On New Year's Eve I enjoyed a four year old bomber of Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine, it was heavenly. The carbonation was low with the thinnest layer of bubbles. The color was toasty golden brown, like a cup of hot tea.
The first sip revealed the malt body with no overwhelming hop flavors. The hop presence has mellowed over the years, now more traditional British Bitter or Pale Ale flavors are present. Up to this point I had only had fresh barleywines. There are none of the overpowering hops with which I am accustomed.
Surprisingly, the finish is very mellow. The mouthfeel is light but with a gritty, pale ale weight. This is the perfect beer for celebrating the New Year. I must buy more barleywines!
Grade: 5 of 5 possible pints.