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Pickled Santa - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Pickled SantaPickled Santa

Educational use only; do not reuse.

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 122
Avg: 3.3
pDev: 22.42%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 11-04-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 122
Photo of imaguitargod
1.34/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This was, by far, the strangest beer I'd ever had. It poured to a medium head and a copper color. Now this is where it got weird. Upon tasting it, there was a slight hop bitterness that hit my tongue and then nothing. I didn't taste any spices, any malt, any other hops. It actually felt like the beer disappeared in my mouth. Extremely disappointing and hallow.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of IchabodcraneIpa
1.56/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Served in a bottle

I picked this up during the Christmas season just to try one of the many seasonal types of beer that were available. Once I popped this open and took a smell of the beer inside it smelled a little strange to me. The smell reminded me more of a vinegar- esque flavor and once I took a sip my mouth was taken on a journey that I never want to recreate again. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't that bad of a beer, the flavor just was not something that I myself could truly enjoy. It started off tasting of spices like nutmeg, Dill, and possibly Ginger, but then took a complete 180 and to me it actually tasted like a pickle. The flavor then faded away to leave a strange dill like taste. For those looking for an interesting take on a beer I would suggest this particular brew but I just did not like the feel of the pickle taste in my mouth after awhile.

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Photo of AndrewMcLemore
1.82/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Let me say first, I think is a terrible beer. If you love Bubblelicious gum and shots that mix cherry and chocolate, you'll probably enjoy the Pickled Santa.

However, if you like real beer that doesn't taste like expired candy from the back of the corner store, you will not like this beer.

At first the Pickled Santa seems pleasing enough. It has a humorous label and the color is a nice golden brown with a decent retention and a fluffy, sensitive head.

But then there is the faint whiff of chemically-enhanced pink chewing gum of the kind that stales quickly within the plastic wrap of trading cards and one wonders where this beer went very, very wrong.

The taste continues the theme I've already latched onto. I searched my palette for the spiciness one assumes would exist in an English X-mas ale, but they mostly alluded me with the exception of way, WAY too much coriander, which I'm not altogether certain should be in a beer to begin with and certainly not this one.

I'd give the mouthfeel a decent score mostly on the benefit of the doubt. It's hard to be sure with so much false sweetness to contend with. Seriously, did they put Splenda in this thing?

Don't pay for this beer. Buy Bud Lite before you dole out your hard-earned money for this sugarless gum of a beer.

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Photo of budgood1
2.3/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours out of the half litre bottle a perfectly clear amber colour with an inch high snow white head backed up by some very active carbonation. nice wisps of lace. very clean vienna lager aroma of faint spices such as nutmeg and maybe some cinnamon...there even might be some green apple and bananas in there too. there is a quite a bit of dry spice in the flavour profile...so much i was taken aback a bit. liquid gingerbread comes to mind...molasses, nutmeg and cinnamon dominate...definitely overwhelming any maltiness present. a touch of hop bitterness in the end gets overwhelmed by the lingering spice notes. medium body at best with a strange, dry, almost chalky mouthfeel that i find off putting. drinkability suffers for me becasue i find this holiday brew neither enjoyable nor festive.

i must have gotten a fresh bottle because the spicing is overwhelming. this does not constitute a winter warmer for me but rather a herb/spiced beer...and a poor one at that.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.47/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out an orangish-amber color with good clarity but only a single finger of off-white head that fizzles out to nothing in less than 30 seconds, no lacing at all on the inside of the glass. Lighter side of medium body thickness and carbonation levels.

Smells mostly like nutmeg and werther's original candies, with lighter amounts of cinnamon and cardamom aromas floating around the edges of the biscuit / caramel malt aromas. Taste is VERY much buttery, so very buttery that it becomes a bit of an issue for my tastebuds unfortunately. If I concentrate really hard, I can try to ignore the buttery flavors and find the spicing from the nose in my mouth, but it just really doesn't work out for me in the end. Way too much diacetyl ruins it for me, I'm left with the gustatory impression of a stick of butter that has been rolled around in a crushed holiday spice blend. If only there were more malt relative to the butter content, this one could have been tolerable for me.

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Photo of goldbot
2.57/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear, medium copper with moderate active carbonation. Very thin, off-white head that dissipates almost instantly. Malty aroma with notes of caramel, bread, raisin and cherry. A slight earthiness hints at the addition of spices. Floral hops brighten the aroma up a bit. The flavor is a heavy, bready malt, on the bitter side and with medium body. No spice or hops notes that I detect. Really, it just plain doesn't taste that great.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
2.65/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500 mL bottle tried 29 Dec 2009.

Poured in a 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Large light khaki head. Medium carbonation. Clear orange brown color. Aroma is spicy, cinnamon, cherry tart. Starts somewhat watery. Cherryish and slightly spicy in the middle, nutmeg and cinnamon. Faint tartness and woody in the finish. Medium to light body.

Overall pretty meh, can't recommend.

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Photo of jbphoto88
2.66/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The color of a genetically spliced citrus fruit, perhaps tangelo or orangerine? The head is weak and collects on the sides of the glass. Nothing lackluster just a regular looking beer.

Smell is on the thin side. Almost like a small Christmas candle that's been lit in a room to big. Chalky, sweet cinnamon wafts up but it's dull and expired as is a powdered malt bill.

Taste is kind of the same. Musty nutmeg flavor that goes back and forth between an eggnog taste and too big a breath of someone's clove cigarette. There is a hint of lemony promise only to be veiled by mediocrity. Very thinned stuffy malts in an all around to weak a body.

Dry finish, kind of powdery. All and all not impressed. It's a dull beer that has a touch of goodness but it doesn't last. I have yet to find a decent winter warmer.

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Photo of dstc
2.76/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden orange color. Fairly big off-white head that falls to a minimal one. Thin lace.

Funky, musty, metallic smell. This may sound bad but reminds me of the smell of an ashtray.

Has a funky, musty taste to it as well. There are mild malts in there but it is not that great.

Thin in the mouth with very low carbonation.

Okay, I must admit I'm a bit disappointed. Not a great beer. The description on the side of the bottle sounds great but in my opinion does not accurately describe this beer.

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Photo of Vancer
2.79/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Correl Liquors, as a whim, while on a beer run. Luv the label.

Pours a clear amber with a good tan head bubbling up and leaving nice sheets of lace in my holiday Corsendonk tulip.

The label notes that cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg were used in this brew, but I'm hard pressed to find any in the aroma OR the quaff. Smells and tastes like any euro lager brew, corn and grain. Just the slightest hint of spice in the finish.

Well crap, spent $4 something for this pint o' brew, got it put to me on this one - and usually Ridgeway delivers a decent brew, albeit on the high dollar side with the import fees. Leave this one in the whim pile.

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Photo of latercol
2.84/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First off the name of this brew and the label puts me off. It is hard to take this beer seriously with a picture of santa stuffed into a jar... This was part of a gift pack and this one has been sitting a while in the back of my fridge. I guess I shouldn't complain being that it was a gift.

Poured it into an attractive tulip glass. It was a cloudy orangeish and somewhat fizzy looking. No head retention at all, looked rather flat after it was poured actually. The color is fine but the fizzyness and labeling is not attractive. That is why I give it a slightly below average ranking for appearance. The choice of glassware probably helped here.

smell is ok, some spices and sort of a hefeweizen scent.

Taste, Belgian yeast or Hefe Banana tastes mixed with spices. First sip was not great but halfway through the drink I got used to it. Better than a couple pumpkin ales I have sampled.

Mouth feel. light bodied but smooth.

Drinkablilty... I wouldn't recommend more than one. Overall not impressed, about what I expected.

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Photo of theopholis
2.85/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear, golden body; the color of old honey. The head is not impressive, and has no staying power.

Smell: Slightly sour with a lot of spices such as allspice, clove, and nutmeg.

Taste: Shall we say....quite Christmansy. Failry malty. Slightly Burtonized. A little overspiced,

Mouthfeel: Thin. Decent attempt at carbonation.

Overall: Average. Great smell, disappointing taste.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: 500 ml bottle. There is a cryptic batch code printed on the label but no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is hazy light rust/amber. The label says “ruddy chestnut” but I think chestnut is a little darker. A lousy pour yielded a lousy head (not the beer’s fault), but I got a half finger of white head which dissipated quickly to leave a very thin lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Caramel, warm chestnuts, nutmeg, honey, dark fruit (mostly plum and cherry), sweet fruit (like green apple), pale malts, toffee, and a little cinnamon spice. I do not get too much spice, but that is fine. Overall it is pretty sweet.

Taste: I really do not know where to start. My first sip was full of spice, but it faded quickly as my taste buds adjusted. The mouthfeel is much like soda, which is very off-putting and does not allow the flavors to truly emerge. However, the chestnut, nutmeg, and cherry do come through, and a little grassy hop spice makes a short appearance after the beer has warmed significantly.

Drinkability: I do not really feel this one. It is neither a winter warmer or spiced beer, but it is another experience.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy, amber/orange, small white head fades to nothing.

S - Fruity, sweet cinnamon apples, peaches, buttery caramel malt. Some sourness when it warms up a bit.

T - Sweet husk grain, ripe orchard apples and peaches, cherries, faint dry spices come out but grassy hops overshadow the Christmas spices. Hints of diacetyl. Finishes wet and with miner hints of grassy hops.

M - Medium body, low carbonation slowly drops off.

The flavors start off good but everything gets thin and the aftertaste is unsatisfying. Would drink again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of greybeardloon
2.97/5  rDev -10%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

no obvious date

A: Head disappears very quickly with no lace.

S: Mild spice and some fruitiness but not much else.

T: Prickly spices (cinnamon mostly) and some earthy and mildly bitter hops. The spices and the hops work together quite well, and the spice is not at all overwhelming.

M: Thin and bubbly.

O: Reasonably drinkable but pretty unexciting.

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Photo of kaseydad
2.97/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Second of a 4-pack mix for X-mas. Label is pretty cool looking and the name says it all. Started off with a finger and a half of foam after the pour....which quickly disappeared. Major malt kick with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon in the mix. Thought I wouldn't enjoy this but it's not too bad.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the flowers with some wheat, grain and grass notes. I also get a little bit of cinnamon in the aroma, which is unexpected. The flavor is a mix of cinnamon, biscuits and bread. Fairly basic and one dimensional, but not too offensive. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Better than I remember some of the other Ridgeway Christmas beers being.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): Aroma of diacetyl, butter, malt, and a hint of spice. Poured amber/orange in color with a medium-sized, creamy, dense, off-white head that diminished but lasted throughout as a film on top of the beer, as well as around the edges. Slightly hazy. Sparkling. A few small particles throughout. Flavor is lightly sweet. Tastes of malt, diacetyl, slight honey, light water, and some grain. Medium body. Slightly viscous, then slightly dry texture. Average carbonation. Diacetyl and malt finish.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a somewhat hazy copper color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cinnamon, bready malts, light caramel malts, and light spices.

t - Tastes of bready malts, light spices, light cinnamon and nutmeg. Kind of bland, not much going on here.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty bland, average winter warmer. Pretty good smell but the taste is just bready malts with a hint of cinnamon. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from a 16.9oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges dark golden and is topped by a frothy and foamy white head of about two fingers in size.

Aroma is close to a brown/amber-ish ale with no real spiciness detected. Quite beady and biscuity with a good dose of earthy hops.

A bit of holiday spice in the flavor, mostly a touch of bitter cinnamon. Not really festive if you ask me. More earthy hops with the Christmas flavor coming in the very back, at the very end, and is quite faint. Metallic tasting.

Perhaps the trip on Santas sleigh from Europe did some damage to the delicate spiciness that is supposed to be present. My contention is that this is just an average beer. Not very warming but fairly drinkable. As far as festive beers go, this one falls way down at the bottom of the list.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.04/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Stamped F13 269.

A: Head finally, begrudingly, forms to a respectable finger and a half. Incredibly clear and golden-coloured, with few bubbles. The nigh-perfect pellucidity unnerves me, but it's a respectable looking ale.

S: Mmm, lots of spices. This is what I expect winter warmers to smell like. A bit heavy-handed, perhaps, but with powerful allspice, clove, and nutmeg.

T: Blergh, not very good. It's sour, thin, and only mildly flavourful. Brackish spices with an unpleasantly sour fruitiness that ends in a sort of dryness you'd expect if you tried to eat a teaspoon of cinnamon. Overspiced, undersupported.

M: Thin, but not obnoxiously so. Decent attempt at carbonation.

O: Average. Great smell, disappointing taste. I would not recommend this beer, nor would I have it again. Still, if you want an obviously spiced winter warmer, you could do worse.

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Photo of dtivp
3.04/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear amber orange, if there was a head I missed it, no lacing.

Aroma of cinnamon spice, floral hops and light malt.

Taste of allspice, stale bread, floral hops and hints of sweet apples.

Mouth Feel was light body, little carbonation, thin, dry and a little tingly.

Overall an average beer with a nice aroma and a disappointing taste.

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Photo of colts9016
3.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degree.

Appearance: A medium amber with an orangish hue. The beer clarity is slightly hazy. There is effervescence in the beer. There also was a one finger head but now it only shows a thin white line.

Nose: A rush of spices hits the palate with a nice toasted malt character. There seems to be cinnamon, pears, coriander, and nutmeg. Hops are present in the beer giving a nice citrus with fruity esters. There is a ginger and buttery note.

Taste: The hops is what I picked up first then the cinnamon and coriander spice. There is a toasted malt character, citrus, ginger, and a buttery note. There are hints of other spices, pear, and fruity esters.

Overall: There is a astringent mouth feel and a wicked finish that lingers on the palate and gives an odd character. The body of the beer is medium. I was hoping for more from this beer but all this brewery has going on is it labels. I am disappointed. There is not a lot of balance in the beer. Every time I take a sip I either get a slightly maltiness, and then the next time I get a rather hoppy finish. I it wasn't very warming like a winter warmer suppose to be.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a clear amber/orange color with about an inch off-white head that stayed around for a little while. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice but light, it smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and some bready malt. It tastes like bready malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some apples. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's smooth and has low/moderate carbonation. I think it's an OK brew, but I probably wouldn't buy it again at $4.99 a bottle. Just seems average overall to me.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A finger of quickly fading head, leaving a moderate clinging lace. Color of this brew matches a 15 on the SRM beer color chart. A good drawn sniff detects, nutmeg, ginger, citrus, pumpkin, roasted barley, and dill. Tasting the brew I detect flavors of dill, nutmeg, celery, pumpkin, ginger, malt, and citrus. Semi full with some carbonation, but not quite there. Not bad, but not overly uncommon. I would have another if I saw it on tap, but not again in the bottle.

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Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.