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Pickled Santa - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Pickled SantaPickled Santa

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

77 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 77
Hads: 121
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 15.81%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 121
Photo of Heischman
3.13/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer/Brewery - Pickled Santa/Ridgeway Brewing
City/State- South Stoke, United Kingdom (England)
STYLE –Winter Warmer
ABV – 6%
IBU – 60
DATE – 14 DEC 2011
SERVING TYPE – 1 Pint 9 oz bottle
GLASSWARE – Imperail Pint Glass
APPEARANCE – The color of honey with lots of big bubbles and a thin snow white head nice lacing
AROMA- Barley and light floral hops, touch of fruitiness as well
TASTE – Green Apple and grain with a hint of orange
MOUTHFEEL – Very light and over carbanated
CONCLUSION – It is a good brew to try but nothing exta special.
-JH- (565 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
2.95/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Light copper with thin white head and not much lacing.

Smell: Spicy, floral English hops, some light dry malt backing.

Taste: Biscuit and dry caramel malts with a lot of spicy and floral notes on top. Maybe some of that is from the spices but mostly seems like English hops. Fairly medicinal.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, very dry but oddly tingly finish.

Overall: Seems more like an English Ale gone somewhat awry, as opposed to being spiced. Still drinkable, but nothing special. (577 characters)

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
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. (631 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Coit Liquors about three weeks ago, and now it's going to be consumed. On to the beer:

Cough syrup orange in color with hues going into yellow. The head on top is solid, developing a little bit of gentle lace that sticks. The nose is distinctly English, or at least the soft, buttery, somewhat sweet yeast that arises from the beer.

Although the bottle says that it is a winter warmer style, the taste is telling me a different story. Don't worry, this is still a likable flavor. Buttersctoch, a little diacetyl and husk, also a subtle flavor of esters and vague spice. The package as a whole gets better and better tasting as the beer moves closer towards the bottom of the glass. The carbonation is low in this beer, the texture being soft and medium bodied. While I like the overall package, I would need to be in the mood for something like this, and I would take my time drinking it.

Pickled Santa isn't just for the winter time; it's well into the spring season and all is good around here. I'm already dreaming of a helping of Spotted Dick as I finish my pint. (1,092 characters)

Photo of depechemode1983
3.47/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy orange honey in color with an off white head. Little retention on this one. No lacing on the glass at all. Nice color though. The nose is a little sour and spicy. There is a little bit of nutmeg and cinnamon with some sweet carmel/maple notes, along with an apricot and green apple sourness. Taste is a bit light. There is a little sourness that is balanced out with some sweet caramel and nutmeg. There is a bit of spiciness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good but not great. Very smooth, however I would have liked to see a bit more carbonation. Its minimal. It would have worked well with the spiciness to give it a cleaner finish. Its an average beer. The nose was the best part. However the taste is bland. At 5.99 a bottle I wouldn't buy it again. Worth a try though. If you see it. (806 characters)

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (466 characters)

Photo of IchabodcraneIpa
1.56/5  rDev -52.6%
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. (875 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (528 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is strong of spices. Taste also has considerable spice, nutmeg and cardamon standing out, a touch of hop bitterness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a very good brew. (292 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (524 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.37/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (608 characters)

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. (946 characters)

Photo of imaguitargod
1.34/5  rDev -59.3%
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 (380 characters)

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. (923 characters)

Photo of cudmud
3.26/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (785 characters)

Photo of pzrhsau
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (497 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
3.84/5  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. (288 characters)

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. (960 characters)

Photo of Anaz
3.83/5  rDev +16.4%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.65/5  rDev -19.5%
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. (366 characters)

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. (661 characters)

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. (1,681 characters)

Photo of beer2day
3.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (853 characters)

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