Being the beer fans that my girlfriend and I am it means when Christmas time or birthday friends and family step into a world of beer they don’t know and try to find new and exciting beers as presents. This year my sister ventured to her local brewery Ridgeway in Oxford where she tells me the beers are named after different levels of bad elfs and bought us a present! This huge 10.5% is a very bad elfs indeed so bad he is criminal!
It pours a perfect golden amber which shines and glistens in the glass. It has a strong sweet candy fruit smell with a hint of toffee apple. The taste is very surprising, it’s a very silky, smooth and it is so easy to drink making you completely forget it’s 10.5%. The only remembrance of the strength is the slight warmth it leaves on your tongue after. It’s quite sweet in taste and there are honey and treacle flavours bouncing around the palate. There’s a bitter finish and the hops come through slightly.
I have to admit before drinking this I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, sometimes barley wines don’t always do it for me but this is a stunning beer and one I hope is bought for me again sometime! It would be criminal for youth not put it on your Christmas list next year too!