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)
213 Ratings
Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve)

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 213 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of aflyershckyfan
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of ironman88
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of pchep
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of muletrane
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage

Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dates) into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep plum colour with red/orange hues. 1 finger of ivory head dissapates quickly leaving some lace.

S: The highlight of this beer. Lots of spiciness in the nose. Spices don't seem to have faded at all. Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, clove, yeast. Very nice, smells like Xmas.

T: Didn't quite deliver from the great nose. Some spiciness up front and Belgian yeast notes on the backend. Finishes dry with some lingering spicy notes.

M: Not alot of carbonation here. Moderate body. Slick feel overall. Not the most pleasant mouthfeel here. Maybe do to the age.

Overall this beer is all about the nose. It smells fantastic! It just doesn't deliver in the flavor category. I wasn't a fan of it fresh and the aged bottle is only slightly better IMO.

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Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of touchmeimsac
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Jef59
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours an clear orangey-red with a off-white/beige head that starts at about 1.5" but fizzles out quickly to nothing.

S - You can smell huge notes of banana as it pours out the bottle. In the glass, a lot of spice is noticeable. Hints of caramel and vanilla are also present. A little booze.

T - following the nose, banana is the most noticeable flavor followed by clove, coriander, and all spice. Flavors of sweet bread - like a pound cake come to mind. Its a little cidery. Caramel and vanilla are also in there with a crisp, but subtle hop finish.

M - A little under carbonated, but still enjoyable. Slightly on the syrupy side, but not as much as some beers with such an abv.

O - good holiday beer. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of Annesemj
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of patm1986
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


reddish-brown, cherry wood color. half-inch, cream-colored head. retains itself well. really nice lacing and residue around the rims: speckled.

good ol' holiday blend: nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, clove, a little anise, and a slight ginger appearance. some metallic phenol aromas as well.

a lot of nutmeg, cinnamon, orange, anise, and a really subtle toasty malt character underlining the blend. a solid herbal combination rounds out the spice blend nicely.

it's thin and has enough of a dry finish that it doesn't linger and overload the palate with the spice combination. i really like that.

i've always enjoyed mad elf, but on christmas eve last year, my girlfriend gave me a new growler filled with this, and i loved it, enjoying it more than the troegs classic. this year, i think the rude elf has taken another length in the race for misbehaving elves. the 10.5% is not nearly as present as it should be. truly rude when you're least expecting it.

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Photo of boralyl
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a 1/2 inch of light tan head that settles fairly quickly. The beer is a deep red with ruby highlights when held to the light.

S - The spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) stand out the most in the nose. There is also a Belgian yeast character and some dark fruit.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. There is some alcohol burn present.

T - The beer begins sweet with light caramel notes followed by dark fruit. A little booze shows up mid-taste followed by the spices detected in the nose. It finishes with an almost brandy like sweetness.

Not a bad beer by any means, but it doesn't do it for me. The booze and the spices are a bit much in my opinion. I'm glad I got to try it, but I won't seek it out again.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright yet dark orangey amber. Barely super light tan head of moderate size. Okay lacing, but it keeps sliding back down the glass.

S: Fruity and spicy in a Belgian yeast way. Nutmeg and possibly other spices. Toasty and caramel malts. Potent and sweet.

T: Prunes and plums and stone fruits (hinting at cherries) and even raisins all contribute to the sweet, fruity, booze-soaked (dark rum / bourbon) core of the flavors. Some lighter candied tropical fruit notes also poke through. Just a tad too far in the background are some toasty, caramel and lighter toffee malts with sugar cookie sweetness. Any hops are well hidden by everything else that is going on. There is vanilla aspect - possibly oaky (but not tannic or woody) - that comes in mid-way and like the fruits has boozy overtones. Spices are nutmeg and allspice, lighter cloves (more phenolic than spice), and some soft & muted cinnamon that grows as the brew warms. Spice level is nice - a sort of refined complement to the overall fruity, sweet, boozy character. Somewhat heavy handed booze with out the robust malts to back it hurts the palate a bit.

M: Just barely below full with a lively carbonation to match against the heft and make it seem a little less dangerous than it is. Almost creamy. Abv is obvious, but not quite so much as expected at 10.5 percent.

D: This is a sipper. A distinctly rich and interesting fireside desert beer. Obviously, yet dangerously strong. While not overly Belgian, it is a flavorful experience. None the less, it is a bit too intense, boozy, and thickly sweet to truly be highly drinkable.

 1,597 characters

Photo of thain709
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage

A - The body was a clear, darker shade of copper...small, creamy, light tan head...showed great retention with lots of carbonation bubbles...some lacing

S - The nose was pretty's loaded with spices (cinammon and nutmeg)...I picked up a bubblegum presence...a lot of sweetness provided by a caramel/toffee aroma...alcohol is evident at the end

T - Heavy spices right off the bat...that spice profile was a little overwhelming to be up front...a blast of sweetness featuring caramel and toffee flavors...the sweetness is able to tame the spices but it lingers for the remainder of the beer to the point of almost cloying...warming alcohol again is in the finish

M - Medium bodied...creamy, sweet, smooth, alcohol burn

D - Rude Elf, for me, was heavily spiced then slightly (not overly) sweetened...I feel the spices and the 10.5% ABV really hinder me from having more than one of these...I didn't want to make the comparision but I prefer Mad Elf

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Photo of kbutler1
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a clear deep copper reddish color with a very small bubbled 1 finger head of off white. Very pungent aroma of spices; namely allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Almost has a pumpkin pie like aroma. Medium mouthfeel. Dark fruit like flavors mixed with lots of spice. The booze, even while pretty cold, is pretty evident at the end. The booze semi burns at the end and has a mix of the spice in it. An interesting beer. Dial the booze back a bit and it would probably be a nice drinking beer.

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Photo of BeerCon5
2.38/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown color with a nice foamy white head that dissipates quickly.

The scent was dominant of both alcohol and very sweet cherry.

The taste was overwhelmed by alcohol, the only other thing I could taste was the incredibly sweet cherry flavor.

Medium body, very crisp and a little chewy, high carbonation.

This beer was ruined by the overbearing alcohol presence. The flavor was way out of balance, it was difficult to finish one of these.

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Photo of wampahoofus
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light amber brown. Head faded to nothing right away. Very little lacing. Not unusual with this style.

Smell: Lots of spice. Cinnamon. A bit of sweetness in the background

Taste: Holiday spices are well balanced and blend in with the belgian esters nicely. Some fruit and a tang at the end.

Mouthfeel: The beer is sweet and mellow for its style. The spices are well balanced and do not take over.

Drinkability: This is a decent holiday warmer. Not sure if I'm ready to drink more than one, but it was worth a try.

I think that BBW is being a bit "rude" with the naming. I think it is clear that they are honing in on Trogg's "Bad Elf" from just down the road in Harrisburg. I will stick with the Troggs if I have a choice

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Photo of MrBlueShirt
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rude Elf's Reserve was brought to my attention to be an "alternative" to the ever so popular Troegs Mad Elf. I was also informed it has a similar ABV and was about $15 less a case. I was intrigured and within a few hours of discovering I had a case in my possesion.

Poured from a bottle into pint glass. I was first impressed with the red color and mild head that did dissipate upon enjoying.

The smell was that of a your typical spicy, holiday insipired brews. Enjoyable and comforting.

The taste was impressive and complex. Cinnamon, cloves, or as my friend put it "Tastes like Christmas"

Mouthfeel was heavier and slighty sugary.

Now to drinkability... The only reason I gave it a low score is because after 1 the taste becomes a bit much and the high ABV gives you decent buzz even for a seasoned drinker.

Overall it's a good beer in low quantites too much and you'll probably be hurting. While initaled presented as an alternative I believe it's a whole different beer in itself.

 994 characters

Photo of magine
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark caramel color with a fast to fade light tan head. Head is nearly non existent. Lace settles to a rim around the glass. No lace remains to speak of. Very average looks.

Brew smells very fruity; dark fruits, yeasts. Very sweet smelling brew. The brew borders on candy like sweetness in the nose. Potent nose, doesn't smell like beer. Decent nose.

This brew is sweet and smooth. Has a peppery bite and finishes dry and bitter. Big alcohol presence tasted. The brew has dark fruits in there as well; cherries, berries etc., This brew has a decent taste, not among the better half of brews of this style for me though. The cadny like sweetness and booze are too overpowering. This brew would have done better with a more yeasty flavor. OK taste.

This is a decent Strong Belgian, but unfortunately the brew lacks the mouthfeel and is too sweet and boozy for me. There are just two many better examples of the style to go to this one.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
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 confer
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Brown and clear, no head.
S- The smell is sweet and boozy.
T- Taste is the same as the smell. The sweet is like cherry cough drops. There is a boozy burn following.
MD-This beer has a very creamy feel. It is cerainaly a sipping beer. Nice for the colder months.

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Photo of cooch69
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Elf poured a deep amber with mahoganey hues. It has a two finger white head that settles to scattered gobs on top.

The nose is very spicy and bready. Alcohol also shows throught in the nose(even though this beer is really cold). Cherries, figs, cloves, cinnamon and caramel are dominant in the nose.
The spices carry over into the taste as front row players as well. Liquroce(don't spell good) and cloves come first. I get at least one or two gingerbread cookies in the mid sip. This ties in well with the caramel and fruit bread which features predominantly raisins and fig.
And the finish shows a fair amount of biterness but it is short term at that.

Wow I'm getting exausted with all of these flavors. This beer is awesomely complex and pretty tasty at that.

Nice amount of pinpoint carbonation adds a crispness but the body overall is pretty creamy.

The only thing that held back this beer was the bit of harshness. Maybe it's just me but I had lots of Christmas ales before and it seems to me that for what it is, it's a bit too harsh. Not very strong though, even though it is on the full bodied scale.

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Photo of BigMike
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Orange with a reddish tint. Clear with a small of bubbles. Head is soapy and pretty white.

S: lots of spice on the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, Ginger. Not sure if this is brewed with cherries or not but I get a sour cherry smell. Almost smells like it's going to be sour.

T: Ok so nothing sour about this beer. In fact it's almost cloyingly sweet. All the spices from the nose are present and counted for. Also a strong alcohol note. Some banana in the background.

M: Full bodied and thick. Very sweet and almost syrupy. This knocks drinkability down.

Overall: not as enjoyable as Tröegs Mad Elf. This one is too sweet and heavy.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into wine-style glass.

Pours with a short, tan head the fizzles quickly to a film. Body is clear, like a dark iced tea.

Aromas are heavy on the banana, with some clove, allspice, and sort of cordial-like as it warmed. Lots of caramel sweetness.

Flavors were dominated by ripe banana peel, a fair amount of spice (but not thick), and a lite citrus in the way back. Very one-dimentional.

Pretty creamy mouthfeel at first, but lack of carbonation causes it to become pretty cloying. Becomes a bit harsh as it warms to around 60 degrees.

Little too thick and cloying for the style which brings down the drinkability score.

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Rude Elf's Reserve (formerly Rudolph's Reserve) from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 213 ratings
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