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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: 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: 375 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of HopDerek
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears golden amber in color with a quickly dissipating off white head. Smells of citrus hops and some sweetness like caramel. Tastes of grapefruit with the sweetness of caramel, with a little bit of bitter aftertones. Smooth and creamy with a little tingle, nice sticking feel afterwards. Very good English IPA, though not very Christmas inspired, and kinda expensive.

HopDerek, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly reddish amber color, fairly puffy head, small but numerous bubbles. Head had good staying power, some lacing.
Smell took me back a bit. Some sticky sweetness, malt and apricot, but mostly I smelled a skunkiness to it. Like a watered down Moosehead.
Taste wasn't skunked, thankfully. A more-complex-than-simple lager taste. Slightly roasted malt, sweetness, molasses hints and tangerine cues. I didn't taste much hops, but I think they calmed the sweetness down a bit.
better drank cold; as it warmed it allowed the alcohol to seep through, not a pleasant aftertaste.
Better than average, but not worth the $5/bottle.

Mebuzzard, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at my local Cost Plus World Market for about $5 as part of a trilogy of winter beers from England with silly holiday-themed names including “Lump of Coal Stout” and “Rudolph’s Revenge” that I, being silly sometimes myself, just could not resist.

Poured a nice amber color with a tan, two-finger high head that quickly yielded to a little lacing as I sipped.

Smelled of hops, though not nearly as strong as I would have expected for a beer that claimed to be heavily hopped. There was lots of malty sweetness in the aroma as well.

Mouthfeel was smooth, with a nice carbonation.

Taste was (thankfully) not as sweet as I worried it might be, though I’d have expected a little more spice (orange peel, white pepper, coriander) for a winter ale. An English ale that is not at all unpleasant, even drinkable, but not spectacular.

TheLiterati, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of pacond
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a big head. It is living in a world of dry citrus and spciy aroma's. At first taste it was a english ale that had desires to become bigger. The mouthfeel of the beer is more rich than I expected, sort of creamy. It is definately an english ale. Further into the session it became increasingly hoppy to my palate and more complex. A good time!

pacond, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz. bottle

Claims to be bottle conditioned, but I didn't find any sediment.

Clear, golden color. Large off white head.

Hoppy, floral (roses) and grapefruit. Hints of alcohol and fruits. Malt very quiet.

Nice and hoppy - grassy. Spices. A taste something like crackers as support for above flavors.

Medium to light body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

Pretty good, a moderately hoppy beer. Not sure how it fits into the whole winter seasonal scene, but I guess even Santa needs a hop fix now and then. Competition for Celebration won't be coming from this direction.

, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of nortmand
4.22/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with a long lasting fluffy head.

Solid citrus hoppiness in the nose, supported by some biscuity caramel sweetness.

Sweet biscuit in the tip of the tongue turns into a nice full flavored hoppy graininess. Hops are all citrus, very borderline American flavor.

Overall, a solid, medium bodied beer, very drinkable, but somewhat expensive.

nortmand, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden-amber color topped by a smallish creamy white head that descends into a small halo quite quickly. Aroma of crisp English hops, lightly fruity malt, and a touch of light fruit (primarily apricot). Palate is nice and typical of a good English IPA - crisp fruity hops, light fruity malt, overall a nice tart fruitiness. Medium body has a pleasant creamy character to it. I could drink a lot of this if it weren't for the rather high price.

ElGordo, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very Ale-like for a Christmas beer. In that, I mean a strong pale, estery, fruity, and hoppy brew without the amber or red malts that I expected. Instead, I found a pale malt brew with big fresh English hops that shows a lot of pine and earthy character. Mildly woody, but reliant on peach, appricot, apple and pear flavors to carry the brew. Spicy and mellowed with a nice maturation. Feels medium to the palate with a firm texture that rides into the finish. Finishes with a warm, hoppy flavor and feel. Good brew, but not what I expect from a Christmas brew.

BEERchitect, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of stoner420
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap

appearance: medium amber, light carbonation, no head at all, clear

smell: green apples, malt, hops in the background

taste: carmel, smooth, green apples, fruity, malt, hops

texture: full bodied, good structure, tastes blend nicely

overall: drinkablility is good, will try this again, refreshing, don't expect hops like an IPA, almost has a cider quality. Has that Ridgeway quality to it.

stoner420, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of EvilKeith
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a hazy dark golden to pale amber color. The head is two fingers of dense, fluffy, tan foam. The lace is thick and sticky.

The smell is a floral, grapefruit, malty and light spicy hops.

The taste is somewhat more subdued than I was expecting. Malt was at the forefront, nicely balanced with a slight hoppy bitterness.

Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

Yes, very drinkable. I wish I had gotten more.

EvilKeith, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of PSUDREW
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

hmmmm. what to make of this brew? good, but not overly satisfying.

POurs a very nice golden color. solid lacing the way down. Laces all the way down. Tanish and very foamy. Very floral nose. Almost bitter sweet.

Taste is plaeasnt, a nice mix. you get the matl flavor, but the hops jump out 1st and foremost. Almost acidic, but not quite. very citrusy. there is some malt presence, but it is almost totally muted out from the hops.

Refreshing IPA. I Like it, bit don't love it. good ber to sample every once in a while

PSUDREW, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden light amber with a thin ring for a head. Aroma is light, hoppy, malty, more like a pale ale than a winter offering.

Taste is toasted malt and some moderate hops. Light and biscuity, good light hops bitterness, finish is clean with little aftertaste. Supposedly bottle-conditioned (as per the label) but nothing in the way of sediment or cloudiness.

Mouthfeel is medium and clean. Good as a beer, but this is much closer to a pale ale or golden ale than anything resembling a traditional winter seasonal.

assurbanipaul, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of jhammerly
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't exactly expecting deep golden liquid to pour out of this bottle (even thoughit states it right on the bottle, I didn't read it until after the fact). I am used to Winter beers being dark. This is not a complaint, but it did throw me off. An off-white head capped off the body nicely. Very thick and foamy.

Hops make quite an appearance here both in aroma and taste. A little stronger than a Pale Ale, but not quite an IPA (at least not by American standards). The bitterness is mellow, could this be a result from sitting in the fridge for more than a few months?

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy and would make a good beer to prepare for the transition from your heavier winter fare into those lighter brews for your warmer months ahead.

jhammerly, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a perfectly crystal clear medium amber color. Head is a slightly creamy off-white and has slowly fallen to a thick ring with light surface coating. Nice creamy lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is hoppy with many citrus and piney notes to be found. Some summer fruitiness also present to form a nice combination with thhops. Initial taste is a medium bitterness that almost immediately fades to allow some fruity maltiness to show through. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Finish is a moderate dry bitterness that definitely beckons for another taste, whicj I will gladly satisfy. Some alcohol also begins to show itself at the ending with a nice warm feeling in the mouth. Very drinkable and superbly enjoyable. This is really an excellent beer. (And the label is nice too)

tgbljb, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass clear light amber golden with a white and low head which fizzed lightly then retreated to the edges of the surface to try and lace the glass.

The aroma was caramel malt with some slight earthy hop presence.

The flavor was mostly caramel with hop bittering being very slightly resinous, but present and containing a metallic twang. The flavor seemed almost, yet not quite citrusy, but certainly pine and there was almost a spice flavor present.

The finish was dry with lasting pine flavor and low caramel into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation was very low leaving the mouthfeel a bit on the thin side. My second experience with this Elf...it had more Elf'in magic to my palate the first time than this time.

16.9 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of jlh8643
2.63/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass. A decent white head sits on top of a hazy amber body a steady flow of bubbles rising to the top. Nice lacing follows the head down. Some floral, earthy hops with some bready malt in the nose. The body was disappointing. Fairly thin lacking the malt backbone I would expect. Weak hop expression with some citrus hops bringing up the rear. Not one that I will spend my money on in the future.

jlh8643, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased in December 2005 (or was it early January, 2006?) for $5.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. For that price I hope it's good! Let warm from my too-cold fridge for a spell before opening.

Pours a bright copper color, almost orange. Minimal head from a slow pour (as recommended) but lots of carbonation streaming up from my Imperial pint glass. Within a few minutes, there's no head. The label discusses bottle conditioning and pouring gently to keep the yeast from getting into the glass- I watched carefully and never saw one speck of yeast.

Aroma is a nice solid hops profile, very English (versus west coast US), floral and slightly oily, slight citrus, gentle, not overpowering.

Flavor profile is a nice balance of malts and hops, with a sweet orange-gentle lemon swirls in a mellow bread. Flavors are more delicate and subtle than smack over the head strong.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery, more like a session English pale ale than a higher ABV English IPA. Alcohol is well hidden. This actually makes it more easily drinkable, so these two factors cancel each other out with this beer.

A good beer, enjoyable, but at its price, I'll have to pass this by for other good options.

Dukeofearl, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of Pegasus
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale amber in color, with a touch of haze, a small white head, with good retention, thin lacing, little carbonation.

Aroma: Strong herbal hops and grassy notes dominate, with sweet malt notes beneath, struggling to assert.

Taste: Opens with a slight toasted malt note, with more than ample citrus and pine hops and grassy notes as well. Towards the middle a bit of the malt character comes through with some caramel notes. Finishes dry with a tea-like hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, and pleasant, but seemed a touch thin.

Drinkability/notes: Overall, pleasant, but seems an odd choice of style for a winter beer, with which I associate a higher alcoholic content and greater malt character.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom sixteen ounce glass bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Pegasus, Jan 22, 2006
Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.