Ridge Runner
Rock Art Brewery

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Barleywine - English
Ranked #247
Ranked #47,565
3.47 | pDev: 15.85%
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States
Ridge RunnerRidge Runner
Notes: "Robust, Dark and Smooth, hold on to your hat cause you’ll lose your feet on this one!" Brewed with pale, dark crystal, Munich, flaked barley, black and chocolate malts. Hops include Cascade, Crystal, Challenger and Perle.
Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 433 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by johnnnniee:
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium reddish copper color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates to a ring on top. Smells of caramel toffee and light bready grainy malt. Light sulfur and a hint of earth with a light butterscotch round out the nose. The flavor is biscuity bready grainy maltiness with bits of toffee and butterscotch. Light earthy hops flavor with a bit of sulfur provides a counter the the malty sweetness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Nice enough barleywine, the bready maltiness is nice but the toffee butterscotch is a bit too much on my palette.

May 15, 2013
More User Reviews:
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theo871 from Maine

4.27/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

from a 22 ounce bomber purchased at the source!

pours a dark copper color, with fingernail thick head with lots of lacing on sides of pint glass. smells of maltiness, slight hoppiness. taste is sweet, malty. the mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth and not a lot of carbonation, just the perfect amount for the style. for a barleywine this is quite drinkable, although not quite as strong as i would like. if there is such a thing as a session barleywine, this is it!

May 04, 2005
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TheRuss9585 from Vermont

3/5  rDev -13.5%

Dec 30, 2012
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bultrey from New York

3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a damn tasty beer, but in no way does it come close to resembling a barleywine, English or otherwise. Maybe one could make the case for an old ale, like Old Peculiar or Old Nick, but it has way too much roasty character for that. It pours a deep reddish brown with a minimal frothy creamy head around the edge. I pick up some charred sugared pecans in the nose, maybe a touch of vanilla. Taste is a nutty roastiness, very much like a good brown ale. Some sweetness kicks in, maybe vanilla, and the finish is a quite tasty char flavor that is reminiscent of a coffee porter of something of that ilk, or maybe roasted peanut skins. Very little hop bitterness to speak of. Mouthfeel is close to a barleywine, but not quite as thick. Drinkability is actually quite good because it is not an overwhelming beer. A decent cool weather beer to be sure, but misses the mark on style.

Nov 30, 2005
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SocalKicks from California

3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Oct 29, 2015
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MuddyFeet from North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahhhh!!!! Not as hoppy as I was expecting for a barley wine, then I learned it is an English Barley Wine and not an American Barley Wine. Darker than I expected with a much more resilient head than I would believe unless I saw it. Dark, almost like a brown ale. Nose is pretty straightforward... malty. Flavor is strange. It is very malty. But has strong wood and tootsie roll stones. Very sweet. Not overpowering, if anything it is comforting. Just makes me relax. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden and I would not believe it is there if I did not feel it. The hops come through more as I drink more. But they are very subtle and at the very back end of the finish. Very full flavor and body.

Jun 02, 2005
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amnesia85 from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Apr 03, 2012
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Varkias41 from New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Oct 01, 2013
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IPAchris from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Dec 02, 2014
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tgbljb from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep copper color with moderate off-white head. Attractive lacing noted.
Smell is minimal with a slight malty sweetness present.
Taste is superb, with a strong maltiness and no alcohol present.
Finish is a bit thin, but still leaves a nice taste in the mouth.
Extremely drinkable for 7.5% beer. great beer.

Jun 23, 2007
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pault from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -13.5%

Aug 21, 2012
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Tim2000 from Canada (QC)

4.37/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. brown bottle,

Dark reddish-brown with a thin, fine head. Label indicates bottling date about a month ago

Very malty aroma, nutty and slightly roasted. Hints of fruit.

Malty from the beginning, with nuts and burnt sugar. Black tea and molasses come through towards the middle and the hops pick up towards the end with a lingering, slightly grassy finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Creamy and smooth, but not syrupy like some barley wines. Carbonation is moderately low.

Very drinkable, maybe because it's quite dry for a barley wine.

Sep 07, 2008
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the can, it pours a solid darker amber with a small head, quickly dissipating. Very light nose. The mouth gets the maltiness with some slight bitterness.

Oct 05, 2016
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jasoncook35 from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Oct 18, 2014
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WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Jul 07, 2012
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Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

2.46/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aug 25, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I called Matt about this one to find out how long it might have been awiting consumption. Based on the notching, July of 2004 when I was attending the Vermont Brewer's Festival. Now, 2 1/2 years later, how would it fare? It began with two fingers of mocha-tan head that reduced to cloudiness, but not wispiness. Nose had a mild smokiness to it. Color was a deep brown with gorgeous ruby highlights as well as NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was full and soft with a lot of carbonation presnt on the tongue. Matt had told me that this was intended to be an English-style barleywine and indeed, the malt and the hops were somewhat subdued on the tongue. The best part was the finish, which left an aftertaste of malted cocoa, like you might get from Quik or PDQ. It had a slightly burnt quality to it, but in the best way. Man, if this is what English barleywines are all about, I may make them a routine stop.

Mar 19, 2007
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Underdogbisco from Utah

4/5  rDev +15.3%

May 09, 2012
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NEhophead from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Creamy white head that fades to a sheet after a few moments. Thin lacing with good strength. Clear, bright ruby in color.

Dark, vinous fruit aromatics: grape, cherry, and apple. A whiff of alcohol along with a minor peat smoked quality. Some faint hints of chocolate and toffee.

Pear, tart apple, and orange flavors; very nice sour qualities. This is followed by a mellow, light coffee and espresso. Slight hop bitterness at mid sip followed by another wave of apple and grapefruit sourness. Not the most well rounded barleywine, but flavorful and unique nonetheless.

Medium bodied; a tad too prickly and over carbonated on the palate.

A light barleywine; not aggressive enough for my taste, but highly drinkable. I'd have another one but I'd probably go with a different six pack next time.

Mar 22, 2005
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Lovely85 from Florida

3.86/5  rDev +11.2%

Oct 23, 2014
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ericj551 from Canada (AB)

3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Ridgerunner pours a deep orange. Smell is good, dark fruits with a nice maltiness and a hint of bitter hops. Taste is decent, very dry for a barleywine, slightly fruity with a bitter finish. The beer is well balenced, but very light for the style. It is also very thin for a barleywine. Overall I like this beer, but it doesn't quite hold up to my expectations of a barleywine.

Feb 08, 2007
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mani from New Jersey

3/5  rDev -13.5%

Nov 11, 2013
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Hibernator from Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

During a recent trip to the Mount Snow area in Vermont I picked up a six pack of the Rock Art Ridge Runner. This was my first time seeing or hearing of this brewery and I always like to support the regional breweries.

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a snifter glass. Bottled on date clearly notched for August 2004 on the side of the label. This beer was brewed about 6 months ago, but should still be okay. At 7.5% ABV this beer should work.

Pours a chestnut brown color with a light, tannish colored head. The head leaves impressive trails of sticky lacings on the sides of the glass.

Whiffs of caramel syrup and lighly roasted malts. I was expecting more in the nose.

A syrupy, woody malt presence on the palate. There is an earthy rawness quality to this beer with a caramel sweetness that highlights the syrupy side of things.

The taste reminds me more a strong brown ale than a barleywine. This beer is not getting better as it warms in my snifter. Is this REALLY a barleywine? I'm not sure on the classification, but this its a nice beer. I was a little dissapointed to be honest, but would like to try this again. Maybe a fresher sample would leave a better impression with me?

Mar 12, 2005
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Resuin from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +15.3%

Jul 10, 2013
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Goldorak from Canada (QC)

3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bronze, but not quite opaque, with a ring of lace that hung on well.

Smell: First off, a wall of sweet malt, but I was able to detect grape and/or prune, and with just enough hooch to give it a winey character. Not like Madeira or port, maybe more like icewine.

Taste: The malt is there, but it's thin, and there doesn't seem to be enough alcohol or bitterness for the style. This apparent shortfall does however give it extra drinkability points from me, I tend to get an overdose of sugar and booze from big Barleywines, but not so with this one, I easily could have downed an extra pint.

Mar 23, 2005
Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 433 ratings