IPA | Ridgeway Brewing

very good
77 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by gentlebubbles on 05-01-2005

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 119
Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away. It left thick rings of lacing down the edges of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of floral hops in the nose along with some hints of citrus.
T: Like the smell, the flavors of the hops really stand out in the taste but they are not overpowering and only contribute a light amount of bitterness. There are also fruity flavors as well as some hints of tea leaves and bready malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very drinkable and quite sessionable given its low alcohol content. It has a surprisingly high amount of hop flavor compared to other English IPAs but doesn’t really have the associated bitterness.

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Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another shot at a well regarded English IPA.Poured a dull light golden with a very nice creamy,tight one fingeed head that never leaves giving me a mustache at avery drink.Herbal aromas mainly mint and geranium with some mineral quality and lghtly sweet caramel.Now this isnt the brash American IPA that I adore but this is a fine version,herbal and grassy hop flavors not big but nicely subtle over top of toasted grain and lightly sweet.I think this English IPA would be great on the beer engine nice subtle complexities,very good for what it is.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 ounce pint - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Nearly clear, toffee-colored body with a modestly-sized, white head.

Smell: Lightly scented dry maltiness in the aroma, with notes of pale malts, basic white bread, and an even more meager hint of toffee crisp. Subtle hoppiness giving off whiffs of earthy spices, citrus, and even a bit of pine.

Taste: Simple pale malts with a lightly sweet touch of toffee and a crunchy stale bread character. Spicy, earthy, citrus hops with a medium-light bitterness. Drying and bitter on the back half and until the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: As with the rest of their line-up, it's no more than acceptably average. As always, I'd rather have myself a Sam Smith, though that doesn't help me on draft, as I very rarely seen their stuff on tap in my area.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright lemony amber with glittering lemon drop borders topped by an incredible head that is rich cream in color and as sticky as honey... which is only fitting since it leaves gobs of lace in a honeycomb pattern. Bee-utiful! This is one of the best lids that I've seen in a long while. It's hugely pitting, rough-hewn and mountainously rocky.

The nose is a good one, even keeping in mind its country of origin and my preference for U.S. hops. It smells of sweet, bread-and-buttery pale malt with a generous amount of little green cones that are as exotically citrusy as they are herbal. If the flavor is a fair approximation of the aroma, look out.

This is an excellent ale. If malt-driven-but-still-hoppy English IPAs are your religion, Ridgeway IPA is your god. The beer tastes like a thick, hearty slab of crusty sourdough slathered with sweet herb butter and sprinkled with a small handful of shredded hop leaves. The hops are, at once, floral, citric fruity and herbal. Earthy appears to be on holiday.

I can't get over the head and lace. Each pour generates a living, breathing foam monster that deposits ring upon crusty ring on the glass when it reluctantly drops away. The flavor profile stays in balance throughout, with an increase in both definition and intensity on the back end. The mouthfeel is medium-full and is buttery smooth, modestly mouthcoating and finely carbonated. This stuff must be pure heaven on-cask.

The Shelton Brothers website says, in effect, that this is the same beer as Bad Elf, but has been renamed so that it can be brewed year-round. If that's true, then the brewery has improved on the Bad Elf recipe circa 2003. Ridgeway IPA is a keeper and is, quite simply, one of the best beers of this style in existence.

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Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bottle conditioned beer, so it is appropriately cloudy. Golden color. Lasting, but thin head; moderate lace.

Oddly, this is a malty smelling beer. I detect the very beginnings of skunkiness. Otherwise, its fine but unusual.

The hop shows up in the flavor, but it dissipates quickly so the finish is malty! The body is moderate and the carbonation is high. I like the aftertaste as it is well balanced.

I would describe this as upside down pale ale. First, it is too mild to be a IPA. Second it is far more malty and far less hoppy or alcoholic to fit the profile. That said, I like this beer very much even if it is mislabelled.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden yellow - towards amber - with a thin white head that slowly becomes a patch. Little lacing sticks.

The smell is grainy, slightly earthy/herbal, a touch of lemony citrus, a bit musty.

The taste picks up well. Soft resin and citric notes, a touch of tea-leaf balanced by a generous amount of tasty Maris Otter malt. Balanced, yet enough hops and slight touch of alcohol to keep well within the style of an English IPA. Soft bittersweet, dryish finish.

Medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Quite smooth.

A well-balanced, "sessionable" classic interpretation of the style. Certainly more subtle than the standard American versions, as it should be. A good one here.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/08/08- Given to me by my wife as part of a beer birthday present.

Presentation- 500ml bottle, did not check for freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Nice amber colored pour with a large one inch plus head. Left good patchwork and webby lace.

Smell- Really fresh hops that smell more american than english. Not really grapefruit, but a citrus base. Malt is toasted but the scent comes through mostly in hops.

Taste- Very relaxed and laid back. Citrus and tea leaf hops mix well with the lightly toasted malt base. About an even mix of hops and malts. Niether one takes initiative.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower crisp carbonation level. Short lasting, but pleasant hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- All in all a very nice english ipa. I would have no problem drinking one of these again.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful bitter hop aroma that balances well with the Maris Otter and carapils malts. The taste is good aslo. It has a solid malt bill that adds a base for the hops which are quite bitter and floral in nature. The whole leafs really stand out and make this beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a really good drinking English IPA. I like the hop content. It has a light bitterness, but a standout aroma and finish.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had very little in the way of an authentic English IPA thus far. Is Ridgeway the key that unlocks the door? On to the beer:

The beer pours a cloudy straw color into my shaker glass. As the beer reaches the top of the glass, it settles in a faded blonde color (looks like a witbier) with a one centimeter thick head. Yes, there is floating sediment. The aroma is soft, a little fruity, and floral from the hops. As for the taste...yes there are hops. A good amount, but not overpowering. They're tea-like in flavor. Malt flavor and tannins play around in the back, but are light and gain momentum as the hops are washed away. Notes of diacteyl are there too.

It's not clean, but it's good. Solid choice for those days when you want a lighter IPA.

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Photo of tone77
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of light fruits, floral, some sweetness. Taste is light hops, malts, hints of tea, mild bitterness at the finish. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

17 oz picked up at the Coop today for a very pricey $5.20 .. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

Very nice creamy looking 2 finger head ... brew is a hazy honey color.

Aroma is very assertive .. floral/grassy hoppiness ... even touches of lemon .. smells bitter and hoppy .. Not as much pale malt as expected .... I would actually appreciate a little more malt and a touch more yeasty fruitiness.

Flavor is bracing hoppy the melts stubbornly into slight pale maltiness and just touches of caramel and then quickly into a drying herbal and citric hoppiness... finishes pretty dry and abruptly. Smooth mouthfeel but a little light ... fine bubble carbonation.

This is good ... but I really think it could use more malts to balance out the hop flavors ... Still pretty damn good though.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall I'm not much of a fan of this brewery, primarily because of all of their mediocre Christmas beers with silly names. I had this IPA at the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, though and thought it was a much better effort and more of the real thing rather than a marketing ploy, so kudos where kudos are due. Poured golden with a typical cask drawn bubbly head, and quite good clarity. Smelled very citrusy and juicy with an underlying aroma of fresh baked bread. Surprisingly pleasant and fresh. The taste is similar- vibrant with orange citrus and a bit less of the fresh bread, but still a nice breadiness along with a gentle bitterness. A slight bit slippery in the mouth, but the overall effect of the beer is quite pleasant. A bit surprising to me how much I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of weeare138
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Appears a transparent dark gold with a mild white head that fades quickly into a small collar.
Smell is Earthy, grassy, funky sweetness, overbrewed herbal tea.
Taste is sweet, grassy, and filled with lemony zest.
Mouthfeel is dry, funky, ugly, with a lemony tea like feel sticking to the palate.
Drinks a bit like yesterday's tea with a shot of lemon pledge.
****UPDATE 6/19/06****
I tried this one again and didn't get as much funkiness as in the first attempt to drink this. I may have had a bad bottle the first go around. I've found that this is a delicate, herbal, earthy tasting IPA that is very English.
Old Score:
A -3, S - 3, T - 2.5, M - 2.5, D - 2.5

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours with a lovely frothy head of pure, smooth and silky white, above a bright, clear golden body. For some reason, and I think it's probably Sculpin, I now associate a really light coloured IPA with transcendance. This looks good in its own right, however, with tight, intricate lacing and fine retention. I'm excited to try it.

Wow, nose is really pleasantly hoppy, and almost attuned towards an American audience, with sharp citrus characters and fruity hints of pineapple and mandarin. There's a hint of the herbal, greenery-and-bushes type of English hop character, with a touch of tea and blackberry leaf, but this is much more subdued. It's a lovely, almost hybrid hop character.

Taste is also good, but rather subdued, with more of that slightly tannic tea hop character, and plenty of earthy greenery in the flavour. It's almost as though it's heavily hopped with low-to-moderate alpha hops, with nothing to give it too much astringency. Extremely smooth and clean and utterly drinkable.

Absolutely fantastic English IPA—I find it hard to think of a better one that I've tasted. This is fresh, bright, light, quaffable; all up: gorgeous.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a flat orange with a non-developing foamy capping that dissipated as quickly as it formed. Visible effervesce was strong with a ton of macro bubbles clinging to the glass walls before jet setting upwards. No lacing, no head, and a very little haze and came off looking more like an orange soda then a ipa.

S: On the nose was dry oranges and dry husky grains. Sweet caramel-orange candy notes are more forthright then any sense of hopping. The aroma started out fair enough but quickly became a non-factor after a few short minutes. Their pale ale (Ivanhoe) had a more promising display of hops then this, which came off disappointing despite the labels claim of using "large quantities of whole unprocessed hops"..yeah and miller is triple hopped brewed. A slight musky orange character is also present doing little to help matters.

T: The flavor was pale grains, dry with oranges and a slight yeasty muskiness similar more to a saison then an ipa. A candy sweetness is mixed in making for an odd combination. The malting was bready, one of the few highlights of this drink, with dried orange peels and only the faintest hints of English floral hops. Had more of a tart and sweet conflict going on with musky sickening candy notes. One final note here this beer was bought on close out which may have contributed to its weakening display of hops and carbonation, no date code was present.

M: The mouthful was bready with a thick orange juice like quality and texture. The carbonation was flat, boring and the hold all together boring. Lacked hops, crispness and any reason to hold this any longer then you need to.

D: Not impressed drinkability wise, was expecting an ipa and got a sweetened candy like orange drink instead. Wouldn't recommend or waste my time on. Uninteresting, and unfit per style with a sickening musky sweetness. Half way through I lost all interest or reason to finish.

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Photo of wl0307
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the Beers of Europe, bottle-conditioned in a 500ml brown bottle. BB 31/06/09(?), served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a lightly translucent reddish amber hue, almost like a "peach geuze"; carbonation is sporadic and mild, while the puffy white head lasts pretty well.
S: upfront comes lovely pale-malt stinky+savoury sweetness underlined by "breezy" aromatic flowery hoppiness, while lychee-shells, peaches, orange-oil, and a light note of longan-fruits keep flowing from the underneath. Overall, predominantly hoppy with a faint trace of yeastiness.
T: a delicious swallow of flowery as well as aromatic tea-ish hops is ensued by a clean texture of tannic citrusness, while the pale-malt backbone stays quiet and loyal... Gradually and surely, an intriguing chewy palate creeps up, likely due to the bitter-spicy hops as well as yeasty bits, while the aromatic orangey-citric and tangy-bitter undertones outlive every other elements... just more-ish at the end of every single sip~~
M&D: refreshing, full of microscopic fizz without going spritzy, the palate is clean, crisp even, for an ale, and overall retaining a medium body fit for a session ale - the bottle-conditioning is absolutely spot'on! This IPA has accommodated the pronounced hop features of an American Pale Ale and a balanced profile true to an English Bitter. Not terribly complex, but incredibly attractive as an hoppy bitter.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours from 500ml bottle a clear and bright yellow gold with a 1 finger head of foam. It turns cloudy with the second pour. Hey, it's bottle conditioned. Btw, very good head retention.

The smell has a lot of sweet malt on the nose along with some fruit. Very nice. Oh, and there's a touch of citrus peeking its way through.

The taste is yummy! English IPA? You bet and the difference from most American IPAs is in your face right off the bat! Sweet malt dominates the intial taste but I also find it very fruity and then there's some bready notes and a good lemony hop kick to balance things out. I really like how the hops and malt interact with each other here...overall light sweetness and light bitterness. Makes for a perfect balance and I could drink a lot of this as the abv makes it very sessionable.

The mouthfeel is kind of light but works, the carbonation is also light, and it finishes with a lemon hop flavour that is fairly long lasting. Very tasty and very refreshing, and I'd guess, at least fairly fresh. I'm guessing because I can't make heads or tails out of the code on the bottle: F9 039. I'll buy this again, no problem!

Cost: US$4.99

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Photo of bark
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is pale amber-gold; the finger thick off white head leaves lots of nice lacing. The liquid is somewhat cloudy.

The smell got notes of apricots, dough and yeast. Some bitter flavours as well as fruit candy, butterscotch and plum jam. Maybe a little frowzy hints...

The taste is fresh with lots of hoppy flavours although it is not that bitter. Notes of cheap fruit chewy candy, caramelized sugar, and unprocessed hop cones. I found some sweetness in the aftertaste along with flavours of dried apples and a medium strong bitterness.

The carbonation is on the stronger side of the scale, lots of small bubbles. The liquid is smooth.

An English IPA with that fresh hoppy flavour, although I could wish for some more bitternss.

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Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazed deep gold colour with a short cap of fine, off-white bubbles. Lots of sticky lacing coated the glass, good head retention. Nice hoppy aroma, floral notes, mild citrus, a bit herbal. There was also a biscuity malt presence, but this took a backseat to the hops. Great balance in the flavour. Sturdy bitterness made it obvious that you're drinking an IPA, but left room for mild malt sweetness and hop flavours that ranged from the floral and citrus present in the aroma, almost an orange blossom character, to an earthy, spicy quality that lingered in the finish. There was a hint of fruitiness that I often attribute to the yeast in English beers, but this was very subtle. Dry, but not overly so, with a medium to light body and carbonation that bordered on creamy. Nice texture. I really liked this beer - easy to drink and it made me want to pick up a couple more bottles soon. It just shows that you can tilt your balance towards hops without throwing balance out the window.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus, pine, leafy, and herbal hops, with emphasis on the last two. Underlying it all are grainy and buttery malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the malt is more dominant. Grainy caramel malt flavors kick things off with hints of toasted bread. Midway through the sip the malt flavors turn buttery and hops join in - herbal and leafy first and foremost with mild amounts of citrus. All these flavors carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a very well done EIPA with a nice malt backbone. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of stcules
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light amber, quite clean appearance. With one finger of whitefoam, with some bubbles.
Spicy hop in the smell, typical english hop, some pepper, grassy, and a bit oily.
A good hop in the mouth, balanced by the maltiness, again grassy notes, and peppery ones. Light citrus fruitness.
Quite well structured aftertaste, with a background maltiness, and the english hop.
Pleasant, very drinkable.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear gold with a huge, rocky white head. Looks good in the glass.

S: Aromas of citrus, caramel, and spicy English hops are present on the nose. Further investigation reveals subtle notes of cream and biscuits.

T: A floral, spicy entry leads to notes of caramel, biscuits, lemon zest, kumquat, bitter orange, heather honey, and herbal, spicy hops. The finish is deceptively smooth with a delicate balance of biscuit and herbal hop flavors.

M: Dry and medium-bodied, but a little spritzy. The mouthfeel is similar to some of the other English IPAs that I've tried.

O: Better than average for the style. I do wish it were a little stronger and a little heavier, but in the end, I have no serious complaints.

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Photo of morimech
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Just a little lacing is left on the glass. Not the most impressive looking ale. However, the aroma just knocked my socks off. This IPA has a wonderful floral, herbal, and mildly citrus hop aroma. This is what the Garden of Eden must of smelled like. The flavor is not that extrordinary but it is still good. Has a solid malt base to balance the bitterness of the hops. Still the flavor is hop focused. Really herbal and mildly spiced. Bitterness is higher than most English ales I have had. The bottle conditioning is expertly done lending a nice body and texture. If only it was better looking. Very drinkable. The low ABV and a hop bill that does not punish the tastebuds makes this much more sessionable than American IPAs.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500ml brown glass bottle with a wide body and thin proboscis-like neck. Sealed with a metallic red crown cap and labeled as “Ridgeway IPA bottle conditioned ale India pale ale”. Alc. 5.5% Vol. My bottle is just as the one pictured in the BA Avatar.

Appearance: Turbid tangerine body with a luscious Satsuma orange background. Big white head rises up and just about fills my handled 20oz Mug to the brim. Excellent carbonation with a feisty hurricane conditioning when swirled. Look like it was pulled from an Angram only seconds earlier.

Nose: Rasping aromas cut right across the namby-pamby norm. Harsh hop flowers and a scorching bitterness with an astringent wipe. Citrus hops are Glaswegian in their harshness; Rab C. Nesbit hops sits tight in his string vest and projects that raw befuddled accent that only a limited few can understand.

Taste: Hostile bitterness does little to please the middle-of-the-road (feckin) Jessies, this IPA is acrimonious and the hops are unrepentant and forceful in their unforgiving unripe bitterness. Astringent and acerbic with a caustic dryness. The finish has a sharp edge that feels like dropping off a cliff. A base jumping IPA but it is damned good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Yet again I find the soft conditioning Cask-like and highly comforting, juxtaposed against the brusque bitterness it works extremely well.

Drinkability: Despite its uncut roughness, irregular profile and coarse unrepentant bitterness, as opposed to a gentle hoppy character, I Iove this brew. Not for the feint of heart but for those that love cutting their wrists it is an enjoyable distraction.

Overall: A harsh, raw, astringently bitter IPA that I believe more accurately reflects the older English versions rather than the softer more romantic “hoppier” versions banded about these days. Solid stuff and a great brew. This English IPA will not to be to most tastes, tough shit, it is certainly to mine and I thoroughly enjoyed its harsh edges which I consider pivotal to its heritage.

Recommended. But not for Jessies or Wankers.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle at the Moan and Dove.

This IPA poured a clear, golden color with creamy white foam that persisted a while. The aroma was a very lovely floral hop scent with a bit of malt coming through as well. The flavor was a very nice medley of floral and bitter hops together with the balanced malt backbone. The mouthfeel was smooth and well balanced with medium body and good carbonation. The hoppiness lingered pleasantly in the aftertaste. This was a very nice English IPA. This brewery certainly makes some fine beers.

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IPA from Ridgeway Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 119 ratings.
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