Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Barrel Aged Old Ruffian | Great Divide Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Barrel Aged Old RuffianBarrel Aged Old Ruffian
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
454 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:
#1,906
Reviews:
170
Ratings:
454
pDev:
11.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
255
Gots:
140
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 454 |  Reviews: 170
Photo of duceswild
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

Photo of shade13
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of RuckusDu
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this once at the brewery and loved it. Tried to remember the notes for a review, but that was useless. Let's do this again with the beer and computer in one place.

A - There is a little over a finger of very light tan head. Body is clear but a super dark amber with a lot of red.

S - Tons of booze, not what I remember. Very sweet vanilla and malt. Whiskey and oak is strong.

T - Very sweet up front with maybe a hint of dark fruits. Otherwise, tons of whiskey and oak. Cinnamon and booze. It finishes with a little hops.

M - It's very nice. Strong carbonation and full bodied. Well put together.

O - An all around well balanced beer. Nice on all fronts, but not way up there.

 687 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of marvin213
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky mud with a creme, bubbly beard, it looks like slop in whic a pig would play! It smells like sweet, creamy butter. And toffee. Some caramel sweets sway through and, as it warms, sweet, sweet whiskey. Perhaps the best nose on any barleywine I've encountered (Cabernet barrel-aging with others offering a considerably distant second).

It tastes strong and smooth. Tough with purpose, I respect it like the old carpenter who wears too much Brut or the immigrant barber with heavy aftershave, huge hands, and an eastern European accent (no homo). I mean it's a manly beer!

The beard is thick, and it leaves its marks everywhere it swirls. There's a butterscotch sweetness that's seductive and alluring, while all the while a leathery malt burn reminds you that this pour has power. I feel like my granddaddy would be proud of me for drinking this!

I imagine the whiskey will wait to impart its influence until after it warms up a bit--too subtle an influence there might provide for my biggest criticism. So mellow and smooth a taste for such a powerful beer, I eagerly await it taking me over (no homo--too much shades of grey in the collective consciousness right now). This is undoubtedly a propulsion into classy tastiness for the Ol Old Ruffian....

 1,258 characters

Photo of ssjkyle
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mmapes
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage from a bomber. Figgy fruit smell followed quickly by the alcohol and whiskey. Dark dried fruit, carmel. Cloudy brown liquid under a decent creamy foam. Very mellow, round, smooth in the mouth followed by a brightness. Mellow malty character, sweet, Carmel. Tastes of whiskey and barrel don't overwhelm, are balanced. Pricey at $25 but very very good.

 363 characters

Photo of Hophead717
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of marine1975
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Phelps
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, bottle 1360. This is Old Ruffian, put to sleep for nine months in barrels that once held Stranahan’s whiskey.

Very dark, murky maroon. Just a half-finger of silky light tan bubbles. The head quickly fizzles to a medium-sized ring.

Sweet and sugary aroma. Maple, vinous oak, orange peel, toasted coconut, chocolate. Some dark cherries as well. The bourbon here is in perfect proportion with the barleywine, which is still displaying an impressive amount of citrus.

The cherry and toffee flavor is big, but what I like is that instead of being overly sweet and cloying, a fair amount of bitter chocolate and toast roll in to balance. Bourbon is hinted at, contributing less to the beer than do the barrels, which impart a nice woody, roasty, chocolatey character. Impressively smooth.

Velvety medium body has just a little bit of gentle fizz. Alcohol is unavoidable, blazing through the nose and numbing the tongue, but the big flavor is distracting enough that I couldn’t care less. Slight bitterness on the sides of the tongue.

This is barrel-aging done right. I can’t tell where the beer stops and the whiskey begins. Great flavor.

 1,159 characters

Photo of PthPndr
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of jimmy82063
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release, 750ml, bottle # 2706. Purchased at Argonaut Liquors in Denver, CO. Into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a deep ruddy brown, slightly hazy, not much of a head, just a few light brown bubbles that slowly fades to an island of bubbles in the middle of the glass. No lacing but definitely has some legs.

S: Lots of mellow whiskey, toffee, caramel, vanilla, and a touch of oak. Smells incredibly sweet and rich. As it continues to warm, there is a lot more vanilla and oak and whiskey. Can definitely pick out the Stranahans whiskey notes that blend really nicely with the base beer.

T: Follows the nose nicely, tons of caramel malt, a light toffee flavor, followed by an ever so slight note of lightly roasted coffee. Mix those flavors with a nice, but not overbearing whiskey profile and some definite oak. Absolutely spot on.

M: Medium thickness, lighter carbonation, zero alcohol heat and a sticky sweet finish.

O: Definitely up there in my favorite barrel aged barleywines, very enjoyable beer.

 1,016 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of chrispoint
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of pixieskid
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of harrymel
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2011
Thanks Pixieskid

Pours nice dark amber with fleeting yellow foam. Nose is bourbon barrels, vitamins, burnt caramel. As it warms, it's like cinnamon toast crunch - hella cool. Flavor is like a cinnamon bun - rich and sweet with caramel, dark malts and herbal/spice qualities. Really not doing justice with that sentence. Medium bodied with a simple syrup tone and reserved carb. Good beer, wish I would have bought some when I had the chance a couple years ago.

 474 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ucsbmullet
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.47/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008

A: Poured a thin, tannish color with no head, undercarbonated with no lacing

S: Stinging booze, Earthy and old wood notes with some brown sugar

T: Faded hops, booze, brown sugar, toffee and remnants of old wood, Earth and dark fruits

M: Way to thin, flat, boozey and sweet

O: Not to much to say here.Wow. What a letdown.
////
2009

Not as thin or hot oddly enough but still thin, a bit more carbonation

 412 characters

Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GregSVT
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip - 2012 Vintage bottle #3149

A: Pours a dark red with brown highlights and a nice dark tan head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose starts with an earthy hop aroma that gives way to toffee and vanilla in the background. Not much whiskey in the aroma here.

T: The taste is considerably better than the nose though. There is a beautiful vanilla and whiskey flavor as soon as you take a sip which is followed by nice caramel and toffee notes. The hops are not there but in an earthy form in the background. The finish is where the vanilla and whiskey really shine.

M: The feel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: I was a bit worried after smelling it but the taste is great on this one. The base beer has been toned down by the barrel and the vanilla and whiskey flavors really play well with this one. My bottle says 11.1% so it must have gone down compared to previous years.

 945 characters

Photo of Exiled
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Barrel Aged Old Ruffian from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 454 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.