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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,539 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,539
Reviews: 1,216
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 204
Gots: 795 | FT: 22
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: 3,539 | Reviews: 1,216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grayburn
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby-orange with a minimal head that fades quickly.

The smell and taste are both hot and boozy but the cherries and honey add enough interesting notes to the malt backbone to bring everything together. There might be a little spiciness from the hops, or it could be from the yeast, either way, it works.

The beer finishes dryer than expected with such a big body, I'm impressed, the honey really brought this together well...this also leads to scary drinkability, be careful but imbibe.

Photo of jjanega08
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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 AnitaBrewski
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tasteseeker
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dmarch
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
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 Liverpool08
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Yummy! Pours a ruby red with just a thin whit head. Not much aroma, a little cherry and candy. The taste is incredible. Rich sweet malt and cherry. Plus that nice spicy yeast just adds to the mix. There is also a nice honey tone that keeps the cherries from overpowering. This is the way to brew with cherries. The beer keeps the sweetness without the medicinal/cough syrup that a lot of cherry brews have. This is just a great winter brew. There is no way you would ever guess it was a 11% ABV beer. SUPER drinkible! One of my new favorites.

Photo of spointon
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
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 BeerBeast
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

2013 edition, 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, amber/mahogany color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that settled over the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of fruit and yeast. Strong notes of cherries, and figs, followed by some spices of clove, honey, brown sugar and toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked fruit cake. Reminds me of a very fruity Belgian dubbel.

Taste: Delicious! Exactly like a very fruity Belgian dubbel. Strong notes of stone fruit, such as cherries, plums, prunes and figs, followed by some barn-yard notes of Belgian yeast and malt, finished with some toffee and brown sugar-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, with just a touch of carbonation to make an appearance. With and ABV of 11%, there is a significant amount of alcohol on the palate, imparting a very pleasant warmth.

Overall: This an excellent beer! I love the fruit and malt, which is balanced beautifully with the Belgian yeast. Strong bold flavors. Great Christmas beer! Hell, great beer period!

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

Pours a dark coppor color into my Maudite snifter. Small one finger head which leaves quickly. Little to no lacing

No overpowering smell. Faint sweetness with some cherry.

Tastes of sweet cherrys and malt. The alcohol is masked very well.

Medium body more like a "heavy medium" Slight carbonation.

This is a great sipper. Something to hold and enjoy the evening with. It is so very smooth and easy to drink that at 11% abv I could easily ruin the next morning if I am not careful.

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 Roy3268
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

S- many different things detected from the smell of this beer. Had a mild cherry scent with honey which created a bubble gum like aroma.

T- not ovely hoppy like many of the Troge brew. like the smell had a bubble gum taste to it.

M- had a bit of a syrupy mouth sensation to it, but not enough to gag you. perfect sipping beer

D- highly recommended..Rather pricey (52.00 for a case) one of those beers that you buy around the winter holidays too heavy for a summer drink

Photo of Stillmakingnoise
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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 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.

Ruby.

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 sloejams
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kadonny for this one - CA-PA BIF

Tröegs has long been known as 2 words in my head: Nugget Nectar. Oh I knew they made other beers, I just didnt know what they were and how they tasted.

Mad Elf turned that around for me. Pours and smells like one of those Unibroue "ale on lee's". Oh I like those. Their Terrible, maybe? Thick molasses, brown sugars, honey and the cherry, described on the bottle - stick out on this bad boy. Drinks well, some candied fruit tastes linger in there. I was sticker shocked to see it was 11% - well hidden.

Photo of Patrick4434
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of smerrell
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - translucent red, the head dissipates quickly

Smell - Strong alcohol, candy-sweet smell that dissipates quickly

taste: like a black cherry Belgian beer. Hops are barely noticeable and you don't taste the alcohol until after you swallow

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, the soft finish coats the tongue and stays with you

Overall: This is a great seasonal beer, with a great, unique taste. If you are a fan of Belgians, this is a great change of pace. high in alcohol, you shouldn't (couldn't) drink more than 2 of these easily, but this is a terrific Christmas beer.

Photo of rlovitt
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Pitaliano
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of therubicon
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 bottle.

Dark amber-cherry color. Thin head with lots of yeast floating about. Never seen a beer characterized as a Belgian strong dark ale with this light a color.

Smell dominated by sweet cherry with a little honey.

Sweet taste, nicely balanced honey and cherry. After taste of yeast.

Slightly thin feel with noticeable yeast near the bottom.

A very well balanced beer. I could get used to drinking this every Christmas. Will have to buy a current vintage bottle to compare against the 2013.

Photo of haazer
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at 55 degrees in a chalice.

A- Faintest amount of egg shell head forms on top and dissapates quickly. Brew is an interesting red, strawberry color with maroon and violet undertones.

S- The smell is the strong point of this beer for me. Upfront is wheat beer characteristics with banana and clove. Next is juicy ripe cherries, which plenty have been thrown in to the making of this beer. The biggest scent though is the spicy yeast strain, deffinitely belgian and phenolic in character. A sweet honey drip rounds out the nose.

T- Similar with the nose, however slightly rearranaged. The banana is upfront, then the strong spicy yeast kicks in and warms. I think the cherries really help the flavor profile of this beer as the yeast is not the best of the BSDA variety. Last flavor to come through is the clove. Honey is only present in the form of a sweet aftertaste.

M- Mouthfeel is between light and medium. A sweet tooth certainly helps enjoy this one, but this is not cloying. Somewhat acidic but doesn't hinder much. Warming in the throat.

D- One thing I've always said about Mad Elf and what it should be known for is how well the 11% is masked. For something that high you'd think this is 5 or 6%, no exaggeration. This beer is kind of special to me because this was actually the first craft beer case I ever bought to myself a little over a year ago. Back then I thought it was the best beer ever, and now of course my palatte has changed tremendously. Still I'll always look forward to Mad Elf releases. Another good seasonal release from Troegs.

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,539 ratings.