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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,135 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,135
Reviews: 1,060
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 237
Gots: 315 | 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: 2,135 | Reviews: 1,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gueuzer
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery

App- A reddish brown with a clinging lace. Quite nice.

S- Strong bittering hops with a sticky bun notes in the back. A little booze burn.

Ta- Upfront hops. Very bitter. The sweet caramel malt back it up but not quite enough to balance out.

Ov- Border between a double IPA and barley wine. Need to tone down the hops to let everything play out a bit more.

Photo of UpToMeBeer
3.29/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I do not get the hpye over this beer. Pours nicely with a mohagany/copper color and healthy head that retains nicely.

The smell is ordinary at best. Nothing pronounced.

The taste is alcohol-heavy with little else to offer... too much grassy-ness and no trace of what you hope for in a barley-wine. As it warms, a hint of caramel comes out, but it's too little, too late. The best thing is the mouthfeel: this is a full-bodied, nearly sticky beer.

Photo of deanhead
3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice amber color, highly alcoholic nose

The taste is bitter almost sour...maybe acid aldehyde. I want to have faith in this beer, and hope it's not infected. Finishes with a taste like acetone.

Very dank and hoppy. Slightly thin to medium body. Would have expected more body from a beer this big. The malt flavor is somewhat overpowering.

It's drinkable, but either needs some time, or a different bottle then one I drank.

I did enjoy this beer despite the bottle itself being suspect.

Photo of hardy008
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color with a 1 - 2 finger light tan head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma has pine hops and caramel malt. Seems to be a pretty even balance between hop and malt aroma.

The taste of this beer has a pretty even balance between pine hops and caramel malt. I believe the best Barleywines have more malt, and fewer hops, which is only my preference for Barleywines.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, hoppy and oily. This is a decent beer, but is too hoppy for a Barleywine.

Photo of chilly460
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Copper/orange amber, pours a one finger tan head. Nice capped head the entire beer.

S: Big grapefruit and banana dominate. Some strong toffee malt in there too.

T: Here we go again, I admit I'm not a barleywine fan and this one does the "usual" to me for the style. Initial sweet banana taste, almost overly sweet...then the sudden and unpleasant shift to a pure pine resin bitterness. Just not my cup of tea, don't like the balance.

M: Chewy comes to mind, thick and goopy, one of the first beers I've had that I thought may have had too much body.

D: Can't put it any other way, struggled through half a bomber here. Just couldn't get over the harshness of the flavors, both sweet and hoppy. It's clear now I'm not going to like any barleywines, but found this one among the worst I've tried.

Photo of yourchoice
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Catching up on some notes from the last couple weeks...

A - Muddy brownish red, like stained mahogany. Very little light tan head, quckly dissipating.

S - Raisins, sweet cranberries...very raisiny and sweet.

T - Not detecting it in the smell, I was surprised to find it a little smokey, but still very sweet. Still raisins and figs. Pronounced alcohol (not a "hidden" 10 ABV).

M - Little carbonation, good body.

O - I can't honestly say I was longing for my next sip. I'll have to revisit in the future to see if I may have missed something or my palate was off...

Photo of GehenHerzog
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 2009 Vintage 22oz bomber, purchased from Brawley's (Charlotte) poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A- Pours a a red to burnt red color with almost no head. .

S- Smells of dark fruits, caramel and a extremely small hint of hops. Not much here other than the dark fruit.

T- Again...Dark fruits, caramel and and earth hops (again, not much hops present). It is slightly bitter but the dark fruits really shine.

M- Medium bodied with almost no carbonation.

D- This is a strong beer. You can tell this beer is strong and it burns going down.

I'll end this by saying I am not a big barleywine fan but I was definitely not a fan of this beer. It was too strong for me and the flavors didn't suit my palate.

Photo of tjthresh
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber. Pour a beautiful clear garnet/mahogany red. A creamy whipped head forms that lasts the entire pint. Notes of caramel/toffee, cooked brown sugar, and ton of hops rush right to the nose. You can taste all 90 IBUs in the beer. Almost to a fault. There is an alcohol burn that I can do without also. There is some big hop flavor with enough malt sweetness to keep this beer from crossing into the Imperial IPA catagory. Quite full bodied and mouthfilling. Everything clings to your tounge for a while. I think it might hang on too long. Old Ruffian is worth the 6 buck I paid for it. I just think it might be a bit too over the top.

Photo of champ103
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy deep orange/reddish color. At first pour, a large white head forms, but recedes to a ring and leaves some sticky and patchy lace.
S: This is great. Hops and malt are balanced perfectly. Fruity citrus aromas (lemon, grapefruit, lime) with sweet candy malt aromas. A lot is going on in the nose.
T: The flavor seems a bit muted. Plenty of hop bitterness and malt flavors to balance out, but not as rounded as the nose. Almost a cloying sweetness. Not that it is bad by any means, just not a knock out.
M/D: Creamy, smooth, and well carbonated. Lots of alcohol, and the sweetness makes this a sipping beer. One is more than plenty.

A good American barlywine that I enjoy. Nothing outstanding, but a well balanced beer. Something I would recommend to lovers of the style.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice dark copper color, very cloudy. Great sticky lacing.

Smell is very caramelly, thick hops and strong fruits.

Bitter taste comes through the most, along with syrupy like toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel on this is great. Swirl this over your tongue for a bit and it literally nubs your tongue. Very thick all around from body to resiny hop bitterness.

Drinkability on this is tough. I'd imagine finishing a bomber by yourself would be pretty difficult. It's certainly a sipper.

Photo of popery
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 10/28/10. ~11 month old bottle. This beer could use some more time. Right now, it’s sticky, kinda boozy and harsh. There are some nice caramel notes lurking in there, but it’s just not all that enjoyable right now. Aroma is caramel malt and citric hops. Sweet sugar cane, apricots and an acetone/metal note also show up. The taste is sweet leading to harsh. Lots of caramel malt flavor is packed into this beer. Mouthfeel is fairly sticky. Appearance is a darkened amber with an off-white to beige head. At any rate, I imagine a vintage bottle would get higher marks. Also, I’m sorta down on barleywines, right now, so I’ll give this one another try in the future.

Photo of irishevans
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks much like sockeye red, and the nose to match. i'm 100% expecting an IPA. flowery mildly hoppy taste with a good bite on the finish, and a crisp mouthfeel. this is also very "downable", if you will, extremely easy to drink. everything I want out of an IPA, not what I expect from a barley wine. but being what it is, it is good. so if you want an IPA with a lot of a.b.v. this is it.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured into standard pint.

A- Pours a blood orange with a finger worth of head. The head leaves a nice cap on the beer and leaves good, soapy lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Pretty hoppy for the style, with some malts in there as well. I pick up some black cherries, currants and caramel. Just a hint of alcohol peaks through.

T- Like the nose, very hoppy on the forefront. There is also a little soapiness going on as well which is a little off putting. The malt is pretty well hidden but there are decent notes of brown sugar and caramel.

M- Medium bodied with some good bitter notes. A little dry on the finish and a little lighter than what I expected.

D- I think this is a little too hoppy for my liking. Not bad flavor wise but there is just something missing from this one.

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 2,135 ratings.