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Bad Elf Winter's Ale | Ridgeway Brewing

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Bad Elf Winter's AleBad Elf Winter's Ale
BA SCORE
3.53/5
Good
436 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:
#40,279
Reviews:
250
Ratings:
436
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: 436 |  Reviews: 250
Photo of Thorpe429
2.01/5  rDev -43.1%
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 XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

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

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Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
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 mdfb79
2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

 669 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev 0%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
2.7/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +13.3%
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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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC. Bartender Kate told me this one was "a little flat" I saw it as simply on the low carbonation side and that was just fine. Poured light honey golden amber, Mildly hoppy nose, minor head, natch, and no lacing. Agressivly hopped for a British IPA, thats a good thing!, Grainy hops evident and fresh tasting. Overlaid on a nice biscuity malt base. Long malty finish. Tasty and very pleasant, Brit brew with pleanty of character, I havent tried it in bottles, but the tap version is deserving of a try or two If you find it on at your local.

 571 characters

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of malfunxion
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber that is clear with quickly dissipating head. Slightly hopped nose with a sweet edge and caramel influence. Flavor is bitter and sweet at the same time. Feel is slightly touched with bubble. Drinkable, sure. But this bottle cost me $6. For that price I could be getting a Rochefort, a St Bernardus, or a wide array of other home runs. Nice to try, but at this price I would never go back to it.

 408 characters

Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden color. 1/4 inch head with decent retention and decent lacing. A thin film remains throughout the entire beer. Smells of sweet malt, some slight spice, a hint of fruit, and some yeast cleanliness. Fits the style of an English IPA, if not a weak example. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high level of carbonation. Tastes of sweet malt upfront, yeast flavors throughout, slight roasted malt in the background, sand some slight hops. Overall, a little weak in the hops than I'd expect and a little watered down. Still a pretty decent beer that's really easy to drink.

 590 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, honey-gold coloring with no head. Aromas of dry, light hops, with an effervescent feel. Lemony citrus highlights on the nose, with a rich malt character, as well. The beer's flavors are light at first, with a dry, peppery hopping on the tongue, followed by a more full, robust, roasted taste that leads to a slight, sweet, malt flavor. Light bodied, with no cling to the glassware. The palate ends up being very well blended, with a spicy and slightly citrusy aftertaste. The finish is very crisp and clean, with a slight drying bitterness and spice that clears the palate for the next drink. Tasty.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 661 characters

Photo of Lare453
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, light golden color, pear peelings, apple slices, under a crystalline white, lacey head.
Aroma: bright, vibrant, sunny nose, a fruit salad blend, tropical fruits unfold, pineapple, slightly spicy, ...very English.
Taste: hmmm, spark of hops at the tip, fruity, but, all in all, a bit underwhelming. Rolls nicely in the mouth, tasty, with the 6% peeking through jsut a teeny bit. feels more appley further in, such an interesting take on a Wintery Ale...or is it bad to have this so far from the season? In summer, the Elf is more mellow, perhaps?
Nice enough, but the grinning, evil elf on the label led me to believe something more sinister.

 651 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clean/clear golden color, nice carbonation, nice little white creamy head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, slight hop, and lots of caramel. The taste is mostly malty, with some hops thrown in, and caramel. This is a very nice English IPA. Slightly sweet too. Medium body. Drinkable, recommended.

 350 characters

Photo of Dicers
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -15%

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.

 639 characters

Bad Elf Winter's Ale from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 436 ratings
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