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Criminally Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Criminally Bad ElfCriminally Bad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

265 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 16.62%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jwc215 on 11-08-2006)
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Distinctive Half-Litre brown glass bottle that has a wide body and a tall long thin neck sealed with a standard looking metallic red colored crown cap. Main label has the moniker ‘Criminally Bad Elf’ above a picture of a jailed dwarf behind bars raising a pint. Below which the words ‘Barleywine-Style Ale’ give away the type of brew to expect. Listed at massive (for the UK at least) 10.5% ABV. Lots of self-promoting blurb on the left hand-side of the label.

Appearance: Very clear mid-amber body with some light bronzed copper tones, the first surprise as I expected something darker. Light frothy head rises on the pour; it has a faded tanned look. Sadly it soon goes and hides far too quickly and submerges into the body leaving all but nothing. Subsequent top-ups do seem to invoke some pride though, and the head does last a little longer, but it can’t keep it up for long. Carbonation levels are moderate.

Nose: Pale malts and a soft mustiness against a very feint caramel hint. Some soggy cardboard and strange hint of damp potatoes and Hessian sacks mix with a fruity nature. Rather underwhelming overall.

Taste: The flavors are a little understated, simplistic with a gentle piquant alcohol and some breaded malts. One redeeming feature is the nice crisp bitterness that snaps in the finish and, if given enough time between swallows, induces some lactating cheeks. Sadly though this bitterness is just below a level that it teasingly promises, you expect more but like the #37 Bus, it never seems to arrive.

Mouthfeel: There is a rather thin feel to this one at first. A gentle mild warming sensation breaks from the liquid and tends to vaporize, is picked up in the back of the throat and nose - but it is hardly enough to instill a “massive” feel to this Barleywine-style ale. At 10.5% I expected more.

Drinkability: Surprisingly easy to quaff I have to say, perhaps this could be considered a strength for some, but for me, I want my 10.5% Barleywine to linger and remind me of its powerful nature and complex flavors. I wanted to sip this one but found that I was drinking it like any other brew, there is no complexity and the thin mouthfeel and simplistic malts make this easy to do. Despite this fact, I can cut some slack and honestly say that I had no issues with this and managed to demolish the bottle with some aplomb.

Overall: Listed as a Barleywine, my initial reaction was how, well pale it looked. Given its high strength and the taxation sliding scale in the UK, this one is not cheap and could be considered rather expensive. Despite the high end pricing, the beer is rather ordinary, average to be honest, Joe average, typical, middle of the road, standard, run-of-the-mill, stock, neither here nor there, so-so, arghh OK….yeah it’s just a 3/5. Criminally expensive for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 06:39:30 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a glowing apricot with a finger of thick off-white head that faded to an oily film.
S: Candied fruits, sweet caramel, tootsie rolls, and a bit of cream come through. Sweet and fruity but not cloying. Touch of fruit punch.
T: Creamy flavors of vanilla, candied dates, stone fruits, mild cocoa, cinnamon, all spice, leafy herbal hops, tobacco, slight butter, wood, vegetables and fruit juice.
M: Extremely thick and chewy carbonation, frothy and velvety mouthfeel, soft fully body, low bitterness. Fuzzy, soft and creamy overall. Slight tingly alcohol.
O: Better than I expected, but a bit too sweet and fruity to be my favorite. Not cloying though, but the fruit punch flavor is a bit strange. The mouthfeel and body are just right. Would drink again but wouldn't be my first choice.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2014 22:24:13 | More by scottfrie
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peternemeth


4.25/5  rDev +23.9%

06-24-2014 20:05:57 | More by peternemeth
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afsdan

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

03-28-2014 02:23:44 | More by afsdan
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harpus

Alabama

2.5/5  rDev -27.1%

03-20-2014 18:41:58 | More by harpus
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ChipMurray

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

03-17-2014 23:48:53 | More by ChipMurray
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Scepter

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +31.2%

02-13-2014 01:53:11 | More by Scepter
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Jah_Json

Sweden

3.5/5  rDev +2%

02-05-2014 13:22:15 | More by Jah_Json
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HamGlade10

Oklahoma

3/5  rDev -12.5%

01-27-2014 00:32:07 | More by HamGlade10
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wr3ck00n

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +2%

01-27-2014 00:18:40 | More by wr3ck00n
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dmmcginnis

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

01-21-2014 01:39:06 | More by dmmcginnis
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JesseLara

California

2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

01-14-2014 05:44:02 | More by JesseLara
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rrski198

Georgia

3/5  rDev -12.5%

01-09-2014 13:22:33 | More by rrski198
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kkmiller76

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

01-01-2014 03:17:45 | More by kkmiller76
Photo of Guinnesslover
Guinnesslover

Vermont

3.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of Christmas celebration. The label is pretty amusing and sells the beer even before tasting.

it looks quite nice, caramel-colored with a light tan head.

Smells a bit bitter, more so than other barley wines I've had.

Taste is clean, with no cloying aftertaste, but lacking in complexity: faint caramel and malt.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 04:05:44 | More by Guinnesslover
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jslice99

New York

4/5  rDev +16.6%

12-26-2013 10:58:34 | More by jslice99
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.71/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf has a very thick, frothy, cream-colored head, a somewhat hazy, yet brilliant, orange-amber appearance, and fairly significant lacing left on the glass. The aroma is strong, and I could smell it from a considerable distance. One will pick up a pungent, very sweet, syrupy, sugary, fruity, caramel. Taste is of rich, sweet, caramel, black pepper, unusual fruit components, bread, bread crust, celery, peanut butter, and even a shade of nuts. Mouthfeel is fairly light, and Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf finishes wet, rich, sweet, and delicious. I recommend this in the strongest way!

RJT

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 14:08:23 | More by RonaldTheriot
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Zanico

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

12-12-2013 23:33:41 | More by Zanico
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msanborn

Texas

3/5  rDev -12.5%

12-11-2013 22:20:25 | More by msanborn
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BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

12-07-2013 20:43:05 | More by BillRoth
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kmos27

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

12-07-2013 04:17:25 | More by kmos27
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MykeJ

Minnesota

2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

12-07-2013 03:16:50 | More by MykeJ
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JasonTaverner

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev +2%

11-28-2013 22:35:11 | More by JasonTaverner
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jaycar06

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +23.9%

11-26-2013 00:32:54 | More by jaycar06
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dbaker61

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev +2%

11-23-2013 14:49:14 | More by dbaker61
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Criminally Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.