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Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

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1,097 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,097 | Ratings: 2,423
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep red-brown. Two finger off white head drops to a ring and leaves nice sticky lace.

Smell is sweet candy and alcohol. Some notes of pineapple as well.

Taste starts out with some sweet caramel malt and citrusy jam. Finishes with a punch of hop bitterness.

Thick but not syrupy at all.

Overall, wow! The best barleywine I've had to date. Combines all the things I look for in this style and melds them beautifully.

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Photo of jakon
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased for $6.70 on 10-17-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours a deep caramel color with a robust head that will sneak up on you if you're not careful. The foam collapses on itself leaving behind rings of sticky lacing. The aroma is huge with sweet malts and fruity hops. Marshmallow, caramel, pineapple, ripe banana, brown sugar and just a generally pleasant and inviting overall aroma. The hops really show up more in the taste. Ample bitterness balances out all that luscious malt character. There is no holding back with this brew. In a word, decadent. One of my 3 favorite barleywines to date. I'd recommend picking up at least a case of this and drinking a few now, and saving the rest for a year and beyond.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has nearly freaked out my palate. The taste is so intense, and so full in body that this is no way a boring brew.

This has a khaki two finger thick head, with the body being ultra hazy and orangish amber in color. The head sticks around for a good while and forms into sticky clumps.

Aromas are of caramel and toffee for the sweet side. As for the hop side, there are grassy, piny, and lemony aromas.

The taste is tart with the hop bitterness, but sweet toffee and toasted biscut at the same time.

This is very warming to the palate and very full in body.

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Photo of bosco7
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in snifter. Pours dark brown with a thick and chewy looking off-white head. Amazing retention.

Big ass malt aromas dominate with orange, cedar, almond, and leather notes behind. Highly aromatic.

Wow. Lots of sweet caramel and toffee upfront. The malt flavors are complex beyond words. Earthy leather, a hint chocolate, and hops are definitely in there making their presence known towards the end of the sip. Orange and cedar are the dominant flavors in the finish. Some alcohol in the back as well. Bitterness is aggressive. Warming. NICE.

Proper chewy, viscous, and silky mouthfeel.

This is a proper American Barleywine, it's up there on my list of favorites with SN Bigfoot. Love this beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper w/ a nice 1 finger caramel head. The head sticks around a bit, then goes down to a sliver. I can smell this beer without even lifting the glass to my nose. It smells of caramel, fruit, some pine, and malt. Wow- if the taste lives up to the smell, this is going to be fantastic. The taste is even better than the smell- WOW. This is a fantastic example of a Barley Wine Ale.. In fact, I can tell after one taste, it's the best I've had. The taste is perfect- thus the rare 5. Everything works really well together, the malt being the backdrop that holds it all together. Mouthfeel is great- hops come through here, but it's all very balanced, and goes down easy. Drinkability is really good as well. At 10.2%, the bomber is probably all I'll want, but it goes down easily. All in all a fantastic beer, and one I'll definitely pick up and enjoy again.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a brew I found on the shelves of one my local beer stores... It has the old style label, but no indication of date anywhere on the bottle... The brew was refrigerated, i would assume for the duration of it's life...???

A - Nice thick foamy cream colored head, it pours generously a top the outstanding looking brew. Beer is nice, dark, and clear amber color. Nice lacing too.

S - WOW! yum. Lots of huge caramel. Some great vanilla too.

T - GREAT BEER!!! Slight milk chocolate subtly runs down your throat. So smooth, there's faint hints of hops, which are all-but-gone... This is one piney-vanilla beer. Not a sugar bomb.

M - AMAZING! Zero bitterness and no heat... Carbonation was a little high, but that's a good problem to have for a brew of this vintage.

O - Highly recommended to age this one... I will be buying 2/year and sitting on both drink one after one year, and let the other rest for an unknown timeline... Great beer!

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Photo of Vancer
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WHAT a fine drinker this one turned out to be! Just top notch in all aspects.

Excellent pour, started clear mahogany with a pillowy tan head. By the end of the bomber, with some swirling, it turned ruddy brown, yum.

Overwhelming chocolate, caramel and malt in the aroma, and nice undertones of pine, I mean it actually smells rich.

Beautiful blend of sweet malt to start, a piney hop kick to finish. A lingering hop taste stays with you for several minutes, with each sip.

Rich and robust, thick and chewy. The abv hides behind the bushes, ready to pull you down if one partakes a little to fast. I did get this last year, so the year of aging could have really helped. Gotta get a few more bombers this year.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark ruby with a creamy head and great lacing. Nose- piney hops with a hint of malty sweetness. Taste- piney hops slam the senses, with a rich malt base that follows. This baby is hop overload to the senses- thick and chewy mouthfeel. Freaking awesome! This is the american barleywine- huge hops, but with a great malt base- not cloying at all and with just enough of a booze bite to make you take notice that isn't a session beer. There's a lot of great barleywines out there that I haven't tried- but I doubt there's many that beat this.

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Photo of asaharyev
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pour: A nice looking clear red/auburn with a finger of cream colored head that lingers for a while.

Aroma: Very sweet, ripe dark fruit. Figs, dates, licorice, and a ton of alcohol. A slight kick of citrus hops.

Taste: Tons of licorice, overripe strawberries and cherries immediately apparent. Fades into dried figs and dates. A nice kick of hop bitterness after the sweet front. There’s a big wave of alcohol warming at the front, then again in the aftertaste. This one sits on your palate well.

Overall: This is a fantastic barleywine. It’s probably the hoppiest one I’ve had as well, even more than Lower De Boom from 21st Ammendment. A great beer that just gets better as I sit here sipping it.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into tulip; deep orange/brown, with murky depths lurking within. Big, fluffy solid yellowish head that fades slowly leaving thick rings of lacing.
Smell is nutty caramel malt and sweet bread, with subdued notes of bitter citrus rind, earthy hops and some sort of slight sour yeast aroma that I can't identify.
Taste follows nose exactly; sweet, nutty, bready malt starts off and then a punch of earthy, bitter hops with hints of citrus rind breaks through for a time before sliding into a finish with all the flavors crashing down and leaving lingering bitterness after the nutty malt fades away, as well as a last puff of charismatic alcohol.
Mouthfeel is relatively full and smooth, well-carbonated.
Overall, a robust and unique barleywine that is very well-balanced. Great stuff.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - When I started softly pouring this I saw that it was flat so I worked the pour a little more. Boy was I mistaken. The head came up a full inch and a half and almost overflowed my Chimay glass.

The body was a solid orangish-brown and just gorgeous. The afore-mentioned head was light brown and showed great retention, leaving tons of lacing as it slowly went down. I can't believe that this is a 10% ABW.

Smell - There's a good malty winey aroma here, but the hops really rule the roost. They are very complex and seem to favor pine resin, which is something for a BW. There are a lot of sugars in here, too.

Taste - Man, this has some big flavors. The hops are gigantic, almost like an ADIPA, but the malt flavors are so strong that it's somewhat balanced. The sugars are raw table and grapes. The wine is more cab than anything else. The ale just explodes with flavors.

Mouthfeel - This one is borderline full in the body but not quite. The body goes perfectly with the flavor profile. There's a slight sense of carbonation in the mouth. The show here though is the roller coaster that your tongue gets on with all of the dynamic flavors. You have big hops, chewy malts, and candy-sweet sugars all driving you wild. The huge dryness will have you lapping your lips.

Drinkability - I'd have to do a few side-by-sides to say that this is the best American Barley Wine that I've ever had, but it has to be in the running. It's such an easy drinker and just epitomizes the style as I've imagined it to be.

Update - I originally drank this in 2005 so thought I'd take another shot in 2010. This is an exceptional BW by any measure and certatinly represents the best of the best by any stretch of the imagination.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful rusty red with a golden halo around it poured from a bottle which had been cellared for nearly 9 months. Delectable dollup of beige cream on top. Wildly hoppy, even when cold. The hops intensify greatly as it warms. Body is full, syrupy. The viscosity is simply mind-blowing. Full…that’s an understatement. This beer is bloody explosive. Nose is diesel fuel, citrus fruit, mountain holly, juniper, sweet bread, mango. Taste is brown sugar, jam, rye bread, cinnamon, mango, earth, pineapple, and much, much more. How much more? Well, there are chocolates, melons, dates, grapefruit, figs, and caramels a plenty. The whole deal is great. Tremendous, depthful, balanced better than most if not all of the competitor and ever so complex. Strong and numbing as the alcohol is, the hops just kick starts your face back into believing that you could just drink and drink this brew all day. Minimal carbonation, (as expected). Filling MF. Rich and creamy. Drinkability is crazy good. This stuff is 10% yet I could guzzle it if I wished. A damn near perfect representation of the style.

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Photo of bditty187
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark gold in hue, bronze influenced as well with coppery-amber highlights. Hazy. The liquid is darker than I was expecting, lovelier as well. The head was faint beige in color; at the apex the foam was two-fingers in height. Head retention was excellent; the foamy mass of bubbles just sat on top of the beer like it was protecting it. Teflon. Impenetrable. A tight cap did last the entire consumption and I took my damn time drinking this! The subsequent lacing was thick and coating, oh so impressive! Beer porn.

The nose mumbles a bit, plus it talks in a low, but sexy, voice. Regardless, it clearly states this beer is an American Barleywine. Hoppy? Yes, but not as aromatic of Bigfoot. Malty? Yes, but not as rich as Old Backus. Fruity? Yes… but the aromas are hidden, somewhat, they are dark and mildly tropical. Raisins. Figs coated in chocolate. Spicy pine. Citrus. The alcohol is also in play. Caramel. Spruce. Okay, screw my lame comparisons; the nose is great, simple as that. It is rich; it has tremendous depth. There is the right amount of aggression and the ideal amount of compassion. There is an angry hoppy side and a loving malty side to cuddle up with. I wish this beer screamed at me. No matter the tone, this beer is very inviting. Oh, hell yeah…

The palate is… delicious. NFM. Okay, I’ll go on. It is rich and alcoholic. I adore the malty sweet throughout, the caramel and toffee notes suits me just fine. The light chocolate notes are graceful. Playful candied fruits are a lovely addition. It is spicy and hot with prickly citrus zest, some spruce and pine needles. Grapefruit flesh. Moderate bitterness but it is very firm and it stands up well to the malt. Raisins. Figs. Tropical melons. Is yummy a taste or a feeling? Because this beer tastes yummy! In a nutshell, this beer is a “Top 3” American Barleywine. It isn’t the loudest or angriest or the most articulate but it scores very high in every attribute and thus it really kicks ass. There is plenty of depth; I love what I taste. I am savoring every drop.

Rich, creamy mouthfeel, the low carbonation is so damn fitting! The mouthfeel is smooth; it is velvet in liquid form. Long, malty sweet but bitter aftertaste... this a reward, plus it doesn’t let me forget what I just swallowed. It begs to be paired with cheese and meat and rich fruit. It begs to be paired with a glass. This beer can fly solo. The mouthfeel is so damn relaxing without being lazy or monotonous. In fact, I can’t think of a Barleywine with a better mouthfeel. Perfect.

Dangerously drinkable, it is a flawless beauty in this regard. The palate wasn’t “perfect” but my yearning for another ten bombers is through the roof! I really want more of this beer. I would spoil myself silly if I could drink this everyday. WTF… would I ever be sober? Big beer. Big flavors. Big kudos to Great Divide, this is awesome stuff. I purchased my bomber in Boulder, CO. I highly recommended it.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split this bomber with my brother.

This beer looks amazing! Poured a clean and crisp ruby red with 2 fingers of creamy roasted marshmellow head. Got some sticky spotty lacing.

Sweet carmalized dark fruit with a bountiful amount of citrus/tropical fruit hops. Makes for a very sweet and inviting barleywine.

Taste follows the nose. Excellent carmel malt, dark fruits, pineapple, grapefruit and orange zest hops. Amazingly delicious.

Full in body with an abundant amount of carbonation. Extremely sticky and a little numbing on the tongue. This brew hides the alcohol extremely well in the smell and taste but cant hide the tongue numbing alcohol and it is VERY welcomed! Semi dry hop aftertaste. Smooth as all get out! Perfection if there ever was such as thing.

Overall, this is the best Barleywine that I have had to date. Everything about this beer is amazing. Great nose, great taste, excellent mouthfeel... I have to find some more of these. Definitely pick up a bottle if you come across. Well worth it!

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Photo of Kuaff
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In a small pint glass, close to cellar temperature.

Really looks flawless. It's a beautiful shade of garnet with a frothy three-finger beige head that just won't die down. The perpetually remaining cap of foam leaves loads of lacing on the glass.

It smells of leather, oak, cherries, strawberries, caramel, and pine. And a hint of citrus.

Tastes like pine resin, citrus rinds, and more caramel and cherries... There's a warm finish like toasted bread, with lingering piney hop astringency and terrific leathury smokiness.

The feel is full, lazily carbonated, and a little sticky.

This barleywine really strikes a chord with me. Rough with harsh hoppiness around the edges, and mightily malty underneath.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
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 webmanspidey
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a chalice. Dark brown with the perfect amount of fizzy head. This looks perfect. Smell is a nice combination of sweet honey, hops, grain, molassses/syrup. Taste is bitingly bitter at first but heavy and malty. There is a strong alcohol content but it is very smooth and drinkable, not having any problem with it. Thick and creamy mouthfeel.

This is a really great beer. I'm going to seek it out again. It is actually not as bitter and extreme as others in the style I've had but it is probably one of the best.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Husky hazen, darkened burnt orange edges with a rusty brown centering color and one immensely bubbled and compactly built inch high head of softly foamed dark ivory. It sits and sits and sits before finally subsiding to a thickly set skim of milky ivory froth and big bubbled peaks. Lacing coats the glass much like a fine morning frost.

Aroma is quite juicy with a largely present display of caramel all the while a leafy woodish hoppyness fully escapes, persists, and evolves, over and beyond the caramels' capabilities. Mirroring a Stone Old Guardian and Double Bastard-type nose with just a bit less malt but still has all the hops. Quite....nice...Hints of grapefruit and tangerine zip and pop to the surface as it warms along with some peculiar tin-ish notes.

Taste is a hop laden twisted treat of sweet pine, parching grapefruit in the middle, caramel drenched biscuits balance out a fair portion of its body along the way, yet leafy/woody and dry in all parts, finishing strong with scorched bits of pineapple and tangerine. Somehow always dry, leafy, and resin coated; powdery and charred cedar is left on the lips. A majorly charred/roasted sense caps off the end with a bit of hopified pulpy heat mixing with a smoldering hop spice of cinnamon, vanilla bean, wood, and roastafied malts. Great hop profile here with leafy wood, scorched fruits, drying stuff, parching stuff, roasty stuff, and an evenly leveled bitterness that seems to never end! What a "Ruffian" of a hop ride this stuff is, wow!

Feel is quite hoppy and thick, above a medium body that builds as it sits with a bit more smoothness then you'd think, yet trys very hard to conquer over the dry, charring woody hops, but never quite makes it there. Oh it trys and trys and trys, but those hops dominate with a mighty heavy-handedness. The hops are nearly overbearing as far as its overall consumption is concerned, yet calls to those who conjure up the Hop Gods to satisfy a quick urge. This is no quick urge though, the 22oz bomber stares at you, daring you to continue to empty its contents 'til you no longer can tell time.
Mercy me this is historic hop potion. Old Ruffian can ruff me up any Ol' time!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a vitreous amber brown hue with a topped off tan sticky meringue bubbly uneven head leaving a thick lace. Second pour created a statuesque two inch head cap, that leaves a painted inner glass. This is pure perfection.

Aggressive fruity scents of berries and a powerful nose of pine syrup hops. Well balanced oaky malt balance.

First swigs: Sticky sweet malty bubble gum barleywine. Almost like a triple IPA. Blistering grapefruit slices of citrous hoppy sizzle. Sugar Daddy caramel candy in there somewhere. Dry woody lingering aftertaste. Slightly detectable booziness in the warming sips.

As full as full bodied gets, folks. Thick, sticky, sugary syrup, and sizzlin’ which leads to a total sipper! Can't get enough of this magical Duff. Smooth as silk.

Last swigs: Citrous lemony grapefruit thick strong ale.
Reminiscent of SNBF but sweeter with a nod towards Double Bastard.

***Re-review of a two year old bottle***

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour....a deep copper to brown colour, very red and a little hazy when held tot he light. Very healthy tight, thick head that holds for along time, and leaves a good lace behind.

The first thing that hits me on the smell is the hops- lots of hops, carried on a somewhat light malt sweetness- a little lighter than the colour would imply.

The flavour is more in line with the colour. There's a rather pleasing bitterness that hits up front, and gives way to the hops just for a moment, then is back again, almost peppery to the finish. It rides on top of a thick, quite strong dark malty sweetness with hints of orange and banana.

The body is thick- but not quite syrupy, with a fizz that hits about halfway through.

When I first tasted this one, it was a bit intense, and I wasn't quite ready for it. However, as I go through the bomber (no one to share it with me, so it's good there's no heavy machienry nearby), it grows on me very quickly. Not a sessioner for the first-time drinker, but as you get used to this one, it could get you in a LOT of trouble. I could drink it all night, but then I'd have to hold on while lying down.

Be well

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4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Giant thick beautiful tan head erupts atop this deep rich perfect brown body. Leaves a lot of lace behind.

A very complex nose yields a variety of smells including rich fruit, honey, vanilla and cola like maltiness.

Bold zesty malt character enters the mouth. Slightly sweet long lasting burnt feel rounds out the palate. You get a hint of lichtly strong alchol at the finish. This is a king of barlywines. Great deep mouthfeel. A taste bud loveing experience. Yum!

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Ruffian starts off with a creamy toffee colored head that slowly comes to rest leaving behind a intricate web of lacing above the murky copper red color.

The nose and taste reminds me of an ice cold Bud... NOT!! ( I know I'm a loser). Full of sweet caramel malt, piny resiny hops, raisins as well as other fruits and just the faintest trace of alcohol.

A hugely flavourful barley wine. Very well balanced between an onslaught of hops and malt. Notes of caramel, citrus, grapefruit the finishes bitter and warming. This is one beer that I will never pass up and if anyone does they are damned to hell for doing so.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

90 IBUs!
the color of walnut lumber finished with raspberry juice. It has a meringue head slightly toasted. Tip the glass and it looks like a sheared lamb.

That's funny, it says on the side of the bottle, "Seemingly mellow at the start with subtle..." Uh. Umm. A hop gnome snuck into my bottle, and stamped his little green boots all over my beer! Smells like marigold stems; like a Christmas wreath with fresh strung cranberries, and a copper kettle going on the stove with caramel. So enticing I'm physically involved.

Hop bitebitebitebitebite all over. It's like my mouth went to sleep and is tingling all over. The mouthfeel is sensational. This is so [email protected] creamy!! There's a chewy berrry granola bar in here. And a frothed malt syrup smoothie. So creammmy. So reminds me of fresh tart cranberries sweetened with clover honey, and flavored with rosemary. Wash it down with a malty egg cream. I really want to cellar some of this.

7-24: Celebrating life. New notes.
Smells like cherry toffee, oranges and creme de menthe. So beyond smelling "good" that I have to blow kisses towards Denver.

Shockingly hoppy with absinthe bite. Burnt sugar just about coats everything including my eyeballs that have rolled back; I'm glazed, and sugars are dripping off my tongue. This seems to have gotten drier and sharper with age, like cheddar. This is so [email protected] creamy!! This is one of those beers I always want to have at least one of in the cellar.

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Photo of cameraman
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22oz mug, a deep amber color that is slightly cloudy, with a 1/4 inch head, that laces down the mug slowly down the glass. The aroma comes with a floral and earthy onslaught, that is evident at a distance. As you get closer to the glass, the malt becomes more pronounced. The taste is excellent, starting with the sweet malt at the beginning and the mid-way the hops begin come forward and it gets stronger as it reaches the end of every taste. In the mouth, it be classified like a light-heavy weight in boxing. Heavy, but not overly heavy. It alao seems to be chewy towards the end. You have to drink this one slowly, the intense flavor and high alchol means this beer could knock you on your butt.

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Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 2,423 ratings.
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