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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

367 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 367
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: 367 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of harpus
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

harpus, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden color. 1/4 inch head with decent retention and decent lacing. A thin film remains throughout the entire beer. Smells of sweet malt, some slight spice, a hint of fruit, and some yeast cleanliness. Fits the style of an English IPA, if not a weak example. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high level of carbonation. Tastes of sweet malt upfront, yeast flavors throughout, slight roasted malt in the background, sand some slight hops. Overall, a little weak in the hops than I'd expect and a little watered down. Still a pretty decent beer that's really easy to drink.

Tone, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, honey-gold coloring with no head. Aromas of dry, light hops, with an effervescent feel. Lemony citrus highlights on the nose, with a rich malt character, as well. The beer's flavors are light at first, with a dry, peppery hopping on the tongue, followed by a more full, robust, roasted taste that leads to a slight, sweet, malt flavor. Light bodied, with no cling to the glassware. The palate ends up being very well blended, with a spicy and slightly citrusy aftertaste. The finish is very crisp and clean, with a slight drying bitterness and spice that clears the palate for the next drink. Tasty.

GarthDanielson, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a slightly cloudy golden yellow with just a thin cap of white head that had no retention but left moderate lacing.

The aroma is very subdued, but still has a pleasing hop presence. The flavors are similar, not much malt foundation and a smooth, balanced hop profile.

The body was typical for the style and drinkability was a little better than average. Overall, a very solid, enjoyable brew. Worth trying if you see it.

beertunes, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of Gusler
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon the pour from the 500ml brown bottle, the beer appears a slightly hazy golden amber with a modest off white head that settles quickly, leaving a thin coating of lace upon the glass. Nose has a nice sweet malt aroma, with a pleasant hop flowery tone, citrus like crispness, also a wee bit of bread dough. Front has a delightful malt presence, the hops as spicy as any American IPA, top is medium in feel. Finish has a brisk acidity, the hops pound your taste buds, and the dry aftertaste coats your palate, a “Damn Good” IPA.

Gusler, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Kendall Pub enjoying themany fine offerings they have from Ridgeway which included the Bad Elf. The beer poured a copper color with a slight haze. There was a thin white head that provided good retention. The scent was slightly fruity yeast aroma and earthy hops. The taste was good, fruit and butter flavors are prominent with an earthy hop note beneath. Bitterness is moderate, a little astringent and at odds with the diacetyl. Overall not a bad beer.

WoodBrew, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of bark
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is pale copper with a hint of amber; the liquid is clear. The two finger head is white, compact and firm, it builds a fine crater. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is dominated by a clean bitterness with some dry metallic flavours. I noticed some dried fruits and hints of yeast and caramel too.

The taste is complex with clean bitter notes and a touch of minerals that blends with sweet malty flavours of apples, kiwis and raisins. The aftertaste adds some mild yeast, fresh lettuce (!) and a touch of fizzy painkiller tablets (!!) and a declining bitterness that makes room for sweet malt and caramel flavours.

The carbonation is mild to medium; lots of small bubbles. The liquid is light and smooth.

Although one can argue if this is a “Christmas beer” or not, it is a very drinkable and well crafted IPA.

bark, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Boone757, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Evil_Pidde, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

claspada, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Spaten tulip glass an uber-clear deep golden color with a fluffy white 2-finger head. Nice retention and lacing.

I smell minerals, raisins, plums, red grapes and sweet light malts. Smells good, but different and lighter than most winter warmers (as the label indicates). Hops get lost in the shuffle and the maltiness is light and tangy rather than dark and roasty.

Flavors are heavy on the light fruits...pears and grapes especially. I get some honey in there as well. Has the typical low carbonation of an English ale. Finishes clean and dry, but the taste is not really that bitter, more of a balancing hop presence. Damn close to having a soured beer flavor with all the fruits and acidity (thats a good thing for me). Thin bodied, but is a very relaxing and yummy beer. Appears to be a bit of Belgian influence here. A solid beer, but I dont like the 'winter warmer' claim on the label.

twiggamortis420, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.15/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clean golden orange-ish color with a white head. In the aroma, a sweet maltiness. In the taste, sweet maltiness again and kind of skunky even. A smooth, watery malt mouthfeel and a small dry malty aftertaste. Name sell this one, just an English ale, but not that great of an English ale.

OWSLEY069, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of stcules
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper color, half finger of foam.
English smell, with tea and orange marmelade, very fresh. Delicate hop.
Orange marmelade in the taste, too, with spiciness, and a good and fresh hop.
There is a good maltiness, well balanced from the hop.
Strong hop aftertaste.
Good. I want another one.

stcules, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a nice orangy amber with a thick white head. Although it is an IPA, the aroma is surprisingly malty, with just a touch of sweetness. Flavor is richly hoppy, with a strong malt component, a hint of fruity sweetness, and only a whisper of hop bitterness. It goes down smoothly but with a good alcohol edge and a hoppy, mildly bitter aftertaste.

Cyberkedi, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of WOLFGANG
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

WOLFGANG, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of champ103
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear golden straw color. A white head forms and leaves some light sticky lace.
S: Fruity hops up front, but it is not overly bitter. Oranges, apples, pears, and other citrus aromas. Some sweet doughy malt.
T: Again a nice hoppy bite up front. Oranges, apples, pears with a hint of grapefruit. Just the right amount of bitterness for an English IPA. Sweet caramel and doughy malt.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and well carbonated. Very smooth and easy to drink.

I like this beer. Not overly complex, but very tasty. Something I could drink more of.

champ103, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a golden orange color with an off white head with decent retention and lacing. Bad Elf is not a bad brew, but nothing out of the ordinary either. The taste is dry buttery malts with peppery hops in the finish. Definitely worth a try. Cheers!

cjgator3, Jan 16, 2010
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 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 BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -43.8%

BGsWo22, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

DmanGTR, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a seethru orange-tinted gold with one-finger head that slowly receeds. A smell of mostly herbal and citric hops along with hints of bread and roasted malts, and possibly some caramel. A juicy, fruit-flavor bursting light body of lemon, pear, apple comprises part of the taste. A smooth and slick beer that finishes clean and has some minor sweet/chewiness from bread/biscuity maltiness. Also some minor spicing on the backend warms up the tongue a little. A simple beer but I could have this anytime; I really enjoyed it.

clayrock81, Mar 26, 2009
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 FosterJM
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

163rd review on BA
bottle to mug

Stocking stuffer from the wife

App- A little darker than drawn butter in a bowl. One finger head that went away quickly. Not at all how I thought this would pour.

Smell- A faint citrus with some hops, spice and a touch earthy.

Taste- A very off taste. Has a malty bite to it but it's a bit flat. Had a spice/herb note that just didn't sit well to me.

Mouth- A bit chewy with a lighter medium body and a medium carbonation.

Drink- A little off to me but wasn't too bad. A gift from the wife. At least she tried.

FosterJM, Jan 07, 2011
Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.