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Pickled Santa - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Pickled SantaPickled Santa

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

115 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 18.54%
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear light copper in color and poured with a finger high beige head that quickly died down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of caramel and spices in the nose.
T: The malty, sweet and spicy flavors in the taste have a strong resemblance to those in gingerbread cookies. A slight amount of sweetness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer definitely tastes interesting but there's no way I could have more than one of these in a night.

metter98, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

rhoadsrage, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of imaguitargod
1.3/5  rDev -60.5%
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

imaguitargod, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of dismal
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

dismal, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of cudmud
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color is dull copper, with a thick rocy head of one finger that is long lasting. The head produces medium lacing.

Smell: The aroma starts with a hint of malt and finishes with a combination of spices that I can't identify. There might be hints of ginger and nutmeg. It kind of reminds me of apple cider doughnuts. The label says spices, so I was expecting more spices in the nose.

Taste: Nice malt falvors and very light in the hop department. The bitter atributes appear to be due to the spices. Again, the spices are faint, and I was expecting more exotic falvors.

Mouthfeel: Thin with a nice level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Sometimes the spices overpower this style of beer. That's not the case with this one; I think they need to add more spice.

cudmud, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

pzrhsau, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.85/5  rDev +17%
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.

JayS2629, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of glid02
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

glid02, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of Anaz
3.85/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at The Kitchen in Boulder, CO.

A-nice rusty brown color, faint head that quickly dissapates, almost no lacing.

S-Smells really bright, some citrus, even a bit of juniper and white pepper. Wasn't sure if I liked it, but didn't not like it either.

T- Tastes very different than it smells. The closest I could come to describing it was rye toast with orange marmalade, fresh ginger and fresh cracked black pepper on top. It finishes dry with a slight sweetness and bready spice.

M-Not a lot of body, a very light and crisp beer.

D-I found this to be very easy to drink, and had two. It was nice after a long shift, and a pleasant break from the usual.

Anaz, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of htomsirveaux
2.63/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

htomsirveaux, May 11, 2010
Photo of mountdew1
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

mountdew1, May 10, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of beer2day
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle indicates this is made by Beer Counter, LTD. They are in Oxfordshire, same as Ridgeway, so might be an off-shoot. Also indicates the beer is specifically made for the US market.

Pours a deep honey gold with frothy 2-finger head. Crystal clear. Retains the head pretty well.

Nose is strong with honey. A little yeast and toffee round things out. About what to expect from a winter warmer.

Very disappointing flavor and body. A little spiciness is there, but really not much else. I'm getting a buttery rum kind of flavor. Faint hop bitters in the finish. Oh, well.

Body is too thin for the style. Not terrible, but definitely want more feel here.

One and done. The flavor profile just really drags this one down. If WW is a big style for you, worth trying. With most of these beers, though, the price point just doesn't match the taste.

beer2day, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

DesMoinesMike, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of ImusBeer
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

ImusBeer, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of wangbruins
3.85/5  rDev +17%
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

wangbruins, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.23/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at bevMo for about $4.99 (a guess) in December 2009; tasted in January 2010.

Pours a moderate caramel amber, clear as a bell, with little to no head, but there is a steady stream (really, more of a trickle) of internal carbonation rising up to form a thin cover of bubbles.

Aroma is very faint, a little grassy organics and a hint of spiciness. Gets better when tasted- the caramel, nutmeg and clove and almost banana flavors appear in the malt-dominated brew. Almost heading to being too sweet, but fortunately it stops before it gets there. No hop bitterness to speak of.

Overall a drinakble beer, not bad, but not anything to get excited about either.

Dukeofearl, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of rtratzlaff
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour is a clear golden amber body with what looks to be ample carbonation. Filtered clear which is odd since the label claims bottle conditioned, but there was not a bit of yeast in my bottle. A white two finger heads looks pretty awesome in the glass.

The first thing that hits me is actually hops. Perhaps I served it a bit cold, but the aroma seems a bit muted in the spice department.

The flavor is sweet malts up front followed by some cinnamon and coriander. There is a banana ester thing happening pretty strong in this brew. It reminds me somewhat of Well's Banana Bread. As this warms, the spices do pull through quite a bit more. I think they may have used too much nutmeg. In fact, it may be the nutmeg that I first smelled rather than the hops. Ok, near the end of this glass the spices are wearing on me. The best taste was mid pint

I am digging the mouthfeel. Medium full, slightly creamy.

Definitely would not want another one, but one was okay.

rtratzlaff, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of dstc
2.73/5  rDev -17%
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.

dstc, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
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!

FeDUBBELFIST, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Offa
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Offa, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours bright golden amber with a frothy white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of light toast/caramel with a mix of spicing, especially coriander and nutmeg (some cinnamon?). A hint of sour mixes in. Borders spice overload, and too odd, but interesting...

The taste is sweet and sour with a heavy hand of spicing that blends in an almost clashing way.
Spicy dryness in the finish.

Mild to medium carbonation and pretty smooth medium body.

A "gimmicky" brew that borders overly spiced with a blandish backing. Odd. Didn't "dislike" but certainly didn't "thrill" me either.

jwc215, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a weak, watery orange, despite the labels claim that it is a ruddy chestnut color. The clarity was bright with a high visibility while the capping was frothy, short lived and light beige in color leaving a respectable thick, clumpy lacing around the rim. Visible carbonation was rapid, with a dense showering of macro-bubbles rising at a rapid rate.

S: The nose was sweet with hints of dried caramel grains, semi-dry oranges and a light helping of cinnamon sprinkled applesauce. A medium sense of strength gives you a good dose and appreciation. There was a light scent of freshly buttered croissant as well.

T: The flavor had a fruity sweetness of dried caramel grains, and cinnamon sprinkled applesauce similar to the nose. A fruitiness of melons, coriander and nutmeg also are well noted as well a light fresh biscuity nature. There is a flowery bitterness with a touch of sweet, dried maple syrup as well. The finish finds a combination of orange grinds, apples, pears and a dry spicing of nutmeg. After the swallow there is a light alcohol warming that ensures.

M: The mouthful had a nice medium-full syrupy thickness. Soft on the tongue carbonation wise with a light dry spicing coats the tongue.

D: average. A sweet exams drink with a soft complimentary spicing but not one I would want to drink in multiples. The label claims this can be drunk either chilled or at ambient temperature depending on your palate. I chose the latter like a good English ale should be consumed to bring out the warmth of holiday spicings.

beerthulhu, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of Vancer
2.78/5  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.

Vancer, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev +14%
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.

Halcyondays, Dec 17, 2009
Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.