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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.

2,008 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,008
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 212
Gots: 288 | 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: 2,008 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TimBeaulieu
5/5  rDev +18.5%

TimBeaulieu, May 18, 2014
Photo of psdonnelly
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

psdonnelly, May 15, 2014
Photo of Mlawrence
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Mlawrence, May 15, 2014
Photo of JSBILK
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

JSBILK, May 14, 2014
Photo of DNICE555
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

DNICE555, May 13, 2014
Photo of RMoeNay
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

RMoeNay, May 12, 2014
Photo of ilikebeer03
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber 12/19/12 poured into a snifter.

A: pours a deep ruby red color, with a nice, thick finger of foam. the the head recedes, a nice lacing is left as well as a good ring around the glass and traces in the middle. Above average head retention.

S: hops, dark fruits, sweet malt, breadiness. plum.

T: this is delicious. I'm not a huge fan of barely wines, but this is delicious. Not overly sweet, but not hopped to the point of being an IPA called a barely wine. I get dark fruits with a good hop presence. tropical fruits in the hops mesh well with the sweetness from the barely wine. slight resinous taste from the hops, primarily in the finish. This is incredible. Alcohol is very well masked. You never taste a drop of the alcohol heat. It sneaks up on you.

M: mouthfeel is thick, and nicely coats the mouth. resinous, fruity, sweetness lingers on the palate.

O: this is probably my favorite barely wine to date. incredible!

ilikebeer03, May 11, 2014
Photo of chefbigjon
4/5  rDev -5.2%

chefbigjon, May 11, 2014
Photo of Marshall_ofmcap
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Marshall_ofmcap, May 09, 2014
Photo of davidwhatshisnam
3.25/5  rDev -23%

davidwhatshisnam, May 08, 2014
Photo of jbhollis1180
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

jbhollis1180, May 08, 2014
Photo of WiserBud
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

WiserBud, May 08, 2014
Photo of TahoeTweezed
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

TahoeTweezed, May 06, 2014
Photo of MikeWard
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

MikeWard, May 05, 2014
Photo of mattreitz49
4/5  rDev -5.2%

mattreitz49, May 04, 2014
Photo of Triklino
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Triklino, May 03, 2014
Photo of Golferallen54
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Golferallen54, May 02, 2014
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep crimson red color with a tiny head of fizzy, just off white foam. The brew looks thick even upon pouring sloshing in the snifter and sticking to the sides of the glass. The tiny head that was present upon pouring fades very fast leaving just some foam islands on the surface of the brew and a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – A big and boozy but quite pleasant and warming aroma is in this one. The rum-boozy bourbon smell is one of the heaviest, but is complemented by lots of big sweet aromas as well. Caramel is the heaviest of the sweet, but there is also a good deal of toffee and plenty of dark fruits with it consisting of cherry, raisin, plum and fig. With these aromas are some decent showings of a cocoa smell as well as a little bit of an earthy and herbal hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a thick and bready flavor with some hints of a more roasted malt nature and a good dose of caramel sweetness. Along with the caramel are some flavors of dark fruit, consisting of the fruits that were detected in the nose; cherry, raisin, plum and fig. As the flavor advances the caramel transitions to a more buttery toffee flavor with the fruit flavors remaining rather constant. The bready flavors seem to dwindle ever so slightly but still remain a dominant taste in the profile. Around the middle of the flavor profile the booze starts to become noticeable. It is light at first having a more neutral boozy flavor. Along the same time some hop flavors begin coming to the tongue as well. The hop are mainly of a grapefruit flavor at first, but as the taste advances toward the end, other hops of an earthy and herbal nature join the flavor profile as well. Along with the increase in the hop, the boozy taste takes on more rum like qualities and gets quite a bit more potent toward the end. The newly augmented rum alcohol flavor, when mixed with the rest of the flavors, ends up leaving a nice warming and thick bready and somewhat more hoppy flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is rather low. The feel is just about perfect for the style as it really soaks the tongue in all the boozy, bready, dark fruit, hopped and roasted flavors of the brew making them really stand out in a sea of big flavors. Well done.

Overall – This is a fantastic barleywine!!! Many are either too sweet or just a pure pack of burning booze. This one is fantastically balanced and drinkable with great flavor, feel and aroma. I would recommend.

Darkmagus82, May 01, 2014
Photo of KYGunner
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The color was a tawny Dark copper with a cloudy body and a bit of thinness. The foam head was thick and dense.

The nose was filled with chocolate and fudge brownie sweetness. The malt was obvious barley but there was a wine like air, hence barleywine.

The flavor is clean and at first very simple. It tastes like barleywine but as you delve further strong caramel flavor comes on. Even further still I was catching sweet dried dark fruit like prune, raisin and crabapple. It finished with fudge and brownie.

The feel is smooth but a little thinner than I anticipated, with low carbonated feel and a bit of alcohol sensation.

This is a solid and quite delicious barleywine that starts simple but opens up to be a relatively complex experience.

KYGunner, May 01, 2014
Photo of BuckTuckian
4/5  rDev -5.2%

BuckTuckian, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of drmcleod10
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

drmcleod10, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of frlrv1020
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

frlrv1020, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of cjgiant
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Found an odd-labeled bottle and looked it up, and apparently instead of being new, it's an old label. From my limited research the bottle is circa 2008 or so. I was going to try it anyhow, but became more intrigued by the age factor.

A: dark ruby and clear (as clear as a darker beer can be, I guess). Edge and lacing is decent, quite nice if it is aged as presumed
S: heavy on the dark fruit, raisin mainly, maybe some fig. Also grape notes as one might get from wine. Minor amount of alcohol noted
T: follows the nose pretty well, but adding in a hops dryness (it is listed at 85 IBU). There is also a woodiness present, even though it isn't touted as having to do with a barrel (aging). Stronger on the dark fruit, but not sweet at all. Taste also includes stronger hints of alcohol.
M: dry hops pervades the end, muting the dark fruit into a bourbon-like taste. Even though the carbonation was present in the head, it didn't make a presence in the feel

O: more hoppy and less sweet than I expected from a barley wine. The tastes did seem more mellow than I can imagine them being at one point (especially considering what I've seen from Great Divide). I'll have to have a newer batch to compare.

Review of Dec-2013 bottle:
A: little lighter than I saw from 2008, but I had that in a darker bar
S: maybe a little more bitter than previously noted
T/M/O: about online with my rating, although I think the hops is a little more forward. I kinda expected this in a fresher batch.

cjgiant, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of R_J_FearNoBeer
4/5  rDev -5.2%

R_J_FearNoBeer, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date: Dec. 20, 2012. Thanks, local liquor store.

A slight boozy smell to this one, which I'm sure has been balanced by the year and a half it's been aging on my local store's shelf. I love that I can taste the hops, almost as if there's an oak-aged IPA hiding in here. Delicious! I'm looking forward to killing this bomber!

MakeMineADoubleJack, Apr 22, 2014
Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 2,008 ratings.