Barrel Aged Old Ruffian | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Old RuffianBarrel Aged Old Ruffian
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
455 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#1,936
Reviews:
170
Ratings:
455
pDev:
11.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
256
Gots:
139
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 455 |  Reviews: 170
Photo of CPAles
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Muss42
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
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!

 1,502 characters

Photo of TeachChefs
4.79/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Franziskaner
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color and very hazy. There's a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering most of the top. The aroma is sweet bourbon and a heavy dose of malt. The taste is very sweet bourbon and malt. The mouth is thick,chewy,and warm with alcohol.

 256 characters

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a reddish brown color with 2 fingers of head that sticks around for a good while and leaves some good lacing

S: Lots of malt, bourbon, and oak up front along with caramel and some fruitiness. Vanilla also hidden in there amongst the barrel

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a big hit of the bourbon and picks up the sweet caramel maltiness, vanilla, and oak as it slowly wanders towards the alcohol, which is surprisingly well hidden for a tick under 13%. Some fruitiness wanes in and out as well. Finishes with lingering oak and bourbon

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth

O: A very nice BA barleywine that makes for a great sipper and cold weather treat. Sneakily drinkable for just under 13% too. Definitely worth checking out

 753 characters

Photo of CharlesK
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
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

 653 characters

Photo of Aisha
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of larryarms847
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a luscious and oily deep mahogany with a good amount of haze and a thin quarter finger of light rusty red foam.

Alcohol is noticeable at the first whiff, but this being a fresh bottle, I continue on with curiosity. Rich dark fruit notes of plum and raisin are apparent, but strong sweet notes of caramel, candied sugar, vanilla, and surprisingly chocolate add more complexity. Not much bourbon character aside from a bit a vanilla and spicy notes.

While strong in aroma, the alcohol is very well subdued in the sip. Flavors of vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramelized sugar, plum, and raisin wash over the palate in well balance and the high abv washes the palate dry.

Full-bodied, low-medium carbonation, chewy, warming, a bit hot.

Overall, while I haven't been blown away by Great Divide's barrel aged program, this is a home run. Fits the style perfectly and doesn't destroy the base beer. Very well done!

 912 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Brown on color with a red-orange hues. Somewhat hazy. Off-white head settles after a time. Thin and wispy lacing.

S: Toasted crust, caramel, toffee, coffee cake. Earthy and piney hops. Booze-soaked raisins. undercurrents of oak, whiskey, and barrel char.

T: Burnt scones, toasted crust, and caramel chews up front. Toffee. Nutty. Subtle cocoa. Hints of red fruit. Earthy and spicy/piney hops have been rounded out a bit, but are still very noticeable. Deeply warming alcohol. Barrel char, oak, and whiskey make for a slightly drying finish.

M: Thick, rich, and full body. Chewy and a little viscous. Fine carbonation lifts just a bit. Warming alcohol is soothing.

O: Great beer. Everything you'd ever want from an American Barleywine. The barrel plays more of a supporting role, mellowing things a bit while adding complexity and a little bit of whiskey warmth. It's really hitting the spot on this first chilly Fall night.

 969 characters

Photo of Gotti311
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Pencible
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque mahogany with no head.
S: It smelled like toasted oak and earthy caramel, with some vanilla and brown sugar and dates, and a bit of apple cider vinegar.
T: It tasted like nutty toffee and earthy caramel, with some toasted oak and dates and vanilla and brown sugar, and a bit of apple cider vinegar. It had a clean mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a very nice BBBW, with nice scent and excellent taste. It was complex and well balanced and delicious. The body was a little weak, but the finish was relatively smooth. So it was easy enough to drink, but should be sipped and savored. It would age great, but is still solid fresh. Not best in class, but still a great brew.

 756 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Narthax
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle. Wow, shocked at how well this held up. Cap was a bit rusty but hissed nicely upon opening and poured a cloudy ruby/brown with very little head. Great feel with the right amount of bitterness and tons of vanilla, dark fruits and just a nice touch of barrel. No need to rush on cracking this open, it seems to be holding up just fine.

 345 characters

Photo of smi69
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of OrangeMen
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage
1 year since bottling

Appearance- Pours a murky mahogony color. Half finger thick, off white colored head, soapy / bubbly. Tons of sticky alcohol legs cling to glass.

Aroma- Caramel, toffee, burnt brown sugar, molasses. Strong bourbon notes, dry oak and spice, creamy vanilla. Subtle fruit notes and bready malts.

Taste- Sweet bourbon notes, vanilla, caramel, toffee, and rich malt. Dark fruit notes, raisins and figs. Dry oak and spice on the finish.

Feel- Medium feel, creamy and sweet. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Decadent and rich, wonderful barrel characteristics and bourbon presence. Usual hop presence on the base beer has long faded, and coming forward is the rich malts, toffee, and caramel, along with the barrel characteristics of vanilla and oak. An awesome barrel aged barleywine.

 812 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.98/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of JandJMD
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of madelf66
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel Aged Old Ruffian from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 455 ratings
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