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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

43 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 187
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 35.36%
Wants: 7
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 43 | Hads: 187
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of magine
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of 2x10
1.83/5  rDev -49.4%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of Louski
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of themind
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of barleyroad
4.44/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

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Photo of mooseo
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.71/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of Durge
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of beerluvr
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Schmidts
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
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

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Photo of Gmann
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Rude Elf's Reserve from Allentown Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.