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Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad ElfBad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

243 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 408
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 5
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: Loki on 11-26-2003

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 408
Photo of RBorsato
4.85/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright gold with a nice light creamy off-white head and decent lacing from good carbonation. Nice strong lemon zesty hop aroma and flavor. Hops definitely shine over the grainy malts underneath but it's still fairly well balanced. Medium bodied with light creaminess and a dry bitter hop finish.

Despite the controversial name/label, this is one damn good beer !! Highly recommend !

Per Shelton Bros website: 45 ounces of fresh hops – including English Cascade – per barrel.

2006 Version
Tasted: 12/24/06

(11.2 oz / 33 cl) (543 characters)

Photo of nige4958
4.6/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is fab. No, it's not an American IPA. If you been to the motherland and enjoy British beers, you'll like this one. It's rather delicate for being a winter brew. Pours a lovely straw colour in a pint glass. There is light citrus and a tad of diacytl followed by solid bitterness. There are no rough edges, just a very civilized brew. If you don't like British beers, it's a waste of time. (397 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.57/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had a small sample of this beer from what was left in the firkin after the big opening of Saturnalia last night at Rich-O's. The beer poured a nice yellowed golden color with a nice figer or two of head with some retention. The nose was full of grapefruit hop and some very earthy undertones as well. The flavor was really nice, with a great hop profile with grapefruit and caramel from the malts. How nice. The beer was moderate to thick and creamy. Nice. Overall, this is a fantastic brew, and I think I enjoyed it more on cask better than from the bottle. (560 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a perfectly crystal clear medium amber color. Head is a slightly creamy off-white and has slowly fallen to a thick ring with light surface coating. Nice creamy lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is hoppy with many citrus and piney notes to be found. Some summer fruitiness also present to form a nice combination with thhops. Initial taste is a medium bitterness that almost immediately fades to allow some fruity maltiness to show through. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Finish is a moderate dry bitterness that definitely beckons for another taste, whicj I will gladly satisfy. Some alcohol also begins to show itself at the ending with a nice warm feeling in the mouth. Very drinkable and superbly enjoyable. This is really an excellent beer. (And the label is nice too) (787 characters)

Photo of Wiessmonkey
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

served at 48 degrees in a goblet
A. not very bad looking, golden and clean
S. creamy, sweet almost marshmallow with orange and wet bread
T. there were two taste spectrums going on with this beer from start to finish the most powerful at the start was spicy, tangerine, peach blossom and slightly pungent; the other was a good bitterness and acid blend that started out small and built throughout ending strong and powerful
M. light and slightly creamy
D. i was impressed with this beer. it looked so simple and non impressive. the smell raised the bar and my eye brows promising a lot and i was hopeful that it would not let me down. this beer did not let me down, the longer i drank and thought about what was going on the more impressed i was. this beer seemed simple at first but was more complex than i have anticpated. i love pleasant suprises. (851 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up an inch thick head of frothy white foam that receeds to a shorter but denser, creamy layer in a few moments. The trade-off, however, is that it disturbs the yeast sediment and leaves it's golden-amber body somewhat hazy. Still, tiny bubbles are clearly visible climbing slowly towards the surface. What remains of the head leaves some nice lace about the glass, and overall, it's a very nice appearance. Hops are clear in the nose with a brightly citrus and piney character. It's bold, fresh, and inviting - the way a real ale should be! The body is medium; and it's very fine and natural (bottle conditioned), restrained carbonation is just lightly tingly on the tongue before fading away smooth. The flavor delivers the lemony-citrus and resiny spruce/pine-like hop flavors promised by the nose over a biscuity malt. A bold bitterness balances, and its fades away dry with a quick flash of juicy fruitiness followed by a residual note of bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite impressive! (1,010 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed light amber tone. Small and disjointed bone white head. After a minute, a thin rimming is all that's left. The aroma is strong and upfront. And quite nice. Citrusy, resiny, pungent, mint and bigtime Bubblegum. The taste is stylin. This has got to be the most hopped up UK beer I've ever had. You'd guess it was from the West Coast USA if you didn't know better. The hop flavors are pungent and somewhat raw....bitter and piney...smoky and cannabis like...resiny and ctitc. Damn, this is pretty good. The malt backing proves to be more than capable and is toffee based. Body is a little better than medium and this beer flows over the tongue with ease. The one negative is the price tag...5.39 for 16.9 oz. It's good, but I can find IPAs from this country just as good for lesser $$$$. Glad I tried it once though. (828 characters)

Photo of tugdriver7
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another "Beer of the Month" sample. Had I not known this was from England, I would have assumed it to be a domestic craft beer. The beer surprised me. Medium "orange" in color with tiny bubbles streaming up the side of the glass, it poured with a smooth textured head that fell quickly and lace the glass. A definite hop presence in the nose, and the taste was at first malt then a definitive hop flavor that stopped just short of overpowering. A very fresh tasting, smooth, drinkable IPA. When I saw "Winter Ale" I expected something a bit darker and maltier. This was a refreshing surprise. And an import no less. Definitely one to watch for. (644 characters)

Photo of willmc
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on sight a nice pale amber, almost golden color. a good inch white head that lingers for a short while, small traces of lacing. aromas of fruity sweet malt. tastes a touch sweet at first, hops on the finish, with hints of carmel somewhere in the middle. overall i was suprised by this beer. i mainly bought it for the label and name, so Bad Elf is actually pretty good. cheers! (377 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on cask at Spuytin Duyvil

Lovely toast color under light, coarse froth. High head that doesn't leave any mark on the glass. Citrus aroma. Lemony resin in the finish. Perfectly tender mouthfeel. Lemon and grapefruit over slight toasty malt. Simple, clean flavors. Overall, so light and lovely, that despite all the other fantastic beers in this place, I must have another . (375 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first gift, for the States anyway, from Peter Scholey and his new brewery Ridgeway Brewing. Shelton Brothers delivered this gift to the States wrapped in an Imperial Pint bottle. The card on the present (Shelton Bros. website) said this gift was a IPA/Hoppy Beer, Winter/Holiday Beer so I didn't know what category to put this present in. However, the noticible absense of any strong spices lead me to put it in the IPA category. This beer is bottle conditioned and has some yeast sediment.

Appearance: After unwrapping this gift from it's large brown bottle it poured a crystal clear dark, golden honey color with a wispy, thin, white head that disappates to a spotty cover quickly. However, the lack of head did not affect the lacing in any way. Sheets and webs of lacing all around the glass, clining definantly to the sides. I would have rated the appearance much higher except for the nearly complete lack of head. The wrapping recommended leaving some in the bottle for the Elves, which I did and still ended up with some yeast sediment in the glass, not that I'm complaining. I was amazed that the sediment was not noticible in the glass and did not affect the clarity of the beer.

Smell: This present also came with a wonderful bouquet of floral hops, malt, and minerals with a grassy tinge. Almost a wildflower fragrance to the floral tones. I did notice an absence of cinnamon and clove that I expected, but I did detect some nutmeg. The minerals come off with dry earthy smell. Very reminicent of a traditional English cask ale.

Taste: English malt is the first gift of flavor to the tongue. Followed by a shower of minerals and floral, grassy hops. Dry mineral present came in the middle and one the end, very similiar to a true English cask ale. The last present is a slightly bitter, dry taste and clean finish. This present transports me to an English Pub during the holiday. A great escape and a great beer. (1,936 characters)

Photo of beerking1
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark gold, very clear, with a small but persistent white head. Aroma is crystal malt, with subtle butterscotch and hints of earthy yeastiness, all mingling with rustic British hops. Flavor is strong caramel upfront, balanced with a pleasant hoppy bite, and with some distinct but pleasant butterscotch in the background. Finish is very clean, with a hoppy aftertaste leaving you wanting more. Alcohol is strong, but blends well and is not at all unpleasant. Overall, a very well balanced beer. (501 characters)

Photo of joshstevens87
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- ours a light orange with a nice 1/2 inch white head which leaves lacing as you drink it
S-citrusy hops dominating with the malt contributing a sweet fruityness and a small hint of alcohol in the background
T-citrusy hops with malt contributing a sweet fruityness and slew of flavor (orange to vanilla) with a bit more alcohol presence then one is used to at 6% overall a wonderful complex beer
M-medium body with a light carbonation giving a very smooth almost liquid bread feel to the mouth
D-between its complex taste easy drinking body this beer is very drinkable i wouldn't mind drinking it all night (607 characters)

Photo of whynot44
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice cloudy apricot color with a decent white head that disipates slowly and leaves some nice lace.

The aroma is pine needles and biscuits with a hint of citrus.

The taste starts with a hit of piney hops. A decent biscuity malt base registers in the middle, although still dominated by the hops. The finish is more pine hops with a touch of grapefuit that lingers on. An English IPA for the hop heads!

Very similar to some west coast brews but still fairly smooth and very easy to drink. Medium bodied and decently filling but not heavy. You may want several.. (577 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In my imperial pint glass, after receiving it as a gift on Christmas eve and using a Starship Enterprise bottle opener (also gift) to open it. About cellar temperature.

It looks respectably nice for being a bad elf! A beautiful rich orange color, crystal clear. Not much of any head action, but no matter.

Smells like an English ale for sure. You got a bit of marmalade, biscuits and bread, honey, light citrus, and a little pine.

Really well-integrated flavor here. Nothing overwhelming, but just right. Lemony, limey citrus, sweet bread, and a clean, malty finish that hints at some piney astringency.

A pleasantly full body. This is a substantial elf.

You're actually a pretty good elf. Or a tasty elf, at least. (721 characters)

Photo of nortmand
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with a long lasting fluffy head.

Solid citrus hoppiness in the nose, supported by some biscuity caramel sweetness.

Sweet biscuit in the tip of the tongue turns into a nice full flavored hoppy graininess. Hops are all citrus, very borderline American flavor.

Overall, a solid, medium bodied beer, very drinkable, but somewhat expensive. (362 characters)

Photo of nickthetick
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a light gold into my duvel tulip with a white head that slowly dissipates.

S: a lot of malt and hops mixed. There's a lot of biscuity malt mixed with a fair amount hop citrus hop.

T: the taste is a little more toned down. The malt is a lot more up front and the hops is just there. Its good just not what I expected from the nose.

MF: light body and refreshing.

D: a nice seasonal but there are that are better. I'll pick this up, but not in great qualities. (475 characters)

Photo of battlekow
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bad Elf initially smells like it's trying desperately to express some malts, tyrannically oppressed by the evil floral hops. The nose mellows and balances as the beer warms a bit, allowing a scent of spiced apples to escape. Tastes quite crisp, lots of hop flavor with, as they say, a strong malt backbone. A slightly unpleasant "off" flavor in the finish.

I've never had any aged SN Celebration, but Bad Elf seems like what I figure a few years would do to that beer, mellowing it out. I like it. Quite drinkable. (517 characters)

Photo of ABOWMan
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light amber in color. Very nice three inch head of frothy white head.

Smell: Earthy smell of an old basement (in a good way). Sweet notes of spice.

Mouthfeel: Very full mouthfeel due to the ample head which leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Drinkability: What's not to like about this English Ale. Open and drink another. (336 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet citric melon nose and palette reminiscent of some very select Australian (and occassionally New Zealand) Sauvignon Blancs. There's a latent Amarillo/Cascade meets Styrian Goldings finish and bittering with a pleasant hint of grain. This brew is notorious for its high hopping rate, but I can tell you for certain that it's mostly late-boil. The result is a medium-light bodied, fruity British-style ale that balances the grain heartiness of a late fall harvest with the delicate scents of spring.

Relax, relax.
ng (524 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC. Bartender Kate told me this one was "a little flat" I saw it as simply on the low carbonation side and that was just fine. Poured light honey golden amber, Mildly hoppy nose, minor head, natch, and no lacing. Agressivly hopped for a British IPA, thats a good thing!, Grainy hops evident and fresh tasting. Overlaid on a nice biscuity malt base. Long malty finish. Tasty and very pleasant, Brit brew with pleanty of character, I havent tried it in bottles, but the tap version is deserving of a try or two If you find it on at your local. (571 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, they've turned the tables on us.
Plenty of USA-brewed "english" IPAs. Now comes the Union Jack posing as Uncle Sam.

Well, not quite. But close.

Hazy goldenrod with a miniature cream-colored topping.
Nose of shaven lemons and wet iron.
Initially, this screams Cali. Loads of citrus. Orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels and grapfruit peels. Sticky-fingered Mary Jane.
Oh yeah, there's a toasty caramel, bready malt backing.

But Dude/Chap, screw the malts on this one. For real. They're there. They work. Whatever. Good enough.

Back to the hops. Citric hues shift more and more towards lemon as this warms. Buttery hues arrise, but are staved off acidicly. Suddenly this returns to its heritage. A large slap of mineral-laden water. Hopping surges towards bitter, savory herbs and cold steel. It sticks here, and rides itself out, with minor relapses of Americana.

For you main-lining hopheads that thought the UK couldn't brew something to cure your hop-induced tremors. Find this. (1,006 characters)

Photo of scaliasux
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Clear amber. Tall slightly off-white head with some staying power. Pretty good.

Smell - Moderately strong floral hop aroma dominates.

Taste - Moderately sweet malt that melts into a nice sour hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, smooth. Very nice.

Drinkability - Good beer. Finds a nice balance, not too sweet, not overly hoppy. Plus it has plenty of alchol for a long winter's night. Mildly amusing Chrismas theme is a plus. (458 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper color, low head and very slight lacing. Quite estery aroma, with a touch of spicy hops as well. Sweet malt and a large hop bouquet meet on the first taste; hops taste nutty, pine-like, slightly citrus. Moderately-high bitterness and a well-rounded fruitiness are also present. The finish is noticibly dry. Carbonation is a bit low, giving a thin mouthfeel, but this is typical for many English beers.

A high quality beer. I'd love to try a cask-conditioned version of this. (490 characters)

Photo of ellisdee97
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light perfectly clear brown with tinges of yellow and orange. A nice column of bubbles rise within and a nice light white head quickly dissipates leaving a nice bubbly ring. Very sticky lacing lingers through to the end.

S: Nice floral hop aroma up front. Orange peel and lemon zest. Some toasted malt and slight fruit.

T: Taste is reminiscent of a nicely hopped lager. Sweet toasted malt, and a taste of orange sherbert. Spicy hops with hints of orange and lemon zest.

M: Full bodied almost syrupy, with a sweet dry finish.

D:Excellent cold weather brew. (578 characters)

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Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.