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Rude Elf's Reserve | Allentown Brew Works

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good
43 Reviews
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Rude Elf's ReserveRude Elf's Reserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States
thebrewworks.com

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-08-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
189
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
35.36%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 189
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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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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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 jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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!

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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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 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 JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of mentor
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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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 drdiesel9483
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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

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Photo of Jimmys
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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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 jhartley
4.04/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

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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 BeerImmediately
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

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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 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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Rude Elf's Reserve from Allentown Brew Works
3.62 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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