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Ridge Runner - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Ridge RunnerRidge Runner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

339 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 339
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | 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:
"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 added by: Murph on 08-07-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 339 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I think a cross-over-style. Barley and hoppy aroma, beautiful head, very cloudy, some retaining lace. Smokey peat then bitter, with barley wine in taste. Though malty with chocolate malt, making for easy drinkability, it has Thinnish mouthfeel. High carbonation. Not bad.

Sammy, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +17.3%

djrn2, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

acurtis, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of brentk56
2.48/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Even with a hard pour I could barely raise a head on this amber colored beer; no lacing, either

Smell: Caramel, tea and cooked vegetal aromatics

Taste: Very strange opening, with a bit of toffee and some herbal elements; perhaps some dusty chocolate underneath; grainy throughout, with a vague brown sugar element in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, rather aqueous; very low carbonation

Drinkability: Not undrinkable, but why waste the time; this is the most insipid barleywine I have encountered

brentk56, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

"In Pueblo myths, Kokopelli carries in his hump, seeds, babies and blankets to offer to maidens that he seduces. As a fertility symbol, he was welcome during corn planting season and was sought after by barren wives, although avoided by shy maidens."

--from 'Kokopelli, Flute Player Images in Rock Art'


Dusky cranberry that becomes glowing crimson with any sort of backlighting. The sandstone cap isn't especially creamy or firm--it's more whipped and frothy--but it looks great as it drops below the upper edge of the snifter, collapsing in sections and leaving beautiful arching bird wings of lace on the glass.

Maybe it has something to do with the low ABV for the style, but the nose isn't all that powerful, nor is it very barleywine-like. It's dark maltier than most and leans toward the fruity side of things. Hops don't make much of an impression; too bad since Cascade, Challenger, Crystal and Perle would have made for a compelling nose if they had been the focal point. A mere 18 months in the bottle shouldn't have reined them in to this degree.

Ridge Runner is one of the wimpiest... no, make that the absolute wimpiest... barleywine that I've ever had. I thought that at 7.5% it would be a less aggressive version, but I had no idea that it would wave the white flag so vigorously from the word go. What's the point of adding six varieties of malt when the total malt load is this pathetically light?

Chocolate and black malt in a barleywine don't strike me as especially good design choices. Hard telling how it might have turned out in a well-brewed beer though. Cocoa and dark fruit continue to lead the way with no other flavors interested in following along behind. With a body this incredibly aqueous, complexity and depth of flavor simply isn't possible.

The mouthfeel improves just enough when the final few ounces are added to the glass to pull it out of laughable territory, although I'm still snickering each time I take a sip. I can't believe that Rock Art even calls this beer a barleywine when the mouthfeel is this vapid. In order to be taken seriously, it needs double the malt; maybe even triple.

Kokopelli deserves a much better beer than Ridge Runner. Not only that, but if he hopes to remove a few buckskin dresses along the way, he'll require a more enticing, more inebriating brew than this.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
1.6/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of sweet with loads of overcooked vegetables. Taste is also dominated by some overcooked vegetables with some oversweet malt. Body is really thin with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I thought there was way too many brewing flaws in this beer.

Phyl21ca, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

caramel in color with a light, off white head on top that comes to about a half an inch in this glass, but has incredible staying power. Caps the top just about right before it settles down into a subtle, yet defined broken crown that clings to the sides of the glass throughout the rest of the session. Classic look here.

Aroma is light, hints of vanilla, light leather and bourbon are the most pronounced. Really rich smelling and the alcohol is coming through clearly. Evidence of the malts dominates everything, this is a good thing and even an hour into this bottle, that sweet vanilla aroma is mixing with an almost toffee like touch and a hint of plum. Smooth, rich flavor washes across the tongue

mikesgroove, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

Knapp85, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this at Deacons Den in West Dover,Vt last month I had never heard of it so I gave it a try.Pours a deep red with some brown tones showing thru,not to much head here but what there was left some nice lacing.Aroma was real sweet with some burnt fruit aromas and lightly bready.Very malty brew lightly sweet with dried fruit and chocolate,it is slighlty alcoholic.A decent find in the wilds of Vermont.

oberon, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -12%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle 10 months old:

This basic barleywine is very English in style. It's more about malt than hops, and very reminiscent of a dark mild.

It pours a short head of light tan foam atop a clear, dark-chestnut body. The head retention is fair, and it leaves tiny spots of lace about the glass.

The nose offers deeply caramelized malt and a smear of leafy and minty hops, as well as the occassional whiff of gently fruity yeastiness.

It's lighter in the mouth than one might suspect (again, quite English in character), and it's remarkably smooth with a low-level carbonation.

The heavily caramelized malt is not as pronounced as the aroma suggests, and appears to be more of the result of a long boil than the use of crystal malts (although that could be due to the use of a very small amount of roasty malt like Paul's Chocolate, or even some black malt). I really like the underlying almost-burnt caramel character, but it's kind of lost as it's entwined in leafy, earthy, and minty hop flavors (once again, possibly due to a long boil). Some yeasty fruitiness does peek through now and again, and it's also really well-balanced. The alcohol is superbly cloaked, and if it wasn't at 7.5% this could easily be a session ale.

Unique and enjoyable!

NeroFiddled, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish brown, with a thin tan head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: Caramelized malt is the prime component of the aroma. It also contains tea, spice, a bit of fruit, some hops and a hint of smoke (which is quite different for the style).

T: The taste seems quite weak, mainly consisting of caramelized malt, some dark fruit and some smokiness. There almost no hops flavor at all. Overall, the taste really isn’t bad; there just isn’t much of it.

M: Mouthfeel is watery and thin, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, dry finish.

D: This beer is easy-to-drink, but only because there really isn’t anything special about it. I could drink this beer for a long time, but only if there wasn’t much of anything else to choose from.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev +5%
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.

StonedTrippin, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Slatetank, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of jlindros
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a frothy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, with a bit of lacing, over clear mahogany molasses brown color.

Nose has some reddish malts, some dark malts, a bit of crystal, lots of herbal earthy hoppy Hedgerow UK hop aromas, a bit of a molasses like syrupy aroma. Not much there either, kinda flat, a slight bit of fruits.

Taste brings more of the herbal UK Hedgerow bittering hops, with some light minerality flavors, that herbal hop flavor dominates (not my favorite) with a slight bit of minerality and a plasticy like taste, then come the malts, lots of medium reddish to darker malts, crystal malts some light syrupy flavors, and a hint of dark fruit. Finishes with some sweetness but dries some from the initial sweetness, with a lingering crystal malt flavor and some herbal hops, as well as more minerality.

Mouth is medium to a little heavier bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is so-so, not much by way of booze, but the minerality combined with the herbal hop flavors and a sticky finish give it a bit of trouble.

jlindros, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a musty pale and crystal malt scent that also has a mild hop bitterness. The taste is average. It has a grainy pale and roasted malt flavor. It's got a smokey off-flavor to it as well. It's a struggle to put down. The mouthfeel is average as well. It's a medium bodied beer with a little too much CO2. It's quite thin for a barleywine. This is a forgettable beer for sure. It's got to be my least favorite of this style. It's one and done for me.

WesWes, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of jwc215
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a thin head.

Pours brown with a thin head.

The smell is almost undetectable. Some caramel and fruitiness is there. Nothing offensive - just too mild, esp. for style.

Very thin flavor - lacks typical characteristics. Thin body - even as it warms. Some sweet grains. A hint of earthy hops. Alcohol is not too noticeable for abv. Not necessarily bad tasting - just lacking.

Spritzy carbonation is noticeable in the feel. The body is too watery for style. I've had chilled and at complete room temperature - Drink warm for some hints at a body - still not enough though. Flavors (what little there were) barely hang on.

Light and goes down easily. Still-in-all, doesn't fit style and nothing really noteworthy. I noticed that it has something of an aftertaste that is common in other beers of this brewery. Bottom line - needs more body and complexity.

jwc215, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

DrunkinYogi, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -12%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Moderate lace but it leaves a lot of ring and stringy lace. Cloudy beer with a dark amber/light brown color.

Sweet aroma of concentrated malt syrup.

Very good dollop of hops to the otherwise malty (and mildly sweet) beer. Low alcohol presence for the style. Accurate body and carbonation.

smcolw, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear brown-burgandy color with a 1" head. Some spots of lacing develop.

Smell: loads of sweet malts, brown sugar, and some hop bitterness.

Taste: sweet malts with a hint of toasted nuts, soft vanilla, alochol, and strong bitterness. Overall quite simple but bold and a bit unbalanced.

Mouthfeel: smooth at the start and finish. Relatively short aftertaste for the bold flavors. Medium-heavy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: average for me as I did not want to venture into a second bottle during the session. Overall a so-so barleywine in my book.

Gavage, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was the oddest barleywine I've had up to this point in my life.

First off, it was only $7.99/6, which is the cheapest barleywine I've ever seen. Second, it's 7.5% ABV makes it the weakest barleywine I've seen, can't recall any in the single digits actually.

I didn't detect any hops taste at all in this one, which made me think it is more of a stout. Very low carbonation and not much for flavor/taste. But, it is smooth and goes down easy.. just a little boring as it goes down.

oriolesfan4, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

InspectorBob, May 27, 2013
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Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 339 ratings.