Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,459 Ratings
Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,459
Reviews:
1,109
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
9.98%
 
 
Wants:
296
Gots:
445
For Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,459 |  Reviews: 1,109
Photo of smithj4
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of duceswild
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a dark ruby with a large, light brown head. Aroma is packed with hop smells, citrusy and piney hops duke it out for domination. An underlying rich malt is noted underneath the thick hop smell. Taste is equally hoppy, with a long hoppy finish. A rich underlying malt body is also a treat to taste. Dark fruit flavor is also in the mix, with just a hint of alcohol (I'm really surprised this is 10.4%). Anyway, this beer is a hop head's dream and another one of those beers that can get you in trouble with it's deceptive lack of alcohol flavor.

 556 characters

Photo of Jason
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date, blurb about the beer on the label.

A- Sea foam lace sticks to the glass well, good head retention as well. Completely hazed reddish amber color.

S- Portuguese sweet bread, caramel and a rough citric and herbal hop in the back.

T&M- Big lush mouth feel with a long drawn-out smoothness. Juicy palate of malt and hops. Suggestions of caramel drizzled shortbread and toasted whole wheat potato bread from the malt. Fruity middle with a one two punch of hop bitterness and hop flavor which are very expressive yet not overwhelming. The bitterness comes at the same time the warming alcohol leaves a numbing sting on the tongue. Finishes with a sweet maltiness and a long lingering hop character.

D- Wow! Perhaps one of the most balanced American Barley Wines I have ever had ... very easy to sip and the taste buds do not get bored of this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, hazy brownish, copper with a huge creamy head that just stayed and stayed and stayed. Smell was incredibly hopped and fruity. Overwhelming citrus all over, wonderful on the nose. Taste is wooo, strong, this one grabs you. Incredible bitterness, and the alcohol will warm you on the way down. Very dry finish. Did I mention hops?!?! Wow, a great sipping beer(power to you if you can do anything else) Perfect for a cold winter night, this was a treat I will be sure to return too.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured 3/4 of this bomber for myelf in two separate doses into my Samuel Smith half pint. octopus87 tasted the rest.

A - A deep copper w/ a dark amber hue at the base of the glass. The cap is smooth and is a shade of khaki. There are rocky crags in the head from a slightly more than easy pour ino the center of the glass. The bead is very fine and even as hazed as it is the carbonation is still visible rising to the head.

S - Sweet and malty scents w/ fruit soaked in brandy as the esters are strong, but smooth. The depth of pine aromas is vivid and like pinesap mixed w/ sweet grapefruit. The aroma is bountiful
w/hops and malt that carries a heavenly brown sugar and citrus aroma with each inhalation

M - A kaleidescope is presented as if my tongue had eyes. First toasted grain, then alcohol following with intense citrus and spice hop textures and woody dry notes w/ a perfrct level of carbonation to enhance the maltiness while the bitterness is blanced w/ an alcoholic heat that lingers

T - An amalgamation of hop citrus and dark fruit w/ woody resinous flavors and subtle sugary malt w/ hints of berry and a mellow burn of alcohol as a sidecar to the fresh green pine hop taste. The resinous and grapefruity bitter flavors have the cushion of big sturdy caramel, pale and sweet crystal malts w/ the alcohol letting you know it deserves the name 'Ruffian' and it finishes as fiery and vibrant as it starts. The flavor is as balanced as a 10.2% Barleywine from west of the Mississippi can be.

D - An example of how to brew an American Barleywine-and how to make a drinkable American Barleywine in the sense that it is a big boozy barleywine, but doesn't lack for the fresh hops and the malt is substantial enough to keeep the pace. This Barleywine doesn't come across as an alcohol bomb or have overly sweet residual malt flavors either-it finishes with the hops resonating as the style should.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottled Nov 2010, opened Dec 2013

A - Gorgeous mahogany, burnt siena body. Creamy, off-white head has great retention and nice lace.

S - Caramel, cognac, raw wood, figs, tobacco, tart cherry, raisin.

T - White wood, booze, raisin, touch of cold coffee, bitter dandelion.

M - Surprisingly light, thin body. Way under par for a barley wine imho.

O - A little disappointing. The flavor could use a little more depth and complexity, and the body was surprisingly thin. It's possible the bottle didn't age well, so I will definitely be trying a fresh bottle of this beer as soon as I can.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/28/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter, bottled on date is 12/02/09.

a - Pours a murky reddish mahogany color with two inches of light tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruit, sweet fruty malts, toffee, and hints of pine hops.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, caramel malts, dark fruit, toffee malts, and a little bit of alcohol.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation, very smooth and easy going down.

d - A great barleywine. Lots of great caramel malts and dark fruits in the smell and taste and a nice feel for over 10% ABV. Would love to have again.

 627 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for this vintage bottle (2008 or 2009, can't remember).

A: The beer pours a very hazy amber color with about a finger's worth of off-white/khaki colored head.

S: Quite heavy on the caramel, as you might anticipate, with a surprisingly strong citrus aroma. I get a lot of oranges out of the beer along with some brown sugar, toffee, and molasses. A decent amount of bread, and no real booze to speak of.

T: Really sweet and pleasant overall. Toffee, caramel, and brown sugar provide a really nice sweetness. Some candied orange peel flavor adds a bit of citrus and bitterness. A touch of bread on the back end and a little bit of bitterness lingers on the finish.

M: The body is medium to full with a low-medium level of carbonation.

D: Damn, that was good. I'm glad I can now go down to any decent beer store and buy this.

 842 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

Let the Hallowe'en mini-tasting begin! This offering pours a seemingly cloudy amber-brown topped by a finger of light tan froth. The nose comprises biscuits, orange peel, rye bread, milk chocolate, toffee, and a light bunch o' flowers. The taste pummels the tongue with a strong citrus-hop-based bitterness, with leather, figs, rubber, light cocoa, tobacco, spinach stems, and a vodka-like character all aiding and abetting in this assault. It's all a bit much, frankly. The body is pretty hefty, with a light carbonation and a fairly chewy feel. Overall, this is a beast that must be sipped carefully, lest the fury truly be unleashed. Again, I feel everything is a bit overdone, making the experience a bit less than really enjoyable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Almost ruby bodied, but a bit more brown. Very clear with a decent head. Not a lot of lacing once it recedes.

Smell - Wonderful smell, once it warms. Caramel malts and dark fruits. Maybe a hint of banana. Not much sweetness to the smell, just the flavors. A bit of earthiness from the hops.

Taste - Not as good as the smell. The dark fruits are hard to pick out, but the caramel is there. Still not as sweet as I'd expect, and I like it. The pine hop presence in the back lends to the earthy flavor detected in the smell. Nice, but doesn't live up to the smell.

Mouthfeel - Barleywines often turn into syrup by the end of the glass. This one steers away from the sweetness nicely and doesn't become too thick. The carbonation keeps it drinkable as it's high enough to combat the body of the beer.

Overall - A very nice barleywine. Lacks a bit of complexity, but it's delicious and well made.

 945 characters

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Mike at the Barleywine tasting.
Deep copper color off white head. Rich caramel and toffee with light pitted fruits and hints of floral earthy hop. Pretty tasty and I'm surprised I haven't rated this before.

 223 characters

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance looks deep cloudy amber maroon murkiness cream colored thick head leaves ample evenly dispersed lacing. Aroma is full of overly ripened deep fruit tones hardcore layers of pince scented hop overtones tart citrus notes as well complex aromatics with a hint of vanilla and slightly burnt caramelized residual sugars. Taste comes on at first a dark hop syrup pine cone and citrus hop mix big malt backbone carrying malty caramel tones withy a touch of vanilla and oakiness even though I know this wasn't aged in a barrel I'm still picking up some of those characteristics along with the classic over ripened vinous alcohol bursts. Mouthfeel is very thick full bodied b-wine carbonation is ample has trouble flowing through the big body of this brew sticky oily resinous layers. Drinkability is still easy to enjoy despite the massiveness and complexities this ale has to offer enjoy with friends damn good.

 914 characters

Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brownish red color with a yellow stained head. Slight spotty lace upon the glass. Nose is full of citrus hops similar to grapefruit. Nice amount of malt sweetness filling out the rest of the aroma. Taste is better hoppy citrus like grapefruit upfront with ample malt sweetness to back it. Finishes bitter and quite boozy both in warmth and in taste. Medium to heavy feel with this beast and low amount of carbonation. Pretty good overall. Nice fresh hop and alcohol kick. Some time spent in the cellar would have worked some magic for this beer im sure.

 566 characters

Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 2,459 ratings.
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