Barrel Aged Old Ruffian | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Old RuffianBarrel Aged Old Ruffian
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
greatdivide.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ArrogantB on 10-08-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
444
Reviews:
167
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
11.19%
 
 
Wants:
255
Gots:
136
For Trade:
15
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 |  Reviews: 167
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 303, and thanks I believe to Jason B. Having this was like having an old friend over after several years, wiser and more interesting. At serious wine booziness, it was a major challenge to conduct intellectual exercises. Great looks with a to-inch head. Boozy but also woody aromas. Mellow, hoppy, oaky, full mouthfeel, it was very satisfying. The bourbon, Thank G-d, was minor, as we Canadians are not such big corn whiskey fans. I was getting more excellent oak. A great blending, and something I wanted to share, and is meant to share, but could not on the coldest night of the year.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small head with scattered lace on a cloudy brown and copper body. Aroma of whiskey first and foremost with some apple, apricot, and caramel. Flavor sweet and tangy and although it is boozy in the way you can tell it has a high alcohol content it isn't in the way that makes it hard to drink. Red apple, fig and apricot for fruity notes. Thick body and light carbonation. Smooth for sure. I held onto this one for a year and a half. I like the whiskey quality. It's almost not very beer like but still glad I tried it.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jerz for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

2012 vintage. Bottle # 2695.

Pours a slightly murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, wood, and bourbon/whiskey. Taste is much the same and quite sweet with an alcohol kick and woody finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is is a very good beer with a great barrel aged presence in the aroma and taste.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i have wanted to drink this beer since i first learned of its existence, which has been quite some time. i always seemed to miss it, or shy away from its price, but great divide was ahead of the curve on this one, both in terms of beer and price, and now to see bottles north of 20 dollars is not uncommon, but it sure used to be. this is without a doubt one of their best beers. a deep burnt amber color to this, plenty of viscosity evident, and more head than we usually see in american barleywine, especially barrel aged. crimson edges and pockets of thick foam. heavy caramel and toffee grain complexion greet the nostrils, sweet for sure, but with a wonderful woodiness, this is hearty beer obviously, but made almost cozy in the aroma with the warm whiskey notes from the barrel and the grain sweetness. the flavor is pretty true to style and balanced, that is, its not overly hoppy, its not too much whiskey or alcohol heat, not too sweet to drink, and without anything that really makes it weird or different, its just perfectly built. i get some dried fruit in here, maybe raisin, along with molasses and brown sugar, toasted bread, candied nuts, a little spice with the alcohol, and plenty of the oak vanilla complex from the barrel. this is a benchmark a lot of beers strive to reach, its a wonderful illustration of balance in the barrel ageing, it does not take over the base beer at all, but adds a wonderful depth to it. some of the very best great divide beer out there, worth the wait!

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, heavy black foil-capped bottle, number 0132, and 11.8% ABV. Thanks evermore to doktorzee for bearing the obviously sturdy luggage back from Colorado.

This beer pours a hazy, murky dark orange brickish hue, with three fingers of finely foamy, even a bit creamy beige head, which leaves some nicely thorough cascading cloud layer lace around the glass as things sink away - purdy, indeed.

It smells of sweet, musty caramel/toffee malt, a mildly astringent grainy woodiness, soft boozy bourbon vanilla, and quite evident resinous leafy, herbal, and piney hops. The taste is rather sugary caramel, toffee, and alcohol, a bit of further simple syrup sweetness, soft vanilla and spicy rye whiskey soaked wood, a tame earthy, tobacco ash mustiness, and more somewhat citrusy, but mostly pine needle and herbal tea-esque bitter hops.

The carbonation is weakly fizzy, but broad enough to count, the body medium-heavy in weight (the boozy wood quotient always seems to take a toll there), mostly smooth, with a hint or two of oppressed creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, no surprise, but now more than a bit tempered, as the hops, wood, and general old basement mustiness come into their collective own. The big booze still seems to have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque, or something.

I've not yet had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the base Old Ruffian, so I can only surmise as to the mollifying effect that the Colorado whiskey barrel has had here, though I will say that the understated effects have a seemingly positive spin. More relevant, supposedly, are the big and brash hops, which do well here to preserve the American status of this tasty barleywine, even as the the wood is equally Yankee in nature.

 1,735 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2012 vintage. Acquired at Davidson's Liquor in Colorado. Reviewed live as a barrel aged barleywine per the label. Served cold into an Odell stem-tulip at high altitude in Fort Collins, CO. Expectations are quite high; I'm a big fan of the regular Old Ruffian.

Allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Bottle is large format and features uninteresting label art.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Dark red with brown hues. Translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance for a barleywine, but generally appealing.

AROMA: Amber malts, caramel, bready malts, ample malt sweetness, and toffee. Maybe some treacle; it does have some unrefined characteristics. Aromatic intensity is moderate.

Where's the bourbon? It's sorely absent. It ultimately seems too sweet, but I'm optimistic.

Has no noticeable hop profile, detectable yeast character, or noticeable booziness.

TASTE: Where's the fucking bourbon? No vanilla, no barrel sugars, no oak, no toastiness...this has no bourbon presence whatsoever.

The backbone is caramalts, amber malts, breadiness, and caramel. It's shockingly simple for a barleywine, and lacks toastiness, marshmallow...any note that I look for in a barleywine is absent here. I even find myself wondering if Old Ruffian was the base for this.

Balance is decent. Build is okay. Average depth, duration, intensity and amplitude of flavour (for the style). It lacks adequate complexity, intricacy, subtlety, and nuance.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, overcarbonated, bread-like, aptly thick for the style, and chewy.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Suits the taste okay, but doesn't seem custom-tailored specifically to it. Fails to elevate the beer.

OVERALL: A sore absence of bourbon and a fundamentally lacking core build make this one hell of a disappointment - especially considering how much I enjoy regular Old Ruffian. Great Divide can do better, but then again I've yet to see them release a good barrel-aged beer. Maybe barrel aging just isn't in the cards for them. I wouldn't buy this again, and its high price point is very unreasonable given the quality.

High C+

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Photo of emerge077
3.49/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany color with a frothy ecru head that leaves splashy lacing all over the chalice

Smell: Charred oak and caramel, with piney tones

Taste: Charred oak and caramel tones, with piney bitterness building, through the middle; after the swallow, there is some earthy fruitiness but the finish leans piney, with a boozy character

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: This is the 2016 bottling and just a few months old, so perhaps this beer needs some time to settle down; still, I find that the beer is lacking the malty complexity that I seek in a really good barleywine

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Photo of oline73
3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 bottle poured into a tasting snifter.

Pours a red amber color with hardly any head at all. The smell is sweet and malty with just a touch of hops and alcohol. This definitely tastes like it has some age on it. The barrel characteristics have smoothed, but the bitterness level is still quite high. The sweet malt overtakes the bitter in the beginning of the sip, but the bitterness crushes the finish. The body is too thin with no carbonation.

 449 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a bright copper color ale with a medium size head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of whiskey is nice end very enticing with nice balanced sweet malt notes. Taste is a great balance between some whiskey notes with dry grain notes and a solid malt backbone with sweet caramel and light toffee notes. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really enjoyed this one which I find had great balance between whisky and malt.

 473 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bifrostguard shared this one last night. Thanks, Cameron. The beer is a murky and opaque dark amber with a thin off white cap.

The aroma has a surprisingly robust hop character to it, noticeably faded but pine-like in character. It's moderately oxidized with a good balance of bourbon, tobacco and earthiness. It smells fairly dry and nuanced rather than sweet and rich.

It has flavors of pine and earth, leather and tobacco, some whiskey sweetness that balances the oak and hops. Sherry-like oxidation contributes depth. Full-bodied with a boozy, oaky, caramel finish and lingering resiny hops. This is pretty dry and hoppy for a bourbon barrel barleywine, a nice change of pace for the style.

 697 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 3/27/2015. Pours hazy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, brown bread, toasted oak, light citrus/pine, floral, grass, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and light citrus/piney hop notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, brown bread, toasted oak, light coconut, light citrus/pine, floral, grass, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, cherry, date, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, brown sugar, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and light citrus/piney hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Some slight dryness from bitterness as well. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged American barleywine. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and light citrus/piney hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a small layer of beige head. Color is a murky caramel brown.

Aroma: A lot of toffee, caramel, and malt. The barrel aging doesn't show very much. It has vanilla and oak with a touch of whiskey flavors. It has some sweet dried fruits.

Taste: Much better than the nose. I get more barrel aging notes. It has a lot of whiskey flavors, vanilla, caramel, toffee, oak, dried fruits, plums, and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little bit hot.

Overall, it is a pretty decent beer, but I expected more. The nose was a bit muted, but the taste got better. Decent drinkability.

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Barrel Aged Old Ruffian from Great Divide Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 444 ratings.
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