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Bad King John - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad King JohnBad King John

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Suds on 06-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nick76
2.63/5  rDev -29.9%

The aroma is like burnt malt with cream and coffee. The appearance is black with an average head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is too thin for a stout. I am not very fond of this one. I can't really say that there is any one fault with this one. Overall it's just not that good.

nick76, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of levifunk
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%

a - black liquid, but partially see through. light tan head.

s - smells like a light stout. mostly smoked malts.

t - smoked malts. a very faint prune flavor. can taste the alcohol and it tastes like cough syrup. there is a rye dryness.

m - medium body. decent carbonation.

overall - not really that great of a beer. wouldn't recommend this one.

levifunk, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of JohnBender
3/5  rDev -20%

JohnBender, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of MisledTitan
3/5  rDev -20%

MisledTitan, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%

A: Pours a dark brown color. A one finger beige head forms and leaves some sticky lace.
S: Not very aromatic. Some nondescript roasted malt. Some lactic milk/cream. Nothing else really.
T: There is a little more flavor. Some roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and sweet caramel.
M/D: A light body that is thin and watery. Very under carbonated. Not hard to drink. I am having no problems finishing the bottle, but nothing I would want to drink again.

This does not do it for me. Just kind of bland. Nothing bad, but there are much better stouts out there.

champ103, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of BogBoyJD
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

BogBoyJD, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of phattman073
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

phattman073, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of Mr_Pink_152
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Mr_Pink_152, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of ramseye4
3.3/5  rDev -12%

I've never heard of this beer before, but picked it up while deciding to try something new, plus the bottle has a great label. Dark brown wood colored body, big fluffy head that holds for a few minutes before gradually fading away. Great looking beer. Smells a bit weak, mostly malt in the aroma, unimpressive. Roasted malt comes up first in the taste, a faint metallic presence is there as well. faint bitterness, a bit of cocoa is present in the finish. Very, very average. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, a tad over carbonated. Drinkability is good, the simple taste and medium body help it out.

Not bad, not great. I wouldn't mind having this periodically, but I'm not disappointed that this isn't readily available where I live.

ramseye4, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of 18tony
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%

like my last girl this beer gave me no head, no matter how hard i tried.

the ups on this beer is it's abv.

the down on it is an average taste. i mean it wasn't bad by any means but it did not aspire to do more then that.

behind the alcohol nose, there is a slight carmel end as you would expect from a stout.

would i have another one? absolutely, if you're buying.

18tony, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of omnigrits
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%

Poured from the bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Nice dark colour with ruby highlights around the edges, but little in the way of head or lace.

There's some coffee and chocolate in the aroma, but already I can tell that this one's a bit thin.

The taste backs up my suspicions. What's there is good but there's not much of it. Distinctly underwhelming. There's a nice roasted malt flavour with more coffee and chocolate, and a decent bitter finish to it. Not much sweetness, which is to my taste because I prefer a drier stout.

The body is seriously lacking.

Despite all the faults it's a fairly decent and quite drinkable session stout if you're not looking to wreck your palate with a roasted malt bomb or get hammered with a 10% RIS.

omnigrits, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of thepeter
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%

Pours a brownish red with minimal head turning to film and decent lacing. Smells of rich sweet roasted malt some dark fruits and maybe some plum. Tastes like a sweet or a milk stout not enough hop presence or any complexity really. Not bad but nothing special. Feel is a bit too carbonated at first, again nothing special here. Not a bad beer but nothing I would buy again.

thepeter, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Dec 2012. The last of my Sainsbury's Beer Hunt brews - from 2011! I've been sitting on this for a while; hope it's still OK. The label is edged by a quotation from Scott's novel Ivanhoe, and the name of the beer is presumably also taken from the book.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Bottle conditioned. Appears black, though it is revealed as a dark reddish-brown when held to the light. Yields a decent head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a minute or so before settling and disappearing. Aroma of dark roasted malt with hints of chocolate, caramel/molasses, grain, nuttiness, mild dried fruit, faint coffee and earthy yeast. Slightly sweet. A subtle but nicely rounded character.

Tastes of roasted malt with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of burnt grain, ash, liquorice, hints of coffee, chocolate, caramel/molasses, faint prunes, earthy yeast and stewed hops. An acrid quality pervades the flavour, along with a mild sourness. A strident, malt-driven bitterness upon swallowing, along with a touch of alcohol in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with a slight spiciness and decent body. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of bitter roasted malt and stewed hops.

An OK brew - more of a strong dark ale than a stout (not roasty enough in my opinion). The smell is nice, with balanced complexity. The taste is less pleasing - a touch too much roasted malt and burnt grain crowd out the other flavours, resulting in an excessively dry bitterness. Body could be a tad more meaty. Drinkable but nothing too special. Worth trying, but no need to seek it out.

jazzyjeff13, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%

Nothing like an awesome name for a big, bad, bold stout. Let's see if this stout is....well, stout.

Pours a very dark brown. Almost black. Ruby tints around the walls betrays the blackness. Nice, thick and somewhat creamy head. Looks lush.

Aroma isn't wonderful, but not bad. Not as strong as I thought it would be. Cola and roasted malt dominate. Semi sweet but sharp at the same time. A bit weak, though.

Taste is better. Roasty. The cola supplies some sweetness and an odd background taste...not quite plum. Light on the chocolate and coffee. Earthy and some anise on the end. Not quite sold on this beer.

It's not bad. Easy drinking. Would drink again

Mebuzzard, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.45/5  rDev -8%

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark brown amber, light tan head and light lacing. Mild roasted and sweet malt aroma. Light flavor of dark caramel malt, slight hops. Flavors nice but very subdued. Like most of the beer from this brewery, the flavors are OK, but too bland and low key. Light to medium bodied. This tastes more like a dark ale than a stout.

LiquidAmber, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of dedrinker
3.45/5  rDev -8%

Darkest wood veneer with a thin white-ish head.

Faint aroma of roasted malts and some hints of dark fruit.

The flavor was a light roasty malt with some bitterness. I would say that if it was a little dark chocolate and black coffee I perceived, then it was an inferior brand of chocolate and coffee - Hershey's and Maxwell House instant.

Not bad though overall, just a lot less than I was being lead to expect.

Medium/full body with a dry, lightly burnt malt bitterness on the finish.

dedrinker, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of avalon07
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very, very muted aroma of malt, coffee, and a little hops.

T: Tasted of light coffee notes, a good shot of malt, mild hops and a burnt quality. The flavor here is decent enough, but is certainly on the mild side.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not necessarily a bad beer, but not particularly memorable either.

avalon07, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%

Had this on tap at a Shelton Bros event during Phila Beer Week. Thought it was from cask the way it was presented - filled to the brim of the glass, flat and still. Sipped it down slowly - very clean and thin in body and taste. Lightly sour/acidic coffee roast flavor, no chocolaty undertones, no hops, little discernible malt flavor. Every so often, I gave it a swirl - absolutely no carbonation. Not sure if that's the norm with this, but it certainly affected the feel, smell (which was super weak, coffee/malt-syrup sweet), and possibly flavor.

It's a decent stout, arguably a porter. It was black, showing rusty red with a half sip left. I'd give it another shot at some point, but I'd consider it a semi-bland table beer.

Bouleboubier, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of valkyre65
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

valkyre65, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Pelicanrocks
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Pelicanrocks, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of vinicole
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

vinicole, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of Kahlerbock
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Kahlerbock, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of lehueve
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

lehueve, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of meatyard
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

meatyard, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

"Bad King John is black... bitter... intense... like the ruthless man it honours. Do not come here looking for subtlety!"

--label

Bad King John must be a badass since the above quote is next to a drawing of a black haired woman in a white dress who is hanging from a noose. Has any 6.0% English ale ever been intense? Compared to what? Let's find out whether Ridgeway's boasting holds any water.

Pecan brown with generous orange and amber highlights (on the coaster)... dusky cranberry (when backlit). Since the brewery calls BKJ a 'black ale', might they mean schwarzbier rather than stout? A lack of opacity makes the question a valid one. The sand colored crown is a mass of sticky bubbles that does a pretty good job of glass decoration.

The nose is... subtle (honest, I didn't come here looking for it). Roasted barley leads the way, followed by a hint of herbal hoppiness. Bitter should trump sweet, although I have no illusions that the bitterness will be *intense*. King John better start channeling his inner badness on the palate.

Label hyperbole aside, this is better than average beer that's more bitter than average (given its country of origin), but it's far from special. Even though English stouts are fully capable of being this light, I'm thinking that schwarzbier is a more appropriate style choice.

Flavors include bitter dark chocolate shavings mixed with a generous handful of hop cones and black tea leaves. The relative shortage of malt means that depth, complexity and flavor linger are in short supply. The finish is impressively dry and could almost be considered crisp.

Regarding the body/mouthfeel... as an American stout it would be a 2.5. As an English stout it would be a 3.0. As a schwarzbier (which is what I've settled on) it's a 3.5. Short version: light, no creaminess, acceptable carbonation.

Ridgeway Bad King John isn't bad (in a good way) and it isn't bad (in a bad way). It's a slightly better than average black beer that is more bitter than most. That's probably the only reason why this hophead is giving it above average scores. No how, no way is it worth $6.09.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 04, 2008
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Bad King John from Ridgeway Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.