Tröegs Naked Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Naked Elf
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very good

146 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 7
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Fish113d on 05-05-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Duplicate of ... 694/84265/ 
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by ScottO:
More User Reviews:
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Bocktown, left over from Christmas in July. Hard to get a good look at the color with the lighting looked hazy,a cider like color with a reddish hue. 1" white head dissapated a bit quick to a ring around the inside of the glass. Was served just a bit too cold.

Moderate aromas,very spicy, lots of clove,Belgium yeast,some nutmeg with a somewhat earthy quality.

Very spicy taste,mostly clove,some doughyness,some Belgium yeast and slightly vinious, Finishes clean with light clovey notes throughout and straw-like dryness.Tangy feel very light and dry.

A good beer overall,not something i would seek out. Had this beer from a firkin at the Harrisburgh beerfest 2 years ago and seemed to have more alcohol and a bit more taste. A stripped down version of the Mad Elf which I like better this beer is a lot better with the cherries and honey added. Not a bad beer worth a try especially if you've had the Mad Elf before to compair it to.

Photo of far333
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia

Murky orangey red colored with a thick inch-high foamy off-white head, which sits down quickly but leaves some lacing around the inside of the glass. Low aroma of yeasty funk and some understated malt. Initial yeasty notes, followed by sweet malt, and notes of banana, clove, and a peppery spice in the finish. Full and rich mouthfeel. An interesting mix of flavors in the profile, but average drinkability for me due to the richness.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep glazed golden ambrosia large off white head very sporadic lacing with retention being a bit brief. Aroma mild fruit esters touch of sweet biscuit malt with clean spicy Belgian yeast character and in the end I pick up some mild banana with other fruit nuances. Flavor has a rolling sharp sweetness that crashes quickly into a clean airy carbonation flavor along the way that spicy yeast with mild fruitiness hits the palate just right without being too cloying and overstaying it's welcome on my palate. Those fruit esters become more evident as it warms I get a blend of apricot and banana tones with some low level hoppy herbal highlights. Mouthfeel is meduim bodied finishes so quickly flavors vanish leaving really weird sensation on the palate wispy carbonation is a good way to describe this effect, the Mad Elf normally has the cherries and honey to stick to the palate but with this just the yeast esters and pale malts are really working their magic. Drinkability definitely a great version of the Mad Elf built for the summer you won't feel bad draining a few chalices of this in the summer plus you won't feel like you've been hit in the head with a hammer.

Photo of ggaughan
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at UJ's on the Mantawny on my B-day, what a treat. I was in the middle of ordering a RR Damnation when the waitress told me they just tapped this. I had both. The beer poured a good amber color but not as dark as the Mad Elf. I had heard about this beer as being the ME without the cherries and figured it would be hella strong but was suprised to find that the aroma and taste were both spicey and a bit fruity but a bit mellow (good) for a 8.5% brew. This was a real treat and worth another try of.

Photo of Realbeer1542
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great sweet Belgium style ale. Given to me as a trade from Troegs "scratch" batch. Really excellent! I liked this much better than mad elf and if it was offered for retail sale in my area I would buy this before mad elf. This beer is much cleaner and a bit sweeter without the chemically bite of mad elf.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.34/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap at the Hudson Street Stackhouse (from notes).

A: Amber brown with lacing.

S: Sweet and malty.

T: Wheaty, yeasty, with some malt and bread. Eh.

M: Smooth with some massage bubbles.

O: A stripped down Mad Elf, which I wasn't a big fan of. Different.

Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is Naked Elf served in a wine glass. The ale is cold.

Appearance: The beer is a hazy golden color, resembling a good tripel. There is a nice ring of head that laces beautifully.

Smell: The beer has a sweet and spicy aroma that alternates from honey sweetness to a peppery kick.

Taste: The ale has the residual fingerprints of Mad Elf, with a honey backbone and high spiciness, lacking only the cherry sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The ale tingles on the tongue, with the spices making big impact.

Drinkability: The beer is a little too strong to enjoy in mass quantities, probably better a cool fall or spring night than the summer.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks for getting this one as an extra, made my day

brown with a huge frothy head. Smell was very spicey, grassy and earthy tones with a hint of sweetness. The taste was classic belgian and very nicely done. Fruitness and spices predominate, no hint of alcohol, which at 9%abv is incredible. Really smooth and effortless in drinkability. This is a fantastic brew, way too easy to drink

Photo of IAAOT
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Very nice alternative to Mad Elf . Dark Copper in color and a little sweet on the nose but really nice taste and makes you want to go back for more. Really enjoyable but not sure how many you would want in one sitting. Really enjoying at brewery out on patio - suggest you all check it out!

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a hazy, deep gold with a small head of white fluff that slowly fades into a film and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of light citrus, apricots, notes of banana, spices, and pepper.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout ripe fruit that makes this much more desirable than the Mad Elf, IMO.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, estery, semi-sweet, earthy, and really drinkable.
Leave this one naked. The "clothed" version takes a back seat to this decent brew.

Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to Froggyfrog for hooking us up with a growler of Naked Elf last night at the LCB tasting. I had a glass at the tasting it was my first beer and I took notes on it then. I am finishing off the final snifter full at the moment the day after.

The Naked Elf is a stripped version of the same basic recipe as the popular Mad Elf. Mad elf is 11% this year and Naked Elf is only 6.8% ABV this year. The difference in from Mad Elf in Naked Elf there is: No Pennsylvania Honey, No West Coast Cherries, No Chocolate Malt. To me this little brother of the Mad Elf is actually much more drinkable. I enjoy Mad Elf most at a year old. This beer is a small easy drinking Dark Belgian.

Appearance: Pours a dark orange copper with an ivory head and little lacing.

Smell: Big sweet malts caramel, toasted grain fruity spicy yeast, Belgian candi sugar and more Tripel like spices, citrus and pepper.

Taste: Super smooth malty body with bready toasted caramel flavors, fruits like pears and though there is no cherry in the beer my imagination seemed to almost detect a subtle suggestion of cherry in the yeast. Maybe I was just dreaming of the elf but it is sweet and spicy. Pepper and floral hops with a nip of alcohol finish it off and linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This is a slick medium body beer with just enough warming alcohol and spices to keep it lively and not impeded on the drinkability.

Drinkability: This is dangerously drinkable. I guess my workday tomorrow is glad there was only a bit of a growler left because I could easily drink this up.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of dutchboognish
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had Mad Elf many times before and was very excited to find this today on a trip to the brewery. I picked up a growler of it and headed home to try it out. It tasted pretty much exactly how they described it to me, Mad Elf without the cherries or honey. Still very sweet though but not the distinct cherry flavor of Mad Elf. Poured a dark golden/amber color with a white head that dissapeared pretty quickly but left a decent lacing on the side of the glass. I was very happy to catch this single batch and hope that they make it a regular at Troegs.

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Troegs brewery tasting room.

Big creamy thick 1.5 finger head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, hazy dark copper almost ruby reddish brown color.

Nose big strong Belgian beer, little boozy, sweet candi sugar, plenty of Belgian yeast fruity esters and hint phenols, slight fusel almost plastic phenolic kick, light sweet toasty reddish malts.

Taste stars with candy, candi sugar and sweet syrupy malts, toasty reddish malts, then into the fruit characters from the yeast, almost cherry like, bit of stone fruit and faint bubblegum, the esters are all over the place. The phenols kick in again too, light fusel flavors and booze. The bubblegum really increases as it goes, adding to the straight up candy character. Finish is drier and anesthetizing and hot booze despite only being 7.8% supposedly, although a light sticky syrupy feel, lingering ester fruit and candy flavors.

Mouth is fuller bodied, some tingly booze, nice carb.

Overall not bad, the phenols get a bit overpowering, but the esters and candy flavors are nice. I would love to age this and compare it to the mad elf aged as well.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep amber color, with a small tan head. Aromas that are sweet and a small amout of fruit, white grape-ish. In the taste a small, smooth tartness and a small amout of dry fruit. A very smooth beer and a small sourness in the mouth. Hides the alcohol very well. I like this beer, well almost more than the Mad Elf.

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good head (end of the keg) that lasts throughout the tasting. No lace though. Hazy, amber color.

Strong candy sugar aroma. A bit of alcohol and dark cherry. Very much like a barley wine, but without sherry aspects.

First impression is the watery aspect to the body. The low carbonation enhances this. The flavor starts off surprisingly soft but the sugars and the unexpected hop touch take over. The alcohol is pronounced. All of this comes together in the swallow nicely. The aftertaste is strong but dies rapidly. Thin bodied considering the sugars. Low carbonation.

Photo of John_M
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Max's a few weeks back.

The beer pours an orange amber color, looking very much like it's sibling, the mad elf. There is fair head retetion and adequate lacing. On the nose one gets a lot of sweet malt and alcohol. On the palate one gets plums and cherry cough drop... this beer is sweet to the point that it's cloying. This beer is not very easy to drink with it's combination of high (and pretty noticeable) alcohol and sweet flavor profile. In fact, this is one beer where the alcohol seems higher then it actually is. The beer has a smooth mouthfeel, and has a sweet, somewhat simple, finish.

I can't say I'm hugely impressed by this beer. It's just too sweet and the abv. too noticeable. It's decent, but ultimately just not a turn on. Will pass on this next time.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Troegs Brewing Co.
Naked Elf

LOOK; Growler #5/50. Big thanks to JcTreeboy. Pours a rich deep orange color. Soapy bubbly froth forms and laces the branded snifter. Mostly clear with an excellent retention.

SMELL: Belgian yeast fruitiness, citrus, floral, wood (hoppy). Faint raisin.

TASTE: Rich caramelized malts, candi sugar, raw honey, mild spice. Grassy, herbal notes. Malt and a clean fruity alcohol. Faint dark fruit. Mild and agreeable flavor for the strength, this is a well balanced ale. As it warms, a note of toffee. Malty finish.

FEEL: Medium bodied, soft very fine carbonation. Smooth feel but a bit attenuated. Does dry up a bit in the finish, which is appreciated.

OVERALL: A nice little treat from Troegs brewing. Still with great strength, and the dry spice and malt shine here. Reminds me of a braggot a bit. Somewhat less complex than the regular Mad Elf, but still very fine.

Photo of nlmartin
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in a pub glass at the Grey Lodge in Philly.

Appearance: The beer poured a hazy amber coloration. The head was a thick off white coloration. The head was pretty much gone in a few minutes. The beer left major amounts of lacing on the beer.

Smell: The beer has a very pleasing Belgian sugar fighting for dominance with peppery coriander. The beer has a very pleasing citrus zest and malty bannana bread combo.

Taste: The beer is very smooth with major breadyness combining with citrus zest and citrus juice. The beer has bannana and cloves dancing in the flavor.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: Dam this is a very nice and smooth beer treat. The alcohol is well incorporated. This is a beer you could get in trouble fast with due to dangerous drinkability.

Photo of guinnessfan
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Rosie's East End in Hummelstown, PA.

A: Clouded copper color with a thin off-white foam cap. Decent retention but little lacing.

S: Slight spice scent and a little yeast smell. Sweet fruity smell.

T: Spicy sweetness and some malty goodness. Nearly as cloying as the Mad Elf.

M: Medium body, very smooth swallow. Mild carbonation.

D: Much easier to quaff than its big brother. Somewhat sessionable, aside from the ABV. Easier to drink than the ABV says. I guess it could be slightly dangerous since the alcohol is so well hidden.

Photo of cichief
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD. Part of their Christmas in July celebration.

A- Pours a deep, hazy amber. Too dark for a Belgian Tripel, but lighter than most Dubbels.

S- Very sweet smelling, no single fruit comes through, but very fruity and spicy.

T- Very sweet, definitely some Belgian candy involved, but not as complex as the Mad Elf. Actually more enjoyable.

M- Smooth, but well carbonated, medium on the tongue.

D- Definitely more drinkable than the Mad Elf, but still a dangerous beer.

Photo of taylor714914
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25


Naked elf if certainly, well, naked.  A solid example of a Belgium Strong Ale, but with a yeast reminiscent of dreamweaver.  I’m personally not a fan of Mad Elf as I think it is medicinal, but the naked elf shows what’s underneath those cloths.  The strong sweet malt backbone is there, and the Belgium-esque yeast really develops the flavors associated with strong ales.  The mouthfeel is solid.  Not too carbonated, allowing for that slightly syrupy feel. While not my favorite style, it is still one I can respect for being done well. 

Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had the original batch of this, as well as both of the scratch beer incarnations. This review is from the recent scratch release.

Served on-tap in the Tasting Room into a Stange glass.

A - Pours hazy copper orange with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of spicy belgian yeast, biscuity malt, apples, pears, and some light peppery spice. It smells just like Mad Elf, without the sweets and cherries added to it.

T - Starts off with a mix of chewy malt and spicy belgian yeast slowly giving way to a mix of apples, pears, candied sugar, and a touch of peppery spice. While it is quite chewy the light sweetness and fruity flavors help to ease its blow on the pallet. The finish is a mix of light spice and chewy malt. I really don't miss all the flavors they subtract from Mad Elf to get to this point. Very nice.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Spicy, chewy, feel with plenty of it lingering through the finish. Usually I am not the biggest fan of "chewy" beers but this one is very good.

O - I have always liked this beer. It is much easier to drink than Mad Elf and the flavors are just as good. The spicy belgian yeast keeps the pallet guessing and the light fruitiness helps break up all that chewiness. Good stuff.

Photo of garcia2a
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this one from a quality LaSalle guy. Couldn't believe it was at the DR.

This poured a coppery color with plenty of haze. The head was thin and dissipated quickly. As for the bouquet, there were hints of malt and a very faint touch of spice. Lighter than the mad elf.

As for the tasts, WOW. The beer had hints of spice, fruit, malt and just a touch of yeast. This lead to a fine after taste, just as fine as the first sip. The mouthfeel was full. The body was exactly what one would expect, full with a grainy feel.

This is a fine sippin' beer that I found wonderful for consumption throughout the year.

Photo of number1bum
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this at the brewery. I've never had the Naked Elf (or the Mad Elf for that matter) before, so I'm not sure if they changed the recipe for this year, but it's previously listed at 8.5% and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. This years version is 6.8% and to me it's definitely a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, rather than a Dark. So that being's pretty much a different beer than in past years. But who knows, so here goes.

Pours a dark orange amber color, with a light beige head that fills the tulip glass but recedes pretty quickly. Leaves just a thin lace and not too much stick.

Smell is very bready, yeasty and spicy. They say they use a spicy yeast and that is definitely pronounced in the nose. The other aromas are more subdued, with some malt sweetness, lemon zest and a floral hop nose, as well. I also think I smell a bit of cherry in there, but I know cherries is one of the ingredients that is left out.

Taste is very smooth. A subtle sweetness is there from start to finish, with some bready flavor from the yeast and some spice. Taste is not as "zesty" in terms of spice as the nose is, but the spice is there. Again, smooth is the best way to describe it. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat slick and creamy, while the drinkability is good. While I'm ignorant of previous batches to compare it to, this beer is quite good and I am enjoying this growler.

Photo of Foxman
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a murky hazy coppery brown, fairly carbonated, and with a long-standing finger of light beige head. Lacing was plentiful and frilly.

The aroma delivered a sweet malted grain earthiness, in conjunction with a fruity yeast presence that included bananas and darker berries. Floral hops danced ably with a slightly understated alcohol current.

Upon sipping, the substantial grain sweetness came through, with touches of caramel and brown sugar. The yeast was again strident, with the fruity esters swirling along with the alcohol, which here is considerably more obviously present. A trace of floral hops gently bitter the finish, before residual malt and yeast lend a lightly sweet doughiness to the flavor. It's tasty, and nicely blended, but a bit nondescript without the cherries and honey to render it more unique.

Medium bodied, it has a genuine character on the palate, sinuously sweet and mellowly bitter, but it does move along rather soon.

I find myself rating this beer rather highly, and yet I am not overly impressed, simply because it pales somewhat next to its sibling. Not exactly generic, it has some really fine features, but it could seemingly get lost in a crowd of similar beers. On its own merits, its good, in fact, quite pleasurable, just not outstanding. The ABV is a definite caution, but while it will hit, it does so warmly and compassionately. And so, it conducts its naked self respectably. It's just that I prefer this one with its clothes on, not off.

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Tröegs Naked Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.