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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

366 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 366
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: 366 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light golden amber tone with a full frothy white head leaves large evenly strung patches of lace, nice. Aroma: Hop cones fill the air very citrus in nature almost easy to call it lemon or lime blended with flowery hops and an easing light malt backbone definitely some hops in an English IPA oh yeah. Taste: Layers of bittering hops as for the hop flavor it comes through in micro bursts of zest from a citrus fruit and slight pine needles not bad just a bit unbalanced not enough sweetness to balance out the hops here. Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied ale not bad nice fine carbonation good stuff. Drinkability: Decent brew out of the UK thank heavens for American IPAs man am I thankful, this is good but it's not a Stone IPA or Sierra Nevada Celebration.

WVbeergeek, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep golden color with a white head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is full of fresh, juicy hopsÂ…resiny and citric. The flavor is malty and spicy with a resiny hop flavor throughout. It is a drying brew that is medium in body. A very different English brew because it is so hoppy. A decent beer.

Sampled 12/31/03

BeerBuilder, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
2.38/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a two-finger white head that stays and leaves a nice lace. Nearly clear, golden amber color and nose is seriously hoppy. Medium bodied. Starts hoppy, finishes bitter. Unusual for a winter ale (no spices) but the label points out that they are heavy handed with the hops. $3.99 for 500ml.

jdhilt, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of hollicetales
2.05/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

bad elf was probably a good choice for the name of this, because i could imagine a couple of elfs gone bad being squeezed into the mix of this concoction...i hate to be mean to beer, but the old saying too many spices ruin the soup..can be applied. I can't completely knock this advent beer...i can see where it was trying to go but maybe it shouldn't have gone that far. The beer does pour a decent orangy color with a good head, it's thick and coaty to the tongue which would be good except that the overrush of fruity, nutty, bready, and spicy just seem to remind me of a swedish herb cough drop, but hey if you are ever laid up in bed with the flu..it would make a great alternative to cough syrup and the buzz would be much better. sorry bad elf...but when people ask me what i think of you..the usual reaction is gak

hollicetales, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a small-bubbled, bone-white head about a finger deep that slowly recedes to less than half a finger but regains some life with a good swirl. No cling to the lace; there are a few streamers. The beer is translucent amber-to-gold, but really kind of ordinary-looking. Smells of fruity, primarily lemony/citric hops; deeper down (brought out by agitation) there are almost tropical fruitnesses--papaya/mango? and sour apple. Nosefeel is leafy, long, and high. Taste begins with an element of sweet, tangy fruit (definitely mango now) overtaken by an emergent, rolling bitterness that ends up very smart on the midpalate. Here, the hops get herbaceous: fruitiness is by now powerfully displaced by a basil-bordering-on-rosemary, sharp herbal quality. Pretty well balanced; sustainedly bitter. Mouthfeel is somewhat foamy at the roof of the mouth; the rest of the body thinnish; light resins pucker the mouth for a few good moments. Wow, that bitterness just really has me coming back in the drinkability dept... invigoratingly refreshing! Personally, I find this brew's flavor and character more in fitting with the celebration of spring's thaw than for stretching out next to the fireplace in winter... but I still found this quite enjoyable. A pleasant surprise.

NearerMyBeerToMe, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of mickeymac
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's it golden-orange with a thick white head the leaves lace all the way down the glass. The smell is decidedly hoppy with load of malt and some spice. The taste is on the bitter side, but certainly not over the top. Moutfeel is nice and it goes down well. I used it to wash down some chicken curry at Baldwin's. If I hadn't known, I would have pegged this as a Pacific Northwest IPA.

mickeymac, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I haven't opened the bottle and already I'm surprised. An English Christmas seasonal IPA? Interesting.

Pours a hazy light-metallic-orange, topped off by a two-finger frothy steamed milk head. Piney nose highlights the hops. but does not overpower. Malt base starts off the taste, laying a nice foundation for the hops to follow. The hops in this IPA are not all grapefruit and pine however. There is a hefty dose of earthy, herbal, and floral notes. Definitely an English IPA, and there is nothing wrong with that. Mouthfeel could be a little...Fuller (pardon the pun).

Not at all what I was expecting, but very satisfying.

RonfromJersey, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed light amber tone. Small and disjointed bone white head. After a minute, a thin rimming is all that's left. The aroma is strong and upfront. And quite nice. Citrusy, resiny, pungent, mint and bigtime Bubblegum. The taste is stylin. This has got to be the most hopped up UK beer I've ever had. You'd guess it was from the West Coast USA if you didn't know better. The hop flavors are pungent and somewhat raw....bitter and piney...smoky and cannabis like...resiny and ctitc. Damn, this is pretty good. The malt backing proves to be more than capable and is toffee based. Body is a little better than medium and this beer flows over the tongue with ease. The one negative is the price tag...5.39 for 16.9 oz. It's good, but I can find IPAs from this country just as good for lesser $$$$. Glad I tried it once though.

Bighuge, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of maxpower
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper color with a large frothy head that leaves a good lacing in my glass, citrus and piney hop aroma. Hoppy fruity flavors with a nice hop bite, medium body with a creamy soft mouthfeel, fishes with a clean and pleasant bitterness, a decent ale.

maxpower, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear bright amber. The second pour adds a fair amount of yeast and hazes things up a bit. The small head is off-white and settles quickly to a thin film. Acceptable, though not abundant, lacing.

Citrus hop nose with notes of grapefruit (primarily) and lemon peel (secondarily). There's plenty of hop bitterness on the palate, though it's far from overdone. Well-balanced for the style. The first few sips were a little metallic, but after that it was fine. Pretty good mouthfeel; no complaints. The relatively low ABV (for an IPA) adds to the drinkability.

This beer is nothing like a traditional Christmas beer. I respect the brewery's right to call it anything they want, but they might as well have called it Crazy Cupid or Psychotic Bunny as Bad Elf. If you're in a holiday mood, drink a Troegs Mad Elf or any of the other spiced ales. If you want a respectable IPA no matter the season, reach for a Bad Elf.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up an inch thick head of frothy white foam that receeds to a shorter but denser, creamy layer in a few moments. The trade-off, however, is that it disturbs the yeast sediment and leaves it's golden-amber body somewhat hazy. Still, tiny bubbles are clearly visible climbing slowly towards the surface. What remains of the head leaves some nice lace about the glass, and overall, it's a very nice appearance. Hops are clear in the nose with a brightly citrus and piney character. It's bold, fresh, and inviting - the way a real ale should be! The body is medium; and it's very fine and natural (bottle conditioned), restrained carbonation is just lightly tingly on the tongue before fading away smooth. The flavor delivers the lemony-citrus and resiny spruce/pine-like hop flavors promised by the nose over a biscuity malt. A bold bitterness balances, and its fades away dry with a quick flash of juicy fruitiness followed by a residual note of bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite impressive!

NeroFiddled, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Call this one a Christmas surprise.

A foamy two-finger head atop a reddish-golden brew. As soon as I cracked it open, I could tell this was no ordinary Christmas ale, but rather a strongly-hopped IPA in a Santa suit. The beautifully bitter hops attacked my nostrils and then my taste buds as I savored this new (at least, to me) treat to kick off my small three beer test.

Clean and bitter, this easy-drinking brew wasn’t at all what I expected from something labeled a holiday ale (no sweets or spices whatsoever), but a brew I’d like to have in any season.

Part #1 of the 12/8 Hebrew Hammer Holiday Threeway.

RockyTopHeel, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of Cizauskas
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peter Scholey, past Brewmaster for now shuttered Brakspear, brewed this delicious, winter warming, IPA.

The flavor spectrum is classic British bitter but revved higher: firm shakes of toasty and caramel maltiness, slugs of grapefruit rind, and strands of tangerine, lemon, and kiwi sinewed throughout. The finish lingers bracingly bitter. It's all Goldilocksian: sweetness just right, bitterness just right, and alcohol presence, at 6%, just right. There were some minor metallic notes in the aroma that detracted slightly - I'd like to taste this on cask.

Cascade's signature grapefruit and resiny characters don't overwhelm but are deftly crafted onto the flavor palate. This is inspired use of Cascades. Would that more American brewers practice this!

I first tasted Bad Elf at a Christmas beer dinner at Max's on Broadway in Baltimore, MD. A participant (not I), known for his dislike of Cascade hops, groaned when he was told of the hop charge. He smiled when he tasted the beer.

Cizauskas, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of cokes
4.22/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, they've turned the tables on us.
Plenty of USA-brewed "english" IPAs. Now comes the Union Jack posing as Uncle Sam.

Well, not quite. But close.

Hazy goldenrod with a miniature cream-colored topping.
Nose of shaven lemons and wet iron.
Initially, this screams Cali. Loads of citrus. Orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels and grapfruit peels. Sticky-fingered Mary Jane.
Oh yeah, there's a toasty caramel, bready malt backing.

But Dude/Chap, screw the malts on this one. For real. They're there. They work. Whatever. Good enough.

Back to the hops. Citric hues shift more and more towards lemon as this warms. Buttery hues arrise, but are staved off acidicly. Suddenly this returns to its heritage. A large slap of mineral-laden water. Hopping surges towards bitter, savory herbs and cold steel. It sticks here, and rides itself out, with minor relapses of Americana.

For you main-lining hopheads that thought the UK couldn't brew something to cure your hop-induced tremors. Find this.

cokes, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of ngandhi
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet citric melon nose and palette reminiscent of some very select Australian (and occassionally New Zealand) Sauvignon Blancs. There's a latent Amarillo/Cascade meets Styrian Goldings finish and bittering with a pleasant hint of grain. This brew is notorious for its high hopping rate, but I can tell you for certain that it's mostly late-boil. The result is a medium-light bodied, fruity British-style ale that balances the grain heartiness of a late fall harvest with the delicate scents of spring.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of Loki
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first gift, for the States anyway, from Peter Scholey and his new brewery Ridgeway Brewing. Shelton Brothers delivered this gift to the States wrapped in an Imperial Pint bottle. The card on the present (Shelton Bros. website) said this gift was a IPA/Hoppy Beer, Winter/Holiday Beer so I didn't know what category to put this present in. However, the noticible absense of any strong spices lead me to put it in the IPA category. This beer is bottle conditioned and has some yeast sediment.

Appearance: After unwrapping this gift from it's large brown bottle it poured a crystal clear dark, golden honey color with a wispy, thin, white head that disappates to a spotty cover quickly. However, the lack of head did not affect the lacing in any way. Sheets and webs of lacing all around the glass, clining definantly to the sides. I would have rated the appearance much higher except for the nearly complete lack of head. The wrapping recommended leaving some in the bottle for the Elves, which I did and still ended up with some yeast sediment in the glass, not that I'm complaining. I was amazed that the sediment was not noticible in the glass and did not affect the clarity of the beer.

Smell: This present also came with a wonderful bouquet of floral hops, malt, and minerals with a grassy tinge. Almost a wildflower fragrance to the floral tones. I did notice an absence of cinnamon and clove that I expected, but I did detect some nutmeg. The minerals come off with dry earthy smell. Very reminicent of a traditional English cask ale.

Taste: English malt is the first gift of flavor to the tongue. Followed by a shower of minerals and floral, grassy hops. Dry mineral present came in the middle and one the end, very similiar to a true English cask ale. The last present is a slightly bitter, dry taste and clean finish. This present transports me to an English Pub during the holiday. A great escape and a great beer.

Loki, Nov 26, 2003
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Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.