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
461 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:
#2,020
Reviews:
172
Ratings:
461
pDev:
10.87%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
256
Gots:
139
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 461 |  Reviews: 172
Photo of joshtrich
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of mcgwire756
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to daniloknezic for trading me this bottle! Thanks Don!!!

reviewed from noted taken 8/15/12.

2011 vintage poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: copper hued brownish colored beer with a 2 fingers of off white colored head. Beer leaves a curtain of lace on the side of the glass. Very nice!

Smell: This is a really balanced nose. Big malt profile and hops that balance the beer quite nicely. Barrel notes are quite noticable, but they are mellow. Whiskey, oak, and vanilla. Malt profile is dark fruits, caramel, and toffee. Hops are grass, pine and grapefruit.

Taste: This beer has the perfect amount of sweetness. Not too sweet, but just right. Caramel, sweet bread, toffee, vanilla, oak, whiskey, grapefruits, earth and some dark fruits. Surprisingly, I get a touch of spiciness like cinnamin or all spice. Finishes with a whiskey note that is just stellar.

Mouthfeel: at the high end of a medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. This beer fantastic carbonation levels, really well done. This beer is creamy, smooth, and rediculiously drinkable for a beer aged in whiskey barrels for 9 months. Not a hint of booze just a little warming sensation.

Overall: Old ruffian was my first American barleywine that I liked. When that beer goes into barrels amazing things happen. It a fantastic base beer for barrel aging. This beer is the best American Barleywine that I have drank and reviewed in almost 500 beer reviews. There is nothing to dislike about this beer it is just so good. Its a nice complex beer with very well integrated barrel aging. Whats not too like? I honestly could drink a whole 750 myself... its just that fricking good. The boooze will sneek up on you so be careful, dangerously drinkable at almost 13%. Dont age this beer is drinking perfectly right now!

 1,793 characters

Photo of chugalug06
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lovely, huge, four-finger, straw colored, head pours into my Duvel Tulip. Brew is Very clear deep blood red, lots of purples. Missing any lacing.

Tons of roasted vanilla and deep sugary caramel malts.

Smooth, buttery, and roasty. Nice light carbonation brings out the sugary flavors. Not overly sweet and zero bitterness. Slight acidic flavor came out at the very end. The flavors are spot on for a B-wine, the barrel just made them more enjoyable.

Highly recommended for many years to come! Age will do amazing things to this awesome brew.

 546 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to great divide for stepping up to the plate and sending this one to me after i had the unfortunate experience of opening a badly infected BA Yeti...great divide is a class act. shared this one at a BA Barley tasting on 7/28 (alongside wooden hell, great, king henry, BA HiFi, etc etc...)

a - really attractive maroonish brown with a creamy head. nice lacing. streaky and big and present...in a tasting where most beers looked pretty awful, this one is a stunner.

s - subdued barleywine. good caramel and vanilla, but soft.

t - phenomenal. great english barleywine with great barrel integration. the whiskey really compliments everything wonderfully. toffee soaked whiskey.

m - thick, rich, and full.

o - overall a winner. seek this one out. whiskey is a great match for this barleywine and a nice change from all the bourbon barrel aged barleywines these days.

 877 characters

Photo of billab914
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my Devil's Backbone tulip. It poured kind of a murky looking dull brown color. A thin lacing was concentrated around the edges of the glass, where it left some modest lacing.

The aroma shows a pretty big dark fruit presence to it with some notes of plum and fig really coming out. The barrel and bourbon really shows through as well with a strong oak, vanilla, bourbon and slight brown sugar flavor to it. The flavors individually seem pretty good, but it just doesn't seem to come together as well as I would have liked.

The bourbon has a little more influence in the taste. Lots of woody oak up front along with some of the sweeter, brown sugar flavors coming out of the bourbon. It's got a little bourbon heat in the back end. The dark fruits come out a little more towards the finish as well. Things come together much better in the taste for me.

The mouthfeel is leaning towards the heavier side with carbonation being a little below average. Overall, it was a pretty good barrel aged beer but not one that really can hang with the top of the style. Things just didn't seem to come together all that well for it at times. While it was a pretty nice beer to sip on this evening, there is better out there for the price.

 1,274 characters

Photo of Dan25D
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Barrel Aged Old Ruffian from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 461 ratings