Very Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Very Bad ElfVery Bad Elf

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BA SCORE
79
okay

273 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 5
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kookiekwan on 11-17-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 273 | Reviews: 164
Reviews by Cozzatoad:
Photo of Cozzatoad
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, best before march 2013

A- Transparent and quite bright light copper colour. Nice soapy white head, but it shows scarse retention and leaves no lacing at all

S- Sweet caramel and honey malt aroma, with delicate fruity and boozy background notes. Maybe a slight herbal hint

T- As the smell suggested, an interesting mix of honey and caramel malts at the base of things. Hints of sweet fruitiness on both tongue and palate along with a delicate spicy feel. Plain alcohol notes are easily detectable, and a bit too much in the way for a 7.5%ABV beer. Finishes with a touch of spicy/herbal bitterness to balance sweetness

M- Nice overall smoothness on both tongue and palate, but still quite lively with that thick but still delicate carbonation that can be found in many english ales. Dry, refreshing finish

O- A nice ale, with overall great drinkabilty and decent complexity. A bit too boozy for the style. Looked very interesting at first but somehow i kinda felt like it was progressively losing flavour

More User Reviews:
Photo of jakester
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this as a single from UJ's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet. Couldn't find a date anywhere, but with this beer, it probably doesn't matter.

Pours a very clear reddish orange with a short lived head of off-white foam. Head falls to tiny islands and a ring, with scant lacing. Looks fairly well carbonated.

Aroma is fruity and spicy, with notes of apples, pears, and spices like nutmeg and pepper, and maybe vanilla. Caramelly malt comes through late. Hop smell is very muted.

The first flavor is apples and pears, only very slightly sweet, with spices like above, and alcohol late. I expected more flavor from the malt because of the malt aroma. Still, there is a good caramel malt flavor. This beer is very fruity and warm. Aftertaste is semi-sweet, with warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium, with soft to medium carbonation. The finish is slightly sticky from residual sweetness.

This is an odd, but interesting, beer. Very fruity, slightly sweet, with strong notes of apples and raisins. A pretty good alcohol kick finishes off this good holiday beer. Recommended.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served into a nonic glass from a stubby looking 16.9oz. brown bottle,crimped cap

Clear,light copper with reddish hue,1" thick creamy,white head,dissapating quickly to a coating of foam. A few tiny strings of bubbles rising to the top with some spotty lacing.

A very moderate nose with complex fruitty aromas,light carmell malt aromas with a perfumy/floral fragarance. Clean and pleasing aroma

Very fruitty tasting, sour apple taste,the alcohol presence is felt,sweet carmelly flavors,very tart, a clean finish,a bit tart with hints of alcohol,a tangy feel,no real hop presence to taste.

Medium body,some cloyingness,a bit on the grainy side.
Good drinkability,would be more drinkable if not for the tart,sour taste,which wasn't real appealing to me. Not a bad beer, just nothing special.

Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear darker amber color. Pale head of about 1/4 of an inch in height and with a white hue to it. Dripping lace, attractive. Aroma seems fairly hopped with some apple skin qualities. Mouthfeel is in the medium range, carbonation on the understated side but still with some life. The taste doesn't match the aroma, it exhibits sweet pumpkin and squash, with maple, rather broad from front to back. Flattens at the back with some chalky bitterness and a light pine sense. Alcohol is decently hidden but asserts by the end of the Imperial pint glass. For all the fuss about Bad Elf labels for these beers, they really aren't particularly notable in defining characters for me.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last Christmas I got to try the Bad Elf so I figured I'd give the big brother a try this Christmas beer season. Appearance: Pours amber orange hue forms a decent sized head not very resilient leaves specks of lacing down my pint. Aroma: Caramel malt base with some warm biscuit notes as well, herbal flowery hops thrown in the mix doesn't strike me as really hoppy. Taste: Good mix definitely one of the hoppier English pales I've tried pine and flower flavors come of through the English hop dose nice malt presence pretty balanced for being Very Bad. Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation medium to light bodied. Drinkability: This one was worth a try glad I had a chance to imbibe not a beer that blew me away but solid hoppy English Pale.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.66/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a hazy deep apricot body with strands of microbubbles with a thin wispy head.
S- There is a soft tart note that leads to an herbal green note in the finish.
T- The flavor of dish soap and pale malt lead to a soft green note and some watery flavor in the finish. As the beer opened up there was a lemon note to the dish soap.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and an airy texture.
D- This beer didn't have much flavor at all and the dish soap flavor was very off-putting and made it hard to sip. The other flavors were very watery and just didn't see the point in finishing this beer.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium Amber with extreme clarity. Virtually no head or lacing, but nice coloration.

S: Mostly malt, as would be expected.

T: Malts rules here, as one would expect from a British brewer, with a nice hop offset. Of all the pretentious "Bad whatever" series this is probably the best. I just wish that Ridgeway would release a "good" series of something...

M: Standard, well done

D: OK, I'll have another, but give me a reason why. British brewers, like British carmakers need to get past the quirks, and get with the program....

I'd love to drink a Ridgway instead of a Stone...I'd love to drive a Jaguar instead of a BMW...

...just give me a reason why....

Photo of SMark
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was poured from a 500ml bottle at 48° into an Imperial pint glass. The beer poured crystal clear with an orange amber color and slightly less than two fingers of head. A considerable amount of carbonation was noticeable at first with slight lacing.

There was a pleasant and nice clean aroma with a slight inference of citrus. These pleasant bouquets had carried over from the pour which of course did not allow all of the beer to be contained in the glass.

The beer seemed watery with a hint of sweet malt.

Some hops came through later with a bit of carbonation. Malt did not linger very long.

Not as impressed as I was hoping but at least I can say I tried it. There are other beverages I would much rather pay $5.31 for.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a clear, golden orange with a white, finger width head. Average retention. Leaves behind spotty lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Aroma hits on strong toffee and lesser notes of caramel, with some fruity esters, red apple and slight citrus, lingering off in the distance.

Taste - Follows the nose. Malts are upfront, ranging from bread to sweet toffee and caramel character. Hops come through near the finish, delivering a grassy and slightly citric bite with modest bitterness. Moderate apple note in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with fair carbonation. Tingles more down the esophagus than it does on the tongue. Smooth, with a touch of buttery creaminess.

Overall - Classic English pale. Solid all-around. It's not worth the high asking price ($7-8 for approx. 17 ounces) considering it is, at best, a very good but not remarkable EPA. I got it at closeout for $2.99 though, so I can't be too miffed.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Hmmmm. This beer really reminds me of something...oh yeah, every ridgeway brew! Very bad elf = bad elf with more alcohol in it. Pours an identical color. The nose has the standard ridgeway funk to it. Taste is of maltiness and runky almost rotten hops. The alcohol is the dominant flavor. mouthfeel is really thick and warming. The drinkability is not what i would prefer, i had trouble finishing the glass when it warmed up. Not really impressed with this line of elves. I prefer the gnomes of the ardennes.

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Polished brass with a fleeting white top.
Nose of iron-spiked thyme, warm lemon-poppyseed muffins, toasted grain, and gin.
Begins with a maltiness that rest somewhere between dry toast and caramel. It's not really sweet, but it absolutely not dry. Fruitiness is manifest in pear and orange rinds. It turns a touch buttery in the middle parts, coupled with a sense of mineral-rich water. It migrates towards a floral hopping that initally mimics lilac, before turning more metallic, full of rusted tin, then rounds itself out with lemon pulp.
Some flairs of tanqueray and tonic-like booze are noted.
It's full bodied, sloshing toward syrupy at times, but (for the better) it never quite gets there.
I'm not quite sure how to call this one. It's not an Old Ale or English Vintage Ale (a la Fullers or the like). It seems most like a coked-up ESB.

Fair enough then.
This is pretty good, even is the non-"Very" version was superior.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pleasant, clear amber-copper body with an orange-chestnut cast and golden highlights. Frothy head of off-white holds well and maintains an almost solid surface covering. Walls of solid lace with a few holes here and there.

Smell: Malty/caramelish and fruity. Mildly nutty. Alcohol.

Taste: Rich and full. Malty with a cusp of scorched sugar and lots of cherries. Some other dark skinned fruit... apples, plum. Alcohol. Raspy bitterness. Dry, fruity, and alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Smooth, lightly creamy.

Drinkability: is hindered by alcohol.

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber/copper with 1" of off white head. Pretty good lacing and just a little bit of head retention

S: A little bready malt

T: Chewy malt with some pine hop smack & dryness up front. I then get caramel, brown sugar & biscuitty malt. Intial hoppyness settles into the background as malt dominates. Finsihes bready, sweet & dry

MF: Medium bodied, almost chewy with low carbonation & pretty good balance

Drank pretty easy a very good ( and bigger) take on this style. Except for the price, $6.50. I really dig this

Photo of dgallina
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint, 9 ounce brown bottle with no freshness dating.

Pours clear copper / orange with no head and thin lace. Smells gently herbal with sweet caramel & molasses undertones. A decent dose of bitter pine and grapefruit hops on the tongue, but rather overwhelmed by bitter metallic alcohol. Finish is leafy and green with lasting alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is a reasonable combination of small-bubble carbonation and malt heft. Not an altogether successful beer. Making this pale ale stronger doesn't particularly help its character.

Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a small egg shell white head that dissipated into a light cap. The smell is of caramel malt and some light leafy hops. The taste is of strong caramel hops with woody characteristics, some light leafy hops to balance out the brew. The feel is light and well carbonated, finishes crisp and balanced. An excellent EPA, good malt and hop balance makes this beer quite easy to drink. I'm surprised that this ale is 7.5% abv.

Photo of marcobrau
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An English Pale Ale that almost drinks like a barleywine. Pours a clear amber color with little fanfare (not much foam.) Caramel malt and toffee aroma mixed with a faint whiff banana.The body is fairly full. Carbonation is low. The mouthfeel is a bit slick. There's lots of tawny malt flavors mingled with caramel malt and finally a smack of hop bitterness. The finish is fairly long and bitter. This is a very hearty ale that's a bit strong. It's not quite as complex as I would like it be, but it's not bad. I'd like a touch more fruitiness from the yeast.

Photo of KTCamm
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the 4 Christmas beer sample pack on 500ml bottles.

Pours light reddish copper with very little foam, if any. No stickiness.

Smells of light fruit, maybe cinammon like spices.

Taste is very clean and balanced - mostly malt - with a very modest hop at the finish. Bready taste, but very light.

Certainly drinkable - not overhwlemning, but an enjoyable start to the gift pack.

Photo of edchicma
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deceptive beer with a higher abv. Nose was spicy (cinnamon?), malty and a tad fruity. Appearance was a medium copper with an initially nice head that remained as a coating of froth. Taste is different,,,lightly sweet on the front...alcohol in the middle,,,and and a nice hoppy finish. Mouthfeel overall is smooth and light to medium bodied...Drinkability is very nice for 7.5 abv...Has some winter warmer qualities.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a fat .5L bottle to a pint glass the liquid is light brown to gold and has good carbonation. The head is small, light off white and leaves little lace.

The smell is mildly hoppy and a bready spice loaf aroma.

The taste follows not very appealing to the drinker of better beers this one seems to be pushy and over stated. The hops don't seem real hoppy and the malt is way to spiced up for my taste.

The mouthfeel is ok, not bad body and the carbonation seems ok.

The drinkability is not so great, just average. Theis is not a brew I would suggest to others. MK

Photo of GRG1313
2.41/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear amber with a short, thin white head.

Nose is a skunky malt/lemon-lime. Bottle is dark and appears in perfect condition but it may have sat in the sun somewhere other than the BevMo at which I bought it; don't know if bad bottle or indicative of the brew. Skunky nose seems to blow off a bit as it sits in the glass.

Mouthfeel is thin and lacking in body although carbonation is elegant and nice.

Flavor is a light malt bitter lime character. Malt sweetness and bitter character not well integrated or balanced. A bit like thin burnt sugar, thin weak coffee with some hops in the finish. I hope this is a bad bottle. Not real attractive. Not real drinkable.

I came back to the glass after about 15 minutes and when it was room temperature and had been in the glass a while. Better all around after some air and warmer. Prior comments still valid.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear sunset orange with a beautiful 1 finger foamy ivory-bone colored head that displayed amazing retention. Visible carbonation was clam, while the lacing was fair leaving splotchy reminders behind.

S: fruity with fresh pears and apple skins. The fruggles provided soft flowery scents backed by the dry british pale grains.

T: fruity and spicy with pears, and apples backed by pale grains. Theres was fresh bread dough with a spicy alcohol presence blending well with the spiciness of the fruggle hops. The finish finds some sour fruitiness and citrus of oranges providing a sour tang. Overall the flavor was pretty one dimensional with just enough of a showing to save this from being average, but not by much.

M: a medium viscosity, and was softly carbonated. There is a sour citrus lacing left behind.

D: decent all around but wouldn't drink this in multiples. There is some presence of its 7.5%abv with a sour tang on the finish but overall didn't find this particularly impressive.

Photo of TLove
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Large head, copper color and moderate retention/lacing. Malty sweet on the nose with a discernible plum/apple sweetness and caramel character. Mild hop structure with a decent, clean, and sweet, roasted apple finish. ABV not particularly noticeable throughout. No real strong yeast character, but a bit funky in the finish.

A little chewy.
Slightly roasted.
Carbonation bubbles very small.
Difficult to fit within the style.

Overall perception was that this basically tasted like a malty, roasted apple cider with alcohol. Has similar balance and taste to a cider beer, however, this beer possesses a malty, molasses-like backbone that renders the consistency a bit more syrupy and complex in the mouth.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ultra clear amber with minimal head and miniscule lace.
Aroma is caramel and toffee, wheat bread and a vague hint of the alcohol within.
Flavor is heavy caramel notes and a light toffee hit with a distinctive dark bread note and some resiny, bitter hops.
Mouthfeel is sweet and alcoholic with a very bready middle and just a hint of bitter Fuggles on the finish.
Drinkability is solid if not spectacular. Decent example of a Winter Warmer although could have used a bit more "oomph" and/or complexity, pretty one-dimensional.

Photo of goldbot
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours crystal clear, copper-colored with minimal carbonation and thin, off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma of sweet caramel and bready malts with an ample amount of floral hops and a touch of cherry and raisin fruit. The flavor comes on malty with grainy bread and caramel notes. Just a hint of floral, fruity hops comes through. The aftertaste is smoky at the end, overshadowed by a rather intense bitterness. Smooth but thin mouthfeel, becoming entirely too bitter and rough with a strong ethanol burn as it warms.

Photo of BeerSox
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear honey hue with a light tan head that slowly settles to a thin, evenly distributed, cap. Spotty and stringy lacing along the glass.

Smooth and creamy malts, that give of a hint of coffee. Not much hop aroma, barely noticeable.

Buiscuity malts create the base, with a light amount of hop bitterness. The alcohol is perceived somewhat well, but not as strong as a Barley Wine. Medium bodied with slightly below medium carbonation. The finish is slowly fading malt.

I don't know why this hasn't been getting better reviews. It hasn't been rated bad, but this is one good Ale. There isn't much hop flavor, but that isn't really expected in this style. The %ABV is maybe a little high, but it's still a rather enjoyable beer. Recommended.

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Very Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.