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Old Ruffian Barley Wine - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,968 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,968
Reviews: 1,038
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 206
Gots: 278 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Old Ruffian is a hefty, hop-forward Barley Wine. Seemingly mellow at the start with subtle fruit aromas and complex caramel sweetness, it quickly becomes aggressive with its bold hop flavors and huge hop bitterness. Ultimately, the big body, succulent sweetness and massive hop character come together to work wonders on your palate.

(Beer added by: gbontrag on 11-28-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,968 | Reviews: 1,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

2.83/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A - Pours a dark ruby color with orangish-brown highlights. A very bubbly, 2-fingered head quickly grows and makes the beer look like a snow-capped mountain. Retention is pretty good, as well as the lacing. It's a pretty beer, no doubt about it.

S - Much like Great Divide's Yeti series, this beer takes a previously established beer - in this case, a barleywine - and heavily hops it; it's only the American way! There's some slight citrus here in the form of oranges, but most of the hops are quite floral in nature. The caramel malts add a nice sweetness, and there is a little bit of chocolate as well. Unfortunately, I'm getting some alcohol solvency at the end.

T - The taste is similar to the nose but more amped up. The caramel is more caramelly, the toffee more toffeey, the hops more hoppy, and unfortunately again, the alcohol more alcoholy. The malts are a bit stronger here, almost dominating most of the flavor with the aforementioned notes and brown sugar and even some slight vanilla, but the hops bounce back with some floral and spicy characteristics. Here comes the bad part: The finish ends with a lot of alcohol taste that is very offputting. It's like chasing a good barleywine with a shot of cheap vodka. Or nailpolish. Hopefully some age would mellow this, but as it stands it's disappointing that it comes through so strongly.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with good carbonation. This feels fairly slick in the mouth and drinks smoothly until the alcohol burn. Lasting impressions are hop bitterness and alcohol with some lingering malts.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately low. The nose on this teases, and the flavor for the most part delivers, until the end where the train just derails. There's way too much alcohol in the finish to make this an easy-drinker. It's a shame, because the rest of the beer is actually pretty good. It's a tradeoff - age this beer to mellow the alcohol, but lose the hops; or keep the hops and chug nail polish. I'd take the former if I could do it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 05:51:31 | More by nhindian
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22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Vintage 2011.

A: yeast dregs were poured in my glass, so it stays pretty cloudy. Beautiful brown color with shades of ruby and Siena. Beige head retains at about a half inch. lacing is spotty.

S: Big bready sweetness up front. Bread pudding. Crust and toast. Runny caramel. Berry juice esters. Cherry and ripe, sweet raspberry. Some wet paper oxidation, which is fine. Fading hops still bring earthy pine and bark.

T: Toasty, crusty. Scones. Caramel. Fruity esters of cherry and raspberry. Prune juice. Perhaps suggestions of apricot and marmalade, though I think it's coming from hops. Hops also add earthy flavors of pine and bark. Modestly strong bitterness to balance all the malt. Long finish of scone, crust, and earthy hops.

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O: A classically done American Barleywine. All around solid. One of a handful to look to as a measuring stick for the style. The age on this one has rounded it out beautifully.

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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,968 ratings.