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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

3,496 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,496
Reviews: 1,205
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 194
Gots: 754 | FT: 23
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: 3,496 | Reviews: 1,205 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

I haven't seen a beer with a color quite like this. It's lika a dark, hazy rose wine color. After a very aggressive pour, the white foam quickly dissipates leaving no cap or lacings. Aromas are amazing, particularly if you let this warm a bit. A solid sweet malt and belgian yeast backbone with tart cherries and hints of spice and booze. Smooth and syrupy feel with light carbonation. Sweet malt and sugar flavors from beginning to end with tart cherry flavors through the middle that transition to spice and then boozy heat at the finish. Finishes semi-dry at first but very dry over the long haul . Most definitely a sipper. The aggressive pour is a must if sampling from a bottle. Plus, don't drink this too cold. All aspects of this beer improve if you allow it to warm up a bit.

Photo of horsediggs101
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of harryhops
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

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

(copied from blog - written January 12, 2013)

Appearance – Pours a transparent dark ruby red/amber.
Smell – Very sweet, like cherries dipped in honey (obviously).
Taste – You can taste the sweetness of cherries and honey upfront. Some sort of spiciness hits the tongue. Chocolate in the aftertaste.

This year was the first time I had the pleasure of enjoying Mad Elf, when I tasted it at a craft beer tasting. After that I had bought the six pack once, and since it’s so damn expensive I never cared to do it again regardless of how good it is. That was probably two months ago. Tonight however my lovely girlfriend was in the mood for it so I’m drinking it at her expense (thanks baby)! Anyway, this ale is like a mead or a sweet wine and very appropriate on bitter cold winter nights to warm the blood pleasantly. It has a gorgeous color and a wonderful aroma to be appreciated for a while before you actually indulge in to the liquid itself. Its taste is kind of like cocktail cherries with honey laced in between, and a hint of liquor. The inclusion of chocolate malts leave a chocolaty aftertaste with a spiciness on the tongue that I can’t put my finger on. This is a heavy beer with a high ABV that should be consumed slowly, and enjoyed to its fullest, perhaps even shared with a friend.

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%

Photo of JHop
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GuinnessGirl1125
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of colts9016
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
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 cvengeance
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A- Poured into a snifter... Ruby colored beer... very little head or lacing. Very little activity

S- So sweet smelling. Malty aroma with very distinct cherry smell

T- Tastes alot like it smells. Very sweet malty taste, hint of chocolate with cherry overtones... more of a sour cherry than sweet cherry. Light alcohol flavor

M- Medium bodied, light carbonation, and a very little alcohol bite

D- Dangerously easy to drink. Would definately drink more, unfortunately that was my last bottle until the next release

CHEERS!

Photo of McNealc31
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first this that stands out with Troegs Mad Elf is the brilliant ruby color. The nose is full of interesting flavors, too, including sour cherry, black pepper, and a hint of vinegar.

Everything seems to come together quite nicely. The sour cherries aren’t too sour. The vinegar isn’t very aggressive, the hops add a nice dryness and bitterness at the end, and the huge 11% ABV is nothing more than a pleasant warmth. The sweetness from the malt and honey provide a nice counter point to everything else going on.

A different take on the style than most winter warmers and this relies on the cherries and yeast for flavor, rather than familiar warm spices. It would have been easy to go overboard with this one, but there is no hint of medicine or bad candy, something I was afraid of with the cherries. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of MaxSpang
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Christmas tulip!

APPEARANCE

This Elf is a lovely deep copper red color. It's more translucent than expected. The head was about a one finger khaki color, and disappated in a hurry. None of it remained. Looks like a lovely brew! I feel like the cherries were added to give it a good amount of color, but not so much on the flavor (more on that later).

SMELL

There is some definite big Belgian character coming through. Surprisingly, alcohol isn't that present. There is a lovely honey aroma, but not a lot of the cherries. There's a good bit of raisin bread character, and the Belgian spiciness is met with some dark fruitiness. Smells amazing.

TASTE

Yum - this is a big bad ass beer. There's a lot of chewy breadiness, and some wonderful dark fruit character. The sweetness is definitely high, but not cloying. The honey comes through at the back of the tongue and hangs around for a little while after the swallow. The cherry flavor is present, but it's not very noticeable. The Belgian spiciness is a nice addition to to overall flavor, but isn't the focus of the beer. Alcohol? Schmalcohol, this beer doesn't appear to have the stuff.

MOUTHFEEL

This Elf starts off big and chewy, and feels slightly syrupy (the good kind of syrupy). At the end, there's a bit of dryness that ups the drinkability. It's nice and warming after each sip, and even though you can't taste the alchol, you can feel it! There isn't much carbonation. The beer is pretty drinkable, but demands to be savored.

OVERALL

This beer is excellent. This is definitely not a beer to drink every night, but is great for winter nights. It doesn't have as much spice character as other Holiday beers, but is a MUST for this time of the year. I don't know what made the Elf Mad, but this beer makes me very happy. Plus, I love the fact that they sell it in a variety of ways - 22 Oz Bombers, 12 oz. Singles, and even six-packs instead of four-packs! It gives you the opportunity to buy a sixer, drink a few, then age the rest.

Cheers.

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,496 ratings.