Serve in Snifter


on tap

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

Melker's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Melker (206) - Varberg, - MAY 9, 2013
2012 vintage. Red/darker amber colour, beige medium head, so beautiful. Hoppy aroma of orange peel and other citrus fruíts, pine, cannabis. Also some caramel and toffee. Taste is sweet and bitter. Caramelly and fruity,

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
MarkinTex (1) - Texas, USA - AUG 24, 2014 does not count
I’m a big fan of barley wines, and I’m also not a total purist, so I can enjoy mergers of styles, like St. Arnold’s Weedwhacker or Karbach’s Weiss-Versa. After tasting Old Ruffian I find the hops way too assertive. Hoppyness of that level works best in crisper beers, but there is simply way too much going on in your average barleywine in terms of flavor for this much hops. Even in Old Ruffian, which is less complex in other flavors and weaker in body than other Baleywines like, say, Liberty’s Old Foghorn, or maybe because it is weaker and less complex, the over hopped character overwhelms the palate and blunts it to what more subtle flavors might be here. The aftertaste is also unpleasant, all bitterness with no lingering malty or toasty notes. This is a failed experience, the overdose of hops reminds me of foods that overdose on habanero or ghost pepper (and I’m a Texan mind you and can handle spicy), more for the gimmick of being that spicy and appealing only to people who want to brag about how macho they are that they can take the heat. Similarly, Old Ruffian’s hoppyness seems like either a ruse to cover other shortcomings, or a gimmick meant too appeal to people who like to brag about how much hoppyness they can handle. It is also over carbonated for a barleywine, though it was able to remedy that by leaving it 24 hours with the cap pulled off and then put by hand to allow the carbonation to dissipate somewhat.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jsnicholas (135) - Woodinville, Washington, USA - AUG 23, 2014
Bottle (22oz): Bottles 9 months ago. Clear dark amber. Nice tan head faded with a lot of lacing. Lots of hops as advertised, bitters was not too much.. Medium plus body. Some sweetness. Quite good, but a little more hops than I normally like in a barley wine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
erickok (3533) - Tours (and Paris), FRANCE - AUG 22, 2014
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2014 Mahogany red with medium head. Fatty aroma, full of caramel malts and pine and spruce hops. Alcohol mixed with caramel malts, strong bitterness... Lots to like and I live it. (Bottle shared with Darren, brought from Austin)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerBaboon (1558) - FINLAND - AUG 8, 2014
Pours mahogany with light beige head. Aroma is caramel, grapefruit and cake. Flavour is heavy bitter, grapefruit, cake, medium to heavy sweet and plenty of other fruitiness. Massive ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ramboraffe (446) - SWEDEN - AUG 7, 2014
650 ml bottle. Hazy copper with tanned head. Smell is winous with bitter grapefruit hops. Taste is bitter citrus zest and grapefruit with a heavy sweet malt body and a little warming alcohol. Semi sweet with high bitterness and low carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
LtDan (1784) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - JUL 27, 2014
Appearance: Pours dark amber with light khaki head that falls to an 1/4 inch.

Aroma: Fresh resinous hop nose. Chocolate covered dried apricots, brown sugar.

Taste: Again, fresh resinous citrusy hop goodness. Then comes layers of burnt caramel, brown sugar, toast. Some dark fruit action. All capped off by big hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. A tad astringent. Moderate bubbles.

Overall: If you like hoppy barleywines like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, you will definitely enjoy this. I’ll go against the grain and say drink this fresh and not bother cellaring it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tfredvik (1120) - Oslo, NORWAY - JUL 27, 2014
Crystal clear, medium copper body with a long-lived eggnog head that sticks to the glass. Strong, sweet aroma of overripe fruits, citrus peel, sweet orange jam and caramel. The taste is pretty heavy sweet that is backed up by a surprisingly heavy bitter finish. The texture is oily to syrupy, the carbonation is soft and this sweet thing does of course have a full body. A lovely and massively hopped beer, but the hop contribution to the flavour and aroma has probably faded quite a bit with storage.
[Sample from 65.5 cl bottle @ Kaaz’ Ølsmaking på takterrassen]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mstrcrwly (276) - New York, USA - JUL 14, 2014
On tap at Black Sheep in Mineola..mahogany pour with off white head..aroma of dark fruits,toffee,alcohol..tastes like it smells..extremely smooth..had to slow down or I would have finished this in 5 minutes..glad I did because I wouldn’t have been able to savor the best barleywine I’ve had so far.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ljthiessen (391) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - JUL 6, 2014
Bottle. Nice caramel colour with a beige head. Thick body, caramel, biscuit, bread, nice hoppy edge. Quite nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Beersiveknown (2979) - NORTHERN IRELAND - JUL 1, 2014
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2014 Bottle from brewdog online, shared at EBBC14
bottled 20/12/2012
Dark ruby amber, rich pithy hops, full bodied warming. slightly hazy, white lacing, sticky herbal pine, caramel, gentle carbonation, red berries and toffee

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