tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JAN 26, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
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!
Skyview (5242) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JAN 23, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 22, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
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.
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 18, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Name: Old Ruffian, BA
Date: October 14, 2008
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
DalzAle (1999) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - JAN 15, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
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).
KAF (448) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - JAN 15, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
tennisjoel (1180) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sampled at Skyview’s tavern. To me this didn’t have many of the qualities of regular Old Ruffian (which is one of my favorite barley wines), but that doesn’t mean it was bad. The barrel aging is very apparent and this baby is super complex with high notes of oak, whiskey, vanilla, light caramel, and subdued hops. It certainly is a challenging beer, and I was up for that challenge.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 11, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle #346/461 poured into a snifter.
Pours a deep, clear copper with a one-finger rock off-white head that lingered a good while leaving very good lacing. A significant cap hangs out throughout the session.
The aroma is delicious with the normal caramel malts and toffee sweetness complemented nicely by the big bourbon and vanilla presence from the oak. Some dark fruit sweetness and a hint of hops are present, though the hops are definitely less pronounced than in the regular Ruffian.
The taste actually seems a bit boozier than the aroma with a huge bourbon kick up front that lingers all the way to the aftertaste with an alcohol burn. In between is plenty of vanilla and oak presence. The underlying Ruffian is also there but the caramel malts and toffee sweetnes are really subtle underneath the powerful barrel properties. I did get some citrus hops in the taste that I couldn’t sense in the aroma.
The mouthfeel is plenty creamy with good carbonation. The barrel presence really makes itself felt on the palate with dry wood and booze all over the place.
This is a great beer but the bourbon in the taste might be a tad too much for me (and I love bourbon). Either way, I’m glad I got the opportunity to try it.
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - JAN 11, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle #271/461, big thanks to BeerandBlues2, thanks Brad. Nice dark brown with and orange/red tinge too it. Nice clingy light tan head as well. Muted sweet aroma. Some hoppiness too this, slight sweetness and a decent alcohol kick in the finish. Pretty drinkable though, I like it.
beastiefan2k (2478) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - JAN 11, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
750mL shared by BDR at Skyview’s The Thrilla in Bob’s Villa. Poured into a copita glass with no head and a thick, murky orange/brown body. Hey basically it was an all wood, all aggressive maltiness, alcohol, and lots of strong, nose piercing flavors and smells. If this was made 5 years ago it may have been more interesting, and if I disliked tasting my beer and wanted it to taste just like oak and whiskey then I may have enjoyed this more. Glad I tried it though.