Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

2,459 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,459 |  Reviews: 1,109
Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single finger head with some lacing on a clear amber and crimson n body. Strong malty aroma with fruity notes. Flavor has a strong cinnonmon note up front, also is spicey malty flavor. Too boozy for my taste though. Pine hops seep through too. Medium body and moderate carbonation. A lIttle too boozy for my taste but otherwise a good member of the genre.

 355 characters

Photo of bkbergen
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of savagepm
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Ksburr74
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of holtdaddy
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of specialiste
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11-8-10, aged one year plus.

Poured a murky red-brown with orange and gold highlights. A huge tan head left behind plenty of lacing.

Smell is citrusy, caramel malt, boozy, fruity.

Taste is hop fruity, plum skin, sweet. Big and bold, with a bitter fruit hop aftertaste.

Feel is smooth and creamy, a medium full body. A touch of booze reminds you of the power of the beer.

My 2nd barley wine, and very nice, a power house of flavor and experience.


 463 characters

Photo of thecheapies
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper-colored with nice fizz streams. Bubbly head had settled in lumps. Heavy lace.

Aroma: big caramel malts meet piney hops. Rummy, raisiny, honey buns. Fantastic.

Big zesty pine hop in the front and back. Toffee and fig newtons. Honey, sweet bread, milky caramel, chocolate-covered raisins. This one's fresh with big boy hop overload. There's the a resinous character and a coffee and cream backdrop. Sweeter finish. Any closer to the Old Ale side of a barleywine and I would have scored taste a 5.0.

Immensely lush and creamy. Great carbonation evident. Almost perfect.

An incredible barleywine. Among the tops in the books.

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Photo of btesta
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of despond
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of mjmadsen21
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of cycoduck
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of projectflam86
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle.

A- Pours a murky orange/red color with a thick slightly off white head that leaves fantastic lacing. A bit more clarity and this would easily be a 4.5, but as it is a 4 will have to do.

S- Wow, this one is potent. Huge brash wave of sweet malt and dank pine hops. Some candied fruits, citrus, caramel, pine resin, and alcohol...lots of alcohol.

T- Very similar to the nose, this is one monster American Barleywine. All bitterness and pine hops initially with a lingering citrus undertone. The finish is all sweetness with loads of caramel and crystal malt leading the way with a massive amount of booze.

M- Big and bold with good carbonation. A tad hot from the alcohol, but some age would probably take the edge off.

O- Exactly what I was hoping for in an American Barleywine from a good brewery. Very tasty stuff...have to grab a few more bottles now!

 881 characters

Photo of Jstark5150
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Kinsman
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big foamy head with a pleasantly sticky lace sits nicely on top of a slightly hazed reddish copper color.

Big malty sweet aroma upfront before the citrusy and slightly herbal hop notes come in. Faint hint of alcohol in the background.

Well-hopped with some citrus fruitiness and good bitterness. Matched up with a strong malty backbone that gives of plenty of biscuity bread character and a healthy dose of caramel. Finishes a bit boozy.

Heavy mouthfeel with a creamy texture that helps it go down so well. Overall, Old Ruffian presents you with an excellent American Barleywine thats adds a little boost on a cold winters evening.

 636 characters

Photo of pjs234
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage poured into my Dogfish signature glass. Very happy to have found this, as Great Divide pulled out of our state last year.

The appearance is a very murky orange and its almost brown in the middle of the glass. Very little light is getting through this. The initial pour resulted in almost a full finger of head. There is also decent lacing as the head subsides.

The smell is good. Even being a year old, I smell a fair amount of hops. Also, the malts are noticeable as well.

The taste is very nice. Starts off with a bready/malty flavor. Maybe a touch of caramel. Then the hops come forward. I was kind of surprised by the hop kick on the back end of the sip. It ends a little bitter and a little spicy at the same time.

The mouth feel is smooth. Good amount of carbonation.

Would love to try this side by side with a fresh one, but alas, I will need to leave the state to find one.

 901 characters

Photo of qchic
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of towlea25
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of UnkleFester
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a snifter at Great Divide's tap room in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a two finger head of good cream, fair thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a dark nontransparent ruby.

Sm: Toasted malts, caramel, pleasant cream, and light cherry fruit ester hops. A mild strength aroma.

T: Toasted caramelized malt comprises the backbone, with cream on the open and climax, alcohol (especially in the third act), and hints of cherry esters. Well balanced, with the alcohol generating a pleasant welcome warmth. Nicely built, with due complexity. Quite lovely all around, with depth and unobtrusive hops.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thick. Pleasant cream. Suits the flavours well.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the ABV, which is hidden well considering how high it is. I'd have this beer again. A nice barleywine from Great Divide.

This would likely age well. I'd like to try it with a few years on it out of a bottle.

 974 characters

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