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Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Bad ElfBad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

355 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 355
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.17%


Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Loki on 11-26-2003)
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Ratings: 355 | Reviews: 236 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

2.89/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

500ml bottle into imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a clear light golden with a finger of bubbly bright white head that faded into a fuzzy collar that left patches of soapy lace down the glass.
S: Toasted malts and English style grain bill mixed with earthy and leafy noble hops and a touch of spice. Bready and light smelling.
T: Bready, crackery malts, light mild hops, earthy, spicy, leafy, and peppery hop flavors, sour mash in the finish, slightly fruity aftertaste. Overall pretty standard flavors if not a bit below average. Faint apple juice.
M: Medium body with a chewy mouthfeel. Drinks clean and easy. Fizzy carbonation but it’s soft and nonintrusive.
O: Fizzy carbonation and sour mash and apple juice flavors put this one at below average for me. It wasn’t terrible, just not something I was that in to.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 00:11:38 | More by scottfrie
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bad Elf pours a bright straw golden color, with a small lacing head. There is a sweet, cheap grain, and adjunct aromas. The taste is the same, a cheap grainy backbone, lots of adjunct like flavors, sweet apple notes too. Light, which is good, but has a nice crisp feel. Overall its watery, plain, and not too great.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 01:05:34 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale orange color, bubbly white head. Translucent, good retention and lacing.

Smell is pretty hop forward, presenting mostly herbal and grapefruit. There is also some toasted bread, mineral-y and pale malts.

Taste is a step up, bringing a surprisingly pretty hoppy ale that still retains its English-ness. Grapefruit, grassiness, and herbal hops with malt flavors of toasted biscuit, mineral, and light toffee-like sweetness.

Solid, full-bodied mouthfeel with carbonation a bit on the lower side but ample enough.

This is one of the better Ridgeway Christmas gimmick beers. Hoppier than usual for the style, but if you're not a fan of English IPAs this probably won't change your mind.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 20:08:20 | More by Chico1985
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.51/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazy, golden orange with a white, finger width head. Average retention. Lacing is spotty, with little stick.

Smell - Fruity and yeasty. Hints at lemon and apricot. Very faint caramel aroma sits well beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Fruity esters upfront and throughout. Light apricot and moderate, but mild lemon hop character. Caramel is present, but is well shadowed by the predominant mild lemon flavor. Finishes with a touch of lemon rind bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium in body, with soft carbonation. Smooth on the swallow, with a clean, dry finish.

Overall - A decent English IPA. Mild, smooth and drinkable, though nothing that really stands out. Reminds me a bit of Deschutes Chasin' Freshies, though not quite as complex, nor as assertive.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 05:24:50 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014. ABV stated as 4.5%. Despite being a Christmas brew, I actully picked this up during the Sainbury's Beer Hunt back in September. Some bad punning on the label - should come with an 'elf warning....

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A hazy amber colour with visible sediment and low carbonation. Forms a small head of white foam that disappears within a minute or so. Aroma of light caramel malt with notes of lemony citrus, grass/hay, earthy yeast, stewed hops and faint grain. Quite dry.

Tastes of light caramel malt with a hoppy character and a dry, bitter finish. Notes of citrus, grass/hay, earthy yeast, grain and stewed hops. Dry and slightly spicy. A restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with decent body. Wouldn't hurt to be slightly more effervescent. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of grassy hops, yeast and a twinge of citrus.

This is actually a pretty good beer, and certainly drinkable. Nice hop presence and good balance. But who the hell brews a hoppy pale ale as a Christmas brew?! It just doesn't seem right - there's nothing linking it to the season other than the branding. I've marked it down slightly as a result; would probably be better in summer. Worth trying, but if you're expecting warmth or spices then you'll be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 23:39:21 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of brewtus
brewtus

Ohio

1.48/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured copper with white head... forget it,I'm going to cut right to the chase, this is clearly a novelty beer and it was disgusting. Granted winter ales aren't my favorite, but this wasn't a winter ale, as the label claims. It tastes cheap and hits you like a cheap shot of liquor. It's a great Christmas gift but a terrible drink. Grab a anchor, bells, or Great Lakes Christmas instead.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 17:10:05 | More by brewtus
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yeah, I really didn't dig this beer at all. it has style issues: looks like a blonde, smells like a sour and dinks like a pils. Go figure.
Pours golden in color with a fizzy white head with no carbonation.
Aroma was funky and skunky some malts and tart.
Taste seems like a pils in that it was dry and sharp.
Bought a couple of these down at the craft beer outlet and I'm a bit disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 13:31:52 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of kaufmaal
kaufmaal

Alabama

3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new find at World Market, this one and two other beers from this brewery. As the season is Winter, I thought that I would try this one first.

Ah, but it doesn't taste like a winter ale, or really look like one. That said, it is a fairly dry IPA with some bitter orange flavors and alfalfa. Golden orange color, a nice big head that fizzled away but left some nice lacing. I might just drink another one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 03:45:50 | More by kaufmaal
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dirty orange/golden bubbly, finger white head, solid lacing

S: lemon peel, grassy, sugary

T: same as nose, but earthy grain, low bitter/oily finish

M: med body, smooth, oily mouth

O: Nice English IPA. I would get again and recommend.
Curious why this is a Winter Ale?

GOOD, NOT MUST HAVE!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 21:18:03 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 ounce bottle into a plain pint glass.

A: A light-medium, golden copper color beneath a two-finger head of off white foam that holds nicely and leaves a little pillowy lacing. Clarity is very good, with a slight chilled haze and wisps of carbonation.

S: Spicy, fruity and floral esters with a bit of citrus and grassy hops to offset its mild, acidic aroma.

T: Clean, bright and balanced up front, this English IPA has a nice bouquet of floral, citrusy hops blended with toasted grains and satisfying cereal malts. A slightly sweet and quaffable palate dries out and becomes a bit bitter with a tangerine zest and hint of spice in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied and solid mouthfeel offers great balance and drinkability. A little cloying bittersweet builds before the finish, but it doesn't act as a deterrent.

O: A pretty nice and balanced English IPA. I could have stood for a little more malty, fruity esters and a stronger malt backbone, but it was still good. At 6% ABV, it reminded me more of a German Helles than an English IPA, but I do know that I liked it regardless.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 23:56:16 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

That bastard elf... This stuff pours a wan tawn topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises musty orange peel, dark greens, dusty green apple, and dry biscuits. The taste brings in more of the same, with everything coming through blander, mustier. Gotta tell ya, it ain't all that satisfying. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, a pretty sad EIPA all-around. Straight up.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 04:45:37 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.63/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

50cl bottle served into a transparent hard plastic cup at me friend's gaff in Palo Alto, California. Acquired at a local BevMo. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a nontransparent orange-copper.

Sm: Butterscotch (diacetyl?), cream, pleasant buttery malts, and clean barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: A bit buttery in terms of malt, but clean and enjoyable, if simple. Not real well balanced, but built fairly well (albeit far off style). Not as hoppy as the label would like us to believe. A bit bland and disappointing. Light honey is a nice touch.

Mf: Sharp but smooth and wet. A touch too heavy on the palate. Fairly complementary of the flavours.

Dr: Decently drinkable. I wouldn't have it again; it's too simple and bland - especially for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 03:21:51 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GallowsThief
GallowsThief

Florida

2.7/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a 1 pint 9 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Poured out a very light but somewhat hazy golden. Small stark white head that quickly dissipated and left spotty lacing.

S – Fruity and somewhat sweet. Grape, apple with light malt.

T – Hmm not much here in the way of taste. Almost flat taste. Grain and malt. No real sweetness. Totally devoid of flavors you would expect with the smell which was pleasant. Light alcohol at the end. Bitter.

M – Sharp carbonation and light mouthfeel. Very drying.

O – Looks good, smells good….tastes bland.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 00:33:00 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of k7sw
k7sw

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber color with a head that quickly diminished but left a nice lacing.
I can't smell.
Not what I would usually expect from a winter ale being classified as an IPA I'd say that's more in line. Hoppy and citrus flavors come through strong. Another tart, almost berry-like, flavor comes through midway.
Mouthfeel is a little flat.

I would drink this beer if it was around but overall I felt it was fairly average.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 08:31:32 | More by k7sw
Photo of Auracom
Auracom

Illinois

2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Completely random bottle from a friend to celebrate working from home. Served from whatever size bottle it comes in, into a Cantillon flute.

A - Light, completely clear golden coloring with a single finger of white head. Lots of bubbles clinging around the edges of the glass. Average lacing.

S - More APA? Soft, fruity hops with light spices. Possibly a little yeast-like, with a touch of banana, clove, and bread loaf. Not too bad.

T - Very little fruit in the taste and virtually no malt balance. Hops don't kick in until late-mid palate and they aren't really that appealing. It gets worse as it warms up, something rubber-like comes across in the finish.

M - Light body, average carbonation. Amazingly short finish with as little hop bitterness in the aftertaste as I've come across. Not smooth.

D - The aroma was typical and fine. The taste was quite underwhelming and got to the point of slightly gross near the end.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 20:16:03 | More by Auracom
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bad Elf has a very thin, soap-bubble white head and a clear (a little hazy once the dregs are swished & poured), orange appearance, with lacing. The aroma is peppery, citrusy, and bready, and the taste is hop forward- citrus hops, sweet bread, bitterness, and cracker. The mouthfeel is light and watery, and Bad Elf finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and mostly dry. The drinkability with this is ultra high. Overall, this is very good, and I recommend it.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 12:39:25 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, honey-gold coloring with no head. Aromas of dry, light hops, with an effervescent feel. Lemony citrus highlights on the nose, with a rich malt character, as well. The beer's flavors are light at first, with a dry, peppery hopping on the tongue, followed by a more full, robust, roasted taste that leads to a slight, sweet, malt flavor. Light bodied, with no cling to the glassware. The palate ends up being very well blended, with a spicy and slightly citrusy aftertaste. The finish is very crisp and clean, with a slight drying bitterness and spice that clears the palate for the next drink. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 03:18:06 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of TheGrunt
TheGrunt

Finland

3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Colour light brown with strong yellow tint with medium haziness. Light foam and carbonation.

Smell is very nice with fruit and honey flavors.

Very nice medium strong taste with clear hops. Fruitiness, which is strong in smell is very mild in taste.

Overall very nice and well done Winter Ale. In my opinion this compares easily to some other easy winter beers such as Sam Adams Winter Lager: there is nice and rich flavor, easy to drink for every beer drinker and even suits very well with food. This is still far from the some dark, deep and even smokey beers which somebody may dislike.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 12:09:19 | More by TheGrunt
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Kendall Pub enjoying themany fine offerings they have from Ridgeway which included the Bad Elf. The beer poured a copper color with a slight haze. There was a thin white head that provided good retention. The scent was slightly fruity yeast aroma and earthy hops. The taste was good, fruit and butter flavors are prominent with an earthy hop note beneath. Bitterness is moderate, a little astringent and at odds with the diacetyl. Overall not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 22:51:56 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of steveh
steveh

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked the Very Bad Elf so much I thought I'd sample the others in the series -- going back to the start.

Not sure just what style this may be, 6% Winter's Ale on the label. Since the Very Bad was much like an ESB to my palate, I'm wondering if this might be a Special Bitter, though 6% is a bit high.

A -- Pours a clear, golden color with a thick, off-white head.

S -- Light biscuit malt character with some mild toffee and a light floral fruitiness, some earthiness with warming.

T -- Initial dryness, seemingly from hops because of the quick blend through sweetish biscuit malts into a very dry bitterness. The in-between sweetness is cookie and fruitcake like, though not so luscious that it becomes sickly sweet. And the bitterness is there at the finish to help balance anything out. The aftertaste becomes a bit resiny, but never to a point of palate-stunting.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth to dry with a light medium body.

O -- Yes, I would definitely slot this into an English IPA and recommend it to anyone who likes the American cousin and would be interested in trying one brewed on original soil. The neat balance between biscuit malt and fruity to dry bitter hops is very appetizing.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 22:21:23 | More by steveh
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 500 ml bottle A batch code is printed on the label but there is no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a half-liter Hobgoblin glass. The color is a clean and slightly hazy honey that is a touch on the light side. Three fingers of dense, billowy white head dissipated fairly quickly to leave trails along the glass, a rocky lacing, and eventually a ring around the edge.

Smell: This is truly an English IPA as the aroma is dominated by floral, earthy hops. However, it definitely has a citrusy aroma to it, along with pale malts, caramel, toffee, honey, buttery biscuit, and apple cider.

Taste: The mouthfeel is coarse and grassy and the flavor follows suit. Lots of floral and earthy hops, which the labels warns about. The hops are not overpowering, but they provide a consistent presence throughout each sip that keeps the cheeks and tongue tingling. Along with the grassy/earthy element are flavors of lemon citrus, caramel, pale malts, toffee, and honey.

Drinkability: If this elf was bad (and the dude on the label looks pretty sinister), then he cannot be too far from good. It is pretty decent stuff, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 04:50:08 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle. Erin got it in Richmond at World Market-- I think. No date.

Appearance: Pours a clear light orange color with a white, soft looking head. Average head retention. Above average lacing looks like, well, lace.

Smell: Earthy and bitter citrus hops. Little hint of caramel sweetness.

Taste: Very much like a Cascade-type hops flavor with bitter citrus and some earthy grassiness. Malt is crackery, with a very light sweetness. A hint of toast in the finish which has lasting bitterness. Some sips seem to leave a very slightly metallic taste on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium feel, carbonation slightly tingly. A little sticky hops resin residual.

Overall: I'm not a huge fan of English style IPAs, in part because of the hops profiles, and in part because of freshness issues in imported beers. I do like the bitter citrus hops in this one, but I think it suffers from freshness issues. I need to go to England. Overall its a decent, drinkable IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 01:04:17 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of WastingFreetime
WastingFreetime

Wisconsin

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bonus kudos need to be given for the excellent label art : That elf looks totally malevolent!

Pours out a bronzed hazed cloudy yellow color with two fingers of fluffy creamy white head. Nice longevity and lace patterns on the head as well. Nose has some noble hop floral with a tint of spice, and biscuit bready malts are in attendance. I suspect I may have gotten an older bottle as some of the more shelf-fragile scents described in other reviews of this brew are completely absent from my bottle. Too bad I can't seem to decipher their date code, no matter how much Google I apply to it.
Taste is very much in the English IPA spectrum of heavy bittering on top of breaded yeasty malt. Although once again I find that the yeasts and hops seem shelf-degraded. I'll have to come back and modify this review should I ever get my hands on a fresher example. The florals notes have been dulled and made sparse, but one can tell that the bittering of the hops has been carefully balanced against the sweetness. Too bad that's all I'm left with in this somewhat chewy, medium bodied brew. IMHO, the body could stand to benefit from either being much heavier or much lighter, this middle ground doesn't play right across the tongue for the flavors it carries. Of course, it might be just perfectly bodied for the flavor profile of a fresh bottle, but I am forced to review with what I have.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 17:16:21 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a light golden color. The head was soapy and white. There was a light amount of lacing on the glass. The smell is hoppy with some malts in the back end. The taste has a good bitterness to it and some grainy flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was on the light side. Overall it's a pretty standard English IPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 22:16:01 | More by Knapp85
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a very short white head.

Nose is light spice and medium assertive esters.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy; nothing special yet you just want to keep drinking it. Light carbonation but a really nice balance.

Flavors are yeasty and lightly but richly hoppy bitter. There are some green herbs and spices and a light bitter hop/green finish.

While this beer is not "wonderful" or "amazing," it is incredibly drinkable. Really pleasant all around and an almost "quaffing" brew that's just simple but good.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 06:34:13 | More by GRG1313
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Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.