Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

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Bad ElfBad Elf

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BA SCORE
82
good

243 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 243
Hads: 408
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 4
Gots: 17 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 408
Photo of Quaffer
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle.

Appearance: This was a straightforward amber brew that was almost clear. There was just the slighest hint of haze to the liquid. During the pour, I roughened things up a bit and was rewarded with a white head that was almost two fingers tall. It disappeared relatively quickly. A few freckled patches of laces were all that was left behind.

Smell: Right after the pour, the aroma was a combination of rich, biscuit-like malt and pungent, raw hops. They weren't overpowering; they just had a rawness about them. After the beer had set for a little bit, the malt slipped away into the background and the hops rose up to conquer the aroma. They lost some of their edge and became more citrusy. There was a lot of lemon on the nose at this time, too.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and dry, with a lot of carbonation. Not rough, though.

Taste: This beer was dry from the second it hit my mouth. No initial sweetness at all. A muddled, piney bitterness kicked in quickly. The hops had a bit of that raw edge that they had in the aroma right after the beer was poured. Some lemon rose up and joined the hops, creating an oddly enjoyable lemon Pinesol flavor. This lingered into the aftertaste where just a hint of sweetness emerged. Toward the end of the beer, the hops became a little more distinct and defined and a little less muddled.

This one grew on me the more I drank it. Not bad. (1,407 characters)

Photo of Fugazme
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean, clear straw color. Much lighter than I had expected. Head is gone quickly, but a nice bit of lacing remains.

First whiff is hoppy with grapefruit and pine... second whiff (10 minutes later) is all grain. A touch of spice on the third whiff adds some complexity. I liked the first whiff better than the following two.

Extremely smooth on the drink. Creamy mouthfeel. Nicely done. Taste is slightly bitter and slightly floral. A touch of lavendar and clove. Some subtle hops. Better than I thought it would be. Flavors are small but complex. Well balanced. I like it. (586 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,210 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
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! (1,745 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a dark bronze with a 2 finger head that disappears quickly.The mixture of malt and hops make this a nice smelling beer.However,this mixture is a little tough on the taste buds.This is very malty and very hoppy.Together,this makes a beer that is not very balanced at all.I think if they cut back alittle this would be better tasting.The m/f is medium and very unbalanced.This is not a bad beer,but the hype doesn't live up to the taste. (446 characters)

Photo of SwillinBrew
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle at the Bevmo in Orange.

A - Clear bronze brass with a small head of white. There were many bubbles clinging to my glass.
S - not much of an aroma. There was a faint hop aroma on the floral side. Maybe i need to let this warm up some???
T - Mmmm, a very well balance of hops and malt. Doesnt lean to either side and is pretty darn tasty. Not what i expected after smelling the bouquet. The bitter hops are present but not overwhelming and go well with the clean malt profile. Finishes with a slight mineral taste. Very tasty.
M&Dr - Good carbonation and medium body. I prefer more hops in my IPA's but i know this is an english style so it's okay and it works. Nonetheless, this is a tasty brew. (716 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lighter amber color, fairly transparent. Two fingers of pale head and average lasting-power. Laces fairly nicely, tendrils and incomplete rings. Hoppy aroma, leans on citrus with some impression of fresh gum turpentine. Light/medium mouthfeel, decently lively carbonation. Straightforward flavor, skewed toward the hops, fairly fresh and bracing with enough fruitiness to keep it from being overly dry. Decent but unremarkable malt balance, caramel and powdered sugar. Pleasant enough beer, drinkable, somewhat North American in many flavor aspects. (549 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 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 countrocula
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked a bottle of this up as it was being liquidated from Gary's in Madison.(Still a few there as of 10/3/05)

Color was a mouthwatering clouded honey. The pour resulted in an attractive, pillowy head that left dense, yet quickly retreating lacing on the side of my mug. Tiny bubbles came forth from random spots in the vessel, not stopping for the duration of my sampling. . Small amount of sediment in bottle.

The aroma bore likeness to a mid-summer's grass mowing with a tinge of grapefruit and alchohol included. A beautifully fragrant, "earthy" smell.

From peering into the glass, I'd never expect the carbonation to hit my mouth the way it did. Rather lively on the the tongue. Malty with spice at first. Nice secondary hoppiness and not overly sweet (thankfully). A lasting, mildly bitter finish.

Very enjoyable brew. Although I wouldn't knock more than two of these back in rapid succession, I am keeping a few on hand for when the the typical American counterpart isn't what I am looking for. (1,013 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 Tballz420
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a slightly hazy golden color, lots of bubbles rising up to a big white head on the top.Nice lace trails. Fairly light nose, piney hops. Light pale malts in front, fairly dry, nice levels of bitter and pine hops rounding out the backbone. Some spice involved. Bits of fruit as well. Exceptionally hopped for the style, at least compared to what i have had. Not quite as intense as the west coasters here, but a nice hoppy treat. Med bodied. Nice english style IPA. (471 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, slightly golden color with a nice head; a bit of lacing, but not too much

Smell: Kind of funky, with alcohol and a bit of malt

Taste: The malt flavor is quickly overtaken by the phenolic alcohol flavor; somewhat sour at the very end

Mouthfeel: Just about right for this style; medium bodied and moderately carbonated

Drinkability: Just OK; marred by the alcohol penols that get in the way of the malt and hop flavors (449 characters)

Photo of Luigi
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy golden color, and if you put it up in light you can see tiny yeast particals. The head is very good. Not sticky but stays in place. I can smell a nice aroma of hops. The taste is very balanced. Malts hit the tounge first, but followed soon with a spicy hop flavor. The hops tend to stick around a bit. A very good English Pale ale, but I can't say it is a IPA. (369 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 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 brewdlyhooked13
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a hazy orange topaz color. Maybe 4 fingers of head of suds up top. Took several minutes to squeeze the rest of the bottle into the glass. Finally, there's about a finger's worth of stiff foam resting above the glass like a crown. My bottle rested a while so the yeast was fairly caked on the bottom, allowing minimal sediment into my glass.

Aroma - orange and pine with a spicy, peppery bite.

Taste - robust hop flavor, full of citrus and pine without much bitterness. After the swallow, the taste turns grapefruit and lemon rind, showing some typical dry bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth and crisp, not very oily or resinous.

Drinkability - a great beer that would be tasty any time of year. (729 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice 2 finger white dense head but lacing is light. Aroma is hops floral earthy hops musty grass lots of hops hard to find the malt in the nose. Taste is hops mixture of bitter grapefruit and musty grass leave a lingering bitterness that asks for more please, not overly bitter by any means just lots good hop flavors. I get a touch of sweetness from the malt at the start that is soon overtaken by glorious hops this is one serious English Style IPA must say I enjoyed it. Mouthfeel is little light but then again hops don't have much body. Drinkability is good it has restored my faith in English style IPA's. (653 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I wanna start off by saying that I love the label...very appealing and festive. We got a kick out of the warning label on the back.. "WARNING: Drinking Bad Elf may impair your ability to drive a sleigh or operate toy-making machinery.." Classic. Anyways, pours a mostly pale golden-orange color. Relatively thin white head..lacing is spotty but leaves a nice thin cap on the brew all the way to the finish.

Smell: Definite herbal-hop aroma right off the bat. Crisp overall smell with some mild fruits picked up..maybe a tad of spices and very little on the malt side.

Taste: I gotta admit..i love the 6% ABV. I'd love to try the "Very Bad Elf" to compare the two. Best quality of this brew was the taste..while not complex, the IPA character comes out in full-force with the grassy, herbal hops. Alcohol is present but not over-the-top at all.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, smooth, and easy as pretty much anything to drink.

Drinkability: Good overall drinkability. Hops are not overwhelming but can be appreciated again & again.

Overall, I was really pleased with this brew. I was expecting the same old "Spicy Winter" taste and was pleasantly surprised to find a really nice Winter IPA. Would definitely recommend anyone trying, no matter what time of year. (1,335 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

50 cl bottle. Pours a straw gold color with some deeper golden highlights. Fluffy eggshell colored, rocky head. Fresh, flowery/oily hop aroma; notably Cascade. Hop bitterness that is herbal/vegetal and citrusy and lasts into the finish and lingers afterwards. Light maltiness, but only a glimpse that manifests itself as tea-like tannins that meld well with the hop bitterness. Minerally water portion. Lower carbonation allows the hops to shine through without becoming too acidic. Finely crafted and highly enjoyable for those that like hoppy ales. (550 characters)

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

Pours clear depp golden color with a big puffy white head that leaves some lace.
Aroma of pale and crystal malts with some underlying bread, grass and hay. Also noted were some resiny, herbal hop notes.
Flavor of biscuit, pale malt and hint of citrus and strong herbal tones.
Mouthfeel starts sweet with a bready/biscuity middle and finishes with a citrus and herbal hop presence.
Drinkability is solid. Traditional English Ale well done for the most part but underlying note of sulfur and mineral water is slightly off-putting. (532 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled this at the local pub - actually stole a drink from kmpitz2, as it was he who ordered it. It pours a golden color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy - citrus hops, mostly, with some caramel malt backbone. The flavor was much the same. Definately an IPA, British hops. Nice mouthfeel and easy to drink. Very good beer. (400 characters)

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

Off white head , a hazy amber hued pour.Aroma is kinda citrusy and yeasty.Ditto for the taste,though there is a slightly sour and alcohol finish.I like the label ,and that warning about driving and machinery. We need humor wherever we can get it.I was happy with this ,though, for a winter ale,I prefer SNCA.Unfortunately I haven't gotten hold of this year's version yet. (371 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a light golden with a orange hue to it with a huge fluffy that sticks like glue to the sides of my pint glass that was a little unexpected,big aroma of lemon rind and some leafy hoppness very fresh and vibrant definently bold.A really dry brew some spearament notes and some grean leafy elements a big crisp dry malt backbone holds up well with the big bitterness of this beer.A real English IPA highly hopped but not over the top by any means dry and crisp a real drinker I wish I had more. (498 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (651 characters)

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