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RATINGS: 299   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95   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.


PhillyCraft's rating

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PhillyCraft (3326) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 16, 2013
Mahogany pour with medium sized head and lacing. Color of the foam was khaki. Aromas of caramel, dark fruit, sugar, sweetness, oak, and grain. Flavor was much of the same with a lot of bitter tasting hops coming through. More of a triple ipa or a really hoppy barleyine if u ask me. Medium to full mouth. The B.a version was a lot more balanced and drinkable then regular.


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
slowrunner77 (5983) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 14, 2014
"upon opening, I was still greeted with more hops than I’d expect after a long barrel aging process. upon pouring, however, the hops are almost totally replaced in the aroma by woody vanilla, caramel, and toffee. very nice aroma. The look is fairly typical for a barleywine, which is nice, but not standout. smallish head. the flavor achieves a balance somehow between the sweet malt, whiskey, wood, vanilla, and hops...it manages to be strong in both sweet and hoppy without one being totally overpowering, although there is nothing delicate about this complex brew. In fact, our palates were so assaulted, this beer marked the start and finish of my tasting for the night. at 50+ degrees, the sweet and whiskey are a little more in the forefront, with the bittering and drying hops in the finish. As the beer gets closer to room temp, the hops take over a bit from the whiskey. A very nice beer for sure, and a rare treat, but for the price, the only way I’d get this again is to do a vertical tasting of regular/oak/and barrel aged Old Ruffians. 7/12 - 2011 batch, still not as complex as the base, due to the whiskey being in the fore, but pretty damn good. up a tenth of a point."

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wedgie9 (2004) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 24, 2014
From notes. Tasted on 6/30/12 at the 1st Annual Chimipalooza, from an older 750mL bottle. Pours hazy dark amber with an average tan head that leaves a thick collar of lace. The nose is tons of maple, caramel and toffee, vanilla and cinnamon oak, and some brown sugar. The flavor is a touch sweet up front, with the same maple, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar malt, along with vanilla and cinnamon oak, and some alcoholic heat. The body is full and sticky with just lighter than average carbonation and a long maple, toffee, caramel, and cinnamon oak finish.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Ionlyrate5s (100) - New York, USA - SEP 23, 2014
Nice pour with big pillow head,slight tannish. Fantastic aroma of vanilla and oak as description states. Flavor is fantastic with rich caramel, hops and bourbon. Such a great all around beer!!!

2.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
Travlr (12349) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 22, 2014
It was a distinct pleasure to share argo0’s 9,000th rating with this beer, the DC crew and displaced portions of the Richmond and NC crews - thanks, gentlemen. Murky plum color, no head or lacing. Aroma of caramel and butterscotch and booze. Taste is boozy caramel, some vanilla toward the end. OK.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
BMMillsy (1435) - Florida, USA - AUG 17, 2014
Bottle in trade from Adam. Big thanks for a big want to a great trader. Looks like an ’11 on the bottle so I am assuming this is a 2011 bottle, 750 ml, poured 8/17/14. Bottle #1113. Pours muddy brown with a creamy two finger off white head. Awesome aroma of whiskey, oak, vanilla, interestingly some chocolate here, toffee, and lots of figs and some brown sugar. Flavor is big time bourbon but super smooth, oak, massive vanilla tones, figs, brown sugar, some caramel, lingering vanilla oakiness. Medium to heavy bodied, medium plus carbonation, smooth finish with nearly no booze burn. Wow this is really nice.

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Andresvendsen (199) - - AUG 1, 2014
Inte det absolut bästa dom någonsin gjort men helt klart god att dricka. Snygg flaska som vanligt. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
onceblind (4329) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 23, 2014
(Had this on tap at Great Divide Brewery; the bartender said it was aged 11 months in Fireside Whiskey barrels, and it seemed redundant to make a new listing) Murky woody copper under a thin rocky cap. Absolutely incredible aroma of toasted caramel and oak char, lots of vanilla chip cookies, and a bright plum and black cherry boozy note. Tastes absolutely magnificent with boozy notes of plum and raisin and toasted caramel, oak, vanilla, char, black cherry, fruity whiskey, more raisin and cherry, more caramel and toasted oak, and a little more sweet candied booze. Amazeballs.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jmikolich (1468) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - APR 28, 2014
750mL bottle from CLE beer week 2013? this is really sweet lots of vanilla and almost a hint of coconut solid beer with big beefy flavor, I’m diggin the stranahan flavor.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
samsmith33 (391) - - APR 11, 2014
Aroma Is not strong for the style. Turpentine, tar, apple, pear. Look is creamy head, orangeish brown. Cloudy. Legs. Taste is more apples, tar-ish aroma is woody in tasting it. Caramel. Alcohol well masked. Mot completely hidden of course at almost 13%, ....actually the bottle says 10.2%. (2012) But still impressive. Liking it more as I drink (but isn’t that always the case). Smooth, sour aftertaste.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Sarlacc83 (809) - Oregon, USA - APR 3, 2014
2009 bottle sent to me by someone long ago. Thanks, though I can’t remember your name.’ Bottle 403/1188 A: Placid brown with no head - even after a hard pour. Nice lacing. N: Bourbon and its evidence of caramel and vanilla. Hops, pineapple, lots and lots of wood. A touch of cherry and chocolate. T: Intense wood bitterness. Some residual hopping in here, and the bourbon/malt sweetness gets to the point of cloying. M: Very oily. Heavy and almost completely lacking in carbonation. O: Intense barleywine that’s still too much. The non-bubbles crushed the tongue and I got pretty sick of it pretty fast. On the other hand, the 2009 used to be one of the worst beers I’ve ever had, and this at least better. Not worth half the 35 dollars it costs, though.


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