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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

377 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 377
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.93%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | 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
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Ratings: 377 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a hazy orange topaz color. Maybe 4 fingers of head of suds up top. Took several minutes to squeeze the rest of the bottle into the glass. Finally, there's about a finger's worth of stiff foam resting above the glass like a crown. My bottle rested a while so the yeast was fairly caked on the bottom, allowing minimal sediment into my glass.

Aroma - orange and pine with a spicy, peppery bite.

Taste - robust hop flavor, full of citrus and pine without much bitterness. After the swallow, the taste turns grapefruit and lemon rind, showing some typical dry bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth and crisp, not very oily or resinous.

Drinkability - a great beer that would be tasty any time of year.

brewdlyhooked13, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of mntlover
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice 2 finger white dense head but lacing is light. Aroma is hops floral earthy hops musty grass lots of hops hard to find the malt in the nose. Taste is hops mixture of bitter grapefruit and musty grass leave a lingering bitterness that asks for more please, not overly bitter by any means just lots good hop flavors. I get a touch of sweetness from the malt at the start that is soon overtaken by glorious hops this is one serious English Style IPA must say I enjoyed it. Mouthfeel is little light but then again hops don't have much body. Drinkability is good it has restored my faith in English style IPA's.

mntlover, Dec 09, 2004
Photo of hero27
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I wanna start off by saying that I love the label...very appealing and festive. We got a kick out of the warning label on the back.. "WARNING: Drinking Bad Elf may impair your ability to drive a sleigh or operate toy-making machinery.." Classic. Anyways, pours a mostly pale golden-orange color. Relatively thin white head..lacing is spotty but leaves a nice thin cap on the brew all the way to the finish.

Smell: Definite herbal-hop aroma right off the bat. Crisp overall smell with some mild fruits picked up..maybe a tad of spices and very little on the malt side.

Taste: I gotta admit..i love the 6% ABV. I'd love to try the "Very Bad Elf" to compare the two. Best quality of this brew was the taste..while not complex, the IPA character comes out in full-force with the grassy, herbal hops. Alcohol is present but not over-the-top at all.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation and crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, smooth, and easy as pretty much anything to drink.

Drinkability: Good overall drinkability. Hops are not overwhelming but can be appreciated again & again.

Overall, I was really pleased with this brew. I was expecting the same old "Spicy Winter" taste and was pleasantly surprised to find a really nice Winter IPA. Would definitely recommend anyone trying, no matter what time of year.

hero27, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

50 cl bottle. Pours a straw gold color with some deeper golden highlights. Fluffy eggshell colored, rocky head. Fresh, flowery/oily hop aroma; notably Cascade. Hop bitterness that is herbal/vegetal and citrusy and lasts into the finish and lingers afterwards. Light maltiness, but only a glimpse that manifests itself as tea-like tannins that meld well with the hop bitterness. Minerally water portion. Lower carbonation allows the hops to shine through without becoming too acidic. Finely crafted and highly enjoyable for those that like hoppy ales.

crookedhalo, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear depp golden color with a big puffy white head that leaves some lace.
Aroma of pale and crystal malts with some underlying bread, grass and hay. Also noted were some resiny, herbal hop notes.
Flavor of biscuit, pale malt and hint of citrus and strong herbal tones.
Mouthfeel starts sweet with a bready/biscuity middle and finishes with a citrus and herbal hop presence.
Drinkability is solid. Traditional English Ale well done for the most part but underlying note of sulfur and mineral water is slightly off-putting.

CRJMellor, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled this at the local pub - actually stole a drink from kmpitz2, as it was he who ordered it. It pours a golden color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy - citrus hops, mostly, with some caramel malt backbone. The flavor was much the same. Definately an IPA, British hops. Nice mouthfeel and easy to drink. Very good beer.

clvand0, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of mrfosters
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off white head , a hazy amber hued pour.Aroma is kinda citrusy and yeasty.Ditto for the taste,though there is a slightly sour and alcohol finish.I like the label ,and that warning about driving and machinery. We need humor wherever we can get it.I was happy with this ,though, for a winter ale,I prefer SNCA.Unfortunately I haven't gotten hold of this year's version yet.

mrfosters, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a light golden with a orange hue to it with a huge fluffy that sticks like glue to the sides of my pint glass that was a little unexpected,big aroma of lemon rind and some leafy hoppness very fresh and vibrant definently bold.A really dry brew some spearament notes and some grean leafy elements a big crisp dry malt backbone holds up well with the big bitterness of this beer.A real English IPA highly hopped but not over the top by any means dry and crisp a real drinker I wish I had more.

oberon, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, light golden color, pear peelings, apple slices, under a crystalline white, lacey head.
Aroma: bright, vibrant, sunny nose, a fruit salad blend, tropical fruits unfold, pineapple, slightly spicy, ...very English.
Taste: hmmm, spark of hops at the tip, fruity, but, all in all, a bit underwhelming. Rolls nicely in the mouth, tasty, with the 6% peeking through jsut a teeny bit. feels more appley further in, such an interesting take on a Wintery Ale...or is it bad to have this so far from the season? In summer, the Elf is more mellow, perhaps?
Nice enough, but the grinning, evil elf on the label led me to believe something more sinister.

feloniousmonk, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of moulefrite
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bad (elf ass) deep honey color and displays ample sticky head and lace. Aromas feature lemony hop and sweet biscuit. In the mouth the beer offers more lemony biscuit flavors and a big kiss of bitter hop. While I find this beer attractive it seems to lack individualality, hence making it just another decent IPA in my book. Albiet, I love it when a Winter seasonal is something other than a spiced up load of...

moulefrite, Aug 07, 2004
Photo of Guinness4me
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

As IPA's are not my favorite, I was expecting to recoil at first taste. However, either my palate has calmed or this beer is better than some IPA's I've tasted in the past.

The color is that of a grilled cheese sandwich with teeny-tiny bubbles fighting their way to the respectable white head.

Like most reviewers wrote, it's got a fruity aroma that seems more spring-like than winter. I could see drinking this on the beach. I don't quite care for the metallic bitterness that seems to linger a bit too long, but not a bad beer.

Props for the 6.0 alcohol content.

Guinness4me, May 30, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +12.7%
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 +15.5%
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%
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 -42.3%
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 +11.3%
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 +12.7%
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 +9.9%
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 +24.8%
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 -10.4%
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 +9.3%
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 +25.4%
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 +12.7%
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 +10.7%
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 +18.9%
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
Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 377 ratings.