1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Old Ruffian Barley Wine - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,144 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,144
Reviews: 1,061
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 237
Gots: 321 | 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:
Beer added by: gbontrag on 11-28-2004

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Ruffian Barley Wine Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,144 | Reviews: 1,061 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mbs11
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Lantern
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of flashablecards
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First review!

Barley Wines are a guilty pleasure of mine. I love all beer (there's even a place for Bud Light in this world), but I would pass on most beers for a chance to try something new in the BW realm. Tonight I did just that.

Appearance: Admittedly, I give my judgement with Thomas Hardy as a foundation. A lot clearer and brighter than I would expect.. has the color of a brown ale. Not that I really care though.

Smell: Yup, smells like BW. I was afraid there would be too much emphasis on hops after reading the description on the bottle, but it's definitely not noticeable here.

Taste: What I would expect from a BW; slightly sweet, with notes of age and wine. The hops in definitely noticeable, but not so overpowering that it takes away from anything else too much.

Mouthfeel: Never did understand this category. On a scale of 1 to 3, 1 being "what did i just put in my mouth" and 3 being "I feel fancy", I'll give it a solid 2.2.

I love BWs, and if you like Tom Hardy with a little bit of hops and a relatively high ABV (10.2%, I want wondering why I was feeling so fuzzy) you'll definitely enjoy this one.

Photo of tfsimpkins
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of FUNKPhD
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Sailracer
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ABO2012
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of hollerined
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. Bottled 12/2/11, so it is basically un-aged, but I'm going to give it a try.

Appearance: rich amber hue with the tiniest touch of haze. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam with a hint of orange infused. Nice!

Smell: big sweet malt with a light fruitiness and a bit of that strong-ale prickliness. Good!

Taste: big malt and big alcohol. Sweet with some caramel notes with a bite of both bitterness and alcohol. The hops themselves don't come through very strongly other than in bitterness. Frankly, it's a bit over-alcoholic; the flavor doesn't stand up to the octane.

Mouthfeel: big body with a great carbonation and a great silkiness. Pretty awesome.

Overall: there's just too much strength here for the flavor profile. The flavor is good, but even for a barleywine it's got too much alcohol.

Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of shebby
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of depechemode1983
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a beautiful clear mahogany color. There isn't much head retention but it leaves lots of sticky lacing. The color is amazing though almost like a light red wine.

S - Bittersweet grapefruit, sweet caramel, sour grapes and faint alcohol. Extremely aromatic. All the smells jump out.

T - Very sweet. Maybe a little too sweet. Could use a little more balance. Still you get the grapefruit rind bitterness in there and this time around sweet apples come into play. Finish is bitter and alcohol is surprisingly well hidden considering the abv.

M - Soft, oily/slick. Carbonation is low.

O - I love beers like this. This whole bomber is going to last a really long time. Worth the 8 dollars in my honest opinion. Its a little malt forward but if you like that sort of thing and are expecting it than your in for a treat.

Photo of pawpaw
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of TexAggie011
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of baybassboy
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Zachb4au
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of bentonquest
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of johnnyboy76
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of diamondc
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Dec 5 2011

A: A clear shade of crimson, fluffy tan head, lots of lacing.

S: Spicy ... cinnamon, woodsy, dark chocolate, pine. Nothing really leaps out.

T: Heavy on the pine hop flavors, tastes almost dirt-y, bit of a cotton candy aftertaste.

M: A bit medicinal, reminds me of cherry flavored cough syrup. A sipper.

O: A decent barleywine, not the best on the shelf. Still enjoyed it though.

Photo of Amp
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of jrenihan
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2, 2011.

Pours a reddish brown, relatively light. A fairly large white head recedes slowly.

Smell contains caramel malt, diacetyl, and some hoppy scents with mild citrus- grapefruit. Malt also results in a bit of a bready smell. Some grape and plum scents as well, a bit like port, but not strong. Quite good.

Taste follows the nose. The dark fruit scents stick out first, accompanied by caramel and bready malt flavours. The hoppy flavours come in as well, resulting in a beer that is well balanced between bitter and sweet and has a bit of a citrus flavour, along with a grassy element. Good.

Moderate carbonation, full bodied, a bit of a chewy flavour. Alcohol is present but quite well hidden for the strength.

Overall, very good. Very enjoyable and great on a cold day.

Photo of thegerm87
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 2,144 ratings.