overall
99
98
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1441   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89/5   EST. CALORIES: 308   ABV: 10.27%
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).

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4.8
thorongil2 (3168) - , Ontario, CANADA - JUN 12, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2016 (bottle) hazy reddish brown with tall tan head; strong aroma of lychees, citrus, pine; balanced favour - sweet at first turrning into long medium bitter finish; excellent

4.8
davidm (2080) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 13, 2011
On tap. Masterpiece. Aromas of caramel, grass, pine, and butter. Taste is sweet, with bitter notes, and long length. Palate is syrupy, chewy, and full bodied. Dark brown, with a frothy white head.

4.8
benbigchief (1) - - AUG 27, 2013 does not count
Good stuff. Tastes great. I wish barley wine was a more popular style, it is my favorite. I’m so sick of so many ipas.

4.8
Hopsclation (89) - Chicago, - FEB 25, 2014
Decadent, dead sexy, near perfection, complex red hop goodness. Wow. So creamy, so rich. Its a big hop, big abv, big caramel malt, no apologies american craft beer masterpiece. I simply dont understand how anyone can not be into this kind of thing. Sharp but sweet green apple pine sap, grapefruit, toffee, velvet caramel, slight hint of bleu cheese, passionfruit, raw cane brown sugar, savory pinneapple reduction sauce, and ripe mango. Perfect mouthfeel. Only thing keeping it from a 5 is an ever so slight saltly medicinal finish. This is why I drink beer...

4.7
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 14, 2005
In the bomber bottle. Downright red in color. Decent tan-colored head. Good hop content. Nice back of the tongue heat. Everything I want in a barleywine. Starts sweet, has body compression, and finishes bitter. Stellar!

4.7
Schioth (41) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - DEC 22, 2005
Bottle. Fantastic aroma, where you can really get a sense of that great mixture between the sweetness and the bitterness. Appearance near perfect - dark brown with rich off-white head. The flavor will just knck you right off your feet! It’s bitter, it’s sweet, it’s strong and it’s just super. Mouthfeel very good: it just slides down the throat leaving you thirsty for more. Overall the best Barley Wine I’ve ever had and also one of my top 5 favorite beers altogether!!

4.7
mverity (294) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - NOV 1, 2013
Nice creamy head, and gorgeous deep amber brown hue. Aroma is malty goodness and brown sugar. Taste also wonderful, sweet, fruity, toasty, hoppy, and a touch earthy. Smooth, it coats the tongue in a rich caramel feeling. This had about 6 months on it, which took down a bit of the holiness, in a very good way.

4.7
MadRobin (2988) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - JUN 27, 2014
Poured from 22 oz. bottle after cellaring for 27 months. Not clear, but not really hazy, dark copper brown with a 3-finger khaki head and and very good lacing. Aroma of toffee, caramel, oak, plums, raisins, mandarin oranges, figs, dates, and heaven. Taste of caramel, butterscotch, oak, raisins, toffee, figs, plums, alcohol, mandarin oranges, pine resin and more deliciousness than I can describe. Medium/full body and high carbonization with a mouthfeel that feels so right on you tongue. I had tried this beer fresh a couple years ago and felt it needed some aging to soften the aggressive hops and alcohol. The 27 months of cellaring seems to have rounded it out perfectly. I don't recall ever drinking a better beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.7
phikus (96) - syracuse, New York, USA - OCT 28, 2014
I recently scored two of these bottled December 2012. I wanted to save one but didn’t. The hops still had their teeth but had softened into the malt a bit. Nice resinous pine hops with a well bslanced toffee malt fruitiness. I do not like when the malt of barleywine gives way to fruitiness instead of caramal toffee, but here they all come together.

4.7
MetalNHopHead (2018) - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - SEP 10, 2015
Barleywines can get a little rich for me, so I’m definitely partial to the well-hopped variety. With 90 IBU’s I think it’s safe to say Old Ruffian falls into that category.Yet, Great Divide’s brew tastes mostly rich and malty to me. Maybe it’s the big grain bill and 10.2% ABV. Maybe it was the 9 months of age my bottle had. Whatever the reason, notes of molasses, dark fruit, and toffee stood out most clearly to me. Some resinous, citrusy hop notes show up in the aroma, but I didn’t notice them in the flavor profile as much until I paired Old Ruffian with a Butterfinger. (Butterfinger and Barleywine is one of my ol’ reliables when it comes to pairing.) Reminding me of Avery’s Hog Heaven, Old Ruffian shows that big hops and big malts can share the same hallowed space. And the warm booze... I thought Old Ruffian was going to put me to sleep before I was half-finished with the damn thing.


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