Rude Elf's Reserve - Allentown Brew Works

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

42 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 182
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 7.76%
Wants: 6
Gots: 20 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 182
Photo of barleyroad
4.44/5  rDev +23%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
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. (762 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany color w/ about 2F of tan head, and plenty of carbonation.

Smell is fantastic. Tons of spices atop a rich, deep-fruity malty aroma. Cherries were at the forefront.

Flavor was also quite nice. Some chocolate covered cherries, plum skins, and rich malted barley. Heavy winter spice profiles continued through as well.

Had a fairly high level of carbonation keeping it from becoming cloying at the high ABV.

I found this highly enjoyable overall, and will seek it out in the future. (507 characters)

Photo of jlandis
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here was the Brew Works description:
"Our Silver Medal winning Belgian style holiday beer brewed with dark Belgian candi sugar and special spices. This brew has a spicy aroma and flavor with a sweet malt taste. At 10.5% alcohol it is sure to warm you up during the holiday season."

The Rude Elf's Reserve was definitely worth the trip. Everything you could have hoped from a Belgian holiday beer. The green apple flavors were amazing and perfectly placed with the other spices and candi. A 1/2 gallon growler was going for about $25, so I didn't get one, but I'm kicking myself now. Guess I'll have to wait until next year to have one again. (642 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep, clear, amber red color with minimal carbonation and head and slight head retention and a thin white ring around the top. Swirl the snifter and the residue oozes down the sides of the glass like cough syrup, it's a thick one!

S - Spiced nutmeg, cinnamon, cherries in the far background, Belgian yeast, and slightly bready (not much, but slightly)

T - Everything experienced in the nose: spiced nutmeg, cinnamon, faint cherries, Belgian yeast, slightly bready, and a moderate amount of booziness.

M - Very mild on the tongue, thick, not overly sticky (which is surprising for a beer with this kind of Belgian punch). Leaves a boozy, Belgian, cherry tang aftertaste that lingers and coats the mouth.

D - I was never really one to get overly excited about Winter/Christmas beers but this one has resurrected an interest to explore this particular style, very enjoyable. I could handle, maybe two of these. Three...pushing the limits. This is a really well brewed beer. GREAT job! (998 characters)

Photo of Louski
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (431 characters)

Photo of jhartley
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
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! (614 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color and a cloudy texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Good lacing.

S: Smelled strongly of malt and a variety of spices. Very aromatic.

T: Tasted of malt, nutmeg, cinnamon and some other spices. Alcohol is definitely noticeable - this is a pretty boozy beer. Overall not a bad flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solid beer with lots of Christmas spices in it. The only real problem I had with it was the overt amount of booze in it. (581 characters)

Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BA crimson liquid with a decent off-white head, this beer is a treat. The smell is a great mix of spices (cinnamon-like scents sticks out) and malt. Toffee, caramel, and lightly toasted bread crust. The state is quite strong...lots of alcohol. This is a sipping beer! Warming and moderately fruity (dark, rum-soaked fruit). Some esters and Belgian-sytle phenols. Full body. This is a solidly good holiday beer! (410 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: brown/orange shiny body, trace head, very little
lacing

S: bing cherries, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove,
malt, ginger

T: cherries, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, malt,
clove finish

M: med body, light/smooth mouth
hint of semi-dry crisp

O: Allentown/Fegley's Brew works
continues to impress me, just really
good beer. I would get again; think
spiced strong winter ale. Alcohol is
very well hidden. The sweet and spicy
flavors may attract the palates of
non-craft beer fans.

VERY GOOD, WORTH GETTING! (500 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +10%
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. (831 characters)

Photo of themind
3.97/5  rDev +10%
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. (375 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (1,401 characters)

Photo of Neorebel
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (710 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (1,099 characters)

Photo of Schmidts
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red coper in color with a small red/tan head. Smells of cloves and spices and candy.
Taste is cloves,nutmeg,cinnamon and candy and malt. Spices are very active and it is fizzy.
Your mouth feels clean at the finish with a small taste of spices leftover. This a beer you drink one of as it is 10.5 ABV. It Sure is a Holiday beer and very different a nice Job from the small Brewery in Allentown and Thanks to Jason from Epps Beverage for giving it to me to try! Give it a try it is very different. I give it a 4.0 overall rating (532 characters)

Photo of magine
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (833 characters)

Photo of beerluvr
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured with a flourish leaving a a nice light tan head of very fine bubbles that settled into a tight collar, Spicy nose with cinnamon/nutmeg being most prominent then yeasty fruitiness. The mouthfeel is not as I expected...kinda on the light side. The taste however was very nice...hoppy bitterness up front then the spices followed by a nice alocohol warmth. Goes down easy...I like this one, it's no Mad Elf but warrants seeking out. I'll buy again. (452 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,491 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (1,807 characters)

Photo of dahlen22
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a copper red.

Aroma: The usual winter spices and cherrys.

Taste: Starts off smooth with a toffe-like breadness and then the warmth and the spices come in with a bit of spice and cherries at the end.

Overall: I like that this is easy to drink for a 10.5% beer, and it had some nice spice to it. That being said, it lacked the complexity and b*&lls that a beer of this style should have. Worth a try if someone has them in their basement, but I would not pay for this again. Either way, Cheers!! (512 characters)

Photo of mooseo
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (465 characters)

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Rude Elf's Reserve from Allentown Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.