Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,570 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,570
Reviews: 1,223
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 209
Gots: 853 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WilliamPhilaPa on 12-14-2002

Hop Bitterness (IBU's) : 15
Color (SRM) : Ruby Red
Availability: Seasonal, 12 oz. & 3L bottles, 1/2 and 1/6 kegs (contact your local retailer to pre-order)
Malts: Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate
Hops: Saaz, Hallertau
Yeast: Spicy Yeast
Pennsylvania Honey West Coast Cherries
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,570 | Reviews: 1,223
Photo of Lunaa
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love Mad Elf! when the holidays get near, I'm one of the first in line for 2 cases :)
Its even better on Tap. I personally can not get enough of it.

Photo of Lowlow2010
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's so good! I can never get enough of this

Photo of JayS2629
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer ever so far. Only the Rochefort 10 gives it competition in complexity.

A- A ruby amber with a slim tan head. Slightly translucent, but a rich deep color.

S- Sweet with a strong belgian yeast at the front. Hints of rich dark cherry and spices. A slight apple and honey smell. Very nice.

T- The honey outweighs the cherry, but it is ver nice. A bit heavy with a slight apple taste. The spice is strong and similar to chai. You can tell its strong, but its masked well with sweetness. Smooth when cold.

M- Full bodied. A bit heavy, but masked so well when cold it goes down to easy to be 11%. Great Christmas beer.

D- full of soul. So smooth when cold you would never guess the alcohol content. Slight burn at the back of throat just to let you know you aren't messing around. Overall sweet and spicy. Absolutely delicious.

Photo of Arthurpappas
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer very rich and strong and the high abv is completley masked by its rich malty complex flavor

Photo of Stanhagen
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite simply my favorite beer on earth. I used to look forward to Santa showing up for christmas, now i look forward to the Mad Elf's arrival. Santa used to bring me chocolate covered cherries, now I get to drink a liquid form of the sweet treat with alcohol added.

Photo of Mule420
5/5  rDev +29.2%

This beer makes Christmas fun again.

Photo of Beastcpa
5/5  rDev +29.2%

This is the beer that made a mixed drink person a beer person. It is the best holiday beer in the world, period.

Hold it for up to 5 years, as it only gets better. Have a case in my basement from 2013 for 2014 and beyond. Drink 3 of these and you will be stone cold drunk and happy.

Photo of theFLZA
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mad Elf didn't start out as one of my favorites, but over the past 5 years I've enjoyed it more and more each year. It is now my most anticipated seasonal release of any brewer.

It is described perfectly by Troegs on the beer's own label: "brewed with honey and cherries".

It tastes like it is capable of creating life and ending wars. It's that good.

I love high ABV beers (like Mad Elf) that don't taste as strong as they really are. In addition, this beer is delicious and continually drinkable at any temperature, with no bad aftertaste whatsoever.

Troegs hit it on the head, as far as my own personal tastes go. Favorite beer of all time.

Thanks for everything!

Photo of Brouwerij78
4.92/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a delicious seasonal ale! A dark, cherry colored and fragrant ale worthy of the higher price tag. I bought this in a 6-pack (which is much more economical than the large bottle sold) and really enjoyed it's fruity, rich and slightly sweet flavor. This beer is a thicker style and is best enjoyed chilled in a thin baloon style wine glass to be sipped, savored and enjoyed! A treat indeed!

Photo of jmerloni
4.9/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Mahogany to ruby in coloration, with a small but heavy cream-colored head that laces fairly lacklusterly. But this is one of the only beers whose color I haven't been able to quite describe. It's a color I've never seen and I guess it's special in that way.

S - Incredible smell. Light, FRESH maltiness, dark fruits which you can already tell are perfectly acidic and perfectly sweet in all the perfect, balanced places.

T - Off the charts delicious. Tastes like how an 11% beer should taste without all the alcohol. Achieves a very impressive flavor profile between malt and and hop. Really, really impressed by the flavors here. They're really pleasant. Cherries! Honey malts. Fresh, west coast IPA hops. An incredible mix. Almost just jawdropping.

M - Medium to light bodied, not very carbonated. Incrediblly profession makeup of each sip in this beer, though.

D - One of the only beers I've ever tried that is just unmistakably elite. And one of the only beers I've ever encountered where a brewery just set out to make it great. It doesn't fit any real description nor style. Troegs just set out to make a great, elite beer, and they have with Mad Elf, they absolutely have. Try this if you haven't, and you'll understand what I mean.

Photo of deanwilson
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A. Rich reddish copper

S. Alive with fruit, especially cherries and bananas.

T. Flavorfull from start to finish. Honey and cherry upfront, with a touch of sweetness, then a hoppy, citus, dry banana finish.

M. Suprisingly un-syrupy given the high alcohol content.

D. Very easy to sip on. Seems to taste well with just about any food.

Photo of dacrza1
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark ruby red, beguilingly opaque with a simmering white ring of head that holds steady when the glass is swished--intimidating... robust floral aroma with pine accents and cinnamon present as well--some fruity esthers join in... smooth--and slightly oily--light on the tongue, with little aftertaste that barely qualifies this as medium-bodied... approached bourbon in taste, sweet and malty at the throat but consistent and respectfully fruitful at its midpoint... WHERE is the 11% ABV?! this being brother Bob's gateway beer to the level above Miller Lite, Mad Elf continues to warm and wow--an instant mood uplifter without gimicky injected flavors or false advertising--as easy-drinking a winter brew as I have found, deserving of its big things in little packages moniker...

Photo of mikereaser
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

2008

A - pours a deep reddish brown with a little bit of foam that quickly dissipates into little bubbles on the surface

S - a strong boozy aroma with malts and cherry

T - the taste as was expected from the aroma, very cherry flavor with malty background. The booziness is a little strong but not too overpowering

M/D - Just the right amount of carbonation to make this very drinkable. It is a little boozy but the flavor makes me want more. At 11% I will probably get into trouble.

I tried an aged 2007 and there is quite a difference. All that booziness is gone and it is quite a smooth drink with a year on it.

Photo of runningjoke
4.84/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip glass with a nice amber color and a thick foamy head.
Smelled delicious with honey upfront followed with the spicy hops.
Tastes of tart cherries, honey, and spice. It fills the whole mouth with flavors. Sweetness on the tip of the tongue with tart, mouthwatering element in back. Alcohol fills the sinuses as the beer goes down (one of my favorite qualities).
It feels light in the mouth and goes down smooth.
This beer could be dangerous,as I could drink this all night, and I probably will.
Can't wait for next years release...it gives me something to look forward to.

Photo of srguin
4.84/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great winter beer. Wish it was more common

Photo of Svejk
4.83/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, I have to send out a huge thank you to Froggyfrog for providing this beer in trade. Not only did he give me a bottle of the 2007 Mad Elf, but he threw in a 2006 bottle as well.

What a great vertical tasting. This beer really benefits from a year of aging. My brother and I opened both bottles at the same time and were able to taste the difference immediately. We tasted the 2006 bottle first, and the complexity of flavor was amazing. It was hard to identify the cherries and honey flavors that are mentioned on the bottle, but we really thought it was a fantastic beer. When we tried the 2007 bottle, we were able to identify the flavors more easily, and the alcohol was much more evident, but it was still great.

This beer goes from great to fantastic in twelve months.

Photo of tjd112
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Poured into Southampton pint glass

Appearance - Vermillion copper body, white half-finger head, spotty lacing

Smell - bananas, plums, cherries, and ever a bit of honey for good measure

Taste - A very chocolate and bananas taste up front and mid-palate, with a slightly warm, boozy aftertaste

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a sweet alcoholic finish

Drinkability - Goes down really well

Overall - A masterpiece from Troegs, I'll drink the Doppelbock 11 months out of the year, but this is my new fave from them.

Photo of talkinghatrack
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes you can't forget your first.

My first Mad Elf was on a bitingly cold Sunday morning. My brother and I were in a parking lot, tailgating at an annual Eagles game and waiting for some steak to cook while huddling over our plastic cups of beer. After several Coors Lights (no shame there - great tailgate beer), my bro pulls out two Mad Elf's and tells me I have to try this stuff.

Wow. Loved it. Still do.

(2007 bottle, poured 1/5/09)

A dark reddy brew with a nice but quickly dissapating head, the sweet cherry-themed bready aroma invites you into each sip. Sure, there is a hint of alcohol in the nose and taste but we're talking about an 11% alcohol content here. After a few sips you stop noticing.

Smooth enough to drink fast but who would want to waste it? Great malty mouthfeel yet a light/medium body. A slighty high carbonation keeps pace with the other elements and dissipates quickly on the tongue. Love the tangy sweet finish in the back and sides of the tongue and the pleasant warming sensation as it travels down the throat.

If you can stand to let it age, it only gets better. I'm tempted to crack into my few remaining 2006 bottles but willpower has held out so far.

Photo of joshuaburge
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice red tinted looking beer with little head. It smells of cherry and honey. Tastes of honey and also cherries, very sweet. Loads of alcohol flavor a alcohol %. Can put down a few due to it being very drinkable. An enjoyable beer for the holiday season. Also, is better when aged for a long period of time.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear, ruby red with minimal head or lace. The aroma is of honey, vanilla, and dark cherries. The flavor is very well balanced with honey, cherry, and spice notes, particularly ginger. There's a pleasant malt sweetness with just a hint of hops. It's very smooth, warms nicely, and gets better as it warms. The mouthfeel is full. Troegs Mad Elf is an outstanding beer, a great way to wash down made from scratch chocolate chip cookies. Highly recommended!

Photo of alexk307
4.78/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Ruby Red

S: Cherries, cherries, and more cherries

T: Very sweet but not overpoweringly sweet. Sweet cherries and apples finishing off with some malt. Not much alcohol smell present despite the 11 ABV

M: Thick, carbonated, and syrupy

O: One of my favorite beers to drink in the winter time. Quite boozy at 11 ABV and it'll definitely sneak up on you.

Photo of josefnewsong
4.77/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a seasonal favorite of mine...just picked up my first sixer of the winter so I figured a review was in order...
A - red, clear, dark, little head
S - cherries, honey, boozyness, belgian yeast
T - all of the above, and more...this beer is more than the sum of its parts. Cherries dominate and honey is behind with alcohol present but concealed just enough...but there is something else that I can only describe of as 'mad elf' flavor. Perfect.
M - a bit syrupy but aside from that is medium bodied, which works perfectly for this beer...
O - exceptional brew. Might need to grab another...11%? really?

Photo of EKahler17
4.76/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First off the appearance catches your eye with the golden red color. Then you smell the sweetness of the honey and hing of cherries. Once you you taste it the cherries really come out and have a clean smooth finish especially for 11%!!

Photo of weirdohappy
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Vary, vary guut beer. reminds me of something. But not sure what. Beautiful amber color. Smells of wine? Like a chardonnay. But an amber chardonnay. And also called a beer.

Photo of finlayj
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great holiday beer. I feel like 2014 not quite as good as previous years, less cherry taste

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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,570 ratings.