Ridge Runner | Rock Art Brewery

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426 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: English 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 426 |  Reviews: 205
Photo of dave00100
5/5  rDev +45.3%

Photo of BrewinHeadBanger
5/5  rDev +45.3%

Photo of bdutton89
5/5  rDev +45.3%

Photo of jonfed
5/5  rDev +45.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of scottum
4.65/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$2.50 pint at Nectar's

An interesting deep dark amber color with a nice offwhite head. A great Strong beer, this is what I order almost everytime I go out to a bar. One of Vermont's best beers when served right off draft. Order a pint if you see this on tap.

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Photo of EvanWilliams
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

Photo of magsvmi
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

Photo of Onequarter
4.4/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of sjohansen
4.38/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We had a houseguest from Jeffersonville, VT that brought a sampler pack of some Rock Art to PA. I love these kinds of houseguests; they can stay as long as they want.

Pours with a one finger slightly off-white head. It quickly dissipates leaving only a small bead of foam floating around the top of the glass. That too, would eventually disappear. The brew looks thick and opaque, it's very cloudy and the color is brownish red or reddish brown. Not a whole lot in the realm of lace.

Big notes in the nose. Lots of floral hops, to the point it almost smells like a florist shop. Very soft fruity yeast. And chocolate... dark chocolate. As it warms, the chocolate takes over and becomes sweeter.

This beer has a great hop smack to it. The kind that makes you lick your lips after every sip. Strong peppery alcohol. Some yeast that hints of a Belgian, giving off some sweet apple and pear. Sweeter on the front of the palate as it warms. The malts take over the front of the experience, and produce an almost Old Ale style quality. Sweet and grainy, a bit dirty (in a good way.) Still get the hop smack in the end, and it's as powerful during the last sip as it was in the first.

Full mouthfeel. Lots of body, nice prickly carbonation. Slick and oily, it feels like it coats the tongue, and then disappears as I place the glass down. The mouthfeel is really wonderful. Kind of gives you the best parts of an IPA, Malty Scotch Ale, and sweet Oktoberfest all in one.

This is a great barleywine ale style. More importantly, it's a full flavored brew that I will definitely try again when given the opportunity.

 1,610 characters

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 Duhast500
4.37/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass.

The color is a dark maroon with a slight wisp of a head and little lacing on the glass.

The smell is dark fruits with some raisins and figs in the aroma. There is some sweetness there that is syrup-like and is a little like sour cherry.

The taste is subtle at first, nothing jumps out at first to say barelywine but there is a warm sensation toward the end. There is a grape flavor that is mixed in with more dark fruit flavor. There are some figs, dates and some over-ripe banana that is giving this beer a laid back fruity character. Some sweetness is just at an arms-length in the background, you sense it and it seems to back off and then it happens again before this beer goes down.

The feel of this beer is big, and at times, it can’t hide it. It is smooth but complex and seems to have some hidden facets to it as you go along for the ride.

 913 characters

Photo of Tim2000
4.37/5  rDev +27%
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.

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Photo of bibo_ergo_sum
4.36/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As I've found with most of this brewery's stuff, this beer is kind of a throwback, or better yet, a time machine, embracing a milder, more drinkable and less assertive style of barleywine than what we're normally used to. This is your father's barleywine and that's a good thing.

The beer is a lovely deep amber color. It is fairly clear. It smells like someone dipped banana bread in rum, like toast and toasted nuts. These aromas are carried through in the flavor. It is a malty, nutty, sweet beer. Where this beer might let you down is in terms of mouth feel. It is pretty thin. But, as I made my way through a few of them, this defect actually grew into an asset; you can drink a LOT of these because the beer doesn't stick in your mouth -- it finishes relatively cleanly.

My overall impression this beer is that it is best thought of as a campfire companion or a ski-lodge favorite. It is something that tastes really really good, that you can drink a lot of, and has no pretensions of being a "total work of art." It is a beer intended to compliment an already wonderful experience, not be the experience itself.

 1,121 characters

Photo of abriggs1
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A lot of people seem to think this is not a true barleywine and i tend to agree with that. I'll call it a hybrid. I think 7.5% abv is still in the beer range, but it's pretty close. To me a barleywine is a drink that must be sipped as they are supposed to be more intense and un-smooth by nature. This doesn't quite have the thinkness of a true barleywine. That being said, this is an excellent beer that goes down much smoother than a 7.5% beer should and it's a good thing there's only three of these in the sampler pack I bought because this stuff could get me into real trouble real quick. It is a beautifully balanced brew that has a sharp start and a subtle finish. It's amazing how this beer seems to magically change in your mouth; going from sharp and bitter to mellow and smooth in a matter of seconds.

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Photo of jdejoannis
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of strengthdoc
4.3/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured out of the bottle to reveal a deep amber almost mohogany color. The aroma was nice and malty with a hint of apricot. The first taste was malty and mildly fruity, but that gives way to a mild hop bitterness as the beer hits the back of the tongue. It finishes with a mild bitterness to make you want another taste. The mouthfeel is medium in nature and what you would expect from the style.

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Photo of theo871
4.27/5  rDev +24.1%
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!

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Photo of Snellgg5
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of bgold86
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mack
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of gwiedman1
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of Brad007
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown color with a thin head. Taste is strong, sweet and malty at once. Not as much hop bitterness here. Some people claim this isn't a real barleywine but I digress. Another whiff detects raisin/currant flavors with some fruitiness. Hey, my nose is the boss here.

Anyway, taste is strong upfront with the raisin/currant flavors fading into a smooth aftertaste. A second sip confirms only slight malt bitterness and more of the fruitiness in this ale. I can detect an aftertaste that is very bready as well.

You know, I've had this beer plenty of times in the past and I've never reviewed it. Now that I am reviewing it, I can tell things that I never noticed before.

I would say that this ia a pretty complex ale for me to describe. Perhaps with some aging, the flavors might mellow more. The alcohol is deceptively hidden though (I can see why it's so popular with some of my friends).

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Photo of camartin27
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of chewy6935
4.24/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of njmoons
4.23/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An excellent beer, not a big barleywine. I think they call it a mild barleywine, but other than the style question I really liked this.

A - Deep Red, light carbonation which laced well down the glass. Looked tasty

S - Sweet, malty with a hint of cherry

T - Great, malty with a slight sweetness that balances well. The western us hops seemed a little harsh with the overall mellowness of the beer, or I would have scored it higher.

M - Light for style, but very pleasant.

D - At 7.5% this is too strong for a session beer, but that is the only thing to keep me from knocking back one after the other.

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Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 426 ratings