1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,991 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,991
Reviews: 1,038
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 211
Gots: 280 | 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: 1,991 | Reviews: 1,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
DarthGuitarHero

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

02-13-2012 23:42:27 | More by DarthGuitarHero
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-13-2012 13:04:15 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of hopluva1
hopluva1

Washington

4/5  rDev -5.2%

02-13-2012 05:47:31 | More by hopluva1
Photo of BWarrington
BWarrington

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

02-12-2012 03:15:02 | More by BWarrington
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-11-2012 19:55:28 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

4/5  rDev -5.2%

A - Pours a murky orange/red color with a thick slightly off white head that leaves some nice lacing.

S - Big malty sweet aroma upfront before the citrusy and slightly herbal hop notes come in. Faint hint of alcohol in the background.

T - Fruity, boozy and quite intense (yet balanced). Citral and piney hops make an appearance. Citrus peel, dark fruit, caramel and boozy finish.

M - Thick and syrupy and full and very much bold with flavor.

O - Another solid beer from Great Divide. This is my first time having this beer and I can tell that I'll like this one more with a few years on it.

02-11-2012 19:22:31 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of Tyrawlings
Tyrawlings

Ohio

4/5  rDev -5.2%

02-11-2012 16:38:08 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of beermaned
beermaned

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-10-2012 15:15:35 | More by beermaned
Photo of Fitzmke
Fitzmke

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-10-2012 08:54:29 | More by Fitzmke
Photo of jcomp21
jcomp21

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%

02-09-2012 18:35:38 | More by jcomp21
Photo of SquidVicious
SquidVicious

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-09-2012 16:04:46 | More by SquidVicious
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Old Ruffian, bottle bought at Owasso Wine&Liquor in Oklahoma for $11.99 (then I come back to NYC and see it for $8.99!).

Bottled November 2010 and consumed on January 29 2012.

Appearance: Classic barleywine looks, amber-raisin looks, sherry-like. A solid finger of head that lasts and lot of foam. Great carbonation, retention and lacing.

Smell: Hoppy! Despite the age... funky too, stinky lake in a pig farm in Texas. Brown sugar, coconut shavings. Dirty raisin juice, stale cranberry juice.

Taste: Hops right away, dank and musty. I get a little vanilla and coconut... then toffee, Twix, lot of sugar. Some serious sweetness here! Booze, top-shelf liquor.

Mouthfeel: Full flavor, medium-to-full-body, well balanced. Not too dry or boozy. Smooth and nice, you can feel the age.

Overall: I love how drinkable this is. A farmer's beer, let me say, so "barnyard-y". The age adds interest to it and it is really balanced. Some hops and funk on the mix. Not the most outrageous barleywine in the world, but damn good!

02-09-2012 06:06:51 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of tatums1984
tatums1984

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -40.8%

02-09-2012 05:30:32 | More by tatums1984
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a deep amber with a mountain of thick, foamy, cascading, brownish head that has amazing retention. The nose has a heavy citrusy hop aroma as well as a faint caramelly, malty aroma with hints of pineapple and birthday cake. The flavor is malty, bready, and caramelly up front with some faint dark fruit notes followed by an intense hop character. The hops offer citrus, grapefruit, and pineapple as well as some piny, earthy notes. The hops leave the bitterness of an IPA behind on the palate well after the swallow. The alcohol is present but it mostly adds warmth and a slight bite to the finish. The mouthfeel is warm, medium to full bodied, and very smooth.

This is a well built barleywine. This will also keep the DIPA vs. Barleywine conversation going. The flavor is fantastic and I bet some time will calm the hops and marry the flavors a little. The alcohol is buried and only really shows up in the finish and in the warmth of the mouthfeel. It's drinkabe. Maybe dangerously so. I would definitely have this again.

02-09-2012 03:38:19 | More by tdm168
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -6.4%

22 oz bottle. Snifter.

A: Very dark red, finger of creamy off-white head.

S: Strong overripe dark fruits (figs, dates, raisins), and lots of underlying booze.

T: It certainly leans toward the fruity side with bitter raisin flavor sticking out.

M: The body is pretty thick with average carbonation.

O: It is a good barleywine along the lines of Old Horizontal and Third Coast Old Ale.

02-08-2012 15:17:55 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of ChumleyX
ChumleyX

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-08-2012 03:02:15 | More by ChumleyX
Photo of LJWalker
LJWalker

Alabama

3/5  rDev -28.9%

02-06-2012 23:13:34 | More by LJWalker
Photo of PostVinyl
PostVinyl

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-06-2012 06:09:47 | More by PostVinyl
Photo of Sreda
Sreda

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-05-2012 20:21:36 | More by Sreda
Photo of RandyBoBandy
RandyBoBandy

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-05-2012 03:38:51 | More by RandyBoBandy
Photo of zhanson88
zhanson88

California

3.95/5  rDev -6.4%

Bottled Nov. 2010.

Appearance: Pours out a deep clear ruby color with 1/2" of off-white head. Head is very fizzy and doesn't last long, not surprising considering the ABV and style. Lacing and legs are decent.

Smell: Smells of sweet caramel, maybe a few dark fruits, and plenty of hops. A lot of citrus and pine hops are present.

Taste: Similar to the smell. Fairly malty up front with caramel, and a very hoppy finish. Still very hoppy after 1 year, I would be interested to see what 3-4 years does for it.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit prickly. The beer definitely does drink to it's 10.2% mark, the alcohol is definitely noticeable. Overall, a pretty good barleywine. I tend to enjoy the malty barleywines more, so while I enjoyed this, I didn't love it. Still, have to recognize it for a solid beer of it's style. Would like to try one of these that's aged even more for comparison's sake.

02-05-2012 03:13:25 | More by zhanson88
Photo of Beer21
Beer21

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

02-04-2012 04:16:19 | More by Beer21
Photo of dcloeren
dcloeren

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +10.9%

Split this bomber with my brother.

This beer looks amazing! Poured a clean and crisp ruby red with 2 fingers of creamy roasted marshmellow head. Got some sticky spotty lacing.

Sweet carmalized dark fruit with a bountiful amount of citrus/tropical fruit hops. Makes for a very sweet and inviting barleywine.

Taste follows the nose. Excellent carmel malt, dark fruits, pineapple, grapefruit and orange zest hops. Amazingly delicious.

Full in body with an abundant amount of carbonation. Extremely sticky and a little numbing on the tongue. This brew hides the alcohol extremely well in the smell and taste but cant hide the tongue numbing alcohol and it is VERY welcomed! Semi dry hop aftertaste. Smooth as all get out! Perfection if there ever was such as thing.

Overall, this is the best Barleywine that I have had to date. Everything about this beer is amazing. Great nose, great taste, excellent mouthfeel... I have to find some more of these. Definitely pick up a bottle if you come across. Well worth it!

02-04-2012 01:08:38 | More by dcloeren
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +14.5%

A big, thick, fat tan head 2+ fingers tall sits heavily on a bright burnt orange brew and leaves lacing in sticky, heavy deposits pretty well down my glass.
Dark fruits pop from the aroma along with sweet and bready malts and a very American hops presence that provides mostly citrus and a bit of pine. I also detect a very interesting (but not bad) slightly metallic doppelbock-like molasses sweetness. It seems there's good complexity, and quite a lot comes out, but the powerful sweetness tames some of what's underneath.
The flavor opens up, offering a mix of dark fruits and citrus, sweet bready and caramel malts, and floral hops bitterness. The hops bouquet is powerful but exceptionally balanced with the malts and complemented by sweetness, a bit of softness, a light herbal dryness, a very tame spiciness, and a more orange than lemon citrus flavor. I imagine this is as hoppy as a barleywine could be without heavily sacrificing balance and crushing any other nuanaced flavors. This is phenomenally brewed and showcases the major difference between American and English barleywines. As Americans go, this is it. The alcohol somehow staved off unitl the finish for a big 10%+, where it comes out and manages to avoid an overly ethanolic taint.
This is a big, bold beer, nicely thick with a sharp crispness. Body, depth, smoothness and crispness are all here.
This is possibly the quintessential Barleywine in the American style.

02-02-2012 20:02:56 | More by Brenden
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Bottled on Dec. 12, 2011. Bomber poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent copper red, great white fluffy head and nice sticky lacing and retention; great color and good looking brew. Hoppy nose full of fruity hops, blended with caramel malts. Lots of orange peel and lemon zest in the mix. Tastes really good, lots of hops giving it a nice bitterness. Sharp and bold. The caramel malts definitely give it a nice sweeteness. I'm also picking up on subtle fig/raisin notes. Mouthfeel is very nice, smoooth, creamy, well carbonated. Alchohol is unnoticeable and it's extremely easy to drink at 10.2% abv.. dangerously drinkable.

This is a hoppy barleywine.. almost reminded me of a DIPA, but it stays true to style and is very very tasty. Recommended..

02-02-2012 01:30:14 | More by BB1313
Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,991 ratings.