After a long, crazy Christmas holiday, I am back to finish the 12 beers of Christmas! With the historical tradition of the 12 days of Christmas, I will complete my festive journey with the Three Wise Men on January 5, with a beer called none other than “The Gift of the Magi.” How awesome.
Ridgeway Brewing Santa’s Butt Winter Porter: ABV: 6%
Jokingly, Joe sent this to me for Christmas in North Carolina and wrote, “Hopefully this won’t taste like the name.” Boy it wasn’t far off. NO, I jest, but I will say I did not like this beer. Perhaps it needs to age. Or perhaps it is cursed by it’s name. Either way, not a very enjoyable brew. Now, to be clear the butt referred to is not Jolly Old Saint Nick’s plump rear end, but the end of a barrel. Whew.
So why am I ba humbugging this festive ale? Especially since it’s a winter porter, you would think I would love it! And believe me, I wanted to. But it was heavy-handed and lacking a real personality. Kind of like the great uncle who wears way too much Aqua Velva and a track suit and sits in the corner of the living room all Christmas with nothing entertaining to say….
By heavy-handed, I mean too many syrupy notes of maple and caro. On both the nose and palate. Add to that an odd herbal note, almost funky with spoilage yeast. But not in that good Brett way I love so much in both wine and beer. More like a “That’s not supposed to be in there” way…The mouthfeel was awkward (if you get what I mean by that) with a peculiar, offsetting finish.
As much as I wanted to like this beer, I just didn’t. I would not recommend it guys. And with so many other AMAZING holiday brews out there, take my advice and just skip this one.
Ridgeway Brewing Reindeer’s Revolt: ABV: 6%
Odd herbal note x 2. Here it is again! Let’s start at the beginning. Pours out looking like apricot juice. Seriously. Orange hue. The nose gives me a little funk, which again is not a bad thing in many cases. In this situation, not good. But on a positive note, after 10 or so minutes, it blows off.
The nose definitely improves to aromas of honey, honeysuckle, peach, and flower blossom. But the palate never does the same. Thin and almost watery with a metallic edge from 2/3 to the finish.
I’m sorry people, not trying to be Debbie Downer. But what we have here is 2 lumps of coal in my Christmas stocking. And I’m not happy about it. Ready to unwrap the next one!