Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rock Art Ridge Runner

The Ridge Runner is Rock Art's version of a Mild Barley Wine. Not recognized as an official style, this beer gives for some confusion as it does not exactly fit with an English or American Barley Wine (Section 19 of the BJCP style guidelines).

Alcohol Content: 7.5%
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Dark Crystal, Munich, Flaked Barley, Chocolate & Black
Hops: Challenger, Crystal, Cascade & Perle

Medium: 12oz bottle poured into a stemmed/ wide bowled water glass (A 'snifter' is preferred)
Price: $14.00 for a 12-pack Rock Art sampler.

Aroma: At first a nice minty green or noble aroma is released with some "peppery" and floral notes second, followed by the sweet malt characteristics last. Also, there seems to be some hints of bitter chocolate and dark caramel.
Appearance: There is initially some chill haze; however, it clears up nicely as it warms and presents a nice dark mahogany hue. Poured for a characteristically small carbonation and a small tan head that was quick to disappear (after about 10 seconds) - Poor head retention is appropriate for Barley Wines
Flavor: Surprisingly a bit roasted with a deep chocolate/ caramel character complemented by a nice subtle spicy bitterness that lingers a bit on the pallet. There are also no harsh alcohol flavors present, which makes for a drinkable beer. Fairly balanced, with some leniency towards the bittering qualities over the sweet maltiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some "chew" and some creaminess. Moderately low carbonation and a moderately dry finish.
Overall Impression: Only the second of Barley Wines I have ever tasted, I was quite unsure to the level of appropriateness to this style considering its remarkable differences to the previous. However, the alcohol is well hidden by the sweet malts and complementary bitterness. Since the alcohol qualities are masked, I recommend approaching this beer slowly. Great for a nice relaxing evening out/ over dinner.


  1. When you say "chew" what does that mean... can you elaborate?

  2. Meaning it literally has a "chewiness" to it like you just want to eat it, although you obviously can't and its not like eating caramel but you get the idea. Its hard at first to use generalizations and apply it to characteristics in beer (but I'm finding it easier after sampling different styles).