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RATINGS: 292   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 381   ABV: 12.7%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
riversideAK (5560) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - DEC 19, 2008
Nose has notes of oak, ripe fruits, and nice sweetness. Orange brown with a thin bubbly head. Sweet and fruity, ripe fruits with tons of barrel characteristics. Nice and full, good carbonation, lots of malt and good barrel aged flavors.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
doubleo (1433) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 8, 2008
750ml bottle. No idea what the bottle number was. Pours a mostly clear brown with a moderate sized, tan head and some lace. Smells of new wood, some sweet malts and a good bit of alcohol. Tastes malty and sweet, hints of chocolate for me actually. The wood flavors I get are new and mellow. Not much bourbon, maybe just a touch of booze sweetness. Full body, good carbonation.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - DEC 1, 2008
Thanks to Mike for bringing this one to Hotd dock sale. Glowing amber pour, good clarity, with a smooth light khaki head. Big oak nose, hints of vanilla and fig. The alcohol was there, but not to overwhelming. The oak was pretty strong, should mellow nicely. Pretty solid brew with a smooth palate that leaves lingering whisky notes into the finish.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aplusbreaks (330) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 29, 2008
750ml. Bottle #111/461. Pours a hazy mahogany with a small khaki colored head which diminishes to a thin collar. Aromas of dark fruits, raisins, plums, whiskey and oak. Heavy caramel malt, vanilla, and molasses. Flavors again of dark fruits (raisins and plums), with lots of whiskey on the back end (not to mention heat). Some really good hops in flavor, great malts, but definitely a hoppy barley wine. Bottom line, great brew especially with the barrel aging, but not a $25 beer.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ibrew2or3 (6521) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Bottle courtesy of Gillard. Thanks Ryan, you of course ROCK!!! Pours amber to garnet with mild haze and off white head. The aroma is full of oakiness and vanilla followed by almost no base beer notes whatsoever. The taste is much the same with big sweet vanilla notes with ribbons of oak and alcohol. Deep into the finish hints of the base beer show up if I really concentrate. I really prefer more balance in a beer. Hopefully some age will bring this together and even it out. Really glad I had a chance to try it. Thanks again Ryan.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - NOV 20, 2008
Rating #900. Bottle courtesy of Gillard. Thanks Ryan for such a rare treat. Pours a slightly hazy golden with a one finger light tan head that leaves good lacing. Aroma is tons of freaking oak with vanilla and citrus, pine and sweet malt hiding in the finish. Taste is sweet malt, caramel, tons of oak, coconut, and a hint of citrus and pine hops. Medium mouthfeel with a strong amount of bitterness and slightly warm alcohol. The oak completely covers up the base beer but with time I could see this being amazing. Very good.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sebletitje (6326) - Enghien, BELGIUM - NOV 20, 2008
courtesy of gillard. What an excellent beer, you are the man Ryan, even in your speedo. Pours amber/brown. Aroma is oaked, and some lingering sweetness (vanilla) mixed with nice malts and light hops. Taste. Just have to love the mix of barrel aged beer with oak. Leaves a nice fruity (apple) mouthfeel and malts, coupled with the nice wod addition and sweetness of vanilla. I could drink this barley wine any day.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
after4ever (5928) - Brier, Washington, USA - NOV 16, 2008
750, capped and foiled. Thanks, acrdz! Great to finally meet you. Wow, wow, wow, this was a yummy beer. Pours cloudy medium amber with bright caramel highlights and a dense, creamy tan head. Big sweet vanilla-y bourbon nose. Amazingly, despite being rather out of balance, the tippage toward bourbon in the nose does not make it ungainly and certainly it loses nothing in attractiveness. Creamy medium body, a little low in carb due to time on that wood. Sweet and bourbony with plenty of deep toffee and caramel under. Again, the weirdly super-appealing imabalance toward bourbon persists on the mid-palate. Toffee, vanilla finish. Lovely stuff.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 31, 2008
Bottle. Head is initially very small, mostly diminishing. Body is dark amber. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (cookie, caramel), lightly hoppy (resin, apricot), with notes of cardboard, wood, alcohol. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, syrupy texture, lively/soft carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic. Surprisingly unfulfilling and rough. Raw wood and oxidation dominate the aroma, and there’s not a ton of other stuff to pull it out of that rut. The wood returns on the tongue, and frankly I just can’t get into this.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
zathrus13 (1691) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - OCT 31, 2008
Bottle 176/461. Pours copper/brown, with a small, off white head. Aroma is dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, malt, and whiskey. Flavor is caramel, dark fruit, hops, vanilla, whiskey, malt, and alcohol. Much more subtle whisley presence than the BA Yeti. Should age nicely.


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