Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,461 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:
2,461
Reviews:
1,110
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
9.98%
 
 
Wants:
295
Gots:
446
For Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,461 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of q33jeff
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

**
04/11/2014
Bottle (2012) to glass
Aroma Is not strong for the style. Turpentine, tar, apple, pear. Look is creamy head, orange-ish brown. Cloudy. Legs. Taste is more apples, tar-ish aroma is woody in tasting it. Caramel. Alcohol well masked. Most completely hidden of course at almost 13%, ....actually the bottle says 10.2%; But still impressive. Liking it more as I drink (but isn’t that always the case). Smooth, sour aftertaste.
**
10/28/16
Bottle (01/28/15) to snifter.

I still agree with my comments from 2 years ago. Sampling this immediately following a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot of similar age. They are alike in many ways. The Bigfoot is a touch smoother and does not have the sourish aftertaste, which now I detect as more metallic.

Still a nice barleywine.

**

 783 characters

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

Photo of KLReed
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nyrblue2
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jtk21351
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cyclone
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in January of 2015.
Pours a murky, maroon with a thin, creamy off-white head.
I can smell the wonderful mix of citrus hop and malt from a couple feet away. Candied mango and orange smell also.
Boy, the hop an malt combine very well for a wonderful mouth experience. The bitter hop is right up front, with many subtle fruits showing up along with citrus notes. This would include dark fruits of plum, cherry and dates. The malt bill in pleasant that expresses molasses as well. An alcohol bite lingers with slight resin. A wonderful Barleywine!

 559 characters

Photo of Nyrangersgrrl
3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled January 2015. Got away from me in the cellar.

Aroma is boozy, with specialty malt fruitiness, deep notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruit in the form of prunes, plums, and dates, with plenty of floral hop notes.

Flavor is specialty malt fruity at the forefront. Hop flavoring has faded, with just a hint of citrus underlying a fairly sweet, caramelly malt character that becomes bitter, grassy, and earthy as it carries into the finish. The aftertaste is earthy and fairly bitter and lingers. Bitter bite overwhelms.

 529 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 24 Feb. 2015.

Look: Cloudy brown-copper colored body. Some sediment in the bottle even after a full pour.

Aroma: Ripe and dried fruits, yeasty baked bread.

Flavor: Toffee, alcohol esters, ripe and dried fruits, hops, baked bread. Slightly boozy (low for style). Mildly bitter.

Overall: a good example of the style with relatively well hidden alcohol.

 397 characters

Photo of madelf66
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Uconnelmo
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Muss42
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AllanPatchin1016
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled JAN 18, 2016 printed on the label. Acquired a single bottle of this stuff from a friend and have been holding it down. Finally getting around to reviewing this one.

Poured into a Central Waters snifter.

A - Pours a deep bright ruby body, semi-translucent with two fingers of frothy khaki-cream head that stays awhile and leaves excellent strands of scattered lacing throughout. Looks excellent.

S - Aroma is nice - the fruity hops & the bitterness is still there, with a touch of alcohol heat on the end. Notes of juicy stone fruit - grapefruit, mango, orange, pine. Slightly subtle, but a pleasant and inviting aroma.

T - The taste kicks it up a few notches from the nose: big hop bitterness still fresh, bitter, piney, & dank. Extremely prevalent hop presence, even after over 6 months in the bottle. Bitter citrus fruit rings, orange, grapefruit, mango, citrus pith. The malt is there, but has not even begun to creep forward. Not overly sticky or sugary, with subtle flavors of caramel, toffee, or brown sugar. Extremely bitter & resinous. Touch of smoke in there?

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, creamy, full-bodied, with good carbonation, and lots of lingering piney hop bitterness / resins, with a fair deal of lingering alcohol heat on the finish also. Goes down very smooth and easy for a 10.20% abv beer, though.

Overall, a nice barleywine from Great Divide, and a very likely contender for your cellar; i would love to see what some serious aging would do to some of these bottles. Highly recommended stuff.

Great Divide Old Ruffian -----4/5.

 1,589 characters

Photo of Jodio
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beernewbie285
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of colts9016
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This barleywine is at least 6 years old, heck it is so old I cannot read the the born on date. Poured into a tulip glass at 50 degrees. A very tall two finger light tan/ orange head that has good retention. The beer is orange and brown in color and is opaque. Some lacing is left on the glass from the head. The beer does present with some carbonation bubbles.

A rich hop note is still noticeable, with grapefruit, caramel, bread, floral, brown sugar, earthy, and floral.

A very big tasting beer, with earthy note, grapefruit, caramel, bread, floral, caramel, toffee, grapefruit, and some yeast.

The mouthfeel is carbonated slightly astringent, and chewy.

This is a good barleywine, rich flavorful, and really good. The age on it mellowed it out. I think fresh this would be a huge monster if fresh.

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Photo of C_Pel
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Tdenham
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mobrado
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have to agree with what seems to be the consensus around hear: Old Ruffian is a fine barleywine, but not quite as good as Bigfoot. Had this fresh and at exactly 2.5 yrs old and thought the older was slightly better, but not anywhere near "aged." It didn't even show the first signs of mellowing out. Seems like this could last for many, many more years and I would love to have one at, say, 6-10 years old. (Have the BBA version around that's ~1yr old and think I'll sit on that for a while.)

 494 characters

Old Ruffian Barley Wine from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 2,461 ratings.
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