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Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad ElfBad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.

243 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 410
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 18.66%
Wants: 5
Gots: 18 | 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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 410
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, light golden color, pear peelings, apple slices, under a crystalline white, lacey head.
Aroma: bright, vibrant, sunny nose, a fruit salad blend, tropical fruits unfold, pineapple, slightly spicy, ...very English.
Taste: hmmm, spark of hops at the tip, fruity, but, all in all, a bit underwhelming. Rolls nicely in the mouth, tasty, with the 6% peeking through jsut a teeny bit. feels more appley further in, such an interesting take on a Wintery Ale...or is it bad to have this so far from the season? In summer, the Elf is more mellow, perhaps?
Nice enough, but the grinning, evil elf on the label led me to believe something more sinister.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a large fluffy slightly off-white head that descends to a lasting thin cover, leaving some lacing.

The smell is floral/herbal and lemon-grassy. Well-hopped though with grainy backing and buttery notes.

The taste is of leafy, herbal, slightly citric hops, butterscotch and a firm malty, crackery backing. It has a bittering, dry finish.

The feel is a bit oily/slick. Medium-bodied.

Other than the slightly higher abv, it's not particularly "wintery", but who cares. A nice IPA that shows the English hops well, while being balanced. I could drink and enjoy in any season (though not "session"). A very good representation of an English IPA.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a macro lager yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very faint, with some slight hop character. The flavor is decent, easily the best of the gimmicky Ridgeway Christmas beers. You get some English hops and malts, but it is nothing spectacular. High carbonation and thin body.

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Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost brilliantly clear, full copper color that is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, pale off-white colored head. The aroma has a light hoppiness to it that reminds me of herbal scents, a lightly sweet citrus-like lemon note, and even a hint of soft spiciness. The hop notes definitely dominate the aroma, but they are certainly not clubbing me over the head like and American hopped beer would.

The taste is fairly dry with a nice sharp, almost biting bitterness that carries through to the end. The hop flavor is a mix of herbal, perhaps even grassy, and lemon like citrus notes. There is a touch of malt sweetness that sneaks in to the middle of this beer; it accentuates the citrus character a bit and provides some balance to the hop notes. This has a nice heft to it, that is not too light and yet not so heavy that this is not quaffable. This beer tastes quite similar to what I would describe as an American brewed English style IPA. Restrained crystal malt character with lots of hop character. As the beer warms up the simple grain sweetness picks up a bit and this in turn accentuates the citrus notes a bit; even picks up some notes of orange. This is definitely quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly reddish amber color, fairly puffy head, small but numerous bubbles. Head had good staying power, some lacing.
Smell took me back a bit. Some sticky sweetness, malt and apricot, but mostly I smelled a skunkiness to it. Like a watered down Moosehead.
Taste wasn't skunked, thankfully. A more-complex-than-simple lager taste. Slightly roasted malt, sweetness, molasses hints and tangerine cues. I didn't taste much hops, but I think they calmed the sweetness down a bit.
better drank cold; as it warmed it allowed the alcohol to seep through, not a pleasant aftertaste.
Better than average, but not worth the $5/bottle.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16.9 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber/blonde, with a small white head with poor retention, no real lacing to be seen.

S: White grapefruit predominately, with a light malty profile, and some alcohol.

T: Taste is actually pretty good. Light bready malt mixed with a grassy, earthy hop profile, lawn clippings, can be astringent at times, but I found it to be pretty tasty in the long run, nice bit of dark fruit in the aftertaste as well, too.

M: Nice full, crisp carbonation, medium-bodied, dry.

D: A pretty good EIPA, would definitely buy it again next holiday season, a quality effort.


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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eh. This beer is more of a gimmick than anything else, but its not bad. Its just that there are so many other Christmas beers that are better. Pours amber with a head that quickly settles to a thin ring. Smells of sweet malt and alcohol. Fruity with apple and apricot as well in the nose. Taste has flavors similar to the aromas with the addition of a fairly substantial breadiness. Plum, apple, and apricot flavors with a slightly bitter finish round it out. Mouthfeel is crisp with a creamy finish. Tastes a little hot and not very well integrated to make this highly drinkable.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clean/clear golden color, nice carbonation, nice little white creamy head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, slight hop, and lots of caramel. The taste is mostly malty, with some hops thrown in, and caramel. This is a very nice English IPA. Slightly sweet too. Medium body. Drinkable, recommended.

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Photo of plaid75
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured an upfront spicy hop with traces of clove.

The taste consisted of some light biscuity malts, some herbal hops but and some decent winter spice, but was way too harsh in its bitterness. The typical English green apple flavor made its appearance. It must be me, because I cannot stand this flavor and this is the reason I avoid English ales altogether. I am hoping it is me, or at least it is a phenomenon limited to bottled ales.

The mouthfeel was of average fullnes but adversely affected by the aforemnetioned rind-like bitterness.

Overall an attractive and aromatice ale. The flavor and drinkablilty suffer from the acridness.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBE 07/03/07.
A: pours a clear, amber hue with strong dark orangey hint, the white beer head is fluffy and dissipates rather fast, leaving sparse lacing on the sides of the glass; fairly lively body with constant streams of mini-bubbles ascending.
S: fruit-esters prevail from the first second onwards…exotic fruity (incl. orange), spicy (coriander seed-like) and yeasty with a touch of candy-sugar almost like a lesser version of an aromatic Belgian pale ale(!), while a deeply malty overtone assumes at the back with lots of honeyish aroma buttressing it. Overall the aroma is not explosive, but at a closer sniff all the complex elements of aroma quietly but surely assert themselves. Excellent!
T: semi-thick texture of juicy pale malts come hand in hand with an initially spicy, piney, and dried tea-leaf like bitterness upfront, immediately followed by a flow of magnifying, slightly oily, orange-fruity hoppyness flooding all over the palate, causing a slightly pungent bite and dryish mouthfeel felt strongly esp. on the wings of the deep end of the tongue. The lingering, hard (by standards of English ales), and only faintly fruity hoppyness, combined with the underlying bitterness, makes an everlasting semi-tannic and slightly tangy aftertaste almost like chewing a mouthful of a kind of Chinese fruit snack--dried, lightly-sweetened citrus zest, plus a pinch of bitter herbs.
M&D: the initially smooth mouthfeel is balanced with the subsequent overwhelming bitterness and hops. Very satisfyingly hoppy strong ale, though I’d expect its body to be a bit more rounded and better-balanced with more assertive malts, suppose in one more year of ageing it could just be like that?! Shall buy another bottle and age it. Solid brew!

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Photo of jdhilt
2.41/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a two-finger white head that stays and leaves a nice lace. Nearly clear, golden amber color and nose is seriously hoppy. Medium bodied. Starts hoppy, finishes bitter. Unusual for a winter ale (no spices) but the label points out that they are heavy handed with the hops. $3.99 for 500ml.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours a nice copper color with a creamy light tan head of rocky bubbles on top. The body is crystal clear with some gentle bubbles floating to the surface.

S- The smell of green floral hops with a hint of pine is strong but in the background there is a note of slightly toasted fresh grain.

T- This beer has a soft smooth pale malt flavor with some slight caramel malt hints. The finish is a nice smooth piney and noble hop finish. The malt flavor is missing those subtle nuances that English IPAs have but the hops has a good complexity.

M- The mouthfeel is a medium-light feel but the texture is pretty watery. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is a nice smooth English style IPA. It would be nice with a bit more body and if the malt had a bit more depth to enhance the hops. Very quaftable non the less.

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Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden color. 1/4 inch head with decent retention and decent lacing. A thin film remains throughout the entire beer. Smells of sweet malt, some slight spice, a hint of fruit, and some yeast cleanliness. Fits the style of an English IPA, if not a weak example. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high level of carbonation. Tastes of sweet malt upfront, yeast flavors throughout, slight roasted malt in the background, sand some slight hops. Overall, a little weak in the hops than I'd expect and a little watered down. Still a pretty decent beer that's really easy to drink.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, bright, and crisp golden peach color with orange hues. A one finger cream-beige colored head sits atop that was bubbly and lasted for several minutes. Visible carbonation was faint while a nice spiderweb lacing was left behind.

S: fruity with fresh oranges and apples with a perfumy hopping.

T: a light lemon breadiness and orange flavor opens things up. There was a spiciness of apples and a pretty good floral hopping. Some alcohol detection with a slight orange sourness was also detected. The flavor was moderatly good, though maybe not so much per style. A nice malting though not a lot of spices. Some citrusy grapefruit, pale grains, with a touch of cinnamon linger about but not enough to make a difference overall.

M: light, very smooth with a extremely soft carbonation. An slightly above average xmas drink.

D: Easy to put down especially at 6.0% which drinks quite well though was only moderatly exciting.

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Photo of beertunes
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a slightly cloudy golden yellow with just a thin cap of white head that had no retention but left moderate lacing.

The aroma is very subdued, but still has a pleasing hop presence. The flavors are similar, not much malt foundation and a smooth, balanced hop profile.

The body was typical for the style and drinkability was a little better than average. Overall, a very solid, enjoyable brew. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a golden orange color with an off white head with decent retention and lacing. Bad Elf is not a bad brew, but nothing out of the ordinary either. The taste is dry buttery malts with peppery hops in the finish. Definitely worth a try. Cheers!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Crystal clear gold topped by a 2” foam collar that quickly dissipates to ¼” but good lacing. S: Fruity, estery aromas T: Fairly dry, fruit, some biscuit with lingering hop bitterness and spice. F: Very creamy, medium light body, medium low carbonation. O: Very drinkable, nicely hopped and well balanced.

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Photo of bark
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is pale copper with a hint of amber; the liquid is clear. The two finger head is white, compact and firm, it builds a fine crater. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is dominated by a clean bitterness with some dry metallic flavours. I noticed some dried fruits and hints of yeast and caramel too.

The taste is complex with clean bitter notes and a touch of minerals that blends with sweet malty flavours of apples, kiwis and raisins. The aftertaste adds some mild yeast, fresh lettuce (!) and a touch of fizzy painkiller tablets (!!) and a declining bitterness that makes room for sweet malt and caramel flavours.

The carbonation is mild to medium; lots of small bubbles. The liquid is light and smooth.

Although one can argue if this is a “Christmas beer” or not, it is a very drinkable and well crafted IPA.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a seethru orange-tinted gold with one-finger head that slowly receeds. A smell of mostly herbal and citric hops along with hints of bread and roasted malts, and possibly some caramel. A juicy, fruit-flavor bursting light body of lemon, pear, apple comprises part of the taste. A smooth and slick beer that finishes clean and has some minor sweet/chewiness from bread/biscuity maltiness. Also some minor spicing on the backend warms up the tongue a little. A simple beer but I could have this anytime; I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon the pour from the 500ml brown bottle, the beer appears a slightly hazy golden amber with a modest off white head that settles quickly, leaving a thin coating of lace upon the glass. Nose has a nice sweet malt aroma, with a pleasant hop flowery tone, citrus like crispness, also a wee bit of bread dough. Front has a delightful malt presence, the hops as spicy as any American IPA, top is medium in feel. Finish has a brisk acidity, the hops pound your taste buds, and the dry aftertaste coats your palate, a “Damn Good” IPA.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a nice orangy amber with a thick white head. Although it is an IPA, the aroma is surprisingly malty, with just a touch of sweetness. Flavor is richly hoppy, with a strong malt component, a hint of fruity sweetness, and only a whisper of hop bitterness. It goes down smoothly but with a good alcohol edge and a hoppy, mildly bitter aftertaste.

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