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 RobertJBeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of jneiswender
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beige head which is very thick. The body is brown garnet in color. The smell is very malty with a floral and cake aroma. Smells lead into the flavor with a juicy fruit, pine taste and a middle sip alcohol burn. This beer really takes you on a journey. Medium and slick mouthfeel. Just a classic representation of the style and a very worthy beer.

 354 characters

Photo of Acoke
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Two fingers worth of head. Gorgeous blood orange caramel color. Great looking beer

S- Lots of hops up front with a sweet caramel background.

T- Huge hop presence with substantial bitterness. Definitely taste the alcohol in it. Not getting much other flavors out of this, maybe just a tiny hint of caramel.

M- Smooth beer but a little light on the tongue. Every sip I was trying to make an assessment, but the flavors(or lack there of) vanished before I could get a grip on it.

O- Good beer, just not what I was expecting. Kinda new to Barley wines so I may be off on this one but I'm told this is better with age.

 662 characters

Photo of tjkinate
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think the new batch is still a little green.

1+ fingered, creamy, khaki colored head that displayed decent retention and eventually settled to a thin soapy film atop this amber colored completely transparent brew. The scent was pretty boozy, hop profile was fairly strong, had to check what style of beer I was drinking and make sure it wasn't an IPA. As the beverage warmed the scent calmed and allowed toffee notes and dark fruits to poke through. The tasting followed the scent exactly. Overall I still enjoyed this beer, but really think I will go out and grab another bottle or two for enjoyment a few months down the road once the flavors have had more time to settle down and blend together.

 701 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, 10.2% abv. I can't make out the date on the label. Cloudy, copper color. Tan head holds pretty well for a few minutes, finally fading to a thin ring.

Nose has some caramel, and ripe fruit. Grapefruit hop notes and a bit of pine. A bit of a sherry-like note. Even with the hop presence, there is a great amount of fruit here.

A good amount of caramel, without a lot of sweetness. Great ripe fruit, with an almost wine-like feel. Good amount of hop bitterness, without being harsh. I would imagine this would be an outstanding beer to age.

Medium body, with adequate carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well. This is a very enjoyable, well made barleywine. I can't believe it took me this long to review it.

 725 characters

Photo of edwardkersh
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of aleslover
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of ryanw111182
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Fermenticusrex
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting note great divide old ruffian american barley wine
22oz bottle poured into pub pint glass
Aroma sweet malt, citrus, cut grass
Appearance beautiful ruby red nice fluffy white head, lacing clings all the way down
Flavor sweet malt, alcohol heat, tangerines and other citrus, very bitter almost astringent
Mouthfeel/Drinkability nicely carbed a little thin one or two of these a night
Overall a very good example of the style, have two more of these i'm going to cellar

 474 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the present, this is ranked #9 in the top American Barleywine category. I remember when it was #1, but never mind that this is by far the most reviewed BW in the top ten by a margin of about 600. Speaks volumes, huh?

Bottled on Dec 10, 2011.

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: Poured a clear, ruby red color, with an amazingly dense off-white (mildly) head that had tremendous staying power. This kinda looks like Nugget Nectar.

S: I start to smell the fragrant hoppy air freshener before the cap was even fully popped. Sure this is hoppy, but based on the nose, I wouldn't consider this one to be a bomb in that direction at all... it's much too floral and candy-like for that. Good nose descriptor: Jolly Rancher.

T: Much more hoppy on the front than I would have imagined from the nose, with very compact sugar/licorice combo that I often ascribe to the great American BWs. Sweet, but the bitter elements wash over that. Pretty incredible.

M: Thick, and with a pixie stick dust-infused sugar bill that keeps pulling me back for more and more. The bitter elements really sizzle the palate in the way world-class DIPAs do, and the lacing was substantial.

O: I can't believe I only paid around $8 for this top-notch example of a very popular style. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of the best brews that Great Divide makes... and that is really saying something!

 1,406 characters

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ninner00
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mhjets
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Ish1
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of YouSkeete
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep red with an amber hue. Two finger thick light tan head. Nice lacing along the edges.

S: Bananas, apple cider, ciabatta bread, creamy malt, dark rum. Smokey aromas and darker fruits follow through. Balanced yeast and hops.

T/M: Sweet caramel malts, bananas and apples with a kick of alcohol on the first taste. Rolling flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and oak wood. A Balanced overall body with flavors of wheat bread, yeast, hops, and creamy sweet malts. Grapes and raspberries along with some other spices make their way through to the taste. The abrasiveness of dark rum follows through into the aftertaste, which also tastes of apples and caramel. Rich, creamy, boozy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation, medium body.

D: Rich and complex. So many great things to say about this. A near perfect barleywine.

 806 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle to NB Globe

A - Strong pour reveals two finger light tan head. Sticks around for a bit. Body is deep amber and copper color. Looks good. Very strong lacing

S - Simply amazing. I want to drink it through my nose. Great sweet scents like caramel, prunes, a little raspberry...ok a lot of raspberry.

T - Starts off with harsh hops. Not what I was expecting after such a sweet aroma. Some alcohol is there. Mellows out a little with warmth, but not my favorite BW.

M - Great carbonation with moderate body. Fits this beer well. Fairly dry on the finish.

O - started off so well and then a little disappointed with the flavor. Still a nice beer but not tops for me.

 678 characters

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of jskennedy
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of poppyjohn
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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