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98
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1372   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).


Someguy1_8t's rating

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Someguy1_8t (7) - Woodland Hills, California, USA - JAN 31, 2013
2012/2013 release bottled Dec. 20 2012. Served in a snifter. Appearance - Light brown amber color, like whiskey. Small rapidly diminishing head. Smell- It has a great aroma of tropical fruit scented hops followed by caramel malt. Hint of sweetness is present. Pretty straight forward, just like what’s written on the side of the bottle. Taste - Great taste of hoppiness and malt. This reminds me more of a malty imperial IPA, like Green Flash Imperial IPA or Dog Fish Head 90 min. Like those beers there is a strong malty presence. Mouthfeel - light - medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Some amount of lingering hop bitterness. Overall - I really enjoyed this beer. Not exactly what I had in mind when I read barley wine, but then again it also does say hoppy on the bottle. So I guess the bottles description is rite on. I would definitely recommend this one.


4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Darwenus (614) - Virginia, USA - MAY 24, 2015
This is a substantial beer. It pours a deep red/brown, almost a burgundy color, with not much foam. The aroma is subdued, this beer doesn’t play it’s cards up front. I picked up on a little sweet malt and yeast and not much else on the nose. The flavor is delicious. It’s mellow and sweet up front, with caramel and oak on the front of the tongue, then the back end is all about pop and tingle. The hops come through on the finish and burn, with some citrus and grassy notes. The caramel comes back for an encore on the exhale, along with the unavoidable. Barley wine has replaced stout as the power player style for most of my favorite breweries, and Great Divide has a real headliner in this one

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bulk_Carrier (2575) - Temporarily, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 23, 2015
Bottled on Feb 24, 2015. Actually, I had this in a tulip. Here are my observations. The appearance was an dark amber to light brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. A light film of lacing spider webs into the beer. The smell holds a nice bittersweet combination of sweet citrus hops running into a sticky yet somewhat toasty caramel malts. Light tropical fruits also display themselves delicately. The taste was bittersweet, taking the sweet citrus hops and running them into the toasted caramel malts. A sweet sticky citrus to malty aftertaste leads into a sticky finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sipping quality about it. The carbonation seemed good for the style and for me. The bitterness is about a medium. Overall, what a wonderful American barleywine. Everything fits right, I would definitely have this again.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tmongoose (1600) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - MAY 22, 2015
bottle shared and it poured a dark amber/copper color with smallish white head. the aroma was straight up sweet malts and dark fruit. minor hints of caramel. the flavor was more of the same yet very smooth in flavor and pretty much a flat carbonation. sweet malts and dried fruits in the flavor with hints of caramel. for me this was just an average barley wine though nothing really jumps out in an outstanding way.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rarbring (1777) - Linköping, SWEDEN - MAY 22, 2015
Aroma: Sweet dried fruits, raisins, figs, dates, hops, pine, hay.
Appearance: A hazy chestnut colored beer. A off-white head with good lacing and good curtains.
Taste: Tasting toffee, brown bread, fruit marmalade and grass.
Palate: Medium low carbonation, a soft and oily texture. A big body with a long dry finish.
Overall: Still surprisingly bitter after three years, no oxidation.
Note: Bottle 650 ml at home. (Vintage 2012) Reviewed 2015-05-22.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sask89 (498) - Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA - MAY 14, 2015
On tap at Great Divide. Pours a darker copper colour with a creamy tan head. Aroma is really heavy in caramel and toffee with some alcohol notes. Taste is rich and sweet, the caramel is really present in the taste with a slight bitter bite in the finish. Medium to full body, lively carbonation, and a creamy mouth feel. Overall I really enjoyed this barley wine.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bartzluke (203) - Oklahoma, USA - MAY 9, 2015
6 oz pour from room-temp bottle into Spiegelau IPA glass. Moderate white head, ruby, mostly clear, nice carbonation. Full bodied and creamy. Nose is rich-- carmelly, dark fruit, barley, honey. Taste is great. Kind of a dry mead. The sweetness is fairly muted, a bit honey. Malt and lots of caramel. Fairly complex.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Matt_Foran (90) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - MAY 2, 2015
Holy hops! Starts with some malt sweetness on the nose and on first taste. Quickly over taken by the hop bitterness, which lingers on the palate long after first taste.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
tsd08460 (128) - 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 (1536) - 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 (378) - 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



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