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Seriously Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

177 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 177
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 16.57%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | 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: 177 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of taez555


3.3/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

12-20-2006 23:51:08 | More by taez555
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.18/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

12-19-2006 12:55:10 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of NEhophead


3.38/5  rDev 0%

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.

12-14-2006 13:34:10 | More by NEhophead
Photo of merlin48


3.4/5  rDev +0.6%

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.

12-08-2006 02:28:07 | More by merlin48
Photo of Litterbean

New York

3.03/5  rDev -10.4%

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.

12-04-2006 21:09:56 | More by Litterbean
Photo of scottoale


3.38/5  rDev 0%

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

08-10-2006 10:50:14 | More by scottoale
Photo of scooter231

New York

3.43/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

04-13-2006 00:07:52 | More by scooter231
Photo of ShamasUVA


4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

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.

02-10-2006 19:58:27 | More by ShamasUVA
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -11.8%

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.

02-03-2006 00:36:45 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.48/5  rDev +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.

01-24-2006 04:44:43 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of scruffwhor


3.53/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

01-13-2006 04:00:06 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Calico

New York

2.7/5  rDev -20.1%

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.

01-04-2006 15:51:38 | More by Calico
Photo of mntlover


4/5  rDev +18.3%

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.

12-18-2005 22:29:13 | More by mntlover
Photo of Winter


3.68/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

12-15-2005 04:23:55 | More by Winter
Photo of cubedbee


2.55/5  rDev -24.6%

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.

12-14-2005 23:53:15 | More by cubedbee
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


2.88/5  rDev -14.8%

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…..like 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.

12-14-2005 06:48:26 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of counselor


2.3/5  rDev -32%

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.

12-09-2005 15:12:27 | More by counselor
Photo of cokes


4.03/5  rDev +19.2%

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 ESB....one 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.

12-07-2005 08:43:19 | More by cokes
Photo of sacfly


3.33/5  rDev -1.5%


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.

12-05-2005 19:21:43 | More by sacfly
Photo of steinlifter


4/5  rDev +18.3%

This poured a clear copper, left a thin white collar all the way through.
fruity aroma
taste takes a couple seconds to start coming through, slight tang,that mellows into a dry, dark fruit finish, malt flavor and light hops,alcohol warmth.
mouthfeel is fairly thin but with some malty coating, slight chewiness.
drinkability, is very nice, a very potent sipping beer, perfect for the cold day's of winter, I will revisit this one.

12-03-2005 20:05:21 | More by steinlifter
Photo of palma

New York

3.9/5  rDev +15.4%

ON cask at the Blind Tiger Ale House (NYC). Nice size head for a cask pour. Hazy orange body. Biscuit, malty and fruity nose. Sharp powerful old/strong ale flavor did not disappoint. Might be just a bit too tangy though. A nice beer to have as a change of pace. Not something that I would want to drink regularly.

12-01-2005 04:44:27 | More by palma
Photo of ypsifly


3.33/5  rDev -1.5%

Undated pint bottle with a rather trollish looking elf in the act of sniping Santa and crew with slingshot propelled x-mas ornaments. This label entices children? Bah Humbug!

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Clear copper with a bubbly head of light tan that's just over a finger in height. Good retention with fat rings of lace.

Smells a tad woody with some bread, fruity hops and alcoholic heat, albeit the nose is a bit weak overall.

The taste starts out sweet with some leafy hop, but the alcohol rushes in like a bull in a china shop. Any more booze and sweetness and this would be cloying. The hop profile stops that from happening.

Slick mouth that is just below moderate in feel. I'm drinking this one then I'm done with this little troll. I might buy another bottle just to see what a year or two in the cellar would do.

11-28-2005 05:05:49 | More by ypsifly
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +7.4%

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.

11-25-2005 00:55:33 | More by oberon
Photo of putnam


4.22/5  rDev +24.9%

Deep smoky pine and cedar aromas emerge from the red liquid. This is booze. It posesses a sweet jawbreaker candy and dried red fruit jam aroma alongside pepper, nuts and cream. Very clean and bittersweet in the mouth. The tannins are ripe and supple. An absence of dirty earthy traits. Balanced with viscous, creamy texture that controls clean bitterness, taught, candied fruit and modest buttery richness. This is something of a bargain considering volume, price and quality at little over $5 for a pint.

11-20-2005 02:07:39 | More by putnam
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.93/5  rDev +16.3%

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.

11-19-2005 15:18:43 | More by Billolick
Seriously Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.