Pickled Santa
Ridgeway Brewing

Pickled SantaPickled Santa
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Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #276
ABV:
6%
Score:
78
Ranked #45,921
Avg:
3.36 | pDev: 17.26%
Reviews:
80
Ratings:
128
From:
Ridgeway Brewing
 
England, United Kingdom
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  0
Gots
  3
SCORE
78
Okay
Pickled SantaPickled Santa
Notes: A copper colored ale. The base beer is simple but very traditionally English, being brewed with 100% Maris Otter variety malted barley and 100% whole Golding hops. A hint of the unusual side lies in the name because it is brewed with a selection of whole spices ...whole spices, not extracts. The latter include coriander and nutmeg.
View: Beers
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 128 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by madtowndmb1:
Photo of madtowndmb1
3.17/5  rDev -5.7%
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!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the flowers with some wheat, grain and grass notes. I also get a little bit of cinnamon in the aroma, which is unexpected. The flavor is a mix of cinnamon, biscuits and bread. Fairly basic and one dimensional, but not too offensive. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Better than I remember some of the other Ridgeway Christmas beers being.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Coit Liquors about three weeks ago, and now it's going to be consumed. On to the beer:

Cough syrup orange in color with hues going into yellow. The head on top is solid, developing a little bit of gentle lace that sticks. The nose is distinctly English, or at least the soft, buttery, somewhat sweet yeast that arises from the beer.

Although the bottle says that it is a winter warmer style, the taste is telling me a different story. Don't worry, this is still a likable flavor. Buttersctoch, a little diacetyl and husk, also a subtle flavor of esters and vague spice. The package as a whole gets better and better tasting as the beer moves closer towards the bottom of the glass. The carbonation is low in this beer, the texture being soft and medium bodied. While I like the overall package, I would need to be in the mood for something like this, and I would take my time drinking it.

Pickled Santa isn't just for the winter time; it's well into the spring season and all is good around here. I'm already dreaming of a helping of Spotted Dick as I finish my pint.

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Photo of jbphoto88
2.66/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

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Photo of glid02
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light caramel malts with moderate amounts of earthy hops and a good amount of indistinct medium fruit flavors.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Good amounts of caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of green apple and pear flavors. Midway through the sip earthy hop flavors work their way into things and carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side but with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass without any problems however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this has the potential to be a good beer but the fruit flavors seem out of place and the rest of the flavors are lacking a crispness needed for the style. Not worth seeking out but not worth turning down either.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of imaguitargod
1.34/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This was, by far, the strangest beer I'd ever had. It poured to a medium head and a copper color. Now this is where it got weird. Upon tasting it, there was a slight hop bitterness that hit my tongue and then nothing. I didn't taste any spices, any malt, any other hops. It actually felt like the beer disappeared in my mouth. Extremely disappointing and hallow.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of Offa
3.72/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of beer2day
3.32/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle indicates this is made by Beer Counter, LTD. They are in Oxfordshire, same as Ridgeway, so might be an off-shoot. Also indicates the beer is specifically made for the US market.

Pours a deep honey gold with frothy 2-finger head. Crystal clear. Retains the head pretty well.

Nose is strong with honey. A little yeast and toffee round things out. About what to expect from a winter warmer.

Very disappointing flavor and body. A little spiciness is there, but really not much else. I'm getting a buttery rum kind of flavor. Faint hop bitters in the finish. Oh, well.

Body is too thin for the style. Not terrible, but definitely want more feel here.

One and done. The flavor profile just really drags this one down. If WW is a big style for you, worth trying. With most of these beers, though, the price point just doesn't match the taste.

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Photo of astidad
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Portion of a 22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a bone colored head that has acceptable retention. The large head does reduce rather quickly.

A spicy and modestly malty aroma with hints of an ABV higher than the actual 6%. Plenty (perhaps too much) of spice in the long lasting aftertaste. Finish is slightly dry and mildly bitter.

O: not a great holiday brew, but drinkable, and with the cute label and name, capable of fostering holiday spirit.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This seems a bit lite for a winter warmer. It's a light brown with a finger of white foam and a medium amount of carbonation. The aroma has some notable amount of spice, like cinnamon/nutmeg mixing in with the malts. For taste it had the spices but there was a bit of a hoppy twang. It was an ok beer but seemed to lack the body of a WW.

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Photo of bsp77
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Light copper with thin white head and not much lacing.

Smell: Spicy, floral English hops, some light dry malt backing.

Taste: Biscuit and dry caramel malts with a lot of spicy and floral notes on top. Maybe some of that is from the spices but mostly seems like English hops. Fairly medicinal.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, very dry but oddly tingly finish.

Overall: Seems more like an English Ale gone somewhat awry, as opposed to being spiced. Still drinkable, but nothing special.

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Photo of tigg924
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear, gold in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is cinnamon, clove, and a touch of almond. Medium bodied, sweet with medium-high carbonation. Makes for a tasty English style winter warmer. Could have several of these on a chilly night.

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Photo of dtivp
3.04/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear amber orange, if there was a head I missed it, no lacing.

Aroma of cinnamon spice, floral hops and light malt.

Taste of allspice, stale bread, floral hops and hints of sweet apples.

Mouth Feel was light body, little carbonation, thin, dry and a little tingly.

Overall an average beer with a nice aroma and a disappointing taste.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

From the bottle marked F15-282. Sampled on January 16, 2014.

It has a copper-orange pour with decent clarity and a head that whisks away as quickly as it forms.

It smells distinctively English with the roasted caramel malts and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg along with a pear-like character.

Thin to medium body.

The taste is fairly sweet and caramel like but it is not anything I have not had before. Slightly bitter ending.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.52/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pickled Santa has a thin-to-medium cream-colored head and a clear, copper appearance, with some lacing and streaming bubbles. The faint aroma does display some indistinguishable spice smells and bread. Taste is straight ahead hoppy and some malt, as well a spice of some sort. The mouthfeel is watery (really akin to lager more than ale), and Pickled Santa finishes crisp, clean, and easy drinking. As I drank it down, my opinion went from average up to good.

RJT

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Photo of AndrewMcLemore
1.82/5  rDev -45.8%
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.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy, amber/orange, small white head fades to nothing.

S - Fruity, sweet cinnamon apples, peaches, buttery caramel malt. Some sourness when it warms up a bit.

T - Sweet husk grain, ripe orchard apples and peaches, cherries, faint dry spices come out but grassy hops overshadow the Christmas spices. Hints of diacetyl. Finishes wet and with miner hints of grassy hops.

M - Medium body, low carbonation slowly drops off.

The flavors start off good but everything gets thin and the aftertaste is unsatisfying. Would drink again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of kaseydad
2.97/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of dismal
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly dark orange with a nice big white head. Within a minute or two the head is reduced to almost nothing though still leaves decent lacing down the side of the glass. The first thing I got from the smell was hops, not in your face like an IPA but it was very upfront. The hops were kind of earthy smelling. The other main aromas were fruits and malt. There are hints of spices but nothing really sticks out a lot. The taste is slightly bitter and ends with a mild sweetness. Spices in the background but not as apparent as I was hoping for. Also had sort of an English ale type smell and taste to it that I've noticed in some other beers from England. The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied. A bit lower ABV makes it drinkable. Pretty good tasting, not as spiced up as I was hoping for a Christmas beer but it's definitely isn't bad. Next holiday season I will be thinking about picking another one up.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: 500 ml bottle. There is a cryptic batch code printed on the label but no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is hazy light rust/amber. The label says “ruddy chestnut” but I think chestnut is a little darker. A lousy pour yielded a lousy head (not the beer’s fault), but I got a half finger of white head which dissipated quickly to leave a very thin lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Caramel, warm chestnuts, nutmeg, honey, dark fruit (mostly plum and cherry), sweet fruit (like green apple), pale malts, toffee, and a little cinnamon spice. I do not get too much spice, but that is fine. Overall it is pretty sweet.

Taste: I really do not know where to start. My first sip was full of spice, but it faded quickly as my taste buds adjusted. The mouthfeel is much like soda, which is very off-putting and does not allow the flavors to truly emerge. However, the chestnut, nutmeg, and cherry do come through, and a little grassy hop spice makes a short appearance after the beer has warmed significantly.

Drinkability: I do not really feel this one. It is neither a winter warmer or spiced beer, but it is another experience.

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a yellow amber with an off white head move than two fingers died to light covering quickly, beer was clear.

Smell of coriandor spice and cinnamon. Taste mimiced the aromas and no bitterness to speak of.

The mouth was light and spicy but not in a heavy way. A nice Christmasy beer not too high grav and enjoyable without being over the top.

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Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +19%

Photo of damndirtyape
3.47/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle (no date) poured into a tulip stout glass. Careful pour left most of the sediment behind.

Appearance: Hazy orange-yellow-tarnished copper. Off-white foam quickly died down to nothing. No lacing noted.

Smell: A little bit sweet with some cinnamon and nutmeg notes, but not terribly strong.

Taste: Sweet malt combined with some spice flavors. I can taste the nutmeg first, then the cinnamon - can't pull out the coriander that the bottle says is there. Some hints of ripe apple in here as well. Bitterness at the end is very mild, somewhat tea-like. It's okay - nothing amazing.

Mouthfeel: Weak carbonation, but very English for style. A bit spicy on the tongue, but a little watery as well.

Overall / Drinkability: An above average beer, but nothing special for a winter warmer. Quite drinkable though - finished it off rather quickly. Because there isn't a lot going on, makes a good beer for just drinking and not thinking a lot about. You note the flavor and then it's gone and think "hey - what was that?" and drink deep again. So higher marks for drinkability but again, nothing special in regards to being a winter warmer.

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Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 128 ratings