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
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.