1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Ridge Runner - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Ridge RunnerRidge Runner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

356 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 5
Gots: 16 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Suds
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep brown color with reddish highlights. A nice frothy head sits on top of the liquid. Nice aroma on this one. Lots of roasted and nutty characteristics. A little wood, toasted and dark malts, a hint of alcohol, and some wet earth. Not bad. The taste is a little bit of a let-down after the smell. It's modestly sweet, and very restrained. It's reasonably good, but it lacks a fullness and intense barleywine-style taste. A little grainy and hollow. Lighter than it should be mouthfeel. Not bad, but not a great barleywine.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What we have here is a dark, ruddy, chestnut ale with a frothy, taupe, one-finger head that drops a fine coating of lace on my Three Philosophers snifter glass. Nice red highlights are produced when presented to the light.

Rum raisin ice cream is pronounced with whole wheat bread, a touch of pine sap, some fig, black tea and even sirloin steak. This puppy really opens up as it warms, even revealing the aroma of cashews.

Nuts! Sadly, the flavor profile falls short of the aroma. All I am pulling from this are raisins and tea as it almost immediately goes to a light bitter finish. This is rather disappointing, given its three years in the cellar.

This barleywine has a light body with fizzy carbonation. It is dry and cleansing, yet lacks a presence of alcohol.

Ridge Runner is easy to consume, and more fitting to an afternoon with friends than what I am seeking in a barleywine. To me, this more closely resembles a tricked-out brown ale and is still enjoyable, just not what I was looking for.

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving notes - cellar temp, snifter glass.
A - full barley aroma with some alcohol notes.
A - Off white head billows up when poured but quickly dissipates. Opaque dark black-red hue.
M - Full body with low carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.
T - Nice dark malty flavor. Some light chocolate, no roast. Some hops very subdued in the background.
D - This is a very easy drinking barleywine, I could easily drink a second one of these.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brothercannon for this bottle. Poured into my standard shaker glass, Ridge Runner appears a clear amber chestnut color with about a finger of light tan foam. Nose and flavor are of caramel, orange essence, medium toasted bread, more mild citrus, floral, toffee. Smooth medium body with adequate carbonation. Thanks again Tim!

Photo of strengthdoc
4.3/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured out of the bottle to reveal a deep amber almost mohogany color. The aroma was nice and malty with a hint of apricot. The first taste was malty and mildly fruity, but that gives way to a mild hop bitterness as the beer hits the back of the tongue. It finishes with a mild bitterness to make you want another taste. The mouthfeel is medium in nature and what you would expect from the style.

Photo of Viggo
4.01/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, hooked up by Pamola in a recent trade.

Pours a clear dark orange, light brown hue, thick and rocky light tan head forms, drops a pretty solid amount of lace on its way down, good retention. Smell is nice, caramel and raisins, lightly fruity, biscuit and toast, some citrus/orange peel hopping, nice and malty if a little basic. Taste is similar, lots of caramel and brown sugar, biscuits, raisins, very fruity, strawberries and melon, spicy bitterness and orange peel finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Pretty decent stuff, I like it. Smooth going down and some nice flavours, very drinkable. Thanks Kyle!

Photo of srandycarter
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light cola with off white small head reduces to ring. Not much lacing.

S - Straight up roasty malts. Can't discern much else.

T - Grainy, bitter finish. Not bad, but clearly not my favorite.

M - Medium to light body, fair balance, pretty light for the style IMO.

D - Easy enough, but would tire of the taste after a few.

Photo of Boto
2.81/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber: This one poured an opaque caramel color. There was a small tan head on it that dropped away immediately. I'm surprised that a Barley Wine is only 7.5% ABV. I guess that explains the lighter aroma. Some caramel malt, fruits and surprisingly alcohol to the nose. Definitely thin on the tongue for a barley wine. Just a hint of sweetness to the taste, followed by some dryness. A bit smoky and roasty up front, followed by some caramel and dark fruits. Not bad, but not what I'd consider a Barley Wine.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark amber color with a thin head that reduced to an even thinner ring around that hugged the glass. The aroma is sweet malt, fruit, toffee with a little bit hops in the background. The palate is light for a barley wine with some carbonation. Sweet but snappy in the flavor, similar to the aroma. It finishes with some bitterness from the hops which provides some balance. A nice little barleywine, but perhaps a little light for the style.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red highlights throughout a brown beer with a pretty nice tight cap of orange-tinted head that lasts a while and leaves some nice lace.

The nose is possibly hidden deeply below the foam, but I never really got a good whiff. Some fruit, more floral than tropical, lacking substance. Caramel malt with notes of toffee on the malt bill.

The taste is lighter than a barleywine should be. There is more of a roasted, patent malt flavor than most American versions, but that alone wouldn't be a little bit of a problem. There's just not enough of a malt bill to back it up: although notes of caramel and toffee appear and throw in a little fruitiness, it's just not enough to get me excited.

The hops are nice choices as far as varietals, but not used with a heavy enough hand. Oddly, I've never found Rock Art to have that problem...

The mouthfeel is not too bad, although I don't understand the need for such a light overall beer. That's a choice Rock Art made with the Ridge Runner, and that's okay, but I much prefer the Vermonster, with its fiery alpha acids and big caramel sweetness.

Photo of williamherbert
4.17/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep but clear cherry red. A finger of rose-white head. Depth of a red wine. Slow carbonation.

An initial gritty whiff of scotch ale-like grain. Second whiff of sweet grape and coffee/mocha. A barleywine mixed with a porter. Bitter but not brutal. Smoky.

The taste is burnt porter-like malt bitterness; a secondary hit of dark grape and berry. Thick tobacco leaf. It's unusually bitter; closer in flavor to a dark porter than a barleywine.

Ashy and smooth both. A bit dry/ashy for style though. A deep, rich, dry and bitter barleywine ale. Coffee + grape + tobacco.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Bud pint glass (yikes!).

A: Poured a medium golden-amber color with a tight two-finger head of ivory-white foam. Carbonation is a bit lax, but the brew has some visible character to it.

S: Smells sweet, malted and fruity with a bit of herbal hop resin in the background.

T: Taste is slightly fruity sweet up front with a sticky meeting of hop resin and roasted caramel malt. The alcohol here is not exactly masked 100%, but it's barely noticeable next to this admirable balance of sweet and spicy qualities.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied but not quite the sipper you'd expect from a typical English barleywine.

D: Drinkability is great for a barelywine, which can be good and bad. It's great that despite the ABV and apparent ethyl taste to it, it's a sessionable ale. Unfortunatley, this can get you in trouble, because the strength is deceptive. On a style note, it also means the brewery made a good, strong session ale, but maybe missed the head on what a true English barleywine flavor should be.

One of my favorite out of the mix pack and a must-try from this brewery. That said, look to outher examples of the style to be blown away, but stick with this one of you want to pass the time with a higher ABV, palatable winter ale.

Photo of DIM
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: This was a clear, dark mahogany color. It poured with a short lived, big bubbled light tan head.

s: Mild aromas of toffee and vanilla.

t: Moderately charred toffee flavors and a bitter, somewhat floral, finish.

m: This is a smaller barleywine and it is reflected in the body of this one. Thin and gently fizzy carbonation.

d: Not bad, just bland. I did like Vermonster though.

Photo of sjohansen
4.38/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We had a houseguest from Jeffersonville, VT that brought a sampler pack of some Rock Art to PA. I love these kinds of houseguests; they can stay as long as they want.

Pours with a one finger slightly off-white head. It quickly dissipates leaving only a small bead of foam floating around the top of the glass. That too, would eventually disappear. The brew looks thick and opaque, it's very cloudy and the color is brownish red or reddish brown. Not a whole lot in the realm of lace.

Big notes in the nose. Lots of floral hops, to the point it almost smells like a florist shop. Very soft fruity yeast. And chocolate... dark chocolate. As it warms, the chocolate takes over and becomes sweeter.

This beer has a great hop smack to it. The kind that makes you lick your lips after every sip. Strong peppery alcohol. Some yeast that hints of a Belgian, giving off some sweet apple and pear. Sweeter on the front of the palate as it warms. The malts take over the front of the experience, and produce an almost Old Ale style quality. Sweet and grainy, a bit dirty (in a good way.) Still get the hop smack in the end, and it's as powerful during the last sip as it was in the first.

Full mouthfeel. Lots of body, nice prickly carbonation. Slick and oily, it feels like it coats the tongue, and then disappears as I place the glass down. The mouthfeel is really wonderful. Kind of gives you the best parts of an IPA, Malty Scotch Ale, and sweet Oktoberfest all in one.

This is a great barleywine ale style. More importantly, it's a full flavored brew that I will definitely try again when given the opportunity.

Photo of BenZ
3.79/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much less hoppy then most barleywines I have tried recently. Flavors dominated by malt and fruit. Sweet, but not cloying in the yeast. Negligible alcohol aroma/taste. Dark for a barleywine and somewhat cloudy. Very subdued and easy to drink. Mouthfeel perfect at first, but starts to get just the slightest bit too watery near the end. If it was labled as an American amber or red ale, it might get better reviews.

Photo of corby112
2.56/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle sampled from a rock art variety pack.

Pours a clear amber color with thin head. Aroma of malts, hops and alcohol but all less prominent than in your average barley wine. Flavor again is similar to a barleywine yet much weaker. Niot a strong alcohol presence with more of a malty taste. Dissapointing.

Photo of currysage1
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a healthy one finger heavy cream color creamy consistancy head, topping a beet juice red liquid.

Smell is of caramel dark malt, old-time candy (rootbeer barrels) slight hop presence but its definately more about the malt in the nose.

Taste is at first fresh seaweed, slightly salty and earthy, moves quickly into lightly bittered roasted malt. Better hop presence in the taste than in the nose. Definate stale black pepper flavors, some dried fruits that I can't really place.

Feel could certainly use some bulking up, much to thin for the style and the carbonation reflects the style well I feel.

Totaly drinkable, have had many nights with this one, and one drunken wedding as well.

Photo of Atron67
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark copper with a wisp of head that stayed exactly at a thin film the entire drink. clear body. deep red through the light.

S- big malty scents. loads of residual sweetness all over. light hops, very much an english style barleywine.

T- kind of bready malt flavor at the start. decently strong malt flavors centered around this unusual biscuit bready malt flavor. smooth malt scents slowly fading. clean finish.

M- for an 'imperial' style its kind of light, but its still pretty solid all around. medium carbonation

D- goes down pretty smooth all over. flavorful tasty, a person trying to get into barleywines would benefit from trying this

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this in trade from Yamar18
Poured a deep amber color with a dirty white and rocky head. Nose was molasses, brown sugar and some fruits. Taste was rather bland and weak for bwine. I was expecting more hops and more malts. taste was ok but it just tasted rather weak, not bad but not what i expected from an English bwine.Mouthfeel was nice, easy drinkig, a little bitter at times. Drinkability is average. There are many bwines out there who provide stiff competetion. Though good it was not special. I believe with some age this will fill out. Lucky me for getting 2 bottles.

Photo of Tim2000
4.37/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. brown bottle,

Dark reddish-brown with a thin, fine head. Label indicates bottling date about a month ago

Very malty aroma, nutty and slightly roasted. Hints of fruit.

Malty from the beginning, with nuts and burnt sugar. Black tea and molasses come through towards the middle and the hops pick up towards the end with a lingering, slightly grassy finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Creamy and smooth, but not syrupy like some barley wines. Carbonation is moderately low.

Very drinkable, maybe because it's quite dry for a barley wine.

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.62/5  rDev -52.6%
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.

Photo of almychristopher
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer pours a dark amber color with an off white almost tan head. the thin miniscus of lace persists with a lot of malt aroma floating above it... a bit of hops in the background but it smells like a good english barley wine to me. the taste follows suite with a lot of roasted barley taste and a bit of a dry hop finish, but the malt and alcohol don't really say barleywine to me. a medium body and good carbonation combined with the "low" alcohol makes this a very drinkable barleywine.

Photo of sstackho
3.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single 12oz bottle, consumed in August 08, purchased back in April 08 - I think it was from Charles Street Liquors in Boston. They are known to have some pretty old stock sometimes, and this one is difficult to place. The side label has a notch beside March, but no year listed. So with that out of the way, what do we have here. We have a very dark brown pour with little head. Pretty nice aroma - a little sweet, and I'm oddly getting some coffee notes. First taste follows the nose - and it's pretty good. A bit of sweetness, but certainly not too sweet as I find some barleywines. And there's certainly a lot of roasty coffee flavours here. I'm no barleywine expert, but I wasn't expecting that from the style. This is more along the lines of a stout, in my opinion. Which is just fine for me, since there are a lot of barleywines that are not to my liking. Not what I was expecting, but pretty good.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet, barley aroma. Dark, wood-stain color. Decent head but no lacing. Lightly carbonated and smooth. Deceptive. A lot more potent (ALC 7.5%) than it tastes! Well balanced, a little sour/tangy in the middle like sourdough but a pleasant, long finish reminiscent of coffee. Toasted and smoked flavors. Mouthfeel is rather thin. Not really like a real barley wine; not a brew to be sipped, for example. An interesting beer, but not an outstanding one. Still worth a try but not worth a session.

Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.