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Rude Elf's Reserve - Allentown Brew Works

Not Rated.
Rude Elf's ReserveRude Elf's Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

181 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 16.85%
Wants: 6
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-08-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 42
Photo of drdiesel9483
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - Golden brown without much head
Smell - banana clove and cinnamon.
Taste - similar to the smell but with a lot of clove and really sweet
Feel - medium body with medium to light carbonation
Overall - not a fan. Too sweet and to much clove

Photo of Dodo2step
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Giant Beer Garden in Hampden Township

A- a reddish pour with a half finger frothy head that runs off quickly. splotchy lacing left on the pint.

S- cinnamon, clove, banana and grain. a gorgeous nose but let's see if the taste matches.

F- clove, banana and then cinnamon. the clove tends to over dominate which hurts the overall flavor a bit.

M- heavy bodied and spiced with lots of Christmas spices. a def sipper.

O- this is an above average beer. the spices come out great in the nose but tend to cross each other up in the flavor.

Photo of jhartley
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish brown color body with a slight white head that disappeared quickly. No lacing left in the glass.
Smells of Belgian yeast, clove and some cinnamon.
Tastes plenty of spice, clove, cinnamon, some nutmeg along with banana and some funkiness and a little alcohol on the end.
Mouth feel is full of spice and surprisingly finishes dry. Didn't pick up on the 10.5% at all!
Overall, much better than I was expecting. A great winter time beer to warm you up on a Christmas Eve or during Nor'Easter Blizzard. Glad I picked up this Elf as it wasn't that rude to me at all; was actually accommodating!

Photo of KonigObHops
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer poured a cloudy dark copper color with an off-white to tan head which dissipated rapidly.

The bouquet was nice. It smelled spicy with clove being the strongest scent. It also had hints of banana and perhaps nutmeg.

Sadly, the taste of this beer was disappointing from start to finish. The clove taste in this beer was overpowering. Up front, all I got was cloves. The middle and the finish were also dominated by cloves. There was some slight banana flavor in the middle, but it was no match for the clove taste.

The feel of the beer was light and crisp.

Overall, this was not an enjoyable beer. I could have had the same experience from smoking a clove cigarette.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 vintage bottling. Pours slightly cloudy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, bread, candi sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper, herbal, allspice, and yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with solid balance and good complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, toast, candi sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper, herbal, allspice, and yeast earthiness. Moderate yeast/herbal spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, toast, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper, herbal, allspice, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of yeast ester, spices, and malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly slick and moderately crisp/prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced Belgian strong ale. All around good balance and complexity of yeast ester, spices, and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of microbrewlover
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This brew pours a reddish color with a small off white head. The head dissipates quickly however moderate lacing remains on the glass until the end.

The smell is heavy on spices, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, orange peels and wheat.

The taste follows the nose, cinnamon and the other spices hit first then and orange taste comes in followed by a wheat like taste then finishing with peppery hops. Everything is well balanced.

The mouthfeel is crisp and spicy, there is a good amount of carbonation. A small amount of hop oil remains on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall this is a very well balanced brew. Although this is billed as a Spiced Beer, and it is, the spices, along with the high, (10.5%) alcohol content make it a good choice for a winter warmer.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up in Totowa this past weekend, as it was the last one in stock and seemingly different than what else was new on the shelf this year. Indeed it was, but it there was a bit too much going on here to truly be enjoyable. Yes, it was strong, spicy, and Belgian-inspired but with that being said, it took a while to take everything in and enjoy. The carbonation was high too but in this case, that was good as it ensured that the flavors didn't stick around too long during each sip. Even though this was listed as a herbed/spiced beer, it wasn't that far away from being a Trippel, once the sweetness was taken into consideration!

The pour to this was a hazelnut brown with a pretty fluffy head that quickly settled. Not a lot of lacing here as what little stuck to the side slid after each sip slowly slide down the side of my pint glass. Lots of brown sugar and yeast to the nose and even more of it in the taste, a hint of ginger thrown in for good measure. The cinnamon took a while to kick in but it was there and complemented the ginger nicely. Not a lot of hops to this and even less body, as this was quite thin. The yeast wore off quickly and what was left was some faint candied cherry and as the brown sugar and ginger stuck around in the aftertaste, with just a hint of toffee-like stickiness thrown in for good measure.

Lots of booze here, which was a bit of a detriment to this beer. It felt strong and certainly put the "warmer" into this stylistically. While this was enjoyable, there wasn't a lot here that made this stand out and one would certainly be enough for a sitting. The spices weren't overwhelming like in a Wassail and on a cold Winter's night, this would be a fair choice, even without any accompanying food. The sweetness makes this more than a dessert unto itself.

Photo of Jimmys
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into chalice. no bottled on date.

A: slightly hazed bright copper body. head is a pretty bright white hue. retention is lacking. some spotted lacing.

S: a very strong and inviting cinnamon aroma is the first thing that jumps out. mulled allspice. apple cider.

T: a serious dose of cinnamon and allspice jump out on the body. sweet unfermented sugars take the body to the sweet side. sweetness lingers long into the finish. reminiscent of a Belgian tripel.

M: moderate amount of carbonation. definitely a full bodied brew. if they did a bottle conditioned version of this brew it would be most appreciated.

D: drinks like a Belgian tripel with the added spice of the holiday season. pretty fucking enjoyable if you ask me. if you want a strong Belgian styled holiday brew, this one should suffice and then some.

Photo of Sipchue
2.32/5  rDev -37%

I was expecting spices. Before I poured into a snifter, I sniffed the bottle and was hit with powerful clove and a cinnamon-like smell. Poured with little head. I let it sit for a few minutes. On my first sip, I was hit with the alcohol; the balance was off. It seemed to be too new. So I sipped about a third of it, then I had had enough for the moment, and let it sit for maybe thirty minutes or so. When I brought it back to my lips the flavors were more intense as you would expect, but the booze bite was still pronounced.

a - looked attractive, better than average, very clean reddish amber
s - clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, booze
t - sweet, forward, alcoholic, not well balanced, young
m - thin, mildly bubbly
o - not for me at this age. I will cellar it and report, as my gut tells me that's what it needs.

Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade a couple of years ago. It's been resting in the cellar ever since. Pours from a 750ml a copper brown with a very short head of tan foam.

Smells lightly sweet with plenty of holiday spices.

The taste is very similar to a gingerbread cookie. I think the aging has done a very nice job of muting and blending the spices in this. Most holiday spiced beers have strong spicing which can be overwhelming. This one does not. The sweetness is lighter also.

Smooth and medium bodied. Low, but soft carbonation.

I liked this one. Like I said, the aging has helped this one most likely, but the overall product is a solid one. Great for the holidays.

Photo of magine
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker.

Pours a cloudy caramel amber. Has a ligth tan head with tons of bubbles. Layer of lace remains to make up the head, good lace. Good looks.

Brew smells spicy, sweet and malty. Good nose.

Brew is balanced; good carbonation and spice up front followed by some good solid creaminess. Good warming character in the finish and a dry feel is left behind. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and some dark fruits and belgian candied sugars. Lots of spice and complex feels and flavors here. Nice to have a belgian inspired and flavored spiced brew here, it works well. Good stuff.

A complex, full bodied drink. A nice seasonal ale to be savored. Good warming feel here. Nice big brew.

Photo of 2x10
1.83/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Man, I saw this at the only place in Pittsburgh to carry it, and couldnt wait to try. What a disappointment! Way too much funk going on here! It's flat and tastes like a bad apple cider with tons of cinnamon and nutmeg. Yuk! Its extremely boozy and doesnt go down easy, tart & sour! it smells like a caramel apple, but in true honesty, it tastes like a bad version of the brewers best belgian dubbel home brew kit with little to no carbonation and lots of spices dumped in. Not a fan! Reading the other reviews, this could have been a bad bottle! confused --- the cork would not twist out and I had to get it out with a wine cork opener.

Photo of maximum12
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to yourfragile for this extra, as I pull a couple things out of the back of the fridge tonight. It looks like a lost toy convention back there. At least the kind of toy convention I'd like to attend. 12 oz. bottle.

Pours the darker side of red. I don't get real riled up about how a beer looks or smells, but I'll make an exception here: this beer smells like Christmas. Cherries, nutmeg, cinnnamon, it makes me want to go mull a few cups of real apple cider over the fire.

Rude Elf's Reserve wallops the holiday theme with a ball-peen hammer. Big one. What's lovely in the nose turns into an over-spicing, Top Chef nightmare. The nutmeg & cinnamon, ginger & cherries, & all sorts of other hootenany overwhelm good sense. Even after a year in the fridge, the booze brings high, hard heat. OK, actually I'm warming to this. It's like a freaked-out version of a beer New Glarus might brew....if everyone in the brewery was drunk out of their minds & giggling. It is, however, not a beer I'd be able to drink pint after pint of. One & done around the Yule Log. At 10.5%, I might even break into song.

Over-spiced, overly alcoholic, overly aggressive...& a very good beer. Thought this was going to be a short experience after the first sip, but this one really grew on me as it warmed a bit. If I had to drink a winter warmer, it might be this one. It'd certainly keep my guts warm at least.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice ruby amber brown with a tiny bit of head that fizzes out to a mild lace ring. Expected for a high ABV.

S - Smell is very inviting with cinnamon and nutmeg. Belgium candied sugar and fruity yeast but repeated smells seem to be a tad muted.

T - Goes down smooth enough. I think the balanced nutmeg flavor reminds me of great lakes Christmas ale. Belgium aspects seem to blend like a triple with fruity bubble gum like yeasts and an allspice finish. Quite good.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth finish. ABV is well hidden I get no ethanol taste,

Overall I couldn't have more than two in a sitting but don't understand the complaint on "too spiced" seems just as spiced as balanced as the "Devious" pumpkin beer. I guess if I could find a four pack for around 10 dollars this beer would be quite a holiday favorite.

Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this once before and remember it not being too good but here's to second chances. Deep amber color with brilliant clarity for a big belgian spiced beer. Thin head that doesnt last long. Smells heavily of nutmeg and cinnamon. The nose is actually quite nice. Some clove and burnt sugar.

Only medium in body and even on the lighter side of medium. Sweet belgian candy sugar up front which quickly turns to all spice and nutmeg. Lots of it, overpowering. Spicy alcoholic finish. Sweetness stick to the teeth. Complex with lots of flavors but incredibly over spiced and too much alcohol heat. Flavors include apple, pie crust, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, burnt sugar, and caramel. But again, far to much.

Definitely tastes like christmas and has it's high points, but it just a bit too much. Not really getting any of the belgian influence though.

Photo of goblue3509
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a 1 finger khaki colored head which gives way to skim and edging. The edging leaves some sticky lace strands on the glass. The aroma is inviting there is aromas of nutmeg, cinnomon, ginger, and a candied yeast aroma. The aroma is big and bold. The taste follows suit but isn't as big. The taste has a candied yeast up front with notes of nutmeg, cinnomon, and spice in the middle. An alcohol taste comes through at the back end and there is a big of a cough syrupy aftertaste if you leave it on the tongue. The mouthfeel is sticky and moderately to lowly carbonated. Overall it is solid for the style, the taste falls a little bit off from the aroma but still a good beer.

Photo of Louski
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tempered bottle into a Goblet

Appears a nice dark brownish-red. Smells very fruity with undertones of cinnamon, clove, and ginger. The first half of the taste was excellent, but I think this beer finishes weak. I would have liked the flavors to be more bold to take away the punch of the alcohol. I think with some minor tweaks, this could be an excellent holiday beer, but for now its just above average in my eyes.

Photo of Neorebel
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears to be a deep shade of brown in my glass, barely translucent. It's got a slightly off-white 'soda head,' which recedes to about 1/4 inch. Very inviting aroma in which the spices dominate - cherry, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Reminds me of the spices used in Pumpkin Ales. Very sweet malty taste - it's good, but the finish is a bit heavy on cloves and the mouth feel is a little 'boozy.' Might put some people off. I'm ok with the amount of 'warming' going on here. This is a good selection for being snowed in.

Photo of themind
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok this beer is one of the better beers from Fegleys. I have had it several times and have enjoyed each one. A good aroma, pours a decent head and unlike Hopsolutly it hides the alcohol content better.

Hoppy beer worth seeking out. They're beers are a bit pricy since they are a smaller brewery but Rude Elf is worth the money.

I would drink this again, it's a decent brew.

Photo of barleyroad
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy medium amber in appearance. Smell is foral to the nose, this smells nice. Mouthfeel, is nice, leaves well and very clean. Taste, we got it all here. This beer is a nice blend of spices. This is an exceptional Belgian style ale. Get some! Overall we found this brew to be very enjoyable, not to mention that the ABV is quite nice. We had this with some scotch eggs. Respect the beer, fridge worthy.

Photo of mooseo
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip.

A - Hazy amber brown with a very small head.

S - Holiday spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Mmmm.

T - Sweet malts mixed with nutmeg and allspice. Leaves a nice coating of holiday spice on the tongue. Warming alcohol.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

D - Pretty good holiday brew. The alcohol is masked well although present. It's very sweet and spicy but not cloying. I would definitely buy this again.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a goblet

A: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of white head. Solid looking beer.

S: Lots do spices - cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, with a good amount of apple cider aroma.

T: Sweetness in the way of ripe apples and brown sugar. Spices support the sweetness, but are much less prominent than they were in the aroma. Very straight forward, though. I don't get any sort of Belgian yeast flavor, and everything is pretty mild. The spices really aren't working well together - they create an odd, bitter flavor.

M: Thin, well carbonated. I wish this had more body to it.

O: I like the idea of this beer, but not so much the execution. The mouthfeel is thin, the flavors are mild, and there is not much complexity.

Photo of justintcoons
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a burnt ruby red with 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity and moderate carbonation. There's a fluffy layer of webbed lacing.

N: Apple cinnamon, huge clean caramel malts, banana, booze, hints of clove and perhaps some coriander.

T: Banana, warming booze, coriander and cinnamon upfront. Caramel, bread, clove and more booze mid-palate. Finishes with a lingering bouquet of spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and coriander) that become rather cloying along with some caramel and solvent characteristics.

M: Light bodied, warming, a little sticky and dry.

O: Nice appearance and nose if you look past the booze. Although the warming effect is quite nice the booziness is out of control and the spices are rather cloying.

Photo of Durge
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brew pub in downtown Allentown this special brew is served in a tulip glass. It shows a deep but clear rosy copper color with a nice fuzzy off-white head with good lacing. The aroma suggests definitive yet tasteful sweet clove and cinnamon allspice with a bayberry kiss. Very nice and tempting. The taste buds catch a beautifully christmasy bubblegum hop and grain mixed seamlessly with a green leaf edge. This is pretty close to being full bodied but it has lots of active carbonation that makes the feel a bit lighter and frothy so it goes down a little easier. Almost over-carbonated perhaps. The sweetness is definitely a bit cloying so I think this would go best with some form of food/cheese to help cut it a little. The taste definitely suggests the holidays but it doesn’t bring any clear cranberry or cinnamon, or whatever. To me the prevailing flavor is the very sweet bubblegum and the rest is a subtle mix that generally works but gets a little old kind of fast. Personally, in small quantities, it’s a real nice Christmas brew. At 12 ounces it seems a little tedious.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with three-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Malt, cherries, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Definitely a spiced beer.

T: Moderate sweetness and a moderate but harsh bitterness. Spices are there too. I think the bitterness masks the high alcohol content. The flavor is bit overwhelming overall.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Relatively smooth, very warm.

O: The flavor is a bit overwhelming. It does mask the alcohol level if that's what you want. I would prefer a lower ABV less spicy beer personally.

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Rude Elf's Reserve from Allentown Brew Works
83 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.