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Old Ruffian Barley Wine - Great Divide Brewing Company

Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine

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

1,885 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1885
Reviews: 1031
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.69%


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: 1,885 | Reviews: 1,031 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

1.95/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Popped open this bottle from the basement to share with the wife after a beautiful evening on the water bass fishing. Do I have a great life or what?

Looks like an unfiltered IPA, an orange tint to the beer that's not entirely clear, but not opaque. Smells like roughage; raw hops, wet fields, angry farmers.

The caramel is distant, weirdly the hops are still going strong, but the dominant taste is a steely, metallic funk coating the roof of my mouth - rather nasty. This horrid glut of whatever takes over whatever other good points there are & just makes it undrinkable.

I can't finish this. I'd say I rec'd a bad bottle, but the wife says "B-ish" so it's just that it disagrees with me - badly. I was looking forward to trying this. Huge disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 02:27:00 | More by maximum12
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

2.4/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This bottle was 2010 vintage. This beer poured a burnt amber in color with a one finger soapy looking off white head. The aromas were off. There were some dark fruits and a whole lot of malt. I think that this was possibly consumed a little too fresh and needed time to figure itself out. The flavors too were a mess. It was far too sweet and had a lot of molasses and candied sugars going on. The hops were still present but there was an onslaught of malt. This didn't really relate to any American Barleywines I've enjoyed in the past. It wasn't very good at all and left behind a bitter aftertaste. Like all of Great Divides beers it had the dry and sudsy mouthfeel, feeling like you had coated the inside of your mouth with soap. This has got to be one of the least enjoyable barleywines I've tired. I'd be willing to give an older bottle a try, but this '10 was just not my kind of barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 17:22:53 | More by aasher
Photo of mdwalsh
mdwalsh

Iowa

2.65/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Brown and copper, red when held up the the light. Great, creamy textured, light tan three finger head that is holding well with some active carbonation. Maybe a little haze, but it's hard to tell with the darkness of the brew.

S: Real thick malt character, slightly complex. Only sign of hops is a slight earthy/floralness, but not anything suggesting oncoming bitterness.

T: Is thin and bitter. It tastes like an artificial burnt coffee flavor. Terrible. All roast, no malt. More hop smell comes out with the combined olfactory-taste bud combination. A little alcohol warmth.

M: As I said, thin and watery. I'm having trouble keeping it in my mouth for too long though, so who knows.

D: Terrible, I am not looking forward to finishing this whole bomber.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 23:05:45 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.75/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well this BW is not for me. Thick syrup of crystal malt with extra sugar added in. A nice red brown color and a good head, but I could tell from the color it was going to be syrupy. Smell was pretty damn fine and the best thing about this one. Full of hoppy pine and earthy digs, sharp distinct citrus that fold with the sweetness of berry fruit all of it sitting on top of a caramel and a hint of roastedness punched with alcohol. The taste was like a big hop bomb that someone had but too much sugar into like the kool-aid that kids will make when their Mom isn't watching. The beautiful floral hops are awash in the sugar and alcohol, the malt flavors are stunted by all the sweetness. Thank god I was sharing this with two other people.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2005 17:31:57 | More by Higravity
Photo of Prufrock
Prufrock

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bomber poured into a pilsner.

hazy light brown with an inch of tan head that takes an eternity to fall into puffy peaks, leaving rings of lacing.

tons of sweet, caramel malts in the aroma, but the hops are there as well with a touch of pine and citrus rind.

thick, syrupy mouthfeel. sweet with licorice at first, but then overwhelmed by a harsh, authoritative hop bitterness. it'd be hard to call this one drinkable, especially once the 10.2% kicks in. oddly enough, is too sweet and then too bitter, without really finding a balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 00:21:08 | More by Prufrock
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.78/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 12/13/2007 (Bottle aged ~2mo):

Pours a dark brown colored body, pretty clear, with a small diminishing head, off-white in color. Has a malty sugary sweet aroma. Molasses aroma, but sickly sweet. Hoppy sweet taste. Sugary & piney. Smoother as it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 13:39:20 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

2.8/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a strong two finger yellow-tan frothy head over a gorgeous copper rust liquid. Some fine particulates in the beer. Smells wicked pine and some lemon meat. Oxidized sour and caramel malty way beneath.

Tastes creamy, alcohol bite (slightly rough), woody hop dry and bitter. Uhmmm...I'm not impressed. Vegetal. Piney and sharp hops. Rubbing alcohol makes an unpleasant appearance in the aftertaste. Malt is failing under it all. Orange hops and fruity esters (light fruits, such as pear) are present but really overwhelmed.

Thick mouthfeel with a creamy character. Mild carbonation is amplified by the alcohol sting on the tastebuds.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 07:19:07 | More by mentor
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

2.83/5  rDev -33.1%
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
Photo of danieelol
danieelol

Australia

2.85/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Adam @ Platinum

2010 Vintage.

Pours a lovely golden red with billowing head and great lacing.

Smell is pineapple hop and solvent. Also get qualities strongly reminiscent of Fullers Vintage/Golden Pride. Nutty notes a la Samichlaus.

Taste is underwhelming. Big dose of alcohol without any sweetness and with only faint malt.

Mouthfeel is thin and bone dry with minor alcohol burn.

Unfortunately this beer is very one note, too alcoholic and lacks any sweetness whatsoever, despite the fact it's supposed to be a barleywine. Dunno if this is a bad bottle or what.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 10:44:15 | More by danieelol
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2006 GABF Gold Medal batch on cask at the Falling Rock for barleywine month. The color was dark red with a fluffy head. The smell was floral, hoppy, and so alluring. This beer's smell really builds up the anticipation as far as the taste. The taste did not disappoint. Mmmm, hops, caramel, toffee, goodness. This was one of the best beers I have had in a long time. Now I have to grab some bottles for the cellar.

update 1/26/2013 bottle

Had to revisit this because I couldn't believe how high I rated this, that 2006 cask must have been ill. This bottle looked beautiful when I poured it into the glass so I did not change that score. The smell was vegetal. The flavor was harsh alcohol and a hint of broccoli, meh. Shit is actually pretty wack for $8, fuck that.

Serving type: cask

02-13-2007 17:41:54 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of CortexBomb
CortexBomb

Michigan

2.95/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pous out hazy, burnt orangeish brown into my snifter with a slight, white ring of carbonation on top. The smell on this is fairly typical for American style barley wine, hoppy, with aplomb. That hoppiness also seems to have a sugary, brown sugar like sweet edge to it.

Taste starts out aggressively hoppy, back of the tongue, top of the mouth, they're all tingling from the hops which lend a strongly piney flavour. The pine is subdued by sweetness, though not much...the sweetness is definitely present throughout though...sugary. The alcohol is also definitely present. Abrasive to my palatte, like most American Barley Wines....not as harsh as Rogue's Old Crusty, but still up there. There might be some interesting flavours in here, waiting to come out with some aging, but unaged the hops absolutely destroy everything else this beer is trying to do, and one has to look for the other things in the taste.

The mouth on a beer with this much hops has to be doing something seriously wrong to not get a good score, and Great Divide does not disappoint...a lot of tingles last long after the swallow, which is a sign of a great mouth. The drinkability on this is harsh though, it is a very aggressive beer, and it is not something that is easy to put down.

Overall, I think Great Divide is catering to someone other than me with this beer. These American style Barley Wines seem to offer such a large amount of hops that anything else they're trying to do is lost in the explosion.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 02:43:42 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of Wadsey
Wadsey

Indiana

2.95/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Old Ruffian

Bottled sometime in 2008. Poured in a DFH signature glass. 

A: Deep amber to amber brown with an above-average frothy head. Good clarity but moderate lacing. 

S: Big caramel presence joined by tea-like or herbal  hops. A touch of fruit and a note of oxidation. Really, this is a very standard profile for an aged American Barleywine. 

T: Sweet caramel malt on front of palate, which is annihilated by a steely bitterness that thoroughly dominates tasting experience. Alcohol is noticeable but not unduly so.  Long, long bitter finish. 

M:  Body is a little light for style and carbonation is too high for style. Moderately warming. 

D: Old Ruffian drinks relatively easily despite its over-the-top IBUs. The problem is that it tastes like just about every other American Barleywine I've drank. I'm nipping this cellaring experiment in the bud. 

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 02:58:57 | More by Wadsey
Photo of otto251068
otto251068

Tennessee

2.95/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 1 pt 6 fl oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice. "Bottled on Nov 29, 2011" printed on the label, making this beer about seven months old.

Appearance: Pours an amber, reddish dark brown color. Transparent, clean, and no bubbles present. After the pour a lively tan head rises to a quarter inch, then fades. The remaining bubbles are small and dense, with a few larger bubbles lingering. All that is left after a few seconds is some wispy thin remnants and a ring hugging the glass.

Smell: Extremely malty right out front, very intense. Brown sugar, molasses, and dark caramel are there as well. The 10% ABV is fairly evident, and comes out strong in the aroma.

Taste: Burnt caramel up front, some charred oak as well. The 10.2% ABV is very present in the taste. Tons of bitterness on the back end, with soapy, piney hops lingering. The aftertaste is all bitterness and char.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and medium carbonation. Thick, chewy, and syrupy are a few words to describe the body. The carbonation level is just on the edge of being on the low side. The bubbles are a nice contrast to the heavy flavors.

Overall: A little too hop forward. It is really hard to distinguish any other flavors besides the bitter hops, burnt flavors, and high alcohol. Otherwise mouthfeel, appearance, and smell all fit in with the style. Fairly hard to finish this one, not easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:06:06 | More by otto251068
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

2.98/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottles on December 22, 2009. Big thanks to VTbobcat for picking this up for me in Mass!

Pours a very hazy mahogany brown with a small light brown head that quickly fades to nil. Nose is really quite hoppy given the age, very sweet and floral, it's got the same bready yeast note as Yeti. Booze is not noticeable.

Hmm, it almost seems like there's a tinge of vinegar to this. It's not overt and it's not sour, it may be more of an iron taste but it is a bit odd. It might also be the alcohol that is giving it this flavor. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with good carbonation for the style.

Have to take off points for drinkability because of he acidity. I'll re-review my other bottle in 6-12 months and see if it's gone away.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 21:50:49 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of Golden2wenty1
Golden2wenty1

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Round 7 of a marathon 8 round American Barley Wine-off with expatsteve. Starting to feel the weight of these big beers. This is the highest-rated of the bunch, let's see how it stacks up against direct comparison to some of its peers.

Pour: darkish amber, nice clarity with a finger of khaki head and little to no lacing.

Nose: PINE HOPS! Yeesh. Then a hearty dose of booze vapor, with citrus and caramel malt trying to balance.

Taste: Intensely bitter/piney hops, grapefruit, menthol-vapor booze with caramel malt struggling for attention.

Feel: medium-heavy body and smooth carbonation but hops and booze burn all the way down the esophagus.

Drinkability/Overall: Really disappointed in the harshness of the hopping and booze in this one. I'm all for a hop bomb but this seems more of a hops and vodka tonic than a beer brewed with MALT. This was frankly a little hard to finish. Not a drain pour, but more work than drinking a beer should be. Hard to see how this is rated so much higher than works of complexity and balance like Old Foghorn or Old Crustacean.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 15:56:31 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of Cameroon
Cameroon

Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I am a relative newbie to Barley wine and this is the first hop intensive barley wine I've tried. I am not a fan of heavily hopped beers. It strikes me that hop fans are like the folks that like hot peppers. Somehow, somebody has equated hops and hot peppers with balls. Hops lend a very valuable adjunct to beer, but are not more or less than a particular spice is to a Belgium brew. 70% of this brew is balanced sweet, with fruit tones. The heavy dose of hops is far too powerful and distracts from the barley wine nature. It may be perfect for some but to me it is an undeserved bow to the unorthodox, West Coast fad of single, double, triple and God forbid quadriple hopheads. Think of hops as a spice that is to be used to create highlights in taste. For those who truly love overdoses of hops, I say "God Bless". Hopping up an intrinsic sweet beer steals the very nature of the beer in my opnion.This beer is definately deserving of a try and honest appraisal, but this boy sees much more potential if the hops were muted. Sadly, in my opinion, when it comes to barley wine, hops should be a subtle reverberation, not a sledge hammer. Under this department store suit, there lies a handsome wardrobe.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2007 01:39:35 | More by Cameroon
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee

Australia

3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on [illegible] 2010

Pours a wonderful hazy deep gold/copper. One finger head stays. Good lace.

Aromas of hops, toffee, malts.

Taste is a let down. One dimensional and thin, hop driven with little malt to support. Alcohol burn. Astringent. Bitter. Skunked.

Mouthfeel good, medium to full bodied, low carbonation.

Overall, not a good example. Given 2010 bottling, even more of a let down.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 10:46:10 | More by heygeebee
Photo of chriswilkes33
chriswilkes33

Texas

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had a pour of '08 ruffian in a snifter

Appearance: pours a dark amber with a thin quickly dissipating white head
Aroma: biting alcohol and caramel/toffee one would expect from a monster barleywine
Taste: toffee, sweet (a little too sweet) and alcohol up front. Harsh swallow with lingering warmth
Mouthfeel: thick but not terribly

Overall: good slow drinking beer, nothing super exciting taking place in this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2011 23:27:07 | More by chriswilkes33
Photo of cproioi
cproioi

Ohio

3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Alright this is the first time I've ever had a Barley Wine so here we go. From a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice reddish-brown color with a little haze in it. Poured a two finger head that was tan in color and disipated at a moderate rate.

S: First smell is extremely hoppy. Also with a backing of sweetness sneaks up.

T: nice bitter start but with a caramel sweetness that follows very quickly. I would prefer to have the bitterness stay around a little longer.

M: Very syrupy and very sugary.

D: I don't find this to be an easy thing to drink. Not that it's bad or anything it's just not really appealing to my taste so we shall see what happens with this bottle and what other barley wines I buy next.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2006 03:17:19 | More by cproioi
Photo of expatsteve
expatsteve

Wisconsin

3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Split a bomber with Golden2wenty1 during a barleywine session.

Appearance: Copper/orange amber, pours a 1/2 inch head. Lingers with heavy suds over. Low/medium viscosity, and low/medium visibility.

Aroma: Big burst of grapefruit, banana and hints of toffee. Not much development, but impressive nonetheless.

Taste: Banana burst initially, but this is quickly replaced by overwhelming pine resin across the entire palate. I can't help feeling that this renders the beer one-dimensional, and that it flattens out most of the malt development (honey and orange notes can never compete with the hops). The alcohol is particularly well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: The hops overpower the low carbonation, and leave this dry and unbalanced.

Drinkability: While this is no doubt a winner with hopheads, I reacted to this beer the way my cats react to having medicine pushed down their throat. When compared to masterfully hopped American barleywines like Old Crustacean, or even more balanced efforts like Bigfoot, this beer seems excessively one-dimensional (I acknowledge that this was probably their aim, and gave this a 3 for taste rather than a lower mark - I adjusted drinkability to reflect my assessment of this beer against the style). Nearly no malt or fruit developments in this one, and the heady and thick quality of other barleywines is altogether lacking. One for the hopheads, though more like a double IPA than a barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2006 03:01:57 | More by expatsteve
Photo of 1whiskey
1whiskey

Oregon

3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours out a cloudy reddish-amber with a thick apricot colored head.

Aroma is a mix of sweet fruit and floral combination, caramel, grapefruit, and brown sugar. Oddly enough, I also smell tea (fuggles?).

Taste is...sweet. Really, really, sugary, syrupy sweet. If ever the phrase "malt bomb" applied to a beer, this is it. More fruit & floral notes are present, and again the tea-like bitterness it struggling to be found amongst all the sugar. Alcohol is clearly evident. In some respects, this reminds me of booze-soaked fruitcake.

Mouthfeel is syrupy thick, with some creamy carbonation present. Drinkabilty? I'm in no hurry to have a second one. I may not be able to finish the bottle. Way too much sugar for me. Those with a sweet tooth may love this, though.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 08:47:15 | More by 1whiskey
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

3.1/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy, deep amber color with a decent amount of lingering head.

S: Aroma is potent with flaky pastry, plum, yeast, sour peaches, and feet. I was a little confused by the feet smell, but I think it must have come from the foil around the bottle rim. I hope so anyway.

T/M: Taste is immediately vibrant: caramel quickly giving way to dark fruits, floral hops and a tangy bitterness in the finish. There’s a lingering warm booziness after a bit, a little offputting. The texture is very thick, almost chewy.

The flavors contrast pretty vehemently, but everything is very good, with the exception of the strong alcohol aftertaste. It really would have been nice had they been able to mask that more, but I like it. This barley wine’s for you, Springfield.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 02:57:02 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

3.11/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bomber into tulip. bottled on: DEC 20 2012.

A: a very hazy deep ruby hued brew. head is frothy and slightly off-white. great retention and boatloads of lacing.

S: a good deal of oxidation hits me right off the bat. a little challenging for me to work around. halfway through the bottle im starting to work through the oxidation and get some caramel, malty aroma. sweet caramel apples.

T: similar to the nose, a lot of oxidation on this thing. bitterness is there, but there is enough sweetness to keep it in check and from being overwhelming. a little bit of booze, but pretty calm, which is what I would expect after almost a year of being in bottle. I don't know if I would say there is much hop flavor left in this thing. definitely some caramel graininess. lingers as well.

M: really creamy, smooth mouthfeel. I am enjoying the carb being so mellow on this big of a beer.

D: I bought this at my local Wegman's and figured it was pretty fresh when I saw them on the shelf. after I got home is when I realized how old it actually was. I thought to myself, "hey maybe I get a aged gem, some of these reviews seem to incline that way!" im afraid I was dead wrong as oxidation has really taken this down a notch for me. as oxidation can work with most barleywine's, this particular one just has too many hops (as most American's do) to come back from. however, I would love to try this fresh.

If you are only going to read one line of this review, buy and drink fresh. DO NOT AGE.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 02:44:21 | More by Jimmys
Photo of OKCNittany
OKCNittany

Oklahoma

3.13/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle

A: Poured a hazy reddish brown with a 3/4 in light tan head that stayed awhile. Heavy lacing all over the glass.

S: Light aroma of sweet caramel and grapefruity hops.

T: Sweet for just a sec than bitter hops come through. Pretty good balance considering how hoppy this is (not that I'm complaining about the hoppiness). Unfortunately, the alcohol taste is so overwhelming it diminishes everything I like about it. I know this style calls for a high abv, but in this case it interferes too much with an otherwise good flavor.

M: Creamy mouthfeel - thick with light carbonation - halfway between beer and motor oil. Finishes with a nasty alcohol burn. Maybe I should have poured it into a shot glass.

D: Considering the reputation, I almost feel apologetic for not loving this - but while there's lots to like, the alcohol taste is too much to let me get through more than 1. It's a sipper only - and the first of Great Divide's big beers I don't love.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 22:20:08 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.13/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A good barleywine but not the best. Great Divide is usually very aggressive with hops but not with this. American Barleywine is distinguished by its bitterness combine with malty strength and, although this has the latter it certainly lacks in the former. It's worth trying but Great Divide makes a number of better ales including its Hercules and Hybernation Ales.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 21:16:50 | More by david18
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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,885 ratings.