Thursday, November 10, 2011

Barleywine Review #5 - Great Divide Old Ruffian

Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau

Nov. 10, 2011

There wasn’t a whole lot of excitement in obtaining the bottle of Great Divide Old Ruffian.  I just went to the liquor store, paid $8 and brought home the bottle.  So here’s the review: 

Location: Williams Village Liquor
Cost: $8 (22oz. bomber)
Glassware: Pint Glass
ABV: 10.2%
IBUs: 90
Brewery Location: Denver, Colorado
Style: American Barleywine
Average Beer Advocate Rating: A-/423 – Excellent
My Beer Advocate Rating: B/3.55 – Good
Current Number of Reviews on Beer Advocate/Current Rank in Top 20: 926/3rd
Brewery Description: Great Divide Old Ruffian
Bottled On: Nov. 23, 2010

APPEARANCE:  (4.5 out of 5) If there is one thing I have learned about Great Divide since moving to Colorado it is that they have a knack for creating some great looking beers.  The Old Ruffian is no exception, when this beer is poured a gorgeous, stark-white, inch-thick head rests on top of a pretty Mahogany colored, opaque beer.

SMELL:  (3.5 out of 5) Giant, sweet malt in the nose.  The aroma is moderately strong, but it could be a little stronger.  Brown sugar and molasses dominate the malt aromas, but hints of yeast and a touch of wood comes through as well.

TASTE:  (3.5 out of 5) The taste follows the nose with big malty flavors.  Sweet molasses, nutmeg and a touch of honey fill out the malt bill.  A big dose of hops lurks just beneath the surface up front and slowly makes its self known as the sip finishes.  By the end of the sip, this Barleywine tastes a lot more like a big, double IPA with some notes of pine, citrus and some floral flavor as well. 

MOUTHFEEL:  (3.5 out of 5) Silky and smooth with just a hint of sparkle.  A small amount of sweetness hits the palate up front before a dryer than average and hoppy finish washes it away. 

OVERALL:  (3.5 out of 5) I like the Old Ruffian, but it isn’t the best Barleywine I’ve had.  There is something just a little bit off.  The body of the beer is a little thin for me.  I expect bigger, bolder and richer flavors from the style. 


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