1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  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

382 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.93%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 382 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

over-rated cha cha chachacha over-rated cha cha chachacha! Is it just me or does the entire elf series taste almost exactly the same but with more alcohol taste as it goes along? Some breweries have similar tastes in all their beer (sammy smith, het anker, rodenbach, sam adams) but those are in a good way, this one not so much. They all pour a thick yellow/orange. they all taste like rotten alcohol, and they all have a funk to them that makes it hard to drink twice in a row. it tastes like heartburn in a glass. sorry ridgeway, I am not a fan. even the winter and santas but and lump of coal have the same thin yet thick funkiness that turns me off.

Photo of Gmann
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light copper color with a small white head that dissipated into a small ring. The smell was almost non existant; perhaps some light hop action. The taste was of very light caramel malt, has a slightly odd sourness to it. No real hop or winter warmer spicy flavor to this brew. The feel is light but not watery, soft carbonation, finishes neutral. A very disappointing brew as an EIPA or winter warmer but a very sessionable brew with no off-putting flavors.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

50cl bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear amber liquid with a very thin white head. Good but not extreme lacing.

S = Smell is good, definite hops, pepper, malt, dried fruits, very complex for an English IPA. It smells like an English IPA ought to but there are other smells in their I did not expect.

T = Bitterness of the hops is there, also good flavor of roasted malt, same hints of white pepper and dried fruits (mango, pineapple) are their mid-palate. Good but a little thinner than I had hoped for after the smell.

M = Body is medium, but I found the carbonation level a little offputting. It filled my mouth too quickly as I tried to swish and enjoy the flavors.

D = This is definitely a drinkable beer. I could imagine drinking it each year (and think I will from now on), but if I was planning on drinking several beers, I would probably pick something where the flavor and aroma had a little better balance.

Photo of bark
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of BeerSox
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic

Honey colored, crystal clear, with a thin off-white head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

The aroma is mostly crisp malt, with a presence of bitter hop aroma, which excedes that of a Bitter.

The flavor exerts a sturdy malt backbone, with some lingering bitter hops. It's a little less malty and a little more hoppy than an ESB, giving the emphasis to the hops a little more. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Lingering bitterness slowly fade between each sip.

Pretty much your standard IPA (which is a good thing). Most of the hype around this beer is from the label in the series of beers. Everything in this beer is where it should be. Recommended.

Photo of stcules
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper color, half finger of foam.
English smell, with tea and orange marmelade, very fresh. Delicate hop.
Orange marmelade in the taste, too, with spiciness, and a good and fresh hop.
There is a good maltiness, well balanced from the hop.
Strong hop aftertaste.
Good. I want another one.

Photo of atsprings
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a thin head that quickly diminishes to a ring. The aroma was caramel malts and earthy citrus hops. The taste was citrus hops slightly overpowering sweet caramel malts. The beer is crisp and refreshing with decent warming alcohol. This one certainly makes for an interesting Winter brew.

Photo of CWiggins
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I discovered this little gem at Sam's Quik Stop just three nights ago, with a few other offerings from Ridgeway Brewing lined up on a single shelf. I love their outrageous labels!

This beer pours a light golden copper into my pint glass. A one-finger, near-white head forms. Lasting a few minutes, it eventually dissolves into a light lacing around the rim of the liquid. The aroma is light, with scents of sweet malts, hops, and a bit of citrus to round things off. The flavor is wonderfully hoppy, especially at the finish (duh!), and there is a nice fruity sweetness just before the bitterness kicks in. Just try to notice it! Malts are subdued here.

This is a nice English IPA. One shouldn't expect an example of this style to be "over the top," but with a slightly lighter body and flavor profile. I enjoyed it, and wish I had another!

Photo of Gusler
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of BDTyre
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sort of a cross between a winter warmer and a pale ale. Nice cloudy amber appearance with a fair, white head.

Overly malted scent, with only a bit of hop bitterness. Almost a candied fruit smell.

The malt taste is too rich, and the hops don't lend a bitterness, but rather a slight sickly sweet-sour taste.

Decent carbonation, but a little thick. An enjoyable beer, in moderation. Certainly not a session beer.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a light amber hue topped with a settled light khaki dense cap containing small rising bubbles.

Light nose of caramel malt. Takes an effort to find the nose here.

First swigs: Cherry touch infused into a ginger ale like body. Ginger and cherry dominate the nose. Thin malt aspects.

Feel is cushiony soft and restrained.

Last swigs: Cherry 7-Up. Needs more depth.

Photo of afordney
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much of a head to speak of, very bubbly with a clear, bright, amber color.

smells a bit stale, and a very hoppy, a bit of a grassy aroma after the initial hoppiness

tastes very hoppy, a bit stale, almost like a lager.

good bitterness, a little bubbly on the tounge but nothing overwhelming

this fell a little flat for me. A very clean beer, tastes good but I wasn't overwhelmed by it a very ordinary beer. I may have overhyped it in my mind because of the cool bottle.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bad Elf pours a clear golden color with some orange hues mixed in. A small, thin white head on top quickly disappears to nothing leaving no lace on the glass. The aroma is floral hops with notes of orange and lemon citrus.

This medium bodied beer is smooth, with a soft mouthfeel. The flavor has a nice balance of crisp toasted malt and citrus hops with a hint of pine. It finishes somewhat sweet and dry leaving behind some of the pine hop notes when gone.

I thought this beer was quite drinkable and did not overpower you with the hops. Very well balanced and the crisp toasted malt reminded me somewhat of a lager.

Photo of monkeybeer
2.7/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Golden yellow, very little white head

S- Lite crispsmell Cirtus undertones

T- Mild hop flavor nive malt tone

M- slight after taste that lingers a little too long for my taste.

not bad, not something that i would rush out to get. Got it as partof abeer of the month

Photo of BlackAngus
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - A pale golden color, small white head, a tad cloudy.

S - Mildly floral and citrus hops aroma. Some biscuity and malt character.

T - Notes from the aroma carry over to the taste. Definite hops character, floral and citrus. Malty undertone, some residual sweetness.

M - Medium-light body, clean, a tad astringent on the back of the tongue.

D - Got this for free, and I'd drink it again for free, but not worth import prices, IMO.

Photo of scaliasux
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Clear amber. Tall slightly off-white head with some staying power. Pretty good.

Smell - Moderately strong floral hop aroma dominates.

Taste - Moderately sweet malt that melts into a nice sour hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, smooth. Very nice.

Drinkability - Good beer. Finds a nice balance, not too sweet, not overly hoppy. Plus it has plenty of alchol for a long winter's night. Mildly amusing Chrismas theme is a plus.

Photo of Lnedrive14
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

N.B. I received these bottles from the BOTM about 2 months ago. I am not sure if they are still in top form.

If it looks like apple juice, smells like apple juice, and tastes like apple juice, what is it? Yep, it's Bad Elf. Pours a light gold with a hint of orange, like a watered down bottle of Motts. Smell is of medium hops and citrus/apples. Taste is similar. Very very light mouthfeel. Would have benefited for a bit more malt character.

I remember these being better when I drank them before. Maybe this wasn't a great bottle...my scores are a bit higher than my review may suggest based on my memory of the other bottles which i enjoyed a bit more.

Photo of BeerHonky
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imported bottle with the wonderful elf illustration on the label. Green cap. Enjoyed in a nonic pint glass. Pours a orange highlighted gold. Pretty clear throughout with some slightly cloudier areas as a light sediment clears. Weak head. Tried to force pour it but it wouldn't cooperate. Fuzzy white head which disintegrated after a few minutes...looks like a real ale. Nice fresh, floral aroma that makes me think of spring! Taste is full of citrusy hop flavor and an even hop bitterness. Slight malt sweetness to finish it off. Super smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel. Very slight carbonation like a good real ale. Quite drinkable to boot. Fantastic English IPA.

Photo of scoobybrew
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a very clear golden color with a nice head that settles but is retained well enough with nice lacing. The aroma is mostly hoppy, with a malt background. The taste has a nice balance between the hops and malt. The hops are dominant, but the malt is also noticeable. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice English IPA. It's flavorful and pleasant.

Photo of NEhophead
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt .9 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Pours a clean gold with a slight haze. Porous, bright white head that leaves a layer of bubbles in its wake. Spotted and elongated lacing that decorates the entire tumbler.

Slightly musty floral hop bouquet; the hop character is rather earthen with notes of pine. Toasted biscuit with a lingering aroma of diacetyl.

The toasted biscuity-malt character provides a buttery base; slightly skunky. The noble hop presence is clean and not overpowering, despite a noticeable earthen hop resin and moderate bitterness. The finish is crisp with just a touch of dryness followed by an oily, floral hop aftertaste.

Medium in body; crispy, slightly dry. Although the flavors aren't complex or overpowering, the balance in flavor and body is rather nice.

A good version of an English-style IPA with no surprises, good or bad. This one will be most remembered for its balance.

Photo of tugdriver7
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another "Beer of the Month" sample. Had I not known this was from England, I would have assumed it to be a domestic craft beer. The beer surprised me. Medium "orange" in color with tiny bubbles streaming up the side of the glass, it poured with a smooth textured head that fell quickly and lace the glass. A definite hop presence in the nose, and the taste was at first malt then a definitive hop flavor that stopped just short of overpowering. A very fresh tasting, smooth, drinkable IPA. When I saw "Winter Ale" I expected something a bit darker and maltier. This was a refreshing surprise. And an import no less. Definitely one to watch for.

Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gloden/bronze with a 3 fingers of fluffy offwhite head. Some lacing & fair head retention

S: Grapefruitty hops

T: Citrussy & piney hops up front, then fruittness fill in around the hops. As this warms I get breadyness. Hops profile melows as this continues to warm. Finishes with honey malt, citric hops & fruittyness

MF: Low carbonation, good balance & medium bodied

Drank very easy, a bit pricey at $6 a pint. One of the better UK imports I've hade in a long while

Photo of Morris729
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with a short white head that quickly fades into a trace amount of lace. Nose is floral hops with notes of lemon zest and bubblegum. The same floral hops in the aroma are the key players in the taste though they are nicely paired with a sweet fruitiness and toffee-like maltiness. More of a hop bitterness level than your typical English IPA offering. Easy drinking and refreshing.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle. 2005-2006 vintage.

This ale poured a clear, golden-amber color with white foam that settled and clung to the glass a bit. The smell was a bit sweet and malty, somewhat reminiscent of a Belgian tripel. The taste was a little sweet and malty, and like the smell, it reminded me of a Belgian ale. The hoppiness seemed low for an IPA, but it came out a bit in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium-full body and modest carbonation. It was relatively clean. This was a very nice, drinkable ale, and the 6% ABV was not apparent.

Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.