RateBeer
overall
99
98
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1380   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   EST. CALORIES: 308   ABV: 10.27%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Old Ruffian is a hefty, hop-forward Barley Wine. Seemingly mellow at first sniff, with its subtle fruit aromas and complex caramel sweetness, this deep mahogany-hued ale quickly shows its true character marked by bold hop flavors and massive hop bitterness. Old Ruffian’s rich, slightly creamy, caramel malt mouthfeel balances its grapefruit, pine, and floral hop flavors, working wonders on your palate.
A mind-numbing 90 International Bittering Units (IBUs).


4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dorwart (2451) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - SEP 3, 2005
Large light beige head. Very dense and creamy on top. Rich and hoppy aroma with loads of malts, brown sugar, toffee, caramel and some sweetness along with the big floral and piney hops. Color is a thick, murky copper brown. Thick and syrupy on the palate with a big alcohol presence and kick. More sweet malts and caramel. Little hot with the alcohol. Masks some of the flavor. Little bit of hops but not as much as the aroma. A little medicinal but some damn fine medicine. Large alcohol presence at the finish which warms nicely. Some bitterness from the hops. A pretty good barleywine but a little to much alcohol. Thanks to Eyedrinkale for this one.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
sandwichpants (117) - Royal Oak, Michigan, USA - SEP 2, 2005
Glass from 22 ounce bomber at home. Beautiful head, and wonderful color (though not quite as deep and beautiful as some others, but near perfect in my book). Aroma is great typical barleywine, very clean. Flavour is similar, not quite as deep and complex as some others I’ve had (less of the dark fruit esters and stuff like that), and mine had a tinge of metallic in the flavour, but the malt and hop, sweet and bitter, that was all very enjoyable. A little bit of a tingly feeling from the bitterness and alcohol at the finish are nice as well. I’d buy it again!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - AUG 29, 2005
22-oz bomber from The Corkscrew in Urbana IL. The best American barleywine I’ve had since Lakefront’s Beer Line from years back. Rich malt aroma slightly punctuated by floral hop character. Pours a sexy rich ruby-reddish brown and forms a nice tan tightly-packed head that sticks around forever, or until you vigorously wash out your glass, whichever comes first. Hop character starts out a trifle too aggressive for my taste -- Northwest hops don’t seem to suit this style well -- but this mitigated as the beer warmed up. Thick almost cloying on the tongue. Great Divide continues to impress.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
rickgordon (3846) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 27, 2005
Bottled, sampled at ølbaren during the RBESG pub crawl. Dark brown colour. Loads of US hops in aroma along with a fruity, caramelly character. Seemed very soft at first sniff. Mouthfeel was very smooth, loaded with hops and fruit notes, very perfectly malty with that American pine tone. Bitterness was big but also perfect. A wonderful Barley Wine.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - AUG 22, 2005
Deep reddish amber, horsechestnut body, thick head formation. Piney citrus leaps out in the aroma with creamy malts and almond. Creamy palate, toasted malt and caramel flavor, dry roasted hazelnut, with intense citric grapefruit fighting its way through. Very Double Bastard.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 22, 2005
Mahogany brown with a thin head. Aroma is sweet with a little caramelized malt. The alcohol is intense and warming but not at all out of balance--it simply is the focus and is backed up by sweet brown sugar malt notes and surrounded by a nice assertive hops character.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - AUG 21, 2005
22 oz bomber. Pour a beautiful clear garnet/mahogany red. A creamy whipped head forms that lasts the entire pint. Notes of caramel/toffee, cooked brown sugar, and ton of hops rush right to the nose. You can taste all 90 IBUs in the beer. Almost to a fault. There is an alcohol burn that I can do without also. There is some big hop flavor with enough malt sweetness to keep this beer from crossing into the Imperial IPA catagory. Quite full bodied and mouthfilling. Everything clings to your tounge for a while. I think it might hang on too long. Old Ruffian is worth the 6 buck I paid for it. I just think it might be a bit too over the top.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - AUG 20, 2005
Dark amber color with big tan head. Aroma is malty, with lots of caramel, notes of vanilla and alcohol. Flavor is malty, very bitter throughout, with a fair amount of caramel, orange. Alcohol is present throughout.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - AUG 19, 2005
Muddy brown with a light brown head. Chicks eating nachos in my room trying to ruin the aroma. AR: thick and malty, caramel, slight chocolate...basically pure sweet malt...damn dominant! Flavor is thick and chewy... chocolate slight? some caramel, creamy, some citrus, so complex! Quite fine all around. I wish I Had more descriptives for this beast. A fine brew indeed. Raisin. Hoppy.... good amount of hops. Yeah this owns!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 18, 2005
Sampled at the monthly meeting of the Champaign-Urbana Beer Club. I held this in one hand and Thomas Hardy in another, and it amazes me there’s only a one point difference between the two on this site. Some of the same caramel and honey flavors are there, but the palate is much thinner and the flavor profile much less complex. There’s a solid hop finish that’s a bit more citrus and piney than most barleywines. This is good stuff, just not nearly as good as the ratings would have you believe.


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