Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine
Liked This Beer
4.2 w/ 2,464 ratings
Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old Ruffian is a hefty, hop-forward Barley Wine. Seemingly mellow at the start with subtle fruit aromas and complex caramel sweetness, it quickly becomes aggressive with its bold hop flavors and huge hop bitterness. Ultimately, the big body, succulent sweetness and massive hop character come together to work wonders on your palate.

Added by gbontrag on 11-28-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,464 |  Reviews: 1,111
Photo of ArrogantB
2.92/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2006 GABF Gold Medal batch on cask at the Falling Rock for barleywine month. The color was dark red with a fluffy head. The smell was floral, hoppy, and so alluring. This beer's smell really builds up the anticipation as far as the taste. The taste did not disappoint. Mmmm, hops, caramel, toffee, goodness. This was one of the best beers I have had in a long time. Now I have to grab some bottles for the cellar.

update 1/26/2013 bottle

Had to revisit this because I couldn't believe how high I rated this, that 2006 cask must have been ill. This bottle looked beautiful when I poured it into the glass so I did not change that score. The smell was vegetal. The flavor was harsh alcohol and a hint of broccoli, meh. Shit is actually pretty wack for $8, fuck that.

 766 characters

Photo of TheMrFarnham
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of timjim1327
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Mingstein
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Elicoleman
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of tjsmith910
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of basickness
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of mportnoy
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of J_Dub
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of wattershed
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of BjrogerS
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of JJChrist
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of PorterBoy14
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Rempo
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of andjriz
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of TimH
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of ChrisMon02
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of AlaskanYoung
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of bullywee
3/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of CortexBomb
3.02/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pous out hazy, burnt orangeish brown into my snifter with a slight, white ring of carbonation on top. The smell on this is fairly typical for American style barley wine, hoppy, with aplomb. That hoppiness also seems to have a sugary, brown sugar like sweet edge to it.

Taste starts out aggressively hoppy, back of the tongue, top of the mouth, they're all tingling from the hops which lend a strongly piney flavour. The pine is subdued by sweetness, though not much...the sweetness is definitely present throughout though...sugary. The alcohol is also definitely present. Abrasive to my palatte, like most American Barley Wines....not as harsh as Rogue's Old Crusty, but still up there. There might be some interesting flavours in here, waiting to come out with some aging, but unaged the hops absolutely destroy everything else this beer is trying to do, and one has to look for the other things in the taste.

The mouth on a beer with this much hops has to be doing something seriously wrong to not get a good score, and Great Divide does not disappoint...a lot of tingles last long after the swallow, which is a sign of a great mouth. The drinkability on this is harsh though, it is a very aggressive beer, and it is not something that is easy to put down.

Overall, I think Great Divide is catering to someone other than me with this beer. These American style Barley Wines seem to offer such a large amount of hops that anything else they're trying to do is lost in the explosion.

 1,492 characters

Photo of otto251068
3.02/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 1 pt 6 fl oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice. "Bottled on Nov 29, 2011" printed on the label, making this beer about seven months old.

Appearance: Pours an amber, reddish dark brown color. Transparent, clean, and no bubbles present. After the pour a lively tan head rises to a quarter inch, then fades. The remaining bubbles are small and dense, with a few larger bubbles lingering. All that is left after a few seconds is some wispy thin remnants and a ring hugging the glass.

Smell: Extremely malty right out front, very intense. Brown sugar, molasses, and dark caramel are there as well. The 10% ABV is fairly evident, and comes out strong in the aroma.

Taste: Burnt caramel up front, some charred oak as well. The 10.2% ABV is very present in the taste. Tons of bitterness on the back end, with soapy, piney hops lingering. The aftertaste is all bitterness and char.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and medium carbonation. Thick, chewy, and syrupy are a few words to describe the body. The carbonation level is just on the edge of being on the low side. The bubbles are a nice contrast to the heavy flavors.

Overall: A little too hop forward. It is really hard to distinguish any other flavors besides the bitter hops, burnt flavors, and high alcohol. Otherwise mouthfeel, appearance, and smell all fit in with the style. Fairly hard to finish this one, not easily drinkable.

 1,389 characters

Photo of Wadsey
3.02/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Old Ruffian

Bottled sometime in 2008. Poured in a DFH signature glass. 

A: Deep amber to amber brown with an above-average frothy head. Good clarity but moderate lacing. 

S: Big caramel presence joined by tea-like or herbal  hops. A touch of fruit and a note of oxidation. Really, this is a very standard profile for an aged American Barleywine. 

T: Sweet caramel malt on front of palate, which is annihilated by a steely bitterness that thoroughly dominates tasting experience. Alcohol is noticeable but not unduly so.  Long, long bitter finish. 

M:  Body is a little light for style and carbonation is too high for style. Moderately warming. 

D: Old Ruffian drinks relatively easily despite its over-the-top IBUs. The problem is that it tastes like just about every other American Barleywine I've drank. I'm nipping this cellaring experiment in the bud. 

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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90.8% out of 100 with 2,464 ratings
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