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
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of IronLover
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy ruby red in color. Poured with a thin off-white foam that quickly reduced to a thin wispy cap. Sugary sweet, caramel and bready malt aromas. Citrus and pine hoparomas are initially pungent but quickly mellow. Medium to full bodied with light carbonation and a pleasantly smooth feel. Sweet caramel and bready malt flavors up front followed by tangy citrus and pine hop flavors through the middle. Finishes with spicy herbal, citrus and pine hop bitterness with a malty sweetness beneath - not to mention the requisite, yet pleasantly mellow booziness. A wonderfully balanced barleywine. Very impressive.

 608 characters

Photo of craigbelly
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber

Appearance: Large ea foam head; takes a while to subside. Nice lacing. Color is hazy burnt-umber orange and brown.

Smell: Citrus, harsh (excessive) hops, pine resin.

Taste: Over-hopped beer. Probably could have used some age. Some sweetness, but it is completely overpowered. Slight metallic twinge.

Mouthfeel: Good full body. Finish is astringent and bitter.

Drinkability: Over-hopped and over-hyped. Not for me.

 430 characters

Photo of tappangordo
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aoampm
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jjayjaye
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent caramel color with ruby hues and a full finger orange tinted light tan head. There is visible carbonation and as the head fades small eruptive pools adorn the surface. Reasonable lacing can be observed.

The aroma is immediate but not overbearingly a piny hop with a balanced sweet caramel earthen malt character.

The mouth feel is a medium heavy body with smooth and creamy textures accented by high hoppy notes. The complexity is imaginative and noteworthy.

This beverage's flavor is a keystone to the style in my mind. An interesting citrus flavor relaxed by a malted earthy component.

You can tell that it's a heavier product, but the 10.2% isn't like a liquor. Quite drinkable.

 713 characters

Photo of freduardo
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of mattboyer182
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber pours hazy glowing amber-orange with a thick creamy off-white head that leaves a nice lace in my glass. Sharp hoppy aroma of grapefruit and pine, resinous sticky pine and grapefruit flavors , has a full thick, sticky and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that finishes with a lingering bitterness, has a good malt balance. Alcohol very well hidden, I can't believe how drinkable this is.

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Photo of JandJMD
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of RMoeNay
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of chefbigjon
4/5  rDev -5%

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

Photo of Jason1337
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.74/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Take Great Divide's Hercules, bump up the booze content and the malt content a little bit and you have Old Ruffian. Perhaps this is what happens to Hercules when he lets himself go... not as good looking but packs just as much punch. This is the old, experienced warrior that knows where and how to hit you. Very rich and tasty. Definately a hopped up barelywine. Reminds me a bit of Double Bastard in certain respects but I think I enjoy this more. This isnt as pretty as pretty can be... hazy and unshaven as it is... but who cares?
Not too far from perfect as far as the style goes.

 586 characters

Photo of BuckTuckian
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of KajII
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

[Best served in a Snifter]

The pour was a clear dark mahogany red with a large (2-3 finger) light tan pillowy head that was mostly lasting, receding down to a large puddle and collar with excellent sheeting of lace.

The aroma was of a sweet toasted biscuit malt, pine hops and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of toffee, citrus (grapefruit), caramel and some dark fruit (plums and raisons).

The taste was sweet and rather malty with hints of toffee and dark fruit at first and then became slightly hoppy with a really nice bitter citrus note and a decent alcohol warming sensation at the end. The flavor hung around for a long while with a bitter sweet citrus flavor left to lie on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just below medium in body with a dry oily texture and a prickly carbonation.

Overall a sensationally tasting Barleywine with just the right blending of sweet malts and bitter hops...

 898 characters

Photo of sammyg832
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Naerhu
3.2/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - deep dark brown body, with a tight off white head.
S - Grapefruit peel, old flowers and alcohol.
T - The initial malt flavors are entirely over run by the hoppy bitterness. Unbelievably long bitterness. Dark, over-ripe, burned fruit.
M - Extremely heavy and syrupy. It took me over an hour to just drink a third of the bottle.
D - Really this was just too much. Too much alcohol, too much bitterness, too heavy. Its really just over the top. The name tags this beer pretty well becaus it is quite rough. It should be Old Rough-ian.

 540 characters

Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled on Dec 02 2011 (13 months to the day)

A- A deep copper color. A one finger of a very lightly tanned head. Nice alcohol legs.

S- Very sweet sugary malts. Burnt sugar, caramel, molasses. A big faded hop character. Citrus and some pine.

T- A big beer. A massive hop bitterness and a surprising amount of hop flavor. The flavor has receded some but there is still a strong pine and citrus. A big burnt caramel and molasses flavor. A sugary barleywine. A huge breaddy malt backbone. A slight roasted quality.

M- Sticky, stinging, bitter and thick. It hides the alcohol taste well but not the feel.

O- This is a world class example of an american barleywine. It's hopped to high hell and that I like. (Keep in mind my review is of a 13 month old bottle)

 796 characters

Photo of Theogre83
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

When the top pops, this brew has the instant smell of fresh hops. It pours thick but not soupy, little to no head, reddish amber, deep red. tranparent as hell for a barley wine. I may sound bias because i much prefer english style. The nose is of hops, hops, and more hops. The first sip has a great mouthfell, but is instantly hoppy as hell. Typical of American microbrews this tastes like a thick version of an imperial IPA. Even has similar colors, without the cloudiness. The finish is quite bitey and the 80 ( guess ) IBUs show up. A slight sweetness does linger on the lips but does not show up to much in the taste. A good barley wine for hopheads. A good summer barleywine, much like that of hog heaven by avery. I think this would age fairly well and maybe lose some abrasiveness in the hop flavors. I would put it away for like two years.

 848 characters

Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +18.8%

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