Seriously Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf

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183 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 16.27%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ADR on 11-11-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tavernjef
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly muted, clearish brassy gold with a beatifully stacked, medium to large sized head of off-whitish firm and frothy foam. Keeps a good lather always lapping at the sides and laces in lumps and clumps and strings and things.

Aroma is mildly sweet and tender of malts, slightly off in a old red apple and pear-like sweetening sense. Hops are floating around with leafyness and light floral aspects.

Taste is a bit heated within its malt presense which is sweet and firm with a touch of tropical sense and dull, old apples, touch of grassyness, dried grains, and straw to it as well. Hops enduce a bit of weakened bite and floral bitterness late after the appleness resides to the back, but this stays mainly malty.

Feel is decent, mediumish body, as the malts stay smooth and slightly sticky with the flavors riding well from beginning to end with a good amount of heat and warmth throughtout making the 9% evident enough.

An OK to good Strong ale to enjoy, mild, and English toned all the way.

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 budgood1
2.58/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours out of the half litre bottle a clear copper colour. a big off white head appears and sticks around a bit. it eventually dies down to nothing with minimal to zero lacing. a barely there sweet malty aroma is a bit fruity, but wholly nondescript. it tastes like the very bad elf i sampled prior but with an amped up pale malt sweetness and ABV. reminds me of a local maibock we have here in our state. alcohol spice, more solvent than spicy and a light smattering of floral hops is all i can take out of this. this one is sweet, sticky and one dimensional although a bit warming. the mouthfeel is pretty smooth but the overall body seems lacking for such a high ABV brew. not very drinkable due to the fact that it's just not that tasty of a strong ale.

definitely not worth the $$$ paid for a single, and not something i would revisit again in the future. at least i got the bottle with that scary elf shooting x-mas decorations at santas sleigh and reindeer. pretty funny.

Photo of Kendo
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Into a large pint glass it poured a hazy coppery orange with a 1/2 finger, big-bubbled off-white head that dissolved pretty quickly. Zero lacing.

S: Malty-sweet and fruity, but not particularly strong in the nose at first blush. Sweetness more pronounced as it warms.

T: Alcohol overwhelms the other flavors -- it's the first thing I taste. It coats the entire mouth with a peppery warming spice. Underneath is some grainy, caramel malt but it's topped by the alcohol with every sip.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation.

D: OK. Alcohol is too much for it to score higher.

Notes: At 9% ABV and a larger-than-average bottle, it provides a good buzz. But the alcohol is too dominant in the taste. After sampling this one and the Very Bad Elf earlier this week, I'm not all that inclined to try the rest of the series.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.58/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No freshness date. Pours a slightly hazy amber orange color with a huge two finger head. Plenty of lacing and retention lasts all the way down the glass.

Aroma is sort of a sour smell with some dirty diaper tossed in there. Sour smelling malt liquor aromas. Not too pleasing.

Flavor is filled with apple tart and basement and wet cardboard. Toss in rubber surgeons gloves and you have the whole kit and kaboodle.

I will certainly pass on this beer. Tastes almost exactly like the Very Bad Elf with more alcohol. This one seems less balanced and more flawed. Surprisingly, the alcohol is pretty well hidden but the overall taste isnt good and lends a low drinkabilty in my opinion. Perhaps I am in the wrong mood but this one really missed.

Photo of shadow1961
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ridgeway Brewing's Seriously Bad Elf pours out a rocky
white head over a clear amber brew. The nose is yeasty
malty, and the flavor of malt and sharp hops. There's hops
and a bit of bisquit in the aftertaste (and belches). It's like
Very Bad Elf, but taken to a higher level. Alcohol by volume
is 9%.

Photo of taez555
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear amber/honey colored body with somewhat thick, but dying quickly, white head.

Nose was a soft mix of caramel, malt, some fruit tones, honey and with a sweet bread like sweetness.

Taste starts very smooth and simple. Medium bodied with a large carbonation and a cracker or biscuit type malt quality. Very earthy and dry leafy hops dominate with a strong bitterness about half way through. Mild apple peel taste mid way through. The more I drink it, the more this beer tastes surprisingly like budweiser if it had balls. The malt and hop taste are almost identical. . This beer ends much more bitter than it starts with a mild lingering bitterness and alcohol warmth.

I’ve been drinking a lot of this Ridgeway beers lately and you can really see how very similar they are. Each , the bad elf, seriously bad, criminally bad, etc beer just brings up the alcohol and malt a bit, but for the most part they all taste about the same. Labels are nice looking, but the beer is average.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
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 NEhophead
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 9 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic pint glass.
No best before date.

Pours a golden-highlighted, light copper in color. Lightly creamy white head that fades to a dismembered sheet upon impact. Faint trails of lacing with no strength.

Toasted malt aroma with a whaff of diacetyl and soft bourbon. Notes of acidity: green apple, pear, white grape. Interesting combination of aromas, but too mild.

Notes of green apple, melon, and pear give the mellow, toasted-biscuit malt a mildly sour quality. The finish is slick turned powdery, aided by a gaseous alcohol presence. A faint bitterness is followed by an aftertaste of dark hints of oak, alcohol, and burnt biscuit.

Medium in body; creamy and slick on the palate. The texture turns almost powdery/musty as the sip lingers.

A mild flavored English Ale most notable for its toasted malt character and unmasked alcohol presence. A Strong Ale that I'll only remember for its 9% abv.

Photo of merlin48
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
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 Litterbean
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bronze in color with a thin head.

Strong alcohol smell, spicy hops in the aroma with a touch of malts.

The taste is almost cider-like, very alcoholic, with a noticeable English hop presence. However, the taste is far too thin and gives way to overpowering fusel alcohols. The alcohol stands out too much and doesn't blend into any other flavors. Pretty blah.

Photo of scottoale
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's this past week, with a name like that, I had to try it. Served in a nonic tumbler a darkish coppery ale with very little head or carbonation, making me think "cask conditioned", but it wasn't.

Earthy malt nose, not really sweet, with a whiff of hop and a trace of alcohol and red-wine vinegar.

The taste is reflective of the smell, with a sourness and tang that soars way above any sweetness. Bittery tang to the finish with a mild warmth from the reletivly high alcohol content. This is the second brew I've tried from Ridgeway and it is very different and unique from any other beer in this style.

Tangy sour mouthfeel with a medium body. Definitely worth a try if your adventurous

Photo of scooter231
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Blind Tiger, Very Special Keg Night. And indeed it was. This was an interesting dude, not the most tasty ever, but then, it IS a bad elf. Alcohol is exceptionally sneaky. Got some red wine flavor, some sweet fruits, a hint of sourness. Light and goes down easy and creamily, though a bit watery. Not my favorite, but I'm glad to have had it. And probably will again.

Photo of ShamasUVA
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Seriously Bad Elf is a serious strong ale! It has all of that good english malt flavor, a little bit of yeasty aroma, and a solid amount of hops. The beer is copper colored with a white head, and bottle conditioned. This beer falls somewhere between a barleywine and an imperial IPA-- right on spot with what I would consider a Strong Ale. The 9% is definitely a creeper. I would have guessed it closer to 7.5% if you blindfolded me.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear medium amber with an off-white and frothy head which rose well and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was citrusy, fruity and piney. The majority was caramel malt presence and floral hop presence.

The flavor was oddly malty with a muted and muddy hop presence. The hops were slightly piney and citrusy. The flavor was not pleasant and a bit winey in character.

The finish was dry with a lasting piney bittering into the aftertaste. The body was medium full. Not a great flavor at all. I'd say skip this one unless you can follow this bad elf to the end of the rainbow and if he is flinging rocks at Santa and the deer, he ain't worth your time.

16.9 ounce bottle.

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

Pours a brilliantly clear, reddish-tinged, amber color. the head is thin, frothy, quickly disappearing, tan colored head. The aroma certainly has a certain richness to it, it reminds me a bit of rum soaked raisins and even has some interesting spicy notes that remind me of cinnamon. There is also a note of green grapes here, but I keep coming back to that striking finish; there really is a note of cinnamon here.

The beer has a certain heft to it as it rests in my mouth, but is certainly not heavy. It is a bit viscous, though not overly sweet. It is quite fruity as well; a mix between green grapes, raisins, a bit of plum and a finish that, in combination with the alcohol, reminds me a bit of rum. There is a bit of hoppiness here, though not much; a bit of herbal hop character with a hint of mint and a light bitterness in the finish. In the end the beer seems a bit thin in the finish, the meat of flavors of this beer disappears way to quickly and all that is left is some flabby malt and a bit of alcohol, which lingers on in the finish.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in the Binny's discount bin for $3.99

Appearance- Poured a very lack luster head if that's what you'd cal it. No head remained after drinking. Very sunshine amber with sum sluggish lacing rising form the middle of the glass.

Smell- Not a lot to gather from. Everything I could pick up was very subdued or maybe their was nothinh their to smell. After some swirling of the brew, all I could make out was malt first, then hops, and last some alcohol.

Taste- A slightly orange-like malt flavor. With some decent hopping thrown into the mix. Ending with a little alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Felt a very subdued yet very textural malt on the palate. The alcohol aded a very warming sensation to the overall enjoyment of the beer.

Photo of Calico
2.7/5  rDev -20.1%
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 mntlover
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper clor some light cloudiness a small cream colored head or more like lots of big bubbles slowly shrinking to smaller bubbles instead of a normal head. Some stickey lace left on the glass after aggressive pour.

Aroma is fruity malt, more like fruitcake breadiness type malt. Orange fruitiness some citrusy hops apricot, with hints of piney evergreen. Aroma is not bad at all, light alcohol (paint thinner) noticed as it warms.

Taste is bready malt that increases in fruitiness as it linger on your taste buds apricot and mandarin orange come out and linger into some lingering apricot bitterness not strong in hop presence but just the right touch. Some alcohol becomes more noticable as it warms but it adds to the flavor. Too me its like a toned down Old Ale, enjoyable and tastey.

Mouthfeel is medium nice lingering flavors mellow carbonation makes it a smooth and relaxing brew.

Drinkability is good enjoying this one as I sip it. This is my third Ridgeway Holiday brew this season and by far the best, the other two were dissappointments after the good one I had last year. Enjoyed this one was worried again after seeing the score but going against the grain on this one its gooood.

Photo of Winter
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seriously Bad Elf pours a clear copper in color with a white head that dissipates rather quickly. Fruity (feint citrus) nose with hints of caramel malt and underlying alcohol. Ok, not so underlying, it's pretty noticeable. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Mild malt flavor which transitions into a caramel sweetnees. Mandarine oranges and feint apple swathed in alcohol follow. Warming sensation as it goes down.

Despite the high abv this goes down pretty smoothly until room temperatures warm it up a bit too much. At that point the alcohol creeps into the forefront . It's tough to say which between the two, Very Bad Elf or Seriously Bad Elf I liked better. Both are pretty potent and easily enjoyable on a cold winter's night.

Photo of cubedbee
2.55/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

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

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.

Described on the label as “A Rather Serious English Double Ale” Listed at 9.0% ABV.

Appearance: Soft tangerine with an infused rustic copper. Like the Very Bad Elf I had last night, the head is a very thin off-white affair that soon disappears and leaves only a bubbly halo that soon collapses into nothingness. Super fine carbonation is below average in intensity. Exceptionally light spotted lacing, just a few blobs, but it is there. Like the Very Bad Elf Zero, it wins no prizes for its looks.

Nose: Reminds me of the warm waft of air that I always experienced when walking into a shift at the Family Bakery that I worked at as a Student. But it is short lived. Soon a sickly deep fried Doughnut odor mingles with some sugary toffee in the finish and a funny hint of….hmm….how to explain it?....a sort of coniferous laden hospital disinfectant smell, you know the one I mean right!?

Taste: Much better than I was expecting from the looks and nose. Boiled candy sweetness lingers amongst delicately toasted malts. Herbs and caramel rise in the centre. Finish has an English-Belgian feel to it…..but sadly it is more of an English Football Hooligan drunk in Ostende whilst on a “Cheap Tax Free Booze-Cruise” rather than anything cultural or uplifting. Alcohol hides behind the School Bike sheds with the rest of the Smokers, the occasional smoke signal only revealing a mere hint of its strength Crushed velvet apricot skins and the artificially sweetened & preservative laden juice from a tin of Sliced Peaches finish the experience. I feel bad, it’s certainly nowhere near as bad as I make it sound……but it’s no better though.

Mouthfeel: Nice warm feeling, a hint of the alcohol breaks through right at the entrance and it soon starts to taste and feel much better than it smells and looks. However, a residue builds on my lips which quickly evaporates and becomes rather sticky, sugar laden and a little off-putting. Some warmth after the swallow which is of the “Winter treat” type.

Drinkability: Nothing detracting, but this just falls flat. First off the Presentation then Nose drops my heartbeat an octave or two. The Taste picks me up a little, the Mouthfeel isn’t too bad…..but somehow I was expecting so much more…..its rather average in the end… David Beckham it is expensive and often promises a lot but it consistently looses focus and frequently fails to deliver its worth and ultimately disappoints me.

Overall: Why does this beer make me feel guilty for not liking it?!?! I do see the “English interpretation of a Belgian Triple Ale”, but I am not that big a fan of it to be honest. Aren’t Elf’s supposed to be lovable but crafty, sneaky and devious? Well this is more of a Bastard child from a one-night stand of drunken passion between a Munchkin and a drugged up Umpla-Lumpa, rather than a Seriously Bad Elf. Definitely not worth the $5.99 I paid for it….
....I wuz robbed guv’na!!!

Music: Tomaso Albinoni – Adagio in G minor.

Photo of counselor
2.3/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a coppery brown with a thin head. The beer has some odd aromas of funky hops and muddled spice. I can't discern the smells, but they are neither pleasant, nor offensive. the beer is without any defining flavors, odd for a winter strong ale. No heavy bready british malt flavor, no estery appley yeast flavors and no strong hop profile. It is almost like a muddy brew that just goes down the hatch. Not an offensive brew, but not one to crow about.

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 sacfly
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Pours a dull but clear yellow/orange. Low carbonation, good for style. Smells lightly of overripe apricots.

Taste is syrupy sweet. Apricots again… Maybe some old orange juice a bit past its prime. But it works here. Aftertaste is sticky and lingering. I feel like I need to brush my teeth.

A good holiday/Christmas beer, but not one I would drink too often. The best of the bunch I have had by this brewery so far, but that is not saying a lot.

Seriously Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.