Bad Santa | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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Bad SantaBad Santa
Very Good
131 Ratings
Bad SantaBad Santa

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
17.0degree Plato
Alcohol: 6.7% by volume
Bitterness: 65 IBU
Color: 60 SRM

Added by ccrida on 01-03-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 50
Photo of Jsalz21
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 1971bernat
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$ 8.56 (Including shipping)/22 oz bottle ($ 0.389/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA.
Bottle sweat removed the date from the base – stored at 40 degrees in my garage and served at 45 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – Light aroma of roasted malt balanced by hop spiciness. It does fade over time.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.3 cm, aggressive pour), light tan, low density froth, good retention, diminishing to an irregular ring and a heaped rocky complete layer. Head retraction leaves a thick wide ring of lacing.
Lacing – Excellent.
Body – Stream while pouring is dark brown and clear – in the glass it’s very dark brown and opaque.
Flavor – Starts slightly sweet with a bit of malt followed by some peppery hop spiciness, well balanced. No alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression: The appearance, aroma, and palate are all pleasing, as is the flavor. A very pleasant black ale with an excellent price point.
Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4.25.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a high sided tulip.

Look is an extremely dark brown with amber cola highlights and an off white head.

Aroma is roasted malt and an herbal citrus hop note at the end.

I like this kinda Cascadian Dark Ale/ American Black Ale/ Black IPA. Definitely stands out as its own style and not just trying to be an IPA with dark malt, by nuancing the roasted malt.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bad Santa pours a clean and clear black with lovely hazelnut highlights. The slightly tanned foam rests comfortably on top, receding to a frothy ring and leaving large spots of islands on the glass.

An initial spicy and spruce pine scent is greeted with a roasted grain and heavily toasted bread.

Earthy and rustic hops, spice, and roasted grains again show off what they can do. Like a Christmas spiced and and heavily hopped root beer really dialing down the sweetness.

A tingly spice starts off the feel followed by a crisp bitterness. A roasty finish comes shortly after the starved for attention sweetness.

Honestly, this is a wonderful CDA. My go-to was previously the now defunct Sublimely Self-righteous, and this almost happily would replace it. I'd like to see a little more roast, really in your face like, but nonetheless a wonderful hoppy winter option. Cheers!

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Photo of _Adam_
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pianoguy
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle No bottling info

Side note; I must admit that I have always been a little leery of this beer. Brewed from October through December (according to the brewer). I see it at my grocery store (WinCo) all year long.... Huh? What gives? Is it old stock? Brewed year round? Who knows ?! And with no bottling info I'm not about to plunk down my hard earned money on something called Santa in august ! But this November they had a holiday display set up and I dug down behind the display (Sorry WinCo) and opened a case box to get this six pack. I figure it's fresh! . As I look at some of the reviews that address poor carbonation... I think you got an old one.

Pours a solid black/brown body with a large foamy tan head. Good lacing and retention.

I'm getting the hops out front with a bit of malt in the background. It's the standard IPA scent, although the malt scent gets somewhat stronger as it warms. Overall scent is noticeable but not quite prominent.

Taste brings out a little more malt but it's definitely an IPA taste. Hop forward.

Nice smooth feel with just the right amount of carbonation.

Value(doesn't effect overall score) At $8.29 a sixer it's a decent value.

Overall it's not bad for what it is. if you like the "Black IPA" beer. (Hoppy, yet black in color) you will enjoy this beer. If you are looking for a winter warmer seasonal ale type of beer, keep looking ! This aint it.

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Photo of TrueOregonian
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jeffreed61
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an undated 12oz bottle at about 60 degrees. Big, roasty aroma with maybe some pine underneath. Creamy feel for a black IPA. Malt is very roasty; there's really no sweetness at all. It's earthy, hoppy and bitter.

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Photo of BeerAndFilm
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vladdswrath
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown with scarce but perpetual bubbles rising through the glass into a small but well-textured beige head. Aroma is tough to get, but it's sweet, biscuits, chocolate, and barely perceptible peppermint. Taste is much richer than the smell. Dark chocolate, strong coffee and heavy hopping. In other words, bitter, bitter, bitter. Still, it's not one-note bitter so I think it works. Mouthfeel is watery and warm which again, works with the brew.

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Photo of ncherf
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Skrumpy
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep, dark brown ale with a foamy, tan head. Streak lacing. Aroma is very faint. Toasted malt, dark chocolate, and spice. The flavor however is quite nice. Spice, cocoa, and toasted malt blended well with a slight hops bitterness that lingers. A very fine beer, smooth and flavorful.

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Photo of Shmizzen
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Asics
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of constantine_272
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown to black with a tan foam that flared up nicely but fizzled quickly to a thin ring. Dark molasses, brown sugar, cocoa and cold brew coffee on the nose with hints of white oak. Tasty. Extra dark chocolate with almost no milk fat. More bitter coffee. Just a touch of steel and mineral aftertaste with more cocoa powder. Dry and powdery on the finish. It's a big black hop bomb. Tasty, but a huge hoppy dry beer.

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Photo of rarigney
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bottle:

Pours dark mahogany with a thick tan head. Foamy lacing sticks.

The smell is mild - some lightly roasted chocolate. Fuggles hops impart a light earthy, slightly herbal aroma.

The taste is of sweet chocolate, a hint of roasted nuts and a balancing herbal, leafy bitterness. Very slight alcohol warmth shows.

It has a creamy medium body. Smooth.

A sweet and slightly roasty malt character balanced by earthy/herbal hops. A nice brew overall.

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Photo of fizzician
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasty, easy drinking winter ale. Not hugely memorable, but would order again.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

Pours a wonderful two fingers of head into my Willi Becher glass. The head is light brown, cappuccino in color. Extremely fluffy, pillowy, and creamy looking. It looks fantastic. The body is black, with some small hues of brown when held up to the light. Head retention so far is unbelievable. It’s been at least three minutes and the head has not gone down one single bit. Well over 7 minutes now, and I’ve only lost about half a finger.

Nose is sweet, chocolatey, biscuity, not too sweet though. Definitely picking up some kind of spice underneath here, very unique. Can’t put my finger on it though, brown sugar, cinnamon, peppermint?! I don’t know, it smells festive, perhaps just a very spicy hop, though, that would be a stretch. The more and more I smell this, the more it smells like chocolate peppermint. It smells very very good, and not overly sweet at all, but a CDA is generally synonymous for black IPA, and this is not much of a black IPA on the nose, especially for 65 IBU’s. You definitely get a small bit of earthy/spicy hops coming through, but it’s 100% in the back, and largely dwarfed by the other aromas. Really a fantastic smell though, regardless.

Hmm, flavor is very interesting. A tad watery, with light hops mixed in nicely from beginning to end. Finishes very strong, with a ridiculously creamy taste, light chocolate and vanilla flavors mixing together perfectly. The flavor is good, but pretty simple, and does not hit super hard, somewhat watery. I hope it gets more interesting as it warms, for now, it’s a good taste.

The mouthfeel is ok. It is definitely a tad watery, but it’s not the end of the world, it probably aids the drinkability in a beer that is already very dangerous at 7.5% The carbonation is about medium, fits perfectly. The beer is creamy, but it really comes across more in the flavor than the mouthfeel. Overall this mouth feel is far less than perfect, but it’ll do.

The drinkability is very very high, I get no booze kick here at all, and it’s a very creamy tasting beer. While more bitterness may be desired, the smooth bitterness profile makes for an easy drinker.

The appearance stayed fantastic. Great lacing from top to bottom. The head hung around for a very long time, but it eventually mostly dissipated, which is the only reason it’s not a 5.

What I would classify as a “heavier” malt character, eventually started to come through as this beer warmed. Perhaps some dark fruits as well. As it really warmed, I got some herbal hop notes, very nice. Still, not enough to really improve this beer past “good” which it still remains, good. Overall it’s a solid beer, but just lacking in the big punching flavor and complexity I’m looking for.

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Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark and serious brew with a hoppy edge. Pours very dark brown with abundant foam in the Bitburger Pils glass. Outstanding creamy mouthfeel with the fine-grained carbonation lasts to the end of the glass. Light toasty aroma.

Pleasant notes of cocoa in the malt flavors. Just a touch of sweetness and honey. Very dark roasted malt flavors with a touch of charred grain. This grows on you after a glassful. More drinkable and less bitter than many of these black IPAs. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at the Mount Vernon Co-op market..

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Photo of casapy
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of devilmakesthree
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of stevoj
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice opaque black with abundant fluffy beige head. Mellow roast grain aroma, some sharp hop bitterness in the taste to accent the dark malts, but finishes fast and kind of weak.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Bad Santa from Pelican Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 131 ratings