Rocking Rudolph 4.2% Seasonal Ale

15 11 2010

Greene King launched Rocking Rudolph as a seasonal ale in time for Christmas 2008.

It wasn’t launched directly under the Greene King name but rather under Hardy’s and Hanson’s who were traditionally a Nottingham based brewery but were snapped up by GK in 2006 and since then their beers have been brewed in Bury St Edmunds.

The label on this beer is quite striking, if not quite to my liking; it shows rudolph sporting an Elvis quiff and playing a guitar and has a very modern CGI like look to it. One thing is for sure you would have to be blind not to realise this was a beer for christmas.

The beer pours to a nice dark ruby colour with a very small thin white head, sadly this vanishes away to nothing within a minute or so of being poured.

There is very little if anything of an aroma to this beer which is always  a let down as it usually implies a lack of taste as well…

Guess what there is no real taste to this beer either! When I think of a Christmas ale I am thinking of sherry or rum and rich fruit cake with caramel sweetness and a hint of spice and citrus.

I am certainly not thinking of a general vague maltiness not a single identifiable flavour and just a slight bitterness towards the finish

The body of this beer is a real let down, it is just wet, there is no oomph to it at all. This really isn’t helped by the fact that the carbonation is very flat indeed.

This is only the 3rd beer that I have been unable to finish, there isn’t anything that is overly bad or unpleasant about it but I might as well have been drinking tap water.




4 responses

15 11 2010
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[…] Rocking Rudolph 4.2% Seasonal Ale « "And right away for something … […]

27 11 2010
Deloras Adamson

Most what i read online is trash and copy paste but your blog is different. Bravo.

30 12 2010

Rocking Rudolph was originally produced by Hardys And Hanson in Nottingham and was originally 5.5% with lots of body and ‘rocked’. It was one serious beer. Legendary in it’s home city. H&H themselves reduced the strength to 5% one year in attempt to sell more of it. I don’t think it made any difference but they stuck with that strength anyway as it still tasted great at that ABV.

Once Greene King closed H&H they launched Rocking Rudolph nationwide at a reduced strength of 4.5%. This year it’s been reduced further to 4.2%, next year… who knows, but it’s no wonder it now tastes naff. I’m not sure really why the bother with it, not now they have their own Abbot Reserve as a winter ale.

30 12 2010
Tom Webster

Hey thanks for the comment.

Real shame to see that GK have yet again dumbed down a great product in their ongoing quest to monopolize real ale production in the UK.

Dropping the ABV of a beer is as much of a cost cutting exercise as it is about increasing volumes; the pre-war years are a great example of brewers churning out increasingly weaker ales whilst keeping the price the same.

I am never convinced that lower strength is the way forward for winter ales, people are going to try them for the novelty factor or because they like that particular style.

Most of the novelty drinkers won’t suddenly rush out and become avid fans because of a .5% decrease in the ABV but a lot of fans of winter warmers will switch off from a drink if they aren’t getting what they want from it anymore…

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