Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,743 | Reviews: 1,146 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BeerFMAndy:
4.43/5 rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
11% ABV, 2007 Vintage, Serve in chalice or tulip at 50-55° F
Thanks Onenote81! I've been hanging onto this one for a while!
A - Minor rust has developed around the cap but it's no cause for alarm as this beer pours, without sediment, a mostly clear ruby amber color with a fleeting ivory head. It comes as no surprise the head disappears with how high in alcohol this is. Dots of lace delicately cling to the glass above the ring of loose bubbles.
S - Despite it's aged, this 2007 vintage of Mad Elf remains aromatic and nearly without degradation. Faint oxidation for a five year-old beer is somewhat noticeable though the robust aroma of smooth caramel and biscuit malt which builds a base below the floral clove honey nuances and faint tart cherry skin notes but doesn't quite distract from the joy within. And while the beer has mellowed, spicy alcohol still manages to break free with undertones of earthy clay and clove yeast esters behind.
T - Thick maltiness seems to have diminished in oomph slightly, offering a light caramel drizzled nutty biscuit flavor that's quickly overwhelmed by the beer's developing complexity of fruit and spice. Faint noble hop herbal qualities and smooth yeast esters encourage notes of clove (along with the sweet honey), clay, and white pepper with a touch of solvent alcohol peeking through, but even with age, the focus seems on the cherries, both sweet and tart!
M - Smooth feeling with a voluptuous, full body that's not cloying or syrupy, this hearty holiday ale has a delicate carbonation tickle and complimentary alcohol dryness that maintains balance with a kiss of tart cherry skins on the finish. Alcohol is perceived in retro-nasal breathing but, due to it's age, it's rather smooth, producing a wonderfully satisfying warmth in the belly!
O - An absolutely fantastic holiday treat, Tröegs Mad Elf is a masterful concoction of subtle Belgian yeast that produces spice nuances without the straight addition of spice. Honey sweetness never becomes cloying but adds a little something extra with the delicate cherry tartness. Just as exceptional fresh, age continues to do this strong beer favors, developing into a delectable and soothing winter sipper.
Serving type: on-tap
12-23-2012 17:26:41 | More by BeerFMAndy
More User Reviews:
3.58/5 rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
12oz bottle from GreenMonster12 (thanks Jay!). Bottled 9/13/12. Served in a goblet.
Pours a ruby hued chestnut with about one finger of pale cream head that quickly receds to a thin cap before disappearing completely without leaving any lace.
Aromas of cherry skins, raisin, caramel and a yeasty apple-like note.
Flavors of bright cherry preserves, bitter fruit skin, dark fruit, caramel, Belgian yeast, a little honey and a pretty healthy dose of alcohol. The booze blends a little better as it warms up. Pretty good
Medium body with fairly sharp carbonation. Boozey finish with cherry skin, caramel and yeast.
While I think 1 is plenty for me in a sitting, this is a decent American take on the Belgian strong dark ale style. The cherry and honey additions give it character that helps elevate Mad Elf above other similar brews. I won't go hunting more but this is something I would certainly enjoy again someday.
Serving type: bottle
04-07-2014 23:32:52 | More by ThickNStout
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,743 ratings.