Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,456 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:
2,456
Reviews:
1,106
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
9.98%
 
 
Wants:
296
Gots:
444
For Trade:
18
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
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Ratings: 2,456 |  Reviews: 1,106
Photo of tvenne
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sir_Goatman
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BdM
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Satorn
2.89/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of DrDemento456
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been meaning to try this ever since they put it in 12 oz bottles still paid the premium at almost 4 bucks a single. Pours a very hazy amber brown with a 1/4 inch of opaque colored head that settles to a very smooth ring. Smell is excellent very malty with some brown sugar and toffee rounded with some dark fruits and some herbal hops twang. No ethanol in the nose. Taste is a bit more hoppier than I expected with some herbal cone bitterness in the front and finish. Some caramel and fig flavors but this is a bitter aggressive ale through and through that uses it to cover the ABV nicely. Drinks medium to heavy still more of a sipper but still an enjoyable ale.

Overall a Barleywine for hop heads this ale is good and I would like to try it again with age since Hibernation ale with 2-3 years on it is subline and that beer is full of hop cone!

 848 characters

Photo of Soulbill
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent barley wine. I love hops, but its not hop-forward, and the hoppiness of this one sneaks up on me. It starts kind of sweet and mellow, and then the alcohol content, complex but full flavor, and hop content start kicking in. I think it pours better into a mug than a pint bottle. Well-named beer and totally enjoyable from first to last taste. One is not enough, three is too many.

 394 characters

Photo of chitownfanatic21
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ManBearPat
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of soundaurora
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Harrison8
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky rustic bronze color with a finger of khaki head on top. Lacing is strewn about tightly at the start of the glass, but disappears as the beer warms. Aroma is features barleywine-esque notes of raisins, fig, and caramel with an underlying hop profile that contorts the aroma and gives it a distinct American fingerprint. Hop notes include herbal and resin. Flavor profile opens with a smooth, sugary sweet induction of raisins, fig, and caramel before the hops take precedence in form of herbal and resin notes. The resin hop notes stick all the way to the toffee finish. Together the resin and toffee form a sort of bittersweet ending. Mouth feel has a medium thickness with a filling, sort of grainy texture. Overall, while certainly a barleywine style with all its malty goodness, the hop presence could make this a little polarizing for some. It keeps each sip interesting as the malts and hops work to reverse the work of each other.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 977 characters

Photo of Griphon
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kotzbauerm
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Moses_Malone
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Czequershuus
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brownish ruby with an average head. The aroma is rich with pine and resin, brown sugar, nougat, and almonds. The flavor offers up loads of pine and resin, with caramel and brown sugar, and a huge dose of bitterness, with a finish of bitter citrus pith and chocolate. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and rich. Overall this is a superb beer - so rich in malt, yet so bitter and piney as well. A really great beer for my tastes.

 441 characters

Photo of khargro2
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Darrin_Smith
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of npala86
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of craigbelly
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of reebtaerG
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of darktronica
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed several bottles over the years, though this one happens to be from December 2012. While Old Ruffian is known to age well, I'm trying to rate more according to how I would score a bottle around a year old, more like what someone is likely to encounter in the shop. For the record, I would recommend drinking around 2-3 years of age; at just over 4 years old, this bottle is starting to show more signs of oxidation that push around the smoothed-out hop character.

 475 characters

Photo of Bunuelian
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TomMorris
3.29/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of mothmanscott
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy dark orange but soon becomes clear amber. Produces a small, half finger, surprisingly lasting (though down to a ring & some floaters for much of its life), variously bubbled, beige head that leaves some patchy lacing. Alcohol prominent even for this high ABV style, but Oh, what nice barley wine it is! Aroma boozy, piney hops & sweet malt tones of toffee & caramel. Taste is big piney hops up front giving way to a middle that is heavy caramel malts & biscuity with maybe a touch of honey & a finish that brings back an overlay of the resinous hops with alcohol detectable throughout the sip. Big alcohol & bitter aftertaste that grows for a brief time & then lingers. Complex. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with low-moderate carbonation, warming, chewy, syrupy & sticky.

 786 characters

Photo of Andy_Luft
2.4/5  rDev -43%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 2,456 ratings.
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