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Serve in Snifter

bottled
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RATINGS: 1341   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   EST. CALORIES: 308   ABV: 10.27%
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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 Ruffianís 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).


3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
desurfer (1219) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - APR 29, 2005
Pours a slightly hazy red/mahogany with a tight white head. Aroma is big on malts and alcohol. All the hops not present in the aroma kick in on the first sip, which is loaded with piney hop bitterness, but not much else. Pretty one-dimensional. Finish is dry and sweet.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
auerbrau (3177) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - APR 26, 2005
This particular bomber has spent a few months mellowing in my cellar. Pours a crystal clear ruby auburn, with a nice frothy and fine, even sandy colored head, thatís diminishing fairly quickly. Appears to be light on the carbonation. Lacing is think and viscous, coating the snifter with a smooth mottled trail. The aroma is dominated by floral and citrus hops, in tandem with some fresh sweet plum and candy notes. A hot, spicy barleywine, full of citrus hops on the front end of the flavor profile. Somewhere in the middle is a good mix of buttery diacetyl. The malt seems to take a back seat in the brew, without much chewy and sugary depth. Instead, this beer is fresh and bright, with a volatile warming finish. Alcohol is obvious in the back end of the profile. Tends to magically dissolve on my palate, leaving a whispering ghost of bitterness behind, yet subtle. Thereís complexity on the front end, based on heavy hopping, but this level of complexity doesnít continue through to the finish or the aftertaste, unfortunately. Seemingly a quality American Style Barleywine, but tends to lack that wonderful rounded quality with a malt harmony.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
chriso (7365) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 25, 2005
Reddish brown colour. A massive hop presence dominates every aspect of this beer. Pine resin and zesty lemon - Iím more used to finding spicy orange peel notes in a barley wine. Heavy, sweetish, oily mouthfeel. Quite aggressive. Definitely more IPA than barley wine style. It almost won me round but, in the end, it was just a bit too extreme to scale the heights. Iím not sure I could get through a whole 750ml bottle of this on my own, but Iíd certainly want to stick a bottle away for year or two before trying. Bottled at the Joet London gathering, January 2005.

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
OldRuffian (3) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 22, 2005 does not count
A supurb beer, bitter for the inexperienced, but a little too sweet for me. Donít get me wrong, this is a near perfect barleywine, a style I prefer to Trappist because it balances its sweet, malty flavors with a strongly bitter, hoppy backbone. My only qualm with this beer was its strong caramel flavor. I would rather have that quality be slightly more subtle. For someone who is used to 85-90 IBU beers, it just stood out.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 20, 2005
Ruby-brown pour with a nice sized tan head. Dark fruits, molasses, and hops in aroma. These carry through to the flavor. More hoppy than many in this style. Did not have the complexity that some Barleywines do. I agree with some others that it may really fit better into a Double IPA. It also seemed to finish a bit dry and thin.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Darkover (1517) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 20, 2005
Ruby color with a thick beige head and plenty of lacing. Aroma of candy and fruit. Flavors of caramel, candy, hops and fruit.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerguy101 (5285) - Newark, California, USA - APR 18, 2005
Medium amber color. Very large sized white foamy head. Aroma is roasty malts, fruit, brown sugar and piney resiny hops. A medium to full bodied barleywine. Malts are fruity and sweet, lots of caramel and toffee flavors. Hops are grapefruity and piney. A big bold barleywine. Lots of malts, lots of hops all competing for taste dominance. A little distracting. A touch of the 10.7% alcohol is evident, Could stand some bottle aging. Another in the long line of over the top, balls to the wall barleywines. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is bitter with a touch of alcohol bite

1.9
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - APR 18, 2005
Pours dark and reddish with nice lacing. Aroma is pine resin and very fortelling of the acridity ahead. Not much else. Flavor is rough, raw and quite raunchy followed by sickening sweet. I mean teeth rotting, sugar coma sweet. This is not a Barley Wine! It is a super sweet double IPA. I have an extra bottle aging that Iíll re-rate onced it has aged say.......50years. I am not impressed and I am saddened that something so putridly wrong is so highly rated. I guess I just donít get it.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
aracauna (3084) - Georgia, USA - APR 12, 2005
The Old Ruffian has a beautiful, deep red body with a thick and dense, cream-colored head that holds the shape of the larger bubbles after they pop. The aroma is intensely malty with a good malt backbone and a fruitiness that makes me think of scuppernongs or lichees. The flavor is heavily sweet and full of caramel malt. The body is very creamy and satisfying. The IBUs are probably quite high, but the sweetness of this beer make them seem just barely high enough.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
heykevin (1276) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - APR 11, 2005
Attractive amber with a huge head, lingering. Floral, citrus, lightly catty hop aroma. Flavor is all hops. Hop flavor is citrus and grapefruit, a touch of the cat from the aroma, with some late bitterness. Hop flavor is decent to good, but Iím left wanting malt. The beer is medium bodied, but the body is really the only place the malt makes its presence known. Maybe a bit of age will fade the hop presence and bring the malt out a bit.


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