Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,899 | Reviews: 1,148 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.53/5 rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Package: 12oz. brown, longneck, crowned bottle. Great holiday red label depicts a tipsy elf hanging on the Troëgs name. Blurb describes beer as an”ale brewed with honey & cherries.” 11% ABV. No information about bottling date or specific year, but I know it to be from Holiday 2003.
Cost: $2.25 per single at Gary’s
Presentation: Snifter at ~60º
Appearance: An absolutely beautiful glowing ruby red that formed a substantial bone-colored head during the pour, which subsided quickly. Obvious gunsmoke on opening. Interestingly, the beer poured brown, but was definitely red in the snifter. The carbonation was so fine, requiring close examination under a halogen desk lamp to detect it.
Smell: I was pleasantly surprised by the multi-dimensional aspect of the aroma. No cough syrup cherry here! Alcohol is very restrained, allowing sweet cherry, pale malt, subtle spiciness, and some other fruity esters to come to the fore.
Taste: Obviously the cherries and honey are the stars here, but this beer isn’t overly sweet. Impressively, the cherries don’t impart the sweetness of maraschinos, but more of a dark, morello cherry depth. A little more dark malt toastiness might have been a nice counterpart. Some phenolic “burn” and yeastiness also cuts the sweetness nicely. Very warming, but with a relatively light finish for such a big beer.
Mouthfeel: Deserves special mention here. I just don’t know how they did it. This is a heavy, warming beer, that manages to be light on the tongue and palate. As mentioned above, the carbonation is spectacular: ultra-tiny bubbles run through this beer, helping cut the sweetness and alcohol, while providing a creamy texture. The carbonation is definite and long-lasting, while being very subtle. Much like a ballet dancer, it combines grace and delicacy with the strength of an all-pro linebacker. Unique in my experience amongst barley wines and other high ABV brews.
Drinkability: So drinkable, it probably ought to be illegal to sell this! The alcohol is subtle and the flavors full but not overwhelming. Dangerous!
I don’t know how I haven’t reviewed this yet. According to my records, I bought 4 of these. I drank one almost right away, and pulled this one yesterday. That means that there should be 2 more in my cellar. I think I must have drunk the first one too cold as I don’t remember its making this kind of impression. Heeding VENOM’s warning, I served this one warm (but not quite room temperature as I expected it to warm further). Great advice, but next time I will probably start drinking this a touch colder, as it warms quickly and the sweetness begins to dominate. This is an impressive achievement, combining complexity, depth of flavor, warming alcohol, and an impressive texture in one great beer. A bargain considering the product. I’m only sorry I didn’t get more. Next year, I’ll be buying much more if I can get it.
Serving type: bottle
03-15-2004 23:07:30 | More by Dantes
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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,899 ratings.