Ridge Runner | Rock Art Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 414
Photo of board45
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper color w/ a thick creamy head. Very sweet smell to it. Malt, hops, some yeast there too. Take a sip!! Warming and sweet. Tons of fruits and malts. This beer finishes w/ a slight shot of hops. I could drink loads of this beer. Very easy barley wine.

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Photo of theo871
4.27/5  rDev +23.8%
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 soulfly967
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep ruby gem with a fluffy white head with a touch of tan in it. The smell was of mildly sweet malts, and some floral notes from the hops. The taste is malty, with a bit of hops and a slightly nutty aftertaste. Quite pleasant. The mouth was slightly thin. It was not as full bodied as I had come to expect with most barleywines, but in a good way. It was nicely carbonated. Overall, I would say that this is a fairly drinkable beer. Not as hardcore as most barleywines, but still good.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
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 Goldorak
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rock Art Ridge Runner pours a deep red color with very little head, just a slight nlacing on the surface of the beer. Aroma is floral hops with some toasted malt and an interesting fruitiness as well. Ridge Runner tastes less full than most English Barley Wines I have had, with less overwhelming malt flavors than I was expecting. Not as full-bodied either. Dry, mildly hoppy finish. A smooth, solidly built beer, by not quite there by Barley Wine standards.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.38/5  rDev -2%
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?

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Photo of Stimack
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was able to try this in tap last evening. Was poured to a dark red color with a very nice creamy beige/tan head that had good retention and lead to a fair amount of lacing through out the entire brew. The aromas where of malt grains that seemed to give it a somewhat nutty scent. Some dark fruit and slight alcohol esters are noticed as well. The taste was very good, very malty with hardly any hop taste but a pronounced nuttiness that was very good and had been noticed in the aroma. Also has a warming alcohol taste that leads to a very nice finish. Overall this is a very good brew; will be looking for a sixer of this one!

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Photo of ecoboy
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Is there such thing as a mildly flavored barleywine? Yes, yes there is.

Beautiful deep mahogany color with full, thick, mixed-bubble head.

Rich syrupy malt nose, fairly sweet with alcohol as a contrast note.

Flavor is not overpowering, which is a welcome thing, after so many overly rude strong ales. This one is all polite balance, sweetness, and alcohol flavors. I am a big fan of "complex, but understated," as another reviewer suggests below.

Mouthfeel not nearly as chewy as the nose and abv might suggest- mouthfeel actually is more like a traditional brown ale. Bubbles are fine, for a non-aggressive carbonation feel.

Very drinkable for style.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ridge Runner was served from a 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was a murky, apple cidery orange brown color and was topped by a thin whitish head. The nose offered a rich, almost nutty, roasty-woody, bourbon-soaked pear maltiness. On the palate, a woody, sort of mushroomy, roasty pear-tinged coffeeish malt base opened up with zippy earth-resiny hop notes that rode the carbonation into the lightly roasty/astringent, somewhat citric-piney, woody bitter, bourbon (sans alcohol) essence-laced finish. Lingering woody-piney pear notes remained. The smooth-medium body and energetic carbonation worked well for the character of the beer. Ridge Runner was an easy going, though tasty and balanced wintery brew that offered numerous complexities and great satisfying finish. This one will grow on you!

Note: Noticably better on tap, for some reason.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a chilled sample scored from ppoitras. Thanx man!
The beer is poured into a snifter and exudes a rich deep chestnut color with some ruby tints. Small beige head foams up and fades slowly to a substantial surface layer. Aroma is ripe fruit with pears, apricots dominant and a brief hit of grassy hops pokes thorugh. Further sniffing reveals a slight smokey scent as well. overall the aroma is very nice.
First sip, small tingly carbonation and average body. The texture is a littel less syrupy than I hoped. Flavor is much less complex and rich than the nose advertised., some toffee and fruit followed by a very clean yet somewhat empty finish. Some mild hops on the finish and then the beer is gone. Overall ok, but the beer is built up in appearance and aroma only to dissappoint a little.

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Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
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 ppoitras
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer from a mixed 6-pack from Waterbury Beverage, Waterbury, VT. Reviewing as a barleywine, which the bottle calls it, right or wrong.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" beige head, which left chunky lace all over. Brew is darkly reddish brown in color. Aroma is slightly of malt and hops, I would expect more from a barleywine nose, esp in the malt department. Taste is pleasantly of caramel malt and well-balanced, but where's the beef in this barleywine? No alcohol taste at all? Hardly a warming feeling as it rolls down the hatch? I can only give it props for hiding the alcohol well to a certain level, after that it's false advertising... Mouthfeel great, drinkability superb as well, just the classification confusion is a bother.

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Photo of scottum
4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
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 kennyo
3.01/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

never tasted any of their beers, don't remember if the Blind Tiger Ale House brings any down for the Vermont Beer and Cheese Fest. Saw a few types in Wins market in Fairleigh, Vt and figured to try this barley wine ale. Pours with a nice, uncharacteristic, head. Dark copper, light malty aroma, thin mouthfeel, light barleywine taste, kind of a Celebration Light without all the hops. If you haven't figured it out, this ale is too light to be a barley wine. The beer is drinkable and should be labeled as a dark amber ale. There is no ABV/ABW on the bottle or six pack holder

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Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Bighuge
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep blood red hue. A skimming of creamy beige head sits on top. Retention is good and lacing adequate. Aroma is pretty thick. Rummy and malty. Fruity and raisiny. And bready. The body is damn near full and the mouthfeel is enjoyable. Bready tones are picked up on the palate right away. Dark fruity tones blend with a lactic sourness in an odd way that doesn't quite strike me the right way. I think the sourness is really putting a damper on my enjoyment of this Strong Ale. Seems to be a little peat as well. Overall, this is a bit of a disappointment, but it's decent enough that my growler will be history in a couple hours.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
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 far333
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
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 sponberg
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
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 Murph
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The brew pours a deep garnet/ruby/brown color with an especially nice looking head for a barley wine. The smell starts off with some smooth qand mellow toasty malt aromas with just the faintest hint of hops. There is also a little spicy alcohol in the nose but it is pretty bland for the most part. The smooth, mellow maltiness is complimented by a slightly understated mellow bitterness and the taste remains bland, even more so than the smell. Fairly smooth and creamy, the lack of stronger/more diverse flavors lowers the score for this otherwise very drinkable bw.

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Ridge Runner from Rock Art Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 414 ratings.
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