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Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad ElfBad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

368 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.17%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
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
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Ratings: 368 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of monkeybeer
2.7/5  rDev -24.2%
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

monkeybeer, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of BlackAngus
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

BlackAngus, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of scaliasux
4.2/5  rDev +18%
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.

scaliasux, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Lnedrive14, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of BeerHonky
3.88/5  rDev +9%
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.

BeerHonky, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

scoobybrew, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of NEhophead
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

NEhophead, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of tugdriver7
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

tugdriver7, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +18%
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

russpowell, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of Morris729
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Morris729, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.13/5  rDev +16%
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.

UncleJimbo, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of ellisdee97
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light perfectly clear brown with tinges of yellow and orange. A nice column of bubbles rise within and a nice light white head quickly dissipates leaving a nice bubbly ring. Very sticky lacing lingers through to the end.

S: Nice floral hop aroma up front. Orange peel and lemon zest. Some toasted malt and slight fruit.

T: Taste is reminiscent of a nicely hopped lager. Sweet toasted malt, and a taste of orange sherbert. Spicy hops with hints of orange and lemon zest.

M: Full bodied almost syrupy, with a sweet dry finish.

D:Excellent cold weather brew.

ellisdee97, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle

Pours a clear golden color with a light copper hue. A small white had forms and recedes. Thick bands of lacing on the glass.

Nice citrusy and piney hop blend with a mild spiciness and a bit of caramel malt peeking through.

Flavorful blend of hops upfront consisting of citrusy and piney hops with a slight spiciness. Rather low on the IBUs, the bitterness is very mild and the hops allow for some caramel maltiness to come through. Extremely balanced.

Very light body, mild carbonation.

Very easy drinking IPA - both due to the thin body and the very nice flavor. The taste more closely resembles an American IPA, so I'd recommend this one to enjoys an IPA brewed on either side of the pond.

MaltyGoodness, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served into a nonic glass from a brown 16.9oz bottle with crimped cap

Cloudy,golden.light coppery color.Creamy white head dissapating a bit quick.Lots of yeast on bottom of the bottle, left most of it in bottle.Good thick lacing down the glass.

A good moderate hop nose very citrusy,a bit piney and grassy.Notes of sweet carmell show through,more and more as the beer warms.

Very citrusy tastes,sweet honeyed malts very balanced.Piney overtones throughout,lots of carmell come through at mid-tastes.Finishes smooth and balanced with a good slightly sharp very pleasing bitterness.

Medium body,a good sticky hop feel,a very drinkable beer,easy drinking,pleasing and satisfying. Nothing fancy here just a very good beer,wish I had another.

jcdiflorio, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of WetCoaster
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A clear, paler-than-average amber/gold with a loose, slightly off-white head. Fine, mild carbonation.

Smell: Hoppy, though definitely the UK take on it rather than the citrus/pine bombs favored here on the West Coast. Spicy, herby but fairly dry otherwise.

Taste: Again, hops far more on the bittering end of the spectrum than the flavor; slightly peppery and spicy, malt makes a meek appearance and finishes with a lemony, drying pucker. Slightly bready yeast untertone as well, with the typical UK hard water mineral bite.

Mouthfeel: A bit slick, but fairly light and crisp.

Drinkability: A perfectly proper, English take on the IPA. Very subtle and balanced, but if you like bold hops, may not be your glass of beer.

WetCoaster, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of briman
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a light to medium golden amber color. Slightly hazy, with a fluffy half-inch off-white head. Excellent retention. Lots of lace.

Aroma is caramel malt, and hoppy with lemon & orange citrus.

Flavor has some biscuity malt, hoppy with lots of citrus. I get lemons more than anything else. Dry finish with a moderate grapefruit hop bitterness that lingers a bit in the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Balance is excellent. No really noticeable alcohol presence. Not sure why this is a "winter" beer honestly. Crisp, pretty refreshing. Very drinkable..wouldn't mind having another.

briman, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber orange (golden) with a nice full finger white head that melts to really sticky top covering lacing.
Aromas are typical sweet english amber malts with a bit of citrus hops following.
Taste is lightly toasted amber malts and slightly sharp hops following making it a mild IPA.
Finishes very clean in the mouth....not really drying like a typical IPA (american) but clean and fresh.
Without a doubt the best English IPA I've had.

IntriqKen, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out of the half litre bottle a slightly hazy, dark golden colour. a frothy eggshell white head appears and sticks around to provide a nice lace. hoppy aroma...lemony, grassy, zesty, a bit piney and solvent, too. underlying sweet and syrupy maltiness backs it up. nice english india pale ale here. the flavour profile is a lemon zest hop dance all over the tongue, while a meek pale malt backbone balances the best it can. bitter hop finish... and i want another sip. pretty straightforward stuff. a nice body and creamy mouthfeel make it a nice drinker. gotta love the hops in this one. nice drinkability...this would be a great session ale or a nice one to wash down some grub with.

not sure the price justifies buying this every year, but at least i got to try it and keep the cute and cartoonsh x-mas themed bottle.

budgood1, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass. It had a dark amber color with a finger of head that slowly dissipated, no lacing. The smell was heavy on the hops as expected since the label says they put 3 pounds of hops into each barrel. The aroma started out strong then faded pretty rapidly as it warmed up. The taste was average and really didn't leave that great an impression. Since it was kinda weak, I could drink a couple of these except that they cost is way on the expensive side for what you get. The mouthfeel was also average with just a hint of creamy. Overall, a decent beer with great marketing (don't fall for it). Slightly recommend but don't hurt yourself finding it. (3.5, RB, T, Y, mini-session)

TexIndy, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of peabody
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I might be rating this a little high cause I have had some pretty bad beers lately.
Pours out a cloudy amber with 2 fingers of off-white suds and nice lacing.
Smell of fresh lime and orange peel abound here.The Hops are a hoppin' and the ginger snap aroma is here. Mabey just a tad of alcohol is present.
Overall a great beer and a very nice presentation.
I like it a lot.

peabody, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of RBorsato
4.85/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright gold with a nice light creamy off-white head and decent lacing from good carbonation. Nice strong lemon zesty hop aroma and flavor. Hops definitely shine over the grainy malts underneath but it's still fairly well balanced. Medium bodied with light creaminess and a dry bitter hop finish.

Despite the controversial name/label, this is one damn good beer !! Highly recommend !

Per Shelton Bros website: 45 ounces of fresh hops – including English Cascade – per barrel.

2006 Version
Tasted: 12/24/06

(11.2 oz / 33 cl)

RBorsato, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glossy orange, with a lightly white frothy head that relaxes into a thin top coat. Floral hops, some tender grapefruit and freshly squeezed lemons are all in the nose. Up front are some creamy hops, light citrus flavorings, a near sweet and sour feeling. An in your face bitterness as the malts develop; medium bodied. As she warms, some piney hops are formed, traces of alcohol. If you're a hops-head, you may be shaking for more hops, yet this is a nicely laid back E-IPA. Decent for the style, best when enjoyed fresh. Pretty good.

GeoffRizzo, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Distinctive Half-Litre brown glass bottle that has a wide body and a tall long thin neck sealed with a standard looking brass crown cap. My label resembles the one shown here on BA.

“Bad Elf” is described on the label as “6.0% Alc.Vol. Winter’s Ale”

Appearance: Soft orange amber torso with a light golden body. Nice rising dirty white head on the pour. The creamy head soon relaxes the froth and settles down a thin covering. Gentle lacing rings as you work your way down the Pint. Streamers fill the body. Fine tuned carbonation is at a level that is cask like.

Nose: Malts and a floral hop character. Middling strength with a nice projection of the hops in the aromas nonetheless. Some grapefruit and lemon rind in there too.

Taste: Malt in the beginning is earthy with a little spice. Soon the hops have a more dominant role and pull through a citric sharpness. Finish has a clean ending with a decent grapefruit hop tang. Fruity at times and nicely put together.

Mouthfeel: No sign of the alcohol, it drinks below its fighting weight and this does allow the flavors more leeway. Above average feel but the base is a little thin at times. The conditioning lends a smooth creamy texture though which takes it up a notch.

Drinkability: A decent quaffer with an attractive profile. The malt adds a depth to the base whilst the hops add fruits and some spices. Clean sharp grapefruits and a hint of lemon make this a very refreshing brew to tackle.

Overall: Originally a little hoppier I recall, this years seems a tad more malty to the palate, but this is still a solid brew, despite the fact that I don’t really consider this to be a traditional Winter Ale by any definition. That said, this is by far the best of the “Elf range” of beers from Ridgeway, for my money the Very Bad, Seriously Bad and Criminally Bad just get worse with strength. Bad Elf is the original and harks back to its roots and doing what Ridgeway do best. More of a premium hoppy English Bitter than anything to do with Christmas or Winter – a little expensive but a pleasant brew overall.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of jimdkc
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Independence Hy-Vee Supermarket for $4.99 each along with Santa's Butt, Rudolph's Revenge, and Lump of Coal. Who could resist? World Market was charging $5.99 each and didn't have Santa's Butt. Half liter (16.9 oz.) bottles.

Poured a clear amber with a modest head that soon dissipated to a thin ring. Left some light lacing on my English Pint glass.

Aroma was subtle malt plus the promise of hops to come.

Taste was moderately hoppy with a smooth bitterness. A little malt sweetness, but the floral hops are the star here.

Medium body with fairly light carbonation. Nice.

I liked this pretty well. A bit pricey, but an enjoyable English import!

jimdkc, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of nige4958
4.65/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is fab. No, it's not an American IPA. If you been to the motherland and enjoy British beers, you'll like this one. It's rather delicate for being a winter brew. Pours a lovely straw colour in a pint glass. There is light citrus and a tad of diacytl followed by solid bitterness. There are no rough edges, just a very civilized brew. If you don't like British beers, it's a waste of time.

nige4958, Dec 22, 2006
Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.