rman18 (311) - Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - NOV 27, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice seasonal beer. It has a nice palate with a good mixture of winter/Christmas spices.
crossovert (8349) - Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I woudl take it on christmas day probably, it is spiced and very strong, decent but nto great.
callmemickey (3167) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Amber body, medium to thin off-white head, minimal lacing. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice dominate. Intense holiday spiced-beer. Medium bodied, mellow carbonation, not too hot for 10.5, lingering spiced finish.
devman171 (1122) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - FEB 5, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours ruby red with a thin white foam. The armoa is spicy clove , ginger, and nutmeg. Full bodied with a touch of alcohol.
JuliusCaesar (162) - New Hampshire, USA - JAN 1, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2013 Really flavorful beer. The high alcohol isn’t overpowering and a good balance is created. Better at room temperature.
Joealpizar (23) - - DEC 24, 2012
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pine taste and a strong beer. Caramel and ginger come to mind. Christmas comes to mind.
justabeergeek (225) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Poured from a 12oz bottle given to me by Chad of Chad’z Beer Reviews (thanks, buddy!).
A nice pour, ruby in color with a thin white head that laces fairly well. Slightly cloudy. The nose is spice heavy with lots of candi sugar, gingerbread, nutmeg, some dark fruits (fig, plum), and a touch of Belgian yeast (primarily clove). This is most definitely a spice bomb, and while I’m not usually a fan of Christmas spice beers, the Rude Elf’s Reserve seems to pull it off. The Belgian yeast definitely asserts itself, and that strikes an interesting balance with the spiciness of the rest of the flavor. It feels a bit thick in the mouth, with a bit of warmth (no doubt a product of the fact that this is a big beer), but not overwhelmingly so. A *definite* sipper, Rude Elf’s Reserve isn’t a beer I’d actively seek out again, but I have to give it credit for being a Christmas spice beer that I actually enjoyed.
Chad9976 (1295) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 19, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I don’t know what Fegley’s Brew Works was going for with Rude Elf’s Reserve, but they definitely nailed it. A lot of people might scoff at this as being a hot mess, but I think that’s what makes it so good: a robust, complex palate that tastes delicious despite the low drinkability.
I received a 12oz bottle as a gift from friends (thanks Alex & Marissa!). I poured it into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Gorgeous shade of clear burgundy/orange. Forms a fairly small, off-white, soapy head that almost completely dissipates but not before leaving some lacing on the glass.
Smell: Strong banana, clove, and cinnamon notes as soon as the cap is popped.
Taste: Sometimes I don’t even understand my own palate. Normally I dislike "spice rack bombs" that are so many Christmas beers, but for whatever reason, Rude Elf’s Reserve is a shining exception. It does have the usual flavors of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, but they’re in the "proper" ratio here (whatever that may be). The beer is also brewed using three Belgian yeast strains which definitely imparts a classic banana and dark fruit flavor as well. It’s Chimay White meets Scaldis Noel.
Right away there’s a strong warmth of ginger and cinnamon as soon as it hits the tongue. Followed by spicy clove, nutmeg, hot apple cider, and a banana sweetness towards the end. Because it’s such a big beer the alcohol is a major flavor component, but it works wonderfully with the palate. Slightly spiced rum with a hint of vanilla complements the natural Belgian character well. It finishes with a cinnamon bread or gingersnap cookie malty aftertaste, though it’s not cloying. This is a spicy palate I can really get behind.
Drinkability: The only thing holding Rude Elf’s Reserve back is the fact it’s a sipper. The tastes are very strong and the alcohol is prominent as well, so it’s not a beer for newbies. There’s distinct warmth in the mouth and in the throat, but it’s tolerable. The mouthfeel is not spastic, though, in fact it’s on the tepid side which is interesting considering its use of Belgian yeast. At 10.5% ABV it’s best enjoyed as a nightcap or on a special occasion. A vintage bottle with some age could only make it better.
boxofrane (2294) - Spring City, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at lucky lab. Pours hazy copper with minimal head, and minor carbonation. The aroma Is sour cherry, nutmeg, cinnamon. The taste is sweet cinnamon, cherry, and a little booze.
coldbrewky (1466) - Hippetown East, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle via UDBeernut. A few years ago, Art gave me this bottle during one of his visits. It has been hiding amongst the salad dressing and ketchup for so long it was nearly forgotten. Lofty sugary nose of cotton candy and candi sugar. A wavy si9ngle strand of oily lacing remains as head settles upon the murky brown volume. Rich and rolling super sweet body does allow some whispy spice thru. Malt hopelessly surrounded by sugars, much like the Russians at Stalingrad. Malts must surrender.