RateBeer
overall
50
12
style
Ridgeway
Brewed at Hepworth

Style: Barley Wine
Reading, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 393   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.11   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
"It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, of course - wrong place at the wrong time...but Claus was soon back on the street with the polite apologies of the authorities - no questions asked. All’s well that ends well, surely, but still, the reporters wanted to know...it takes its toll, doesnt’t it? "Indeed" sighed Claus, "my elf is going crazy, and I fear I shall soon go crazy as well" And with that he hoisted a great flagon of his favorite barleywine-style ale, silently contemplating the future and straining to remember why he got into this particular line of work in the first place. Peter Scholey, Brewer.


4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
ronaldtheriot (1192) - Laplace, Louisiana, USA - DEC 21, 2013
Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf has a very thick, frothy, cream-colored head, a somewhat hazy, yet brilliant, orange-amber appearance, and fairly significant lacing left on the glass. The aroma is strong, and I could smell it from a considerable distance. One will pick up a pungent, very sweet, syrupy, sugary, fruity, caramel. Taste is of rich, sweet, caramel, black pepper, unusual fruit components, bread, bread crust, celery, peanut butter, and even a shade of nuts. Mouthfeel is fairly light, and Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf finishes wet, rich, sweet, and delicious. I recommend this in the strongest way! RJT

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
frankenkitty (1959) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - DEC 24, 2006
Enjoyed side by side with Ridgeway’s other three Elves in a horizontal tasting.

This... THIS is where "Bad Elf" wanted to be!!! Same damn copper color (maybe a TAD darker than the rest) with that same, incessant, creamy off-white head! There is still a slight annoyance of metallics in the aroma, but the hops and malts are bumped up to a level of "juiciness". Hops linger loudly on the tongue while strong, sweet malts follow in the guise of bakery-quality grains... all washing away to a resurgence of hops and alcohol (although the 10.5% here doesn’t seem as strong as the previous 9% nor 7.5% brews). In a word, "delicious". If anyone decides to experiment with these brews and have a tasting of their own, I would suggest to skip "Very" and "Seriously" and jump straight from "Bad" to "Criminally".

Merry Christmas, everyone!

<font size=-4>Pint bottle from <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/illinois/highla Wine & Spirits, Highland Park, Illinois 60035</font>

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
danrcook (24) - California, USA - FEB 10, 2013
Smooth pour with minimal head. Taste of hops, caramel, and malts. Carbonation is stready, but minimal as well. It is a unique ale with a malty aftertaste. Truly enjoyed this and I am a real barleywine snob.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
imzugzug (103) - Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 8, 2007
I can’t believe the low rating on this one. Maybe it’s beecause it’s actually a drinkable barly wine {my first}. I guess it doesn’t hold true to the style. Super sweet, makes your lips sticky. In my opinion it would make a great dessert beer. Lots of orangy ond citrus aromas and flavors. Near the end of the bottle it became almost undrinkable because of the sweetness. I’d surely order this again, but share it next time.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
edmajorjoe (80) - Vail, Arizona, USA - AUG 14, 2009
Nice taste, barley-wine flavored explosion in a bottle. It has a 11.5% AC and is worth every penny.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
obguthr (3651) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - DEC 23, 2009
Complex aroma of toffee, cinnamon, and elderberries, with a coppery tinge to it. Clear copper with constant streams of carbonation, medium tan head, nice lacing. Figs and cherries dance on the tongue. Delicious plum and vanilla finish. Full bodied, but not thick, and relatively easy on the palate. Alcohol present but tastefully downplayed. There is an apparent attempt to balance the sweetness that has come to dominate this style with bitterness. I really appreciate this, especially during a season when some of us are sessioning multiple barleywines and strong ales. I must give credit to the Brits, they do a fine barleywine.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (947) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - DEC 1, 2006
The beer came in a light brown bottle that proudly exhibited the bad elf behind bars. The generous 50 cl. size and the 10.5% ABV meant a serious session ahead for this solo drinker. As I cracked it open and poured into an oversized wine glass, the clarity of the pale amber body surprised me. The beer also looked thinner and more fluid than a typical barleywine. The aroma, although mild, was distinctive with a balance between spicy hops and orange marmalade like malt sweetness. The taste was well crafted with neither of the bitter, spicy, and sweet flavors dominating the others. The finish was dry and dusty, and the alcohol was notably absent throughout. The only fault I could find is the lack of richness in the thin body. But considering the drinkability of the concoction, this was but a minor quibble.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Snojerk321 (2980) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 7, 2007
Bottle. Beer was a medium amber with a rust colored hue. Head was small, off white with little lacing. Aroma was of darkfruits, vanilla and alcohol. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bov (9255) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - FEB 24, 2008
courtesy of oh6gdx - clear amber colour, little elusive foam; aroma of passion fruit and lichee with some notes of alcohol; oily and strong malt body; sweet and deeply bitter with a long malty, fruity and hoppy finish followed by a warming alcohol touch

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SudsMcDuff (5792) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - MAY 7, 2008
Very nicely balanced ... wow! crazy well hidden alcohol ... a wad of cookie dough ... pleasing aroma, makes me want to trounce a maitre de ... dark maple syrup smell .. one of those beers that makes you wonder if the abv is truly what they say .. sweet plum, sugar flavours .. not a bad effort!


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