown colored head that fades to a creamy ring after a bit of time. The aroma is a mix of buttery diacetyl, toffee, butterscotch and a hint of roast and roast acidity.

The taste is lightly sweet, and actually a tad tart, almost like a plum. There is a light roast character that is a mix of coffee, and toasted malt notes. There is a definite fruitiness here as well, with the aforementioned plum as well as some notes of grapes and perhaps some notes of burnt raisins. I am not quite sure about this beer, is it off, if it is it is only lightly so. It could just be an idiosyncratic English yeast strain. The beer is a bit thinner than I would like, a bit more body would accentuate and balance the coffee and chocolate notes a bit better.

 820 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to make this short and sweet, so on to the beer:

Solid all-around porter with a taste of molasses and a touch-up of dark cocoa. It's worth a look if you're into porters, though at its $4.99 pricetag I can't see myself putting that money down again on this with so many better beers out there.

 303 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vine St Pub had this on tap, so pour it up!
Well, not very impressed with this one. Sure, it's a solid beer, nothing bad about it, but it wasn't an eye-opener or something worth the price. Looks great! Dark ruby brown, nice fluffy, semi-dense head.
Aroma was lacking and weak. Again, nothing bad, just not sure about it. I detected some cocoa and roasted malt. maybe some nuttiness. No hops whatsoever.

Flavors were pedestrian; some coffee, some cocoa. For an EP I expected some bite, hops..something. Then again, the category on here could be wrong. Either way, it's average. Which makes it easy to drink.

 608 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle, 6% alc./vol.

A: Pours a dark, clear brown, with an average off-white/slightly tan head, good retention, limited lacing.

S: Light caramel malt predominately and chocolate.

T: Very malty, light caramel and treacle, molasses and brown sugar at the end, very sweet and sugary.

M: A little to light for this style, watery, medium-bodied.

D: A nice porter beer, but nothing really special about it to make me buy it for $4.99, try it if you can find it on the cheap after the Christmas season like I did.

 519 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is almost jet black, with chestnut brown highlights around the edges, and only the slimmest ring of bubbling around the edge of the glass. Aromas are mild, with a solid coffee tone throughout. Some lighter malt and hops scents come off on the nose, also. Flavors are dry and crisp, which is a great representation of the style. Good blending of dry roasted coffee and mild chocolate malts, with a smooth character and light, smooth body. The aftertaste is rich and slightly roasted, with a dry feel to it. Slow, dry finish, leaving a good linger of flavors behind. Good brew.

 626 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.69/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a small tan head.

Smell is malty and quite fragrant. Lots of fruity aroma along with the malt and patent malt. Bit of brown sugar and chocolate and molasses.

Taste starts out sweet and malty with a lot of fruity English Ale yeast esters. Chocolate and molasses buttery Diacetyl flavors, butter might annoy some.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice drinkable ale and better than I expected from my experience with "Lump Of Coal." Good beer go buy some.

 481 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.56/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little off-white creamy head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is big on malts, lots of toffee/caramel. The tasty is slightly sweet, malty, toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but would most likely not seek again.

 308 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'm not going to lie. I purchased this exclusively for the name and for the picture on the label. I guess that's what they're betting on. 500ml bottle purchased from BevMo in Menlo Park, CA.

Pours a pleasant ruby-brown colour, with a lightness to the body and good clarity. Head is a disappointing film of off-white, not really creating itself to begin with, and then fizzling out to a minor ring. Carbonation is fine. Some streaks of lacing. It's ok, without looking magnificent.

Nose is sweet and toasty, with a slightly nutty, slightly buttery character coming through above a solid, standard grainy English malt character. It's really quite sweet and quite potent—even if it's something of a one-character aroma, it at least has conviction on its side.

Taste is light, but pleasant. Again, toasty grain notes drive it forward, with a smoothness in the flavour, if not in the feel. Mild watery coffee tones, a suggestion of red cherry, and a rather dry finish, again with some weak roasted tones. It's pleasant enough, but the strength on the nose isn't really present here.

Feel is a little weak and watery: if it were fuller I think it would really help the beer.

Overall, this is decent stuff. It's not really exciting, but there's a little interest there, and it's structured in very much the way it should be. In the end, there's a little class hiding behind the gimmicky label, at least.

 1,403 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Kendall Pub in Yorkville, IL and they had plenty of Ridgeway Brewing bottles for sample. I tried the Santa's Butt Porter. The beer poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle with a deep amber color that you can still see through. There was a small slightly off-white head. Smell is of peat, roast and malt. Taste is mild, with roast and peat tones. The mouthfeel is actually light in body with decent carbonation. Overall this is a fairly decent beer.

 457 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Brown/mahogany color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Roasted malt and coffee nose. Flavor has moderate sweetness, biscuity. Slight bitter aftertaste. $5.20 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

 296 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark red brown, thin tan head and little lacing. Aroma of faint dark malt and dark fruit. Taste follows with light malt and dark fruits. A modest dark ale, light body, mild corn aftertaste. These Ridgeway beers have a nice presentation and generally taste good, but have really muted and bland flavor levels.

 380 characters

Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts, some notes of chocolate. Taste is mild, some malts and chocolate, finishing slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent beer.

 286 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark crimson red, clear, with a rather disappointing soapy laced head that was dirty beige in color and not even strong enough to muster an initial covering. Needless to say no lacing was evident and visible carbonation was hard to determine. A nice deep coloring saved this from an average or subaverage display.

S: soft, with caramel, raisins and ripe fruit with light underlying coffee notes. Nothing really stood out here and overall I felt fell short of making an impression.

T: The flavor faired much better with a clean fresh coffee taste with a touch of caramel sweetness, ripe fruit (raisins, dates), black cherries, and a light smoked woodiness. An earthy bitterness with a dried fruitiness lingers on the finish. After a disappointing aroma, the flavor made amends. While not as hearty as its American counterpart, this was fit by English standards with a nice coffee display upon warming and warrant of a good rating per style.

M: smooth, with a light carbonation and was very easy off the tongue. Viscosity was medium.

D: Overall a light-moderate drinking English porter, with a nice coffee display when drank at the proper temperature.

 1,169 characters

Photo of Derek
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Ruby-brown-black with a tan head; very little retention, no lace.

S: Coffee, roasted nut & grainy bread.

T: Licorice, coffee, roasted nut, smoke, pumpernickel rye bread, great fruityness, balanced bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body, carbonation on the low side of moderate.

D: A good drinker.

 302 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on December 3, 2011. The pour is dark chestnut-amber with no head but good clarity. Lots of sweet roasted malts in the aroma along with sugar and a nip of laid back hops. The bodu is in the medium range and also rather smooth and creamy.It definitely espouses a pleasant bitter flavor but it really reminds me of most sweet British ESB's which always seem to have this soft water characteristic and lots of approachable flavor.

 435 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with brownish/red hues around the edges when held up to a light with a thin light tan head. The aroma is dominated by a dark roasted maltiness with a touch of chocolate. The taste is rich and extremely balanced. There is a really nice roasted malt flavor like in the nose even if it is subdued. A little thin in the taste, but still very drinkable. Overall, this beer is definately a better than average porter but not worth the $5.45 I paid for the bottle.

 482 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, clear brown color with a red hue. Poured a 3 finger rocky tan head that settled to a thick cap. Laced in thick webs.

S: Roasted nutty malt. Hints of coffee, chocolate and licorice. Earthy hop bitterness.

T: Coffee and chocolate. Some fruity flavors in the middle. Wet wood and nutty malt in the lightly bitter finish.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Smooth and rich. Malt characters linger in the finish.

D: Flavorful, smooth and rich. Not as much character as I hoped for.

 486 characters

Santa's Butt from Ridgeway Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.