Bad Elf Winter's Ale | Ridgeway Brewing

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81
good
435 Ratings
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Bad Elf Winter's AleBad Elf Winter's Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
ridgewaybrewery.co.uk

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Loki on 11-26-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
435
Reviews:
249
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
14.53%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down but left a thin film of bubbles coating the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of floral and spicy hops in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some hints of biscuit malts and fruits. There is a mild amount of bitterness throughout.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer goes down very easily and is quite sessionable.

 626 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very Ale-like for a Christmas beer. In that, I mean a strong pale, estery, fruity, and hoppy brew without the amber or red malts that I expected. Instead, I found a pale malt brew with big fresh English hops that shows a lot of pine and earthy character. Mildly woody, but reliant on peach, appricot, apple and pear flavors to carry the brew. Spicy and mellowed with a nice maturation. Feels medium to the palate with a firm texture that rides into the finish. Finishes with a warm, hoppy flavor and feel. Good brew, but not what I expect from a Christmas brew.

 561 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

50cl bottle served into a transparent hard plastic cup at me friend's gaff in Palo Alto, California. Acquired at a local BevMo. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a nontransparent orange-copper.

Sm: Butterscotch (diacetyl?), cream, pleasant buttery malts, and clean barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: A bit buttery in terms of malt, but clean and enjoyable, if simple. Not real well balanced, but built fairly well (albeit far off style). Not as hoppy as the label would like us to believe. A bit bland and disappointing. Light honey is a nice touch.

Mf: Sharp but smooth and wet. A touch too heavy on the palate. Fairly complementary of the flavours.

Dr: Decently drinkable. I wouldn't have it again; it's too simple and bland - especially for the style.

 846 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a half liter mug, this pours a brilliant deep orange. It had nice clarity and even some spindly lacing. Retention wasn't that great, although there was a decent clump of bubbles to one side.

Faintly hoppy aroma, tea like, some herbal and floral notes. You have to wonder what the boat journey does to a beer that has "3 lbs. of fresh hops in every barrel". They certainly don't express themselves here.

Clean and inoffensive flavor, mostly buttery biscuit and leafy hop tea traces. Little to no bitterness or interest at all. Fairly mellow and pedestrian. I can finish this, which is more than I could say for Lump of Coal.

I'm glad this was a gift, because i'm not into buying beers for the novelty labels.

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Photo of brentk56
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, slightly golden color with a nice head; a bit of lacing, but not too much

Smell: Kind of funky, with alcohol and a bit of malt

Taste: The malt flavor is quickly overtaken by the phenolic alcohol flavor; somewhat sour at the very end

Mouthfeel: Just about right for this style; medium bodied and moderately carbonated

Drinkability: Just OK; marred by the alcohol penols that get in the way of the malt and hop flavors

 449 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of zeff80
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewd from notes.

A - Poured out a cloudy/hazy orange color with hints on gold. A small, white, short-lived head left no lace.

S - It smelled mossy and lightly grassy. There was also some roasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted of caramel malts and had a bitter kick with some subtle hop flavor.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This was okay. It wasn't as flavorful as some other of this style.

 427 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of largadeer
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored with a slight haze. A gentle pour creates a thin half-inch head that shows decent retention. Fruity English ale yeast aroma; fresh stonefruit, bread, a bit of buttery diacetyl and earthy hops. Palate is decent, fruity and buttery flavors are prominent with an earthy hop note beneath. Bitterness is moderate, a little astringent and at odds with the diacetyl. Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't want to drink a full pint.

 432 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/17/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear medium orange/amber/light copper color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of lemon, orange, peach, plum, pear, apple, honey, light caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Bit of diacetyl in the aromas, but not overpowering. Taste of big lemon, orange, peach, plum, pear, apple, honey, light caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/grassy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, peach, plum, pear, apple, honey, light caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Light dryness from lingering bitterness, increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a bit of warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice English strong ale. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Very well balanced and a great style example. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up an inch thick head of frothy white foam that receeds to a shorter but denser, creamy layer in a few moments. The trade-off, however, is that it disturbs the yeast sediment and leaves it's golden-amber body somewhat hazy. Still, tiny bubbles are clearly visible climbing slowly towards the surface. What remains of the head leaves some nice lace about the glass, and overall, it's a very nice appearance. Hops are clear in the nose with a brightly citrus and piney character. It's bold, fresh, and inviting - the way a real ale should be! The body is medium; and it's very fine and natural (bottle conditioned), restrained carbonation is just lightly tingly on the tongue before fading away smooth. The flavor delivers the lemony-citrus and resiny spruce/pine-like hop flavors promised by the nose over a biscuity malt. A bold bitterness balances, and its fades away dry with a quick flash of juicy fruitiness followed by a residual note of bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite impressive!

 1,010 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.01/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a touch of an off white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings a bunch of buttered bread lying underneath some mildly-appealing caramel and toffee notes. The taste goes down the wrong road, as the diacetyl really comes out here and takes over nearly everything. A bit of caramel, molasses, and maybe some spicing? It's really hard to tell with the butter. Mouthfeel is creamy and a bit gross. No reason to go through this whole beer; I did as much as I could to drink a few ounces but that was about all I could stomach.

 579 characters

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a light golden with a orange hue to it with a huge fluffy that sticks like glue to the sides of my pint glass that was a little unexpected,big aroma of lemon rind and some leafy hoppness very fresh and vibrant definently bold.A really dry brew some spearament notes and some grean leafy elements a big crisp dry malt backbone holds up well with the big bitterness of this beer.A real English IPA highly hopped but not over the top by any means dry and crisp a real drinker I wish I had more.

 498 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, a good amount of hops, honey and citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a mild but bitter burst of hops. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, honey and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are better beers in the style but this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

 778 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gloden/bronze with a 3 fingers of fluffy offwhite head. Some lacing & fair head retention

S: Grapefruitty hops

T: Citrussy & piney hops up front, then fruittness fill in around the hops. As this warms I get breadyness. Hops profile melows as this continues to warm. Finishes with honey malt, citric hops & fruittyness

MF: Low carbonation, good balance & medium bodied

Drank very easy, a bit pricey at $6 a pint. One of the better UK imports I've hade in a long while

 484 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear bright amber. The second pour adds a fair amount of yeast and hazes things up a bit. The small head is off-white and settles quickly to a thin film. Acceptable, though not abundant, lacing.

Citrus hop nose with notes of grapefruit (primarily) and lemon peel (secondarily). There's plenty of hop bitterness on the palate, though it's far from overdone. Well-balanced for the style. The first few sips were a little metallic, but after that it was fine. Pretty good mouthfeel; no complaints. The relatively low ABV (for an IPA) adds to the drinkability.

This beer is nothing like a traditional Christmas beer. I respect the brewery's right to call it anything they want, but they might as well have called it Crazy Cupid or Psychotic Bunny as Bad Elf. If you're in a holiday mood, drink a Troegs Mad Elf or any of the other spiced ales. If you want a respectable IPA no matter the season, reach for a Bad Elf.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am continuing my 2017 Christmas in July celebration, inspired by the good peeps at The FGBS who held Christmas in July on Tuesday. I had meant to drink these on Christmas day 2016, but I got rather blotto early on & set them aside as part of The Bottle Backlog at Chez Woody. Today is my series of entries for New Elf Christmas Beer in July Sunday (Week 6xx).

From the bottle: "One of our range of very special Christmas beers brewed in England for the USA. We all know of course, that Santa is really from Lapland!"; "'Tis a heavy hand what adds the hops to this festive golden ale. Truth be told, there's near to three pounds of fresh hops in every barrel of this treasured brew. Pull up a sturdy chair, let's fill up your best flagon with the season's finest natural ale, and I'll tell you a dark tale of elf and woe. 'Ere's to your elf! [undersigned] Peter Scholey (Brewer)".

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour so as not to rile the Bad Elf within. I was rather surprised by his color - Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. I do not know what I was expecting, but this was not it! An in-glass swirl raised two fingers of rocky, foamy, light-tan head with moderate retention. Nose was earthy, both from the malt and the hops. It had a biscuity dryness along with a freshly-turned soil smell, very evocative of a wet hop ale. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was lightly bitter, very earthy, biscuity sweet with a touch of honey-like sweetness. I remember, as a budding hophead, drinking an EIPA & being really disappointed by its lack of inherent bitterness. I was a novice, clearly, because this is proof that an IPA can be palatable without being overwhelming. This was not "Bad" at all. In fact, it was quite good & very easy-drinking. I think that what I liked most about it was its restraint - it was neither too bitter nor too sweet, coming down solidly in the middle of the road. Finish was semi-dry with the honey, biscuity earthiness lingering well past the swallow. IIRC, the price point on this was rather inexpensive, making it all the more attractive. YMMV.

 2,129 characters

Photo of mdfb79
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A orangish-copper color that is somewhat transparent. Almost no head but an insane amount of carbonation; the most I've ever seen in a beer.

s - Smells sweet, as well as piney hops, some citrus fruits.

t - Taste is alittle lacking, but hints of piney hops and some citrus fruits/orange. Not overly impressive.

m - Light body with way too much carbonation. Carbonation keeps it from being too enjoyable.

d - Overall this isn't bad, but it isn't great either. Way too much carbonation and the taste was lacking, but I could see a less carbonated bottle being easier to drink. Probably would not try and buy again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

That bastard elf... This stuff pours a wan tawn topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises musty orange peel, dark greens, dusty green apple, and dry biscuits. The taste brings in more of the same, with everything coming through blander, mustier. Gotta tell ya, it ain't all that satisfying. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, a pretty sad EIPA all-around. Straight up.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Kendall Pub enjoying themany fine offerings they have from Ridgeway which included the Bad Elf. The beer poured a copper color with a slight haze. There was a thin white head that provided good retention. The scent was slightly fruity yeast aroma and earthy hops. The taste was good, fruit and butter flavors are prominent with an earthy hop note beneath. Bitterness is moderate, a little astringent and at odds with the diacetyl. Overall not a bad beer.

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Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light golden amber tone with a full frothy white head leaves large evenly strung patches of lace, nice. Aroma: Hop cones fill the air very citrus in nature almost easy to call it lemon or lime blended with flowery hops and an easing light malt backbone definitely some hops in an English IPA oh yeah. Taste: Layers of bittering hops as for the hop flavor it comes through in micro bursts of zest from a citrus fruit and slight pine needles not bad just a bit unbalanced not enough sweetness to balance out the hops here. Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied ale not bad nice fine carbonation good stuff. Drinkability: Decent brew out of the UK thank heavens for American IPAs man am I thankful, this is good but it's not a Stone IPA or Sierra Nevada Celebration.

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Bad Elf Winter's Ale from Ridgeway Brewing
3.58 out of 5 based on 435 ratings.
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