Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale | Ridgeway Brewing

Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red AleInsanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale
304 Ratings
Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red AleInsanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by fartingdog on 11-18-2007

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 304 |  Reviews: 185
Photo of DCgolfpro
1/5  rDev -70.5%

Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
1.25/5  rDev -63.1%

Photo of Punkrckr281
1.75/5  rDev -48.4%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
1.8/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Vintage 2010

Look: Candy orange color with no head on a hard pour

Smell: The nose has some caramel malt and some alcohol

Taste: Weird orange candy flavor with quite a bit of alcohol on the back end

Mouthfeel: Thin body and no carbonation

Overall: This beer is honestly a hot mess

 284 characters

Photo of KCHopHead
1.9/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Interesting. Completely transparent amber with almost no head.
Smell - Alcohol and candy.
Taste - Very sweet. Tastes like wine with a mix of hard alcohol and beer.
Mouthfeel - Very thin and flat.
Drinkability - Poop. This "beer" needs an overhaul.

 261 characters

Photo of jgap
1.94/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Consumed on 12/18/08. This beer is insanely bad! So bad, in fact, that after joining BA almost a year ago without any motivation for reviewing, it motivated me to start simply to warn my fellow beer connoisseurs. I almost grabbed the barleywine from this series and i wish i had instead of this one because i doubt it could be worse than this. I'll be the first to say, 'to each his own' and there are plenty of things I do contrary to popular opinion on this site (ie aging maharaja) but in my personal opinion, this beer is simply really bad. The appearance is dark brown-red with virtually no head. The smell is nothing particularly unique, rich in malt and alcohol. But the taste is simple, flat, and completely unimaginative. I'll admit the alcohol burn was very slight which is pretty impressive for something this big. But the complete and utter lack of carbonation (which I didn't even think I would care about) and the foul aftertaste of stale beer are quite enough to motivate me to write this review. I truly hope this is helpful and while I have not tried the other beers from this brewer, I'm willing to bet that they are better than this. Moral of the story: get the barleywine.

 1,192 characters

Photo of dnichols
1.98/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a chilled chalice.

A: It poured a clear red hue with barely any head that produced no lacing.

S: It had a yeasty aroma with a strong almost sticky cherry fruit aroma. Quite frankly it reminded me of children's cough medicine more than a fine barley wine.

T: It is all about the sticky sweet cherry and ripe fruit flavors. It has a strong medicine flavor that is high in alcohol and sticky syrup.

M: A moderate bodied brew dominated by sticky sweet mouth feel. It had a fairly clean and warm finish but it was hard to shake the cherry syrup flavor that lingered long after the drink was finished.

D: Good marketing that is pushing a beer that is difficult to tolerate even as a sipper and never more than one in a holiday season. It is insanely bad...I'd almost prefer a health dose of cough syrup.

 844 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
1.99/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Time to notch another style of the list. Picked this up during the holidays. 2010 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Crystal clear golden amber. Solid three finger off white head. Good retention. Thick sticky lace clings to the glass.

S: Sweet spicy malt greets me initially. Once past that the booze comes on strong. Hints of dark fruit and bread crusts.

T: Sharp bitterness is only cut by the full on hot alcohol burn. This must be what wood stain tastes like. Maybe a touch of dark fruit in the finish. Although it's awfully hard to pick out.

M: Thin and lightly carbonated body.

O: I would like to try another beer in this style to see if this is what it should taste like. Something tells me this is just a very poor representation.

 764 characters

Photo of BierAdvoNikk
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of Thedrizzle
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of duceswild
2/5  rDev -41%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2013 vintage, amber color, heazy unbalanced booze, drain pour

61 characters

Photo of gcotts
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of Mora2000
2.06/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer pours a yellow-gold color with a white head. The aroma is full of grain and something that resembles dirty socks. Not a nice combination. The flavor is not any better. There is some grain and malt sweetness, as well as some grass from the hops. Unfortunately, the dirty sock quality is still present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 350 characters

Photo of TAMU99
2.06/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish/amber with a thin head. Had a bit of a syrupy appearance on the pour. Thin to no head, minimal lace. Smell is non-existent, maybe some alcohol in there. Taste is slap-yo-mama alcohol. Whoa. Astringent and bitter, but not a good hop bitter. Kinda chemically. As for mouthfeel, remember that syrupy pour? It kinda coats your mouth. There are malt and hops in there, but the thick mouthfeel and overpowering alcohol make this red difficult to drink, so in the end you just don't care about the rest.

 512 characters

Photo of aasher
2.1/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a bright amber in color with a light white lacing around my snifter and is very translucent. The nose is of cinnamon, nutmeg, and I initially got some smoke. The alcohol isn't present at all but the aromas themselves are muted. It tastes of watered down spices mixed with honey tea. It is just a weird mix. The alcohol again isn't present at all and I'm hard pressed to believe that this is really 11.2%. It drinks light in body and is overly sweet. This beer just isn't worth my time. It's a drain pour, just an overmalted simple winter warmer.

 561 characters

Photo of IHC
2.15/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- For a red ale it certainly didn't pour very red. It had a slight red hue, but it was more of a golden or amber color.
Smell- right off the bat you can smell the booze, when you sniff this beer the alcohol is immediately present and the taste follows the aroma.
Taste-very heavy on the booze and I feel that it heavly takes away from what could have been a great beer.
Mouthfeel/drinkability- while I still managed to finish the bottle I would not recommend this beer to anyone who wasn't a big beer drinker. I love all kinds of beer especially strong ones but this beer was just too much, its not very drinkable and its mouthfeel is not that enjoyable. Disappointed for the first time by ridgeway

 709 characters

Photo of xsists
2.15/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A - Deep dark amber color. Small amount of head that dissipates quickly.

S - Sweet alcoholly scent. I get a lot of grape smell, almost like champagne.

T - Very sweet. Loads of malt in this one. I get a grapey citruis taste and it follows through to the finish.

M - Thick and sugary. Carbonation is present as well.

D - I did not like this. I actually did not drink it all the way through. Will not look this direction again.

 429 characters

Photo of stcules
2.21/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep red color, bright. It has an average white foam.
In the smell it tends to be malty, and oily. Sunflower seeds, too!
Overall, heavy and boring.
Ok, it has 11.2 ABV, yes, but it is too alcoholic, with fusels, pear. In the end, quite boring, and not easy too drink.
Winter beer, yes, it warms, yes. But not too pleasantly.

 336 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.23/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Drain pour. Only the third or fourth time that's happened with the hundreds of beers I've purchased with the intent to review.

Pours a moderately attractive deeply reddish amber. No real head, just half an inch or so of white foam.

Smells okay, sweet malt and a sweet, sweet fruit smell. Almost like cherry extract. The taste is horridly sweet. Overly cloying with syrupy grenadine-esque cherry flavoring and/or plums, malt that reminds me of candy caramel, and a raw booze background. The mouthfeel was decently thick.

This beer needed carbonation and some balance to it.

 577 characters

Photo of BeerBobber
2.24/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This one poured a copper color with some bubbles and a head that just quickly dissipated.

The smell was just a very sugary sweet smell.

Taste was just freaking awful. Sorry but at this point I could not continue my review! This had the most awful sickly treacly taste that in my mind screamed, "Steel Reserve High Gravity!!!" Now I know that all taste buds are different but I really could not continue at this point. Drain pour or shotgun and God Pray For My Soul!

I went for the shotgun. Now that got some laughs from the kids, watching Dad crying in pain that is. Seriously this may be for some folks but I am so sorry to say this is one damned Elf I wish to beat his sorry ass into submission and send him back to Santa for a proper spanking.

 749 characters

Photo of KevinGordon
2.25/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of BigRob329
2.25/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of jbphoto88
2.26/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Insanely bad elf (vintage 2010) pours very clear with a nonexistent head. The beer is apricot in color and has some fizzy bubbles working their way up from the bottom.

The nose is like a cheap white wine. Crisp, fruity with barely a hint of grain or hop. In fact there is nothing here that really inspires me to take a sip. Hopefully the taste will brighten thing up.

Disappointing. The same crisp and fruity flavors in the nose compound themselves in the taste. A mix of apple cider and white grape juice bludgeon any flavor presence from the booze soaked grains. It's overly sweet and has a finish like a dessert wine. Yuck.

The mouthfeel is very slick and doesn't add any plesure to the drinking experience. This beer is a boozy wine flavored mess and the only insane thing about it is someone calling it a good beer. This one is a pass and almost drain pour.

 868 characters

Photo of RedneckBeerz
2.3/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Amazingly high abv., higher than most Barleywines that I am use to. Trying this one in between a comparison of Founder's Breakfast Stout and Old Rasputin (yeah I KNOW, they are different styles).

Label stamped 33F06 C9 2!

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar/pint glass and the brew was a clear reddish amber color with a small off white head producing a slippery lacing on the glass.

The smell is amber malts and rye, a nice aroma.

Cough, hack, cough !! Syrupy, alcoholy, medicinal, harsh, thick. This is waaay out of bounds for this style and perhaps outside the bounds of Beer in general.

It reminds me of a nasty cough medicine that had harsh herbs and a couple of tablespoons of kerosene added to it.

The mouthfeel is harsh, thick and cloying.

After 6 sips I will bury this one into the depths of the Greensboro Water Treatment Plant. This is a solid D brew for me, and hoping that I never walk this way again.

 946 characters

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Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 304 ratings
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