Barrel Aged Old Ruffian - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged Old RuffianBarrel Aged Old Ruffian

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

369 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 369
Reviews: 146
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 257
Gots: 119 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ArrogantB on 10-08-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 369 | Reviews: 146
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared at approx 45 degrees
VINTAGE: 2009 BOTTLE NUMBER: 803/1188
I was saving this bottle to share with ElJoebo, on his birthday this year. Since that isn't going to happen now, I drink this tonight, in his honor. RIP, brother. I miss you already.

This pours up a dark amber color, with a nice golden tint to it, and a light hint of ruby. The head is loose and full of big bubbles, which don't stay around too long. The lacing is somewhat minimal, although it does leave a slightly impressive filminess.

This smells incredible. I don't know what it is about Stranahan's barrels, but they produce some of my favorite beer smells.
Tons of buttery vanilla and caramel. Lots of oak. A good amount of toasted coconut. A good dose of sweet, rich, maltiness comes through, from underneath the whiskey notes. Good hints of dark fruits. A touch of molasses. There is still a lightly noticed touch of earthy hops.

Follows the nose, very well. Lots of caramel notes, rich and buttery, mingle with vanilla and toasted coconut. Big maltiness comes through. A good showing of dark fruits. Big, boozy, whiskey presence, which is impressive, since it's well over a year old now.
I like this one a lot. Joe would have, also.

This is full bodied and has a light level of carbonation. The lack of carbo detracts a slight bit, I think. It is extremely smooth, yet lacks the creaminess that would put it over the top. The finish is very warm and somewhat vinous.

This is very tasty. It's not a 'session' beer, for sure....but it is delicious! I hope to get to taste this again, someday.

More User Reviews:
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Deep Red-copper. Quite a big creamy tannish head on the pour. Messy lacing. Quite a looker.
smell: More malty, caramel and whisky notes. The hoppy bite of the base beer is muzzled. Rich.
Taste: Barrel aging has turned this into an English imo and not complaining. This is rich, full, loads of disparate but nicely blended flavors like vanilla, whiskey, malt, with a still a slight hoppy bite in the finish.
overall: Well done indeed.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.39/5  rDev +6%

Bottle in trade from Adam. Big thanks for a big want to a great trader. Looks like an ’11 on the bottle so I am assuming this is a 2011 bottle, 750 ml, poured 8/17/14. Bottle #1113. Pours muddy brown with a creamy two finger off white head. Awesome aroma of whiskey, oak, vanilla, interestingly some chocolate here, toffee, and lots of figs and some brown sugar. Flavor is big time bourbon but super smooth, oak, massive vanilla tones, figs, brown sugar, some caramel, lingering vanilla oakiness. Medium to heavy bodied, medium plus carbonation, smooth finish with nearly no booze burn. Wow this is really nice.

Photo of tectactoe
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to whomever brought this one to the taste. Haven't had the regular Old Ruffian at the time of tasting this, though I have two 2010 vintages ready to go... Perhaps I should crack one soon. Pours a dark, burnt brown and tan color with a nicely crafted tan head, fine-bubbled and lasting for half the pour.

Boozy and sweet aroma up front, full of big-time oak notes. Luckily, this one doesn't smell infected like the batches of BA Yeti... Some more sweetness is apparent on the nose, vanilla-ish and warm, alcoholic molasses. I haven't had the original Old Ruffian to compare to (I have a 2010 release in my cellar, no idea when I'll finally drink it). Some dark fruits on the nose as well, typical barleywine aromas abound.

Taste follows right along, starting off with a caramel, molasses, and toffee under-body, moderately sweet and delicate. Along comes a powerful and very sweet, toasted brown sugar flavor, hitting the taste buds pretty hard. Dark fruits become more noticeable eventually; grapes, raisins, prunes, black cherries - all soaked in booze and coated in sugar.

The booze is a little heavier in the aroma than it is on the palate, and it doesn't carry as strong of a bourbon feel as it did before, either. The oak is as powerful as ever, however, along with a mild vanilla and cinnamon spice. The finish is full of more boozy raisins and dates atop a sturdy, oak filled platform. A touch syrupy, silky and smooth on the palate with a lower-end amount of carbonation.

Definitely very drinkable for 12.7% ABV - sweet but not too sweet, with nice oak components, apparent from the barrel aging. I'll have pop the Old Ruffian soon to see how it compares. Luckily this one wasn't infected like some of the Barrel Aged Yetis that were released before this.

Photo of brownbeer
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is from the second bottling.

Pours murky brown, very clear, with no head at all.

The nose is wonderful. Maple, brown sugar, vanilla, and really doesn't show much alcohol.

I didn't like the experience of drinking it as much as I enjoyed the aroma. Pretty sweet with caramelized brown sugar and what I thought was a pretty serious lack of hop flavor, considering the non-barrel-aged stays hoppy for years. It's thick and boozy, and prickly on the tongue and has next to no carbonation.

It's pretty hot right now, so I would say to hold on to it for now.

Photo of marvin213
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky mud with a creme, bubbly beard, it looks like slop in whic a pig would play! It smells like sweet, creamy butter. And toffee. Some caramel sweets sway through and, as it warms, sweet, sweet whiskey. Perhaps the best nose on any barleywine I've encountered (Cabernet barrel-aging with others offering a considerably distant second).

It tastes strong and smooth. Tough with purpose, I respect it like the old carpenter who wears too much Brut or the immigrant barber with heavy aftershave, huge hands, and an eastern European accent (no homo). I mean it's a manly beer!

The beard is thick, and it leaves its marks everywhere it swirls. There's a butterscotch sweetness that's seductive and alluring, while all the while a leathery malt burn reminds you that this pour has power. I feel like my granddaddy would be proud of me for drinking this!

I imagine the whiskey will wait to impart its influence until after it warms up a bit--too subtle an influence there might provide for my biggest criticism. So mellow and smooth a taste for such a powerful beer, I eagerly await it taking me over (no homo--too much shades of grey in the collective consciousness right now). This is undoubtedly a propulsion into classy tastiness for the Ol Old Ruffian....

Photo of MattyG85
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Bottled on date of March 26, 2015.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A rich, toasty, and boozy malt driven aroma with big hints of bourbon, caramel, and biscuit. Big upfront barrel presence with a scent of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, and wood. Toasted barley malt with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and butterscotch. Earthy hops with some hints of grass. Subtle dark fruit hints of fig and dates. Also some sweet hints of brown sugar. A very good complex aroma.

Taste: Like the nose hints at, a rich, boozy, and toasty malt forward taste with notes of bourbon, caramel, and biscuit. Upfront barrel taste with notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Toasted barley malt with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, and butterscotch. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Mild earthy and herbal hop presence with some grass and pine. Subtle dark fruit undertones of fig, cherry, and dates. A very nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a carbonation level on the lighter side of medium. Rich, creamy, chewy, and moderately syrupy. A little hot as expected but still smooth considering.

Overall: A very good Barrel Aged twist on a great base Barleywine. Good blend of bourbon and malt flavors.

Photo of glid02
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this thanks to RustyDiamond - thanks!

Pours a brownish-copper color with a 1.5-finger off-white head. The head sticks around for a while before receding into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bourbon and vanilla with good amounts of caramel malt and toffee lurking in the background.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Huge bourbon and vanilla flavors up front are backed by a strong caramel malt backbone. Near the end of the sip the caramel and toffee flavors come out a bit before a bitter ending. Piney hop flavors are present throughout but take a backseat to the aforementioned flavors, actually they're stuffed in the trunk.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass quickly and could easily finish the entire bomber.

Overall I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for bourbon in beer, and this one did not disappoint. Definitely worth a shot if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of pwoods
3.14/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a dirty, murky brown with damn near no carbonation. No head on the pour with no lacing.

S: Sweet yet rich malts with a light bourbon aroma but a good barrel nose.

T/M: No carbonation. Some citrus but more of the rich but sweet malts. Bourbon comes out as it warms but not very bit. Lots of barrel. No carbonation is very dissapointing.

D: drinks easy for as big as it is bit no carbo....

Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, heavy black foil-capped bottle, number 0132, and 11.8% ABV. Thanks evermore to doktorzee for bearing the obviously sturdy luggage back from Colorado.

This beer pours a hazy, murky dark orange brickish hue, with three fingers of finely foamy, even a bit creamy beige head, which leaves some nicely thorough cascading cloud layer lace around the glass as things sink away - purdy, indeed.

It smells of sweet, musty caramel/toffee malt, a mildly astringent grainy woodiness, soft boozy bourbon vanilla, and quite evident resinous leafy, herbal, and piney hops. The taste is rather sugary caramel, toffee, and alcohol, a bit of further simple syrup sweetness, soft vanilla and spicy rye whiskey soaked wood, a tame earthy, tobacco ash mustiness, and more somewhat citrusy, but mostly pine needle and herbal tea-esque bitter hops.

The carbonation is weakly fizzy, but broad enough to count, the body medium-heavy in weight (the boozy wood quotient always seems to take a toll there), mostly smooth, with a hint or two of oppressed creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, no surprise, but now more than a bit tempered, as the hops, wood, and general old basement mustiness come into their collective own. The big booze still seems to have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque, or something.

I've not yet had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the base Old Ruffian, so I can only surmise as to the mollifying effect that the Colorado whiskey barrel has had here, though I will say that the understated effects have a seemingly positive spin. More relevant, supposedly, are the big and brash hops, which do well here to preserve the American status of this tasty barleywine, even as the the wood is equally Yankee in nature.

Photo of GilGarp
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. Bottle 2889.

750 ml bottle with foil wrapped cap.

Seved at cellar temperature into a goblet.

Barrel aged Ruffian is similar in color to the base beer. It has a deep redish brown color with good clarity and thin white head.

Aroma is rich and boozy with a combination of sweet malty hoppiness and a bourbon barrel oakiness.

Flavor is pleasant but the hops have faded considerably. It's mostly sweet up front with plenty of caramel malts, bourbon, and vanilla. Then the bitterness from the hoppy barleywine comes through in the middle. It finishes somewhat dry as the alcohol is fairly high but it has mellowed nicely so there's no heat.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with great balance and nicely aged after two years in the cellar. Carbonation is low but I prefer it that way in a strong, dark, barrel aged ale.

Overall an excellent barrel aged beer and the Old Ruffian stands up well the the barrel treatment.

Photo of Stigs
4.69/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle - marked #332/461 dated 8/2008

split with a local BA'er, served in Stone Levitation flute glasses

A - pours with a little over half an inch of very frothy, medium tan colored foam which settles to a thin film and large ring within a couple minutes. the beer is very murky/muddy, brown in color with some small visible bubbles.

S - bourbon right off the bat, though not overpowering or stale...very nice sour mash comes through before sweet notes of toffee, caramel, milk chocolate, raisins, before finishes with some mild oak and an awakening whiff of alcohol. simply divine.

T - sweetness kicks in immediately with dominating toffee and caramel, some twinges of dark fruits, and licorice. bourbon slowly creeps in bringing along some oak, vanilla, and cola flavors. sweetness balanced nicely by an assertive earthy and slightly citrus hop profile before booze wipes it clean.

M - medum to thick body with a creamy texture. subtle prickly carbonation cuts through the massive flavors yet delicious sweetness clings to all corners of the mouth. slightly burning alcohol (pleasant) finish with lingering oak and bourbon flavors.

D - ill admit, liked this more than I expected to. up there on the list of my favorite smelling beers, this is a wonderful example of bourbon-aging done well with balance, control, and complexity.

thanks to koopa for the trade

Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 303, and thanks I believe to Jason B. Having this was like having an old friend over after several years, wiser and more interesting. At serious wine booziness, it was a major challenge to conduct intellectual exercises. Great looks with a to-inch head. Boozy but also woody aromas. Mellow, hoppy, oaky, full mouthfeel, it was very satisfying. The bourbon, Thank G-d, was minor, as we Canadians are not such big corn whiskey fans. I was getting more excellent oak. A great blending, and something I wanted to share, and is meant to share, but could not on the coldest night of the year.

Photo of fairdinkum2
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is quite the education. Not what I expected at all.

First the pour. Weak, watery head that required a very vigorous pour to generate anything at all. No lacing, no retention whatsoever. First impression is OH OH - not good at all. Murky brown appearance. Strike two.

Now things start to get interesting. Very attractive nose of malt, caramel, vanilla with chocolate notes. Alcohol is there too, but not the dominant or even very noticeable characterisic.

First taste impression is not alcohol, as I would have expected and it's not hoppiness either. Actually cocoa and vanilla, followed by smooth, oaked alcohol. Long finish without any alcohol heat.

Very low carbonation. Could almost be described as flat. However, the complex nature of this ale makes up for these deficiencies.

Limited production. I'm stocking up, so get it while you can.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #2374. 2012 vintage. 750ml bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

.5 finger fine, light brown head with little retention. Beer is a cloudy, dark brown. Lacing is stringy and spotty with good cling. Thin oily legs round this one out nicely.

Nose is boozy. Hints of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and green raisins. Solid.

Opens sweet, boozy and sappy. Caramel, brown sugar, anise, and green raisins. Warm boozy overtones throughout. End is brown sugar and molasses with a very sweet aftertaste. Still a bit hot at this point, hiding some nice nuances in this one. Still decent though.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and warm in the mouth and goes down boozy and hot. Finishes messy with a long, lingering finish. Very good.

A decent beer overall but at this point, this one still needs a bit of time. Nice complexities lurk underneath the booze but the barrel presence covers a lot right now. I'd love to revisit this one in a year or so.

Photo of nickd717
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting awhile back. Not sure who I owe this pleasure to. Realized this had been a lost tick that I'd forgotten to record. 'Tis nothing so sad as a lost tick.

Slightly hazy medium brown color with a small light tan head leaving a ring.

Aroma is great - hoppy with great barrel notes and caramel. Lots going on.

Flavor is caramel, toffee, oak, whiskey, and piney hops. Like Old Ruffian gone -bals to the wall. Drier than the original. Man I love -bal aged barleywines.

Smooth, subtle, and hoppy with medium-full body and medium-low carbonation.

Awesome beer overall. Great even for the style of -bal aged awesomebeer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011, I think. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Murky red. Cloudy with a few bubbles. Not an attractive beer.

Smell - Awesome oak bourbon flavor. Still has a hop presence. A ton of brown sugar and a little oxidation.

Taste - Incredibly strong brown sugar. Bourbon and oak. Rich caramel and raisins. Minimal hop presence in the flavor. Superb.

Mouthfeel - Delicious, but heavy. Just enough hop to keep it on the American side of barleywines.

Overall - Incredible. I'd like more barrel, but this is one immense barleywine.

Photo of russpowell
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 18/461 pours a brown tinged chestnut with a finger of fluffy sand colored head. Very good lacing 7 good head retention

S: Bourbon notes & oak & more assertive booze as this warms.

T: Much dryness, breadyness, toffee, bourbon & leafy hops up front. Dryness & tobacco notes, brown sugar, as this warms, along with boozey warmth & raisins, plus figs. Finishes dry, with Bourbon, cherry oak & vanilla, plus leafy tobacco

MF: Chewy with fairly vigirous carbonation, a bit too much boozey dryness

Drinks easy enough for the style, not the best ABW I've had but pretty damn good. Way over priced at 25 dollars a 750 ml bottle IMHO

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review #2000! The last of the surviving beers from my accident! Bottle #592 of 1188! Served from bottle into New Belgium globe. Poured a deep red brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, sweet alcohol, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, vanilla, wood, earth, caramel, brown sugar, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Still a nice touch of booze going on in this one with a nice touch of vanilla to bring the barrel to life. The touch of vanilla really helped this beer out as without it, it could have been a complete disaster without it. Worth your time trying if you get the opportunity.

Photo of hopsbreath
1/5  rDev -75.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Had a little barrel aged barleywine tasting at MADhombrewer and Witchsbrew's residence last night. Filet mignon's were provided by our host's for TulipSnifter and I. Thanks guys!

In the lineup were Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Hellshire I, BA Hi-Fi Rye, BA Old Ruffian, Abacus, and Alpine Great. Our intention was to also open up Perfect Storm '09, Mother of all Storms '10, Kuhnhenn BBBW, and Arctic Devil but we agreed it best to hold off on those beers for another day due to palate fatigue. Small two ounce samples of the six beers from last night were first tasted and notes were taken before returning to the bottles for more tastes and refined notes.

Thanks to jophish17 for supplying me with a bottle. 2009 batch.

I don’t have my typical review lined up for this beer because I fear it may have been an off bottle. I’m giving it all 1.0’s to reflect exactly how bad I felt this particular bottle was. No “pfft” on the cap-crack had me thinking that this was simply low on the carbonation. Pouring the beer as hard as possible revealed zilch in the way of carbonation in the puce colored beer. The body was thin and watery to boot which has me thinking something was just flat out wrong here. Smelled like generic malt and tasted like watered malt that had wet whiskey barrel dunked in it. Some slight sourness and acetone suggests a possible infection. I can’t give the standard smells and flavors that I usually report because it was so off and weird. If I was guessing, 600 of the 750ml’s ended up going down the drain. I’ll try this again if the opportunity presents itself but no way am I going to trade for another.

Photo of Jjski
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2015,

Wow, what a hot mess for$30. Starts Carmel into buttery, but quickly falls. Sour and overly barrel tart in the middle. A stale faintness with hops which are blunted at the end. Bourbon? Nope, but plenty of hot alcohol

frankly: yuck. I ended up mixing 1/2 glass of this with Evil Twin Naked Lunch just to get it down. It's that wide sour spot in the middle of the taste

Better beers: Old Conundrum, Hammerhead, Arctic Devil, Joseph James Anniversary Rye Wine, BA Bigfoot, Oak Horizontal. All of these I have had in the last 6 week for direct comparison. With one caveat, this very well may do good with aging since it's so hot right now. I've recently been in the habit of drinking the barreled beers early to avoid infection, and this is real fresh. I try to read the reviews to see if "a hot beer", and if so I let it age. Last week I was thrown off by the BA Hibernation being so syrupy sweet, with poor age potential.

Last week, I ordered BA Hibernation, and BA Ruffian from a west coast mail order spot, because you can't get it in Upstate NY. Both were total disappointments . A let down.of $30 each. Wife wouldn't even drink hers more than one sip ( and she loves stuff like Scucaba and Conundrum). The year old Devil Dancer I had last night was more enjoyable, better and that costs @ $6.50 for 750 ml

Photo of CruisaC
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011, bottle 2428

750 ml bottle poured into my Newport Storm tulip

Out of the gate a dark brown with an inch of khaki head. Initially probably a little cold so the first smell is some sharp oak, whiskey and raisins. As it warms the aromas blend into a better combination. Taste is similar, with raisin, sweet malt, some hops, whiskey and oak. I wonder how bourbon barrels would work with the base beer? Good amount of carbonation, not too sticky, not much alcohol burn. Overall, an above average BBal barleywine. Glad to have tried it.

Photo of hippityhops85
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My contribution to the 'Sons of Westy' event at the Blue Dog in Chalfont, PA. Poured into a small tasting glass. Bottle 910/1188 2009 edition.

Pours an opaque ruby with slight off-white head that quickly dissipated.

The nose has lots of caramel, vanilla, bourbon and aged/dried orange peel.

The taste follows suit with the addition of a nice bourbon soaked nuttiness. Lots of caramel. Perhaps caramel covered apples? Nice.

Very very smooth. Goes down easy but I definitely wouldn't want more than a few oz's.

I would definitely taste this again but would not go out of my way to trade for it. Recommended.

Photo of philbe311
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Edition - Bottle 631/1188 - A huge belated thanks to Doodler for this one... I've been sitting on it for a while...

A - No head... Just a couple of large chunky tan colored bubbles that quickly dissipate... The coloring is a beautifully rich medium brown caramel... Ultra still, with no discernible carbonation... The appearance exudes sophistication and potency...

S - Absolutely exquisite... Raisins... Brown sugar... Let's just call it liquid sticky bun... Dark fruits... Fig... Candied sugars... The booziness of the barrel aging lies beneath the sweet surface and adds loads of depth and complexity...

T - The barrel aging rises to the forefront as the palette is greeted with a warming booze component right of the bat... A lot of the great Old Ruffian characteristics that I expect get either muted or down right hidden by the alcohol... Some brown sugar and vanilla survive, but the rest of the palette is filled with the barrel aging... Still, this is a tasty offering... Just not quite what I was hoping for or expecting...

M -Surprisingly light as this one doesn't get past the medium bodied marker... Sleek and slightly sticky... Perhaps even a bit thin... Loads of alcohol burn on the finish...

D - A definite sipper... Sophisticated... Worldly... Unfortunately, the best barrel aged beers are those that add depth and complexity to the base beer... Unfortunately, in this case the barrel aging takes away from the Old Ruffian components... While the alcohol component is nice, overall this one is a slight disappointment...

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a bright copper color ale with a medium size head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of whiskey is nice end very enticing with nice balanced sweet malt notes. Taste is a great balance between some whiskey notes with dry grain notes and a solid malt backbone with sweet caramel and light toffee notes. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really enjoyed this one which I find had great balance between whisky and malt.

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Barrel Aged Old Ruffian from Great Divide Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.