Bad Elf Winter's Ale | Ridgeway Brewing

Bad Elf Winter's AleBad Elf Winter's Ale
BA SCORE
3.53/5
435 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:
#39,570
Reviews:
249
Ratings:
435
pDev:
14.73%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
24
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
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 Morris729
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber color with a short white head that quickly fades into a trace amount of lace. Nose is floral hops with notes of lemon zest and bubblegum. The same floral hops in the aroma are the key players in the taste though they are nicely paired with a sweet fruitiness and toffee-like maltiness. More of a hop bitterness level than your typical English IPA offering. Easy drinking and refreshing.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle. 2005-2006 vintage.

This ale poured a clear, golden-amber color with white foam that settled and clung to the glass a bit. The smell was a bit sweet and malty, somewhat reminiscent of a Belgian tripel. The taste was a little sweet and malty, and like the smell, it reminded me of a Belgian ale. The hoppiness seemed low for an IPA, but it came out a bit in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium-full body and modest carbonation. It was relatively clean. This was a very nice, drinkable ale, and the 6% ABV was not apparent.

 552 characters

Photo of ellisdee97
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light perfectly clear brown with tinges of yellow and orange. A nice column of bubbles rise within and a nice light white head quickly dissipates leaving a nice bubbly ring. Very sticky lacing lingers through to the end.

S: Nice floral hop aroma up front. Orange peel and lemon zest. Some toasted malt and slight fruit.

T: Taste is reminiscent of a nicely hopped lager. Sweet toasted malt, and a taste of orange sherbert. Spicy hops with hints of orange and lemon zest.

M: Full bodied almost syrupy, with a sweet dry finish.

D:Excellent cold weather brew.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle

Pours a clear golden color with a light copper hue. A small white had forms and recedes. Thick bands of lacing on the glass.

Nice citrusy and piney hop blend with a mild spiciness and a bit of caramel malt peeking through.

Flavorful blend of hops upfront consisting of citrusy and piney hops with a slight spiciness. Rather low on the IBUs, the bitterness is very mild and the hops allow for some caramel maltiness to come through. Extremely balanced.

Very light body, mild carbonation.

Very easy drinking IPA - both due to the thin body and the very nice flavor. The taste more closely resembles an American IPA, so I'd recommend this one to enjoys an IPA brewed on either side of the pond.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served into a nonic glass from a brown 16.9oz bottle with crimped cap

Cloudy,golden.light coppery color.Creamy white head dissapating a bit quick.Lots of yeast on bottom of the bottle, left most of it in bottle.Good thick lacing down the glass.

A good moderate hop nose very citrusy,a bit piney and grassy.Notes of sweet carmell show through,more and more as the beer warms.

Very citrusy tastes,sweet honeyed malts very balanced.Piney overtones throughout,lots of carmell come through at mid-tastes.Finishes smooth and balanced with a good slightly sharp very pleasing bitterness.

Medium body,a good sticky hop feel,a very drinkable beer,easy drinking,pleasing and satisfying. Nothing fancy here just a very good beer,wish I had another.

 749 characters

Photo of WetCoaster
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A clear, paler-than-average amber/gold with a loose, slightly off-white head. Fine, mild carbonation.

Smell: Hoppy, though definitely the UK take on it rather than the citrus/pine bombs favored here on the West Coast. Spicy, herby but fairly dry otherwise.

Taste: Again, hops far more on the bittering end of the spectrum than the flavor; slightly peppery and spicy, malt makes a meek appearance and finishes with a lemony, drying pucker. Slightly bready yeast untertone as well, with the typical UK hard water mineral bite.

Mouthfeel: A bit slick, but fairly light and crisp.

Drinkability: A perfectly proper, English take on the IPA. Very subtle and balanced, but if you like bold hops, may not be your glass of beer.

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Photo of briman
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a light to medium golden amber color. Slightly hazy, with a fluffy half-inch off-white head. Excellent retention. Lots of lace.

Aroma is caramel malt, and hoppy with lemon & orange citrus.

Flavor has some biscuity malt, hoppy with lots of citrus. I get lemons more than anything else. Dry finish with a moderate grapefruit hop bitterness that lingers a bit in the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Balance is excellent. No really noticeable alcohol presence. Not sure why this is a "winter" beer honestly. Crisp, pretty refreshing. Very drinkable..wouldn't mind having another.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber orange (golden) with a nice full finger white head that melts to really sticky top covering lacing.
Aromas are typical sweet english amber malts with a bit of citrus hops following.
Taste is lightly toasted amber malts and slightly sharp hops following making it a mild IPA.
Finishes very clean in the mouth....not really drying like a typical IPA (american) but clean and fresh.
Without a doubt the best English IPA I've had.

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Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out of the half litre bottle a slightly hazy, dark golden colour. a frothy eggshell white head appears and sticks around to provide a nice lace. hoppy aroma...lemony, grassy, zesty, a bit piney and solvent, too. underlying sweet and syrupy maltiness backs it up. nice english india pale ale here. the flavour profile is a lemon zest hop dance all over the tongue, while a meek pale malt backbone balances the best it can. bitter hop finish... and i want another sip. pretty straightforward stuff. a nice body and creamy mouthfeel make it a nice drinker. gotta love the hops in this one. nice drinkability...this would be a great session ale or a nice one to wash down some grub with.

not sure the price justifies buying this every year, but at least i got to try it and keep the cute and cartoonsh x-mas themed bottle.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass. It had a dark amber color with a finger of head that slowly dissipated, no lacing. The smell was heavy on the hops as expected since the label says they put 3 pounds of hops into each barrel. The aroma started out strong then faded pretty rapidly as it warmed up. The taste was average and really didn't leave that great an impression. Since it was kinda weak, I could drink a couple of these except that they cost is way on the expensive side for what you get. The mouthfeel was also average with just a hint of creamy. Overall, a decent beer with great marketing (don't fall for it). Slightly recommend but don't hurt yourself finding it. (3.5, RB, T, Y, mini-session)

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Photo of peabody
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I might be rating this a little high cause I have had some pretty bad beers lately.
Pours out a cloudy amber with 2 fingers of off-white suds and nice lacing.
Smell of fresh lime and orange peel abound here.The Hops are a hoppin' and the ginger snap aroma is here. Mabey just a tad of alcohol is present.
Overall a great beer and a very nice presentation.
I like it a lot.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.85/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright gold with a nice light creamy off-white head and decent lacing from good carbonation. Nice strong lemon zesty hop aroma and flavor. Hops definitely shine over the grainy malts underneath but it's still fairly well balanced. Medium bodied with light creaminess and a dry bitter hop finish.

Despite the controversial name/label, this is one damn good beer !! Highly recommend !

Per Shelton Bros website: 45 ounces of fresh hops – including English Cascade – per barrel.

2006 Version
Tasted: 12/24/06

(11.2 oz / 33 cl)

 543 characters

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glossy orange, with a lightly white frothy head that relaxes into a thin top coat. Floral hops, some tender grapefruit and freshly squeezed lemons are all in the nose. Up front are some creamy hops, light citrus flavorings, a near sweet and sour feeling. An in your face bitterness as the malts develop; medium bodied. As she warms, some piney hops are formed, traces of alcohol. If you're a hops-head, you may be shaking for more hops, yet this is a nicely laid back E-IPA. Decent for the style, best when enjoyed fresh. Pretty good.

 542 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Distinctive Half-Litre brown glass bottle that has a wide body and a tall long thin neck sealed with a standard looking brass crown cap. My label resembles the one shown here on BA.

“Bad Elf” is described on the label as “6.0% Alc.Vol. Winter’s Ale”

Appearance: Soft orange amber torso with a light golden body. Nice rising dirty white head on the pour. The creamy head soon relaxes the froth and settles down a thin covering. Gentle lacing rings as you work your way down the Pint. Streamers fill the body. Fine tuned carbonation is at a level that is cask like.

Nose: Malts and a floral hop character. Middling strength with a nice projection of the hops in the aromas nonetheless. Some grapefruit and lemon rind in there too.

Taste: Malt in the beginning is earthy with a little spice. Soon the hops have a more dominant role and pull through a citric sharpness. Finish has a clean ending with a decent grapefruit hop tang. Fruity at times and nicely put together.

Mouthfeel: No sign of the alcohol, it drinks below its fighting weight and this does allow the flavors more leeway. Above average feel but the base is a little thin at times. The conditioning lends a smooth creamy texture though which takes it up a notch.

Drinkability: A decent quaffer with an attractive profile. The malt adds a depth to the base whilst the hops add fruits and some spices. Clean sharp grapefruits and a hint of lemon make this a very refreshing brew to tackle.

Overall: Originally a little hoppier I recall, this years seems a tad more malty to the palate, but this is still a solid brew, despite the fact that I don’t really consider this to be a traditional Winter Ale by any definition. That said, this is by far the best of the “Elf range” of beers from Ridgeway, for my money the Very Bad, Seriously Bad and Criminally Bad just get worse with strength. Bad Elf is the original and harks back to its roots and doing what Ridgeway do best. More of a premium hoppy English Bitter than anything to do with Christmas or Winter – a little expensive but a pleasant brew overall.

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Photo of jimdkc
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Independence Hy-Vee Supermarket for $4.99 each along with Santa's Butt, Rudolph's Revenge, and Lump of Coal. Who could resist? World Market was charging $5.99 each and didn't have Santa's Butt. Half liter (16.9 oz.) bottles.

Poured a clear amber with a modest head that soon dissipated to a thin ring. Left some light lacing on my English Pint glass.

Aroma was subtle malt plus the promise of hops to come.

Taste was moderately hoppy with a smooth bitterness. A little malt sweetness, but the floral hops are the star here.

Medium body with fairly light carbonation. Nice.

I liked this pretty well. A bit pricey, but an enjoyable English import!

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Photo of nige4958
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is fab. No, it's not an American IPA. If you been to the motherland and enjoy British beers, you'll like this one. It's rather delicate for being a winter brew. Pours a lovely straw colour in a pint glass. There is light citrus and a tad of diacytl followed by solid bitterness. There are no rough edges, just a very civilized brew. If you don't like British beers, it's a waste of time.

 397 characters

Photo of HopDerek
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears golden amber in color with a quickly dissipating off white head. Smells of citrus hops and some sweetness like caramel. Tastes of grapefruit with the sweetness of caramel, with a little bit of bitter aftertones. Smooth and creamy with a little tingle, nice sticking feel afterwards. Very good English IPA, though not very Christmas inspired, and kinda expensive.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly reddish amber color, fairly puffy head, small but numerous bubbles. Head had good staying power, some lacing.
Smell took me back a bit. Some sticky sweetness, malt and apricot, but mostly I smelled a skunkiness to it. Like a watered down Moosehead.
Taste wasn't skunked, thankfully. A more-complex-than-simple lager taste. Slightly roasted malt, sweetness, molasses hints and tangerine cues. I didn't taste much hops, but I think they calmed the sweetness down a bit.
better drank cold; as it warmed it allowed the alcohol to seep through, not a pleasant aftertaste.
Better than average, but not worth the $5/bottle.

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Photo of TheLiterati
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at my local Cost Plus World Market for about $5 as part of a trilogy of winter beers from England with silly holiday-themed names including “Lump of Coal Stout” and “Rudolph’s Revenge” that I, being silly sometimes myself, just could not resist.

Poured a nice amber color with a tan, two-finger high head that quickly yielded to a little lacing as I sipped.

Smelled of hops, though not nearly as strong as I would have expected for a beer that claimed to be heavily hopped. There was lots of malty sweetness in the aroma as well.

Mouthfeel was smooth, with a nice carbonation.

Taste was (thankfully) not as sweet as I worried it might be, though I’d have expected a little more spice (orange peel, white pepper, coriander) for a winter ale. An English ale that is not at all unpleasant, even drinkable, but not spectacular.

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Photo of pacond
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a big head. It is living in a world of dry citrus and spciy aroma's. At first taste it was a english ale that had desires to become bigger. The mouthfeel of the beer is more rich than I expected, sort of creamy. It is definately an english ale. Further into the session it became increasingly hoppy to my palate and more complex. A good time!

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Photo of
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz. bottle

Claims to be bottle conditioned, but I didn't find any sediment.

Clear, golden color. Large off white head.

Hoppy, floral (roses) and grapefruit. Hints of alcohol and fruits. Malt very quiet.

Nice and hoppy - grassy. Spices. A taste something like crackers as support for above flavors.

Medium to light body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

Pretty good, a moderately hoppy beer. Not sure how it fits into the whole winter seasonal scene, but I guess even Santa needs a hop fix now and then. Competition for Celebration won't be coming from this direction.

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Photo of nortmand
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with a long lasting fluffy head.

Solid citrus hoppiness in the nose, supported by some biscuity caramel sweetness.

Sweet biscuit in the tip of the tongue turns into a nice full flavored hoppy graininess. Hops are all citrus, very borderline American flavor.

Overall, a solid, medium bodied beer, very drinkable, but somewhat expensive.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden-amber color topped by a smallish creamy white head that descends into a small halo quite quickly. Aroma of crisp English hops, lightly fruity malt, and a touch of light fruit (primarily apricot). Palate is nice and typical of a good English IPA - crisp fruity hops, light fruity malt, overall a nice tart fruitiness. Medium body has a pleasant creamy character to it. I could drink a lot of this if it weren't for the rather high price.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Bad Elf Winter's Ale from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 435 ratings
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