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

BA SCORE
87
very good
213 Ratings
THE BROS
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Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States
thebrewworks.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by goindownsouth on 12-08-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
213
Reviews:
96
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
15.17%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
44
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 213 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from the brewery. ABV not listed on the label. Initially from fridge with a cloudy yeasty peach colour, soap bubble head. Good kitchen spice cabinet aroma. Initially creamy good medium mouthfeel, and spices refreshed.Like a good Begium, yet hint of metallic finish. As glass warmed, mouthfeel felt thinner and spices Ok but not delicious, more like an American Winter warmer.

 384 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rude elf pours out as a reddish orange color. The head is a creamy white color with a decent lacing. The smell is of Christmas spices and berries, some Belgian yeast and some booze. The taste has some strong cinnamon there with a boozey Belgian yeast flavor and some berries in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a little bubbly and dry. Overall it's a pretty good holiday brew. I enjoy it during the season.

 406 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. I'm pretty sure this is a 2010 bottle.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear red amber with a finger of off white head. The head fades to a layer on top of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and malty with some Belgian spice and fruity cherry like notes. I'm picking up some brown sugar and spices as well.

Taste: Sweet and a bit syrupy. Some spices and cherry like fruit notes along with lots of sweet malt. The finish is sweet with some spices. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a solid beer. I would have liked the taste to be a bit more refined, but I still enjoyed it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is quite nice with a slightly hazy, deep chestnut body that displays crimson highlights topped by a short and creamy light tan head. The head drops shortly but maintains a nice collar and leaves some spotty lace throughout the glass. The nose is sweet and fruity with the clove standing out amongst the various spices. Upon further investigation the cinnamon and nutmeg are also notable. The full body is enhanced by a very fine carbonation that's at first gently crisp on the tongue, but becomes creamy as it warms across the palate. The flavor is quite rich and extravagant. It's impressively vivid with a sweet, juicy malt that's drenched in soft, swirling spice flavors. The bitterness is well restrained for obvious reasons. The complexity of the spicing is astounding, with each of the many spices appearing seperately as you progress through the serving. With one sip the nutmeg may appear clear as day, but on the next it's all about cinnamon. I'm honestly not sure about the sweet gale, but the coriander/clove seem to have a constant presence. If you hold it in your mouth for long enough you may be able to note several of the spices in a row; and yet they never overpower the palate. Exceptional, and very well balanced! As might be expected, the finish is dry with a variety of lingering spices and a light touch of softly fruity and gently caramelish malt. The alcohol is completely cloaked, which is surprising for a beer of 9.5%! Quite impressive! I've never tasted a beer that can take so much spice and wrap it up so nicely in one small package. Of course, it is still limited in it's drinkability as the bold spicing will tend to build on the palate beyond one glass - but it makes an exceptional after-dinner drink or nightcap! This is one to enjoy from a brandy snifter on a cold night in front of the fireplace with a well-worn leather-bound copy of Dicken's.

 1,896 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice bright amber body with a thin cream head leavs specks of scattered lacing, not bad. Aroma: Ginger, nutmeg with copious amounts of citrus toned hops mild alcohol but well hiddent tone thrown in there. Much more complex than your average Xmas inspired spiced strong ale, thanks to francisweizen for the sample. Taste: Mmm... Christmas in July... well almost. Loads of spices a bit weird and non beer like but the tasty caramel malts and mellowed alcohol come together nicely along with a decent hop bitterness to form one nice brew. Mouthfeel: Fluffy medium bodied evenly carbonated no complaints in this department. Drinkability: Wow, great and enjoyed a nice sized sample but I couldn't session with this one too much going on.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, pours orange amber, clear with an off white head and leaving just so so lacing. Nose here is initially just of alcohol, then some warm spicing comes along. This is a large, bold, spicy, strong brew. Lots of Belgian yeasty phenolics and bubblegum notes, yum, did I mention the warming alcoholic sensations?, the whiskey notes? The vanilla and coconut flavors? double yum. This is a fine, complex and very BA worthy brew, nice job BBC. Go and get some of this stuff! A few bottles on Christmas eve and I'll be seeing Santa's sled floating over my house...

 572 characters

Photo of malfunxion
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny, auburn hue, under a thick slab of cocoa foam. Quite nice looking.

Aroma: spice aplenty. Nutmeg and cinnamon, coriander and clove, probably more...heck, I bet they're listed on the label. Soft and sensuous, tickling the nose with intriquing aromatics. Double nice.

Taste: Bold, hoppy feel blasts into the mouth, spreads fresh, fierce flavor before fading back slowly. Spices remain in the fore of the flavor, sip after sip, hovering above a very full-bodied and complex ale. 9.5%? It's starting to creep up there...
yup, it's making an impression. Not halfway into the bomber. I know I've got a wicked ride yet to go...

Very nice spiced ale, this. Yummy yummers. wish I'd shared it with someone, though...such a chore to tackle on one's own...delicious, but damned daunting.

Spiced beer is good. Happy spiced elf-based beery Christmas-y, blah, blah, blah...

 877 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear copper color with a thick 3" off-white head. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: huge amounts of spice like nutmeg, coriander, and allspice.

Taste: nice malty backbone as nut bread and yeast tones are nicely balanced with a strong spiciness of nutmeg, allspice, and coriander. Decent bitterness and soft alcohol rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: the start is smooth with a hint of crispness, and finishes smooth with a long spicy bread aftertaste. Medium to heavy in body.

Drinkability: Decent for a spicy brew, but one bottle is enough for a session. A definite must try for flavor, but you will want to try a different beer after the bottle is empty.

 678 characters

Photo of ShanePB
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of tempest
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Allentown Brew Works. Maybe it was brewed in Allentown, but its the same beer. Served in a goblet it appears a dark brown.

This beer has a lot of good flavors, but frankly it's a mess. They don't work. Nutmeg and cinnamon compete with dried cherries and a strong clove taste. This beer would be okay without the clove phenols, but they really throw a wrench into the works. For the strength, the body is otherwise drinkable, but I won't be returning to this beer. No thanks.

 489 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a solid spice content. This beer has multiple spices that really add some character to the aroma. The Belgian yeast esters lend a hand as well. The taste is decent. It has a solid malt flavor, but the spices really take away from the overall enjoyment. It's just got too much spice. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It's a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent winter brew, but they really need to back the spice content down a bit.

 641 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fruity aromas of banana and peach waft from my glass as I pour this beer. The beer is a clear ruby color when held up to the light. It is topped by a frothy amber tan head. As I go in for a deeper sniff I get spicy notes of clove, allspice and cola. The aroma is spicily sweet. The taste is lightly sweet up front with fruity notes of juicy fruit, bananas and other tropical fruits. The finish is spicy with notes of cola, nutmeg, clove.

This beer is quite interesting, and though light in the body, is still quite rich and appropriate for a winter brew. I am definitely enjoying this beer, the spices are at just about the right level, they enhance the fruity character of this beer as well as adding a rich spice cake like note to it. Thanks to PisskeyNights for the opportunity to try this beer.

 801 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006/07 12 oz bottle

A: Pours a cloudy, dark amber/reddish color with a thick off white head that quickly dissipates with little lacing.
S: Very strong and spicy, nutmeg, cinnamon, a little vanilla, some alcohol coming through too.
T: This brew isn't as spicy as it was a year ago, as the flavor and the alcohol have mellowed out a lot. I enjoy this more a year later as I thought it had a little too much going on when it was fresh and the alcohol was a little too potent.
M: Medium body, high carbonation and very smooth (much more so than I remembered). Much smoother and creamier than I remembered.
D: Much better than it was a year ago, before you knew you were drinking a 9% abv and it has now mellowed out nicely. However, this is still very spicy and sweet and difficult to drink more than one at a time. I also had the 2007 on tap a few times, though I haven't reviewed it, I personally prefer the 2006 (fresh or aged) more so.

 937 characters

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a reddish toned amber with a 1 finger off white head that retains nicely. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cinnamon, sweet malt, nutmeg, coriander, and a blast of Belgian yeast making for an interesting one.
Taste is of the same aromas with a Belgian backbone and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is sugary and medium bodied with a slightly fizzy ending reminding me of a rum coated ginger snap cookie.

 425 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 10 oz chalice served at the Allentown Brew Works.

A: The ale is admirably dark, befitting the style. Unlike a dubbel or quad though, this ale lacks haziness. While the ale is dark, it is clear that there is no sediment to muck up the works. There was little head on the pour but, on tasting, the ample carbonation is evident.

S: The nose is Belgian, full of flavor and very festive. Dark candi sugars create a semi-sweet taste that is bolstered by raisins and spices.

T: My first thought was that this is a dubbel on performance enhancers. The candi sugars are robust and sweet, driving the entire taste. The yeast adds dark alefruit flavors, raisins and dates. A spice profile of cinnamon and nutmeg also adds depth to the flavor. The booze quotient of the ale is off the charts, it is hot from the get go and never settles down. Seriously, this one knocked me out.

M: The mouthfeel is hot, full of alcohol strength that stands up to the holiday spice profile. This was a nice beer for an unseasonably cold March afternoon.

D: One chalice was enough for me. The flavor profile is enjoyable but the booze really gets in the way.

 1,135 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, very clear, cap of small off-white head, decent lacing. Scent is filled with all sorts of seasonal whiffs... cinamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, vanilla, grahmn cracker... touches of citrus and watery fruit, with a presence of crusty dark bread and belgian yeasts in the background. Taste brings the spice profile to the front with notes of fruit lingering with brown sugar sweetness and bready yeasts, faint booze notes in the back end. Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. A true suprise and one of the better holiday seasonals in my opinion.

 566 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -22.9%

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Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve) from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
3.89 out of 5 based on 213 ratings.
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