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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.

2,006 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,006
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 211
Gots: 287 | FT: 13
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: 2,006 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fermenticusrex
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%

Tasting note great divide old ruffian american barley wine
22oz bottle poured into pub pint glass
Aroma sweet malt, citrus, cut grass
Appearance beautiful ruby red nice fluffy white head, lacing clings all the way down
Flavor sweet malt, alcohol heat, tangerines and other citrus, very bitter almost astringent
Mouthfeel/Drinkability nicely carbed a little thin one or two of these a night
Overall a very good example of the style, have two more of these i'm going to cellar

Fermenticusrex, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of Chaney
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%

At the present, this is ranked #9 in the top American Barleywine category. I remember when it was #1, but never mind that this is by far the most reviewed BW in the top ten by a margin of about 600. Speaks volumes, huh?

Bottled on Dec 10, 2011.

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: Poured a clear, ruby red color, with an amazingly dense off-white (mildly) head that had tremendous staying power. This kinda looks like Nugget Nectar.

S: I start to smell the fragrant hoppy air freshener before the cap was even fully popped. Sure this is hoppy, but based on the nose, I wouldn't consider this one to be a bomb in that direction at all... it's much too floral and candy-like for that. Good nose descriptor: Jolly Rancher.

T: Much more hoppy on the front than I would have imagined from the nose, with very compact sugar/licorice combo that I often ascribe to the great American BWs. Sweet, but the bitter elements wash over that. Pretty incredible.

M: Thick, and with a pixie stick dust-infused sugar bill that keeps pulling me back for more and more. The bitter elements really sizzle the palate in the way world-class DIPAs do, and the lacing was substantial.

O: I can't believe I only paid around $8 for this top-notch example of a very popular style. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of the best brews that Great Divide makes... and that is really saying something!

Chaney, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

jwat, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of ninner00
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

ninner00, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -5.2%

KAF, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Beer4Baltimore, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of mhjets
4/5  rDev -5.2%

mhjets, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Ish1
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Ish1, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of YouSkeete
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%

A: Deep red with an amber hue. Two finger thick light tan head. Nice lacing along the edges.

S: Bananas, apple cider, ciabatta bread, creamy malt, dark rum. Smokey aromas and darker fruits follow through. Balanced yeast and hops.

T/M: Sweet caramel malts, bananas and apples with a kick of alcohol on the first taste. Rolling flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and oak wood. A Balanced overall body with flavors of wheat bread, yeast, hops, and creamy sweet malts. Grapes and raspberries along with some other spices make their way through to the taste. The abrasiveness of dark rum follows through into the aftertaste, which also tastes of apples and caramel. Rich, creamy, boozy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation, medium body.

D: Rich and complex. So many great things to say about this. A near perfect barleywine.

YouSkeete, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of RuckusDu
4/5  rDev -5.2%

22oz bottle to NB Globe

A - Strong pour reveals two finger light tan head. Sticks around for a bit. Body is deep amber and copper color. Looks good. Very strong lacing

S - Simply amazing. I want to drink it through my nose. Great sweet scents like caramel, prunes, a little raspberry...ok a lot of raspberry.

T - Starts off with harsh hops. Not what I was expecting after such a sweet aroma. Some alcohol is there. Mellows out a little with warmth, but not my favorite BW.

M - Great carbonation with moderate body. Fits this beer well. Fairly dry on the finish.

O - started off so well and then a little disappointed with the flavor. Still a nice beer but not tops for me.

RuckusDu, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -5.2%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev -5.2%

ElGallo, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of jskennedy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

jskennedy, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of poppyjohn
4/5  rDev -5.2%

poppyjohn, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -5.2%

seeswo, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev -5.2%

ObeMaltKinobee, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%

2011 vintage in a Ommegang flute. Pours a deep red-orange amber. Thin persistent very light tan head fine and medium bubble head and light lacing. Aroma of spicy caramel malt, dark fruit, herbal hops and a hint of oxidation. Piney hops and sweet malt dominate the flavor with dark dried fruit and a light fruit or fruit esters component and light citrus. Nice medium mouth feel with some creaminess. The alcohol is still hot, but the pleasant combination of flavors keeps this tasty. A prototypical well made American barley wine. Tasted side by side with a 2009 in a Nostradamus flute. The 2009 has mellowed very nicely. A thicker, finer head with massive lacing. Aroma is more subdued, but still has the sweet malt, dark fruit and a hint of hops. Flavor is caramel malt, dark fruit and a hint of citrus, nicely integrated. Flavors have mellowed over time, but have combined very nicely. Body is incredibly heavy bodied and creamy. This has aged beautifully and is delicious.

LiquidAmber, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Stigs
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

22oz bottle bated 12/09

served in a chalice

A - pours with a hort-lived layer of sudsy, light tan foam, settling to a thin ring and few floating patches of bubbles. the beer is a beautiful, clear, ruby grapefruit color.

S - classic american barleywine scents: robust caramel malts, tobacco, notes of dark fruits, vanilla and rum, abundant booze, oxidized hops.

T - bold sweet caramel, dark fruits, biting alcohol, and hop bitterness all battle each other for the top billing. definite this beauty within chaos, as each flavor plays off another. hops are slightly grapefruit forward, the years have not completely devoid them of taste. alcohol cleans it all up with a hint of rum and tobacco.

M - medium body yet on the chewy side, lifted slightly by moderate tight carbonation. welcome and warming alcohol heat clean up most of the (good) mess itself. lingering hop bitterness. perfect.

O - a stellar beer, great fresh or with some years on it. this one even at the "awkward" 2-3 year mark for a barleywine still delivers. mental note, get more of this, enjoy a few now and lay some down for the future.

Stigs, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of mfavoino
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%

Enjoyed on tap on 1/19/12.

Appearance: Deep amber and crimson color with a fluffy white head that coated the sides of the glass.

Smell: Hop forward piney aroma with a scent of alcohol.

Taste: Piney hops hit me and dissipated with the balance of bready malt flavors. Lots going on here with some spicy flavors. Alcohol is clearly present as it goes down all the way to my stomach.

Mouthfeel: Well-carbonated and relativey heavy mouthfeel to it. This is a big beer.

Overall: Great hop forward barleywine that is definitey a big beer.

mfavoino, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of IBUdaddy
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

IBUdaddy, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of kaips1
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

kaips1, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
4.43/5  rDev +5%

Single finger head with some lacing on a clear amber and crimson n body. Strong malty aroma with fruity notes. Flavor has a strong cinnonmon note up front, also is spicey malty flavor. Too boozy for my taste though. Pine hops seep through too. Medium body and moderate carbonation. A lIttle too boozy for my taste but otherwise a good member of the genre.

kylehay2004, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of bkbergen
5/5  rDev +18.5%

bkbergen, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of savagepm
4/5  rDev -5.2%

savagepm, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Ksburr74
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Ksburr74, Jan 15, 2012
Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 2,006 ratings.