Santa's Butt
Ridgeway Brewing

Santa's ButtSanta's Butt
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Porter - English
Ranked #286
Ranked #48,362
3.42 | pDev: 14.33%
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
Santa's ButtSanta's Butt
View: Beers
Reviews: 290 | Ratings: 498 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cola reddish-brown, almost darkly opaque but actually clear when held up to light, with a tall khaki head settling to a thin but creamy tan blanket that retains well.

Pleasantly mild and chocolatey with a tobacco roast, Santa's Butt actually has a light semi-bitter woody tang, and also a bit of sweet yet toasted brown malt.

It at times reminds me of Samuel Smith's Chocolate or Oatmeal stouts, but for a bit of herbal spice that I can't quite put my finger on. It's an almost gingerbread character, but very faint.

Jan 03, 2021
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a dark brown color with a one finger head of tan colored foam. The head fades fast, leaving just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is rather strong of a brown bread and caramel aroma. Along with these smells comes a little bit of a toasted and roasted malt smell as well as a decent bit of molasses. Along with these smells comes a bit of nut and a touch of cocoa.
Taste – The taste begins with a toasted and roasted malt flavor mixed with a decent showing of some sweeter molasses. Along with these tastes comes a bit of cocoa and a bit of nut. The nuttiness gets stronger as the taste advances, with a bit more molasses and some more toast and a bit of roasted oat coming to the tongue, one is left with a toasty and roasted, lightly sweetened but more malty taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the moderate side. For the style the feel is good and makes for a nice roasty sipper.
Overall – A decent roasty porter. Nothing out of the ordinary, but fun to try none the less.

Dec 31, 2020
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

3.92/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I found this beer quite enjoyable and festive. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Clear dark brown color with good beige head and good lacing. Sweet spicy smell and taste. Rye spice and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. A bit thin feel but overall this is a nice warming beer for the season.

Dec 14, 2020
Photo of spectru
spectru from Florida

3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12/11/2020 Dark (It's a porter), light tan head, big at first, recedes, but not too fast to a nice film, lacy; Not much aroma; Mild slightly chocolatey flavor; Mild carbonation, not unlike some other porters and stouts; Not too bad if only it had better carbonation.

Dec 11, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L- Under this halogen light it's a very dark cola colour, with a glint of ruby flashing through when held near the lamp. Clear (filtered), pours with thin off-white head. - A partial surface covering + lacing remain 5mins later.
S- Some notes of roasted grain.
T- Roasted grains, some coffee notes, initially it seemed thin but the 6% ABV comes through just before the first swallow, accompanied by some punchy and rising coffee taste. This rather unusual ebb and flow of the taste repeats on the next few swigs.
F- Similar ebb and flow on the feel. From 'thin for 6.0% and light on Feel', to pretty punchy when the ABV% and dryer coffee amps up.
O- I haven't read the lable yet (I will once I'm done drafting and rating this), and I wonder if it'll give any clues; plus might it have some added coffee? FWIW I don't read other reviews here until I've concluded by own findings. Overall I'm not quite convinced, IMO there appears to be something potentially a bit synthetic about this.
500ml lable. Wholefoods London W8, £3.49 BB: 03/08/2021.

ps. Reading the bottle now...
'Brewed in England for the USA' - curious.
Explains that 'Butt' refers to an English barrel, and not what Americans might assume - Hohoho, sheesh!
Ingredients says simply 'Contains barley and oats'; so no way of knowing what's in it, not reassuring IME.

Dec 05, 2019
Photo of Premo88
Premo88 from Texas

3.44/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

16.9 oz. bottle poured into snifter
(F20 261 printed on label)

L: clear dark brown with some purple in it; weakish head of offwhite foam about 1/4-inch thick that dissipates quickly; no sticking or lacing

S: fruitcake, plums, dates, fig ... all very light aromas

T: fruitcake, toasted fruitcake, molasses ... like the nose, the flavors are not intense but relatively subtle; something earthy in it, a bit of English hops giving it some complexity; as it warms, a bread-malt flavor starts tasting like; the earthy bitterness almost gets medicinal or peaty at times, especially with a big swallow ... that almost-peatiness is the beer's most porter-like note — everything else is from the English pale ale/strong ale family

F: lightweight, plenty of carbonation ... arguably weak but it works fine for me

O: much more of an English strong ale than a porter; the flavor and aroma notes don't crack 5-6 on an intensity scale of 0-10, and it's also overpriced compared to the brewery's Reindeer's Revolt or Lump of Coal, so it's sub 3.5 rating makes sense; I like it more than that, for it does deliver enough decent English bitter notes to call it a B-; it's worth trying once, not worth revisiting

Dec 23, 2018
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Starting a week of Christmas reviews, this brew is dark brown (almost black). The head is light brown and thin. The aroma is faint...slightly nutty, and has a somewhat modest roasted note. Light roast coffee. The taste is balanced. Some malt notes. Smooth, with low carbonation. Pleasant finish. This is not an aggressive beer, but it is satisfying.

Dec 19, 2018
Photo of jettjon
jettjon from Florida

3.31/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a bomber into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass, this one is a pitch brown color with no penetrating light. Vigorous pour yields no head at all, just a thin collar of tan-brown bubbles. Nose is decent, nice toasted malt and sweet sugary malt. In the mouth flavor follows nose with a toasted malt-forward flavor with nice roast character and a small bit of coffee, balanced against a perhaps too-sweet backbone. No alcohol presence. Somewhat one-note and unassuming, certainly a “sessionable” brew. Overall, a rather boring example of style. Would not try again.

Dec 18, 2018
Photo of matjack85
matjack85 from Illinois

3.04/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The Ridgeway Brewery people are having fun with a play on words by using the word "butt" here. A butt is an actual unit of beer equal to 108 imperial gallons, or roughly 3 barrels. That's a lot of beer. Santa's butt, as pictured on the label, is extra large as well. While not 108 gallons , this beer comes in a 500ml sized brown bottle and is made seasonally for the winter months.

The beer poured a dark yet clear brown color with some nice ruby red tinting to it when held up to the light. The head was a full 3 fingers high, khaki in color, and lasted about a minute before settling down to a thin rim. Not much lacing to speak of though.

The aroma was pleasant but weak. I was picking up some traces of caramel and malt along with some coffee, dark breads, and a touch of dry cocoa powder.

The taste had all the flavors that were in the nose but there just wasn't enough of them. This is a very weak porter. It had mild everything including a touch of mild hops, giving it a mild bitterness. There were no bad flavors but my problem with it was that it lacked much of ANY flavor.

Thin, almost watery mouthfeel with only moderate carbonation. No warming alcohol either despite having a 6.0% alcohol content. Usually it's a good thing when the alcohol is well hidden, but in the case when you're trying to make a warming winter brew, then you want to feel some alcohol going down like when you drink a good brandy. This beer doesn't have that.

Drinkable, but not the best porter I've ever had. Lacks character.

Apr 17, 2018
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/25/2017. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red/brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, toasted biscuit, raisin, and plum; with lighter notes of nuttiness, coffee, herbal, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aroma with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts and light earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. A bit too fruity/yeasty, but not overwhelming. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, and toasted biscuit; with lighter notes of nuttiness, coffee, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal/spicy hop and roast bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, coffee, light dark fruit/herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet balance; and zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from hop/roast bitterness. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 6%. Overall this is a delicious English porter. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mildly bitter/drying finish. Nicely rich porter malt complexity with mild earthy hop balance. Usually their beers I've had in the past were very yeasty, but this was a lot cleaner with no diacetyl at all. A very enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

Feb 24, 2018
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ML bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown with a small off white head. The aroma is malt and chocolate. The taste is very mild malt with some chocolate.

Jan 30, 2018
Photo of iheartmyTHO
iheartmyTHO from Georgia

3.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer more so for the novelty aspect. It's not even that good of a porter. The mouthfeel is too thin and a bit hoppy in the wrong kind of way for me.

Dec 25, 2017
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, it pours a dark brown with a modest head, soon diminishing to a thin layer. I get raisins and vanilla in the nose. The mouth gets the sweetish flavor, caramel and malts. Enjoyable!

2020 update: Not bad!

Nov 08, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass.
The appearance was a mostly black color with a finger's worth of white foamy head quickly sliding off and leaving a modest semi-speckled lace running here and there.
The aroma had a nice blend of dark fruit sweetness (plum/raisins) with a touch of fig and roasted malt. Some dark and milk chocolate and a fine blend of sweet coffee bean (somewhat espresso?, perhaps). Light earthiness and a little bit of anise spice and sweetness.
The flavor was mostly sweet through the prior mentioned aromas. Nice full and rich chocolate notes come in and touch down on a little bit of sweet cake-like character. Slight aftertaste of chocolate and dark fruits.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, seemed to sit just a touch under and having a wonderful sessionability about it. Carbonation felt a little under but I wasn't too bothered by this. ABV felt on par. Super nice smooth dark fruity sweet finish with some light stickiness, but not cloying.
Overall, as an English porter, it definitely works. I'd have again.

Nov 04, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am continuing my 2017 Christmas in July celebration, inspired by the good peeps at The FGBS who held Christmas in July on Tuesday. I had meant to drink these on Christmas day 2016, but I got rather blotto early on & set them aside as part of The Bottle Backlog at Chez Woody. Today, 28 July 2017, marks the 16th year of my Pops' passing & so I wanted to drink something a little cheerful to boost my spirits.

From the bottle: "One of our range of very special Christmas beers brewed in England for the USA. We all know of course, that Santa is really from Lapland!"; "This special holiday porter is made for winter - rich and warming , the way they like it at the North Pole. It was inspired by this famous line from a well-loved children's storybook: 'And Santa sat on his great butt, enjoying a hardy brew ...' In case you find that amusing, the brewer hastens to point out that in England, 'butt' refers to a certain sized barrel customarily used for beer - a very large barrel, in fact, holding 108 Imperial gallons. Back in the day it was quite a normal thing for a brewery to put its beer up in a large butt for storage. Still snickering, eh? Ge your mind out of the gutter, or Santa will be skipping your house entirely this year."

I could barely restrain my excitement upon Pop!ping the cap. The previous beer from this series was kind of lackluster, but I am always up for a Porter! They tend to be more flavorful & receptive to adjuncts than Stouts + I just wanted to taste Santa's Butt. 8=O My slow, gentle pour was followed by a vigorous, in-glass swirl which raised a finger of foamy, light-tan head with moderate retention, slowly falling back to wisps. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose smelled of black coffee, dark chocolate, raisins & vanilla + a light woodiness (was this bbl.-aged?). Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was more like chocolate pudding than anything else, but with raisins & washed down with black coffee. I am now inspired to try this at home. My, but this was tasty! Finish was semi-sweet with the chocolate flavor leading the way, but it was offset by the back coffee & raisin flavors to the point that I would not argue with semi-dry. Either way, this was quite nice & if it were cooler out, I might mull it in a double-boiler just to see what happens.

Jul 29, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with tan colored head. Toast, roast, nuts, and some light cocoa notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. A little thin for a porter, but not bad. Finishes with roast mostly.

Jan 12, 2017
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher from Pennsylvania

3.04/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown with rocking frothy head that lasted quite awhile. Carbonation is full on in my San Smith's pint glass with nucleation points.

Smells like a watered down American Porter. Notes of chocolate and roast but quite faint. Hops seem like some sort of classic English type. The bottle label says this beer was aged in barrels but I don't get any wood character.

Taste has caramel, chocolate, and some roast - all subdued by today's standards. Quite a lingering bitterness. Seems a. It thin, probably well attenuated. Some astringency is present which distracts. Alcohol warmth is okay.

Overall, an average beer probably bought for novelties around the Christmas holiday. This was a gift to me. Enjoyable but one inprobably wouldn'tever purchase for myself.

Jan 07, 2017
Photo of sjdevel
sjdevel from Utah

4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: 4
Pours a dark brown/nearly black. Decent 2 finger head after pour. Head retention is not great. Fades, but never totally goes flat.

Smell: 4
Caramel, coffee, fig, and a bit of chocolate. A bit fruity and smoky smelling.

Taste: 4.25
Nice malty / bready flavor up front. Strong caramel and roasted malt come through. This one tastes like a decent brown ale, but I’m not getting much of a Porter taste here. It does have a great British yeast tang and goes quickly from sweet at first sip to drying out and making room for the maltiness. There are some plum, coffee, and nut flavors throughout.

Feel: 3.75
Middle of the road / Medium bodied. I expected a fuller feel, but it feels a bit thin. The carbonation does fade out and leaves tiny foam ring, but hoped for more.

Overall: 4
This beer is not what I expected as it is listed as an English Porter. I was expecting a thicker, fuller, and chocolatier brew (more like a Baltic Porter). But even though I felt it was off the style mark, I still believe it was flavorful and an interesting brew. I would call it more of an English Brown Ale. I got this one on sale for about $2.50 and am thinking about going back and buying a couple more. Definitely can’t beat it for that price.

May 27, 2016
Photo of Sexmortus
Sexmortus from Arizona

4.04/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is appealing, very inviting. The smell is decent, nothing special but, nothing repulsive. The taste is great. Hoppy and sorta like your typical ale. Pretty smooth beer, I could chug it down.

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985 from Massachusetts

3.09/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ahh, Santa's Butt. Such an infamously corny seasonal beer that I've grown a soft spot for this ol butt over the years. Which could be said for most of the Ridegeway Christmas beers really, but something about the butt is special.

A - 500ml to a pint. Pour is dark brown and translucent, head is light beige and finger-height. A thin ring and a few lace bits remain by the end.

S - Faint with grains, cocoa, bread, and a slight roasted coffee tone.

T - Taste is also on the tame side, quite watery here actually, but overall a pretty pleasant flavor. Decent mesh of roasted and cocoa, oats and bread, with some earthy spicy flavors going on as well.

M - A bit thin with somewhat high carbonation for the style. The body isn't too bad for the ABV but the flavors are so muted. Literally tastes watered down.

O - If you're looking for a really, really light porter that's still 6%, try it out. It tastes pretty decent if you can get at it, kinda unique too with the earthy/spiciness, unfortunately it's all extremely muted for some reason. Good as a gag gift in more ways than just the label.

Dec 16, 2015
Photo of KensWorld
KensWorld from Florida

3.67/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2oz pour: Dark brown but light goes right through it, not good. Minimal head that fades fast. Not much smell as all some malt. The taste is very light, i mean a blind test would never guess it’s a English Porter. Apparently this is what the brewery was after so I can’t rate too low. It’s an average beer 3.50

Oct 19, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant light chestnut under a clingy 2”off-white foam collar S: Biscuit aromas with chocolate notes. T: A chocolate covered biscuit with a dose of nuts. F: very smooth, creamy, soft on the palate. O: This is a drinkable, mild malt driven porter that goes down easy

Jul 22, 2015
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit from Maine

3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a darkish brown color with little head, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a large roasted malt aroma, hints of toffee and coffee.

Taste starts out with a caramel malt flavor, dark roasted coffee-like bitterness, more bitter than I would have thought too, a slick presence on the tongue with a medium yet crisp carbonation, finishes semi-dry surprisingly, bit on the thin side for a porter though.

Apr 18, 2015
Photo of mooseisloose
mooseisloose from Florida

3.14/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Santa's Butt OMG let's give it whirl. Popping the top I get nice wafts of charred malts and earthy noble hops. On the pour this brew is barely translucent deep brown with a thin tan head that quickly disappears. On the taste the brew has hints of molasses right up front with a nice toasted malt, very English-like approaching a brown ale ever-so-much. A tad bit watery on the mouthfeel. A good drinker not so great a porter but what can you expect from Santa's Butt!!

Mar 29, 2015
Photo of Snodman
Snodman from West Virginia

2.42/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Appearance – Poured a dark mahogany semi-clear color with one finger of khaki tan head. Minimal lacing along the sides of the glass. Below average retention.

Smell - Sweetness, stale coffee smell or coffee that's been out a bit and gone cold, hint of molasses, and some toffee

Taste - not strong, mild, subtle coffee, "drinkability" as they say. not too bitter or sweet, kinda pale.

Mouthfeel –Not a lot going on. It came and went with little to no fanfare.

Overall- Nothing special about this beer. I probably even overrated it a bit. Won’t try it again on purpose.

Feb 15, 2015
Santa's Butt from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 498 ratings