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Ridge Runner - Rock Art Brewery

Ridge RunnerRidge Runner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

310 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 310
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 17.01%

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: 310 | Reviews: 188 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Allpe45


3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Can't understand the bottling date. There's a notch on January and another notch on August. Numbers on left and right sides are 28 and 19

Appears reddish opaque dark brown, fluffy off-white head with great retention and lacing.

Somewhat muted nose. Earthy hops and sweet caramel malts, some fruity esters, toffee and sweet breat.

Tastes like grassy/earthy hops up front, with sweet bready malt and caramel in the middle, more earthy hops and faint bitterness in the finish. Not very bold flavor profile.

Thick/syrupy, very smooth with low carbonation.

Something seems strange about this. Off base for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 03:20:47 | More by Allpe45
Photo of cbutova


3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark red-brown body with a light tan head. Retention and size are both pretty good. Nice coat of creamy lace around the glass.

S- Caramel, dark dried fruit and bread come off the strongest. Nutty, slightly roast and general hop hints also come through.

T- Sweet caramel, brown sugar, nutty, roast and grainy notes make up a mostly malty beer flavor profile. There is also a bit of bread and spice from the yeast. Dark fruit/raisin is big as well.

MF- Moderately thick body with silky carbonation. Carb level is right down the middle. Tiny amount of hop bitterness, mostly malt finishes.

One of the smaller feeling Barleywines I have come across but no real off flavors or major flaws. It has a nice malt profile and a decent yeast compliment. Certainly worth a shot in a mix a six or mixed 12 pack.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 02:56:32 | More by cbutova
Photo of PicoPapa


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a Bottled On Date notched at Feb. Pours a murky, dirty copper dark red color with a very small head. Zero lacing. Aroma is earthy with some booze, dark fruits, caramel, and butter. Taste is buttery with dark fruit flavor. Slight bitterness to it along with some breadiness. Kind of tastes like the caramel popcorn you get in those decorative tins during Xmas. It's nice to get a barleywine in a mix 12 pack but this one is just alright. Not bad, but it's no very boozey for a barleywine. Overall, it fits perfectly in this pack. I wouldn't seek it out but its not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 15:11:08 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass.

The color is a dark maroon with a slight wisp of a head and little lacing on the glass.

The smell is dark fruits with some raisins and figs in the aroma. There is some sweetness there that is syrup-like and is a little like sour cherry.

The taste is subtle at first, nothing jumps out at first to say barelywine but there is a warm sensation toward the end. There is a grape flavor that is mixed in with more dark fruit flavor. There are some figs, dates and some over-ripe banana that is giving this beer a laid back fruity character. Some sweetness is just at an arms-length in the background, you sense it and it seems to back off and then it happens again before this beer goes down.

The feel of this beer is big, and at times, it can’t hide it. It is smooth but complex and seems to have some hidden facets to it as you go along for the ride.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 06:25:32 | More by Duhast500
Photo of jwinship83


2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle picked up while in boston for EBF/NotB. drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass. this is my first beer from this brewery.

A- this one pours out a dark amber colored body under a rather small khaki colored head. the head fades pretty fast and leaves behind very little as far as lacing goes.

S- the nose is very subtle for a barleywine. slight whiffs of sweet caramel malts and vague fruitiness. some earthy hops at the end.

T- the taste is just as weak as the smell is. very surprising for a barleywine. it starts out with some sweet caramel malts and then moves onto some fruits. raisins and plums. after that theres a hint of alcohol and some earthy hops at the end.

M- medium bodied. the carbonation is pretty high for an english barleywine. very slight warming from the alcohol.

D- meh, this is a pretty weak example of the style. its nice to see an english barleywine sold in a six pack, but i dont think this is what i wanted. i dont see myself seeking this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 12:19:32 | More by jwinship83
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$6.50 at Redbones, Somerville MA

Bad pour day at Redbones because all the beers at our table had no head (they were guillotined) except for a Southern Tier 2XIPA. Despite the bad pour several lacey meanderings were left by a thin collar. Dark brown and auburn colored beer.

Aroma is Cinnabon cinnamon bun and plum. Aroma is good, just faint. Taste features more cinnamon bun brown sugar, plum, and a little dark bread. In confluence with the aroma and taste, the body is on the lighter side.

It's like a light barleywine. Decent in it's own right.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2011 23:34:47 | More by donkeyrunner
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 04:25:19 | More by jlindros
Photo of ms11781


2.4/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in September 2010. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy, brownish color, maybe mahogany, with almost no head. At most a very, very thin white ring around the glass.

Nose is unlike any barleywine I've had. There's a little bit of sweetness and earthiness. It's definitely very malty but there is an off scent that I can't quite put my finger on. The closest thing I can come up with is the peat characteristics I get from a good scotch ale. But this isn't quite that either. Not sure if it's pleasant or not. Not really bad but not great either.

Taste isn't the same as the nose but there still seems to be that off flavor. Very earthy with some toffee and some smokiness. But really I keep coming back to that peat-like character that I can't quite wrap my head around.

Mouthfeel is on the border between thin and medium. Very low carbonation.

Drinkability is low on this one. Goes down very smooth with the thin/medium body and low carbonation but the flavors really aren't that pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 05:16:14 | More by ms11781
Photo of aasher


1.73/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer was received as an extra from Shaggy9356, thanks Matt! It poured a dark burnt, stained woodlike amber with a quickly dissipating off white head. It smells like a bland macro amber. I can't quite put my finger on which beer it's most similar to but it may be along the lines of Fat Tire. For a barleywine, this tastes nothing like it. It's very malty and has something flat going on. It has a strange funkiness to it. It's not only not impressive it's pretty bad. This is near a drain pour as it leaves a downright odd aftertaste in your mouth. It drinks smoothly enough. To be honest though, I'm having a tough time drinking this. It's smooth, I guess, but it's other lackings are so distracting. At least I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 00:26:24 | More by aasher
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are quite subdued for the style. Some caramelized malts, bitter chocolate and cocoa. Can't identify much in the way of hop aroma here. Maybe some light dark fruits, but I could be embellishing just to add smells.

The taste is nothing like any barleywine I have had, much more like a dobbelbock. You get some chocolate malt initially with some slight roastiness. No decernable hop flavor that I can detect. Not bitter or strong like your typical Barleywine; decent flavor but not what I've come to recognize. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. No residual bitterness or cloying flavors.

Overall this is just a good beer, a bad english barleywine, but still a really tasty beer worth trying, especially for the low price point. I like when breweries don't brew to style so I probably appreciate this more than others might.

Dr: Medium. Good flavor, although nothing overly noteworthy, makes this fairly easy drinking. I just think I'd move on to something more exciting & flavorful after one.

Comments: This was ok, but a bit bland for a barleywine. I knoe Rock Art's hands are a bit tied with VT's restriction on ABV (I think 8% is the max) in beer. That would certainly limit their potential, but I would not have produced this if in such circumstances. A barelywine is usually more fuller flavored & bodied that this. This is ok, but closer to a

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 20:32:34 | More by claspada
Photo of BARFLYB


3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip shaped glass late at night watching some shit.. Vermonster's little brother??

Ridge runs into a dark bronze kinda brownish kinda orange/red in color with a head, if you can call it that. Nothing left on the glass. This does look barleywine esque, but the lack of head on a seven point fiver baffles me. Smells include MMMAAALLLTTT, alot of malt, caramel, toffee, but some piney hops from the fresh botle, faint dark fruit, that about sums it up. Taste include caramel, slight sugar, coconut, dark fruit, earthy hops, toast, YEP! Feel is mediumish with low carb, kinda deadish but ah well, I drank it, I thanked it, I super ranked it(?), good for a gander.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 05:07:23 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of ClassicBrad


4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with a finger or so head that lasts briefly before becoming little islands of foam.

Smell is that of rich malt and spicy hops; grassy and sweet.

So much flavor but without any overwhelming cloy that might film the palate. Surprisingly crisp while not sacrificing flavor.

Mouthfeel is what sticks out in this brew. It doesn't have that overwhelming sensation that so many barleywines have. Very well carbonated and refreshing.

Drinkability is another high point for this beer. While it is on the low side for the style (alcohol-wise), it is also an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 02:05:53 | More by ClassicBrad
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 02:27:42 | More by smcolw
Photo of BeerMasterD


3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy dark amber/brown color. Two-finger head that receedes at a moderate pace and leaves some sticky borken lacing.
S Aromas are hoppy and fruity, grassy/floral.
T- Bitter and sweet, some spiciness.
M- Light for a barleywine, smooth.
O- Enjoyed it, but not blown away.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 20:06:26 | More by BeerMasterD
Photo of silentjay


3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours pretty red with a small tan head that retains well and laces decently.

very english aroma of herbal hops, toffee, and caramel. eh.

flavor is kinda weak, but of caramel, toffee, cereal and toast. very little in terms of hops, but what is there is herbal. there is also some weird black pepper spiciness.

mouthfeel is pretty light for the style, with very little stickiness left on the palate and light carbonation.

goes down ok. kinda weak in flavor and body, but its not gross, just kind of bland.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 05:21:22 | More by silentjay
Photo of u2carew


3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Longneck
A) Pours with a two finger head. Tight and creamy. Settles a bit. Mahogany in color. Lacing is thin and sticky.
S) Toffee. Maple syrup. Spicy notes. Aroma overall is robust.
T) Flavors not as bold as the aroma. Caramel. Toasty. Hints of smoked grain. In the finish a pleasant hop bite. The taste is well balanced and isn't too sweet.
M) Full body. Chewy. Fairly smooth. Bitter in the finish.
D) A decent barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 23:17:45 | More by u2carew
Photo of Pittsburgh


3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very drinkable for a barleywine, maybe because it is English style, it is a bit lighter than I am used to in the barleywine....this is a technicality I am uncertain of. I have had other barleywines which I think were American, and they were much stronger. I think the toned down version is ok, but I think it could use a little more flavor. Very malty, thick, pours almost like a dark red ale, some hop presence, goes down relatively smooth. I'd get this again, not the best barleywine I have had though. I'd like to try the Vermontster.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 22:31:10 | More by Pittsburgh
Photo of njmoons

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An excellent beer, not a big barleywine. I think they call it a mild barleywine, but other than the style question I really liked this.

A - Deep Red, light carbonation which laced well down the glass. Looked tasty

S - Sweet, malty with a hint of cherry

T - Great, malty with a slight sweetness that balances well. The western us hops seemed a little harsh with the overall mellowness of the beer, or I would have scored it higher.

M - Light for style, but very pleasant.

D - At 7.5% this is too strong for a session beer, but that is the only thing to keep me from knocking back one after the other.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2010 12:15:06 | More by njmoons
Photo of Bendurgin


3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with about two fingers of off white head which becomes thin lacing. Dark fruits and rich malts carry through the aroma. A faint existence of grassy hops is present. This has very earthy flavors with a touch of bitter coffee and tart cherries in flavor. Grassy hops linger on the tongue. This isn't as heavy as I would generally expect from the style. At 7.5 this goes down pretty easy. This is decent, but I feel like I can get better for the style just as easy and about the same price.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2010 02:33:31 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

2.1/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pour is a crimson amber, decent enough head. Weird dark-malt nose, the smell, taste, and mouthfeel are a bit thin an there is something off. Very strong coffee taste/aroma throughout. It just isn't very good and it isn't worth going into detail about it, too much wrong here. I poured it out and moved on, skip this if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 02:27:24 | More by craytonic
Photo of BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle at Tip Top Cafe in White River Junction, VT. Refrigerator-cold into a standard pint glass.

A: Deep cherry red copper. The waiter poured it pretty softly, so barely any head. Poo, I'd rather he had let me do it, guess I should've asked.

S: Thick caramel, hint of toffee, a fruity cherry or strawberry note, hops just enough to give it a bite.

T: Astringent caramel with a bit of smoke, mostly earthy, some fruity sweetness to it as well. Really thin on malt, backbone is pretty weak.

M/D: Thick, but not from malt... kind of a sticky viscous mouthfeel. Dry finish, appropriate carbonation, tiny bit of EtOH.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 22:51:36 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amberish brown color with cream colore dhead, minimal retention but ok lacing. Smell is forward of semi-sweet carmely malts, decent hop background. Taste is of semi-sweet carmely malts, some earthy nuttyness to it, decent sized punch of hops for the style with a lingering touch of booze. Medium bodied, moderate to heavy carbonation, fairly smooth. Not sure whats going on here but lacks much of the charachter of a traditional barleywine, most of my review notes lead more towards an amber or lager... decent beer yes, but out of style.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2010 19:33:45 | More by rfgetz
Photo of brdc


2.63/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle, poured into a snifter.

Reddish brown in color, with a thin off white head that shows no retention, average lacing.
I actually went back to check the bottle to make sure this was a barleywine; both aroma and flavor are quite "weak", seeming more like an amped up amber than a barleywine.
Malty with caramel and toffee, and a very slight grassy hoppiness. Thin on the palate.
Quite disappointing, it seems that someone skimped on the ingredients. Does not taste bad, it just lacks flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 00:54:20 | More by brdc
Photo of matty


3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish-amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is cocoa and caramel.Taste is toffee and caramel malts.The flavor of this beer is pretty weak and boring.I don't think there is anything awful about this beer but it's not something I would purchase again any time soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 15:15:42 | More by matty
Photo of tigg924


4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, dark brown in color, small carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and a hint of coffee

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, caramel, touch of hops, and a hint of earth and pepper at the end

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, slick, smooth, semi-sweet, medium bodied

Drinkability: This is my new favorite in this style. I like the maltiness. This has touches of a good porter and Wee Heavy. The taste is complexand is about as sessionable as a barleywine can be. My favorite from Rock Art.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 15:34:10 | More by tigg924
Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.