Old Ruffian was one of the first Barleywine's I had on draft. I was expecting a strong beer sure, but something maltier in the British style. What I wasn't ready for was to be smacked hard over the head with hops which this one did to me. It took me a while to understand that American Barleywines were very different than the British versions. This one to me is a prime example of the American version.
The Beer: This one weighs in at 10.2% and pours a ruby red with a thick tan head. Very hoppy on the nose with some good roasted malts. The mouthfeel is creamy with citrus, floral and spicy hoppy notes. There is some really nice grapefruit and orange peel here. But some really nice roasted malts, caramel notes. Rich and smooth. Very hoppy just as I remember, but there seems to be more balance there than before, or maybe my palate has changed, hmmm, very nice. There are some notes of creme brulee in the mix that make this such a wonderful sipping beer. This one gets an A- from me. Here's what the folks at BA think.