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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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very good

3,365 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,365
Reviews: 1,179
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 194
Gots: 645 | FT: 20
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:
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 added by: WilliamPhilaPa on 12-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,365 | Reviews: 1,179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjanega08
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage

A= Pours a nice hazy dark amber color with a ring around the glass head on it. The lack of head is expected from being two years old and an already huge beer.

S= The smell is a little spicy from the yeast and very mellowed. The cherries come through quite a bit for the age. Sort of has a marciano cherry smell to it. Very similar to a pie.

T= The taste is also very similar to a cherry pie. I'm suprised the pie has stuck around so much after the years. Super smooth and mellow. No oxidation coming from it. The yeast spice is there but somewhat subdued.

M= Super smooth and clean. Not much of a mouth on it.

D= This beer is super drinkable for the strength of it. Tastes like cherry pie and finishes clean as hell. Worth checking out.

Photo of sdj5
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish-brown. Clear. Darker than white head.

S: Cherry, mostly.

T: Very much like cherries, bread and alcohol.

M: On the thinner side. Average amount of carbonation.

D: I couldn't drink a ton of this, but it's enjoyable in small quantities.

Photo of BeerBuzzGuy
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of cubedbee
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright brick red with a small off-white head that neverthless has good retetention and leaves some moderate lacing. Nose is nice natural cherries, not syrupy, a honey sweetness, and a slight clovelike spiciness. Taste is a nice smooth cherry with some other pear/apple fruitiness, a nice bready malt, and a decent spicey and hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is medium/full with a nice smoothness. Overall this is a really nice beer, hides the alcohol well, nice to sip on a cold day.

Photo of PearlJam1221
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a snifter at Good Dog bar in Philadelphia.

I ordered this knowing nothing about the beer (I know, that's unacceptable for a BA from Philly, but please bear with me). Fantastic smell, slight cherry, malt, and hops come through in the end. Head was minimal and disappeared quickly. I was surprised by the taste, cherries came through rather strongly, then some alcohol,
Mouthfeel was a little thicker than I prefer or expected, but good for the style. I appreciated that it wasn't sticky and very little alcohol burn. I couldn't believe that the beer was 11% when I checked BA on my phone as I finished the beer. I could easily see ordering a 2nd, but I hadn't eaten yet!

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to worthy sniffer

A: ruby red not even brown almost like a Shirley temple in terms of color with a white to grey head that goes away quickly with no ring. The thought of dark cherries is there.

S: I don't know what it is but as soon as I smelt it my first thought was "this is definitely a belgian style" its that spiciness i guess. There are strong smells were I feel like I can almost smell the hidden alcohol but I cannot smell it directly. The smell is very pungent but I can't describe what it smells like other then belgian maybe a hint of cherries but thats a reach.

T: It has that spicy nature to it that follows the nose the honey sweetness and flavor is actually fairly easy to distinguish. As the flavor continues the cherries definitely start to come out there is a tart flavor there that balances well with complex malt flavors in the finish. It is also a good combination with the spices that comes out as well in the finish.

M:Light carbonation surprisingly that makes the feel more delicate. It is very oily but not necessarily thin. The abv is literally no where to be found this stuff is dangerous its not sniffer totally drinkable and it will knock you out quick if your not careful but this isn't my first rodeo with this beer.

O: First off I tried this beer for the first time last year solely for the name/label (with the drunk elf) and the abv so ill give it that as selling point. The taste is decent but did not blow me away above average for sure but not greatness same is true for the mouthfeel. The fact that blows me away and will keep me coming back to this beer is the back that the abv is 11% and its totally drinkable., the average person wouldn't even notice. Needless to say it will warm you up quick during the holidays and as long as its tasty ill take it.

Photo of jscondon
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours with little head, but the ring along the snifter stays present throughout. the amber color is deep and very red, while the nose has a strong alcohol scent emenating cherries and a slight maltiness. this is a think mouthy beer having an immense flavor, a very subtle cherry flavor that is not over bearing nicely balanced with hops. i really like this beer, and it will store!

Photo of dmarch
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, the appearance alone is worth making the purshase for. Deep ruby color with a fluffy off-white head. Aroma is more sugary than malty, must be from the honey, Taste is much of the same. Surprisingly, the cherry isn't as distinct as you would think. It is presant though and gives this a drinkability that you wouldn't expect from a 11% beer.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pour is a clear cherry copper with a tiny head of white at the edges.

S: Aroma of ripe cherries, fruit punch , belgian spices and yeast, honey

T: Right there with the aromas, this is hitting hard with cherry and honey. The belgian flavors are slightly subdued, but definitely there. Plenty of noble hopping in order to balance out the extreme sweetness of cherries and honey; I would say that this was accomplished pretty well.

M: Very light in mouthfeel for a BSDA , I would say this is the weak part of this beer but only because of the category that this is in. At 11% abv, this shouldnt come as a surprise, but it is a little lighter than I would have expected for the style.

O: Very tasty Belgian Strong Dark ale and my favorite beer yet from Troegs. I may have to get some more of these to throw in the cellar for next year and compare a few years.

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only beer my wife really likes and it's nearly impossible to find, even in season. This pours a deep amber with a nice rich head that lasts longer than most. The aroma is a fruitiness that is not really discernable but pleasant. If you didn't know it was cherry, you would just think "fruity". Nothing is overpowering in this beer. the cherries, malt and hops blend together for a fruity wine taste that is pleasant, even for a guy who doesn't want fruit in beer. this hits the lips light and finishes full. I was pleasantly surprised and will try to homebrew something close.

Photo of Wren
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got my growler filled at the brewery Wed 11-15

Pours a nice ruby red with a little bit of brown showing throught
Ample creamy dense head that takes on a little of the ruby/brown hue, loads of carbonation in this one

Aroma was first of black peppery then sweet cherry honey, alcohol finish with tart fruit - smells like Holiday Cheer

Taste - This is my third year trying the elf, and this years batch had a stronger black pepper/spice note up front which moved into tart cherries and sweet malt, finished off with warm alchohol starting in the back of my mouth and slowing warming all the way down, very pleaseant - not at all harsh
The extra pepper kick I got upfront balanced the sweetness of the beer, I thought last years elf was a little on the overly sweet side

Mouthfeel on this one is great - fluffy head, heavy carbonation, thcik sweet beer and alcholol thiness all combine in great balance

Tough to down multiple glasses of this with the 11% ABV, but I'd never pass up a pint

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby red, with a thin layer of head that lasts throughout the glass.

Smell: Spicy, sweet cherry, along with a decent malty aroma.

Taste: Just like the nose, you get a sweet and spicy cherry flavor up front. As that fades a bit, you start to taste the malt. There is an underlying malt flavor that increases as the beer warms. The alcohol is also quite prevalent as you go along and gives you a bit of warmth in the back as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Nice thickness, good smoothness. The slightly sweet flavor lasts for quite a while after each sip. The alcohol warmth is also quite nice on a cold winter evening.

Drinkability: Very good beer that is most enjoyable during the cold weather. Spicy and warming, this is a great winter seasonal. Slightly high ABV could limit how many you may want.

Photo of Walsar
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A nice effort by the Troeg brothers -- the Mad Elf Ale is a definite winter warmer at 11% abv.

Tasty - cherry - not too sweet -- drink at 50 or 55 degrees out of a big ole wine glass and you will enjoy the experience.

I would recommend this ale - but watch out as they pack a wallop

Photo of BeerBeast
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at a tasting with ratebeerians Ernest amd Aubrey.


Aroma of sweet malts, grapes, cherries, alcohol and honey.

Dark fruits, honey, cherries, toasted malts and subtle chocolate. I like how the cherries do not play a large role but instead, are in the backround letting you know that they are there but not screaming obscenities at your mother.

Anyway, this was a good one.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle purchased for me by a friend of mine at Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati, OH poured into a goblet.

A: Pours a beautiful ruby tinted brown color. It loses points for the minimal head it had being gone before I put the bottle down.

S: Cherries, alcohol, and some sort of spicing mix together to form a very inviting aroma.

T: The cherries and honey mix together to form the base taste of the beer. The ABV is pretty well hidden, but it would probably benefit from being laid down for a while to mellow a bit more. The spicing and slight tartness help to balance the overall sweet taste profile of the beer.

M: It has a medium body. I would like a bit of in mouth carbonation, but the spicing tries to help play the part. However, the beer is a bit more astringent with the lack of carbonation when it would be better to me if it were a bit creamier.

D: I really like this brew, but its a bit of a sipper for me. The lack of carbonation, strong spicing, and high ABV make me go a bit slow.

Photo of colts9016
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this beer from mday thank you for this bottle.

Poured into a goblet at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A dark copper color with a reddish hue. I pour a bit aggressive hoping for a head, all I got was a foamy light tan quarter inch head without retention. There is effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear and brilliant.

Nose: A very deep rich toasted malt with cherries (duh) and honey. There is a nice rich spiciness to the beer, like cinnamon and nutmeg. There are some citrus esters and floral hints in the background of the beer.

Taste: A very nice toasted malt with cherries and the honey sweetness. In the background of the beer there is cinnamon, floral and citrus esters. I could also taste the yeast in the beer which gave it a bready feel.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated and creamy. The body of the beer is medium full and the finish linger on the palate. I really didn't know what to expect from this beer. When I read cherries I was expecting a tartness in the beer but it was subtle. The flavors in this beer are expressive and evil. It hides the alcohol content very very well. I was disappointed not to see a head but the taste made up for it. I would say it need a touch more malt to the body of the beer to give it a wonderful complex flavor.

Photo of Patrick4434
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rlovitt
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Pitaliano
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of horsediggs101
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of harryhops
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of BGood52
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of APH
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Cincy_Brew
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,365 ratings.