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Bad King John | Ridgeway Brewing

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BA SCORE
83
good
57 Reviews
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Bad King JohnBad King John
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
ridgewaybrewery.co.uk

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:
57
Ratings:
121
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
16.58%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 121
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 550 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Deep Ellum this past weekend. Served in a standard pint glass. Dark brown color to the body. Decent sized head. Not a lot of aroma noticed. Roasted barley flavor was there, but not a lot else. Pretty smooth beer so I found quite easy to drink. But honestly, this beer did nothing for me and seemed run of the mill. Didn't stand out in any which way.

 359 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a Shelton Bros event during Phila Beer Week. Thought it was from cask the way it was presented - filled to the brim of the glass, flat and still. Sipped it down slowly - very clean and thin in body and taste. Lightly sour/acidic coffee roast flavor, no chocolaty undertones, no hops, little discernible malt flavor. Every so often, I gave it a swirl - absolutely no carbonation. Not sure if that's the norm with this, but it certainly affected the feel, smell (which was super weak, coffee/malt-syrup sweet), and possibly flavor.

It's a decent stout, arguably a porter. It was black, showing rusty red with a half sip left. I'd give it another shot at some point, but I'd consider it a semi-bland table beer.

 728 characters

Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

 287 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up the other day at the downtown Spec's. From reading the bottle I am expecting something like Arrogant Bastard, but I don't know that an English beer can be that aggressive. Let's see...

Appearance: Pours a very dark color that looks like it would be pretty clear if you held a bright enough light up to it. There was a small head of tan bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. After a minute or so, there was still a pretty solid ring of cream around the top of the beer at the glass. there is a pretty decent amount of lace left on the glass after drinking, so it is a pretty good looking beer overall.

Aroma: My initial impression was of a toffee drink with a shot of vodka in it. Man, that can't be good. Going back in, I don't get that like I did right after the pour. Now there is some earthy British hops starting to come out to mix with the sweet malt that is still dominating. As the beer is starting to warm, I am getting roasted pecans. Interesting.

Taste: The beer overall is pretty thin bodied and this is one of the first things you notice about the sip. There are dark caramel malts giving a bit of a toffee impression, but the malts have a bit darker edge to them than the aroma alluded to so they are a bit acidic when mixing with the hops in the finish. There is a little contribution from the alcohol and it really just adds some heat and dryness to the finish that it didn't really need because of the attenuation and the hops.

Opinion: This is an OK beer and probably one of the best that I have had from this brewery yet. I don't know what that is saying, but there you have it. The beer itself is a bit harsh on the finish, but it has a decent amount of flavor. Would I drink it again?...probably. Would I seek it out? No, the Bastard is much better.

 1,797 characters

Photo of vinicole
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vey dark brown. Very little head.
Rather muted roasted malt aroma with light hop.
Caramel and lightly toasted brown bread, a hint of sweetness.
The body lets this beer down. Watery.

 181 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 825 characters

Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,129 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 460 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 569 characters

Photo of dedrinker
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkest wood veneer with a thin white-ish head.

Faint aroma of roasted malts and some hints of dark fruit.

The flavor was a light roasty malt with some bitterness. I would say that if it was a little dark chocolate and black coffee I perceived, then it was an inferior brand of chocolate and coffee - Hershey's and Maxwell House instant.

Not bad though overall, just a lot less than I was being lead to expect.

Medium/full body with a dry, lightly burnt malt bitterness on the finish.

 488 characters

Photo of nick76
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is like burnt malt with cream and coffee. The appearance is black with an average head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is too thin for a stout. I am not very fond of this one. I can't really say that there is any one fault with this one. Overall it's just not that good.

 290 characters

Photo of MichialTanner1
3.22/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An impulse purchase, due to the label and my interest in English history. There is no way this beer could be as bad as King John himself, who was allegedly poisoned with a toxic ale.

Poured into a Spaten klug, this is almost an opaque black with a beige head that dissolved into nothing within about a minute. This would be hilarious if King John had been beheaded. However, there's really no lack of carbonation to the bottom.

If given a taste test, I would have thought this to be an English Porter. It isn't heavy or bitter. It's good, but not great--and opposed to the description on the label, it is actually "subtle". This would be a good pub pour and I really like the kind of sour, Worcester style smell to it rolling out of the mug.

So, I would say that this is at least as good as Henry III, maybe even Henry II. If they make a King Edward I, it had better be a Wee Heavy...

 894 characters

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3/5  rDev -18.5%

A: Pours out like Coca Cola. Fizzy but leaves absolutely no head whatsoever. Looks just like Coke.
S: Just a generic porter smell and ... tinsel?!!!
T: A generic smokey porter profile with a horrible corn snacks flavour. The aftertaste is actually very nice – fudge and caramel – but the initial wash is so bad that I'm questioning the quality of my bottle. It's very fizzy, albeit the bubbles are fine. Not like pop.
O: Hmm, could I have bought an infected bottle? Not sure I want to pay £2 for another bottle to find out. If this is Bad King John in its normal state then it's one of the worst stouts I've had.

 617 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 711 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice english black ale, lot´s of dark fruits in the taste and a nice chocolaty smell. Very sessionable. Pours black ale with a brown foam head that disipates quickly.

 172 characters

Photo of Malt_Man
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature from 500ml bottle into straight pint glass.

A) Very dark ruby-black. Opaque; can just see through it when held to light. Absolutely no head; no carbonation visible. Hm.

S) Very little, despite being unrefrigerated. Warm malts, but very faint.

T) Very dark mild malt flavour, slight hint of roasting at the back of the mouth. What hops there are, are muted. A subtle and well thought-out taste profile. A bit weird for a 6% beer, the flavours become apparent in the mouth well after the swallow.

M) Creamy mouthfeel, almost no carbonation. Subtle bitterness in the aftertaste. As above, this is a subtle and well structured beer.

O) A nicely done ale; not even close to being a stout, and it doesn't claim to be one on the bottle, so the BA type is wrong. This is a beer to drink slowly and appreciate.

 850 characters

Photo of thepeter
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish red with minimal head turning to film and decent lacing. Smells of rich sweet roasted malt some dark fruits and maybe some plum. Tastes like a sweet or a milk stout not enough hop presence or any complexity really. Not bad but nothing special. Feel is a bit too carbonated at first, again nothing special here. Not a bad beer but nothing I would buy again.

 373 characters

Photo of levifunk
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - black liquid, but partially see through. light tan head.

s - smells like a light stout. mostly smoked malts.

t - smoked malts. a very faint prune flavor. can taste the alcohol and it tastes like cough syrup. there is a rye dryness.

m - medium body. decent carbonation.

overall - not really that great of a beer. wouldn't recommend this one.

 348 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 604 characters

Photo of interzen
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

500ml bottle poured into a nonic pint glass

Look: Flat cola. Seriously. Starts out fairly promising with a very dark pour (some ruby highlights if you hold it up to the light) with a head that had pretty much gone by the time I'd finished pouring. The net result looks like a pint of Coke. Not a good start.

Smell: Quite an earthy smell - lots of roasted malt and biscuity smells in evidence. Some dark fruitiness on agitation but the roasted smell dominate.

Taste: Again, quite earthy - roasted malts are very much to the forefront. Not a lot to distinguish it from other porters, let alone stouts.

Feel: Consider this as a porter and it's not too bad - fairly easy drinking with a medium/full body. Taken as a stout it's an epic fail for much the same reasons, in which case it's positively anaemic.

Overall: Is it a stout? Is it a porter? This is a beer with an identity crisis in more ways than one. It's not that it tastes bad; I like my beers malty and this one isn't too bad albeit a little one-dimensional. I think it's trying to be two things at once and doesn't really hit the spot on either count. Compared to something like Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout, Bad King John is looking pretty woeful. Not a drain pour because I enjoyed the taste, but I can't see me seeking this out again.

 1,295 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 500ml bottle into imperial pint glass

A-more of a dark ruby color with about a finger of head that faded wuickly with a little lacing

S- a little coffee and some roasted malt smell

T-some coffee and dark fruits with a finish of some carmel

M-a little on the thin side for a stout, I like mine a little creamier

O-A lot of potential but not quite there maybe a stout light

 389 characters

Photo of omnigrits
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Nice dark colour with ruby highlights around the edges, but little in the way of head or lace.

There's some coffee and chocolate in the aroma, but already I can tell that this one's a bit thin.

The taste backs up my suspicions. What's there is good but there's not much of it. Distinctly underwhelming. There's a nice roasted malt flavour with more coffee and chocolate, and a decent bitter finish to it. Not much sweetness, which is to my taste because I prefer a drier stout.

The body is seriously lacking.

Despite all the faults it's a fairly decent and quite drinkable session stout if you're not looking to wreck your palate with a roasted malt bomb or get hammered with a 10% RIS.

 741 characters

Photo of treque
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
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

 284 characters

Photo of evanackerman
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beer pours a nice dark black color with a tan head

aroma is prunes and roasted malt

taste is delicious roasted malt with a nice slight bitter finish, hints

mouthfeel is medium bodied, and very very smooth, light carbonation.

overall, this beer is quite delicious. Described as a "black ale" on the bottle, it is as fine an example of a british stout as I've tasted. worth a try.

 383 characters

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Bad King John from Ridgeway Brewing
3.68 out of 5 based on 121 ratings.
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