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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

267 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 267
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 267 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by roblowther:
Photo of roblowther
roblowther

Texas

2.78/5  rDev -19%

Barley wine that fizzes? Now I'm interested. And a bit afraid. The lack of carbonation has always deflected me from REALLY enjoying barley wines. This could be trouble. The color is golden, btw. The smell is pears, honey, and a note of hops. Nice. The taste is good, but cloyingly sweet. The honey flavor shows up in spades. No hops within a mile of this thing. The mouthfeel is syrupy and shows none of the carbonation that the pour hinted at. Drinkability? Sorry, just not my style and as hard as I try to rate this within the style, just can't get there. Read someone less biased review of this one. I'm just not an evolved enough beer geek to give this brew its fair shake.

04-23-2007 00:44:38 | More by roblowther
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -11.7%

I remember when there was just a bad elf damn that seems so long ago,this poured into a impy pint glass a light copper/bronze with a tight but thinner white head that didnt have much lasting power.Wow first whiff after the cap was popped was a real skunkiness but Iam quite sure this wasnt skunked almost rotten fruit-like, as it settled a dark raisiny quality came thru making it easier to take in.Pretty thin for a barley wine not big and or chewey at all,somewhat boozy with flavors of dark fruit and brown sugar mainly I did get a hint of minty hop in the finish.Uhm this is one not to go out of your way to buy because of the lagel gimmick or anything like that its just not that good,next years elf I'll pass on I think.

01-07-2007 00:12:33 | More by oberon
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +14.6%

Appearance – This came out looking like orange liquid sugar with little head and a bit on the thin side.

Smell – The sugar is more like cane than anything else, which is nice to smell. There are also some lightly-toasted malts, which makes me think of morning cinnamon toast.

Taste – It's a little milder at the taste but the sugar and toasted Wonder bread come out pleasant. The flavor is nicely balanced, but its mild nature may disappoint some who have difficulty appreciating the subtleties of a fine EBW.

Mouthfeel – This is light for a BW, just barely medium-bodied, but no alcohol sting.

Drinkability – The lack of a big boozy kick makes this quite quaffable for a 10+ ABV ale.

09-27-2007 02:15:47 | More by RoyalT
Photo of hopsleeroy
hopsleeroy

North Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -18.4%

Bottle shared with the girlfrieng
A-Clear Copper, with some lacing after quick dissipating head. Farily average look.
S-Kind of sweet citrus flavors, smell improves while warming but overall nondescript, girlfiend thought weak lager
T-Sweet toffee and orange, Overall very sweet with alcohol bite at the end that has slight copper taste, Not so fantastic, Medicinal flavor throughout
M-Coating and and medium to full in mouth, nice mouthfell.
D-Didn't subject my liver to the whole bottle so wouldn't drink again

01-04-2009 22:37:35 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +17.5%

Pours a lighter than expected golden yellow color with a decent head of about 1-2 fingers. Reasonable head retention that lasts a few minutes.

Aromas release some caramel malts, some sweet esters, and that's about it. I was impressed with the light color on the pour and then wasn't sure after taking a good sniff. What will this have to offer??

Flavors are solid - as in a single flavor, not something that falls apart as it rolls over the tongue. A bit on the heavy side, you can certainly pick out the alcohol, but it seems rather balanced to me when you take into account that this comes in at a whopping 10.5%. Pretty smooth overall.

Carbonation is appropriate for this brew and seems to enhance the mouthfeel a bit as you are not fighting it in any way. Smooth, deliciousness and a really enjoyable brew for a high octane barleywine style of brew.

Recommended to anyone that enjoys a good strong brew that doesn't come across as strong. This is a great barleywine style brew.

12-06-2010 00:06:24 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.23/5  rDev -5.8%

A 50cl bottle, nice clear amber color with a small head that nevertheless leaves some decent lacing. A sweet, caramel aroma, with some hints of bread. I thought the taste was somewhat underassuming. Some alcohol, a little hops, not much else there. Thin and mild in the mouth. At 10%ABV, this is a beer to sip.

11-26-2006 18:58:52 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Wespatrick
Wespatrick

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +4.4%

500 ml bottle poured into my Duvel snifter.
This ale is much lighter in color than I expexcted for a barleywine. Deep orange with a quickly dissapating head.
Aroma is sweet malts, caramel, noticeable alchohol and some yeaty esters. Maybe a little astingent.
I let this warm up for quite a while and it really helped. Flavor is mainly sweet malt and toffee/ caramel. Alchohol is very prominent in the finish and at over 10% I guess this is understandable.
Mouthfeel is too thin for me. Needs alot more body to balance the alchohol heat and bready malt sweetness.
Drinkability is hurt by the lack of body/mouthfeel. Warming alcohol is present for several minutes after swallowing. I love barleywines, but this one is average.

01-03-2010 05:06:16 | More by Wespatrick
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.55/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours orange with basically no head. What head is visible is a white color. The aroma is very fruity with some caramel malt. The flavor is strongly fruity with lots of pineapple as well as some malty sweetness. You also get a ton of alcohol in the flavor. There is a slight amount of hop bitterness as well. The booziness hurts the drinkability but it is still a decent beer. Thin-medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. The alcohol is warming.

Of the five Ridgeway Christmas beers I tried (Bad Elf, Reindeer Revolt, Criminally Bad Elf, Santa's Butt and Warm Welcome) this was easily the best. It is the only one I would even consider having again, although I doubt I will see this one out again.

01-06-2010 04:14:54 | More by Mora2000
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

2.5/5  rDev -27.1%

Another bust from Ridgeway. Pours light brown with red highlights. Small white head with partial lacing. Vanilla, bubblegum, caramel, and peaches. Sickeningly sweet, spicy flavor, with molasses, dates, and something like a cigarette in the finish. This beer is a mess. This one got me to quit Ridgeway, permanently.

12-09-2008 22:35:11 | More by magictrokini
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

2.53/5  rDev -26.2%

Pours a deep orange copper hue into my chalice glass with an off white head forming thick and even with fine detailed lacing. Aromatics offer up some fusel alcohol notes with a light citrus booze character going on. Hops have a creamy floral and citric aspect coating the whole experience. Some sweet dark fruit notes blend in as well, they just seem to take a back seat next to the rest of the party going on. Flavor provides a deep sweet cereal honey tone with slight syrup notes and deep raisin and caramel malts wafting in. Big bitter backing from the English perspective the citrus and tobacco toned hop profile adds a good amount of bitterness to a typically hoppy American style. Mouthfeel is a bit cloying with thick layers of residual sugars sitting around on the palate carbonation is mellow but it doesn't carry the big body around too well. Drinkability overall is pretty poor in both body and flavor characteristics, maybe next time I will dig the beers from this seasonal brewery.

01-05-2010 08:16:35 | More by WVbeergeek
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stereosforgeeks

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

12-17-2012 15:57:47 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev +1.5%

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a crystal clear deep copper body with a thin bubbles that creep up to a creamy beige head of sticky foam.

S- The smell is pretty clean with faint caramel malt notes and some green bitter notes to follow.

T- This soft herbal green bite comes through first. With more sipping comes the thin caramel sweetness of malt followed by a fusel note to finish the beer. The fusel note is soft enough that it cleans up the taste but doesn't linger.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a faint alcohol warming in the finish.

D- The malt flavors are softer that the hops which are already soft in flavor and the whole beer is pretty one dimensional.

02-23-2009 17:18:53 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ste5venla
ste5venla

California

3/5  rDev -12.5%

12-22-2012 19:04:45 | More by ste5venla
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

4/5  rDev +16.6%

Distinctively different from the typical American Barley Wines I drink.
A golden orange liquid fills the glass with a half finger of white head that melts to top covering, side mapping lacing.
Aromas are not as fruit/malt intense as American versions I'm used to.
Still candied fruits and brown sugar fill the nose with a hint of red cherries.
Flavor is light brown sugar, over ripe banana, again with the cherries, a touch of red or baking apple, maybe a little bubble gum, alcohol ending.
Drying hops kills the sweetness nicely.
Interesting.

03-01-2007 04:05:35 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of imbuckeye
imbuckeye

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

12-28-2012 04:04:53 | More by imbuckeye
Photo of dac
dac

California

3.55/5  rDev +3.5%

Half liter bottle, cellar temp.

Crystal clear copper color. Nice thin head that turns into a loose lacing.

Aroma of caramel & crystal malts, treacle and candied apples.

Flavor showcases an intense malt profile with caramel and crystalized sugars. Barely detectable diacetyl level and apparent high mineral content lend a distinctive Brittish flavor profile. Very sweet and stickey on the tongue, but with just enough hop bitterness to keep it from being sickening. The hops helps keep the flavors crisp and there is relatively litte after taste, just a sugary coating on the teeth.

A pretty decent English style barley wine. Gives a nice glow about half way through the bottle and pairs well with stinky cheese like Royal Blue Stilton.

01-11-2008 14:03:36 | More by dac
Photo of pumptrick
pumptrick

California

2.5/5  rDev -27.1%

12-24-2011 00:18:35 | More by pumptrick
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

3/5  rDev -12.5%

12-26-2011 06:34:48 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of SMark
SMark

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev +2.9%

This beer was poured from a 500ml bottle into an Imperial pint glass. The beer poured with a haze as compared to the Very Bad Elf and was slightly darker in color but I hesitate to say brown rather than orange amber. There was approximately a one finger head. Slight lacing was also evident with the subsiding head.

There was a caramel malt aroma with what seemed to be butterscotch in the background. This was an interesting bouquet.

The beer tasted of more malt and hop than the Very Bad and went together quite well. There was a bit of apple cider with the caramel malt. I did not notice any butterscotch in the taste.

It was quite smooth with a bit of tangy sensation on the tongue. The caramel seemed to be more noticeable at the back of the mouth while the hops played well along the top.

This was a better offering than the Very Bad Elf and very adequate. However, I will probably stick with some of the more mundane named beverages for Christmas time with my next purchases.

01-05-2008 03:42:35 | More by SMark
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.48/5  rDev +1.5%

Appearance - Pours a clear, entirely copper hue with a white, half finger head. Sub-par retention. Leaves behind no lacing.

Smell - Aroma consists of toffee and caramel character. Sweet, slightly boozy.

Taste - Sweet toffee and caramel upfront and throughout. Moderate booziness. Not much else.

Mouthfeel - Closer to medium than full in body, with low carbonation. Smooth. Drinkable. Does well to hide the 10 and a half. Fairly thin for a barleywine.

Overall - In a nutshell, caramel and booze. No hops to be found. Not a very impressive barleywine, though somewhat enjoyable nonetheless.

03-04-2013 03:49:41 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -7.3%

Interesting to see this get such a relatively low rating from a bunch of BAs who embrace most barleywines. But maybe this isn't most barleywines...

Pours a thin head on top of a rusty orange/brown that has excellent clarity and some bubbles that patiently swim their way to the top.

Aroma has a yeasty, doughy, light sweetness, some caramel, with a lightly smoked element coming in. Some grape comes in too, after huffing on it quite a bit. Weird aroma, nice one, but hard to put a finger on.

My first impression upon tasting is how sweet this is, and then that's immediately bowled over by another impression: tart. Like bitterly tart lemonade that makes your whole mouth pucker. And it leaves an aftertaste that, while I've never licked an ashtray, is what it must feel like to lick an ashtray.

Some nice flavors come through all this hardship, like grape, brown sugar, apple, cinnamon, and grapefruit rind. But geez, this thing is really weird. What's with the spearmint and Pinesol? I'm actually really glad I tried it, and melbatoast93 got a nasty Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat in trade for it, so thanks to him for putting up with that. Me, I prefer the Seriously Bad Elf.

03-23-2007 21:27:29 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

2.85/5  rDev -16.9%

Once again we revisit the same tastes of ridgeway. This could be the most mediocre english barleywine i have ever tried. It pours very transparent and a bit darker than the other bad elves but not much. no head whatsoever. Thick and soupy with extra ridgeway funk. gnarly malts and sugar taste like cheap candy thats been sitting in a bowl at the doctors office for eight years. the residue left on the lips is kind of unpleasant. Mouthfeel is decent but thin for a barleywine. Alcohol slaps you in the face on the finish. drinkability is similar to that of bacon grease.

12-20-2007 07:39:15 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of JoeAmerican77
JoeAmerican77

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +24.8%

Copper colored off white head...

Smells of tums light cocoa brown sugar and malty yeast

Wow, on the tongue malt, belgian candy/yeast and booze all in a few seconds, some fruity ice pop flavors, grape, and dark cherry

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy, warmed by the alcohol

Overall this was a great purchase, huge flavor, not sure why the belgian elements have been so prominent from this brewery but then again i haven't checked their website or anything... only paid three bucks for the bomber

06-04-2011 00:41:51 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +15.2%

Appearance: Clear deep copper with an auburn cast, golden highlights at the base of the glass, and a spot of ruby more towards the center. Creamy, short white head. Maintains surface covering... a thin lace curtain. Short walls of lace rise up against the sides of the glass.

Smell: Malt. Fruit. Scorched caramel. Apple. Plum. Raisin. Cherries. Alcohol.

Taste: Caramel. Alcohol. Almost burnt sugar. Toast. Sharp fruit... dark skinned... juicy plum, cherry, raisin. Some dark berries and some minor Granny Smith. Spruce! Slather of alcohol. Solid bitterness, but the alcohol really does the work to dry it. A touch hot. Finishes dry with a note of cherry, then caramelish malt, and finally, sherry!?

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Dextrinous. Seemingly short on body. OK. Low-key carbonation leaves it really smooth. Silky, but not quite creamy.

Drinkability: is hindered by the alcohol.

01-08-2007 03:45:37 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

3.65/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured from the 500ml bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a reddish amber topped by a smallish white head that quickly recedes to a thin ring. Aroma of heady, slightly sweet, biscuity malt and a touch of brown sugar, along with a hint of sharp floral hops. Palate is mellow sweet malt up front, with some bittering hops joining in to provide balance mid-palate. The sweetness is offset by a flourish of pepper just before the swallow. Mildly sweet malt lingers on the finish, along with a good bit of warming alcohol.
The body is full and just a touch syrupy, just right for an English barleywine. Quite drinkable for such a strong beer, this is one of the better examples of this style I've had in a long time.

11-20-2007 06:41:03 | More by ElGordo
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Criminally Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.