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Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale | Ridgeway Brewing

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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 BostonJustin
4.04/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of damndirtyape
3.66/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, 2013 vintage. Served in a Gordon Highland Scotch Ale thistle glass.

Appearance: Bright coppery amber, very thin skin of foam across the top and ring at the edge. Some occasional fine strands of lacing that slowly slid down the glass.

Smell: Some fruity notes, a hint of toffee, and some hints of alcohol. Surprisingly mild in aroma intensity.

Taste: Toffee and then a strong hit of alcohol that lingers from right after the sip to well after the finish. The finish also has some hoppy notes, mostly English style bittering Kent Golding but there is a hint of pine at the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, and what at first feels like it would be a nice thickness that gets ruined a bit by the alcohol burn.

Overall / Drinkability: A very slow sipper and the alcohol shows up right away, not at all hidden. I let this warm up quite a bit to see if it would get better, and it is still unbalanced. The alcohol is potent and dominates the flavors, aroma, and mouthfeel of this beer. It's an okay sipping beer, and maybe if it was colder outside I would appreciate it more. Otherwise it's just okay because of the unbalancing. If the toffee and hops were more prominent and the alcohol tamped down a bit, I think this beer would be much better. I can see why the beer doesn't get very high ratings. I also think it fits better into the English Barleywine style due to the high ABV rather than English Strong Ale. But that's my opinion anyway.

 1,496 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Spify
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Resembles the taste of wine to me.

34 characters

Photo of HurrahBeer
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of Amp
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage enjoyed in a snifter, this interesting English imperial red pours a bright reddish amber with a thick, big bubbled white head that lingers with light lacing. Nose of toffee, caramel, ripe peaches, cherries, and strong booze. Flavors are intense to say the least. Rich caramel and spicy rye like flavors come through on the front and sides with a mild toffee background. Fruit flavors roar on the aftertaste and back with peach and cherry notes being tamed by spicy hops. Booze runs rampant through this rather big ale with considerable heat. Reminds me of some of the Russian alcohol forward dopplebocks, yet with more depth and character. Very nice indeed.

 677 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.04/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 ounce bottle, 2013 vintage, label stamp says best before 16 09 23. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a clear orange/amber color with maybe a quarter inch off-white head that didn't stay around for very long. There's a decent amount of lacing. The aroma starts off boozy, with some toffee, candied oranges, stone fruit and some caramel malt noticeable. The taste is mainly sweet and boozy, it tastes like dried fruit (stone fruit and dark fruit), booze, and bready malt. The booziness just seems worse the longer I drink this, and unfortunately so does the overall flavor of this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's syrupy and coating with moderate carbonation. This isn't bad, but it wasn't exactly good either. Maybe it needs more age on it, who knows. It's worth trying once, but I likely wouldn't buy this again.

 832 characters

Photo of thebigredone
3.74/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wrecknut
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ScentedHeathen
3.87/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

a nice and dry English Ale, a little booze taste but considering the 11.8% abv not bad at all. the Rye malt is very pleasant and strong. I should mention that the bottle I purchased in December of 2014 is from 2010 so maybe this beer needs some time to mature before it's true potential is reached

 297 characters

Photo of vinicole
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Lovely orange marmalade. Crystal clear. Fine bubbles.
Little aroma, alcohol and lightly fruited sponge cake.
Thick, sweet and boozy. Hint of caramel. Alcohol burn.

Two years old and still undercooked. Needs at least five I reckon.

 231 characters

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.76/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a half finger of head on a clear straw body.
The aroma is malty, a little boozy, and some lemon.
The taste is super sweet across the board. There's some plum and other ripe fruits.
The texture is soft.
My wife likes it but I'm not too fond of the sweetness.

 264 characters

Photo of ahalset
3.44/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
2.99/5  rDev -11.8%

Pours a bright orange with an off white head. The smell is all alcohol with only some light fruit smells coming through in the end. The taste is very sweet in the beginning before giving in to a lot of burn from the booze. It was very heavy and boozy but drinkable. If nothing else it gets you drunk really fast.

 312 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Hazy color. Rich malty flavor. Slightly overwhelming maple sweetness. Low hop character. Unbalanced. Heavy, syrupy body. Sticky texture.

136 characters

Photo of claspada
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of TruePerception
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Insanely Bad Elf, imperial red ale. 11.2% ABV

A: Interesting. There isn't really a head. Just a thin layer of bubbles, that I wouldn't say is densely packed enough to qualify. Lacing is thing, but holds in multiple layers along the glass. VERY tiny bubbles stream up the inside of the glass as it is tilted. I'm kinda of curious what causes all of these differences...

Solid plum red in color, yellow-grey in the dimple.

S: Deep molasses aroma. Cereal grain. No hops coming through, so it seems like more of an Irish-style red. I seem to be getting some oaky caramels, though the bottle doesn't say it's seen oak. Very slight muskiness.

T/MF: There is a very deep, roasted caramel note; somewhere between deeply charred oak and molasses. I don't have a name for that yet in my repertoire. Some char. Quite a bit more cereal grain. Hay. Slight smokiness. I feel like this beer needs a food pairing, but I couldn't say what. Maybe fruited breads. Creamy cheeses, perhaps. Unfortunately, I have neither on hand. For some reason, I'm thinking pepper jelly with that creamy cheese. Dammit, now I'm hungry!

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Edit: 2007 Vintage.

Notes of raisin and tobacco coming forward on the palate, as the beer warms.

 1,263 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of ruckus232
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of pknyc
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage : A Cellar Claim

LOOK: A medium bronze colored ale with a white soapy head that laces the glass well. The bottle poured free from sediment and clarity is above average.

SMELL: Raisin, buttery toffee, malts, and alcohol. Aged any hop notes out, it finishes sweet and hot really.

TASTE: The flavor has honey like malt, toffee, faint to no bitterness and a hefty alcohol presence. Has the echos of a euro strong ale, or cheap english barleywine, but the thinnish base beer really doesn't hide the alcohol too well.

Even after four years in the cellar, this can use about 10 years further before I would consider revisiting it.

 641 characters

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