Monday, June 8, 2015

Great Divide Old Ruffian Review

Name: Great Divide Old Ruffian
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 10.2%
IBUs: 90

Here's a beer I haven't had for about 3 years now: Great Divide's Old Ruffian Barleywine. I'm not sure why it's called Old Ruffian but I do know that the label has changed since I last had it. I know all this because the last I had this beer was when I was living in Chicago (3 years ago) and at the beach for a barbeque that a friend of mine was throwing. Amongst the many tasty beers there was this beer, which I'm just now getting down to reviewing.

In the previous design, it just had the silhouette of a guy getting ready for a good ol' fashioned bar brawl against a mahogany background. The current design shows the same silhouette but this time, the backdrop is what I assume is the skyline of downtown Denver, which is where Great Divide is based out of.

Appearance - Very dark red color that has a bit of shimmer to it when you hold it up to a light, taking on a darkish crimson look with a mild amount of haze. The head is about 2 fingers in width and takes on a khaki colored appearance. The lacing, however, is more on the sparse side.

Aroma - Very piney hop and caramel malt forward with some light toffee. I'm also getting some mild grapefruitiness and maybe tiny hint of rye spiciness. Maybe my mind (or nose) is playing tricks on me but that is what I seem to be getting.

Taste - Quite piney hop and grapefruit forward, despite my earlier observations, backed up by a strong caramel malt back bone. That rye spiciness that I first spotted in the nose is also here in the flavor, but much like the nose, it's mild at best. I'm also getting some very light roastiness, which is something I'm not used to seeing in barleywines. The aftertaste is also pretty much all bitter hops and not much else.

Not quite as good as I remember it, but it's held up quite well these past three years; Whether it's a change in recipe or the changes in my palate are unknown at this point. What I do know is that it's a good barleywine for both beginners and experienced drinkers of this style.

Great Divide Old Ruffian - 8/10

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