Seriously Bad Elf
Ridgeway Brewing

Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf
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Strong Ale - English
Ranked #93
Ranked #48,221
3.4 | pDev: 16.47%
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf
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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 217 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L- Mid/dark amber, clear, pours with 2-3mm white cap.
S- Quite fruity.
T- Much more fruitiness, fermented fruit... notable ABV% but mostly fruits, a little over-sweet?
F- Easy drinking, too easy? No disregard, it's quiet lovely
O- Nice. Esp suits winter, No screaming reason to be unique or maybe £max to buy again. Very good though.
330ml bottle. Bought from TremblingMadness/York, mixed-case, home delivery etc

Nov 25, 2020
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Suds from Missouri

3.49/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a caramel colored, mostly still brew. Not much of a head at all on this one. The aroma is a little malty, with a pungent herbal hop scent backing it. The taste is warm with alcohol and bitter. It is full and forceful, with lots of boozy heat...but it lacks depth and complexity. Just okay.

Dec 23, 2018
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justme from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very nice holiday beer. Pours a golden carmel color. A bit boozie but pretty decent. Spicy and malty. Will not be liked by IPA folks. But I’m not. Enjoyed it Sutherland family.

Nov 24, 2018
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DrMullet from Florida

2.94/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear medium yellow with minimal head and thin lacing.
Smell is sweet, grape and a bit of apple.
Taste is very sweet malt, boozy and some apple.
Too syrupy sweet for me.

Apr 08, 2018
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dcotom from Iowa

3.86/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 50 cl bottle into a glass tumbler. Bottle date unknown, but sample was over two years old at the time of sampling. Clear, light caramel color, with a decent off-white head that left lots of sticky lacing. The beer was allowed to warm to cellar temperature prior to sampling. Aroma is malt forward, with dark caramel, dried fruit, and dark bread. There is a grassy / floral / herbal character in the background. Dark toffee dominates the flavor profile, with some tart fruit on the finish and surprisingly little alcohol warmth. Very low bitterness. Would make an excellent pairing with cheeses and charcuterie, especially this "aged" version.

Jan 03, 2018
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Retroman40 from Florida

3.03/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow with minimal foam that quickly vanishes. The smell is malt with a hint of sweetness. That sweetness is evident in the taste; I even noted a slight bit of spice which I can't get my taste buds around. Very clean/smooth mouthfeel. I need to add that there is literally no indication that this is a 9% ABV beer even as the beer warms to room temperature (I started cool and let in warm). Overall I just can't find anything special enough about this beer to recommend it at 6.99 US for a 50cl (16.9 ounce) bottle. Sure the art work is super cool but I can't taste that label!

Nov 21, 2017
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gandres from Philippines

3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From 50cL (centiliter)=500mL bottle to wine glass, around 50F
Appearance: pale yellow, clear, medium head that quickly dissappears
Aroma: malty smell, not hoppy,
Taste: mildly bitter with sweet after taste
Mouth feel: fizzy
Overall: Beer is not bad, no boozy smell even at 9% alcohol

Jan 13, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

3.41/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/2/2011. Pours crystal clear bright orange/amber color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of honey, caramel, brown sugar, biscuit, light nuttiness, golden raisin, plum, apricot, apple, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Okay aromas with solid balance and complexity of bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. A bit too fruity on aromas. Taste of honey, caramel, brown sugar, biscuit, light nuttiness, golden raisin, plum, apricot, apple, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of honey, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, golden raisin, plum, apricot, apple, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good robustness, balance, and solid complexity of bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and fairly creamy/silky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a solid English strong ale. All around good balance, robustness, and solid complexity of bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. I was expecting more overall malt complexity given the ABV, but this was still fairly enjoyable. Tastes like an imperial version of English pale ale.

Dec 08, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best before 9/10/16.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, candied fruit, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with apple cider, honey, candied fruit, and toast flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but I am getting a distinct apple cider flavor that I wasn't expecting.

Serving type: bottle.

Nov 29, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours clear copper amber under a clingy 2” cream colored foam collar. S: Flowery alcohol aromas. T: Malty, biscuit, alcoholic sweetened lightly by caramel and balanced by a moderate dose of spicy hops. F: Medium body, below average carbonation, warming. O: A big strong beer.

Jul 22, 2015
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.71/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the bottle in a snifter glass. This interesting little strong ale pours a very bright, clear, light amber with a thin ring of foam and light lacing. Nose of toffee, caramel malts, citrus zest of orange and lemon, moderate bittering and pine hops, and strong booze. Flavors are sweet caramel malts up front that give way to citrus notes of lemon and orange to the sides and back, and then fading into a sticky piney citrus hopped flavor. Ale finishes moderately dry with smooth drinkability and slick mouth feel with strong alcohol warmth coming in on the back. A unique take on a strong ale. Pretty nice really.


Apr 10, 2015
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

When the label depicts an elf with his slingshot aimed at Santa Claus and his reindeer, you know you have a bad elf. Let's bring 500 ml of strong ale to the table. On to the beer:

The beer has a glossy orange amber color to it and is translucent. The head forms an inch thick before dropping to a patchy lace. I can smell the stink of hops a foot away just after the beer was poured into a glass. Time helps evaporate some of the stink, and out comes a big smack of butterscotch and diacetyl. It smells fine to me.

Seriously Bad Elf has some noticeable hop damage, meaning the hops taste like they've been spoiled and bring an unpleasant sting to the palate. Compounding the problem is that this stinging flavor pounces onto the palate first. That's too bad, because underneath that the beer itself has a pleasurable flavor. I can taste orange, diacetyl, butterscotch, and vague citrus juice. The beer feels nearly full bodied and does have lower intensity carbonation, giving the beer a smooth feel. Adding to the feel is that the 9% alcohol is hidden well.

There's brewing talent that's waiting to be tasted out of this bottle, but it's tainted by a bad case of hops. I would have thought a strong ale like this would have held up until late February.

Feb 28, 2015
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WhiteHillsStore from Connecticut

3.54/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a straw golden yellow with a little bit of a red hue. The smell had a bit of the alcohol in it but also had some dark fruits and apple scents to it as well. The taste was semi-sweet with almost no alcohol burn till the finish and even then it paired well enough with the other flavors.

Nov 14, 2014
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf has an extremely thin, white head, a very crystal-clear, old gold appearance, some bubble streams, and virtually no lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet toffee, sweet bread, whiskey, butter, and a slight nuttiness. Taste is of citrus peel, toffee, alcohol, grain husk, white bread, and a somewhat pine-oriented bitterness. Mouthfeel is mostly heavy and syrupy, and Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf finishes mostly dry and sip-able. Overall, this is really nice, and the only detractor is the unusual citrus note, which doesn’t seem to fit. It’s good stuff, though.


Dec 08, 2013
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ckollias from Maryland

3.79/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear golden orange hue with a thin, 2-finger, white head that very quickly dissipates in to a non-existent lace with no trail down the glass.

S: Sweet deep caramel aroma with citrus buttery aroma.

T: Very sweet malty with caramel and some dark fruit flavors. Alcohol present but masked but the malt nicely.

M: Medium body and minimal carbonation.

O: Interesting strong ale. Very malty – not my favorite brew buy worth a try.

Jan 12, 2013
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Zraly from Virginia

1.98/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear yellow with a minimal white head. Smells of fruit, corn, and bubblegum. Faint hint of floral perfume. If you did not see anyone pour this, you could assume it was an adjunct lager from afar.

Overly sweet and sugary. Tastes like canned corn and high fructose corn syrup. Honey. Medium-bodied and sufficiently carbonated. Overly malty and faint wisp of earthy hops; not enough to round this ale out, though. Not at all what I hoped for or anticipated. It reminds me of a high-octane lager that has gone bad -- or was bad to start. Alcohol is overly present.

I am not finishing the bottle and am not purchasing this again. Just drinking a few ounces of this makes me think I might have a headache tomorrow. If this wasn't so expensive, I'd say it could be enjoyed underneath a bridge, paper bag and all. (No offense to winos or the homeless.)

Seriously Bad indeed.

Dec 15, 2012
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beergoot from Colorado

3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, golden yellow body a a decent yet thin white head. Rich, mellow grainy malt aroma; some corn. Heavy cracker flavor initially, mild malt; kind of boozy halfway through; somewhat bitter. Medium-light body; a bit fizzy; dry.

An okay but rather blah strong ale. The alcohol presence comes across as the most distinctive characteristic which, for my preferences, I'd rather go with a bourbon. A more malt-like profile with a more distinctive yeast character would go a long way in improving this beer. Not bad per se, and drinkable, but hardly memorable.

Nov 22, 2012
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metter98 from New York

3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of apples and grapes in the nose; this becomes a little boozy as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is both sweet and fruity and also has some hints of caramel with a very slight amount of bitterness. There are some hints of scotch.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a bit smooth and syrupy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little bit of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: This is a nice beer to sip but this is something that needs to be done slowly because it’s rather strong and there are some notes of alcohol in the taste.

Sep 02, 2012
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CHickman from New York

3.79/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer notes from Christmas 2011: pours clear gold with a foamy 1 finger white head that faded and left decent lacing.

Smells sweet and malty, like toffee, caramel, toasted grains, cinnamon, spices and alcohol; a very sweet nose overall that smells like a holiday treat.

Tastes of sweet malt, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, toasted grains, yeast, coriander, cinnamon, spices like pepper and cumin, tea leaf and alcohol that gives it some heat; malty, sweet and just spicy enough to make the ABV tolerable.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost slick, with a watery feel, no carbonation and a medium body. Goes down easy considering the heat and ABV, this is a nice winter warmer. Perfect for washing down the Christmas feast with a little bit of British humor.

Feb 12, 2012
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jaasen64 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml sized bottle poured into a 22oz glass.

A- reddish gold, translucent, about a finger of white head, average carbonation.

S- Cinnamon, some spices, slightly floral, sweet.

T- Sweet, lightly spiced, some barley. Slightly sweet aftertaste.

M- Average carbonation, medium bodied, slightly syrupy, drinkable, alcohol decently well hidden.

O- This beer wasn't bad for a strong ale. It was a little bit too much on the sweet side and a little bit too syrupy however at least these characteristics hid the alcohol fairly well. Overall not bad, would have again but probably wouldn't purchase again.

Feb 12, 2012
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Cozzatoad from Italy

3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle

A- Transparent dark gold/honey colour. One finger, soft looking white head. Decent retention at first, though it completely disappears after a couple of sips. Near to lacing on the glass

S- Caramel and honey malts with a strong boozy feel. A hint of spiciness from the esters

T- Strong boozy feel throughout the whole tasting experience, with some plain alcohol notes that have not really melded with the beer's flavours. Biscuity and caramel malts with a faint hint of roastiness while swallowing. Some fruity hints (apple maybe), a thouch of herbal bitterness, some spicy notes (pepper) show up at times. Overall quite tasty, but a bit of a boozy mess

M- Medium body and carbonation. Decently smooth, feels nicely warming

O- Not a really, really bad beer but not even close to be good. It has a bit of a nice warming feel and has some flavour range, but it's a mess, and it's not that much drinkable either

Jan 16, 2012
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TheQuietMan22 from Iowa

3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: 500 ml bottle. There is a code printed on the label but no clear freshness date. Boo!

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is clean and clear honey. Two fingers of white head dissipated slowly to leave a billowy/spotted cap and foamy ring around the edge.

Smell: During the pour I could smell the alcohol, but when I put my nose to it the booze had faded. Pale malts, sweet caramel, toffee, honey, apple cider, green grapes, and musty basement.

Taste: The first sip offers sharp booziness, which serves as a fitting prelude for the rest of the pint. The alcohol is not completely overpowering — it fades after a bit — but it is very noticeable throughout. There are flavors of grapes, pale malts, apple cider, light caramel and toffee, honey, raisins, and lemon citrus.

Drinkability: It is okay. Not seriously good but not seriously bad. Seriously, though, I doubt I will ever buy it again.

Dec 21, 2011
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steveh from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Number three in what's been a pretty good tasting run of beers. English Strong Ale, eh? Not sure if that would be an Old Ale, or what. 9% -- perfect for the first day of Winter.

A -- Clear golden with a thick, lightly off-white head that holds up well and leaves good lacing in my imperial pint.

S -- Light fusel alcohol, a mellow fruit cake/cookie aroma. Sweet, no hoppiness.

T -- Up front taste is a luscious, fruity blend that folds into sweet, nearly unattenuated biscuit malts. The finish is toffee-like and lightly sweet with just a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. From start to finish there is a backbone of spicy, peppery alcohol that let's you know it's there, but doesn't overpower the richer flavors.

M -- Mouthfeel is syrupy to dry in the finish with a light-medium body.

O -- Someone think light colored beers can't be strong and characterful? Hand 'em one'a these! A smooth, cold weather sipper. The strong alcohol is present, but it doesn't hit you over the head to let you know it's there. This is a perfect sipper for a cold winter's evening.

Dec 21, 2011
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jayhawk73 from Maryland

2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium gold color w/ a one finger white head. The head quickly disappears. Not much lacing on my snifter glass. This beer is fairly clear in appearance- you can see right through it. The nose has grain, malt, apple, and a slight honey smell as well. Improves as it warms, but not much more than average here. Wow- The taste is completely different than the nose. Big malt and honey take over here- a little better than the nose. I don't really get any of the 9% ABV in the taste at all. Feel is light, syrupy, and carbonated w/ a hops bite on the aftertaste. Overall, this is a style I haven't had before- and I'm glad I got to try one. I probably won't buy this again though. Cheers.

Nov 06, 2011
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OttoPeeWee from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer for a good price and have never had a british beer with 9% abv, so I figured I'd give it a try. The pour is pretty standard with more of a soapy head that dissipates. It is a golden beer. The smell is faint honey and grain, not bad. The taste is subtle grain, malt, medicinal and more honey. I am actually surprised I don't taste much alcohol in this beer. Pretty good, I would just prefer a bit more esters to spice up the flavors a bit. Worth a try if you like british and belgium beer.

Jul 24, 2011
Seriously Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 217 ratings