Seriously Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

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Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf

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188 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 15.98%
Wants: 1
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 11-11-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 127
Reviews by Erish:
Photo of Erish
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this 1 pt. 9 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

A: clear honey gold color, light egg shell colored head quickly falls into a light cap with decent lacing.

S: cherries, raisins, sweet malt.

T: much like how it smells, fruit up front, ester-laden and boozy in the middle, and oaky, herbal/floral hop finish.

M: medium-bodied, silky to oily texture, light carbonation.

D: a very nice strong ale. Happy Christmas!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep bronze color with a thinner white head,big sour green apple in the aromas really hit the nose with a band also picked up some underlying caramel as well.Flavors start out with that green apple elemant up front but gets caramelly sweet with brown suger as late to the point that after awhile it got somewhat cloying.Nice flavors dont get me wrong a good sipper and after meal beer to savor but it is quite sweet,the alcohol is nicely hidden for 9% alc as well.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 50cl bottle, poured an orange color with a small head. It had a sweet, fruity aroma, as well as something vaguely caramel. A fruity, apple taste. Noticeable alcohol, which I thought was a bit intrusive. Some hops. Tart in the mouth. An OK beer, not one I'd want regularly.

Photo of merlin48
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber body with a small offwhite head. Soapsuds type lacing. Aroma is fruity apricot with spicy and floral hops in an English manner. Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is concealed fairly well. Taste has some fruity peach notes competing with an unpleasant metalic note and a dry floral hoppiness. A hint of cardboard is distracting. The 9% abv stays hidden all the way through, and that may be the major plus with this one. Not really a bad effort. Puts me in mind of an ESB on steroids.

Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the Blind tiger in the neighborhood of my childhood in lower NYC, I'm gonna miss this place, but enough sentimentality...this pours semi cloudy, medium golden with an off white head, not much lacing noticed. Nose here is of hoppy spicy goodness. Tasty, aggresivly hopped British brew, quite dry and flavorful up front , then more spice and citrus in the middle and finish, cant say this one is balanced, but for a Brit brew this one will please the hop and flavorful brew fans. worth a try, especially if yoiu see it on tap.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a 16.9oz.brown bottle into a large tulip glass,not recommended,but worked out good. A serious glass for a serious beer,love the label an elf with a slingshot shooting at santa and his reindeer.On with the review.

Clear,a very slight cloudiness a golden/coppery color with a white 1" creamy head,good retention with some slight spotty lacing.

A pleasing moderate aroma clean,very fruitty with hints of fresh apples,a bit floral,slightly perfumy with some light citrus notes. No alcohol in the nose for a 9% beer.

Very fruitty tasting with some hot boozy sweet carmell in there. A nice apple taste gets quickly buried by a quick blast of alcohol. A nicely balanced brew,a clean mid taste,finishes very citrusy,boozy,a sweet,tart, taste. A good taste overall,just a bit boozy for me,wish the alcohol was just a bit more hidden,this is fitting for the style though.

A medium mouthfeel,very creamy the alcohol makes for a bit of roughness on the palate. A good beer overall,if you don't mind the alcohol tastes this is a very good beer. This beer went down very good even with the alcohol taste. I would drink another,but that would be it. A creeping alcohol effect to this beer. I'd recomend this beer if you like em strong,

Photo of far333
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Faint honey color with a full inch of frothy lumpy bright white foam that slowly throws up big popping bubbles.

Low aroma of sweet corny malt, some grassy floral notes.

Rich and cloying flavor of bready malt, alcoholic vapors warming the mouth. Very grassy, not too complex. Tastes like an imperial Budweiser (start with Budweiser, add rubbing alcohol and some sugar).

Slick and syrupy mouthfeel. Low drinkability, I predict that half the bottle will find the sink.

Photo of ADR
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark orange color, big-bubbled head is faintly yellow but doesn't last long. Looping ring laces on the pint glass. Bready aroma, vague off esters and oddly sweet orange marmalade. Low carbonation, mouthfeel is less than medium but oddly slick. Gravelly and warbling flavor tone overall, like sweetened black and green teas alternating hand-in-hand with orange and slight spice. Very leafy noticeable hop bittering. Some sense of alcohol, but not a burning impression. Frankly, this brew doesn't really appeal to me, its got some odd characteristics in combination.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a golden orange crystal clear body with a thick soft peaked light tan head supported for a bit by a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a clean soft bitter green note followed by a faint light caramel malt smell that grows as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a soft cloying flavor that is faintly of circus peanuts and cloves. There is a sweet malt flavor that goes along with that taste. The finish is green spices with a soft cidery note and some nougat qualities. There is also a hint of sulfur in the finish aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fusel alcohol heat this increases as the beer warms but becomes overpowered by the big prickly fizz in the finish.

D- This beer has some full flavor but they all taste a bit off and clash together. There are no real malt flavors and it is a bit of a mess. Maybe time could help pull things together but I don't know if there are other flavors underneath that would come through.

Photo of Calico
2.66/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a pint bottle into a tulip glass.

The thing I noticed most about this beer was the aroma. I first described it to the person with whom I split the bottle as smelling like gasoline, very solventy and a little fruity (overripe peaches, perhaps).

Taste was so-so. I could not quite call this an English strong - seemed a bit hoppy for the style. Seems to straddle the line between English strong and Imperial IPA. Mouthfeel was fairly good, round and warming. The finish was unmemorable. I would not buy another bottle of this. I've had the Bad Elf and the Very Bad Elf and like them both more, with I think the Very Bad Elf being my favorite of the three.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a big rocky head that lasts almost five minutes before minimizing, on top of an insanely clear ruby/amber with a variety of bubble sizes and speeds.

Malty nose brings in mellow spices, and something smells like freshly churned butter. Hops are present in the background. Also a kind of wet algae I losing it and having an acid flashback, or does this smell odd? I do like it.

Flavorwise, hops are in abundance, while the malt tries to offset them. But wow, this is a bitter, spicy ale, with a good fruity background that keeps things from getting too intense. The finish is a bruiser: acidic fruits that linger a long while. All through the drinking it recalls puckery sour green apples.

Mouthfeel is buttery and very well-carbonated, maybe a bit thin compared to those aggressive flavors.

Nothing wrong with this one, unless you're not into wild, spikey, spicy brews. It's definitely not an every day go-to beer, but I found it unique and interesting, and it gives the whole true-to-style thing the finger. Yeah, a seriously bad elf.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.53/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer is bad elf all over again. pours a slight bit darker with less head. nose is the same ridgeway funkiness. Tastes just like bad elf loaded with liquor. First taste is funky maltiness. almost a rotten hop or citrus flavor to it. The finish is dominated by alcohol. the mouthfeel is good and creamy, but still odd. Drinkability is not there for me at all.

Photo of cokes
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear and stark copper bodied with a skimming of white lacing.
Almond-extract nose with ideations of plums, hard toffee, and spilt blood.
Begins, again, with that almond-cum-brittle toffee maltiness, smeared thick with marzipan. Fruitiness exists in eddies, a swirl of golden raisins here, a ripple of pear there, orange preserves to the right, figs on the left, plums back behind. The middle is all fruit cake, or bread pudding, with a minor burnt butter and horsehair yeast influx. A few hot alcohol belches, but ethanol is largely belittled. Clears on the finish with bright juniper berry and pine hop assertations.
Heavy syrup body is given perk by a sustained, steadfast, tiny-grained CO2.
For a beer this large, it is not hugely flavored or dynamic. But what is here works, and works well. It's serves best as a gulpable sipper, like a likeably chunky that is not quite fat enough to be a b'wine or an old ale.

The biggest question is: What's the 2006 adjective going to be? My money is on: Holyshitthatsonebadassmuthafuckin Elf. Or possibly: Thisisatiredconceptmaybeweshouldexploreadifferentdirectionforthename Elf.
I could be wrong on those, though.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear, brass-colored with a deep-amber cast beneath a creamy head of off-white that holds alright before dropping to an average collar. Some walls of thin, vine-like streaks and spots are left at the outset, but there's not much after that.
Smell: Malty, bready, fruity, yeasty, very mildly hoppy. "Ale", basically. Clean. Not impressive nor unimpressive.
Taste: A straw-like maltiness with a firm, light-caramel edge dominates. A yeasty fruitiness of dull apples, both red and gold, livens it a bit. Alcohol steps in. Firm bitterness. Dry with leafy, muddy-grassy hops in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with a soft caress on the tongue that leaves it smooth across the palate. Just enough to awaken the taste buds.
Drinkability: It's quite nice at first, but not really out of the ordinary. It's very straightforward in its maltiness, and there's not much yeasty fruitiness either - almost like a strong, malty lager. !? It's clean and well-balanced, but not that exciting; and that's where it falters. It's an enjoyable brew for the first pint, but with the strength that it carries and the flavor it delivers, I'd probably stop at one.

Photo of ElGordo
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty orange color with a very light lace of white head that fades instantly. Just a touch of faint carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Sweet aroma of pale and caramel malts, some fruity esters from the hops, and more than a little treacle.
Palate is sweet and fruity up front, lots of tropical fruit and apple notes. The decent pale malt backbone keeps it from being overwhelmingly fruity, but the treacly sweetness comes through towards the swallow. Finish is drier than one would expect for a beer this big and sweet (hence low attenuation), but it is much more subtle than the rest of the palate.
Body is somewhat creamy, not bubbly, but still a bit thinner than is usually expected from a high-alcohol beer. The sweetness is a bit overwhelming, but does help mask the alcohol content. I am kind of glad that I split the bottle with my wife, but it's not exactly a chore to drink. Maybe not the most festive holiday ale, though.

Photo of russpowell
3.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an efferevescent bronze with a thumb of offwhite head. Not a lot of head retention or lacing

S: Bready malt & aged or old hops. Alcohol honey & lemon as this warms.

T: Fruity & bready up front along with serious dryness & a hint of grapefruitty hops. Honey malts follow with some warming alcohol. I catch a hint of brown sugar as this warms. Finished dry, warming & hoppy

MF: Oily, slick & a little more carbonation than you'd expect

Drinks very easy for the abv, this beer seems to have north american influnces on it, most strong english ales skew much more malty to me. Pretty good one to enjoy a pint or 2, pass that, night, night!!

Photo of Gmann
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden straw color with a large soapy white head (after a rather hard pour) that left some nice lacing on the glass. The smell is faint, I pick up some sweet caramel malt and perhaps some alcohol. The taste starts off sweet and boozy and has a cherry cough drop characteristic. Has a slight hop bitterness in the end. The feel is light and almost watery, fizzy carbonation, and finishes slick, sticky, and boozy. This beer is what I imagine English malt liquor would taste like. The malt presence is not big enough to handle the strong ABV of this brew and the sweetness is almost cloying. Not something that I would seek out again.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a .5L fat bottl to a pint glass the liquid is gold with good carbonation. The head is ok one finger thick off white and leaves some lace.

The smell is semi hoppy with a big bready malt and an odd sourness.

The taste is overwhelmed with sour fruit, at 9% you would think a brew would hold up better. Not this one

The mouthfeel is ok decent body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is just average. There are many better choices out there for the price of this brew to recommend it. MK

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the bottle in a snifter glass. This interesting little strong ale pours a very bright, clear, light amber with a thin ring of foam and light lacing. Nose of toffee, caramel malts, citrus zest of orange and lemon, moderate bittering and pine hops, and strong booze. Flavors are sweet caramel malts up front that give way to citrus notes of lemon and orange to the sides and back, and then fading into a sticky piney citrus hopped flavor. Ale finishes moderately dry with smooth drinkability and slick mouth feel with strong alcohol warmth coming in on the back. A unique take on a strong ale. Pretty nice really.


Photo of beerthulhu
3.31/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a brilliantly clear tangerine orange with a monstrous 2 finger, frothy dirty golden-beige colored head that displayed exellent retention lasting for nearly 5 minutes. A lustrious thick band lacing encircles the glass vessel.

S: Fresh oranges with a light floral hopping. Pretty basic and not much of a showing here with a faint nature.

T: The flavor opens up with some tart tangerines, grapefruit and lemons. A perfumy hopping with acetaldehyde (green apples) and butterscotch notes. Dried honey, melons with a touch of floral hopping. A spicy alcohol nature closes things out along with a lingering caramel orange fade.

M: The carbonation was nice, while the texture was very smooth. Light viscosity with a spicy alcohol fade off the tongue.

D: average. A beer by description that sounds complex, though drinks rather mundanely.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a rising tight white head the fades quickly. Leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Fruit and pale malt dominate the nose. Some spice and herb notes peek through as well.

Tastes of the fruity esters upfront characterized by mostly apples and maybe some white grapes. The slight bit of hoppiness can be found at the end with a subtle herbal character. Tastes pretty boozy as well, but that should be expected with 9%.

Mouthfeel is a medium-light and could be boosted a little more to be fuller.

Photo of BeerSox
3.91/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear honey amber with an off-white one finger frothy pillowy head that lasts a while and settles to an even thin cap. The lacing left behind is solid.

Basic malt aroma with a little bit of hoppiness. The alcohol isn't as well perceived as I expected.

Malty with only a slight amount of hop bitterness. A bit of a fruity presence is there. The alcohol is present here, but only slightly. Medium bodied with average carbonation. The finish is mostly lingering grain.

Not a bad Pale Ale. The label says it's an English Double Ale, which I guess can also be called an English Strong Ale. Recommended.

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.76/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Traditional English bottle purchased at New Vintage Wine Shop in Meridian for about $5.60/bottle. Poured into a my standard red wine glass while listening to the latter portion of Josh Wink's "Left Above the Clouds".

Crystal clear light amber/orange pour with nice 1/2" off white head that sticks around for a while... actually a pretty nice looking beer.

Aroma is a muddy mix of caramel and light earthy/grassy/catty hops topped off by a touch of burning alcohol.

Taste is definately more complex with yeast fruitiness with caramel apples and warming alcohol ... Just muddy, this Elf prances into a bunch of beer styles, and it ends with a light but still screwy "English" diacetyl finish. Mouthfeel is Ok... more than enough carbonation that just barely cuts through the sweetness.

I haven't had many "English Strong Ales", but this is not what what I was expecting nor did I really enjoy it ... just toooo sweet. I am glad I am finally getting a chance to try the Ridgeway Xmas brews, but hopefully this isn't the benchmark. I will buy it again, just not this year or probably the next; I really think if Ridgeway latched on to just one style, this brew could be probably pretty good.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok so I am working my way through the elves and decided to drop on this one last night. I thought a double English ale sounded rather interesting to be honest, so I had to move forward and try this one out. The pour was pretty decent, offering me a nice cloudy and hazy golden amber liquid that was full of carbonation and chains of bubbles could be scene streaking skyward. Nice three inch head formed on the top, but quickly faded, leaving behind only the slightest bit of foam on the top and a decent amount of side glass lace throughout the session.

The aroma was definitely that of an English ale, just a very very big one for sure! Loaded down on the alcohol, which came through very clearly on this one, there was a really strong malty base on this one that really shone through. Not much in the way of hops coming through on the nose, maybe some earthy grass like notes, but that was about it, nothing really spectacular as far as aroma. The flavor was decidedly different then anything I had had previously. It had that really clear English ale like flavor, but was really damn strong! Lots of bready and grain like taste in this one, with what almost was a grape like fruit taste in there as well, rather strong, and definitely not like and American double. Strong on the alcohol flavor, there was definitely no hiding that with a very bitter finish and a strong malty profile, this was definitely interesting. As it warmed it got a little lighter on the overall alcohol, however it was still noticeably there, just hiding a tad behind an increased presence of light grassy flavors. A nice smooth medium-bodied feel was a nice touch, as this definitely did not feel like a lightweight, and it stayed very well carbonated until the end. I am not sure though if I would throw down more then one of these, this was rather strong, and you could definitely feel it that was for sure.

Overall, not bad, and definitely a different take on what I was used to. This style actually intrigues me, and if it were a little sweeter, I think it would have turned out much better for me overall. But still I cannot say it was bad at all, pretty cool actually and would be a good call for sure.

Photo of cubedbee
2.54/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle poured into a nonic. Pours a slightly hazy copper with a finger of off-white head that vanishes fast, some slight lacing on the glass. Nose is a weird off-putting sourness, rather strong, at second whiff there is some bready malt for a sort of sourdough effect, but must too sour. Taste is better, a light butterscotch malt, some slight citrus and green apple, but the sourness still rears it's head, not nearly as offputting as the smell, but still enough to detract from the taste. Slightly bitter grassy hop finish with a hint of the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium with a low carbonation level. This is an all around stinker--tasted better when I held my nose, but that's not the way beer is to be drunk. I could only finish half the bottle before I poured this. Something's seriously wrong with this beer--I checked other reviews to see if I may have received a mishandled bottle, but I'm not alone--I won't be duped into buying this again just based on the amusing bottle.

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Seriously Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.