12 Beers of Christmas 2012 – Day 4 – Santa’s Butt Winter Porter from Ridgeway Brewing

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Santa’s Butt Winter Porter, Ridgeway Brewing, 6.0% ABV

Santa's Butt Winter Porter from Ridgeway Brewing.

Santa's Butt Winter Porter from Ridgeway Brewing.

Santa’s Butt is one of many “Holiday” themed beers from Ridgeway Brewing. Many of these holiday beers showcase the twisted sense of humor the brewery has. Some of the other Ridgeway Brewing beers  include Bad Elf (English IPA), Very Bad Elf (English Pale Ale), Criminally Bad Elf (English Barleywine), Insanely Bad Elf (English Strong Ale), and Reindeer Droppings (English Pale Ale).

As with Fireside Chat, I had the pleasure of reviewing this beer with Examiner.com Craft Beer Writer Andy Lee, and Mrs. BetterBeerBlog. Here’s what we thought.

Santa's Butt Winter Porter in a glass.

Santa's Butt Winter Porter in a glass.

Peter: Clear brown color, with an off-white/beige head. Aroma has caramel notes, slight cola, nutty, and very light toast. Flavor is caramel, slight nutty flavors, and some toasted malt flavors. Hop bitterness is low/medium-low. Slight fruity flavors. Body is medium-low, carbonation is medium, finish is on the dry side.

AL: Brown in appearance with a short-lived head. Tastes like Korean hot tea (boricha) but carbonated. Pleasant, easy-drinking beer. Amused by the label artwork and beer name.

MrsB: Off white head with low head retention. Aroma reminds me of shaved ice syrup, sweet, malty aroma with some toastiness. Low medium body with medium carbonation, low bitterness with no hoppy flavor. It’s a nice drinking beer at 6% that does not presents itself as a porter, not hot or hint of any alcohol which it should not have.

Overall Thoughts

We all thought this was a malt forward beer with a straight forward flavor profile, reminiscent of a stronger brown ale. Very English. Not a bad beer but there are a lot more complex and interesting holiday beers out there.

The story behind "Santa's Butt" as printed on the label.

The story behind "Santa's Butt" as printed on the label.

This was brought to the tasting party by Lee, and I suspect he was drawn in by the name and the artwork on the label. I can’t really blame him, when looking for holiday beers to try, witty names and/or catchy label artwork can go a long way to making a purchase.

That said, I think having “catchy labels” with “witty names” (debatable if they’re actually witty or not) is what this brewery is known for. I was hoping for a bit more complexity in the beer, especially since it was a “winter porter” but it ended up being very “English”. As I said, it wasn’t horrible but there are much better holiday beers our there.

Merry Christmas!

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