Sep 16, 2013

Ridgeway Brewing Bad King John

I’m not sure that I’ve had another beer from Ridgeway Brewing that wasn’t a seasonal release whether that be a Pickled Santa or a Criminally Bad Elf. This bottle of the company’s Bad King John (a 6% ABV Stout) may very well be the first. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each one though they aren’t always the best beer on hand.

Bad King John is a beer of a different sort. With the fashion in which it poured I wasn’t sure if this was in fact a stout or perhaps a weakly hopped Black IPA. Luckily for my tastebuds, the flavor of this beer more than makes up for it’s fairly confusing appearance and subdued aroma. There’s a quality roast malt backbone with just enough grassy hop character (and welcome bitterness) to make for an easy drinking, if lightly bodied, English Stout.


Bad King John pours cola brown with a large stack of light brown foam that showcased a solid resiliency through its life in the glass.


A light roast, subtle chocolates and an herbal/grassy hop presence mingle gently with a touch of licorice and vanilla in the background.


The brew starts off fairly unassuming at first, but the hop character builds smoothly to a moderate amount of bitterness in the roasty, semi-drying finish. Hints of vanilla and chocolate persist within the medium bodied brew. It’s certainly not the most robust stout that I’ve had, but it drinks well and goes down dangerously easy.


Bad King John isn’t a bad beer. It’s got a decent bit of hoppiness to its dark depths and is pretty darn approachable for a stout. I welcome the light-to-moderate amount of bitterness that mingle softly with the roast malt. It all works very well. I just tend to like my stouts a little more robust.

Rating: 3.75/5