Rude Elf's Reserve
Allentown Brew Works

Rude Elf's ReserveRude Elf's Reserve
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Style:
Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #52
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
84
Ranked #35,018
Avg:
3.73 | pDev: 16.09%
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
203
From:
Allentown Brew Works
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  7
Gots
  26
SCORE
84
Good
Rude Elf's ReserveRude Elf's Reserve
Notes:
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 203 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ogman:
Photo of ogman
ogman from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 22, 2017
More User Reviews:
Photo of rmeller
rmeller from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Jul 30, 2014
Photo of Durge
Durge from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Schmidts
Schmidts from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +4%
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

Oct 30, 2011
Photo of Elfastball7
Elfastball7 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Dec 22, 2011
Photo of jera1350
jera1350 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Dec 23, 2012
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Nov 15, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Jan 25, 2011
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Dec 01, 2012
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor from New York

3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Dec 19, 2009
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Kgrubb1224 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Dec 11, 2011
Photo of kkmiller76
kkmiller76 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Dec 15, 2012
Photo of anthonypw
anthonypw from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Apr 16, 2013
Photo of magine
magine from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Dec 14, 2012
Photo of pearljam118
pearljam118 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

May 16, 2012
Photo of mooseo
mooseo from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429 from Illinois

2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Dec 19, 2010
Photo of goblue3509
goblue3509 from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Apr 15, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald from Georgia

2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
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.

Jan 02, 2012
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

Nov 03, 2011
Photo of turnstile
turnstile from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Dec 31, 2012
Photo of jlandis
jlandis from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Mar 09, 2009
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wattoclone from California

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Sep 12, 2012
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Sipchue from Pennsylvania

2.32/5  rDev -37.8%

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.

Dec 29, 2012
Rude Elf's Reserve from Allentown Brew Works
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 203 ratings