1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad ElfBad Elf

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

375 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 375
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Loki on 11-26-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmdrpi
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

jmdrpi, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

bucklemyshoe, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear clear honey, not much head, spotty consistent lace. Ring for head.

S - Small malt flavor, even smaller citrus notes behind it. Whiff of hop.

T - Nice light malt, citrus and hops as small players. Not unpleasant.

M - Light body, good carb, fair balance.

D - Very easy going, very easy drinker.

srandycarter, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, a good amount of hops, honey and citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a mild but bitter burst of hops. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, honey and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are better beers in the style but this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of Tifore
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poures a very clear and golden color. Very light in consistancy it seems. Looks alot like a IPA not like a Winter Warmer as the bottle says. A pretty good sized white head develops.

S - Smells of hops and some malts. Light spices also hit the nose. Not what I was expecting at all. Again the IPA style is coming through not so much the Christmas ales I was looking for.

T - Taste is pretty boring. Some good hops and some sweetness. Finishes very clean and no lingering hops taste.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty light and quite easy to drink. Carbonation is medium. Beer holds up pretty well to hops and what not.

D - Recieved this beer from a friend, its not what I was expecting but a OK beer. I don't think I would buy it again but who knows. Theres just alot better out there in IPA styles and Winter Warmers.

Tifore, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of bmwats
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Deep rich golden hue. Little carbonation. Pours about a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Quickly settles leaving only a smattering of bubbles on the surface, and a little beer ring. Plenty of lacing remains.

S: Grainy malt nose. Yeasty with a little lemon citrus, and a slightly sweet hint. Maybe a little clove and oregano (not real solid with my spices) in there too.

T: Grainy baked bread flavor. Slightly piny hop, actually more of pungent peaty hop. Interesting very noticeable sweet and spice hints in there. Not overpowering, just very noticeable. Kind a syrupy sweet with clove.

M: Kind of thick syrupy feel. Thick and dense for lack of better adjectives. The peaty palette sticks with you throughout.

D: Decent. Very peaty and grainy.

Atmosphere is very nice. Pretty decent appearance. Although not much carbonation or head to speak of. Nose is much better with a lot of varying grain notes, along with some sweet and spice. Flavor similarly is grainy, but less hoppy and more pungent. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

bmwats, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Boitnott
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Here is Bad Elf by Ridgeway Brewery...

It was served from a bottle to a tall tulip glass.

A: It pours a golden red color. The head a light creamy color without a lasting consistency. The head also dies rather quickly. The lacing does stay for a bit.

S: Smells of straight hops, although it not overpowering. The hope presence is rather light compared to other IPAs. You can also smell a hint of the spices in the background, but they are very subtle.

T: The nose has a subtle spice presence which sets it in the winter beer category. The actual spice flavor I cannot quite pinpoint. Maybe cinnamon or nutmeg? I cannot really tell but it adds nicely to the hop flavor. The finish is where the hops come out and dominate, which balances well with the spices. The spice flavor does linger throughout the beer and keeps the balance fairly well. At time the contrasting flavors do compete which hurts the taste slightly.

M: The is not much carbonation in the beer and it is not as smooth as I would like. A more apparent head would be nice as well.

D: Not a bad winter IPA. I have not had many of this style, but I am starting to like it more. This beer did not wow me but it I do regret the purchase. I would not mind having this in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve. Not too bad at all.

Boitnott, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- cloudy orange with thin white head and spiderweb lacing.

S- Citrus, lemon, pine and fresh hops with hints of honey and caramels.

T- Mild hoppiness up front with a sweet aftertaste and hints of lemon and grapefruit. Faint hints of spice.

M- Thin, slight bitter bite in dry finish.

D- Well balanced and easy to drink.

JayS2629, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a hearty pour, this brew pours out a semi hazy copper colored body, and makes about a finger and a half foam cranium, which retains nicely as a thin film throughout my 16oz serving.

In the aroma there buttery and slightly nutty hints, along with a lemony tea fragrance.

In the taste there is leathery herbal and tea flavors.

Overall a decent English IPA, but needs just a hint more hops.

TheSarge, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - a crisp golden color, a little murky but mostly clear. Not much foam, and somewhat slow carbonation.

Smell - Seems fairly hoppy and bitter with a hint of some sort of spice.

Taste - Not quite as hoppy-tasting as it smelled, but still hoppy and bitter, but the malts help balance it out. The spice from the smell is here too in the taste, but I can't narrow it down. Texture is fairly well-balanced but leans slightly toward the creamy side.

Drinkability - Not a bad brew at all. Decently complex and good-tasting. Just wish I could narrow down the other ingredients in the taste.

Nerudamann, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
1.98/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a touch of an off white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings a bunch of buttered bread lying underneath some mildly-appealing caramel and toffee notes. The taste goes down the wrong road, as the diacetyl really comes out here and takes over nearly everything. A bit of caramel, molasses, and maybe some spicing? It's really hard to tell with the butter. Mouthfeel is creamy and a bit gross. No reason to go through this whole beer; I did as much as I could to drink a few ounces but that was about all I could stomach.

Thorpe429, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored with a slight haze. A gentle pour creates a thin half-inch head that shows decent retention. Fruity English ale yeast aroma; fresh stonefruit, bread, a bit of buttery diacetyl and earthy hops. Palate is decent, fruity and buttery flavors are prominent with an earthy hop note beneath. Bitterness is moderate, a little astringent and at odds with the diacetyl. Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't want to drink a full pint.

largadeer, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer produced a half finger head atop a clear yellow body. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing special either.

Aroma was a little bit hoppy, but not much. Some pale malts and a bit floral, but there was a skunkiness that reminded me of a lager that had sat on the shelf too long.

Taste was much better than the nose, however. Pine hops came through, along with a solid malt backbone. Pretty well balanced. The finish was nice and bitter.

Mouthfeel was crisp and clean. Pretty good.

Good drinkability, as well. I could have easily had a second, were one available. If the opportunity presented it, I would have this one again.

connecticutpoet, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to AKBelgianBeast for my loser beer.

A- Golden blond with a finger width of white head.

S- Herbal with spice are here in the smell. A very bready smell too, almost like a sour dough type bread. A buttery fragrance can be wafted from this beer. And do I detect what smells like lager yeast characteristics?

T- This is bland with a very bitter aftertaste. The spice taste is there but isn't as strong as one would find in the nose. This just plain sucks, it's boring and there is no IPA feel or taste about it. I think this beer falls very very short of what this style is supposed to be like. Unless the English don't like hoppy IPAs.

M- Too frothy and foamy in the mouth for my likes.

D- The mouthfeel loses a bunch of points for me in this category. I wouldn't buy it.

Wetpaperbag, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of SykDoc
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this courtesy of my friend Jeremy, much thanks. Poured into a pint glass, it straw orange mix. An almost white 1/4 inch head forms and quickly reduces to a partly cloudy day. Carbonation is noticeable and no sediment.

The aroma is a earthy hop mix with a malty sweet backbone. Perhaps just a hint of nutmeg.

The taste is a blend of earthy and pine hops with some citrus fruit and malty sweetness in the background. A little alcohol is also present.

The mouthfeel was light/medium bodied. There seems to be a bit too much carbonation that overpowers the flavor. It feels crisp and leaves a clean finish, just a hint of spice.

Overall, this is a reasonably drinkable beer but not something I would readily seek out.

SykDoc, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of TommyW
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy, golden/orange with a tall, white head.

S- Pretty mellow overall, some malty sweetness with a little piny hops.

T- A malty sweetness blending nicely into the a citrus hop profile that create of flavor similar to a fruity and floral bubblegum.

M- A very silky smooth feel that coats the tongue; easy carbonation.

D- A really interesting and smooth beer. A nice treat to try.

TommyW, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
2.95/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A orangish-copper color that is somewhat transparent. Almost no head but an insane amount of carbonation; the most I've ever seen in a beer.

s - Smells sweet, as well as piney hops, some citrus fruits.

t - Taste is alittle lacking, but hints of piney hops and some citrus fruits/orange. Not overly impressive.

m - Light body with way too much carbonation. Carbonation keeps it from being too enjoyable.

d - Overall this isn't bad, but it isn't great either. Way too much carbonation and the taste was lacking, but I could see a less carbonated bottle being easier to drink. Probably would not try and buy again.

mdfb79, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of wknight167
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours a clear orange copper with a one finger white head with little staying power and some lacing.

Nose- Grapefruit and pine hops at levels that remind me of a conservative west coast brew.

Palate- Starts off sweet with pineapple notes then dries out with the hops mentioned before. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation

Drinkability- Quite tasty and easy drinking.

Overall- I'm a little bummed this in only a winter offering.

wknight167, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of wangbruins
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden burnt orange with a decent head, kind of simple and plain

S- Burnt citrus, like oranges, and some spices like nutmeg and kind of a grainy scent

T- Very grainy with a little bit of spice

M- Light and airy and very thin at the end

D- Not much for this beer, it's very easy to drink but not too pleasing

wangbruins, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of cjgator3
3.63/5  rDev +2%
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!

cjgator3, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of joshstevens87
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
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

joshstevens87, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of cleverbeername
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dimpled beer goblet

55-60*

A lagerish look, not sort of true gold color with mini swirls of oj color (reminds me of *sp blanche de brussels). avg. head, very white

S wit, dry, citrus notes of tangerine and orange zest. nice hop character.

T hoppy, dry, sweet and sour. Sour dough bread notes. its sort of perplexing, and takes awhile to pinpoint whats going on, but in a good way.

M sits pretty nice in the palate, but not super impressive for style

D Im going to want one of these yearly around dec. Im looking forward to trying the rest. its a nice package.

cleverbeername, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a half liter mug, this pours a brilliant deep orange. It had nice clarity and even some spindly lacing. Retention wasn't that great, although there was a decent clump of bubbles to one side.

Faintly hoppy aroma, tea like, some herbal and floral notes. You have to wonder what the boat journey does to a beer that has "3 lbs. of fresh hops in every barrel". They certainly don't express themselves here.

Clean and inoffensive flavor, mostly buttery biscuit and leafy hop tea traces. Little to no bitterness or interest at all. Fairly mellow and pedestrian. I can finish this, which is more than I could say for Lump of Coal.

I'm glad this was a gift, because i'm not into buying beers for the novelty labels.

emerge077, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of elniko
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of sampler pack I received for Christmas. Poured from bottle into New Belgium globe glass.

A: Fairly light glowing coloring with minimal head that left some oily qualities behind and nice lacing. Almost a little hazy, carbonation not too apparent.

S: Nice fruity nose, mild citrus qualities to it.

T & M: Rather light bodied. Fruity, orangish qualities from nose come out in the taste as well. Decently balanced although a little more malt backing would have been good.

D: Quite drinkable, I really enjoyed this beer. Looking forward to trying the rest in the sampler from Ridgeway.

elniko, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of hiikeeba
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours up a slightly hazy yellow with a tight white head that lingers, leaving a nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet aroma with traces of fresh fruit. Apple or pear like fruitiness.

T - Flavor is full of sweet malt, like a mild apple juice. Some breadiness. No hops detected. Actually kind of bland. Fruity,
apple/pear-like aftertaste high in my mouth. Not unappealing.

M - Medium bodied, malty mouthfeel.

D - My lips feel a bit sugar coated. Otherwise a nice beer. Easy to drink.

hiikeeba, Jan 01, 2010
Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.