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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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 408
Photo of k7sw
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of Auracom
2.42/5  rDev -33.3%
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. (933 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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 (462 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of TheGrunt
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (467 characters)

Photo of steveh
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (1,199 characters)

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (1,150 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (964 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (1,385 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (337 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a English pint]

Poured a murky orange-brown in color with virtually no head. Aroma was that of molasses and bread like malts with a light hoppy and doughy yeast scent.Tasted slightly bitter with a nice hoppy flavor and a hint of molasses and citrus.The aftertaste was sweet wit a touch of grapefruit which lasted a short while. Mouthfeel was full bodied and creamy with light carbonation. Overall a good beer Very Tasty!! (438 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Clear copper-yellow pour with big, fluffy two finger head with good retention and lacing. Hoppy, perfumy, floral nose with a malty backbone and hints of apples and caramel. Nice tangy, citrusy, bitter hop bite in the taste, well balanced by a sweet malty caramel base with a hint of apples and bubble gum. The mouthfeel is crisp and dry and slightly fizzy with a touch of chewiness. Slightly higher ABV then your typical English IPA, but you definitely can't tell. I'm thinking that some of the critical reviews were due to beer past its prime. This was extremely drinkable and enjoyable. It was closer to an American IPA then I had expected. Pleasantly surprised! (737 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down but left a thin film of bubbles coating the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of floral and spicy hops in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some hints of biscuit malts and fruits. There is a mild amount of bitterness throughout.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer goes down very easily and is quite sessionable. (626 characters)

Photo of jbertsch
1.7/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

An aptly-named brew...

Appears solid gold in color. Easy to see fingers through the glass. Aroma is of adjunct corn, pils-like malt, faint hops and very faint spice.
Tasts cheap and macro like. The adjunct flavoring is off-putting. Its bitterness seems to stem from low-quality ingreidents rather than quality hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp and well-carbonated, so I'll give it that. But, thumbs down on its drinkability as I couldn't stomach the entire bottle.

What's sad is that I don't think it tasted like an off-bottle...just a poorly made brew. Also interesting, is that the bottle claims it's a winter ale. BA claims it's an IPA. It hits neither style well at all.

Stay away. (683 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 Cresant
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this .5 L brown bottle into a Newcastle Geordie Schooner glass. Coded: F12 207. ? The body was a hazy rich golden color. The white creamy head left a tight/fine lace.

The smell was fruity, lemony. Understated and balanced.

The taste was apples with a gentle hoppy bitterness. Faint caramel. Well constructed and highly drinkable.

The mouthfeel was smooth, really smooth. Medium body. Very drinkable. (409 characters)

Photo of robhunta
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow. Much lighter than I would expect from a winter ale, which brings up an interesting point; the beer label says this is a "winter ale" while BeerAdvocate says this is an English IPA, so I'm not sure which style I should be comparing this too. The aroma has some spiced scents, but not nearly as much as I would expect in a winter ale. It also have very low hops aroma as expected in an IPA.l The same can be said for the taste, it has a hint of spices and low hops flavor. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth and crisp, this is a very drinkable beer. However, no matter which style this beer is judged on I find that it falls short on flavor. (659 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

163rd review on BA
bottle to mug

Stocking stuffer from the wife

App- A little darker than drawn butter in a bowl. One finger head that went away quickly. Not at all how I thought this would pour.

Smell- A faint citrus with some hops, spice and a touch earthy.

Taste- A very off taste. Has a malty bite to it but it's a bit flat. Had a spice/herb note that just didn't sit well to me.

Mouth- A bit chewy with a lighter medium body and a medium carbonation.

Drink- A little off to me but wasn't too bad. A gift from the wife. At least she tried. (549 characters)

Photo of shodrod
2.81/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(poured into a tumbler glass)

This beer pours with a golden straw color. A nice billowy head, with good retention, leaves little lacing. The aroma is slightly metallic with just a slight hint of hops. The flavors in this beer are hard to describe because they are all so weak. Mostly the flavor of unfiltered water with a touch of apple. The finish does have a faint hop note. (377 characters)

Photo of SassyBootblack
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden and clear, with a white head. Well that's certainly a surprise, you expect winter ales to be dark.

Smell: Soft English hops.

Taste: Wow! Really great bready malt flavor here. Also there's Goldings hops, I believe, but it's not over powering. Slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thick side.

Drinkability: For what appears to be a beer being sold for its amusing label, they certainly put a lot of good ingedients in it. Very tasty. (461 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: golden-copper, good clarity, thick layer of fine-beaded foam, good head retention and some bits of lace

Aroma: herbal Nobel hop scent, grain

Flavor: grainy maltiness with a perfumey hop flavor; hint of lime peels; soapy bitterness in the semi-dry finish

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, pert carbonation, crisp (322 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

500ml brown bottle.

color is clear and golden, frothy white head. makes it clear that it's not a traditional "Winter Ale". good lacing though.

not a real strong aroma, just a little citrus hops.

again, not a typical spiced winter ale. although I also don't think it's much like an IPA as indicated. not very hoppy, just kinda bland and generic ale.

lighter body, higher carbonation. disapointing for the cost. I guess they rely on the gimmick of the labeling. (467 characters)

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

#7 - 12 beers of Christmas. 500 mL bottle at 42* into a dimpled mug.

A: This pours a honey/orange color with two-fingers of beautiful white foam that leaves some thin areas of lacing.

S: The nose shows aromas of honey, apricot, light malty noteas, and a fair amount of hoppiness.

T: The taste is of tangy citrus and tropical fruits, light honey, caramel, and mild hops (East Kent Goldings, Fuggles?).

M: This is quite typical for an English ale; it is oily and slick and finishes creamy with a medium-light body.

D: This is tasty and very drinkable but pricey. I'm confused as to what Ridgway Brewing does the rest of the year. (633 characters)

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