Seriously Bad Elf
Ridgeway Brewing

Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf
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Strong Ale - English
Ranked #95
Ranked #48,636
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
Reviews by scottoale:
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scottoale from California

3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's this past week, with a name like that, I had to try it. Served in a nonic tumbler a darkish coppery ale with very little head or carbonation, making me think "cask conditioned", but it wasn't.

Earthy malt nose, not really sweet, with a whiff of hop and a trace of alcohol and red-wine vinegar.

The taste is reflective of the smell, with a sourness and tang that soars way above any sweetness. Bittery tang to the finish with a mild warmth from the reletivly high alcohol content. This is the second brew I've tried from Ridgeway and it is very different and unique from any other beer in this style.

Tangy sour mouthfeel with a medium body. Definitely worth a try if your adventurous

Aug 10, 2006
More User Reviews:
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Elf is definately serious in it's alcoholic impact and the impression of flavor that it lays on the palate. Total Engligh-like through and through, the beer has a Belgian-like dryness and spiciness that only fuels the intrigue.

Seriously Bad Elf pours a rich golden or light amber color with steady streams of carbonation and near-clear appearances. A creamy blanket of foam coates the glass and clings to the sides for intermitten lacing. A very solid look throughout.

Aromas of biscuit malt, honey/honey suckle, and highly estery fruitiness rule the nose with spicy alcohols (almost boozy), with oranges, cherries, and red licorice. Rich and assertive aromas that amplify as the beer warms.

Flavors of caramels, doughy breads, sugar cookies, and light rum set the stage. Then there are layers of peppery spice, fruity esters, herbal/earthy bitterness, jam-like sweetness, and boozy alcohols that continue to give new impressions to the beer, wave after wave.

Medium weighted early, muted because of the higher than expected attenuation, high abv., and abundant carbonation. But as the carbonation subsides, the alcoholic warmth and light sugary feel weighs on the mouth for a dry but sweetly finish.

With a lot of flavors borrowed from both a English Pale Ale and an English Barlwyine with with more flavor and feel than the Pale but with less syrupiness than Barleywines. The beer does a good job of straddling the fence.

Nov 27, 2010
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ommegangpbr from New York

3.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Blind Tiger for their Very Special Keg night.
Deceptively mild in flavor for something that's supposed to be 9% strong.
Really deceptive; drinks more like an Extra Strong Bitter than a strong ale.
Lightly tangy, sweet and sour. Nice carbonation, good texture.
The only place where this was a little weak was in the odor; there wasn't much of one to speak of.
Quite an interesting elf, if not quite seriously bad.
Pretty good, actually.

Nov 18, 2005
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ShamasUVA from Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Seriously Bad Elf is a serious strong ale! It has all of that good english malt flavor, a little bit of yeasty aroma, and a solid amount of hops. The beer is copper colored with a white head, and bottle conditioned. This beer falls somewhere between a barleywine and an imperial IPA-- right on spot with what I would consider a Strong Ale. The 9% is definitely a creeper. I would have guessed it closer to 7.5% if you blindfolded me.

Feb 10, 2006
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Toddv29424 from District of Columbia

3.64/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a traditional amber color with little to no head. The smell is malty with a hint of spice, very nice. The taste takes shape as the beer is about 3/4ths of the way down, and takes on a sourness with a taste of yeast. The malt never really has time to develop on the tongue as it is quickly whisked away by the carbonation. The lingering taste is like a pleasant cider and lasts for a long time. I don't know if this beer is worthy of the name "seriously bad", but its definitely a decent beer.

Jun 19, 2007
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SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

2.59/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No freshness date. Pours a slightly hazy amber orange color with a huge two finger head. Plenty of lacing and retention lasts all the way down the glass.

Aroma is sort of a sour smell with some dirty diaper tossed in there. Sour smelling malt liquor aromas. Not too pleasing.

Flavor is filled with apple tart and basement and wet cardboard. Toss in rubber surgeons gloves and you have the whole kit and kaboodle.

I will certainly pass on this beer. Tastes almost exactly like the Very Bad Elf with more alcohol. This one seems less balanced and more flawed. Surprisingly, the alcohol is pretty well hidden but the overall taste isnt good and lends a low drinkabilty in my opinion. Perhaps I am in the wrong mood but this one really missed.

Dec 30, 2006
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CHADMC3 from Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Seriously Bad Elf

· Appearance: Pours a golden yellow with a thick, white, frothy head. Gives way to a lasting, big bubbled lacing.
· Aroma: Scents of citrus fruit and is lightly floral.
· Taste: Not what I was expecting, still a sweet fruity taste, but also slightly acidic. Definitely a faint hop presence, and noticeable alcohol.
· Mouthfeel: Very thick, yet not a lot of carbonation. Alcohol is again blatant.
· Drinkability: Just ok, this one threw me off a bit. I was expecting something different after the pour and smell than what was delivered. Not bad, but I won’t be going out of my way for it.

Jan 18, 2008
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scruffwhor from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in the Binny's discount bin for $3.99

Appearance- Poured a very lack luster head if that's what you'd cal it. No head remained after drinking. Very sunshine amber with sum sluggish lacing rising form the middle of the glass.

Smell- Not a lot to gather from. Everything I could pick up was very subdued or maybe their was nothinh their to smell. After some swirling of the brew, all I could make out was malt first, then hops, and last some alcohol.

Taste- A slightly orange-like malt flavor. With some decent hopping thrown into the mix. Ending with a little alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Felt a very subdued yet very textural malt on the palate. The alcohol aded a very warming sensation to the overall enjoyment of the beer.

Jan 13, 2006
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.84/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an efferevescent bronze with a thumb of offwhite head. Not a lot of head retention or lacing

S: Bready malt & aged or old hops. Alcohol honey & lemon as this warms.

T: Fruity & bready up front along with serious dryness & a hint of grapefruitty hops. Honey malts follow with some warming alcohol. I catch a hint of brown sugar as this warms. Finished dry, warming & hoppy

MF: Oily, slick & a little more carbonation than you'd expect

Drinks very easy for the abv, this beer seems to have north american influnces on it, most strong english ales skew much more malty to me. Pretty good one to enjoy a pint or 2, pass that, night, night!!

Jan 26, 2007
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Metalmonk from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a big rocky head that lasts almost five minutes before minimizing, on top of an insanely clear ruby/amber with a variety of bubble sizes and speeds.

Malty nose brings in mellow spices, and something smells like freshly churned butter. Hops are present in the background. Also a kind of wet algae I losing it and having an acid flashback, or does this smell odd? I do like it.

Flavorwise, hops are in abundance, while the malt tries to offset them. But wow, this is a bitter, spicy ale, with a good fruity background that keeps things from getting too intense. The finish is a bruiser: acidic fruits that linger a long while. All through the drinking it recalls puckery sour green apples.

Mouthfeel is buttery and very well-carbonated, maybe a bit thin compared to those aggressive flavors.

Nothing wrong with this one, unless you're not into wild, spikey, spicy brews. It's definitely not an every day go-to beer, but I found it unique and interesting, and it gives the whole true-to-style thing the finger. Yeah, a seriously bad elf.

Feb 06, 2007
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Phatz from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing Mark, by the time I tried to get my hands on it, it was gone from everywhere.

Half liter bottle shared among friends.
Served after warming for a bit in my tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours an orange copper color with a fizzy white head that quickly falls flat.

Smell: Fruity malts, sugars, apple, bread, and very dull hops. A hint of alcohol.

Taste: Like the nose it is mildly sweet, with apples and grains, and tea like dry-ness with a boozy attribute as well, ( a splash of rum and orange flavored vodka). Spices show mostly in the back end.

Mouthfeel: medium / light carbonation and warm alcohol in the finish.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. Interesting. Worth a try.

Hope this is helpful.

Mar 07, 2007
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Wasatch from Colorado

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

Had this one at the Bayou, SLC, UT

Pours a nice clear/clean golden yellow/orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, sweet, with some light spice. The taste is sweet, malty, with some spice. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad beer at all. Recommend.

Nov 28, 2008
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scooter231 from New York

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

On-tap at the Blind Tiger, Very Special Keg Night. And indeed it was. This was an interesting dude, not the most tasty ever, but then, it IS a bad elf. Alcohol is exceptionally sneaky. Got some red wine flavor, some sweet fruits, a hint of sourness. Light and goes down easy and creamily, though a bit watery. Not my favorite, but I'm glad to have had it. And probably will again.

Apr 13, 2006
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brandoman63 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Nov 30, 2011
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

2.76/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Traditional English bottle purchased at New Vintage Wine Shop in Meridian for about $5.60/bottle. Poured into a my standard red wine glass while listening to the latter portion of Josh Wink's "Left Above the Clouds".

Crystal clear light amber/orange pour with nice 1/2" off white head that sticks around for a while... actually a pretty nice looking beer.

Aroma is a muddy mix of caramel and light earthy/grassy/catty hops topped off by a touch of burning alcohol.

Taste is definately more complex with yeast fruitiness with caramel apples and warming alcohol ... Just muddy, this Elf prances into a bunch of beer styles, and it ends with a light but still screwy "English" diacetyl finish. Mouthfeel is Ok... more than enough carbonation that just barely cuts through the sweetness.

I haven't had many "English Strong Ales", but this is not what what I was expecting nor did I really enjoy it ... just toooo sweet. I am glad I am finally getting a chance to try the Ridgeway Xmas brews, but hopefully this isn't the benchmark. I will buy it again, just not this year or probably the next; I really think if Ridgeway latched on to just one style, this brew could be probably pretty good.

Nov 27, 2007
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albern from Massachusetts

2.5/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I approached this beer with an open mind, considering that many BA reviewers pretty much panned this beer. I now know why. The beer pours a very clear light amber with a frothy white head that does lace quite well. The smell is spicy, malty candyish, and okay. The taste goes downhill from there. There is a spicy tartness, a cloying sweetness to this beer, and this god awful candy taste from the malts. There is plenty of carbonation, and the consistency is largely medium bodied. The beer doesn't hide the alcohol well, although the aftertaste is light for a beer with 9 ABV. This beer is a supreme disappointment considering the other Ridgeway beers have been quite good. I will refrain from the discussion about what style this beer properly belongs to, its a beer not worth revisiting regardless of its designation.

Nov 17, 2007
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 50cl bottle, poured an orange color with a small head. It had a sweet, fruity aroma, as well as something vaguely caramel. A fruity, apple taste. Noticeable alcohol, which I thought was a bit intrusive. Some hops. Tart in the mouth. An OK beer, not one I'd want regularly.

Dec 19, 2006
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +17.6%

Nov 28, 2011
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deereless from Colorado

2/5  rDev -41.2%

Jan 18, 2014
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auxiliary from Rhode Island

3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Light copper color. This head when poured but went flat. No lace.

smell - Has a candy smell, caramel i think is what it smells like.

taste: has a sweet malt taste, with som hop taste at the end.

mouthfeel: Medium body.

drinkability - I drank about half of it, for some reason it gave me a headache and I couldn't drink anymore. It didn't seem strong to me either. Was alright, I only bought it because it was on sale, like 40% off.

Feb 20, 2008
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harpus from Alabama

2.5/5  rDev -26.5%

Mar 20, 2014
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ZimZamZoom from West Virginia

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

A nice deep golden color, pure white head rises to about a finger width. The snow-white head fades fast to a film and a ring, and lacing is fair.

Aroma of ripe pears, some hop spice and a little alcohol tingles the nose as well. Mild hints of bubble gum also noticeable. The taste is very warm and inviting without turning you on to its 9% ABV. A sweet maltiness, somewhat bready at first but lightening and revealing the ripe fruit and tutti frutti. Some spice still evident and it all leads to a petty nice finish that does not linger long. Delicious.

Not a huge body; medium viscosity and easy to drink. This is a fine beer. I'm not familiar with the style but this ones leans toward a Belgian style to me, strong pale ale or something.

Jan 18, 2009
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jwc215 from Arizona

2.79/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours deep golden with a large, fluffy/pillowy white head that leaves lacing in its slow descent. Great retention, especially for abv.

The smell is of some carmelized graininess with a vague English hop touch. Some fruity alcohol comes through.

The taste is of raw, fruity alcohol with some additional sweetness from carmelized grainy maltiness. There is some vague hop bitterness to keep the sweetness somewhat balanced. Tastes like an American malt liquor with an English character. Boozy without much flavour to keep up with alcohol. Some is there, but not enough.

Body has something of a slickness to it. Ample carbonation, even bordering "too much" for the style. Some body is there, but not enough to keep up with the alcohol.

Not "seriously bad", but "seriously not good", I would say. No real reason to drink unless you want to drink for the elf-theme, or you want a carmelized boozy drink. This elf needs help. Nice appearance, though.

Jan 01, 2009
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Kendo from New York

3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Into a large pint glass it poured a hazy coppery orange with a 1/2 finger, big-bubbled off-white head that dissolved pretty quickly. Zero lacing.

S: Malty-sweet and fruity, but not particularly strong in the nose at first blush. Sweetness more pronounced as it warms.

T: Alcohol overwhelms the other flavors -- it's the first thing I taste. It coats the entire mouth with a peppery warming spice. Underneath is some grainy, caramel malt but it's topped by the alcohol with every sip.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation.

D: OK. Alcohol is too much for it to score higher.

Notes: At 9% ABV and a larger-than-average bottle, it provides a good buzz. But the alcohol is too dominant in the taste. After sampling this one and the Very Bad Elf earlier this week, I'm not all that inclined to try the rest of the series.

Jan 07, 2007
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mhewes from Colorado

3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice copper color with a decent head that disappears real quickly.

S : Good sweet malt aroma. Don't pick up much else.

T : Good malt taste, some other subtle flavors that I pick up like fruit and sugar. There's a nice light bitterness at the finish. You can taste the alcohol a little.

M : Full-bodied

D : I really liked it. It was a very easy beer to finish and I wouldn't mind having it again.

Jun 11, 2008
Seriously Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 217 ratings