Pickled Santa - Ridgeway Brewing
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Ratings: 112 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
3.85/5 rDev +16.7%
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.
07-29-2010 21:29:32 | More by Anaz
2.63/5 rDev -20.3%
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.
05-11-2010 03:49:26 | More by htomsirveaux
3.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
05-10-2010 22:48:04 | More by mountdew1
3.53/5 rDev +7%
"Dyslexic demonologists often end up selling their soul to Santa."
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.
02-08-2010 14:01:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.28/5 rDev -0.6%
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.
02-02-2010 02:35:06 | More by beer2day
3.78/5 rDev +14.5%
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.
01-28-2010 03:53:14 | More by DesMoinesMike
3.58/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
01-20-2010 03:29:44 | More by ImusBeer
3.85/5 rDev +16.7%
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
01-17-2010 02:45:13 | More by wangbruins
3.23/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
01-17-2010 01:28:33 | More by Dukeofearl
3.48/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
01-12-2010 22:02:23 | More by rtratzlaff
2.73/5 rDev -17.3%
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.
01-06-2010 14:54:41 | More by dstc
3.7/5 rDev +12.1%
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!
01-03-2010 15:30:15 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
3.7/5 rDev +12.1%
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.
12-31-2009 06:46:20 | More by Offa
3.2/5 rDev -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.
12-30-2009 14:41:37 | More by jwc215
3.4/5 rDev +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.
12-28-2009 23:29:30 | More by beerthulhu
2.78/5 rDev -15.8%
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.
12-20-2009 19:26:22 | More by Vancer
3.75/5 rDev +13.6%
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.
12-17-2009 01:54:49 | More by Halcyondays
3.48/5 rDev +5.5%
Nice, lasting near-white head. Good Belgian lace on the glass. Dark gold-light amber color. Clear.
Malty aroma with a mild ginger (?) kick.
Round malt flavor with a dry (slightly harsh) hop finish. Thinner than I would expect (with a higher carbonation level). There's a small amount of alcohol warmth in the swallow. I'd describe the flavor as lightly oaky. Not very spicy for a Winter Warmer.
12-12-2009 01:16:06 | More by smcolw
2.25/5 rDev -31.8%
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.
12-05-2009 00:21:22 | More by budgood1
3.03/5 rDev -8.2%
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.
12-01-2009 20:41:04 | More by SaCkErZ9
3.85/5 rDev +16.7%
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...
11-19-2009 04:00:01 | More by russpowell
3.53/5 rDev +7%
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.
08-16-2009 21:27:52 | More by Wasatch
3.9/5 rDev +18.2%
Pickled Santa pours a mostly clear deep-amber body with gold and orange highlights beneath a creamy cap of white that settles steadily to a short, cottony surface covering. Lacing is average.
The aroma expresses dark skinned fruit, very gently caramelish malt, and dull spice (cinnamon, and perhaps anise).
The flavor is far more pronounced than the nose suggests, and it's decidedly spicy from the get-go through to the lingering finish (I don't think it's really over-done though). It starts with a dollop of round, sweet malt that's wrapped in yeasty fruitiness (some cherry) and sprinkled with spice (thin but brittle coriander and supple cinnamon). The fruitiness peaks across the middle, but then it's right back to the spice at the swallow as the malt starts to fade and the spices are left behind. A firm, underlying bitterness balances it, and it's just enough as the spices do their part to help out as well. As the spices fade I get notes of all-spice and nutmeg, and even cola (although that is probably just from the spices combined with whatever residual caramel-tinged malt is there).
Final swigs: a pretty decent spiced ale that's not over-done. It's certainly enjoyable through one serving, but as is the case with most spiced ales, I don't think it can hold up through a second - maybe - but certainly not a third. However, it may have its moments. I think it would pair well with a festive meal. Certainly worth trying.
08-16-2009 01:07:15 | More by NeroFiddled
2.65/5 rDev -19.7%
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.
04-09-2009 01:25:35 | More by jbphoto88
2.85/5 rDev -13.6%
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.
02-14-2009 01:10:58 | More by latercol
Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.