1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Splinter Red - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Splinter RedSplinter Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 109
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: treyrab on 03-29-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Before filtering the final batch of 2008 Mad Elf we racked some beer into bourbon barrels for six weeks of tender loving care. After bottling, we aged the beer for approximately eight months. This allows the tart cherries to push to the front. Subtle vanilla, bourbon, charred wood, coconut and toasted nut endnotes emanate from Splinter Red.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 39
Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

The beer pours a clear rich dark mahogany with deep garnet highlights. Minimal fizzy head that is gone immediately to nothing. Aroma is cherries, big booze, and light bourbon hits. No real hop presence anywhere. Quite a nice fruity malt laden nose.
First sip reveals a sticky and slightly syrupy textured body. Very fine gentle and spacious carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt with cherries, bourbon, and brown sugar mixing together for a fairly robust taste. Again no hops on this sweet beer, I do get a bit of warming booze that keeps this beer a sipper. There is a fair amount of vanilla and brown sugar on the finish. Sweet cherries also linger on my palate.
The beer is actually pretty easy to drink and interesting and complex. I enjoy this beer and wish I had a second bottle. But one for tonight is worth the ride.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael.

Served side by side with 2008 Mad Elf, also thanks to Michael.

The beer is a relatively hazy reddish amber hue with a small, fleeting head. The aroma offers candy, sugar, cherries, Belgian yeast, booze. Flavor continues this path with additional notes of vanilla. Pretty good. A bit sweet and still boozy. A bit of age seems to have served this well, though I never sampled this fresh. Light to medium feel. This is definitely best shared with a group, as more than a small serving would be overkill. perhaps a touch of cocunt in the finish with subtle, lingering oak. Not my favorite, but certainly a special treat.

Photo of oline73
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber color with hardly any head.

Smell: Sweet with an apple juice like aroma. I'm getting a belgian candy note along with some cherries.

Taste: This was a very smooth beer at this point. I don't feel like I'm getting a ton from the barrel. Some banana and cherry notes. Tastes like it has some age to it.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with very little carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I wouldn't say this was fantastic, but I'm really glad I got to try it. I like Mad Elf, so this one was a treat.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my most excited to try beers- aged for about 10 months after a trade and consumed a few days ago.

A- Body is a quite hazy reddish brown hue. Pours with a small <1/2 finger head. Head fades quickly- but cloudiness is consistent throughout the body. Little to no lacing is left behindin the glass.

S- Pretty well balanced-the Mad Elf is there but represents < or = 50% of nose. The rest is bourbon barrell with a good balance between the bourbon astriingency and sweetness as well as the woddiness.

T- The flavor is very similqr to the nose. Its a really good balance between hte bourbon barrel and the base beer. The finish had a lot more bouron and oak and a lot less spice and cherry than the regular mad elf- though the overal alcohol burn is comparable.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a medium weight body with some alcohol astringincy and bourbon stickiness as components.

O- Overall this is another great, well done beer by Troegs. Its really a lot more mellow than regular mad elf-which is a clearly a likable or unlikeable beer- because I love the spicy yeast, cherry and honey, and this particular brew is much more mellow but just as boozy I think I prefer the regular Mad Elf. This is still a fantastic, special well done beer that my boyfriend thinks far exceeds regular mad elf. Personal tastes and personal tastes and Troegs is still my favorite brewery.

Photo of ShanePB
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened at the Weyerbacher Rapture release. I'm not sure who you were that opened it, but a big thank you for doing so!

A: Dark murky reddish color with some orange and brown hues in the light. Some floaters can be seen. A very small thick bubbly head was there but vanished just as quickly as it formed. No lace, no retention, it looks sort of flat. Certainly not the most attractive beer.

S: Black cherries, smokey bourbon, vanilla and some Belgian spices. A touch of cinnamon and perhaps even nutmeg(?) towards the end of the aroma. It's weird but certainly is quite aromatic and does smell quite good.

T: Smoked wood, vanilla, touches of bourbon and sweet malts. There is some cherries here towards the middle, along with hints of honey and more wood. The cherries impart a slight tartness but overall it's more of a cherry flesh and skin flavor.

M: Very low carbonation, it seems to have mellowed out quite drastically in the bottle. Some minor bubbles are on the back of the tongue but it almost seems very flat in nature, although clearly it's not.

This was certainly a nice treat to have and I'm glad I was able to try this. It wasn't my favorite in the Splinter series but wasn't a bad beer at all. A very unique medley of flavors that seem to potentially be on their way out. Thanks again for busting this out, it was certainly nice to try!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark ruddish color body puts down two fingers worth of head that are really going nowhere. really very, very well done i have to say. aroma is cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of hops which i was not expecting, ground spices, roasted nuts and a hint of peat. very deep and complex and very much welcomed around here. flavor is more of the same with a light punch of hops pushing through before being taken over by a bum rush of holiday spices. lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, again a touch of light peat, brown sugar and a nice mix of dark fruit yeast that seem to seal the deal for me in the end. finish is very clean and the alcohol is hidden so well it was rediculous.

Photo of HopHead84
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5/7/2011

Bottle courtesy of Deuane, thanks! Poured into a snifter.

A: Hazy reddish orange with a bubbly white head that disappears in the blink of an eye.

S: Bourbon blends with caramel and a light brown sugar character. Some toffee and a little apple. Lightly spicy, with some cinnamon and all spice. Evident oak. The combination of bourbon, caramel, and spice is pretty nice. Alcohol wafts from the glass.

T:  Bourbon caramel with earthy hops and lots of oak. Moderate spiciness. Pretty strong booze presence. Light oxidation. Better than I expected.

M: Upper medium in body with lower carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth with alcohol warming.

Overall: Not a great beer, but certainly enjoyable.

Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to E-Light aka SpoolinVW who brought this to the inaugural "Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share" event. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours light red; with a good amount of floaters; with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to nothing at all, leaving no lacing down the glass.

S - Some tart cheery puree, vanilla, honey, dry oak, and some light bourbon heat. Good overall balance but still a tiny bit too hot. Still very good tho.

T - Exactly what you would expect if you put Mad Elf in a bourbon barrel. Tart cherries, sweet malt, honey, and vanilla mix well with the light bourbon heat and dry oak. Finish is still a bit hot with some lingering tart dryness. I liked this a year ago and now I love it. Wish I still had a few bottles of this...

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice smooth feel with a tiny bit of lingering heat in the finish.

D - Very good. I am a fan of the normal version of Mad Elf and this one is no different. I had this at the release and it was still pretty raw and hot but a year in the bottle has really done this one some good. It is now quite smooth and enjoyable. Glad I finally got enough to review it properly.

Photo of bbeane
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been holding this one for awhile...

A- Poured into my laser etched DFH chalice... starts with a small head that not even the laser etching can keep around. Beer is a reddish amber color with a healthy amount of sediment in it

S- Has a very tart boozy aroma, with a hint of bourbon

T- Very nice... everything seemed to mellow and mesh well. Starts out sweet with honey and cinnamon. Then becomes alittle tart and boozy all accompanied by a hint of bourbon

M- Medium body with very light carbonation

D- Easy to drink, though I'd imagine the alcohol would catch up to you quickly. All in all, I'm glad I waited in line on that frigid December morning for this and my Splinter Gold

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer. I love Mad Elf so this beer should be great.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the caramel malt, with some cherries and bourbon notes mixed in as well.

The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of toffee and caramel notes, as well as some brown sugar, pine, bourbon, vanilla and cherry. The beer is also quite boozy, but that doesn't really detract from its drinkability. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer that I am glad I got to try.

Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 2, oct 9/2010. Maltzilla contributed this one. thanks diego!

750ml corked and caged bottle.

pours lightly hazy red-brown wiht a fine ring of white head. drops fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. caramel and toffee. alcohol. bit of dark fruit. cherry and date.

taste is great. similar to the aroma but with less barrel character and more fruityness. toffee and caramel. just under medium bitterness level. earthy.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. great balance. good barrel character.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Splinter Red has a dark red body with brown highlights, and a small ring of off-white head. Not really any lacing from this one.

The aroma has bourbon, oak, cherry, vanilla and a bit of sweet maltiness.

To be honest, the Red was the only one of the currently released Splinter beers that I did not intend to go out of my way to try. I managed to get a chance to try this one anyway, and I'm glad I did. The flavors begins with a nice mix of cherry and barrel characteristics. A good bit of bourbon and oak along with a surprisingly large amount of vanilla. Cherry and some sweet malts are in there, and the finish has a bit of phenols to it. All of these flavors are balanced really well. The barrel characteristics are balanced by cherry and honey perfectly, not allowing any single flavor to overpower the others. I like Splinter Red a lot more than Mad Elf actually, as I find that beer to be a little bit cloying.

I'd say this body is a little bit shy of being full, but a little big to be medium. This works very well for the beer I would say.

I don't really like Belgian beers in bourbon barrels, and I don't really like Mad Elf. For some reason, I love Mad Elf in a bourbon barrel. This beer isn't hot or overpowering in any way. Very nice.

Photo of ffejherb
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for bring this corked and caged 705ml bottle to a recent Splinter vertical tasting on 1/23/11.

A - Poured a clear ruby red liquid with copper hues and a thin dusting of off-white foam around the edges that totally dissolved, leaving no lace behind. Some yeast particulates were seen floating around.

S - Equal parts warm bourbon twang and honey sweetness with subtle tart cherry notes in the background.

T - Lots of lush vanilla gushes out, followed by a moderate bourbon presence that is quelled by sweet caramel and toffee notes in the middle. Overall, Splinter Red is quite sweet with a pleasant bourbon warmth and tang. Finishes with a small dose of herbal hop bitterness and mild cherry tartness.

M - Medium bodied and quite syrupy with mild carbonation. Finishes with a hint of tartness and plenty of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - This really mellowed out after a year of cellaring. I am definitely glad I waited to review this, because my initial impression was neutral at best. This is a really unique barrel-aged creation that benefitted from the cellaring process. I'm glad I have another waiting in the wings!

Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, after knowing of this beer for nearly 2 years, I had it at EBF 2009 before it was released, then at the release in December 2009 and another bottle sometime down the road I broke out a bottle to share with a group of friends and will give it a review.

A-Deep, dark, ruby red with dark, golden kissed, copper highlights. A thin, off-white, head quickly reduces to a thin wispy ring. Minimal hint of lace with spotty flecks left behind.

S-A pleasant, but not overwhelming, aroma combination of complex sweetness with the malt, honey, vanilla and cherry taking the forefront. A nicely balancing blast of bourbon and oak dryness takes over on the back side.

T-I am a Mad Elf fan and I figured the combination of it and a bourbon barrel would be a match made in heaven....well it nearly is! A delicious combination of the sweet notes--caramel malt, cherry, vanilla and honey--moderated with the boozy dryness of the bourbon barrel aging.

M-Medium to medium-heavy bodied and somewhat viscous without being syrupy or cloying. Nice lingering bourbon sweetness, oak dryness and touch of alcohol heat.

D-Well, well, this one has aged with dignity. A most lovely combination of flavours all rolled into one big, sneak up bite you in the ass, barrel aged brew. Looking forward to seeing how my other bottles hold up over time.

Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Deuane for busting this out at our tasting.

Pours a deep, dark ruby red color with dark golden mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into a very thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Complex aroma with an interesting combination of bourbon, honey, vanilla and sweet cherry. Slight earthy oak with prominent bourbon in the nose along with some sweet vanilla that compliments the cherry and honey presence. Much more bourbon in the aroma than I expected but it doesn't completely overpower the other characteristics. Hopefully the flavor holds up.

On the fuller end of medium body with a very unique balance of flavors. The idea of bourbon barrel aging a beer like Mad Elf seems like a strange idea but it definitely paid off. The barrel presence is prominent up front with a healthy dose of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Although the bourbon flavor is strong the beer isn't hot at all really and is well balanced by the sweeter characteristics. Lots of sweet dark cherry and honey notes compliment the vanilla and really mellow out the bourbon presence quite nicely. Slightly vinous with other dark fruit flavors and subtle warmth in the finish. I'm not sure what the ABV is but the alcohol is excellently masked making this complex beer dangerously drinkable.

I wasn't too sure about this beer going in but I absolutely loved it. My favorite of the Splinter Series so far.

Photo of weeare138
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi transparent amber with a small white cap that quickly fades into a collar. Spotty streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of oak, faint bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and a touch of cocoa.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with the bourbon being very light and the caramel malt mixed with vanilla pulling up more with a touch of raisins.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chewy, and mellow.
I was expecting more of a bourbon characteristic from this beer but was slightly let down.

Photo of aglose45
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with my father-in-law on Xmas day 2010! Poured into a tulip glass. Tasted side by side with a regular '08 Mad Elf.

A: Pours a beautiful ruby cherry red, nice haziness from the barrel, but minimal head that receded quite quickly (also due to the barrel). The differences in appearance are that the Red is hazier and a more beautiful red color.

S: Delicious bourbon and vanilla up front, followed by strong oak notes in the middle, and finishes with a sweet cherry aroma bringing things together. The main differences are that cherries aren't as tart and the honey is not noticeable in the Red.

T: The taste is similar to the nose, bourbon and vanilla up front, then quickly switches to a sharp oakiness, which transitions into a mild tart cherry. It finishes with a dry oaky flavor, which leaves you longing for more. The flavors meld very well with each other. The obvious differences are there are no bourbon or oak, and the cherries are more tart and honey prominent.

M: Medium to heavy body, very mildly carbonated, and very drying. The differences are a slightly lighter body, mild to medium cabonation, and not drying at all.

D: The flavors really work well together. Mad Elf is a perfect fit for bourbon barrels. The extra year we let this sit also helped it. The bourbon isn't harsh at all, it's very smooth. Overall, a delicious brew that we very much enjoyed! I'm very excited that we have two more bottles! The differences are, while flavors of regular '08 Mad Elf are delicous, the Splinter Red's bourbon barrel aging added a much more complex flavor.

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to janlud for sharing. A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The cork popped out with a bit of a struggle and looked rather ragged. Luckily the ale itself wasn't impacted. The dark ale is a ruddy brown color, full and opaque. A moderate level of carbonation results in a wispy head. The ale has decent legs.

S: Sweet bourbon, vanilla and coconut, draws out the tart cherries. The result is a lush, sweet aroma. The cherry ends up dominating but there is plenty of bourbon to go around.

T: Mmmm, delicious bourbon. After nearly a year in the bottle, the ale has mellowed nicely. Both the bourbon and Mad Elf shine. The barrel leads off first, lending oak, vanilla and coconut flavors. The oaken aspect, woody as it is, isn't overpowering. Instead, the bourbon flavors win out. Underneath the bourbon, the Mad Elf's tart cherries stand out. They, along with the vanilla, leave a lasting impression. The two flavors have melded together nicely.

M: The mouthfeel is luxurious. The bourbon so sweet and cherries so tart. The extra time in the bottle has done the ale some good, allowing the flavors to come together.

D: It's strong, stronger than regular Mad Elf. I was glad to finally spend some time with this Splinter version.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice moderate brown with some crimson highlights. Nose brings forward good amount of cherry, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and hints of Belgian spice. The taste is mainly cherry and bourbon along with a little bit of sweetness and some other dark fruits. A dose of oak as well. Nice full mouthfeel with good carbonation and a nice amount of alcohol heat. Deliciously smooth and quite drinkable.

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 7/26/10.

Poured into a snifter, splinter red appears a hazed amber red color with some orange tints around the edges. The head appears as a fizzy white cap less than a finger strong that receeds quite quickly.

The aroma initially has a bold front of bourbon notes that slowly give way to a fruity scent of cherry. The undeniable character of mad elf runs all through the nose of this brew with suggestions of belgian yeast and the usual scent of alcohol intensified with bourbon. Where splinter red takes a turn from mad elf is in it's complexity. The smell of vanilla meets some woody notes and nutty character. Also evident in the aroma is a sweetness almost like molasses (but not as dark smelling) honey and a bit of carmelized sugars.

The taste again is unmistakeable mad elf but with a kick of bourbon. Taste of belgian yeast and alcohol upfront with an extra kick of booziness from the bourbon. An alcohol heated sweetness is evident caught in a clash of caramel meets honey and cherry.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. The alcohol really starts to ramp up half way through the experience and starts to open up the depth of flavor in this brew, not just the typical barrel aging depth but some nutty flavors which I never picked up on in mad elf before. Quite drinkable and enjoyable but it is a sipper.

Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously provided by Adam at the BA event at Max's today.

The beer pours a honey amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, the bourbon is pretty pronounced, along with honey and vanilla. The flavors replicate the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet beer, though I was impressed that the sweetness was not overwhelming or over done. The beer has something of creamy mouthfeel, and a very long, rich, flavorfilled finish. Drinkability is pretty good, especially considering the abv. and sweetness. A very solid beer from Troegs, and a beer style I hope they will continue to make. Very impressive.

Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Stone Old Guardian glass

Pours very little head. Color is a burnt orange ruby hued caramel brown.

Aroma: Sweet, lots of spices, toffee, cherries, ginger, the oak is light and what ever barrels were used hardly show.

Taste: More cherries in it. Oak flavors, vanilla, spices, plums, dry fruit flavors. A little more barrel aging shows here, but still not a lot. Toffee and caramel malt here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry. Medium body with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with a lot of spices in the aftertaste.

Overall, I am not too impressed. It is good for what it is. I think this one was hyped up a bit. The barrel aging notes were very subtle.

EDIT: As it warms, coconut comes out more and the vanilla shows more. The taste is better. The flavors begin to blend together in a good way. I also get some nut flavors and some toasted flavors. The mouthfeel got warm and I enjoyed it more.

Photo of gford217
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Albert for this gem.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a small head with lots of big bubbles that recedes to a collar and some sticky legs along the sides.

The aroma is massive on bourbon with tons of vanilla but it's the wood that balances out the underlying caramelized sugar, dark fruits and even some chocolate.

The taste is big on bourbon as well with an initial sting which left no doubt about the barrel presence. The hefty caramel malt backbone holds up well with the bourbon giving way to the sweetness of the caramel as well as raisins and plums. There is also a hint of spiciness.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and sticky sweet, but with a burning whiskey presence in the finish. The dryness of the oak also adds to the character.

This is a very good ale that is really hot right now with a ton of bourbon which could take some time to smooth out. Nonetheless, very tasty.

Photo of mikereaser
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with Hophead101 on 12/29/09
Bourbon Barrel Mad Elf

A - pours a thin reddish brown with a layer of soapy bubbles that quickly faded

S - cherries, subtle bourbon, hints of oak, nothing too overpowering, nicely subtle

T - nicely balanced array of flavors, cherries throughout, vanilla and oak comes in toward the finish, bourbon sets in afterwards

M - good carbonation, nice that its not too hot heavy for a bourbon barrel aged beer, medium bodied

D - the alcohol is so well hidden, I could drink alot of this. Nicely balanced all around, bourbon steps in when it warms.

Photo of kels
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers, Andy! Gonna miss you around here :(

Pours a deep, ruddy brown, somewhat cloudy, with a slight clarity that reveals tons of chunky sediment within. A short, white head fizzes out pretty quickly, and leaves behind spitty spots of lace that slide back down into the brew.

Nose is full of sticky-sweet caramel and tart cherries. The charred oak of the barrel is very apparent and delicious, as is the hot, full presence of the bourbon.

Taste is full of exceptionally hot alcohol, which doesn't surprise knowing that Mad Elf is the root of this beer and it's been aged in bourbon barrels. Speaking of, the flavors really lean more to Scotch than Bourbon to me, but that's just fine, and the effect is tasty. A little of the bourbon and barrel essence comes out in a hint of vanilla, which gives strong but tasty contrast to the honey and wintry spices that still hold their ground against the heat. The wood is deliciously charred and earthy. The feel is slick, sticky and full, and despite lower carbonation manages not to fall flat on the palate. Aftertaste seems to last for days thanks to the heavy, full and sticky flavors.

Tastes delicious, but that alcohol is still so hot and the feel so syrupy thick that this one is a definite sipper.

to view more.
Splinter Red from Tröegs Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.