Ridge Runner | Rock Art Brewery

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425 Ratings
Ridge RunnerRidge Runner

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: 425 |  Reviews: 205
Photo of smutty33
1/5  rDev -70.9%

Photo of DonFrap
1.5/5  rDev -56.4%

Photo of nkeckhar
1.55/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up on a whim as a barley wine I've never tried

A: Hazy Brown

S: Doesn't smell as expected - dark fruit, sweet

T: Plum and raisiny with not much else.

M: Very light.

Overall not a pleasant experience with the light mouthfeel and one note taste, but am glad to have tried a new beer and like other Rock Art stuff, but will not purchase this one again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.62/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of sweet with loads of overcooked vegetables. Taste is also dominated by some overcooked vegetables with some oversweet malt. Body is really thin with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I thought there was way too many brewing flaws in this beer.

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Photo of Sk8sean86
1.75/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Photo of aasher
1.77/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer was received as an extra from Shaggy9356, thanks Matt! It poured a dark burnt, stained woodlike amber with a quickly dissipating off white head. It smells like a bland macro amber. I can't quite put my finger on which beer it's most similar to but it may be along the lines of Fat Tire. For a barleywine, this tastes nothing like it. It's very malty and has something flat going on. It has a strange funkiness to it. It's not only not impressive it's pretty bad. This is near a drain pour as it leaves a downright odd aftertaste in your mouth. It drinks smoothly enough. To be honest though, I'm having a tough time drinking this. It's smooth, I guess, but it's other lackings are so distracting. At least I got to try it.

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Photo of JMS1512
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of Massbmx
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of POTABLE83
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of ChelseaNJ
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of Holland
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of woosterbill
2.12/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep, clear persimmon body under a finger of fine tan head. Ok retention and lacing; attractive.

S: Weak sauce. Cocoa, chocolate malt, bread, and some dull vegetal hops. It smells like a mediocre brown ale, never a barleywine. Thin and disappointing for the style.

T: Maybe a touch better than the smell, with some light toffee joining the breadiness and cocoa. Thin graininess comes in on the finish, though, negating whatever richness came before. Inoffensive but thoroughly disappointing.

M: There's a nice, moderate amount of fine, creamy carbonation, but sadly it's stuck within a depressingly thin, watery body.

O: I'd score this significantly higher if it were called a Brown Ale, an Amber Ale, or maybe even a Scotch Ale. As a Barleywine, though, it's an utter failure. Don't expect this beer to be rich, sweet, hoppy, or satisfying in the least. Note to Rock Art: please stop getting people's hopes up by calling this a Barleywine.

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Photo of Gogol
2.16/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

(0005) Reviewed: 02/08/06.

A 12 oz. bottle purchased in VT approximately 3 days prior to this review, and provided to me by fellow BA eanderson. “Bottled on” date on bottle: May 2005. Bottle not stored for any significant time after receipt, but sampled/reviewed same day (evening of date listed above). Held in the basement, and then popped it in the ‘fridge for about an hour to chill it. Pour temp: 54 oF.

Appearance: Average (0.5-inch), off-white head that slowly descended into the body of the beverage. Color a clear, reddish-brown, with deeper red (almost cherry) tint. No lace to speak of.

Smell: Light whiff of bready malt, slight piney hops. No alcohol, none of the expected complexity.

Taste: Quick malt sweetness, overwritten by hop bitterness. Both petered out at the end, leaving a weak sweet/bitter, almost metallic aftertaste. Definitely not as complex as the style is renowned for.

Mouthfeel: Way too thin for the style. It actually seemed to get thinner as the beer warmed up to room temperature.

Drinkability: Fairly good, despite the aftertaste, and thin body.

Overall: in my humble opinion, this beer is not to style. Perhaps it would serve as an example of another style (Irish Red ale?), but not the deeply complex, warmingly alcohol-laden barleywine style.

Based on comparison with other BA reviews, it may be that bottling this beverage degrades it (reviews of on-tap servings tend to rank higher). Or, it may be that a bad bottling run was encountered (barleywines ought to be able to stand “laying down” for the indicated nine (9) months). eanderson’s sample came from same batch; see his review for comparison.

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Photo of craytonic
2.16/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pour is a crimson amber, decent enough head. Weird dark-malt nose, the smell, taste, and mouthfeel are a bit thin an there is something off. Very strong coffee taste/aroma throughout. It just isn't very good and it isn't worth going into detail about it, too much wrong here. I poured it out and moved on, skip this if you see it.

 330 characters

Photo of Gilgemesh
2.32/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Look - Pours a nice deep copper with a foamy white head. Nice looking carbonation.

Smell - Nice start with barley and fruit undertones, completely overpowered by the strong alcohol finish.

Taste - A good strong flavor that never develops any undertones or highlights. It is a bit flat.

Mouthfeel - Feels quite a bit watery. Then you are slammed with the alcohol. While having Alcohol is good, I don't like being slammed by it.

Drinkability - I'd probably stay away from this one next time.

Packaging: A nice earthy looking label. The Kokopeli and the large Vermont on the label gave me a good idea of what to expect from this beer. What are they marketing, a place, or a brew?

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Photo of UnionMade
2.33/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My bottle was labelled as a barleywine, and this definitely does not taste like one.
The beer poured a deep mahogany, reddish brown. Very dark, with a thin misting of head. A little bit of head clinging to the glass, but not much.
Aroma is weak and maildly malty. It smells like a barleywine, but very watered down. Very little hops, moderate esteriness, a touch of sugary caramel, and mild alcohol.
Flavor is also weak and watery. Very thin taste, with perhaps a medium body at best. Moderate carbonation. Slight caramel/roastiness to the malts. Light alcohol in the finish. Slightly slick mouthfeel. I wasn't very impressed with this beer, even after aging the bottle for a year or so.

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Photo of ms11781
2.38/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in September 2010. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy, brownish color, maybe mahogany, with almost no head. At most a very, very thin white ring around the glass.

Nose is unlike any barleywine I've had. There's a little bit of sweetness and earthiness. It's definitely very malty but there is an off scent that I can't quite put my finger on. The closest thing I can come up with is the peat characteristics I get from a good scotch ale. But this isn't quite that either. Not sure if it's pleasant or not. Not really bad but not great either.

Taste isn't the same as the nose but there still seems to be that off flavor. Very earthy with some toffee and some smokiness. But really I keep coming back to that peat-like character that I can't quite wrap my head around.

Mouthfeel is on the border between thin and medium. Very low carbonation.

Drinkability is low on this one. Goes down very smooth with the thin/medium body and low carbonation but the flavors really aren't that pleasant.

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Photo of jwhancher
2.41/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

From Rock Art's website this is considered a mild barley wine by today's standards. When I picked this up last week in Vermont I didn't know what the heck this beer was trying to be. Canned on date of 12/13/16. Pours a dark clear Amber with head that faded quick. Some suspended particles float around but far from a cloudy or hazy beer. Smells of crystal, toasted , and some roast malts. I get some diacetyl in the nose. Hops aren't apparent in the aroma.

Taste: Upfront shot of bitterness with a chalky, roasty, slightly astringency. Some light caramel , some coffee that finished very dry. Thin bodied for 7.2% alcohol. I think they should raise the mash temps and let more body shine through. Noticeable alcohol warmth in the throat. Drinkable yes, but pleasurable not so much.

At $15 a 4-pack I was left vastly disappointed in this beer. Would not seek out again.

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Photo of brentk56
2.48/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Even with a hard pour I could barely raise a head on this amber colored beer; no lacing, either

Smell: Caramel, tea and cooked vegetal aromatics

Taste: Very strange opening, with a bit of toffee and some herbal elements; perhaps some dusty chocolate underneath; grainy throughout, with a vague brown sugar element in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, rather aqueous; very low carbonation

Drinkability: Not undrinkable, but why waste the time; this is the most insipid barleywine I have encountered

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Photo of Ludwigkpa
2.5/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of KungGustav
2.5/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of rderedin
2.5/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of assurbanipaul
2.53/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours rather dark for a barleywine, a cloudy mahogany with a thin head/ring. Aroma is malty and syrupy but with noticeable hops.

Taste is only faintly malty, more roasted flavors like a stout. Lots of hops bitterness, quite dry. No alcohol flavors but that isn't surprising; it is just barely within the style guidelines.

Mouthfeel is rather watery, especially for what is intended as a barleywine. Not knowing, I might call this a fairly robust porter. I'm not sure this one works for me.

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Photo of corby112
2.56/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle sampled from a rock art variety pack.

Pours a clear amber color with thin head. Aroma of malts, hops and alcohol but all less prominent than in your average barley wine. Flavor again is similar to a barleywine yet much weaker. Niot a strong alcohol presence with more of a malty taste. Dissapointing.

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Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 425 ratings