Ridge Runner | Rock Art Brewery

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Ridge RunnerRidge Runner
428 Ratings
Ridge RunnerRidge Runner

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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.

Added by Murph on 08-07-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 428 |  Reviews: 205
Reviews by shoretaxi:
Photo of shoretaxi
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this at Deacons Den in West Dover,Vt last month I had never heard of it so I gave it a try.Pours a deep red with some brown tones showing thru,not to much head here but what there was left some nice lacing.Aroma was real sweet with some burnt fruit aromas and lightly bready.Very malty brew lightly sweet with dried fruit and chocolate,it is slighlty alcoholic.A decent find in the wilds of Vermont.

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Photo of JMD71
3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled & reveiwed 3/4/07:

Ap: Pours ruby red/light brown. Thick, solid, creamy head which sticks around a while. Decent carbonation. Very clear.

Ar: Malty, bitter chocolate & cocoa. No hop aroma detected whatsoever. Maybe some prune & plum notes.

Ta: Chocolate malt hits me immediately & follows through the middle with slight roastiness. No hop flavor detected. Not bitter or strong as other barleywines I've tasted. Decent flavor but not what I've come to recognize in barleywine. Possibly due to VT's limitation on ABV in beer.

Mo: Medium bodied. Palette clean after each sip. No residual bitterness or cloying flavors.

Dr: Medium. Good flavor, although nothing overly noteworthy, makes this fairly easy drinking. I just think I'd move on to something more exciting & flavorful after one.

Comments: This was ok, but a bit bland for a barleywine. I knoe Rock Art's hands are a bit tied with VT's restriction on ABV (I think 8% is the max) in beer. That would certainly limit their potential, but I would not have produced this if in such circumstances. A barelywine is usually more fuller flavored & bodied that this. This is ok, but closer to a brown ale or alt.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled on Mar. 05 per the notched label. The Ridge Runner Barley Wine Ale pours from the bottle a deep cola brown bordering on black with a taught half inch of creamy bone white head on top. Spotty lacing sticks to the side of my glass as garnet hues streak out as the light passes through. Aromas of rich caramelly, raisiny malts with a slight burnt undertone. Dark fruits along with a hint of cocoa and just a touch of hops. Nice and malty..maybe even a touch of molasses.

First sip brings rich dark maltiness that'a a bit burnt with a cornucopia of flavors including dark fruits, raisins, caramel, cocoa and a hint of molasses and licorice on the way down. The brew is a tad smoky with only a faint hint of hops in the finish. A tasty, flavorful brew, quite thin for a barleywine really, but it makes it easy to drink and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rather light with a good amount of carbonation. The body is not as big and chewy as I was hoping for and it really doesn't resemble a barleywine at all. However, the brew is quite drinkable and I wouldn't mind having another. Overall a nice brew that I wouldn't mind having again given the chance. Thanks to BIF20 and MuddyFeet for this one.

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Photo of blitz134
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle says this is from April of last year so 10 months old.

Sticky, light tan head, about a half inch thick. Persists for quite a while leaving nice lacing behind. Dark brown with red hues throughout. Quite nice.

Malty base to the aroma, biscuit with a slight hint of caramel. Some english hops show through. Kind of weak here.

Nice malty flavor with hints of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. Good toasted flavors here. Probably not quite an English barleywine by flavor, but this one is pretty tasty. Some yeasty characteristics with only hints of alcohol. Roasted flavors linger for a bit.

Medium bodied, but creamy mouthfeel. Mid-level of carbonation. Overall a pretty easy drinking beer. Doesn't come across as barleywine to me, maybe more like a kicked-up chocolaty brown ale, but good nonetheless. I think the hops have really faded from this, but have allowed a good base-malt bill to come through.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

If I didn't know this was a barleywine, I never would have guessed. Had this from the cask at American Flatbread and while I wasn't disappointed, I certainly wasn't overwhelmed. It was a dark red/ruby color with a medium head that dissipated quickly. It had a sweet, caramel aroma, and a mildly sweet, minimally hoppy taste. Kind of thin. I only drank one of these, and then moved on.

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Photo of sponberg
3.86/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep garnet red with a blanched almond colored head (I had a pile of 'em on the counter and... yep, that's the color). Bottle is freshness dated.

Aroma of slightly burnt toast and hot cocoa. Malty, with chocolatey, nutty, and toasted flavors complimented with a slight bitterness. Very smooth, body slightly thin. Slight hop spiciness way in the background just before it heads down the throat. Tastes lighter than it is. I can't help but think that this is 85% of a truly great barleywine - a bit more malt, a bit more mouthfeel, and a hint more alcohol would kick this into the realm of hugeness. As is, a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of megamass
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a hazy, dark mahogany body, with a thin, beige head. Patch and sheet lace are all over the glass.

Very malty aroma, with chocolate and caramel up front. A faint note of floral hops is barely noticed.

Mouthfeel is light bodied for a barleywine.

Taste begins with chocolate malt, with some caramel notes quickly jumping in. Hops are, surprisingly, restrained here, resulting in what I would call a strong brown ale character. I keep waiting for the hops to kick in as this reaches room temperature, but except for some understated pine cone and faint florals, they never become assertive.

I'm no expert on this style, but this is a unique interpretation based on the other barleywines I've sampled. I'm not complaining, by any means, as I found this one very nice and would, certainly, buy it again. Very complex, and understated.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, with bottled on dating notched onto the label. Pours a dark reddish amber, white head quickly subsiding and leaving minor lacing. Nose is of shelled peanuts and some caramel. This is an understated, subtle ale, a tad on the light side for a barley wine. Minor hop notes and malt is smooth and moderate. British style all the way. Nice sipper, but needs some more oomph to rate with the finer brews of the style. Wouldnt pay top $ for this creation

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very attractive mahogany color with a full finger of off-white head...some fine lacing produced as I work my way through this offering.
Faint aroma of raisins, sweet malt and fruity hops...a hint of alcohol with a lingering nose.
Taste is pretty average...some vanilla bean, more raisins and a watered down rum flavor.
Mouthfeel is fairly thin for the style, yet not too thin and the carbonation could be much less IMO.
I am glad I tried another one of these before throwing down a review...the last one I had was off and while this is not really impressing me, it is giving me a better experience and makes me want to get up to VT and find this on on tap.
Goes down very easily and the alcohol is only slightly detected.

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Photo of tigg924
4.37/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, dark brown in color, small carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and a hint of coffee

Taste: toasted malt, chocolate, caramel, touch of hops, and a hint of earth and pepper at the end

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, slick, smooth, semi-sweet, medium bodied

Drinkability: This is my new favorite in this style. I like the maltiness. This has touches of a good porter and Wee Heavy. The taste is complexand is about as sessionable as a barleywine can be. My favorite from Rock Art.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at Manhattans Pizza

Pours a rich deep amber with some slight ruby notes. Nose is light and bitter with some smooth hops to finish it off.

Taste is a perfect combination of sweet, bitter and smooth. It's really drinkable and and awesome somewhat tame barleywine. It's a good gateway to bigger beers like the Vermonster!

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Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of jondeelee
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ridge Runner does not start off resembling a Barleywine, lacking the sugary sweetness that usually accompanies these beers. Instead, its notes are partly sweet--brown sugars and vanillas--but partly earthy, including loam and toasted nuts.

On the tongue, the beer begins with a smack of toasted nut and earthiness that is quite pronounced, balanced by a good amount of malt sweetness that resembles brown sugar. Light fig, plum, and apricot fruit esters swirl in the background, as well as a coffee-with-heavy-cream runnel. Lychee nut flavors round out the citrusy notes, here brought by a good handful or two of hops, which further bring a rosewater thread to the brew. The aftertaste is largely toasted nuts and roasted malts, and lasts for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, while this does not resemble a Barleywine as I'm familiar with the style--and at 7.5% ABV, is one of the weaker of the lot, which usually run 8-12%--it is still a delicious beer, having excellent flavors that are well balanced and finely nuanced. Many of the low scores I give in this review are simply a result of the brew not resembling the style it purports to be, and thus appearing mislabeled.

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Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of PretzelsNBeer
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled June 2002. Deep mahogany color with a beige frothy head that shrinks quickly, but leaves lacing around the glass. Aroma is of malt and toffee, hints of raisin, and a bit of alocohol. Flavor is of malt, cocoa, light coffee, and some raisin. Definite alcohol tingle creeps into the finish. Smooth mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, but a bit watery just the same. Well-balanced barleywine that emphasizes flavor and doesn't have to kick you in the head to make an impact.

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Photo of doremite
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of OBIrish24
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of poop_brew
3.02/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a 12oz bottle. A caramel brown with a fleeting .5" head. No legging as I drank.

S: A dark and robust barley with subtle tones of caramel

T: A predominant bite towards the back of the mouth.

M: Feels quite light, with a good amount of carbonation, but no overwhelming. Leaves a airy feeling.

O: Definitely would purchase and drink again. I can say you will recognize a new taste every sip in this beer. It is quite a treat.

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Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of JMS1512
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my brother for this bottle.

A: Pours a deep ruby/brown color with a small tan head that fades quickly and leaves behind thin and sporadic lacing.

S: Lots of caramel and candied sugar with a little bit of dark fruit - some raisins and prunes.

T: Similar to the aroma, but comes of a little bland for style. Some caramelized malt and a little bit of non-descript dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied, but seems a little thin for style. Medium carbonation.

O: Have had some pretty good beers from Rock Art, but this one was a bit if a disappointment.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy dark purple body with little sediment; an iced tea-like white head, thin and scattered... decidedly hoppy and robust--yet a doen thrust of malt vying for balance--spruce and pine aromas... a bit thin for a barleywine--medium-bodied would be generous... plays well through the mouth--not aggressive but substantial--smoother by mid-bottle... hard hops with a slight warmth at the throat--mouth watering! hints of malt, but not as pronounced as in the aroma... solid--and although the day's weather (a muggy June evening) hasn't provided the optimal barleywine setting, this is a nice, flavorful end to the sampler, the most intriguing of the mix...

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Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 428 ratings