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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 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)

Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (306 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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. (778 characters)

Photo of Tifore
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (861 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (1,087 characters)

Photo of Boitnott
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (1,300 characters)

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