Beer Review: GREAT DIVIDE BARREL AGED OLD RUFFIAN

Beer Review:  GREAT DIVIDE BARREL AGED OLD RUFFIAN

Publisher

Great Divide Brewing

Genre

Barleywine, Barrel Aged Beer, Beer Reviews

Print Length

Not specified

ISBN

Not specified

Great Divide’s Barrel Aged Old Ruffian is a heavyweight barley wine that undergoes a nine-month aging process in Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey barrels. This treatment aims to soften the beer’s robust character, infusing it with rich whiskey flavors and subtle oak undertones. Each bottle, individually numbered and part of a limited edition, promises a unique experience. With an International Bitterness Units (IBU) rating ranging between 85-90, this vintage 2012 edition, at 11.8% alcohol by volume (ABV), was showcased at Stone 16th Anniversary.

Appearance: The beer pours a murky, dark copper hue, crowned with a persistent tan froth.

Aroma: The aroma is dominated by notes of burnt toffee, caramel, and oak infused with whiskey, along with hints of dried apricot.

Taste: The flavor profile features burnt caramel, bitter hops, and prominent bourbon notes, accompanied by a subtle tartness reminiscent of apple or pear. The oak aging is evident throughout the tasting experience.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels warm and astringent on the palate, with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: While some may appreciate its boldness, I found this iteration of Barrel Aged Old Ruffian a tad too aggressive for my taste in barrel-aged barley wines. It might benefit from further aging, and I intend to revisit it after an additional two years of cellaring.