Dec 31, 2009

Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf

Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf

I bought this bottle along with one of its lesser potent brothers earlier in the month. While the first brew was an IPA, this one is a traditional English Barleywine and weighs in at a hefty 10.5% ABV.

The IPA was tasty, but this barleywine is more appropriate for the season, leaving me warm and toasty after enjoying it on a cold evening late last week.


Criminally Bad Elf pours a light, goldern amber in color that’s pretty clear. A small head faded almost immediately.


This smells darn tasty with a good booziness and lots of light fruit (apple, grapefruit). There is a decent hop presence in the nose, as well.


The beer starts off a malty upfront character, finishing dry and slightly hoppy. It’s not very sweet and the fruits are there, but not nearly as prevalent as in the nose. It is quite boozy and warming. There’s something in the mix that’s throwing me off a bit, but can’t put my finger on it. Whatever it is, it’s not detracting from the enjoyment of the brew, but it’s a bit distracting.


That little certain something I couldn’t figure out aside, I did enjoy this beer. It’s a traditional take on an English Barleywine. I’m not sure that I would necessarily buy it again — perhaps if I were able to procure all the Bad Elf beers for a single tasting.

Rating: 3/5

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