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Pickled Santa | Ridgeway Brewing

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Pickled SantaPickled Santa
BA SCORE
3.31/5
Okay
124 Ratings
Pickled SantaPickled Santa
BEER INFO

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 11-04-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#42,556
Reviews:
79
Ratings:
124
pDev:
17.82%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
5
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 79
Photo of jslice99
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of malfunxion
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of OldTime
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of HoistinBrews
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of afsdan
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Chucker17
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Sooch222
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.52/5  rDev +6.3%
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

 465 characters

Photo of glid02
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 960 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger foamy white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some caramel and spice. The taste is malty, spicy, slightly sweet, and a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a mild Winter Warmer English Style, tasty though.

 326 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Dyslexic demonologists often end up selling their soul to Santa."

--Anonymous

The label claims that Pickled Santa is a ruddy chestnut color, but it's actually bright orange with amber highlights. The two finger crown has a bubbly surface and is sticky enough to grace the glass with plenty of attractive lace.

This winter warmer smells like a very lightly spiced amber ale with a hint of butter caramel. In fact, the 'whole spices' are so subtle that no reasonable guesses can be made regarding specifics. The label says cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg. The Shelton Brothers website says allspice, coriander and nutmeg.

Taste mirrors nose. This is better than average beer, but it isn't special in any way, shape or form. It's also quintessentially English in the way that most Ridgeway beer tends to be. Actually, the spices are becoming slightly more bold as Santa loses his starting chill.

Malt is 100% Maris Otter and hops are 100% Goldings. The flavor rundown includes butter toffee, apricots, bitter tea leaves and a pinch of cinnamon. That's the most aggressive of the added spices, so it makes sense that the others remain in the background. All things considered, I'm glad the spice load isn't higher.

The mouthfeel works. It's medium in a general sense and carbonation is on the shy side. It's almost cask-like in that regard, which is always a neat trick in bottled beer.

Ridgeway Brewing brews some excellent beer (IPA) and some lousy beer (Seriously Bad Elf). Pickled Santa is somewhere between those two extremes. It's definitely worth a look for anyone who likes English-style winter warmers. That said, I won't be selling my soul to Santa for another bottle.

 1,681 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.57/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 348 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a clear but slightly dense bright copper body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and an off-white head that is porous with lots of big bubbles.
S- The dry almost salty spiced pale malt has a slight toasted malt note underneath. There is a dry cider aroma that finishes with a buttery quality.
T- The pale malt flavor has a faint toasted note and some dried apple flavors to follow. There is a corn flavor to the bitter finish and a soft caramel quality that lingers. When this beer is pretty warm there is a hint of stale cinnamon in the malt.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and a soft fizz note with no alcohol heat in the finish.
D- This beer starts of very bitter in the finish and it is more spice that hop bitterness, but it opens up more flavors come through and the bitterness subsides. There were some ok flavors but nothing really exciting it was just sort of bland.

 946 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Colod was a dark amber, almost an orange brown. A multi finger cream white made up of medium sized bubbles lasted for a few minutes. It receded leaving a thin head with a bit of side cling. Small streams of bubbles rose from the bottom. Aroma was slightly sweet with a small amount of spice. Over time, a molasses flavor arose. Nothing else was overly present. Taste was tangy, melted to vanilla, ended up with some pepper spicyness. Overall, not as developed as a winter warmer can be. Coated well in the mouth, was perhaps a bit over carbonated tingly. Easy and pleasant to drink, but not the best winter warmer I have had.

 661 characters

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/28/2013. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, brown sugar, light caramel, toasted biscuit, plum, pear, apple, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of spices, bready malt, and light-moderate fruity yeast and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, brown sugar, light caramel, toasted biscuit, plum, pear, apple, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal hop/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light fruits, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good robustness, complexity, and balance of spices, bready malt, and light-moderate fruity yeast and earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a good spiced English pale ale style. All around good robustness, complexity and balance of spices, bready malt and light-moderate fruity yeast and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,589 characters

Photo of Pete_IV
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of razorsdescent
3.62/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear honey color with a thin off-white head that fades rapidly to a nice coating that does last till the final few sips.

Sweet and spicy nose, smells kinda like ginger beer soda. Extremely unique nose and it is easy to tell where they came up with the 'pickled' nomenclature. Loads of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.

Could almost pass for a pumpkin ale, as it has a heavily spiced flavor as well. Thin bodied, low carbonation and slightly sweet. Has a spice laden bitter finish. Malts are pretty neutral and there are a bit of hops, but if you don't like spices in your beer, this one aint for you.

 625 characters

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. A re-gift to me, the last of the re-gifting chain I suppose. ("I'LL put an end to this!") The bottle says 'English Xmas Ale...bottle conditioned...product of UK.' The batch number is F11 244. Not sure what to expect here with this goofy (and not exactly intuitive) name and label design...

A: A 1 finger, frothy, off-white head sits atop a clear, sparkling medium orange-brown body. Ruby lines the edge of my glass. I was pleased and surprised with the clarity of this bottle-conditioned brew.

S: The malts are closing in on heavy. Caramel, cookie and toffee - all toasted. The hops were light and not much to speak of other than they added a floral bouquet.

T: Spicey. And a pretty nice blend at that. I get allspice, nutmeg & chai. Other herbal tea character, some sweetness from honey, light brown sugar and maple syrup, and an appropriate oaky woodiness. A bit of warmth from the alcohol comes through as well.

M: The medium body was a bit thin and the carbonation was not soft but below average.

D: Well, my expectations were exceeded. This beer proved to be better than my 'judging a book by it's cover' notions and for that I am thankful. And thank you mom for the re-gift!

 1,227 characters

Photo of dismal
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

 923 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 500ml bottle into imperial pint glass

A-poured a burnt orange/apricot color with about 2 finger head that faded quickly without any lacing

S-a lot of malt and some apricot fruit then some carmel and spice

T-carmel malt, nutmeg with some fruitiness

M-ok carbonation a fairly light body

O-not bad probably not worth the price but I would take one if it was offered

 379 characters

Photo of pzrhsau
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: A rich golden color with bright orangish notes. A slight head with a little dissipation.
S: Sour fruit aroma with hints of cinnamon stick and other holiday spices.
T: Controlled balance of tartness and a very strong malt flavor. The finish almost has an oatiness to it which really brings out the flavor from the cinnamon.
D/M: Crisp and bubbly feel on the tongue. Much lighter than I expected from a Christmas beer. Decent for a holiday beer but not the weight I was expecting. Very drinkable.

 497 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.7/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a rich, malty, yeasty aroma with an undertone of spice and sweet hints. Pours a clear coppery-amber with a white head that does not stick around. Flavor is yeasty and malty with a hint of spice and just a touch of hops. Texture is tingly and lively so it dances on the tongue and on the way down.

 300 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood,

A: Pours amber with a finger of white head, good lace and head retention.

S: Some cinnamon, allspice, English malt, but mild, pleasant, not mind-blowing in any way.

T: Upfront on the first taste it is a typical English bitter. Enjoyable off-sweet Maris Otter malt with a light hopping. At the finish the spices dramatically show up adding a lot of complexity - allspice, nutmeg and some bitter cinnamon.

M: Not as robust as I would have liked, smooth, easy drinking in the end.

D: A real nice winter warmer here from Ridgeway. I have been disappointed from a couple of their winter beers in the past, but this one was very well done, and one I have to revisit if the bottles make it over here.

 719 characters

Pickled Santa from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.31 out of 5 with 124 ratings
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