Ridgeway Santa’s Butt (500ml bottle, 6.0% ABV)
Ridgeway do Christmas in a big way. While most breweries will content themselves with a single special beer for the season, Ridgeway brew no less than twelve.
The label raises many more questions than it answers. Why is the best before date printed across Santa’s mince-pie bolstered buttocks? Is it true that I could get a cash refund for the bottle if I take it to California? Are the US importers of this beer really based in a place called Belchertown? I’m sure Dan Brown could knit this all into some kind of Yuletide conspiracy, but frankly, I want to get to the beer.
It’s a very deep brown brew, with a cream-coloured froth. The aroma and taste are completely in harmony: sweet roasted grain, vanilla and strong, black coffee – all typical flavours for this style of beer, the strong porter. It’s a smooth and creamy drinking experience, and the finish is long and dry, leading you to another mouthful for the contrast of that sweet malt.
This is classic Christmas drinking territory – the beer equivalent of a warming fireplace on a cold day. Recommended as a rather pleasing way to get you through all that present-wrapping.
Written by Richard Salsbury