1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

2,063 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,063
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 218
Gots: 302 | FT: 15
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Ruffian Barley Wine Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,063 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of krause316
4/5  rDev -5.2%

krause316, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of nyctrance2
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

nyctrance2, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of kspongeworthy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

kspongeworthy, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of JVan
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

JVan, Feb 24, 2012
Photo of Archimedes
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Archimedes, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of dcs1548
4/5  rDev -5.2%

dcs1548, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of JizackFH
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a brilliant dark ruby color that has nice clarity. There is about two fingers of tan head resting on top. The head has great retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of toasted malts and caramel. There are some good dark fruit aromas like figs, plum, and apricot. There is some candied sugar and a nice hop presence. Some booziness is also here.

T - The taste follows the nose well. It starts off with the toasted caramel malt and dark fruit flavors. There is a nice piney hop presence that adds some bitterness and citrus as well. Also, there area some flavors of candied sugar and a bit of booziness. The finish leaves some lingering caramel malt, fruit, piney hops, and a touch of booziness behind on the palate.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is a slight chewy quality to it. It has a nice amount of sweetness, as well as a piney hop bitterness that stands out more. Also, there is some alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - This has really good drinkability. It is smooth and full of flavor. Overall, It is a great beer, and it is a very nice example of an American Barleywine. The flavor is really nice and it has a good hop presence. Also, the alcohol is pretty well hidden for being 10.2%. I recommend trying it out. It is an excellent beer, and I would buy it again. The price point isn't bad either.

JizackFH, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, unfortunately the date on the label is smudged but I think it says it was bottled sometime in November 2010. I've had the bottle for at least a year so I think that's the correct bottling date. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark reddish/amber color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like dark fruit (prunes, raisins), brown sugar, pine hops, caramel malt and some sherry. For the most part it tastes just like the aroma, but there's also a slight bitter taste that I don't care for. It doesn't seem like a hoppy bitter flavor, there just seems something a little bit off about it. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit chewy and has good carbonation. Overall I think it's a good enough brew. I'll have to try this again in the future, maybe a fresher (or older) bottle will be better.

bluejacket74, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of spark3148857
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

spark3148857, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

scott2269, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
5/5  rDev +18.5%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of FutureJack
4/5  rDev -5.2%

FutureJack, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of BeerBaron
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

BeerBaron, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of CarpalTunnell
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

CarpalTunnell, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of dav
4/5  rDev -5.2%

dav, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of adrian21
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

adrian21, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of bullywee
3/5  rDev -28.9%

bullywee, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of hreb
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz foil-capped bomber, bottled on Dec 02 2011, served in a tapered pint glass. Beer is perfectly between red and brown. Crystal clear, though. Thick, dark foam. Aroma of sweet corn and barley malt.

Flavors go way way down. There's the edge of sweetness you expect, followed by a significant hop load which brings complexity and an unbelievable balance, before leaving he palate just on the bitter side of the balance. 90 IBUs? Oh my. I can believe it.

The beer is no thicker or heavier than you'd expect for the style and there's not nealry as much alcohol burn as there should be. Well done, Great Divide.

hreb, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from either '05 or '06 poured into a medium-sized Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Matt for sharing this well-aged treat.

A: Clear ruby body with a 1/2" head of fine tan foam. Ok retention, spotty lace. Nice, especially considering its age.

S: Soft, delicate, yet rich aroma of toffee, raisin, plum, and some herbal hop notes. Balanced, rich, and lovely.

T: Big and sweet up front, with nice toffee and vanilla notes leading in to a bitter, boozy, toasty finish. Tastes like a great, old American Barleywine - which it is.

M: Slick medium body, low carbonation. Ok.

O: I can't believe it's taken me this long to try this beer; I've got a couple bottles in my own cellar, but have never gotten around to opening one. Given how tasty this was with at least 5 years on it, I won't be in any hurry to open my more recent bottles. I really hope Great Divide comes back to CT soon, as I'd like to set up a nice vertical of this stuff.


woosterbill, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of oldseacaptain
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

oldseacaptain, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -5.2%

jfcaa193, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of hoserking
4/5  rDev -5.2%

hoserking, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

DarthGuitarHero, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Texasfan549, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of hopluva1
4/5  rDev -5.2%

hopluva1, Feb 13, 2012
Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 2,063 ratings.