Spiced Ale

Fegley’s Rude Elf’s Reserve

Beer: Rude Elf’s Reserve
 Allentown Brew Works
Style: Spiced Ale
ABV: 10.5%


Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa




Sight: Clear, bright amber body with a wee head that vanishes right quick.

Smell: It initially smells like WHOA THIS IS COUGH SYRUP and maraschino cherries. Then come those holidays spices…espeically prominent are cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.

Flavor: If this isn’t the sweetness beer I’ve ever tried….There are a ton of flavors tangled up in this beer, including but not limited to sweet maraschino cherry, raisin, plum, and loads of white sugar. There is also a typical “Belgian-y” flavor (bananas/cloves) from the Candi sugar and Belgian yeasts.

Feel: Thin, syrupy body with medium carbonation. There’s a noticeable heat from the insane ABV.

Concluding Remark: I’ll be honest, I opened up Fegley’s Rude Elf Reserve not to channel some holiday spirit, but to function as a night cap. At 10.5%, I had little doubt that after a long day of work, this Rude Elf would knock me unconscious. And it did! Thanks, Elf. As far as holiday cheer goes, the spices are somewhat subdued. Instead, Rude Elf tastes like an average Belgian Ale, with an extra serving or two of sugar that renders the beer cloyingly sweet.  If this was any less alcoholic, I would have given it a lower rating because it’s a slightly below average Belgian and a slightly underwhelming holiday beer. But, that’s not the reality in which this beer exists. It’s 10.5%, and that has to count for something or this isn’t The Year in Beer.

Categories: Belgian, Holiday, Spiced Ale | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Southern Tier 2XMAS


Beer: 2XMAS
Brewery: Southern Tier
Style: “Double” Spiced Ale
ABV: 6.0%


Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa



Sight: Crystal clear, deep garnet body with a small head that disappears after a few seconds.

Smell: Aromas are akin to the ingredients of a mulled wine: sweet orange, cinnamon, and a little bit of cherry cough syrup.

Flavor: Well, it tastes like a strong ale with a dose of cough syrup. The hops sort of balance out the intense sweetness, but the fruity, syrupy character is dominant.

Feel: Thinnish, oily body with some carbonation. It’s definitely a little hot from the alcohol. Like, the back of my throat is burning. Ow.

Concluding Remark:  Well, Merry Christmas from Southern Tier! This season, they have presented American beer consumers with a “double spiced” ale brewed in the “Swedish gløgg tradition.”  Fantastic, I say! I love tradition and I love gløgg (aka, mulled wine).  However, now more than ever, I know how much I like it not in my beer. While a cough syrup cherry flavor dominates, no cherries were used in the making of this beer. The intense fruity flavor comes from figs, orange peel, and other mulling spices. The more I sip on it, the operative word being sip, the move I can taste the orange and figs. It actually becomes quite enjoyable as it sits. SO LET IT SIT. I would suggest serving this on the warmer side as you would a gløgg, because it would seem that 2XMAS develops some depth and complexity in its warmer environment.

Overall, Southern Tier’s 2XMAS is quite sweet. Like, really sweet. It’s not my favorite, but it certainly will keep you warm on a cold night. Though if you’re also living in the NY area, you know that may not happen any time soon.


This is a Keebler Elf-approved beer.
Categories: Holiday, Spiced Ale | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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