Bad King John | Ridgeway Brewing

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56 Reviews
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Bad King JohnBad King John
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Suds on 06-02-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
118
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
15.99%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 118
Photo of beer2day
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, near black with some reddish tint coming through. Nice, fluffy 2-finger head atop my impy pint glass. Decent retention, too, lasting all the way through to the bottom of the pint.

Sweet malt and roast malt dominate the nose. Getting anise and caramel underneath. Slightly sour milk rounds things out.

Taste is a little milder than expected, but grows on you. Slight sweetness in the hit, but goes a little bitter mid tongue and finishes with a nice dry coffee bitterness.

Body is also a little thinner than expected, but that makes for a very drinkable stout. While the flavor profile would definitely satisfy on a cold night, the body makes this light enough to drink on a warmer early spring day.

If you like English dry stout, this is worth checking out. Can be a little pricey for a bottle, though.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bad King John sports a medium-heavy nose, full of complex aromas that begin with cognac and Irish Cream, and move from there into more subtle hints of caramel, apple, and chocolate malt.

On the tongue, the beer is less flavorful than the nose would imply, but still bears a good amount of malty goodness, with caramels, fresh-baked breads, and a good smattering of chocolate malts dominating. Very subtle hints of tobacco and ash rest beneath the surface, and the whole brew has a creamy texture, much like milk or a good oatmeal stout. The aftertaste is predominantly darker flavors, such as chocolate malt and ash, and lasts for a while. Subsequent mouthfuls result in a slightly diminished taste profile. Mouthfeel is quite light for a black ale--medium-light on the larger scale--and carbonation is medium.

Overall, I found the flavors in this brew good, but was disappointed in not only what I thought was a missed opportunity at larger flavors, but also thicker mouthfeel. Still, this might be a good introduction to black ales for newcomers, as it does provide all of the requisite flavors, albeit in a lighter format.

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Photo of Samp01
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark clear brown with a small short lived brown head on the pour. Aroma and Taste of roasted caramel malt, some coffee and dark fruit, with some liquorice notes and light bitterness. Palate is a medium body with moderate carbonation. Finish is a sweet roasted caramel malt, cacao, espresso with some light liquorice flavor and some bitterness on the end for balance. Both the aroma and flavor become more pronounced as it warms up. Overall a good tasty brew.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Russet-tinged black with steady beige head that leaves few trailers. Blackberry and ash on the nose with a bit of Band-aid.
Dark roast coffee, melted brown sugar, dates, hints of dark chocolate and cola-type caramel, then an assertively bitter hop ending made mostly of branch and autumn leaf.
Sweet comeback, dry linger. Medium, oily, chewy, slick, no burn.

Maybe a bit sugary and simple; not huge depth here. But good roasty notes; more oily than most. Oil and sugar do contrive to be a cloyingly bittersweet after a while, but at this strength you're not sessioning it anyway.

I'd been ready to write off Ridgeway based on rep and some very average beers, this earns them a stay of execution.

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Photo of gfreed
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It seems to me that the good brewers at Ridgeway have been trading copy-editing notes with their counterparts at Stone. The over-the-top blather on the label has nothing to do with the beer inside the bottle. This beer is most definitely *not* big and bad, black and bitter, or anything near "ruthless." It is, however, subtle and tasty. The ruby color is inviting; the roasted aroma is appealing, and the taste is complex without requiring too much contemplation or philosophy to decode. The body is surprisingly thin for the style, however, and for that I think Ridgeway should have their collective heads mounted on pikes.

Well, not really.

This beer is worth bringing home, but be wary of the marketeers.

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Photo of Suds
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml bottle, this beer pours as a nearly solid black color (with brown highlights in the shallows if held to the light). It presents a tightly packed brownish-tan head, and makes for an impressive beer. The brew has a nice roasted malt aroma...chocolate, biscuit, and grain in front of a backdrop of English hops. The malt is front and center in this beer. There's also a notable yeast flavor and aroma in the brew. Occasional fruity qualities appear and fade, particularly raisin and plum-like. Fairly clean, moderately light in body, with a bitterness that comes in in the mid-taste. Fairly sweet as well, more than expected. This is a satisfying and very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque dark brown body, crowned by a moderate, dense, dark tan head, which retains fairly well. The lacing is utterly glass-coating, and quite superb.

Aroma: Lots of roasted barley up front, followed by a fairly strong dark fruit presence, possibly dark plums, or figs.

Taste: Opens with bitter cocoa, and a sharp infusion of earthy hops. As the taste progresses, the hops reach ascendency, while the bitter cocoa is drawn out to a strong and lingering presence. Finishes with a lingering,earthy and bitter hop presence.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Would have benefit ted from a more moderate hop selection, the hops were simply too earthy.

Presentation: packaged in a custom 19.9 ounce (500 ml) brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium brewing chalice.

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Photo of Kristing
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is black with some red tones and their is barely any head. In my opinion, it looks more like a porter than a stout. The aroma is full of roasted malt and some smokiness. The taste is mellow and slightly bitter, with a roasted finish. Eventually, a tone of coffee presents itself that is rather enjoyable. Their is also a deal of smokiness.

I feel that this beer tastes and looks more like a porter than a stout. Even though it is a good beer, it is a bit flat. I was a bit disappointed actually, at least when considering the high price it cost at my local pub.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say the label has caught my eye in the past but I never pulled the trigger until today,BBC magazine called him the worst Briton of the 13th century,now thats sayin something.Poured more of a cola color than black,alot of reddish tint,a thinner but well retained slight off white head atop.Fruity malt,iron,and light bitter chocolate in the nose,its full on English malt.A little thin in the mouth,but it goes down real easy.Flavors are not intense,at least not for the American craft palate,but its got decent complexity.Some bitter chocolate and fruity flavors meld into a pretty good earthy finish,intense finish maybe for the Brits.I actually think its decent,not intense,not great.

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Photo of treque
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a deep brown with amber tints, clear, traslucent, thick creamy, long lasting, tant head, waste left behind on the glass

S: some roast, toast malts aroma

T: sweet malts, well balanced, toast, bitterness at the end, long final, medium body, moderate carbonation, residual sweetness

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #100
500 ml bottle into a pint glass

A: Extremely dark brown, nearly pitch black. Pours a modest head that takes on a light mocha color. No lace.

S: A little skunky initially. Underneath that is chocolate malt, licorice, some playful esthers.

T: A little modest, but good. A lot like a Guinness but with deeper bitterness and much more nuance in the flavor profile. Coffee grounds, rye toast, burnt nuts.

M: Lingering, viscous, a little chewy. Good level (medium) carbonation.

D: In no way do I find this one sessionable but who says that's a bad thing... A very nice brew to end my day with.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a little transparency. Skim creamy tan head what leaves some really decent clingy skim-like lace.

Mild charred malt and creamy coffee notes. A whiff of chocolate.

Assertive charred malt that leads to a bit of creaminess in the mouth. Bitter coffee notes, chicory, carbon. But with all of those harsh edges, this one is…smooth. Finish is bitter and svn a little medicinal.

Medium to medium full. A little loose for a stout.

Very very decent brew. A bitter-focused English stout, with still a bit of smoothness. Worth a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a thin layer of beige bubbles on the surface.
S: Aromas of dark fruits stand out in the nose.
T: The taste is dominated by flavors of roasted barley while the finish is rather fruity with notes of cherries.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth.
D: I could easily drink a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #3 of Sainsbury's Beer Hunt 2011! Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a black/very dark reddy brown colour, decent cream coloured head and good lacing.

Smells overall malty and burnt.

Tastes quite refreshing, the balance between malts and hops leans more towards the malts, though a nice hoppy bitter sweetness is their on the finish.

Overall quite a good stout, better than guinness anyway.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark cola pour comes off deep black in my duvel tulip. The head is a bit wispy and washy, parchment in color and weak on the hold. Lacing is moderate, a thin intricate spiderweb design covering the inside with a fair amount of coverage. Effervesce can be seen rising steadily along the glass edges of single file micro-bubbles rising at a moderate pace.

S: Medium sense of roast and dried dark chocolate appear on the opening scent. Aroma is simple, typical English pub fare, wont knock you off your feet or tickle your nostrils but is suited well enough within the style parameters.

T: Dark roasty nature brings a good sense of bitterness of dark fruit. Rich chocolate malts accompanied by some anise provide a smooth and easy flavor highlighted with a burnt caramel sweetness. Big on flavor on the open while it finishes out with a light and playful roast that is easy on the close.

M: Light to medium body, smooth coffee roast turns fuller as it sits. Good deal of carbonation tickling the tongue along with a fade and grace of dark fruit and roast of medium proportions.

D: Roasty yet incredibly smooth for flavor making for a solid good drinkability factor. The alcohol is very well hidden making you feel like you are drinking a session style pub at 5% rather then a tick above at 6%. Yeah I could easily enjoy a few of these in a nice typical English pub setting.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a khaki head. The aroma is pretty subtle with roasted malts and a little smoke. The flavor is more of the same with roasted malt being the most predominant flavor component. The hops may add a tad bit of bitterness but if they do, it is not much. Not very complex but it is enjoyable. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Premiere Gourmet. Good example of English sublety, nothing too bold just the balance of a little roast, a little Shwartzbier black, a bit above mouthfeel, a bit of licorice as in a porter. Pours black, nothing harsh, delightful with a meal. Really a shwartbier.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours very dark brown, but some light still shines through. Head is light tan and not very thick, although lacing is decent.
The smell has some characteristics of a stout. Some coffee and chocolate, as well as caramel. Taste is much better. Roasty, with chocolate and coffee, and hops give the beer a pleasant, bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and not as creamy as I would have liked it to be. Overall, though, it is rather smooth. This beer is drinkable by all means. I wouldn't really call it a stout, however. More of an English Strong Dark Ale.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass at ChurchKey.

Yeah, let's live pessimistically in the past, Ridgeway...let's keep dredging up John and dragging his name in the mud. Real mature. This brew pours a very dark brown topped by a sad excuse for a bubbly head (it's not its fault, though...the cask affects performance). The nose comprises figs, black grapes, light maple syrup, and some light strawberries. The taste holds notes of chocolate powder, light maple syrup, figs, dates, red grapes, and a hint of oak. Wow, didn't see all o' that comin'. The body is a solid medium, with no real carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a better time is had with this beer than was had under the watchful eye of the eponymous ruler. Word.

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Photo of Bung
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very tansluscent black pour. Sufficient off white head creating a nice contrast. Aroma is a bit mild. Subtle roast malt, nut and peat. Flavor is a bit stronger, roast malt and smoked nut again. Bitter tobacco, coffee a little piney hops. Body is a little tinner, but still medium and gets creamier as it warms. Finish is just a little coffee and anise. A good drinking dark brew.
I would have considered this something else other than a stout, maybe a dark mild but it is not real mild or just and English strong ale. Still a very good English ale.

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Photo of selecter70
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice purchase from a great little shop in Cambridge, Liquor World. I always can go for a nice dark ale & chose such to follow up some other fruity-session ales, which posed some potential risk of shocking the system. However, such was not the case! A nice, smooth chocolate-brown pour to black, blocking out any light, with a full 2-finger reddish tan head and nice lace retention. The aroma was mild, some chocolate & malt-cookie. The flavor was a bit more smoky, with roasted malt & bitter hop edges. Dark chocolate presence without being overwhelming. Medium body & very drinkable as a porter-ale. Definitely a repeat purchase!

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Photo of davidperez
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, it pours a very dark brown, seemingly black, with a one-finger head, sudsy, with low retention.

Very sweet bouquet.
Notes of raisins, figs, liquor, brown sugar, caramel, a hint of vanilla and a slight roastiness from the malts.

The taste changes somewhat from the nose.
Upfront a nice carbonation teases your palate, and short after an earthy, hoppy bitterness with a huge roasted malts character, almost charred, overruns your palate. Then, the sweet notes appear, moderate yet assertive. Caramel, dark fruits, vanilla and predominantly, dark chocolate.
The initial thrust of bitterness is nicely balanced by this sweet layer.

The aftertaste is long. It has a decaying sweetness, and it ends dry and earthy.
Medium body, high carbonation.
After warming up, a slight umami note appears, and the sweetness becomes more assertive too.

An nice english stout, a little nicer than its rating, IMO.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11/9/08- Purchased at Bottle Barn, in Santa Rosa, CA. $5.49 price tag.

Presentation- 500ml bottle, did not check for freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Black, but not as black as I have seen in a stout. Beyond full one in plus some head. Good 1/2 inch remains for the duration. Leaves some small chunks and some pacthwork of lace.

Smell- Beyond roasted malts. Deep burnt chocolate, frangrant bitter hops and a charcoal-campfire smokey nose.

Taste- First few sips reveal a light metallic note. Quickly fades though. Nice bitter and lasting hoppy flavor with added burnt smores campfire like dark chocolate.
Melds together nicely, but the hops play the main role.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth with a medium to lighter carbonation. Long lasting bitter lashing. Lightly creamy.

Drinkability- Very nice english stout. Do away with that metallic beginning and lower the carbonation a touch lower and you have almost world class. Very drinkable as is though.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored in one swift fluid motion into a tulip pint glass to avoid any sediment.

Black bodied with thick big bubbled beige head that quickly dispersed.

Rich coffee aroma with a fruity hint, maybe raspberry dunked in dark chocolate.

A nice spritely spicy taste, peppery with bitter notes the roast comes through nicely in coal tasting smack to round it off.

surprisingly sup'able probably due to the great carbonation making it an easy drinking experience.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a unigue experience that separates the english stout from the export. mild but no diluted. good retention. supriseingly fruit but backbone of malt molasses. the palate is clean and not creamy... but broad. vanilla, cocoa, molasses, and a lot of blackberry. fantastic. mild but not basic.

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Bad King John from Ridgeway Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.
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