Serve in Snifter


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RATINGS: 293   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 381   ABV: 12.7%
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Barrel Aged Old Ruffian Barley Wine was aged for 20 months in Stranahan’s barrels. As it does for Yeti, the aging process mellows Old Ruffian’s edge while adding gentle notes of oak, whiskey and vanilla to the 12.7% ABV and 85 IBUs beer. (The original Old Ruffian won a Gold medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival and a Silver medal at the 2007 GABF.)

“Our intent,” says Great Divide founder Brian Dunn, “was to age each beer in the barrels for 9 months. But we got busy with other projects, primarily the addition of a new bottling line, and the beers ended up aging for more than a year and half.” While the labels on the bottles state that the beers were aged 9 months in barrels, both beers were in fact aged 20 months in barrels.

Release limited to 470 bottles.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
fiver29 (1025) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - FEB 8, 2009
Bottle shared by miketd. Thanks Mike! Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma is straight whisky with some sweetness in there somewhere. Flavor is straight booze. Too much in fact. Undrinkable for the most part.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fonefan (34232) - VestJylland, DENMARK - FEB 1, 2009
Bottle 50cl.
[ Courtesy of Ambassador ]. Clear medium amber brown color with a average, frothy, fair lacing, mostly diminishing, off-white head. Aroma is heavy malty, caramel, fruit - berry, cranberry, cask wood, vanilla, moderate alcohol - whisky. Flavor is heavy sweet and moderate bitter with a long duration. Body is medium to full, texture is oily - syrupy, carbonation is soft. [20081030]

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hapjydeuce (926) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 31, 2009
Bottle brought back from the brewery in Denver after the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. Shared with jarspag and Maheu in Mammoth, January 09. This sh*t is dank! You better be a friend of the creature to enjoy this bad boy. Pours a deep bronze with some white swirls and no head. Immediate stank of bourbon whiskey and oak barrel, along with vanilla, coconut, cocoa and a boatload of caramel. Damn! The flavor is smothered in whiskey barrel and more vanilla, flying head on into a big hot and boozy finish...but I like it! Lasting alcohol warmth and a full body makes this a true winter warmer to be sipped slowly at near room-temperature. Yes sir!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
badgerben (4386) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JAN 30, 2009
MN Ratebeer Winter Gathering, January 10, 2009. Bottle 90/461. Courtesy of BDR. Dark mukry orange color with a thin head. Light whisky and oaky vanilla aroma. Some bitter English hops up front. Syrupy sweet malt. Lots of whisky and oak. Yum!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JAN 26, 2009
Bottle #134/461. I wanted to save this one for a tasting, but I dropped the damn thing on the floor and beer started oozing out of the top, so... Fairly malt-forward aroma. Sticky, toasted caramel and toffee. Big barrel presence. Darker fruits. Vanilla extract. Alcohol. Earthy hops come out upon warming, but so does a huge musty wood component. Pours an opaque ruby/brown with a sustained khaki head leaving spotty lacing. Flavor is quite dry on the tongue. Boatloads of wood. Caramel and toffee. Alcohol. Vanilla. Huge malt and barrel presence with little hops. Lots of toasty malt. Some sherry-like nuttiness and a slight hint of cardboardy oxidization. Medium bodied. I was expecting quite a bit more heft to this one. Average carbonation with a bone dry barrel and alcohol presence on the finish. Thanks ToM!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Skyview (5154) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JAN 23, 2009
Sampled from 750 ml bottle during MN Gathering II in Maplewood, MN, and shared by BDR. Pours a hazy dark amber brew with a thick beige head that has some nice retention and spotty lacing. Aroma of bourbon, raisin, vanilla and some caramel malt. Taste is full bodied, along with flavors of caramel malt, some flowery hops, bourbon, vanilla, some oak character and dark pitted fruits. Finish is semi-sweet and alcohol bite followed by a lingering bourbonized caramel malt aftertaste. Yah, goot ’n strong.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 22, 2009
Bottle shared with J and Mike in Mammoth. Do you like bourbon? No, really...because if not, you’ll hate this. Pure hatred. Although, if you’re like me and you are a fan, be ready to indulge. Oak, vanilla, caramel, and just a shitload of hot bourbon booziness. While I like it, I wish they stuck to the 9 month aging plan.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 18, 2009

Name: Old Ruffian, BA
Date: October 14, 2008
Mode: Bottle
Source: Tasting
Appearance: muddy dark amber, frothy beige head, scattered drippy lace
Aroma: dark caramel malt aroma kept dry by lots of earthy hops, touch of bourbon sweetness
Flavor: sweet dark caramel and bourbon flavor enhanced by vanilla sweetness, touch of hot alcohol, good earthy balance
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 8/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 17/20
Rating: 4/5.0
Drinkability: 8/10
Score: ***+/4

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
DalzAle (1965) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - JAN 15, 2009
Sample enjoyed at Skyview tasting. Pour was amber/red with a very sweet sugar aroma. Flavor was stonefruits, sugar and finished with a stong alcohol flavor. Ok beer, don’t know if I would trade for it (or buy it).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
KAF (448) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - JAN 15, 2009
Thanks to BDR. This will be great in five years or so. Brownish-red pour with an off white head. Sugary sweet nose with malt and the bourbon comes through. Flavor has dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, alcohol and some wet woodiness.

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