Santa's Butt
Ridgeway Brewing

Santa's ButtSanta's Butt
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English Porter
Ranked #288
Ranked #46,686
3.42 | pDev: 14.33%
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
Santa's ButtSanta's Butt
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Reviews: 287 | Ratings: 493 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
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.

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Photo of Premo88
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

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Premo88 from Texas, Dec 23, 2018
Photo of Suds
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.

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Suds from Missouri, Dec 19, 2018
Photo of jettjon
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.

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jettjon from Florida, Dec 18, 2018
Photo of matjack85
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.

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matjack85 from Illinois, Apr 17, 2018
Photo of superspak
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.

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superspak from Michigan, Feb 24, 2018
Photo of ordybill
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.

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ordybill from Georgia, Jan 30, 2018
Photo of iheartmyTHO
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.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
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!

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
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.

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woodychandler from Pennsylvania, Jul 29, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
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.

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Photo of jwhancher
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.

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jwhancher from Pennsylvania, Jan 07, 2017
Photo of sjdevel
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.

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sjdevel from Colorado, May 27, 2016
Photo of Sexmortus
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.

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Sexmortus from Arizona, Mar 30, 2016
Photo of Chico1985
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.

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Chico1985 from Massachusetts, Dec 16, 2015
Photo of KensWorld
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

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KensWorld from Florida, Oct 19, 2015
Photo of pat61
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

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pat61 from Minnesota, Jul 22, 2015
Photo of deltatauhobbit
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.

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Photo of mooseisloose
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!!

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Photo of Snodman
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.

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Snodman from West Virginia, Feb 15, 2015
Photo of hophugger
2.89/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown and lets a little light through along the edges. Head is fizzy and leaves quickly, leaving decent lacing. Aroma is very light but malty. Taste is really light, really too light to be called a porter IMO. Flavors are there, just subdued and slightly watery. Mouthfeel is decent but does not have that thickness and mouth coat of a porter.

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hophugger from Virginia, Jan 28, 2015
Photo of scaliasux
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

L - Medium dark brown. Clear. Short, soapy, just off-white head.
S - Roasted malts. Coffee, caramel, chocolate.
T - Lighter than expected. Somewhat watery roasted malts. Mostly chocolate and coffee; bread.

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scaliasux from Wisconsin, Dec 30, 2014
Photo of Chris_Burton
3.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Body isn't quite jet black; more of a mahogany brown with hints of Ruby red when held to the light. Head is small and thin that quickly fades. This beer doesn't really smell of much, which is a shame because there's plenty of flavour! The predominant flavour is chocolate, with roasted caramel and hints of espresso. Mouthfeel is perhaps a little syrupy for my tastes, but not excessively so. Despite the use of oats there's no astringency at all, which is good for me as I don't enjoy particularly sharp flavours in my stouts or porters. There's a nice hop presence to provide balance and bitterness but without any overt hop flavours. As one would expect from the style the malts take centre stage.

All in all, a very decent porter. Exactly what I was expecting, no more, no less.

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Chris_Burton from United Kingdom (England), Dec 28, 2014
Photo of scotorum
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 25 oz. bottle into a Tree House tulip.

a: Translucent dark copper with a finger plus thick slightly offwhite head which receded to thin surface foam and patchy lacing. 3.75
s; Caramel malt. 3.75

t; Caramel malt under some black coffee and slight notes of dark fruit. mostly dry finish. 3.5

m: Light to medium, ok body, some carbonation tingle. 3.5

o: A mild tasting porter, easy drinking, certainly much better than one might imagine Santa's Butt. 3.5

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scotorum from Massachusetts, Dec 25, 2014
Santa's Butt from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 493 ratings