Old Ruffian Barley Wine | Great Divide Brewing Company

Old Ruffian Barley WineOld Ruffian Barley Wine
BA SCORE
90.8%
Liked This Beer
4.2 w/ 2,464 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
Ranking:
#1,058
Reviews:
1,111
Ratings:
2,464
Liked:
2,238
Avg:
4.2/5
pDev:
10%
Alströms:
4.49
 
 
Wants:
297
Gots:
446
Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,464 |  Reviews: 1,111
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a mountain of thick, foamy, cascading, brownish head that has amazing retention. The nose has a heavy citrusy hop aroma as well as a faint caramelly, malty aroma with hints of pineapple and birthday cake. The flavor is malty, bready, and caramelly up front with some faint dark fruit notes followed by an intense hop character. The hops offer citrus, grapefruit, and pineapple as well as some piny, earthy notes. The hops leave the bitterness of an IPA behind on the palate well after the swallow. The alcohol is present but it mostly adds warmth and a slight bite to the finish. The mouthfeel is warm, medium to full bodied, and very smooth.

This is a well built barleywine. This will also keep the DIPA vs. Barleywine conversation going. The flavor is fantastic and I bet some time will calm the hops and marry the flavors a little. The alcohol is buried and only really shows up in the finish and in the warmth of the mouthfeel. It's drinkabe. Maybe dangerously so. I would definitely have this again.

 1,030 characters

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -34.5%

Photo of BEER88
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yumm bozzy bourbony raisin juice.

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Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of AlexFields
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of imbibehour
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Bottling date or freshness, not mentioned. Perhaps... like good cheese or wine.. it shall give forth it's gift later. But for now, the goods gotta be coming pronto so give it up, let's see what you got!

Out of the bottle Ruffian pours an easy four fingers of faint tan bubbles. Bubbles on head fall at a small pace but are all very uniform in size. Body is a great dark orange getting into a very nice red color. The body is opaque in character. Once excellent looking beer with real good lace.

Bouquet is, a faint stemmed fruit into sour cherry territory without the sourness but not even the sweetness. Malt chew sensation on the nose interestingly, borders between malt backbone and kreik territory, very fascinating. Dry spices of brown and a great earthy dirt quality.

Taste... DENSE!! big dense malt and a giant hop faint fruitness not of citrus but a some sort of combination red fruit, I am thinking borderline pomegranate. Hop lime bitterness really kicks in and with some rough wood tree bark notes. Gets into doughy territory but not quite. Very fascinating. Abv masked somewhat but not totally. A real kriek borderline Belgian lambic territory. Good stuff.

THis brewery never stops to leave me impressed. Like many others it just surprises me with every concoction they come up with.

 1,341 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, w/o vintage or any other info. Pours dark honey/amber, dark tan, fine head, leaving scattered and fine/wispy lacing. Malty nose, with a hint of earthy funk as it warms. Smooth. mellow and quite tasty Bwine. Plenty of smokey malts, hints of scotch and leather. Thoroughly pleasing sipper, fine night capper, went well with some aged chedder

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Photo of SadMachine
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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

First off, this one pours beautifully I think. A robust and slightly cloudy red with a strong hint of brown. Two finger head. Smell is powerfully sweet. My first taste was so thick with alcohol that I thought I was heading for a major disappointment. But after that initial draw, the alcohol seemed less in your face...err...mouth, though it was still strong through the remainder.

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Photo of VeganUndead
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time trying it having a 2012, 6 months old, next to a 2010. A sipper with only a few months on it, still has a significant hop profile, but once the IBU's diminish over time this stuff goes down real easy. Grab a few bottles and hide them for a few years. Great brew, cheers!

 281 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of mklisz
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed caramel-colored with a towering off-white head that grows then slowly descends to a lasting cover, leaving lacing on the glass. Awesome head-retention for abv and style.

The smell is of citric fruitiness and caramel. Cherry-like fruitiness enters as it warms. Wonderfully aromatic.

The taste is hoppy for the style - certainly American there. Aggressively citric, though caramelish sweetness does come through to balance it out. There is a slight metallic tinge. The alcohol is warming in the finish.

Full-bodied, leaning towards syrupy. It is smooth for the alcohol presence, though it is a sipper for sure. It's a good one - strong hop presence, but balanced enough - though not quite as stellar as I expected. This one has been aging for a year. I'll try it again this winter to see if it is even better fresh.

 828 characters

Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark ruby red/brown. Light mocha head. Thick lacing.

S- Candied cherry. Caramel malts.

T- Deep caramel malt. Alcohol kick is incredible!

M- Little carbonation, medium to heavy mouthfeel. Chewy.

D/O- Whoa, what a big beer! Loved every minute of it...and believe me I savored it for a long time. Thank you GD.

 322 characters

Photo of Tone
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, dark copper color. 1/2 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, hint of yeast, slight hops, strong sweet malt, dark citrus, and strong caramel malt. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol (strong), slight roasted malt, slight hop, yeast, and strong sweet malt. Overall, a strong alcohol, good blend, body, and aroma.

 460 characters

Photo of Lare453
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The appearance was an dark amber to light brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. A light film of lacing spider webs into the beer. The smell holds a nice bittersweet combination of sweet citrus hops running into a sticky yet somewhat toasty caramel malts. Light tropical fruits also display themselves delicately. The taste was bittersweet, taking the sweet citrus hops and running them into the toasted caramel malts. A sweet sticky citrus to malty aftertaste leads into a sticky finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sipping quality about it. The carbonation seemed good for the style and for me. The bitterness is about a medium. Overall, what a wonderful American barleywine. Everything fits right, I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep crimson, though clear, coloration, and has an enormous head, huge, cocoa-colored, long-standing, lovely...and, would you believe, the bottleneck bubbled over, with bubbles after the pour! Tres amusant! Leaves considerable, and attractive, lacing, as it diminishes, as well...very much appreciated!
Aroma: huge, rich, full of flavor, a jar full of toffee with butterscotch dipped in for fun, with chocolate cherries on the side, and a snit of brandy waiting in the rafters...
Taste: big, bad, and booze-tastic! Huge, rich, and full, utterly dripping in dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and so much character that pretenders tremble in it's wake ...seriously, this is a true contender amongst the ranks of fine American barleywines...not too huge in Abv, an overwhelming fruity/hoppy characteristic. Damnably tasty...I must take another sip...dastardly delicious...yet nearly thick with flavor, ...yum, the intensity of flavor does not detract from the overall deliciousness...big, rich, and mighty...a damned good barleywine!
I've got to stick some away for a rainy day, that's for sure!

 1,103 characters

Photo of aasher
2.46/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This bottle was 2010 vintage. This beer poured a burnt amber in color with a one finger soapy looking off white head. The aromas were off. There were some dark fruits and a whole lot of malt. I think that this was possibly consumed a little too fresh and needed time to figure itself out. The flavors too were a mess. It was far too sweet and had a lot of molasses and candied sugars going on. The hops were still present but there was an onslaught of malt. This didn't really relate to any American Barleywines I've enjoyed in the past. It wasn't very good at all and left behind a bitter aftertaste. Like all of Great Divides beers it had the dry and sudsy mouthfeel, feeling like you had coated the inside of your mouth with soap. This has got to be one of the least enjoyable barleywines I've tired. I'd be willing to give an older bottle a try, but this '10 was just not my kind of barleywine.

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