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Santa's Butt | Ridgeway Brewing

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BA SCORE
3.4/5
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464 Ratings
Santa's ButtSanta's Butt
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
ridgewaybrewery.co.uk

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ybnorml on 11-25-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#42,385
Reviews:
279
Ratings:
464
pDev:
14.12%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
25
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 464 |  Reviews: 279
Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

 2,368 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wet tobacco leaf brown with dusky amber accents. The beer straddles the border between opaque and translucent when backlit with weak, late afternoon winter sunlight. The cap is the color of the inside of a malted milk ball and falls quickly and noisily, leaving almost no lace in the process.

The aroma is pleasant enough and consists of roasted malt, black coffee and a smidgen of hops (in that order). There isn't much chocolate, which I normally like in my porters, but it's a pretty good nose all the same.

The beer is lighter, in terms of both flavor and body, than expected. Still though, Santa's Butt is an enjoyable porter. It's a little lacking in the malt department, yet manages to be just sturdy enough to build good beer on. The flavor profile, although it contains the same elements as the nose, isn't quite as roasted malty and is only subtly coffee-like.

Warming brings about some degree of flavor degradation as well as allowing a sourness to creep into the picture. While the body/mouthfeel doesn't rise much above light, the beer is smooth and fluffysoft in the mouth. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel also loses a great deal of its charm once room temperature is in sight.

Santa's Butt is a better than decent, lighter-end-of-the-spectrum porter. It doesn't bowl me over with its magnificence, nor is it bursting with flavor, but it is a friendly, drinkable beer that I would consider buying again next holiday season if it wasn't for the $4.99 price tag.

 1,484 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.39/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got it from Mom for xmas as a novelty, but its been begging me to try it so here it goes. Poured a really dark black, which suprised me. No head at all, a nice lace was left, really carbonated, audible carbonation in ithe pour. Smell was very strong and robust, roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel, very sweet smelling I was actually really enjoying the aroma as it warmed. The feel was a bit thin and watery to me. Not as robust as the smell would have led me to believe. Their was a slight roasted caramel flavor to it, but it was rather uninspiring. A hoppy back came through towards the end, but barely. This came across as a really dark english brown to me as opposed to a porter. Overall I was not really blown away by it, though it could be sessionable I suppose. More of a novelty afterall.

 797 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Kendall Pub in Yorkville, IL and they had plenty of Ridgeway Brewing bottles for sample. I tried the Santa's Butt Porter. The beer poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle with a deep amber color that you can still see through. There was a small slightly off-white head. Smell is of peat, roast and malt. Taste is mild, with roast and peat tones. The mouthfeel is actually light in body with decent carbonation. Overall this is a fairly decent beer.

 457 characters

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

Appears a pitch black tone at first with ruby highlights when held toward the light. Aroma is upfront with dark fruits and roasted malts a bit of chocolate coffee and mild cherry nice. Flavor has dark roasted malt flavor blended with a bit of Christmas spunk including dark fruits and other variables into the mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied solid medium bodied even carbonation. Drinkability is solid all around solid drinking Christmas ale I look forward to more of.

 468 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

 1,043 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of malfunxion
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is almost jet black, with chestnut brown highlights around the edges, and only the slimmest ring of bubbling around the edge of the glass. Aromas are mild, with a solid coffee tone throughout. Some lighter malt and hops scents come off on the nose, also. Flavors are dry and crisp, which is a great representation of the style. Good blending of dry roasted coffee and mild chocolate malts, with a smooth character and light, smooth body. The aftertaste is rich and slightly roasted, with a dry feel to it. Slow, dry finish, leaving a good linger of flavors behind. Good brew.

 626 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cola-like color with ruby highlights. A thin head soon fizzles to a patch.

Some charcoal smokiness is detectable in the aroma, but otherwise not much else other than a slight alcohol tinge. Thin, but non-offensive. Very soft aroma.

The taste is of mild, dark-roasted grains - sweet with a subtle smokiness. A touch of smoked wood. Balancing hops in finish gives it a bittersweet character. Very mild.

Thins in the feel to low end of medium. Some fizzy carbonation noticeable.

Not a bad drink - Hovers around an average English porter. Nothing much wintry about it. Funny label and name. Worth having only to have. Inoffensive, but rather dull.

 663 characters

Photo of Lare453
2.75/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a full ebon countenance, with some ruby highlights peeking through the edges, with a smallish, grey/brown head.
Aroma: sweet and creamy, lightly spicy, roasty, very mellow and groovy, not as bitter as some porters, and in this case, that's a plus.
Taste: hard to get a handle on this one. For a "holiday porter", nothing really sticks out as far as flavor. Minor dark fruits, small coffee notes, a hint of chocolate, ....medium bodied, light finish, leaves the palate easily and cleanly. Lingers just a little. An easy drinker, but the flavor makes no real impression. It's really not clear what makes this more a "winter porter" than any other kind...
Useful for the punning name and amusing label, for sure, but it's yet another too-expensive English ale that can't hold a candle to porters brewed here in the U.S.A. Good enough beer, but $5 a bottle good? Afraid not.

 885 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark red brown, thin tan head and little lacing. Aroma of faint dark malt and dark fruit. Taste follows with light malt and dark fruits. A modest dark ale, light body, mild corn aftertaste. These Ridgeway beers have a nice presentation and generally taste good, but have really muted and bland flavor levels.

 380 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.56/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little off-white creamy head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is big on malts, lots of toffee/caramel. The tasty is slightly sweet, malty, toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but would most likely not seek again.

 308 characters

Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts, some notes of chocolate. Taste is mild, some malts and chocolate, finishing slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent beer.

 286 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color, with a short 1" head that quickly fell to a surface foam. Spotty lacing forms on the glass. The aroma is of mellow chocolate and weak coffee. The flavor is of roasted malt, watered down coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and prunes. Also sports a buttery tone with some light bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a dry finish. Nicely drinkable. Didn't put me in a christmas mood, but enjoyable.

 425 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vine St Pub had this on tap, so pour it up!
Well, not very impressed with this one. Sure, it's a solid beer, nothing bad about it, but it wasn't an eye-opener or something worth the price. Looks great! Dark ruby brown, nice fluffy, semi-dense head.
Aroma was lacking and weak. Again, nothing bad, just not sure about it. I detected some cocoa and roasted malt. maybe some nuttiness. No hops whatsoever.

Flavors were pedestrian; some coffee, some cocoa. For an EP I expected some bite, hops..something. Then again, the category on here could be wrong. Either way, it's average. Which makes it easy to drink.

 608 characters

Photo of AngusOg
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of bigred89
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to make this short and sweet, so on to the beer:

Solid all-around porter with a taste of molasses and a touch-up of dark cocoa. It's worth a look if you're into porters, though at its $4.99 pricetag I can't see myself putting that money down again on this with so many better beers out there.

 303 characters

Santa's Butt from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 464 ratings
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