Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works

Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)
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Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #115
Ranked #18,767
3.83 | pDev: 14.88%
Dec 25, 2023
Dec 08, 2002
No description / notes.
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Photo of JohnniEMc
Reviewed by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
No better time to empty the contents of a pint can of this into a clear glass liter mug than on a Christmas Eve. Normally, it's the time to describe the head, but there was none. It does smell like a winter-spiced Belgian Ale, with all the yeast, esters and spices like clove, nutmeg, allspice, etc. Other than being headless and practically still, it's a pretty color. Rich and bright, yet reasonably translucent, it has a dark copper-amber hue. Even with its minuses, it looks good. It's only mildly flat for its mouthfeel and that's acceptable within this category. It's not too yeasty, nor is its taste dominated by the esters common in Belgian style brewing. Thankfully, it's not overly-spiced, that part is rather tastefully done. Of course, if Pumpkin and Winter spiced beers are disliked, this has enough, although in good balance, spicing to be rejected. Not at all hoppy, the malt backbone carries the spices very well and adds a layer of rich, not shallow, sweetness. Overall, it's at least as sweetly malty as it is spice laden. It drinks like a spiced wafer cookie with plenty of molasses in the dough. The ABV is well hidden. Of course, it's a high potency novelty brew, but that doesn’t make it bad.
Dec 25, 2023
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bottle from my brother.Smells like gingerbread and fruitcake. Murky brown with fast diminishing head. Alcohol burns through the mix and brings warmth. A real winter warmer.
Nov 27, 2023
Photo of Stevosps
Reviewed by Stevosps from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
When poured from a can there is a lacy head. There is an amber slightly cloudy color with a nice full body flavor and a bite of spices that hit the palate with a smooth aftertaste.
Very good holiday ale!!
Enjoy all winter long!
Jan 07, 2023
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
Reviewed by Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
11/27/22 On tap at Bethlehem Brew Works on our trip in and around Philly after Christmas.

Brown sugar, apple, very light spice (clove)

Taste follows smell. Bubblegum as well. Nom nom.
Dec 27, 2022
Photo of jmdrpi
Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
16 oz can, canned 10/11/22

pours a clear dark amber in color, cream colored head that fades fast. aroma of bready malt, spicy Belgian yeast esters. taste starts sweet but then the mulling spice flavor comes in . medium bodied, seemingly lower carbonation
Dec 15, 2022
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

Nov 26, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by Rubezahl from Pennsylvania

Mar 01, 2021
Photo of twohawks
Rated by twohawks from New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Tasty, Very spice forward.
Dec 31, 2020
Rated: 4 by dsshuck from Delaware

Dec 09, 2020
Photo of Bouleboubier
Reviewed by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
(16 oz can, canned on 100920; purchased single off shelf... poured into a fat tulip)

L: crystal-clear, deep reddish-tawny liquid; head fizzes out during the pour, spitty collar holds then releases... no lace; looks like some still shade of sherry by the end

S: cherry juice, pumpkin(?) spice (nutmeg, ginger, allspice)... a hybrid of a Belgian noel ale and a pumpkin quad... good overall potency; little apparent booze aside from exhaust fumes

T: doubly malty, semi-sweet, near soft-drink foundation, with a slick, stone-fruity layer enveloping; fair nugget of a nutty spice-yeast bite speckled in the fruit brandy soup; hint of cherry cough drop in the aftertaste, as well as that nutty, earthy musk... relatively little residual syrup essence; gradual presence of caramelized, almost toasty sugar flavors... aftertaste on the drier side of what it should/could be?; alcohol doesn't cut through, merely melding with(in) the candy colors

F: in spite of its flaccid, near non-perceptible carbonation, its not bulbous, syrupy, or hot, having a strange, pleasing balance and levity, allowing dangerous ease toward slugging... still, it's rather boring in texture; a vehicle for booze

O: it's flavorful and balanced enough to satisfy that base Belgian, 'holiday' ale craving, but it's not to be taken seriously as a dynamic, nuanced brew (much like any other red Belgian noel malt/sugar liquor)... I could certainly see having one again, and only one in a sitting, and not discussing it, just enjoying the company... this was suggested to me as a more flavorful alternative to Mad Elf; hard to argue? (1715)
Nov 15, 2020
Rated: 3.5 by trickynicky from Maryland

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of tigg924
Reviewed by tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours clear, copper in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is cherry, gingersnap, clove, and a touch of cinnamon. Heavy bodied, sweet, with high carbonation. Makes for an excellent winter warmer. Would be on my yearly get list if distributed here. Really tasty beer.
Jan 26, 2019
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Reviewed by rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 ounce bottle poured into a "snulip" glass.

L---Ever so slightly hazy, deep amber color. Medium off-white head with minimal retention, but surprisingly good lacing.

S---Cinnamon, first & foremost. Loads of cinnamon. Also a lot of other spices. I'll try, but probably fail to get them all right. Nutmeg, coriander, ginger (or at least gingerbread) and maybe(?) all-spice. Spices really overpower anything else, but there might be some candy sugar there as well.

T---Spices dominate in the taste even more than in the nose. But that's ok. It's true to style and is coming through as advertised. Tastes just like you'd imagine a christmas beer to taste. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger. There might be other things there, but's that's going to be for someone better than me to detect. All christmas/winter spices all the time.

F---Remarkably smooth for ABV. No real burn/booziness. Feels full with medium carbonation. Could be dangerous if I'd gotten a sixer.

O---A damn fine christmas beer. It's what you'd expect, and in large amounts, but that's exactly what it says it is, so props for being on point.
Jan 09, 2019
Photo of haines710
Reviewed by haines710 from Delaware

3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
I wanted to like this. Picked up a bottle before the holidays and now enjoying it late night watching some football. Smell is clovey. Taste also starts with cloves and other spices. Very spicy but very little malt. Not much depth. Just a warm burning sensation. Glad I tried it. Won’t get more
Dec 29, 2018
Photo of Fatheroftoomany
Reviewed by Fatheroftoomany from Pennsylvania

3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Festive deep color with a spicy winter smell of cinnamon. Very strong taste and heavy finish.Bites hard and it will get you drunk. I prefer to have another beer before this one to loosen up my palate.
Dec 14, 2018
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Reviewed by HellsRanger from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Come out with nice amber color and nice full off white/tan foam...decent lacing.
The aroma is full of holiday spiciness and the Belgian brew coming thru.
As for the follows the nose to the "T"...with nice spice and Belgium ABV along for the ride. Very nice touch...
The feel is a smooth with a lil' bite in the end, but still well balanced.
Overall a great brew for the holidays.
Nov 26, 2018
Photo of Mooglytonkers
Reviewed by Mooglytonkers from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Spicy without being cloyingly sweet. It's liquid xmas. Pours ruby red, bubbles pop little spice bursts in your nasal passages. Overall it's great, the booziness is just enough to remind you that this will inevitably lead to holiday party-mode.
Jan 12, 2018
Photo of mdfb79
Reviewed by mdfb79 from New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Really nice beer; lots of apples and fruit fruits, light spices and coriander. Does not taste as strong as it is which is great/dangerous.

Overall a really nice beer.
Dec 30, 2017
Rated: 3.61 by TeachChefs from Pennsylvania

Dec 29, 2017
Rated: 3.93 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Dec 17, 2017
Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve) from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 236 ratings