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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
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 2x10
1.83/5  rDev -49.3%
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. (637 characters)

Photo of Sipchue
2.32/5  rDev -35.7%

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. (811 characters)

Photo of KonigObHops
2.38/5  rDev -34.1%
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. (687 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -26.6%
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. (849 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.71/5  rDev -24.9%
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. (735 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Last year's vintage poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for sending this out last winter.

Color is a moderate garnet-brown color that starts with a bubbly, two-finger head. Cream-colored, it fades quite quickly, leaving behind a collar and a slight cap on top. The nose is fairly spicy with a load of cinnamon and allspice coming through. Maybe a bit of ginger. Some dark fruits meander in the background.

The flavor brings forward a large amount of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Some clove and booze are there as well. There is some light sweetness in the background. Moderate yeast character, though not much. Body is somewhat light for the style, though I'd say more toward medium overall. Low to moderate levels of carbonation. A bit strange and full of spices without much else. No real Belgian character. Not a big fan. (854 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Allentown location. Pours a deep red, clear, with a small white head. Aroma of lots of spices -- ginger, cinnamon, gingerbread, clove. Flavor again is dominated by the spices mentioned above. Heavy mouthfeel. This was just a little overkill for me with all the spices and alcohol. (294 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a three finger dark tan head over a brilliant dark brown liquid. Looks nice. Smells of holiday spicing (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice) with clean alcohol, some graham cracker, and a dash of dry chocolate.

Tastes strongly of spice and some minty menthol character. Interesting rounded spicing with minty zip accompanied by mild clean alcohol and palate cleansing carbonation. Warming in the belly. Thick slick mouthfeel that's oddly md light. Leaves the mouth due to the carbonation leaving a woody-flavored dry aftertaste.

Hard to tell what the base style is beneath as the malt flavor is mostly covered up. A little bit of chocolate is all that pokes out from the spice and alcohol, which has become stronger as I've gotten into the beer.

This beer needs a couple years in the cellar to round out the alcohol heat and hopefully the spices will settle. The flavors come across as a bit disjointed, but time would likely help blend things together. (961 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chestnut brown body with reddish hues beneath an off white head that quickly disappears to leave behind only a thin layer of lacing.

The aroma offers a very diverse variety of spices that seem to include pepper, nutmeg, tobacco, and sugar. There is definitely some combination of sweetness and spiciness that is not like anything I have had before.

The flavor is highlighted by generous winter spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon with black pepper and again the sugary sweetness almost resembling bubble gum. It almost seems as if banana and clove appear as the beer warms.

Medium in body and generous in carbonation, this falls somewhere between beer, cinnamon stick, and cookie.

The spices may be a touch overwhelming and are quite varied. Given the style, this is not necessarily a bad thing given the style. Certainly worth a try. (845 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Been getting on my local brewing options and found the rude elf in Jersey in 12oz format, single purchased and put in a small snifter glass. I know buying local from a different state is kinda counterintuitive, but those PA prices be making my behind hurt, if you catch my drift.

Out with a hiss Fegley's Rude Elf 'Reserve' pours out a cloudy blood red color with some mahogany corners. I gave this one a very tilted pour and ended up with ½ an inch of ivory colored foam with a small reddish tint. Kinda full looking, but it whisps away fairly quick leaving no stick. The liquid looks dead in the water after wards with no activity.

Smell is what I expected in this bier, a huge spice bomb. The spice overpowers a lot of the other ingredients and it almost gives off a sweet candi like scent that reminds me of a certain candi cane. Caramel some candied apple, and a spice that I can't place but there is a ton of it. No detectable hops in this one though, and it's pretty fresh stuff.

Taste is a winter spiced ale, winter warmer/BSDA type of beer that needs some direction in it's life. Im not sure how to place it. OK , not really any dark fruit in here under the blast of spice so BSDA is out. Well, let's just call it a winter warmer, a strong one at that. The spices and the kinda hot alcohol make for a heated ride with a cloying sweetness that is mid palate. With some warming a bit of metal comes out and it kills this for me. I get cinnamon and some spice on the end.

Rude Elf has a malty body and a spicy finish. The body is above medium but does not seem overly carbed up, which I feel works best with this style (whatever it is). Just seems a bit over spiced and a bit underattenuated. The alcohol heat does not help. I don't see why this has to be so high in alc. Content and I think that's what's holding the rude elf back. (1,843 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (544 characters)

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of pvsob
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A nice mahogany/chestnut color with a half inch head that disappears rather quickly and leaves very little lacing. A minuscule film last the whole glass long.

S- Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a very peppery alcohol presence. Cherries, apples, and extremely overripe bananas as well.

T- Light malt and spices in the beginning. Hints of black cherry in the middle. Finishes with a very aggressive/spicy alcohol flavor. "Belgian" characteristics are present, but spices and strong alcohol keep them very low-key.

M- Medium feel with very little carbonation. Has a very dry finish.

D/O- This beer is the definition of a sipper with the amount of alcohol in it. I've had beers that had bigger percentages of alcohol, but they hid their potency better than Rude Elf did. Personally I would have liked the spices and booze to have been toned down a notch and the Belgian yeast characteristics to have been upped a notch. I imagine that putting this beer in the cellar for one or two years will result in a very good beer. There's definitely better BSDAs out there, but if you can find a single of this go for it. Cheers. (1,121 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.5/5  rDev -3%
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 (244 characters)

Photo of turnstile
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown in color with an off-white coarse head that quickly recedes. No lacing; minimal head retention.

Smell: Sweet aroma of brown sugar and honey; notes of orange zest and candied cherry. Spicing is faint with presence of cinnamon and clove. The nose is malty and yeasty as well. A strong alcohol aroma is very noticeable.

Taste: Sweet and bready malt character for the palate; spice and sharp alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with prickly carbonation in the finish.

Drinkabilty: It's a sipper for sure. I think that the body doesn't complement the high ABV too well, but overall it's something worth trying. (701 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddy brown color with some honey highlights. The khaki head is rather small and settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is quite spicy. Big notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. There also may be some peppermint in there as well. Some clove and a light fruitiness tie it into the belgian style.

The taste is just as spicy as the aroma. While the strength may be nice in the aroma, I can see it getting cloying in the flavor. Candied cherries brings a fruitiness to the brew as well as some honey notes. Waves of clove bring in the authentic belgian yeast flavors. Then there is the spice. Strong cinnamon and peppermint flavors, as well as some nutmeg. Definitely a holiday brew. The flavors do work to a certain level but again the spiciness may become cloying and there is a bit of an alcohol presence in the end.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but the spices bring in some balance. It actually finishes a bit dry which is surprising and definitely helps the drinkability.

Not a bad beer, really. It does work to a certain degree but it is quite spicy. I am not disappointed. (1,110 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)

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 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 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 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 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 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)

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