Pickled Santa - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Pickled SantaPickled Santa

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

120 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 120
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 18.18%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 120 | Reviews: 76
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
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!

Photo of Offa
3.72/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of jwc215
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev +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.

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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.71/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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.

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.

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev +15.5%
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...

Photo of Wasatch
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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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.

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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of madtowndmb1
3.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this as a sale on leftover Christmas beers

It poured a plain golden color. Not a whole lot here.

It smelled skunky at first then opened up into a spicy smelling beer

Tasted alot like a Pumpkin ale! Really, it did. If it was marketed as that I'd be happy with it.

I'd buy this again if it was sold as a Pumpkin ale. There are better Christmas ale's out there for sure, but if you missed a few Pumpkins in the fall, go buy this!

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.11/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

17oz bottle picked up at the Coop over the holidays.. sharing it with the bro.. my half into my New Belgium snifter...

2" head.. pillowy and leaving behind a ton of lace.. the brew is a glowing tangerine... pretty.

the nose is spicy.. sorta like a Belgian or German hefe yeast was used.. but more likely xmas spices are present.. clove and subtle orange peel.

Flavor is toasted malts mainly with spices throughout.. nutmeg is also present on the palate.. body is medium with quite a bit of carbonation.. not bad by any means.. it just seems waaay to average and the spices are probably a bit much.

overall.. I am not down with this one... I wanted to elaborate more.. but the brother is bitching and saying get off the complectron..

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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of Amalak
3.79/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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.

Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of 4 half-pint bottles in the Shelton Brothers Holiday Ales pack, from World Market in San Jose (a Christmas present to myself - $19.99 for 4 bottles), 6% alc. Label as pictured above.
Pours a clear copper color, nice white head of large bubbles, settles quickly, stringy lace. Mild aroma of 'seasonal spices', some corriander, and some malt sweetness. Slightly toasted malt, some hops, not alot of other spices that I could find.
The spices, malt and hops are all balanced, but not really complex. Slightly disappointing, I think I was expecting more.

Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Slight spicy nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is light cinnamon and nutmeg, a not overpowering decent Christmas ale. Brewed for Shelton Brothers Importers for exclusive distribution in the U.S. $6.40 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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.

Photo of scoobybrew
4.1/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - clear deep copper color with a nice head that settles into a chunky lacing

S - seasonal spices out front with a hint of malt sweetness

T - rich malt with a touch of toasted character and prominent, but not overpowering, and of course there some hops in there as well; finishes slightly sweet

M - medium body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a nicely done Christmas/seasonal beer. The spices, malt and hops are all within balance and noticeable. It's complex, but not complicated.

Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.