Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%) - Cropton Brewery

Not Rated.
Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%)Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%)

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64 Ratings
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Ratings: 64
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.04
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cropton Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 12-03-2001

Bottle Notes:
A dark bitter, using finest Cascade and a Styrian Goldings hops and English malt providing a unique hoppy beer with a fruity aftertaste.
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Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by TheLiterati:
Photo of TheLiterati
2.2/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a deep amber with a tan, finger high head. Aroma is faint and non-descriptive, mostly malt with hints of hops, perhaps a bit of fruitiness – raisins, dates, etc.

Taste? Really hard to pin down. I was put off by the acidity, which was followed by a poor balance of malts and hops. The bottle says it’s a dark bitter and I’d have to agree – kind of – in that it is slightly dark, definitely bitter, but not pleasantly so. Mouthfeel was weak, making for a not-so-drinkable beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Watch it, this one’s a foamer and will jump right out of the bottle onto your new white leather easy chair. The head is very light and airy. The body is a thick, murky brown.

Smell – Big, toasted malts with a bit of tartness and a whole lot of sugar.

Taste – The malt base is washed out by the off-style tart flavor. This is not my idea of a Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel – Fizzy with some poor carbonation and medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This wasn’t bad, but it certainly didn’t qualify in my book as a Pale Ale.

Photo of BeerIsland
2.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My friend Bo laid a bottle of this on my about a month ago, he said it was last year's buzz beer but the 2005 didn't reprise (I’m not too proud to take a cast off now and then). He said it was more like old ale this year. Well, that's not a style I'm very familiar with so I thought I'd give it a shot although it took a while to get my courage up. It looks OK in the glass, mostly orange in color; it started cloudy and stayed that way. The head was not impressive and the bubbles quit early. I liked the aroma; abundant malt and yeasty notes even a few inches from the glass. The first taste was pretty sour, cherry flavors mostly but seems to be going away as I have some more. The carbonation is decent and adds to the overall presentation. It’s an interesting item but not one of my favorites.

Photo of Byeast
2.93/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear , slightly reddish brown , half inch and well retained - creamy offwhite head , a bunch of lacing.

Smell: Kinda spicy , some dark malt showing , hint of apple , brownish malt , just a bit thin.

Taste: There is some hoppiness in a spicy way , some more dark malt flavor , faint apple , pepper , slight smoke ( meat?) , and just a hint of fruityness in the finish , also some mildly and unpleasant astringency.

Mouthfeel: slightly creamy , carbonation bites a bit.

Drinkability: This brew is alright , but it's really a bit weird to me and i probably won't be revisiting it. Much better holiday brews to be had.

Photo of ADR
2.81/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Medium stained-oak brown appearance, pours clearish to begin with, just a touch hazy at the bottom. Pillowy head rises to 1/2 an inch. Decent laces smear most of the glass. Aroma of sugary peaches, slightly unripe with a lot of brightness. Carbonation is slightly high, the mouthfeel and overall texture are lighter than I expected. Intitially hoppy and lemony taste without a very solid malt backdrop, and not helped by the minimal body. A little iced tea-like with too much of a sour finish across the back. No sense of spices and few warming qualities. Given the ABV, I would just call this an astringent Bitter. For me, I wouldn't recommend this one.

Photo of beerbrains
2.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I usually shy away from novelty packages, but this was bottle conditioned and on clearance after the holidays and I thought what the hell.

Being a fan of winter beers I was surprised and excited when it poured a very beautiful cloudy amber color with a nice head. Even better a spicy nose. Then, disappointment, the taste is a healthy malty sweetness followed by a strong sour flavor on the tongue and in the throat... then almost nothing.

It left some yeast in the bottom of my glass, that was nice.

Overall I wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at cellar temperature. It pours surprisingly clear for a bottle conditioned ale with a solid cake of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The body is a deep chestnut and a rough pour brings up a short but creamy light-tan head. It holds a decent collar throughout the pint and leaves some thin lace as well. The nose expresses some nice fruitiness (berries, some mild sweet cherry, and background lemon), a touch of maltiness, and a thin edge of mineral/metallic hops similar to Fuggles. The body is medium/light with an exceptionally fine & creamy, mild carbonation from bottle conditioning. It's quite soft, and silky smooth in the mouth; adding greatly to its drinkability. The flavor starts with fruitiness (that seems almost lightly tart) upfront, warms to reveal some dark caramel/treacle like malt and hop flavor, and then softly slips away into a lingering finish of soft maltiness and mild hop flavor. Nicely balanced with a restrained bitterness that leaves the malt, yeast and hops in the spotlight - totally appropriate for a "Winter Ale"/holiday beer. If you enjoy English-style ales, this is a special treat.

Photo of bluejacket74
2.71/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like cinnamon, nutmeg and some spicy hops. It tastes spicy, but it has a citrus hop finish that's sour (not in a good way), not what I expected with this beer at all. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery. Drinkability is average. I just can't get past that weird sour finish. It started off OK, but just got worse the more I drank. I don't think I'll be getting this one again anytime soon.

Photo of AaronRed
3.32/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy brown color that signifies some type of bottle conditioning was present. Looked a little too hazy. Sort of a nutty, bread like aroma- nothing very special, though. Taste was also ordinary, some nice sweet maltiness at first, but otherwise not that impressive. Hops faded quickly. An OK winter beer, I have certainly had better. It did have a nice mouthfeel and made it inviting to drink, but came up short in my opinion compared to other excellent winter brews now available

Photo of CRJMellor
3.33/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a cloudy, murky caramel colorthat develops a dull white head that leaves sticky rings of lace on the Imperial pint glass.
Aroma of figs, dates, brown bread and some toffee.
Flavor of light toffee, dark citrus with some biscuit and hop resins. Dinstint hard water, metallic note on the finish.
Mouthfeel has some sweetness upfront cut by a slightly toasted middle and finishes with gritty hard water.
Drinkablity is slightly above average. Deeper dark citurs notes are solid but the metallic hard water is unsettling and ruins overall effect.

Photo of cheers2beers
1.39/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: This beer pours a dark caramel/ hazelnut hue with a pillowy off-white head that rose up very vigorously on an easy pour. Many columns of beading floating rapidly to the top of my tall weizen glass. Minimal amount of laceing.

Smell: Has a bready note about it. Some lingering fruits no single type fruit stands out. Light hop, and a very mild amount of alcohol can be noticed.

Taste: Yuk!! Oh my, this has gone bad I hope! This tastes metallic, has a yeast bite, lots of off flavors. Nothing good can be said about the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Slick metallic not very easy to drink. High carbonation and medium bodied.

Drinkability: I hate say that I had to pour this shit out. Tastes like a heniken with couple plop plop fizz fizzs...very disgusting...please pass the bud light.


Photo of Murph
3.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A great copper color but almost a nonexistent head characterize this beers appearance. The smell is a bit bland with some light hop characeristics. This is a very pedestrian beer. The taste is of mild tartness that I cannot place (maybe yeast as Venom says) it is almost white grape like. Malt is there to balance it out. The mouthfeel is very tangy and the beer is pretty drinkable. Not something that needs to be sought out. I thought that this was just a little better than average overall.

Photo of cabsandking
2.72/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a minimal off white head that's nearly gone in less than twenty seconds. Nice floral hop nose matched by sweet malt, plum, and ripe fruit. The first sip displays some interesting tart fruit backbone and is followed by yeasty notes, and hop bitterness that really kicks in the pucker effect. More vinous character, roasted malt, and dark bitter chocolate notes here and there. Tartness starts strong in the finish but gives way to dry, bitter, smokey tones. Medium body and semi-smooth mouthfeel has some nice carbonated fizz. Not a bad tasting beer, I’m just not sure where they were taking it as all of the flavors were disconnected.

Photo of rallison
3.63/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark slightly cloudy amber/brown with a fizzy head.

S: Yeasty malts with just a bit of a sour smell (but not in a bad way).

T: Quite good actually. Nice take on a bitter. Definitely some nut flavor, but with a nice bit of hop bite too. A little bit of caramel too. It got better as I drank more. Some spices in there too. Slightly peppery.

M: Good. Slightly thin body, but that works ok with this beer and carbonation.

D: Quite good. Very drinkable.

You know, this isn't a bad beer. Not the most interesting, but it's pretty tasty.

Note: At the $5/500ml price, this is not a deal. I picked this up on clearance at World Market for $2.50. It was worth that.

Photo of Gusler
3.6/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after the pour from the 500ml bottle sits a clear deep amber to almost brown, the head is smallish and a creamy light tan in color, as it fades quickly, it leaves a thin to patchy coating of lace. Nose has a distinct rusty nail aroma, sweet malt and caramel, musty with a bit of clover, start is nicely malted, hints of spices, with the top light to medium. Finish has a personable acidity, the hops apparent, but not overly so, dry aftertaste, a drinkable beer, but seems a bit thin for a “Winter Warmer”.

Photo of rbloomberg3
2.21/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Rudolphs revenge was on me clearly. Not a fan, overpowering taste in this. Far nicer festive ales out there.

Photo of connecticutpoet
2.75/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a hazy brown beer with almost no head. What there was consisted of large bubbles and looked slightly filmy.

The aroma was of caramel malt, and was slightly sweet and fruity. There was a definite Cascade overtone.

The taste was not what I expected from a winter warmer that made itself sound like it was a bitter. It was somewhat bland, with a caramel malt core, a light fruitiness, barely sweey, a touch of Cascade flavor, and a noticeable alcohol presence. For a beer with this low an ABV, they didn't balance it very well.

For $4.49, this beer did not deliver. I was disappointed. And it definitely did not hold to the characteristics of a winter warmer.

Photo of jdhilt
3.28/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opening the bottle the beer went nuts and I ended up using three mugs before it stopped foaming so this was a five finger plus white head that leaves little lace. Pour this VERY slowly. Cloudy ruby color with chunky bits in head and on bottom. Hoppy/malty nose. Carbonation is good. Full bodied. Starts malty/hoppy, finish slightly hoppy with cidery overtones. $4.99 for 500ml bottle.

Photo of jeffmonarch
1.63/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

1 pt. 9 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

Be careful, this beer explodes in the glass. For the first inch of beer I got 4 inches of head.

A - Nice amber orange brown color with a really thick light tan head that stays for a while.

S - Strong hop and malt scents. Slight scent of spices but too faint to make out.

T - Where did this flavor come from. It's really sour with a slight tartness. It's like a unripened friut flavor. It's so strong you can't taste anything else.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Don't waste your time. I've read other reviews and this is either a bad batch that made it across the entire country or they actually brew it to taste like this. It's bad.

Photo of bort11
3.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife got this for me as a stocking stuffer. Beery Christmas!

500 ml bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Tall cottony off white head. Pretty good stickage with this one. Color is a dark red with some clarity. Pretty active carbonation.

Smell is a bit odd. It's sour and tart, but almost like fruit gone bad. A littler vinegary. Taste is also sour and fruity. Some of that must be from the yeast.

Carbonation is a little harsh. The bubbles are a little too scrubbing for my taste.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A flavorful and enjoyable brew, however not one that is very surprising. Begins with a rich malt aroma that lands somewhere between a Brown Ale and and Irish Red. Lots of malt, bread, and crusty aromas and flavors with some yeast and fruits thrown in. Fruits fall in the plumb, fig, dates, and grape range with some nutty, maple characters added. All are evident equally in the nose and flavor. Feels full and modestly rich to the palate. Finish reinforces the flavors, along with the addition of spice from piney hops, and Christmas spices. A very nice beer, but I'm looking for a standout or quality character that differentiates this from other very good English brews. For me, they are not realy there.

Photo of DogFood11
1.57/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a stemmed pils glass it forms an off white filmy head that leaves admirable lace. Copper body with loads of slow rolling fine carbonation.

First drink took me back a bit as its like no other brew I've ever had. Thats not a compliment though as it is watered to a very thin feel and throw in some acidic backend mixed around a sourish body. This is incredibly astringent and very hard to consume. Hops are just bitter without any foundation to work off of. Malts are slightly spiced up but at the end of the day they fail to give this any balancer. Its very one sided and the "one" side is awfull. Metal seems to be a big factor the warmer it got. Sour, metallic, tart garbage.

Notes: Save your time and money and leave this on the shelves.

Photo of mschenk
2.63/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The first thing I noticed was a clump of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. The beer poured well with a nice head and a bark brown color. Just right for a winter ale. The head lasted okay and left a lace on gthe glass.

The spiceness of the smell made me that this would be an excellent ber, however it turns out to be quite sour, and not in the good Guiness way. Really very little malty taste, just kind of sour.

One of the few beers I've been dissapointed with I'm sorry to say. However even some ski days don't make the grade and some SCUBA dives are less than pleasurable. Doesn't mean you should give up.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.58/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 500ml brown wide bottomed green-brown colored glass bottle sealed with a simple brass crown cap which has the Cropton Brewery logo in a dark red. Main label is slightly different to the one shown on BA; mine has the red nosed reindeer above the words ‘Rudolph’s Revenge Winter Ale’. Recommended to be served at 12 °C (54 °F). Listed at 6.0% Alc/Vol and Bottle-Conditioned. No freshness date but I know this is (obviously) a Seasonal for the Crimbo period.

Described to the right of the front label as “A dark bitter, using finest Cascade and a Styrian Goldings hops and English malt providing a unique hoppy beer with a fruity aftertaste”. Some more bullshit marketing blurb sits to the left hand side and is not worth repeating, I pretty much ignored that crap.

Appearance: Run of the mill amber brown body with a solid level of conditioning that is finely dissolved, but whilst a quick swirl evokes a nice ¼” thick off-white cap, sadly the head disappears all too quickly and fades to leave nothing but a ringed halo along the edges. This also breaks up eventually. Looks a little tired to say the least.

Nose: Caramel and earthy malts. Nice enough but the nose has some feint hints of sourness, vinegar-like almost; this was unfortunately a sign of things to come.

Taste: Tart start, in fact there is a tartness to this brew throughout, a crisp sharp vinaigrette tingle. Minimal hop influence and a mild malt angle with some earthy hues and a smidgeon of caramel. Finishes with a mélange of sour and acidic malts that tend to grab and bite a little. I know this to be a fresh sample, despite the lack of any dating on the bottle so I am perplexed by this tart trait which is off-putting.

Mouthfeel: Medium at best with a watery nature. But the vinegar pinch from the continued tart off-flavor is so annoying that it is hard to concentrate too much. Can feel thin though when first served, thickened a little as it closed in on room temperature but it was never more than below average.

Drinkability: Yeah I finished the half litre bottle, I hate to pour money down the drain, but it wasn’t gonna beat me. After half of the bottle I had grown bored of this brew but wanted to see if would provide a surprise some back as it warmed up a little, not so, it just got worse.

Overall: I am so glad that Christmas comes but once a year, this is the first time that I decided to pick up this English bottled offering and it is not worth the money to be brutally honest. Very average and that’s being kind, the persistent tart vinegar off-flavor reminds me of a Cask Ale gone bad, but not quite. Seems like Rudolph’s Revenge is that we have to drink this crap, that Red Nosed Reindeer is a f**kin specialty Burger next time I see him. One to avoid from Crapton.

Bah Humbug!!

Photo of GClarkage
3.91/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/10/07- Purchased at Beverages and More on a close out special for a buck.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with no freshness dating. Is from the 2006 batch though. Poured into my imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Not quite brown, maybe a chestnut or deep auburn colored pour. 3/4 inch head in which a nice 1'4 inch remains for the entire brew. Very creamy looking head. Leaves behind very nice lace traces.

Smell- Really digging my nose in I got a bit of sweet malt and a bit of fruity hop notes. Maybe a dask of spices (nutmeg)

Taste- Didn't really taste any spices, but I got a nice flanders style tartness. Cherry, raspberry and fruitcake with a light caramel malt. Didn't notice the hops until the aftertaste. They come through then and are reasonably bitter.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation level, not really creamy, but very easy to sip.

Drinkability- Glad I tried this one. Good price and a tasty brew.

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Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%) from Cropton Brewery
72 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.