Rude Elf's Reserve | Allentown Brew Works

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

Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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:
188
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
16.85%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 188
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.

 781 characters

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!

 500 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

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.

 845 characters

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!

 410 characters

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.

 854 characters

Photo of dahlen22
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
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 turnstile
3.62/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of pvsob
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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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 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 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.

 507 characters

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.

 294 characters

Photo of jlandis
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

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