Barrel Aged Old Ruffian - Great Divide Brewing Company
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Ratings: 313 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev +3.6%
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.
01-06-2014 03:43:15 | More by GilGarp
3.65/5 rDev -12%
Appearance: I popped the cap on this beer, and if there was any CO2 release it was just the slightest hint. Not a good sign. It poured out a turbid mahogany color, and it became quickly apparent that it was completely flat as expected. Not the slightest hint of head on this. A bit disappointing.
Smell: The nose however was quite nice. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, whiskey, and a bit of oak presence. Well balanced and not overly oxidized, as I was fearing with a 4 year old BA barleywine.
Taste: Mirrors the smell closely. Rich toffee, muted whiskey, vanilla, and oak. There was however more than a hint of oxidation on the palate, which I did not catch on the nose. Good, but not quite as good as the smell mostly due to cardboard presence from oxidation.
Mouthfeel/Overall: Obviously this beer was completely flat, and medium bodied. Not good. Overall, this would have been a very fine example of a BA barleywine if it was not completely devoid of carbonation. Hard telling if it was always like this or if it just lost pressure while aging. Still the flavors are there, and I quite enjoyed the beer even without carbonation. I will re-review with a 2011 bottle I have around...
01-05-2014 18:25:39 | More by zhanson88
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
750mL (bottled 2461, May 2012 I believe) into a snifter. Pours a crystal-clear ruby-brown mahogany w/ a nice khaki head that settles to a thin film, leaving some pretty nice lacing behind. Looks great.
Aroma is heavily laden w/ toffee, caramel, vanilla and, interestingly, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices. Whiskey character is blended really nicely.
Taste is smooth and buttery. Tons of gooey caramel and toffee, warm brown sugar, vanilla, oak and booze. Both sticky-sweet and almost bitter @ the same time, this beer almost attains a savory, umami quality I can't quite identify. Reminds me a little bit of really good maple syrup. Very nice.
As expected, mouthfeel is thick and coating, chewy and sticky. Lingering aftertaste like a fine liqueur. It's a real sipper of a beer to be sure.
Overall, I have to give this straight 4.5s. There's little fault to find in any aspect of this beer. Outstanding.
12-06-2013 03:07:30 | More by draheim
Barrel Aged Old Ruffian from Great Divide Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.