2015 Beer Advent Calendar: Bad Santa from Pelican Brewery

Author: Jason Harris
December 19, 2015

Editor’s note: This is the twenty first beer in the Beer Advent Calendar 2015 series. Likewise, I’m going to be posting a beer review each day. Some will be Christmas or Winter ales and other selections will be beers I’ve been wanting to review for some time.

My favorite Oregon coast brewery is Pelican Brewery in Pacific City and Tillamook, Oregon. They are pretty isolated, geographically, and as a result, Pelican consistently produces beers that stand out in a crowded Pacific Northwest brewing scene.

Pelican Bad Santa

Today we look at Bad Santa, Pelican’s winter Cascade Dark Ale (CDA).

How does it taste?

Bad Santa pours very, very dark amber with 80% translucency. This beer is 7.5% ABV and 65 IBUs. The aroma of this beer is earthy and smells of toasted malt but also black licorice, brown sugar and piney, grassy hops.

The toasted malt taste is definitely present as you take your first sip. Then, mid-drink, the coffee, licorice and biscuit flavors kick in. After all that, the the dry hoppy profile announces itself to finish this classic Cascadian Dark Ale off.

This is a refreshing take on the black IPA style and features stout-like characteristics without the heaviness of all that gravity.

Should I buy it?

Yes. If you like dark IPAs or CDA beers, this will be an instant favorite.

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