The more I try Great Divide beers, the more I am impressed. Old Ruffian pours a darker amber color with definite red hues. The beer is mostly murky and has a great head retention that remains throughout. Decent lacing but becomes nonexistent over time.
The smell is rich in sweet malt. A prolific aroma with great hints of plums and raisins. For the malt a stronger caramel hint comes to mind, but other tones are present as well. Such as butterscotch and dry cherry flavor.
The taste is warm. A sweet and very complex malt is noticeable. With strong tastes of brown sugar and molasses. The malt does really well backing up the hop aroma behind it. The hops are not overpowering and I am impressed on how well the compliment each other.
The mouthfeel is one of the drawbacks on this beer. I feel that the stronger phenols make it a "hot" beer taste. Understandably on its high ABV, but I would like this to be a little bit smoother. Although I bet if I were to age this a year or two, it would be outstanding
Overall a great barelywine. A little hot in the taste but a beer I would like to get more of.