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Serve in Snifter

bottled
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RATINGS: 1365   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 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).


jkbachman's rating

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jkbachman (181) - - NOV 30, 2012
Smells like raisins, plums, and oak. Strong hop aroma as well. Oak is dominant flavor, but get strong candy like malt flavor. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone


4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
tsd08460 (82) - Marshall, Virginia, USA - APR 21, 2015
Aroma: caramel, floral, spruce, citrus, Appearance: deep amber, clear, minimal tan head, Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness, Palate: medium body, creamy, soft carbonation, long finish,

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
TEJA (1525) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - APR 6, 2015
Bottle from Systembolaget, Sweden. Half lasting beige head. Clear dark red-amber color beer. Malty aroma with a tuch of fudge. Typical barley taste with lots of malt but still some unbalanced alcohole. Balanced bitterness.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
M82 (366) - Kansas, USA - APR 4, 2015
Dec 2nd 2009 v Jan 29th 2015

Each vintage pours in the black cherry to mahogany range, yet these two servings look distinctly different. The 2009 offers a mild haze with a smooth chestnut-mahogany color beneath a 1.5", light khaki head. The 2015 is darker with fiery red highlights beneath a brighter, shorter, bone white head. Each crown of carbonation falls to a solid ring with short peninsulas and various small islands all around.

Aromas and flavors are also distinct, while each vintage offering echoes of signature Great Divide umami revealed progressively through each sip, along with a sense of blue basil most prevalent in the fresh serving.

The 2009 frames up sticky dark fruits with a larger influence of dates and a supporting layer of raisins. A general creamy dessert vibe sets the tone, creme brûlée, pecan pie, fig newton, with the framing layer of damp wood and balancing, drying bitterness. Nuances of dried leaves lead to a faint sense of overripe green melon on a medium weight, mildly carbonated, mostly smooth, somewhat chalky body.

The 2015 reminds me this is distinctly american, bold yummy dankness struts its stuff, yet finesses it’s way into cherry and plumbs with solid, rich breadiness. Cinnamon rolls are conjured on a smooth, medium weight body with mild carbonation. A consistent thread of citrus and pine runs through the aroma, drink, and residual.

A rewarding comparison, and great example of what several years of aging will do with the right pupil. Both vintages were full flavored and consistent from nose to residual. Definitely an expertly balanced, well made example of the style.

22oz bottle code BOTTLED ON: DEC 02 2009, 12oz bottle code BOTTLED ON: JAN 29 2015 served at 50º into 20.5oz Stölzle Grandezza Brandy snifter


3.4
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
slaws1230 (3) - - APR 3, 2015 does not count
Its good. You can taste the hops. It has a cool name. And it came with a free sticker, which is cool

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
adasko (787) - Poznan, POLAND - MAR 31, 2015
Very good hoppy and malty aroma. The mouth feel is not that good tho. I was expecting something much more thick, with much bigger body.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wlajwl (4318) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - MAR 22, 2015
Aroma is pine, fruit and malts. The flavor is grapefruit, light tropical fruit/peel, malts, hops, a bitter/tangy finish.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
dodskenta (45) - Rönninge, SWEDEN - MAR 20, 2015
About a year old bottle. Pours a dark red with a beige head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The nose is still full of hops, soapy, sweet malts, big caramel. Flavour is also very hoppy still, with big malt character, caramel, toffee. Big mouthfeel and it finishes with a long lingering bitterness.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HuskerTan (688) - Holdrege, Nebraska, USA - MAR 16, 2015
Draft. A- Dark fruits, spices, whisky, vanilla, slightly hoppy. A- Mahogany color, clear liquid, off white head. T- Dark fruits, whisky, vanilla, caramel, slightly bitter, malty. P- Full body, average texture, average carbonation, complex finish. O- I’ve considered most things outside of the Yeti lineup pretty average for Great Divide, so I was excited to see what they could do with this. They accomplished a lot. Just an all around great barley wine that I am sure would age very well. Lots going on within it.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
NikkTwist (1877) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 14, 2015
Draft at Eulogy. Hazy dark amber pour with some frothy off-white foam. Lots of impressive thick lace. Sweet syrupy malts reasonably balanced by a lot of hop bite. Dark red and browned amber fruits. Aged tangelos, plums and pomegranates. Hint of roasty dark chocolate malts far in the background. Spicy earthy citrus hop notes up top. The high ABV is comparatively well hidden, though there is a lingering alcohol burn on the tongue. Big and sharp.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
superspak (3140) - Michigan, USA - MAR 13, 2015
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/19/2012. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red/copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, light pine, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, leather, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus hops and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, leather, grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, pine, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, leather, grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of citrus/pine hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with a fantastic malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding American barleywine at this age. All around awesome complexity and balance of citrus/pine hops and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. Nearly perfectly balanced between hop and malt flavors right now. A highly enjoyable offering.


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