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Old Ruffian Barley Wine - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,173 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,173
Reviews: 1,067
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 237
Gots: 334 | FT: 19
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
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Ratings: 2,173 | Reviews: 1,067
Photo of TonyTalon
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of lnashsig
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#BOTG number 20!

2009 Vintage, thanks to MDaschaf (Matt)! Thanks dude!

Poured from bottle into CBS snifter. Looks like dark brown rain water. Some decent head, still some carbonation present. Appearance of an English Barleywine. Smell- sweet molasses and caramel. Toffee, faint plastic in the background- but it doesn't detract too much. A great smelling beer, I am guessing that I am probably sniffing the remnants of the hops. Vanilla is also present. Taste- whoa. cocoa, roasted caramel/toffee, vanilla. This is mellow and delicous, and I am amazed at the surprising chocolate and creme brule taste profile. The hops have mellowed and the malt has developed a very nice complex profile. For the ABV, I get no booze at all. In fact, its scary how quick this can go down. I've had this beer fresh, and its abrasive and super hoppy. In fact, I didn't like it fresh. This is great though, I was glad to try it. Thanks again Matt!

Photo of MSandahl23
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of dcellis
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Snellgg5
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of TobinMitnick
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of andjriz
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of craig220
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of antoines15
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of laxer8811
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Andrew4321
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of SawDog505
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20 Duvel tulip glass, bottled 12/02/2011. Pours a ruby red, with a two inch off white head that leaves an amazing coting of lace. Smell is big carmel, brown sugar, pine hops, and some dark fruit. Taste is all of that, but larger with more pine and grapefruit hops then the nose would have you expect. Body is large, wonderful amount of carbonation, more lush than dry, and very drinkable for its large body and ABV. This is my new favorite non barrel aged Barleywine, wow is this is special.

Photo of claspada
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated Jan 07 2010.

Pours a hazy tawny, rustic mahogany with a substantial creamy, fluffy off-white head that leaves some nice sticky/soapy lacing on the sides of the chalice.

Aromas begin quite heavy on the caramel and dark fruity malts, as you might anticipate from being aged for 2 years plus. Second pass I get a light citrus and pine hop presence which still remains, which makes me think this was a hop bomb fresh. As it warms I get more complex maltiness highlighted by brown sugar, toffee and figs/dates. A decent amount of toasted breadiness is present throughout with no real booze or heat to speak of.

The tastes directly follow the nose with big toffee, dark caramel and brown sugar maltiness. You then get a light but substantial enough bitterness on the back end, enough that I can pick out the pine and light blood orange hop flavors. Toasted bready and the dark fruit flavors are once again present, no alcohol whatsoever. More bitter than I expected still but not too much so for the style. Fresh this may have been too bitter for the style, but aged here it is at a perfect level.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a surprisingly medium level of carbonation. The slight extra bit of carbonation helps this from being too sweet, which is important because barleywines can become too sweet with this much age on them. Finish is lightly sweet but more so lightly bitter.

Overall this is one of the best American Barleywines out there. Not quite up to the level of the Alaskan Barleywine which I consider the top, but really close. Really nice flavor profile, pine/citrus bitterness to complement the sweet caramel/toffee maltiness. Just a great showing overall. (This beer once again helps to prove my theory that American Barleywines peak at 2 years of age, so I will continue to follow that practice of waiting until that maturity date to sample going forward and recommend all to do the same for maximum enjoyment.) Definitely a must try for fans of the style and another high quality brew from Great Divide.

Photo of Jaycase
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: light mahogany. one finger head, thick lacing

s: caramel, fruity, hops.

t: hops with a booziness aspect. strong alcohol presence.

m: medium body, low carbonation. tad thin

o: alcohol is quite strong, a tad too much in my opinion. I prefer bigfoot over this one.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an off-beat barleywine thats pretty good, but in my opinion overrated on BA. pours a mostly clear amber color with a good fluffy white head. smells like fruity wood, maybe cherry or apple wood. plenty of hops in the nose as well, more than the style usually presents. there is also the smell of red/amber malts in this one, caramel and toffee sweetness. flavor is a compliment to the nose, very similar profile. long long bitter finish here, and a shocking alcohol burn. the feel is good, if a bit too boozed up, but theres good carbonation and a medium body on it. overall, its complexity and strength make it a nice barleywine, but im not as blown away as some other reviewers.

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a 12 oz. snifter. Bottling date 5.12.11.

Look- Rosy amber-brown with three fingers of crackly-looking off-white head that settles slowly and leaves the glass coated with a dense layer of lace.

Smell- Bubblegum, green apple, and cedar are the first things to mind. The second take reveals hints of pineapple, tangerine, cinnamon raisin bread, and a bit of booze. Promising.

Taste- Resiny, fruity, and bready throughout. Quite tasty. Starts with a crisp citrusy bite that is quickly followed by a toffeelike malt. Finishes with brown sugar, raisin, and a bit of clove. Aftertaste is herbal and a little sweet, with a drawn-out spicy feel. Alcohol is very subdued. Well balanced, not as sweet as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel- Full body, light-to-medium carb. Slick feeling, dry finish. Chewy. Clean for the style, not cloying as many barleywines are. Drinkable for the style.

Overall- Pretty good, and reasonably priced. I would still pass in favor of Middle Ages Druid Fluid, if I could get it in my area. Still, it's a solid beer, and better than this year's Bigfoot. I'll definitely pick it up again at some point.

Photo of daveytheformer
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of mjweth2
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of 2beerdogs
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Red Amber color with a good amount of haze. Head is slightly tan in color with some good retention in terms of head and lacing

Smell - Sweet Caramel, Toffee, Sweetened Piney/Citrus Hops, Malts, Yeasts and some fruity notes which I can't quite put my finger on. It's got a very rich smell to it, without being too powerful

Taste - Initial sips show Strong Resiny Citrus Hops upfront followed by sweet caramel flavors and malts. After the first sips, the hops are more balanced out with the sweetened caramel and fruity notes.

Mouthfeel - Thick Bodied with a feeling of molasses. The carbonation is pretty mild and makes it a surprisingly creamy beer to drink. I like it!

Overall - It starts out strong in terms of hoppiness before balancing out into a nice sweet tasting barleywine. Pair that along with a creamy mouthfeel and you get a winning combination

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of ucsbmullet
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 2,173 ratings.