Seriously Bad Elf | Ridgeway Brewing

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Seriously Bad ElfSeriously Bad Elf

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ADR on 11-11-2005

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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 206
Photo of oelergud
4.48/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown pint sized bottle in typical english shape, gold cap and a bad elf firing christmas ornaments by slingshot either at Santa as he is taking off or at the house below.
The beer is a clear golden honey color and topped with a light tan head of small to medium bubbles. Decent retention and great lace.
Strong malty scent in an english mild mannered way with a hint of peppermint and hard candy, the kind you find in tin cans with powdered sugar. Interesting and very different.
Strong malty and alcoholic flavors, well hopped with a resin kick. Meaty and dense, earth, nuts, dark ripe fruit, cherries, bananas and maybe some currant. Mild aftertaste of hops, earth and just a touch of licorice.
Medium to full body, slight coating. Warm sensation from the alcohol which is very pleasant on these cold days.
Highly drinkable. Strong yet mild as the real english.


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Photo of ShamasUVA
4.47/5  rDev +32.6%
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.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.4/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

50cl bottle poured into a pint glass. This may be a seriously bad elf, but it's a seriously good beer.

A = Beautiful golden, amber color. Great head. Nice bubbling, carbonation throughout. Light lacing.

S = Caramel, hay, fruits, floral scents. A lovely boquet (grading within class, this is not comparable to really floral hoppy or herbal beers). Much more floral and interesting than I am used to an English ale being.

T = Caramel, very light hops, sweet tropical fruits underlie the malty taste.

D = I could drink this over and over again if it weren't so pricey and I could drink it all night if it weren't so strong. The only reason I marked this lower in drinkability than the other factors was becasue of its strength. Otherwise I think it is just an outstanding beer.

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Photo of putnam
4.2/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep smoky pine and cedar aromas emerge from the red liquid. This is booze. It posesses a sweet jawbreaker candy and dried red fruit jam aroma alongside pepper, nuts and cream. Very clean and bittersweet in the mouth. The tannins are ripe and supple. An absence of dirty earthy traits. Balanced with viscous, creamy texture that controls clean bitterness, taught, candied fruit and modest buttery richness. This is something of a bargain considering volume, price and quality at little over $5 for a pint.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

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Photo of DreifachS
4.13/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden with Caramel Hues. Bright with little chill haze. Color is to "style" nothing to detract points for.

Smell: Sweet, almost like Treacle syrup

Taste: Sweet, very little hop bitterness or aroma to speak of. Some estery yeast notes and a buttery diacetyl aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, which is to style if you consider it an "English interpretation of a Belgian Tripel" as their web page proclaims. This beer has moderate viscosity, and is not tainted by the burning sensation associated with fusel alcohol.

Drinkability: A good beer that I could drink a couple pints of. However, after the second one it would be difficult to stomach the overall sweetness of this beer. Not to mention it might become difficult to walk after 32+ ounces of 9% beer.

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Photo of JamesS
4.12/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Drank while putting up Christmas decorations 2008.)

Pours a nice golden color, although not very deep, with some good initial head and some near lacing. Excellent scent, deep and malty with butterscotch overtones. Nice deep flavor, too, very complex, hints of butterscotch, caramel, a little spiciness, and a lot of deep earthy malt. A bit rough from alcohol, but not bad for such a high ABV.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.1/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer from a 1/2 liter bottle into a St Bernardus goblet

It pours a nice light gold with a small neaarly perfectly white head.

Smells of vanilla with a bit of alcohol. A smattering of fruit is barely present.

A nice malty brew with the vanilla being a big part of the flavor. This is a very warming brew. The alcohol flavor is very light, but this beer warms your throat like a nice single malt. A tiny bit of fruit (pear) comes through. Typical bitterness in an english beer: a nice hop bitterness with little to no hop aroma or taste. The beer has a nice solid body.

A very drinkable beer and a fine english ale; I would not have guessed it would have been 9%. However, at $8.50, I wont be purchasing this on again.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.08/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear bright gold, one and a half finger head.

S- Light grainy malt aroma with some vinous notes.

T- Lightly sweet caramel malts at first then quickly balanced out by mellow floral hops. The balance remains throughout with a soft warming alcohol note towards the end.

M- Full bodied, light carbonation

D- Goes down very easy for being 9%

Despite the strength, this beer is extremely well balanced and drinkable with just enough character to keep things interesting.

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Photo of BlaiseDemon
4.05/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a fine winter ale. It has a typically high alcohol content as many winter brews, however, it was extremely drinkable. Reminiscent of an IPA, yet without as much of a bitter edge. The after-taste was pleasant and non-offensive. The color was a true amber (not yellow, not exactly orange) and with no cloudiness. I enjoyed this bottle very much. I have bought a few more of these, even though the price tag for the 21 oz. bottle was a bit spendy. The more I had it though, the magic seemed to fizzle. It was worth the time and effort but I have re-evaluated my assessment after trying additional fine English ales since.

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Photo of cokes
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear and stark copper bodied with a skimming of white lacing.
Almond-extract nose with ideations of plums, hard toffee, and spilt blood.
Begins, again, with that almond-cum-brittle toffee maltiness, smeared thick with marzipan. Fruitiness exists in eddies, a swirl of golden raisins here, a ripple of pear there, orange preserves to the right, figs on the left, plums back behind. The middle is all fruit cake, or bread pudding, with a minor burnt butter and horsehair yeast influx. A few hot alcohol belches, but ethanol is largely belittled. Clears on the finish with bright juniper berry and pine hop assertations.
Heavy syrup body is given perk by a sustained, steadfast, tiny-grained CO2.
For a beer this large, it is not hugely flavored or dynamic. But what is here works, and works well. It's serves best as a gulpable sipper, like a likeably chunky that is not quite fat enough to be a b'wine or an old ale.

The biggest question is: What's the 2006 adjective going to be? My money is on: Holyshitthatsonebadassmuthafuckin Elf. Or possibly: Thisisatiredconceptmaybeweshouldexploreadifferentdirectionforthename Elf.
I could be wrong on those, though.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, golden amber color with a big, foamy white head. Head falls to a minimal head, decent lacing.

Sweet malt aroma, wasn't expecting it by looking at it.

Sweet malt taste, slight hops and a mild bitter finish. Slight alcohol warmth and flavor to it.

Medium to full bodied in the mouth.

Decent beer. Drinkable.

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Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper clor some light cloudiness a small cream colored head or more like lots of big bubbles slowly shrinking to smaller bubbles instead of a normal head. Some stickey lace left on the glass after aggressive pour.

Aroma is fruity malt, more like fruitcake breadiness type malt. Orange fruitiness some citrusy hops apricot, with hints of piney evergreen. Aroma is not bad at all, light alcohol (paint thinner) noticed as it warms.

Taste is bready malt that increases in fruitiness as it linger on your taste buds apricot and mandarin orange come out and linger into some lingering apricot bitterness not strong in hop presence but just the right touch. Some alcohol becomes more noticable as it warms but it adds to the flavor. Too me its like a toned down Old Ale, enjoyable and tastey.

Mouthfeel is medium nice lingering flavors mellow carbonation makes it a smooth and relaxing brew.

Drinkability is good enjoying this one as I sip it. This is my third Ridgeway Holiday brew this season and by far the best, the other two were dissappointments after the good one I had last year. Enjoyed this one was worried again after seeing the score but going against the grain on this one its gooood.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of steinlifter
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear copper, left a thin white collar all the way through.
fruity aroma
taste takes a couple seconds to start coming through, slight tang,that mellows into a dry, dark fruit finish, malt flavor and light hops,alcohol warmth.
mouthfeel is fairly thin but with some malty coating, slight chewiness.
drinkability, is very nice, a very potent sipping beer, perfect for the cold day's of winter, I will revisit this one.

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Photo of mattd017
3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle, chilled in the freezer for 5 minutes, poured into a english pint glass. Pours a hazy golden liquid with a one finger thick head that leaves a good ring around the glass. Heavy malt smells with a great undertone of dark fruits, maybe blackberry or blueberry. Slight hop aromas rise from the thick fluid. Tastes of sweet malts with an alcohol backbone, sour fruit flavors hit the tongue chased by a weak hop bitterness. Thick, smooth, but not syrupy fluid, but perhaps with too much carbonation. Tasty drink, good job covering the big alcohol without making it syrupy. For a beer that I saw and thought was a joke, these elfs certainly are worth a revisit

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Photo of Erish
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this 1 pt. 9 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

A: clear honey gold color, light egg shell colored head quickly falls into a light cap with decent lacing.

S: cherries, raisins, sweet malt.

T: much like how it smells, fruit up front, ester-laden and boozy in the middle, and oaky, herbal/floral hop finish.

M: medium-bodied, silky to oily texture, light carbonation.

D: a very nice strong ale. Happy Christmas!

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Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate/toffee nose. Flavor sweet and sour hints of toffee, high ABV is not noticeable. $5.49 for a 500ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the Blind tiger in the neighborhood of my childhood in lower NYC, I'm gonna miss this place, but enough sentimentality...this pours semi cloudy, medium golden with an off white head, not much lacing noticed. Nose here is of hoppy spicy goodness. Tasty, aggresivly hopped British brew, quite dry and flavorful up front , then more spice and citrus in the middle and finish, cant say this one is balanced, but for a Brit brew this one will please the hop and flavorful brew fans. worth a try, especially if yoiu see it on tap.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.91/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear honey amber with an off-white one finger frothy pillowy head that lasts a while and settles to an even thin cap. The lacing left behind is solid.

Basic malt aroma with a little bit of hoppiness. The alcohol isn't as well perceived as I expected.

Malty with only a slight amount of hop bitterness. A bit of a fruity presence is there. The alcohol is present here, but only slightly. Medium bodied with average carbonation. The finish is mostly lingering grain.

Not a bad Pale Ale. The label says it's an English Double Ale, which I guess can also be called an English Strong Ale. Recommended.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear, brass-colored with a deep-amber cast beneath a creamy head of off-white that holds alright before dropping to an average collar. Some walls of thin, vine-like streaks and spots are left at the outset, but there's not much after that.
Smell: Malty, bready, fruity, yeasty, very mildly hoppy. "Ale", basically. Clean. Not impressive nor unimpressive.
Taste: A straw-like maltiness with a firm, light-caramel edge dominates. A yeasty fruitiness of dull apples, both red and gold, livens it a bit. Alcohol steps in. Firm bitterness. Dry with leafy, muddy-grassy hops in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with a soft caress on the tongue that leaves it smooth across the palate. Just enough to awaken the taste buds.
Drinkability: It's quite nice at first, but not really out of the ordinary. It's very straightforward in its maltiness, and there's not much yeasty fruitiness either - almost like a strong, malty lager. !? It's clean and well-balanced, but not that exciting; and that's where it falters. It's an enjoyable brew for the first pint, but with the strength that it carries and the flavor it delivers, I'd probably stop at one.

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Photo of palma
3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ON cask at the Blind Tiger Ale House (NYC). Nice size head for a cask pour. Hazy orange body. Biscuit, malty and fruity nose. Sharp powerful old/strong ale flavor did not disappoint. Might be just a bit too tangy though. A nice beer to have as a change of pace. Not something that I would want to drink regularly.

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Seriously Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing
3.37 out of 5 based on 206 ratings.
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