Admiral (524) - Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2001
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The best spiced ale I’ve ever had. A nice malt sweetness provides a background for the perfectly harmonised spices. Seek this out at all costs if in the area.
stangger (604) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 4, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle at brady’s pub. Sweet, spicy aroma of Belgian yeast, clove, cinammon. Banana, plum, bread, clove, nutmeg, dark fruits. Deep, complex flavor masking an alcohol content you’ll feel later . Awesome.
obxdude10 (2111) - Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2003 Nicely spiced Belgian style ale, lots of different spices in the nose as well as the flavors, cinnamon, nutmeg, corander, sweet gale, decent warming affect from the alcohol, very little head, dark amber in color, very nice seasonal beer
Damico (2873) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
It has the delicious potent aroma of cherries and a ruby red appearance. The sweet cherry malt flavor is delicious, but there is a boozy flavor more prevalent on top.
WanderinCelt87 (195) - Hamburg, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Has a very robust aroma of spices and malt. Pours a mahogany body with a white head. Goes down smooth with a little after taste.
mtmaguire (5) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 23, 2014 does not count
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Smooth for a high 10.5. Aroma is nice and a pleasant carmel color. Taste is very subtle l, but packs a bite even after just one brew. Nice!
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - NOV 22, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep golden color. Very good beer. Malty and spicey. High in alcohol but subtle in flavor. Very enjoyable. Good beer for a nightcap.
pressboxjoe (282) - , New Jersey, USA - MAR 16, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle bought at the brewpub, poured into a large snifter. Really, if you’re into the supersweet, just a lovely aroma of bananas, candy sugar, molasses. I love the uncommon, almost butter rum background to this beer - it really makes it one of my favorites. I have not had a beer like that. Great carbonation, even though the head barely registered before moving on. And the flavor has nice sourness and bitterness, despite the aroma being so sweet. This one will be first on my list of holiday ales from here on out.
Chad9976 (1390) - 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.
rman18 (312) - 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.