Brewed at Hepworth

Style: Porter
Reading, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 439   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.89   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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This special holiday porter is made for winter - rich and warming, the way they like it at the North Pole. It was inspired by this famous line from a well-loved children’s storybook:

"And Santa sat on his great butt, enjoying a hardy brew..."

In case you find that amusing, the brewer hastens to point out that in England, "butt" refers to a certain sized barrel, in fact, holding 108 Imperial gallons. Back in the day it was quite a normal thing for a brewery to put its beer up in a large butt for storage. Still snickering, eh? Get your mind out of the gutter, or Santa will be skipping your house entirely this year.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
notalush (4837) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2005
cask - not very good at all - wet and bitter coupled with a slight vinous character - almost tastes like chewing on used coffee grounds - a bit of malt in the middle tries to creep its way through with some chocolate flavors, but gets beaten down by the bitterness.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
JMerritt (1793) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2004
Very dark ruby red, bordering on black. Head is large, very light brown, and partially diminishing. Thick, gooey layers of lacing cling to the glass, and already look like a bitch to rinse off. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee grounds, wet grains, and perhaps the slightest hint of smoke in the aroma, though it is rather bland and difficult to pick up. Some lightly sweet malt, wheat, rye, and chocolate somehow found their way into the rather bland flavor. Soft, velvety mouthfeel with low carbonation is a tad watery.. Lightly bitter aftertaste is slightly grainy, but is very short lived.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
arsenal (10) - Orange, Virginia, USA - DEC 29, 2004
usually, i’m suspicious of products that jokingly refer to hindquarters (like too many hot sauces)... but i wasn’t going to let that keep me from a porter when i needed one. the payoff: nearly opaque, even when held to a light (except for a hint of red around the thin head). nice, almost fruity aftertaste (kinda raspberry), syrupy mouthfeel à la imperial stout, pleasant kick. nice seasonal change from Yeungling’s fine everyday porter.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
larsniclas (5596) - Billdal, SWEDEN - DEC 28, 2004
Bottled. Dark redbrown. Not much aroma, nor flavour. Some maltiness to find there.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Nuffield (3668) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 28, 2004
The name of the beer was very amusing at our little gathering--the butt of many jokes (oh, the puns are painful). Very weak porter, dark with a soft white head, body 90% opaque. Hiints of grape and smoke, but not as much malt as you would expect. Smooth palate, almost like a handpull. Pretty mediocre. (2004 Christmas Party, my #12, group’s #13)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2004
Black with ruby highlights (the color of a classic porter) with a thin, but creamy, tan head. Cream and milk aroma with charcoal, black malt and caramel with an omnipresent green hop aroma. Very thin body that shows yeast fruit, overdone black malt, subtle caramel and green hop. Lots of flavor, though all of it is subdued.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
jazz88 (2553) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 25, 2004
Bottle. A dark brown color with a light musty aroma. Thin flavors that lacked any complexity. How did this go wrong? Did you up Santa’s Butt? Christmas Party 2004 ranked 12/15 (mine) and 13/15 (group).

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 8/20
argo0 (11452) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 21, 2004
Ridgeway made a mediocre seasonal last year, and because it was a winter seasonal, it probably sold relatively well. I have no doubt they reasoned that four winter seasonals, all with witty names, would sell four times as well. And of course, us raters all needed to try one of each. Small tan head atop a red-black body. Aroma is medium sweet, cherry, coffee, milk chocolate, some soy, faint anise. Taste is moderately sweet, coffee, some milk chocolate, lactic sourness. Very watery light-medium body. Definitely not worth a repeat purchase, and certainly not at the ~$5/bottle price. Hopefully next year, when Ridgeway comes out with eight winter seasonals, I will have the good sense to resist the new beers.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 19, 2004
I’m not sure if Santa would appreciate seeing his backside on the label of this bottle. Poured a dark brown - clear around the edges, no head, some lacing. Chocolate and coffee in the aroma and flavor. Started off with a crisp sparkle that mellowed out into a near flatness as it warmed. Body was kind of thin and watery. Some licorice in the finish. Overall - kind of boring.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2004
Black with translucent edges, chocolate cocoa nose with hints of vanilla in the taste. Overall rather flat and boring, non-eventful. Finish had something there, maybe a little spearmint. Too expensive at $4.99/500ml bottle in Ohio.

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