Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%) | The Great Yorkshire Brewery

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Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%)Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%)
64 Ratings
Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%)Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%)

Brewed by:
The Great Yorkshire Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bottle Notes:
A dark bitter, using finest Cascade and a Styrian Goldings hops and English malt providing a unique hoppy beer with a fruity aftertaste.

Added by maxpower on 12-03-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of Knapp85
1.98/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

When I had this brew I was not a fan of it. I would very much like to revisit this beer. Especially after reading reviews on here about how aging it would make it better. I had a fresh bottle so I would really like to have a vintage one sometime in the future. All I really remember from this beer was that it was quite Sour. I think the aging would mellow this brew out a bit which may make it a lot more enjoyable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A flavorful and enjoyable brew, however not one that is very surprising. Begins with a rich malt aroma that lands somewhere between a Brown Ale and and Irish Red. Lots of malt, bread, and crusty aromas and flavors with some yeast and fruits thrown in. Fruits fall in the plumb, fig, dates, and grape range with some nutty, maple characters added. All are evident equally in the nose and flavor. Feels full and modestly rich to the palate. Finish reinforces the flavors, along with the addition of spice from piney hops, and Christmas spices. A very nice beer, but I'm looking for a standout or quality character that differentiates this from other very good English brews. For me, they are not realy there.

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Photo of brentk56
3.15/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Murky, med-dark amber body with a thin layer of foam. I couldn't get a head no matter how hard I poured. A fair bit of lacing drips down the side like a soap film after each swig.

Smell: Caramel malts and lemony, floral hops blend together on the nose. A bit of dark fruits as well. All rather understated, however.

Taste: Rather closed. A bit of dark fruits battle it out with the bitter hops to create a lemony, sour tasting experience. I was expecting a lot more flavor.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy and treacly (if that's a word) but overall, kind of flat.

Drinkability: OK to sip on, I guess. Having read through a few other reviews, I am wondering whether I got a bad bottle. I can taste some interesting things going on, but overall I am disappointed.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at cellar temperature. It pours surprisingly clear for a bottle conditioned ale with a solid cake of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The body is a deep chestnut and a rough pour brings up a short but creamy light-tan head. It holds a decent collar throughout the pint and leaves some thin lace as well. The nose expresses some nice fruitiness (berries, some mild sweet cherry, and background lemon), a touch of maltiness, and a thin edge of mineral/metallic hops similar to Fuggles. The body is medium/light with an exceptionally fine & creamy, mild carbonation from bottle conditioning. It's quite soft, and silky smooth in the mouth; adding greatly to its drinkability. The flavor starts with fruitiness (that seems almost lightly tart) upfront, warms to reveal some dark caramel/treacle like malt and hop flavor, and then softly slips away into a lingering finish of soft maltiness and mild hop flavor. Nicely balanced with a restrained bitterness that leaves the malt, yeast and hops in the spotlight - totally appropriate for a "Winter Ale"/holiday beer. If you enjoy English-style ales, this is a special treat.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The internal cascade of carbonation in the body of the beer reminds me of a nitro pour, but the small, insubstantial, rapidly disappearing head does not. Hazy, dark butterscotch with bright sunlight barely visible behind the glass. Although the cap has slowed down its descent, it isn't long for this world. A short collar of lace is all that manages to stick.

The aroma is interesting, but I can't quite figure out what makes it so. It's dominanted by earthy caramel malt and spicy hops and isn't quite as enjoyable as it sounds. It isn't a nose that belongs on a winter warmer, or, for that matter, on a beer named for a reindeer who is famous for his nose.

I can't figure out what sort of a beer Rudolph's Revenge is trying to be. It tastes like a cross between an English dark mild and an English pale ale. Again, winter warmer doesn't come to mind. Shouldn't a relatively low ABV and a lack of added spices disqualify it right out of the chute? I guess Cropton should be allowed to interpret this rather loose style however they see fit, so I'll try to deal with the beer on its own terms.

Like the nose, the flavor profile is a bit of a potpourri (if I'm being kind; a disjointed muddle if I'm not). It's balanced, I suppose, and is a roughly equal mixture of caramel and fruity hops. I'm also reminded of English Breakfast tea with an added pinch of sugar to take the edge off the bitterness. The medium body begins to lose its way near the finish, barely avoiding thin.

Rudolph's Revenge needs an injection of personality. While it has a great name, a great label and lacks any truly bad characteristics, it's forgettable in the end. Ho, Ho... No.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.91/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/10/07- Purchased at Beverages and More on a close out special for a buck.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with no freshness dating. Is from the 2006 batch though. Poured into my imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Not quite brown, maybe a chestnut or deep auburn colored pour. 3/4 inch head in which a nice 1'4 inch remains for the entire brew. Very creamy looking head. Leaves behind very nice lace traces.

Smell- Really digging my nose in I got a bit of sweet malt and a bit of fruity hop notes. Maybe a dask of spices (nutmeg)

Taste- Didn't really taste any spices, but I got a nice flanders style tartness. Cherry, raspberry and fruitcake with a light caramel malt. Didn't notice the hops until the aftertaste. They come through then and are reasonably bitter.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation level, not really creamy, but very easy to sip.

Drinkability- Glad I tried this one. Good price and a tasty brew.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.88/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, deep crimson hue, solid slab of creamy froth...nice enough looking brew, if not for the floaties at the bottom, tiny green specks, that sit harmlessly at the bottom, but still don't sit me at ease.
Appley aroma at the onset, ripe sourness, full fruit, dark ones, cherries and grapes, some citrus, a bit heady and malty, as well.
Taste begins tart, green apples again, not what I expect, but often find in some English ales. Rounded, more palatable fruitiness leads the way, malt is primary here, hops are silent. there is a lushness in the mouthfeel, and a bit of a spicy kick, too.
Medium-bodied, with a mellow, fruity finish.
Flavor kind of deadens some near the end, taste picks up an added astringency I'm not crazy about. Sourness accellerates, also, and I remember how un-crazy I am about that apple flavor in a beer. At least in this beer. Maybe especially in this one?
Halfway through the bottle, the sour is too much for me, and I find no enjoyment in the drinking. It becomes a gulp-and-wince affair and that puts in the negative column, unfortunately. Had such hopes for it!
Rudolph, what did I ever do to you to deserve this Revenge?

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.7/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with an almost two-finger thick, tan colored head that sits atop a dark, concentrated plum colored beer that shows a lightly hazy, bright cranberry color when held up to the light. As I pour this the aroma smells like concentrated fruit. Once I go in for a deeper draught of the aroma, I get that concentrated fruit note (raisins, orange peel & berry aromatics), but there is an almost more noticeable note that somehow reminds me of musky Brettanomyces. For the most part this funky aromatic note seems to fade after a short bit, but some slight mustiness remains. After opening up a bit the nose takes on notes of astringent burnt grain in the finish, notes of toasted malt, some light herbal hop character and even a touch of pine. After some extended sniffing, the bright, almost berry like fruitiness is the most noticed part of the aroma, but if you leave the aroma and come back to it the funkiness makes a full return.

Very dry tasting, and in fact even tart, this beer is definitely a bit more funky than it should be. Definitely some Brett has taken hold here, and maybe some souring bug as well. This is actually not half bad tasting, but is clearly not how it should taste. I find it unfortunate how unstable a small, but significant portion of British beers sent to the states (need to beef up on fermentation & packaging practices). Tastes like a cross between a tart plum, some moldy cotton balls, sour lemons, and an astringent musky hop bud.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.28/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opening the bottle the beer went nuts and I ended up using three mugs before it stopped foaming so this was a five finger plus white head that leaves little lace. Pour this VERY slowly. Cloudy ruby color with chunky bits in head and on bottom. Hoppy/malty nose. Carbonation is good. Full bodied. Starts malty/hoppy, finish slightly hoppy with cidery overtones. $4.99 for 500ml bottle.

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.71/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like cinnamon, nutmeg and some spicy hops. It tastes spicy, but it has a citrus hop finish that's sour (not in a good way), not what I expected with this beer at all. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery. Drinkability is average. I just can't get past that weird sour finish. It started off OK, but just got worse the more I drank. I don't think I'll be getting this one again anytime soon.

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Photo of BGsWo22
1.5/5  rDev -50.7%

Photo of Gusler
3.6/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after the pour from the 500ml bottle sits a clear deep amber to almost brown, the head is smallish and a creamy light tan in color, as it fades quickly, it leaves a thin to patchy coating of lace. Nose has a distinct rusty nail aroma, sweet malt and caramel, musty with a bit of clover, start is nicely malted, hints of spices, with the top light to medium. Finish has a personable acidity, the hops apparent, but not overly so, dry aftertaste, a drinkable beer, but seems a bit thin for a “Winter Warmer”.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Watch it, this one’s a foamer and will jump right out of the bottle onto your new white leather easy chair. The head is very light and airy. The body is a thick, murky brown.

Smell – Big, toasted malts with a bit of tartness and a whole lot of sugar.

Taste – The malt base is washed out by the off-style tart flavor. This is not my idea of a Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel – Fizzy with some poor carbonation and medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This wasn’t bad, but it certainly didn’t qualify in my book as a Pale Ale.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.58/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 500ml brown wide bottomed green-brown colored glass bottle sealed with a simple brass crown cap which has the Cropton Brewery logo in a dark red. Main label is slightly different to the one shown on BA; mine has the red nosed reindeer above the words ‘Rudolph’s Revenge Winter Ale’. Recommended to be served at 12 °C (54 °F). Listed at 6.0% Alc/Vol and Bottle-Conditioned. No freshness date but I know this is (obviously) a Seasonal for the Crimbo period.

Described to the right of the front label as “A dark bitter, using finest Cascade and a Styrian Goldings hops and English malt providing a unique hoppy beer with a fruity aftertaste”. Some more bullshit marketing blurb sits to the left hand side and is not worth repeating, I pretty much ignored that crap.

Appearance: Run of the mill amber brown body with a solid level of conditioning that is finely dissolved, but whilst a quick swirl evokes a nice ¼” thick off-white cap, sadly the head disappears all too quickly and fades to leave nothing but a ringed halo along the edges. This also breaks up eventually. Looks a little tired to say the least.

Nose: Caramel and earthy malts. Nice enough but the nose has some feint hints of sourness, vinegar-like almost; this was unfortunately a sign of things to come.

Taste: Tart start, in fact there is a tartness to this brew throughout, a crisp sharp vinaigrette tingle. Minimal hop influence and a mild malt angle with some earthy hues and a smidgeon of caramel. Finishes with a mélange of sour and acidic malts that tend to grab and bite a little. I know this to be a fresh sample, despite the lack of any dating on the bottle so I am perplexed by this tart trait which is off-putting.

Mouthfeel: Medium at best with a watery nature. But the vinegar pinch from the continued tart off-flavor is so annoying that it is hard to concentrate too much. Can feel thin though when first served, thickened a little as it closed in on room temperature but it was never more than below average.

Drinkability: Yeah I finished the half litre bottle, I hate to pour money down the drain, but it wasn’t gonna beat me. After half of the bottle I had grown bored of this brew but wanted to see if would provide a surprise some back as it warmed up a little, not so, it just got worse.

Overall: I am so glad that Christmas comes but once a year, this is the first time that I decided to pick up this English bottled offering and it is not worth the money to be brutally honest. Very average and that’s being kind, the persistent tart vinegar off-flavor reminds me of a Cask Ale gone bad, but not quite. Seems like Rudolph’s Revenge is that we have to drink this crap, that Red Nosed Reindeer is a f**kin specialty Burger next time I see him. One to avoid from Crapton.

Bah Humbug!!

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

A little bit bummed with this British brew – expected a winter warmer with more pizzazz.

Started off on the right foot, a clear cola brown brew with a small ivory head. A good swirling at mid-bottle worked up some nice yeaties for additional flavor.

The sharp winter spice smell got me worked up, but the taste let me down – a funky and musty sour ale concoction. The swirl did swish up some caramel and chocolate goodies lying on the bottom.

It was drinkable, but for the import price – I’m looking at more local brews for winter satisfaction (hmm, I read that somewhere on the BA site). The wimpy 6% is not going revenge anyone.

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Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear medium copper color with abundant creamy tannish head. Fell to a thick ring leaving modest lacing. Smell is at once fruity with a stern maltiness. Taste is initially tartly fruity and becomes more pleasnt as the beer slowly watms. Fuinishes more sweet than tart with a nice creamy mouthfeel. An easy drinking beer that worked as well on a coolish spring night as it would have on a cold winters night. An appropiate beer for my 700th review.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass slightly hazy deep amber crown with a perfectly white head that was very low, compact and fell quickly but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was slightly fruity with some caramel and earthy hop presence.

The flavor was that of a bitter with Fuggle hops (well British at any rate) and a fruity British yeast character. Also present in the flavor was some malty caramel character.

The finish was just almost dry with a crisp mineral finish and lasting earthy bittering. The body was medium. Extremely easy to drink, great session beer.

16.9 ounce bottle, $4.99. This is listed as a Winter Warmer, it is simply another Bitter and not a bad one at all.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.33/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a cloudy, murky caramel colorthat develops a dull white head that leaves sticky rings of lace on the Imperial pint glass.
Aroma of figs, dates, brown bread and some toffee.
Flavor of light toffee, dark citrus with some biscuit and hop resins. Dinstint hard water, metallic note on the finish.
Mouthfeel has some sweetness upfront cut by a slightly toasted middle and finishes with gritty hard water.
Drinkablity is slightly above average. Deeper dark citurs notes are solid but the metallic hard water is unsettling and ruins overall effect.

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Photo of cliff1066
4/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of ADR
2.81/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Medium stained-oak brown appearance, pours clearish to begin with, just a touch hazy at the bottom. Pillowy head rises to 1/2 an inch. Decent laces smear most of the glass. Aroma of sugary peaches, slightly unripe with a lot of brightness. Carbonation is slightly high, the mouthfeel and overall texture are lighter than I expected. Intitially hoppy and lemony taste without a very solid malt backdrop, and not helped by the minimal body. A little iced tea-like with too much of a sour finish across the back. No sense of spices and few warming qualities. Given the ABV, I would just call this an astringent Bitter. For me, I wouldn't recommend this one.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper red body topped by a foamy beige head, which is dentable.
Nose has some fresh bread mixed with floral hops. Malty taste with a slight pinch of fine British sulfur, and enough hops for balance. Nice and full mouthfeel. This brew is becoming a Christmas Eve staple for me. The gifts are under the tree, and I am soon to bed, with this as my nightcap.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.75/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a hazy brown beer with almost no head. What there was consisted of large bubbles and looked slightly filmy.

The aroma was of caramel malt, and was slightly sweet and fruity. There was a definite Cascade overtone.

The taste was not what I expected from a winter warmer that made itself sound like it was a bitter. It was somewhat bland, with a caramel malt core, a light fruitiness, barely sweey, a touch of Cascade flavor, and a noticeable alcohol presence. For a beer with this low an ABV, they didn't balance it very well.

For $4.49, this beer did not deliver. I was disappointed. And it definitely did not hold to the characteristics of a winter warmer.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.57/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a stemmed pils glass it forms an off white filmy head that leaves admirable lace. Copper body with loads of slow rolling fine carbonation.

First drink took me back a bit as its like no other brew I've ever had. Thats not a compliment though as it is watered to a very thin feel and throw in some acidic backend mixed around a sourish body. This is incredibly astringent and very hard to consume. Hops are just bitter without any foundation to work off of. Malts are slightly spiced up but at the end of the day they fail to give this any balancer. Its very one sided and the "one" side is awfull. Metal seems to be a big factor the warmer it got. Sour, metallic, tart garbage.

Notes: Save your time and money and leave this on the shelves.

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Photo of budgood1
1.59/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

pours out of the half litre bottle a hazy amber colour with reddish tints. not much head to this one even with an aggressive pour. some chocolate covered tart cherries in the aroma...a bit of gingerbread and toffee, too. upon tasting, i was taken aback by the tart cranberry fruitiness that seems to dominate the taste profile. NOT what i expected. the malt flavours take a back seat to the pestering and puckering acidic fruit flavours. a few more sips to get some hop bitterness only leaves me frustrated. i think to swirl in the yeast to see if that can help...nope....only makes it worse. yuk. it's sour, and it sucks.

the body is seemingly weak and watery, and the mouthfeel is puckering and unpleasant. drinkability suffers from the fact that this x-mas ale, winter warmer, whatever the hell this is really sucks. it was hard to choke it all down and would be considered a drain pour for the less hardy.

it's been awhile since i lambasted a beer, but Rudolph's Revenge deserves a lump of coal for being a terrible concoction.

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Rudolph's Revenge Winter Ale (6%) from The Great Yorkshire Brewery
Beer rating: 3.04 out of 5 with 64 ratings