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Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad ElfBad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.

243 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 411
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 18.66%
Wants: 5
Gots: 20 | 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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 411
Photo of Suds
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is an orange color with a moderately sized white head. The liquid is very clear. The aroma is citric (decidedly, and almost sourly, grapefruit) and give the impression of freshness. There’s a little grain and malt underneath, but they’re hidden far behind the hops. The taste is similar to the aroma…serious citric hoppiness with a faint undertone of malt. It’s a little grainy, fairly dry, and decently carbonated. It’s refreshing and cleansing, to be sure, but I thought that this one could have been helped by a little more sweetness and balance. It’s drinkable and worth a glass. I wouldn’t call it an English-style IPA though…it sure seems to take its inspiration from the West Coast.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cardboard, earth, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, pepper, and apple skin flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but nothing very memorable to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber golden color with a small head.

Smells a bit malty and spicy, sort of bready as well.

Very smooth taste of malt and some spiciness.

Nothing spectacular but glad I finally found a bottle to give this a try. I wasn't a huge fan of it but it was pretty good.

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Photo of Boitnott
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured an upfront spicy hop with traces of clove.

The taste consisted of some light biscuity malts, some herbal hops but and some decent winter spice, but was way too harsh in its bitterness. The typical English green apple flavor made its appearance. It must be me, because I cannot stand this flavor and this is the reason I avoid English ales altogether. I am hoping it is me, or at least it is a phenomenon limited to bottled ales.

The mouthfeel was of average fullnes but adversely affected by the aforemnetioned rind-like bitterness.

Overall an attractive and aromatice ale. The flavor and drinkablilty suffer from the acridness.

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Photo of Tifore
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours up a hazy golden amber color, a huge head of white foam with large bubbles drops quickly. Lots of carbonation lines can be seen rising up from the beer to the surface. Large bands of lace coat the glass.
Smells of wheat and bread are in the front, with hints of orange and pine hops as well.
Very spicy taste, some orange/lemon zest. Is dry and sharp to start, but mellows a bit, although the malt never really shows up, this is definitely an English IPA.
Medium mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation. Not a bad beer, but not my favorite.


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Photo of BeerLover99
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dirty orange/golden bubbly, finger white head, solid lacing

S: lemon peel, grassy, sugary

T: same as nose, but earthy grain, low bitter/oily finish

M: med body, smooth, oily mouth

O: Nice English IPA. I would get again and recommend.
Curious why this is a Winter Ale?


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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of babaracas
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber, instafade white head. Smell: butterscotch, minerally, floral, grassy, lemon. Taste: floral, lemon, pine, buttery, slightly toasted and toffee but these are obliterated by a piney bitterness and big green apple. Finish like brushing your teeth, then biting into a granny smith, then rinsing with the hardest water you can get. Yes, it's hopped trending towards an AIPA, but the English characteristics clash horribly in the beginning of the nose and the end of the sip. F11-210. Not worth a try for $4.5/pint

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Photo of brentk56
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, slightly golden color with a nice head; a bit of lacing, but not too much

Smell: Kind of funky, with alcohol and a bit of malt

Taste: The malt flavor is quickly overtaken by the phenolic alcohol flavor; somewhat sour at the very end

Mouthfeel: Just about right for this style; medium bodied and moderately carbonated

Drinkability: Just OK; marred by the alcohol penols that get in the way of the malt and hop flavors

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Photo of tobyandgina
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Virtually no head upon pour.

Color is golden yellow and clear. Not much carbonation.

Smells of caramel malts and not much else.

A little bit of some hops in the flavor, along with some grassy notes. There really isn't much to this one.

Mouthfeel is actually pretty good - plays well on the tongue. And the drinkability is decent. Good while working on the car or mowing the lawn.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been curious about the Bad Elf series for a while so when I saw this at the local Whole Foods it seemed to make sense. This one pours a medium, slightly hazy golden color with a foamy white head with about a four minute half life. The nose is grassy, faint floral hops.

The taste is initially pretty good but kind of fizzles and goes in a bunch of different directions. You get some up front alcohol and some malt sugars but the thin texture doesn't lend itself to the kick or flavor. There's a touch of hop bitterness for a flash but it passes quickly and the finish is sweet and just kind of fades away. I usually like English IPAs but this one doesn't really have the bitterness or hop profile or the malt or toasted qualities to be a winter warmer or strong ale. It's kind of a hybrid, but not something I'm going to search out again.

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new find at World Market, this one and two other beers from this brewery. As the season is Winter, I thought that I would try this one first.

Ah, but it doesn't taste like a winter ale, or really look like one. That said, it is a fairly dry IPA with some bitter orange flavors and alfalfa. Golden orange color, a nice big head that fizzled away but left some nice lacing. I might just drink another one.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the 16.9 oz bottle into a Pilhser glass

A: Amber (a little unfiltered looking) Nice 2 finger head with very nice lacing

S: Fruity... Maybe Orange with a hint of pineapple

T: Very light, I getting a hint of a fruit but not sure which one.... Also Hoppy upfront but not to much.... The bitterness is just right....Very good

M: Light & refreshing, carbonation is very good.

D: Very enjoyable, I might have to pour another...

Not a Winter Ale as I thought it would be... But very nice.... It would make a nice Christmas gift...

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear light amber color (looks like a pale ale) with a dinky little head.

Lemony grassy hop profile, not getting any noble hop twang, maybe fuggles or ekg.

Some light tea leaf flavors, malt is pretty subdued as well. Overall a pretty mild beer, and not something i'd consider a 'winter ale' by any respect.

It is drinkable and all, just hardly deserving of the (what i would consider) bold or extreme name "bad elf" and associated mischevous graphic. A better name for this beer should have been "happy friendly little elf". Yes, and im aware their other beers have progressivly sinister names.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is clear golden yellow. About a half inch of white lace forms and dissapates alomost instantly. Leaving just a smattering of soapy lace.

The aroma is light hops with lots of sweet grain and malt. That's about all I'm getting out of this one.

The flavor is about the same as the nose. Light citrus hops along with a dominant sweet malt and sugary grains. Fairly bland.

Light body with a truck load of carbonation.

Overall I'm abit dissapointed with this one. I guess I just had high hopes after looking at the label. Drinkable but average.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a thin straw yellow with a little head that leaves a trail on the glass. The smell has citrus and bread scents running through. The taste was a bit underwhelming but the warmth from the alcohol was nice with the citrus from the hops. Not a bad beer to have during the winter months.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014. ABV stated as 4.5%. Despite being a Christmas brew, I actully picked this up during the Sainbury's Beer Hunt back in September. Some bad punning on the label - should come with an 'elf warning....

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A hazy amber colour with visible sediment and low carbonation. Forms a small head of white foam that disappears within a minute or so. Aroma of light caramel malt with notes of lemony citrus, grass/hay, earthy yeast, stewed hops and faint grain. Quite dry.

Tastes of light caramel malt with a hoppy character and a dry, bitter finish. Notes of citrus, grass/hay, earthy yeast, grain and stewed hops. Dry and slightly spicy. A restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with decent body. Wouldn't hurt to be slightly more effervescent. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of grassy hops, yeast and a twinge of citrus.

This is actually a pretty good beer, and certainly drinkable. Nice hop presence and good balance. But who the hell brews a hoppy pale ale as a Christmas brew?! It just doesn't seem right - there's nothing linking it to the season other than the branding. I've marked it down slightly as a result; would probably be better in summer. Worth trying, but if you're expecting warmth or spices then you'll be disappointed.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A nice little Christmas gift from a friend, this English ale pours a bright amber golden with nice thick white bubbles that dissipates quickly to leave a thin layer of foam and good lacing. Nose of citrus hops, light spice cake, pepper, bread, and sweet caramel malts. Flavors of sweet malts are offset by bittering and citrus hops. Light peppery aftertaste mingling with bittering hops. For being a "winter warmer" it is closer to many American IPA's out there. Decently balanced, and crisp good carbonation makes this a good gift for most good ale drinkers, especially those who like their IPA's with a bit of a bite.
Happy Holidays----Cheers!

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Photo of CAP1868
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured the 16.9 oz bottle into a english-style 22oz glass

A- Murky amber color with a small white head with decent lacing throughout the brew

S- Smells very bready and light

T- taste is pretty good light refreshing tones with a taste of alcohol and bread, maybe some type of fruit, very good

M- Light and refreshing but still feels like a decent winter ale

D- Very good in this category, could drink a few

I recommend this beer for those who want to try a winter type ale

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Photo of Drewcifer
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice yellow, with some reddish-orange hue to it. Fairly clear. Very little head at all, and it’s gone quickly.

Scent is of citrus, slight clove, and hops.

Taste is fairly bland, hops, a bit of citrus – mostly orange – and a smidgen of winter spices.

Pretty light bodied, nicely carbonated, easy downer.

It’s got very good drinkability, both single bottle or sessioning, but the problem with this brew is that it presents as being a special holiday brew, but all in all, it’s just another EIPA. It’s very average.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of SykDoc
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this courtesy of my friend Jeremy, much thanks. Poured into a pint glass, it straw orange mix. An almost white 1/4 inch head forms and quickly reduces to a partly cloudy day. Carbonation is noticeable and no sediment.

The aroma is a earthy hop mix with a malty sweet backbone. Perhaps just a hint of nutmeg.

The taste is a blend of earthy and pine hops with some citrus fruit and malty sweetness in the background. A little alcohol is also present.

The mouthfeel was light/medium bodied. There seems to be a bit too much carbonation that overpowers the flavor. It feels crisp and leaves a clean finish, just a hint of spice.

Overall, this is a reasonably drinkable beer but not something I would readily seek out.

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