Bad Elf Winter's Ale | Ridgeway Brewing

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Bad Elf Winter's AleBad Elf Winter's Ale
BA SCORE
3.52/5
Good
444 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#42,556
Reviews:
252
Ratings:
444
pDev:
14.77%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
28
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 |  Reviews: 252
Photo of roblowther
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a Christmas gift set, probably a familiar story to beer nerds everywhere. The color is surpisingly light, it is very clear with a minimal head that soon leaves behind a thin sticky lace. Smell is honey and lemons, not the hops I would have expected. The taste is very smooth, malty, and with caramel and a nice hop balance. The mouthfeel is slightly sticky, slick, and slightly flat, not surpising for an English beer. Drinkability is good, as the balance and light flavor make for a very nice beer. I'd say the elf isn't as bad as advertised.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear light amber color (looks like a pale ale) with a dinky little head.

Lemony grassy hop profile, not getting any noble hop twang, maybe fuggles or ekg.

Some light tea leaf flavors, malt is pretty subdued as well. Overall a pretty mild beer, and not something i'd consider a 'winter ale' by any respect.

It is drinkable and all, just hardly deserving of the (what i would consider) bold or extreme name "bad elf" and associated mischevous graphic. A better name for this beer should have been "happy friendly little elf". Yes, and im aware their other beers have progressivly sinister names.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured about half of a 25 oz. bottle into a Pint glass. Very clear golden color with a thick and fluffy snow white head. Lacing is fairly prominent as the head fades.

Aroma of earthy malt, and some spicy English hops. A light fruitiness noticeable in the nose as well. No this is not a hopped up American IPA, but its more subtle English forefather. I get a nice grapefruit flavor backed by some caramel and a swirl of alcohol. Subtle all the way around, but well balanced and down right tasty.

Medium body, but not what I would consider a "Winter's Ale". Nice smooth mouthfeel though, and definitely a good drinker. No problem drinking this big bottle.

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Photo of TheBear11D
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden yellow pour with slow rising carbonation bubbles and a foamy white head that hung around for about a minute.

Plenty of citrus, lemon, grapefruit and a floral forefront with a bit of malt mixing in.

Malt and citrus are the immediate tastes while the hops slowly but surely become present and bring the citrus flavors to a full finish. A tad metallic at the start.

Medium body with a slow building crispness to it.

Quite easy to drink with a good flavor.

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Photo of tobyandgina
3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Virtually no head upon pour.

Color is golden yellow and clear. Not much carbonation.

Smells of caramel malts and not much else.

A little bit of some hops in the flavor, along with some grassy notes. There really isn't much to this one.

Mouthfeel is actually pretty good - plays well on the tongue. And the drinkability is decent. Good while working on the car or mowing the lawn.

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Photo of kaseydad
2.84/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first of the four-pack I was given for X-mas. I must have been a not-so good boy. The label states there is "nearly three pounds" of hops per barrel but I can really only taste a strong malt presence. It smelled nice after settling into my snifter but the taste has much to be desired. A mild aftertaste but not harsh like some IPA's.

For the English style it was ok but I prefer the American-ized IPA. Not bad to try, but would not purchase on my own.

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Photo of BigBry
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, from "A Rather Curious Collection of Holiday Ales" - label as pictured above. 6% alc Winter's Ale.
Pours dark gold with a large, off-white head. Foam shrinks to a floating cap, leaving some thin lacing.
The smell has pale ale hoppiness, floral and herbs. The taste has the same herbal hops with a good malt base. Crisp, dry finish. Medium body, slightly oily. A nice English IPA, just named a Winter Ale to help with marketing.
This was the favorite of the 4.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Slightly veiled and deep golden in color with a creamy white head that settles rapidly

S-A very light malt/bread smell with a hint of citrus. There is not much going on here.

T-Starts off with a tangy slightly sweet malt and citrus balanced by the hops. Lighter than expected for something that calls itself a "Winter Ale". Very refreshing though...I would like to have one of these in the summer.

M-Light to Medium in the mouth, with average carbonation. Again, a refresher, not a warmer.

D-This is a pretty drinkable beer...nothing to blow your socks off, but solid. Don't really understand why it is a seasonal...there is nothing "winter" about it, and I was expecting a higher dose of hops here.

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Photo of froghop
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours semi-cloudy light amber with a thin off-white head, almost no carbonation, and some lacing.

smell is light grapefruit, wet ceder wood chips, spice, toffee, burnt sugar, freshly cut christmas tree.

taste is oily, spice, fruit, bit of citrus, holly, caramel, somewhat bitter, hopy, and light malt, leaves the mouth on the sticky side.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a large fluffy slightly off-white head that descends to a lasting thin cover, leaving some lacing.

The smell is floral/herbal and lemon-grassy. Well-hopped though with grainy backing and buttery notes.

The taste is of leafy, herbal, slightly citric hops, butterscotch and a firm malty, crackery backing. It has a bittering, dry finish.

The feel is a bit oily/slick. Medium-bodied.

Other than the slightly higher abv, it's not particularly "wintery", but who cares. A nice IPA that shows the English hops well, while being balanced. I could drink and enjoy in any season (though not "session"). A very good representation of an English IPA.

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Photo of beer2day
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a slight haze. Tall head with excellent lacing. Strong malty aroma that translates to a big hit on the tongue. Finishes a bit weak for my taste, but has a very creamy mouthfeel. Hops are here more for aroma than taste.

Tried laying one down from last year and the beer did not fare well. Won't do that again.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the 16.9 oz bottle into a Pilhser glass

A: Amber (a little unfiltered looking) Nice 2 finger head with very nice lacing

S: Fruity... Maybe Orange with a hint of pineapple

T: Very light, I getting a hint of a fruit but not sure which one.... Also Hoppy upfront but not to much.... The bitterness is just right....Very good

M: Light & refreshing, carbonation is very good.

D: Very enjoyable, I might have to pour another...

Not a Winter Ale as I thought it would be... But very nice.... It would make a nice Christmas gift...

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Photo of champ103
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear golden straw color. A white head forms and leaves some light sticky lace.
S: Fruity hops up front, but it is not overly bitter. Oranges, apples, pears, and other citrus aromas. Some sweet doughy malt.
T: Again a nice hoppy bite up front. Oranges, apples, pears with a hint of grapefruit. Just the right amount of bitterness for an English IPA. Sweet caramel and doughy malt.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and well carbonated. Very smooth and easy to drink.

I like this beer. Not overly complex, but very tasty. Something I could drink more of.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, bright, and crisp golden peach color with orange hues. A one finger cream-beige colored head sits atop that was bubbly and lasted for several minutes. Visible carbonation was faint while a nice spiderweb lacing was left behind.

S: fruity with fresh oranges and apples with a perfumy hopping.

T: a light lemon breadiness and orange flavor opens things up. There was a spiciness of apples and a pretty good floral hopping. Some alcohol detection with a slight orange sourness was also detected. The flavor was moderatly good, though maybe not so much per style. A nice malting though not a lot of spices. Some citrusy grapefruit, pale grains, with a touch of cinnamon linger about but not enough to make a difference overall.

M: light, very smooth with a extremely soft carbonation. An slightly above average xmas drink.

D: Easy to put down especially at 6.0% which drinks quite well though was only moderatly exciting.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 500 ml bottle poured into a large tulip glass yields a bright amber body with a touch of haze and a layer of thin, bright white foam atop. The head recedes quickly into a bubbly ring that leaves a few scraps of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is spicy and tartly citrusy with a little pine and solid note of mild and mellow pale malt.

The taste is mild and pale malty with a sweet orange undertone and a grapefruit pithy bitterness. Though pretty meek overall, the citrusy hop flavors predominate, and very little bitterness and only the faintest touch of earthy dryness marks the finish.

The drink is light-medium in body with minimal carbonation. A nice drink and very citrusy for an English IPA.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been curious about the Bad Elf series for a while so when I saw this at the local Whole Foods it seemed to make sense. This one pours a medium, slightly hazy golden color with a foamy white head with about a four minute half life. The nose is grassy, faint floral hops.

The taste is initially pretty good but kind of fizzles and goes in a bunch of different directions. You get some up front alcohol and some malt sugars but the thin texture doesn't lend itself to the kick or flavor. There's a touch of hop bitterness for a flash but it passes quickly and the finish is sweet and just kind of fades away. I usually like English IPAs but this one doesn't really have the bitterness or hop profile or the malt or toasted qualities to be a winter warmer or strong ale. It's kind of a hybrid, but not something I'm going to search out again.

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Photo of CAP1868
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured the 16.9 oz bottle into a english-style 22oz glass

A- Murky amber color with a small white head with decent lacing throughout the brew

S- Smells very bready and light

T- taste is pretty good light refreshing tones with a taste of alcohol and bread, maybe some type of fruit, very good

M- Light and refreshing but still feels like a decent winter ale

D- Very good in this category, could drink a few

I recommend this beer for those who want to try a winter type ale

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16.9 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber/blonde, with a small white head with poor retention, no real lacing to be seen.

S: White grapefruit predominately, with a light malty profile, and some alcohol.

T: Taste is actually pretty good. Light bready malt mixed with a grassy, earthy hop profile, lawn clippings, can be astringent at times, but I found it to be pretty tasty in the long run, nice bit of dark fruit in the aftertaste as well, too.

M: Nice full, crisp carbonation, medium-bodied, dry.

D: A pretty good EIPA, would definitely buy it again next holiday season, a quality effort.

M:

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Photo of Tilley4
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber golden color with a small head.

Smells a bit malty and spicy, sort of bready as well.

Very smooth taste of malt and some spiciness.

Nothing spectacular but glad I finally found a bottle to give this a try. I wasn't a huge fan of it but it was pretty good.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a nice orangy amber with a thick white head. Although it is an IPA, the aroma is surprisingly malty, with just a touch of sweetness. Flavor is richly hoppy, with a strong malt component, a hint of fruity sweetness, and only a whisper of hop bitterness. It goes down smoothly but with a good alcohol edge and a hoppy, mildly bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of zeff80
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with retention that fades after a little while.

Smell is grassy and lemony. Grapefruit in the back with some citrusy hops. Pale malts are in the backround.

Taste is grassy and lemony from the citrusy hops. Pale english malts are unintersting in the backround.

Mouthfeel is slightly crisp, but it is somewhat watery and a little bit uninteresting.

Not a bad brew at all. I'm glad to have tried it.

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Photo of baggio
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a few of these in a liqourstore close to work and realized i had not yet review it so i decided to grab a bottle....

A: Orange with a cream head that sticks to the glass.

S: Citric notes, yeast, hint of caramel, metal notes.

T: Caramel, minerals, hint of apple, cough-medicine(!), tropical fruits

M: Quite smooth with very low carbonation and a nice bitterness.

Well, i'd say this is more of a IPA than a winterale. Still, for an IPA it is not bad. Still, this is not something i'll go back to again anytime soon. Average.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although marketed as a "winter ale", this is certainly an IPA... Pours a hazy, straw-colored hue with minimal frothy head that soon dissipated... Smell was noticeably an IPA... replete with hops, vanilla, and slight caramel... taste strongly complemented the aroma, with ultra-fresh hops, grains, citrus, and a noticeable bitter-sweet aftertaste that was rich, thick, and satisfying... first-ever brew from this English company, and I must admit that I was very satisfied... This 1 pint .9 fl oz was pretty pricey at almost $5 at a local store in Short Hills, but I didn't recognize the label or brewery, so I wanted to give it a try... all in all, an excellent IPA that really stood out due to its pure and fresh flavor... definitely better than the average depiction of the style... Definitely recommended...

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Photo of Gehrig
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light orange body supports two ample fingers of white froth. The smell gives off only a little hint of the bitterness and complex taste that comes later, unfortunately, though citrus is certainly detectable. As the beer warms, however, the nose becomes better and more balanced with hop bitterness. I rather like the taste, which becomes more complicated as the beer warms slightly, and I ponder what I've purchased. Plenty of citrus--mainly grapefruit, lemon and some orange--ample hops to the taste, some modest spice, and a little vanilla that I enjoy in small servings. Nicely done.

This is a solid, well-rounded beer, not outstanding but good indeed. It's not a beer to quaff, but rather to patiently drink and enjoy. I would not characterize this as a Winter Ale per se, but rather a nice IPA, similar in hop allotment and style to, but different in flavor from Samuel Smith's IPA. It will come around.

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Bad Elf Winter's Ale from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 444 ratings