1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pickled Santa - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Pickled SantaPickled Santa

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

111 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 18.48%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 11-04-2008)
View: Beers (26) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light caramel malts with moderate amounts of earthy hops and a good amount of indistinct medium fruit flavors.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Good amounts of caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of green apple and pear flavors. Midway through the sip earthy hop flavors work their way into things and carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side but with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass without any problems however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this has the potential to be a good beer but the fruit flavors seem out of place and the rest of the flavors are lacking a crispness needed for the style. Not worth seeking out but not worth turning down either.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2010 00:36:02 | More by glid02
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pickled Santa has a thin-to-medium cream-colored head and a clear, copper appearance, with some lacing and streaming bubbles. The faint aroma does display some indistinguishable spice smells and bread. Taste is straight ahead hoppy and some malt, as well a spice of some sort. The mouthfeel is watery (really akin to lager more than ale), and Pickled Santa finishes crisp, clean, and easy drinking. As I drank it down, my opinion went from average up to good.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 12:58:13 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger foamy white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some caramel and spice. The taste is malty, spicy, slightly sweet, and a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a mild Winter Warmer English Style, tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 21:27:52 | More by Wasatch
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Dyslexic demonologists often end up selling their soul to Santa."

--Anonymous

The label claims that Pickled Santa is a ruddy chestnut color, but it's actually bright orange with amber highlights. The two finger crown has a bubbly surface and is sticky enough to grace the glass with plenty of attractive lace.

This winter warmer smells like a very lightly spiced amber ale with a hint of butter caramel. In fact, the 'whole spices' are so subtle that no reasonable guesses can be made regarding specifics. The label says cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg. The Shelton Brothers website says allspice, coriander and nutmeg.

Taste mirrors nose. This is better than average beer, but it isn't special in any way, shape or form. It's also quintessentially English in the way that most Ridgeway beer tends to be. Actually, the spices are becoming slightly more bold as Santa loses his starting chill.

Malt is 100% Maris Otter and hops are 100% Goldings. The flavor rundown includes butter toffee, apricots, bitter tea leaves and a pinch of cinnamon. That's the most aggressive of the added spices, so it makes sense that the others remain in the background. All things considered, I'm glad the spice load isn't higher.

The mouthfeel works. It's medium in a general sense and carbonation is on the shy side. It's almost cask-like in that regard, which is always a neat trick in bottled beer.

Ridgeway Brewing brews some excellent beer (IPA) and some lousy beer (Seriously Bad Elf). Pickled Santa is somewhere between those two extremes. It's definitely worth a look for anyone who likes English-style winter warmers. That said, I won't be selling my soul to Santa for another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 14:01:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a clear but slightly dense bright copper body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and an off-white head that is porous with lots of big bubbles.
S- The dry almost salty spiced pale malt has a slight toasted malt note underneath. There is a dry cider aroma that finishes with a buttery quality.
T- The pale malt flavor has a faint toasted note and some dried apple flavors to follow. There is a corn flavor to the bitter finish and a soft caramel quality that lingers. When this beer is pretty warm there is a hint of stale cinnamon in the malt.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and a soft fizz note with no alcohol heat in the finish.
D- This beer starts of very bitter in the finish and it is more spice that hop bitterness, but it opens up more flavors come through and the bitterness subsides. There were some ok flavors but nothing really exciting it was just sort of bland.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 20:41:27 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ImusBeer
ImusBeer

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a yellow amber with an off white head move than two fingers died to light covering quickly, beer was clear.

Smell of coriandor spice and cinnamon. Taste mimiced the aromas and no bitterness to speak of.

The mouth was light and spicy but not in a heavy way. A nice Christmasy beer not too high grav and enjoyable without being over the top.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 03:29:44 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of mountdew1
mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Colod was a dark amber, almost an orange brown. A multi finger cream white made up of medium sized bubbles lasted for a few minutes. It receded leaving a thin head with a bit of side cling. Small streams of bubbles rose from the bottom. Aroma was slightly sweet with a small amount of spice. Over time, a molasses flavor arose. Nothing else was overly present. Taste was tangy, melted to vanilla, ended up with some pepper spicyness. Overall, not as developed as a winter warmer can be. Coated well in the mouth, was perhaps a bit over carbonated tingly. Easy and pleasant to drink, but not the best winter warmer I have had.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 22:48:04 | More by mountdew1
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear honey color with a thin off-white head that fades rapidly to a nice coating that does last till the final few sips.

Sweet and spicy nose, smells kinda like ginger beer soda. Extremely unique nose and it is easy to tell where they came up with the 'pickled' nomenclature. Loads of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.

Could almost pass for a pumpkin ale, as it has a heavily spiced flavor as well. Thin bodied, low carbonation and slightly sweet. Has a spice laden bitter finish. Malts are pretty neutral and there are a bit of hops, but if you don't like spices in your beer, this one aint for you.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 06:13:51 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of dismal
dismal

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly dark orange with a nice big white head. Within a minute or two the head is reduced to almost nothing though still leaves decent lacing down the side of the glass. The first thing I got from the smell was hops, not in your face like an IPA but it was very upfront. The hops were kind of earthy smelling. The other main aromas were fruits and malt. There are hints of spices but nothing really sticks out a lot. The taste is slightly bitter and ends with a mild sweetness. Spices in the background but not as apparent as I was hoping for. Also had sort of an English ale type smell and taste to it that I've noticed in some other beers from England. The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied. A bit lower ABV makes it drinkable. Pretty good tasting, not as spiced up as I was hoping for a Christmas beer but it's definitely isn't bad. Next holiday season I will be thinking about picking another one up.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 21:04:32 | More by dismal
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a rich, malty, yeasty aroma with an undertone of spice and sweet hints. Pours a clear coppery-amber with a white head that does not stick around. Flavor is yeasty and malty with a hint of spice and just a touch of hops. Texture is tingly and lively so it dances on the tongue and on the way down.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 01:28:36 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. A re-gift to me, the last of the re-gifting chain I suppose. ("I'LL put an end to this!") The bottle says 'English Xmas Ale...bottle conditioned...product of UK.' The batch number is F11 244. Not sure what to expect here with this goofy (and not exactly intuitive) name and label design...

A: A 1 finger, frothy, off-white head sits atop a clear, sparkling medium orange-brown body. Ruby lines the edge of my glass. I was pleased and surprised with the clarity of this bottle-conditioned brew.

S: The malts are closing in on heavy. Caramel, cookie and toffee - all toasted. The hops were light and not much to speak of other than they added a floral bouquet.

T: Spicey. And a pretty nice blend at that. I get allspice, nutmeg & chai. Other herbal tea character, some sweetness from honey, light brown sugar and maple syrup, and an appropriate oaky woodiness. A bit of warmth from the alcohol comes through as well.

M: The medium body was a bit thin and the carbonation was not soft but below average.

D: Well, my expectations were exceeded. This beer proved to be better than my 'judging a book by it's cover' notions and for that I am thankful. And thank you mom for the re-gift!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 15:30:15 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is pretty good overall and the spices, though not clearly evident, appear to be somewhat noticeable in a lightly herbal-spicey quality and a hint of what seems like aniseed.

Copper, it has a big, airy, off-white head quickly shrinking to a foamy ring.

Aroma is strong toast, barley, stewed fruit, hints of coriander and spices faintly reminiscent of some Belgian ales.

Taste is light herbal bitterness throughout and lingering in the aftertaste, with hint of aniseed; toasted crackers through but in the aftertaste especially; alcohol is faintly evident, especially in the finish and aftertaste; barley throughout; a light citrus quality, slightly astringent. It is a bit dry, with light sweetness and bitterness only.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 06:46:20 | More by Offa
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got as part of a beer of the month package. Copper/red in color with a thick foamy head and decent lace and bubbly. The smell was tremendous, EXTREMELY spicy scent with a strong cinnamon. One of the best smelling beers I can remember.

Again, the cinnamon and spices really come through. I am impressed with the quality. I would only drink one or two of these, but it seems to be high quality.

Definitely worth a taste, but don't know about a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 02:35:16 | More by Amalak
Photo of tvv375ia
tvv375ia

Iowa

3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 500ml bottle into imperial pint glass

A-poured a burnt orange/apricot color with about 2 finger head that faded quickly without any lacing

S-a lot of malt and some apricot fruit then some carmel and spice

T-carmel malt, nutmeg with some fruitiness

M-ok carbonation a fairly light body

O-not bad probably not worth the price but I would take one if it was offered

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 02:09:54 | More by tvv375ia
Photo of pzrhsau
pzrhsau

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: A rich golden color with bright orangish notes. A slight head with a little dissipation.
S: Sour fruit aroma with hints of cinnamon stick and other holiday spices.
T: Controlled balance of tartness and a very strong malt flavor. The finish almost has an oatiness to it which really brings out the flavor from the cinnamon.
D/M: Crisp and bubbly feel on the tongue. Much lighter than I expected from a Christmas beer. Decent for a holiday beer but not the weight I was expecting. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 03:17:59 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of JoeAmerican77
JoeAmerican77

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a fading top re to yellow bottom with thick bubble off white ahead, two fingers atop...

Smells of orange cinnamon, some sour yeast and light hops

Caramel and brown sugar some spicy pepper and pumpkin behind the sweetness. The sweetness seems to be carried by something similar to belgian candy

Medium body with a sticky ending and some warmth from the alcohol even though it is only six percent

Overall I had no big expectations for an english ale. I like big bang flavors and England usually delivers on the smoother side. However this took me by huge surprise as a fantastic bold palate. Spicy refreshing and sweet.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 02:27:34 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of astidad
astidad

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

12-20-2012 03:24:14 | More by astidad
Photo of JohnK17
JohnK17

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

03-15-2012 03:58:48 | More by JohnK17
Photo of mitchellaneous
mitchellaneous

New York

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

03-16-2012 02:24:14 | More by mitchellaneous
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

01-07-2013 06:06:34 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood,

A: Pours amber with a finger of white head, good lace and head retention.

S: Some cinnamon, allspice, English malt, but mild, pleasant, not mind-blowing in any way.

T: Upfront on the first taste it is a typical English bitter. Enjoyable off-sweet Maris Otter malt with a light hopping. At the finish the spices dramatically show up adding a lot of complexity - allspice, nutmeg and some bitter cinnamon.

M: Not as robust as I would have liked, smooth, easy drinking in the end.

D: A real nice winter warmer here from Ridgeway. I have been disappointed from a couple of their winter beers in the past, but this one was very well done, and one I have to revisit if the bottles make it over here.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2009 01:54:49 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of DesMoinesMike
DesMoinesMike

Iowa

3.78/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This seems a bit lite for a winter warmer. It's a light brown with a finger of white foam and a medium amount of carbonation. The aroma has some notable amount of spice, like cinnamon/nutmeg mixing in with the malts. For taste it had the spices but there was a bit of a hoppy twang. It was an ok beer but seemed to lack the body of a WW.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 03:53:14 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent honey color with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Biscuitty malt & grassy hops

T: Biscuitty malt dryness & a very dare I say west coast hop slant, grapefruit & lemony hops all over the the throat & tongue. maybe a whisper of spices too. Made for the Shelton Bros, this may explain a few things... As this warms, I pick up a bit more of the spice profile, especially coriander, but grapefruit & dryness dominate, along with a a faint bit of orchard fruit. Finishes fruitty & hoppy with faint dryness

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & nice balance

Drinks pretty darn easy, abv is well hidden. I would pick this up again, pretty tasty, not a typical winter warmer, but interesting enough

Scanning all prior reviews, I am the only one picking up on the grapefruit, not sure what that means...

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 04:00:01 | More by russpowell
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Light rusty orange with thin white head and little lacing.

S- Spices; ginger and nutmeg, hint of clove. Hints of toffee and dark fruit; plums?

T- Sweet,clean, hints of ginger and spice.

M- Clean, slightly watery with a dry sweet finish.

D- Very easy to drink. Good Christmas beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 22:05:41 | More by JayS2629
Photo of wangbruins
wangbruins

Florida

3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light copper/caramel color with a decently thick head that stayed until I started drinking

S- Cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, and other spices with a kind of a cookie scent that seems fitting

T- Strong cookie taste with a little cinnamon but it has a nutty aftertaste

M- Bold at first and crisp at the finish. It's almost like a dessert or pumpkin beer

D- Since it's only going to be around for a bit, I've got to get more. It's pretty darn good

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 02:45:13 | More by wangbruins
Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.