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Bad King John - Ridgeway Brewing

Bad King JohnBad King John

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

83 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 9.65%


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)
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 49 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jopper
jopper

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Has a nice look, ours almost black with thin quickly receding head even with a strong pour

Smell - a distant dark malt

Taste - A nice clean slightly bitter with a dry finish

Mouthfeel - a nice wieght with the right amount carbonation

Drinkability - no problems finishing this one... could have cracked a few a more.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 01:37:25 | More by jopper
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours very dark brown, but some light still shines through. Head is light tan and not very thick, although lacing is decent.
The smell has some characteristics of a stout. Some coffee and chocolate, as well as caramel. Taste is much better. Roasty, with chocolate and coffee, and hops give the beer a pleasant, bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and not as creamy as I would have liked it to be. Overall, though, it is rather smooth. This beer is drinkable by all means. I wouldn't really call it a stout, however. More of an English Strong Dark Ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 05:07:07 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say the label has caught my eye in the past but I never pulled the trigger until today,BBC magazine called him the worst Briton of the 13th century,now thats sayin something.Poured more of a cola color than black,alot of reddish tint,a thinner but well retained slight off white head atop.Fruity malt,iron,and light bitter chocolate in the nose,its full on English malt.A little thin in the mouth,but it goes down real easy.Flavors are not intense,at least not for the American craft palate,but its got decent complexity.Some bitter chocolate and fruity flavors meld into a pretty good earthy finish,intense finish maybe for the Brits.I actually think its decent,not intense,not great.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 22:06:42 | More by oberon
Photo of beer2day
beer2day

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, near black with some reddish tint coming through. Nice, fluffy 2-finger head atop my impy pint glass. Decent retention, too, lasting all the way through to the bottom of the pint.

Sweet malt and roast malt dominate the nose. Getting anise and caramel underneath. Slightly sour milk rounds things out.

Taste is a little milder than expected, but grows on you. Slight sweetness in the hit, but goes a little bitter mid tongue and finishes with a nice dry coffee bitterness.

Body is also a little thinner than expected, but that makes for a very drinkable stout. While the flavor profile would definitely satisfy on a cold night, the body makes this light enough to drink on a warmer early spring day.

If you like English dry stout, this is worth checking out. Can be a little pricey for a bottle, though.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 01:46:58 | More by beer2day
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a khaki head. The aroma is pretty subtle with roasted malts and a little smoke. The flavor is more of the same with roasted malt being the most predominant flavor component. The hops may add a tad bit of bitterness but if they do, it is not much. Not very complex but it is enjoyable. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 03:21:04 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very tansluscent black pour. Sufficient off white head creating a nice contrast. Aroma is a bit mild. Subtle roast malt, nut and peat. Flavor is a bit stronger, roast malt and smoked nut again. Bitter tobacco, coffee a little piney hops. Body is a little tinner, but still medium and gets creamier as it warms. Finish is just a little coffee and anise. A good drinking dark brew.
I would have considered this something else other than a stout, maybe a dark mild but it is not real mild or just and English strong ale. Still a very good English ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 05:18:32 | More by Bung
Photo of Kristing
Kristing

Sweden

3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is black with some red tones and their is barely any head. In my opinion, it looks more like a porter than a stout. The aroma is full of roasted malt and some smokiness. The taste is mellow and slightly bitter, with a roasted finish. Eventually, a tone of coffee presents itself that is rather enjoyable. Their is also a deal of smokiness.

I feel that this beer tastes and looks more like a porter than a stout. Even though it is a good beer, it is a bit flat. I was a bit disappointed actually, at least when considering the high price it cost at my local pub.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2009 17:11:57 | More by Kristing
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Premiere Gourmet. Good example of English sublety, nothing too bold just the balance of a little roast, a little Shwartzbier black, a bit above mouthfeel, a bit of licorice as in a porter. Pours black, nothing harsh, delightful with a meal. Really a shwartbier.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2009 02:04:18 | More by Sammy
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 02:55:55 | More by champ103
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown in color bordering on black. Minor tan colored head on top. Low aroma-some minor nutty notes as well as a tinge of cocoa. Killer malty and mildly roasted flavor. Slight graininess that brings out the roasted quality even more. Slight chocolate and espresso flavors. Mild hop presence. Very well balanced flavor wise. Good mouthfeel. Nice lingering dry taste. Very very drinkable. I love the whole package.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 20:52:58 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of selecter70
selecter70

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice purchase from a great little shop in Cambridge, Liquor World. I always can go for a nice dark ale & chose such to follow up some other fruity-session ales, which posed some potential risk of shocking the system. However, such was not the case! A nice, smooth chocolate-brown pour to black, blocking out any light, with a full 2-finger reddish tan head and nice lace retention. The aroma was mild, some chocolate & malt-cookie. The flavor was a bit more smoky, with roasted malt & bitter hop edges. Dark chocolate presence without being overwhelming. Medium body & very drinkable as a porter-ale. Definitely a repeat purchase!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 21:02:02 | More by selecter70
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml bottle, this beer pours as a nearly solid black color (with brown highlights in the shallows if held to the light). It presents a tightly packed brownish-tan head, and makes for an impressive beer. The brew has a nice roasted malt aroma...chocolate, biscuit, and grain in front of a backdrop of English hops. The malt is front and center in this beer. There's also a notable yeast flavor and aroma in the brew. Occasional fruity qualities appear and fade, particularly raisin and plum-like. Fairly clean, moderately light in body, with a bitterness that comes in in the mid-taste. Fairly sweet as well, more than expected. This is a satisfying and very enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 19:54:02 | More by Suds
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Bad King John is black...bitter...intense...like the ruthless man it honours. Do not come here looking for subtlety!"
So the label says...it says other things, too...forget about that, I'm gonna drink it!

Dark brown body, slightly crimson at the edges...lush cocoa head atop
Beautiful aroma, nice and roasty-toasty...just bitter enough, yet creamyand inviting. Nice balance of hops and malt here.

Drink it!
Dark and rich, deep and malty...black,cocoa flavors,some espresso tinges, dark essences dwell beneath...darkness always licks up from below...Full bodied, long,malty, rich and tasty finish...really well-balanced, everything is in order here.

A beer fit for a bad king, that's for sure. I'd have more if it weren't so damned expensive.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 10:31:40 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of nick76
nick76

Florida

2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 03:53:00 | More by nick76
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 14:12:50 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11/9/08- Purchased at Bottle Barn, in Santa Rosa, CA. $5.49 price tag.

Presentation- 500ml bottle, did not check for freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Black, but not as black as I have seen in a stout. Beyond full one in plus some head. Good 1/2 inch remains for the duration. Leaves some small chunks and some pacthwork of lace.

Smell- Beyond roasted malts. Deep burnt chocolate, frangrant bitter hops and a charcoal-campfire smokey nose.

Taste- First few sips reveal a light metallic note. Quickly fades though. Nice bitter and lasting hoppy flavor with added burnt smores campfire like dark chocolate.
Melds together nicely, but the hops play the main role.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth with a medium to lighter carbonation. Long lasting bitter lashing. Lightly creamy.

Drinkability- Very nice english stout. Do away with that metallic beginning and lower the carbonation a touch lower and you have almost world class. Very drinkable as is though.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 22:07:16 | More by GClarkage
Photo of evanackerman
evanackerman

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beer pours a nice dark black color with a tan head

aroma is prunes and roasted malt

taste is delicious roasted malt with a nice slight bitter finish, hints

mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very very smooth, light carbonation.

overall, this beer is quite delicious. Described as a "black ale" on the bottle, it is as fine an example of a british stout as I've tasted. worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 21:52:29 | More by evanackerman
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.53/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is deep, dark red-brown, almost black, a little bubbly in the body, with a big, rich tan head that slwoly shrinks to a foamy ring and leaves some decent lace.

The aroma is very nice, fairly strong but smooth and pleasant. It has toasted brown bread, stewed prunes, hay, and hints of chocolate and port.

The taste is quite interesting, flavourful, and complex. Up front it starts smoothly with sweet fruit, especially prunes, toasted brown bread, a hint of fruitcake. This gradually transforms into a drier, toastier character with gradually increasing bitterness including pepper and spice (licorice, perhaps), and light hints of bitter chocolate and unsweetened coffee. The change is smooth and gradual, to a lightly bitter, dry finish containing the pepper, etc. The bitterness lingers, slowly getting a little stronger to fill the mouth before fading. Hwoever, nothing is sharp or burn tasting, the bitterness is not clinging or unpleasant (it stops just short of getting unpleasant), and it has a nice spicey-coffee character. The whole experience is enjoyable, engaging, interesting, very flavourful from start to finish, and the beer is quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 16:52:57 | More by Offa
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a thin looking deep brown color with just a bit of fan head across the top. The lacing was nonexistent. The smell of the beer had some nice roasted malt aromas but they weren't overly strong. The taste was pleasantly light and had some flavors in it that I was having trouble pinpointing. The mouthfeel was thin but I didn't mind for some reason. Overall I thought it was a pretty good stout but still just about average in my opinion.

Serving type: cask

06-20-2011 20:56:00 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2011 15:35:56 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tap and Table. Appeared just barely black with red highlights. This stout was drinkable and true to style, but uninspiring. The character is flat and lacks depth. There's just a roasted barley taste with a touch of dark chocolate. Yes, it nice. Yes, I'm a little tough on this beer. But there's a lot of potential for this style.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2011 03:05:31 | More by tempest
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a thin layer of beige bubbles on the surface.
S: Aromas of dark fruits stand out in the nose.
T: The taste is dominated by flavors of roasted barley while the finish is rather fruity with notes of cherries.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth.
D: I could easily drink a few of these in one sitting.

Serving type: cask

09-26-2010 12:09:26 | More by metter98
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass at ChurchKey.

Yeah, let's live pessimistically in the past, Ridgeway...let's keep dredging up John and dragging his name in the mud. Real mature. This brew pours a very dark brown topped by a sad excuse for a bubbly head (it's not its fault, though...the cask affects performance). The nose comprises figs, black grapes, light maple syrup, and some light strawberries. The taste holds notes of chocolate powder, light maple syrup, figs, dates, red grapes, and a hint of oak. Wow, didn't see all o' that comin'. The body is a solid medium, with no real carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a better time is had with this beer than was had under the watchful eye of the eponymous ruler. Word.

Serving type: cask

07-29-2010 06:19:30 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Deep Ellum this past weekend. Served in a standard pint glass. Dark brown color to the body. Decent sized head. Not a lot of aroma noticed. Roasted barley flavor was there, but not a lot else. Pretty smooth beer so I found quite easy to drink. But honestly, this beer did nothing for me and seemed run of the mill. Didn't stand out in any which way.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2009 00:31:41 | More by morebeergood
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Bad King John from Ridgeway Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.