An Ale Mighty celebration of ol’ St. Nick.


That’s right, today we have three of Wetherspoons festive ales, all with Santa in the name:
Nethergate Red Santa, 4.2% ABV; Caledonian Santa’s Little Helper, 4.6% ABv; Wood’s Santa’s Tale, 4% ABV

I hope this gets you into the spirit of the season. Needless to say I entered into this endeavour feeling rather festive, and left even more so.

First up, the Red Santa.
It’s a bitter. A rather uninspiring one at that. It looks like a deep, rich brew that will go down smooth and have some real substance to it. However, it turns out to be rather flat, bland and dull. There is something in there, a light hop, a touch of maltiness, an edge of sweet caramel, but no main character. There is nothing noticably horrible about it. It’s kind of like having some okay tasting Brussel sprouts, roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, but no turkey (or pigs in blankets). Just not right.

Mighty Rating: ★ ★

Next we have the Santa’s Little Helper.
Another impressive looking ale. Quite a thin but fluffy head to it, and a slightly lighter reddish colour. This one delivers just a bit more, I must say. It has the hops to give a real ale type of flavour. Then wintery berries give a sharpness, a bit of tang that is actually quite refreshing. It is still rather thin and weak on the flavour front though, leads to a unsatisfactory end. To carry on the previous analogy, I guess you could say the pigs in blankets have been added, but still no main component.

Mighty Rating ★ ★ ★

Finally, Santa’s Tale.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. This ale is lighter, almost the colour of an amber ale. It feels a bit fizzier too, making the lack of heavy tastes more forgivable. It has a refreshing bitter hop taste, kind of an over-toasted malt after taste which is not as bad as it sounds. Like these festive ales all seem to have, there is a warming caramel hint to it. Again, though, I was left struggling to find the big taste, the thing that you really want from a pint. Looks like I’ll have to go without my metaphorical turkey for now.

Mighty Rating ★ ★ ★

So, Santa’s Tale was the best part of a disappointing tribute to St. Nick. It really is a shame, none of them really impressed. What was impressive, however, was JD Wetherspoons impressive ale selection. Get yourselves down there if you fancy a few different tastes of Christmas.

Merry Christmas from Ale Mighty!

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One comment on “An Ale Mighty celebration of ol’ St. Nick.

  1. Enjoyed this post mate – might have to rethink getting my dad some Christmas ale this year to be honest, seeing as they’re obviously not living up to expectations.

    I’ll be sticking with Newcastle Brown Ale this year. As will santa, I’m sure đŸ˜‰

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