Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Ridge Runner - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Ridge RunnerRidge Runner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

192 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 192
Hads: 368
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.65%
Wants: 5
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Murph on 08-07-2002

"Robust, Dark and Smooth, hold on to your hat cause you’ll lose your feet on this one!" Brewed with pale, dark crystal, Munich, flaked barley, black and chocolate malts. Hops include Cascade, Crystal, Challenger and Perle.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 192 | Hads: 368
Photo of 57md
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish copper with almost a finger of head. The nose has an odd note - spruce, maybe? The flavor profile is somewhat malty and bready with hints of caramel. The body is a bit thin and the finish is dry. (215 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled October 28th (2014)(?).

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn stemmed tulip.

a: Clear copper with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and a little spotty lacing.

s: Caramel malt and dark fruit.

t: Follows the nose with first emphasis on caramel malt followed by strong prune notes and some hop bite, bitterness lingering slightly on the sweetish finish. Soon both the caramel malt and prune notes fade to a more mellow ripe dark fruit heavy on carbonation.

m: Light to moderate, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A good barleywine, drinkable for the style and refreshing. (633 characters)

Photo of RichJamz
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured into a brandy snifter. Barely a quarter finger head, but it remained constant for quite some time. Great dark color, almost a brown-red.

S - Whiffs of burned sugar, almost like caramel. Seems to be a bit overbearing on that front honestly, since the rest seems muted.

T - Full frontal assault of the caramel flavor hinted at in the scent, but quickly dissipating to a simple syrupy flavor with a dash of figs. Not as complex as I was hoping for, but enjoyable.

M - Warm, but not as warm as I have come to expect from a Barleywine. Smooth, however it was tainted with slight carbonation.

O - Okay beer. Most likely not one that I will pick up again. (664 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very deep copper color in my tulip. Very minimal white head shows up but leave that much of a trace after each sip. Looks very similar to a deep amber maple syrup honestly. Enticing enough.

S: Malts. I thought I would get a bit of hops but its pretty sweet malt oriented, which is fine just not what I expected. I also detect a bit of what I would perceive as oxidation (The cardboardy sherry type smell) but that's okay as it's except-able for the style IMO.

T: Once again very malty but the bitterness backs it up nicely. I really don't get all that much complexity out of it but its nice. Some heavily cooked raisin notes come through along with some bread like flavors. That oxidation is there as well but its not over the top and perhaps adds another interesting element the beer in a strange sense. A touch of fruity esters, really just a touch. alcohol comes through a bit but not much. Hops ? I didn't get any.

M: Very low carbonation, which is great a barley wine should be this level carbonation and makes it a great slow sipper even though the ABV might not make it one entirely I guess. Moderately thick body and a bit creamy I suppose as well.

O: A good beer. Not really a barley wine by my definition but none the less drinkable and pretty decent IMO. (1,274 characters)

Photo of nukem5
3.09/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a great dark rich cola color with a nice thick foamy head.

S: Aroma is of rich malty carmel and roasty malts.

T: Taste is of much the same with the addition of some dark fruits(figs plums prunes and raisins.

M: Mouthfeel is a medium to full bodied deliciousness slight lacing down glass.

O: Very decent beer, like the fact that you can drink more than one with a slightly lower ABV % than most barley wines (419 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
2.64/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle, label is notched June.

appears chesnutt brown, clear. very thin off white head that fades. smells stale, oxidized, slightly sweet. taste is malty, a touch of raisin flavor. not real great flavor. medium body and lower carbonation. overall - a disappointment, and I don't think strong enough to call a barleywine. (328 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

good not great, this English style barleywine is nice and smooth, coppery and caramel malt forward, but not quite ad big and bold as I have come to expect the style to be, even the English versions. nice amber color, darker, red brown, with a half inch of creamy tan head that fades after just a minute. aromatics of well toasted cereal grains, red malt, caramel that's just a touch burnt, and warming alcohol. the flavor follows the nose, but I am impressed how the sweetness does not pollute the flavor or feel of this beer. the residual sugars are short lived on the tongue, which allows the grains to be tasted for what they are. English malt is obvious here. mix of American and English hops. not much carbonation, but I suppose it suits the style. I also like that its not even 8% abv, usually bigger barleywines are one and done, but I see why they sell this one in a sixpack. gets better and better as it warms up too. a great evening slow sipper with a good book. (972 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.89/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours close to copper. Solid head.

S-Malty with some dark fruits. No point of the nose really stands out. Its more of a combination of restrained malty notes. Caramel, toffee, maybe a tickle of dead hops?

T-More of the same. The most modest of Barleywines. Sweet, syrupy caramel and brown sugar with some toast.

M-The feel fits with the flavors. Rather thin.

O/D-This one is a miss for me. Won't be going back to this beer. (431 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium reddish copper color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates to a ring on top. Smells of caramel toffee and light bready grainy malt. Light sulfur and a hint of earth with a light butterscotch round out the nose. The flavor is biscuity bready grainy maltiness with bits of toffee and butterscotch. Light earthy hops flavor with a bit of sulfur provides a counter the the malty sweetness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Nice enough barleywine, the bready maltiness is nice but the toffee butterscotch is a bit too much on my palette. (609 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
2.74/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe. This beer is about two years old at the time of consumption. Though it isn't a very big Barleywine, I still decided to experiment with aging a few bottles. I still left them in the cellar far longer than I intended, but we'll see what happens.

A: Brown in color with hues of orange and ruby. Chill haze is apparent. A half an inch of white head is short lived. Spotty and whispy patches of lacing. Small bits of sediment in suspension.

S: Very dry chocolatey scent. Bakers chocolate and cocoa powder. Rich scents of caramel, toffee, and toasted bread crust. A touch earthy and woody. Chocolate covered raisins and raspberries. As it warms, it is obvious that time has taken its toll. Cardboard and tart fruit aromas suggest that this beer is well past its prime.

T: Tart, slightly soured tastes of raspberry and cherry. Oxidation is apparent as that wet cardboard and spicy sherry taste comes out. Caramel and toasted bread crust. Lots of dry chocolate. A touch woody. Raisin and plum. Touch of spicy hops have been all but ironed out. Nice, lingering dry chocolatey finish.

M: Heavy in body. There's some heft to it, but it isn't too weighty. Chewy and creamy. Little to no carbonation. Good mouthfeel.

O: So Ridge Runner is definitely not a good candidate for extended aging. Though Barleywine is normally a style that blossoms with age, this one is on the small side of the style's spectrum, and just couldn't stand up to time. I'll have to do a re-review sometime, as this is a beer I've had fresh many times and find to be quite pleasing. (1,596 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: pours a dark copper with a massive head and heavy lacing on the glass. Appears filtered and crystal clear.

S: aroma of heavy roasted malts. Mostly caramel and some bitterness in the hopping but not aromatic dry hop scents.

T: the flavor here is mostly caramel. I picked these up this morning in VT and was looking forward to drinking it. This is a very malt forward barley wine and it is clearly subdued from a hopping perspective. This is not a bad thing, as it really brings forward the malt and caramel flavors more instead of knocking your taste buds out with over hopping and being too sweet. That said, it is clearly an English barley wine and is slightly dry. It's true to the style and should be appreciated for that.

M: relatively thick for a 7.5 abv barley wine. Light carbonation

O: overall a very drinkable barley wine. It's enjoyable and you do not need to sip it in order to not be overtaken with too much complexity. It's good, just not as enjoyable as say a Brooklyn Monster English barley wine. (1,021 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- clean and clear amber color with a minimal head, jacket lacing to start ,then minimal retention. A light stream of bubbles.

S- Sweet caramel malts and dark friuts, plum, grape. A bit medicinal.

T- Dark malt, chocolate and caramel. Bitter flowery hops.

M- There's body, but not much carbonation in the sips. Bitter chocolatey finish. Some lingering hop bite.

O-The abv is toned down in this barleywine, but the profile is pretty strong. (481 characters)

Photo of poop_brew
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a 12oz bottle. A caramel brown with a fleeting .5" head. No legging as I drank.

S: A dark and robust barley with subtle tones of caramel

T: A predominant bite towards the back of the mouth.

M: Feels quite light, with a good amount of carbonation, but no overwhelming. Leaves a airy feeling.

O: Definitely would purchase and drink again. I can say you will recognize a new taste every sip in this beer. It is quite a treat. (442 characters)

Photo of FickleBeast
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky brown color with a thin ring of foam at the top. Aroma is malty, plum, boozy, toffee.

First sip is quite understated actually. There doesn't seem to be much flavor here, just a thin bodied (for the style) beer, with minimal residual sweetness. I'm really suprised - this is quite thin, almost watery, and seriously lacking flavor. There is a hint of hop bitterness, and some very faint crystal malt flavors, but for the most part this is exceedingly bland.

Well, this is a pretty big disappointment. This feels like a watered down representation of the style. (613 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 1" beige head which faded fast, and the body also exhauseted the effervescence too quickly. The body is Sienna brown in masstone but more of an amber held to the light. It smells of malt and caramel. The taste does mirror the smell but on a much lighter scale, and likewise the weight of the body is very weak, especially for a barleywine. Buttery aftertaste. Probably the easiest drinking barleywine I've had, but a lightweight all around. (449 characters)

Photo of nkeckhar
1.55/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up on a whim as a barley wine I've never tried

A: Hazy Brown

S: Doesn't smell as expected - dark fruit, sweet

T: Plum and raisiny with not much else.

M: Very light.

Overall not a pleasant experience with the light mouthfeel and one note taste, but am glad to have tried a new beer and like other Rock Art stuff, but will not purchase this one again. (369 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a mix-a-six, notches indicate a bottling date of Nov. 19th.

Pours a hazy brown with orange highlights, lots of visible flecks float about. Off-white head forms to a ring and slight cap pretty quickly, leaves spots of lace.

Weirdness in the smell mostly...dark fruit, tartness, green grape, apple, sweet malts, mint? Some alcohol.

Taste is of similar oddness but a slight improvement over the scent. Some dark fruit, cola, sweet toffee malts, lots of herbal hops, odd tartness. A jumble of flavors that doesn't really resemble a barleywine, not quite bad but barely hangs onto the 3 to be honest.

Mouthfeel is messy feeling as well, lacks smoothness, highish carbonation, not much booze though.

Meh, not horrible but it's a mess, probably one of the most underwhelming "barleywines" I've had. (801 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this up at Thirsty's in York, poured chilled into a tulip and allowed to warm gradually.

The color is ruby with brilliant clarity and thick sand colored cream cap with about two fingers that holds well. The bead is fine and inchworms of lace decorate the glass. the smell is pretty high in the buttery realm, almost toffee-like and sweet aroma with some floral hops, but practically like bread with some diacetyl augmenting. The feel is very high in carbonation for the style with moderately low malt texture, perhaps a strong yeast element is distracting with a slightly slick and moderately bitter finish with mild alcohol.

The taste has subtle toasted cracker and spice with the diacetyl pretty dominant. The flavor of the malt comes and goes with the carbonation washing most of the taste clean except as the beer is swallowed a slightly astringent and mildly piney hop flavor emerges. The beer is neither good nor bad, it just is IMO. The problem is it has the diacetyl too forward and there is not enough malt with the yeast and hops taking over the flavor. I would not buy this again most likely as it lacks a good malt body which is what I look for in a good barleywine. (1,193 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my brother for this bottle.

A: Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a small tan head that fades quickly and leaves behind thin and sporadic lacing.

S: Lots of caramel and candied sugar with a little bit of dark fruit - some raisins and prunes.

T: Similar to the aroma, but comes of a little bland for style. Some caramelized malt and a little bit of non-descript dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied, but seems a little thin for style. Medium carbonation.

O: Have had some pretty good beers from Rock Art, but this one was a bit if a disappointment. (558 characters)

Photo of IronLover
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tea-like brownish red in color with good clarity. Poured with a think beige foam that quickly reduced to thin wisps. Smooth buttery feel with light, lazy carbonation. Sweet toasted and english malt and toffee aromas with a hint of light floral hops in the background. Light floral english hops from beginning to end. Toasted malt and toffee flavors similar to aromas. Finished semi-dry with a lingering floral bitter aftertaste. This is an English ale without a doubt. Probably the lightest barleywine I've tried, but was good nonetheless. (539 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First beer from Rock Art Mixed 12. You know it's a fairly small scale brewery when they include a sticker and a typed note as the first thing you see in the box.

A- Dark slightly golden brown, translucent. Little head that dissipates fast. Lots of carbonation can hear it sizzling for a couple of minutes after pouring.

S- Floral, bready, oats + barley, malty smell, with light hops.

T- Lightly sweet with tastes of caramel, light chocolate, oats, and malts. Light sweet caramel oat/barley aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, easy to drink, well balanced. Alcohol nicely hidden.

O- A little bit less boozey and sweet then most of the Barleywines I've had and not as much of a wine taste. Not a bad beer, but not one of my favorites. (731 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
2.12/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep, clear persimmon body under a finger of fine tan head. Ok retention and lacing; attractive.

S: Weak sauce. Cocoa, chocolate malt, bread, and some dull vegetal hops. It smells like a mediocre brown ale, never a barleywine. Thin and disappointing for the style.

T: Maybe a touch better than the smell, with some light toffee joining the breadiness and cocoa. Thin graininess comes in on the finish, though, negating whatever richness came before. Inoffensive but thoroughly disappointing.

M: There's a nice, moderate amount of fine, creamy carbonation, but sadly it's stuck within a depressingly thin, watery body.

O: I'd score this significantly higher if it were called a Brown Ale, an Amber Ale, or maybe even a Scotch Ale. As a Barleywine, though, it's an utter failure. Don't expect this beer to be rich, sweet, hoppy, or satisfying in the least. Note to Rock Art: please stop getting people's hopes up by calling this a Barleywine. (981 characters)

Photo of SickGnar
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber – just shy of brown with an extremely light tan small cap of foam. Clear with a couple streams of lazy, large bubbles. It keeps a ring and leaves pretty good curtains of lace.

S: Malty, bread crust, toffee, caramel, some sweetness. Lots of character, but not very aromatic. No hops found.

T: Sweet, bread crusty malts, caramel & toffee sweetness up front with some hints of roast increasing in the backend. Melanoidan & biscuit malt base with some toasty grain. Lightest & vaguest hint of dark fruits. Roast really grows as it warms and as consumed. Balancing hop bitterness. Nice earthy, herbal, & resiny character. Hops are all middle to end and into the finish – virtually no hops on the front end. Good depth and richnessl, but not all that complex.

M: A fair hair over medium, under matched & soft carbonation. Lots of texture from dextrins, sugars, and hop tannins. Starts quite sweet and stays a bit sticky. Good, big feel for its gravity.

D: Big on taste rather than heft. It has enough girth, but is a rather tasty and easy drinking barley wine. Almost the quaffing version. At the lower end for the style it may not compare to apple to apples with some of the monsters out there. However, as a milder version it is a very approachable and drinkable brew. (1,286 characters)

Photo of tzieser
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

a: dark brown in color with a thick haze. fairly thin one finger white head. not much else. looks nice.

s: rich malty aroma. notes of darkened fruit and barley. very nice.

t: sweet caramel flavors up front quickly followed by some mild orange-like fruitiness (maris otter? is that you??). very mild bitterness. well hidden abv. probably the weakest barleywine i have tasted, but still delicious to drink.

m: smooth mouthfeel.

i'm surprised that Rock Art could pull off a barley wine this flavorful with such a low ABV. great idea! way to think outside the box. (619 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown, almost caramel colored beer with a fluffy off white head that has both good retention and lacing. Nearly opaque.

Nose is somewhat modest; sweetness is noticed first, with a little vanilla and spice. Caramel malt, faint trace of hops in the background.

The flavor of this beer is a little light for a barleywine, which when combined with the lower ABV makes it easier to drink than most. There’s not a lot of depth here; again, it’s mostly sweet, caramel maltiness, very little in the way of hops, and some light vanilla and spice notes. Trace of bourbon perhaps? Not all that profound.

The carbonation is medium low and the body is right in the middle, moderately full and decently smooth. Finish is fairly short for the style. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Kind of boring in the end. I’ve had this both on tap and in the bottle and I don’t really see the need to go back any more in the future really. A barleywine that’s easy to drink and perhaps a good introduction to the style but certainly not emblematic of it. Middling. (1,044 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.