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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,484 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,484
Reviews: 1,200
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 194
Gots: 747 | 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: 3,484 | Reviews: 1,200 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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 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 AricGresko
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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%

Photo of JHop
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GuinnessGirl1125
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of sloejams
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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 ElGordo
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass a dark amber hue with ruby highlights, topped by an inch of bright white head that decides only to make a brief appearance. Inviting aroma of Belgian yeast, biscuit, cherry, a touch of piney hops, and a good deal of alcohol. Palate is wonderfully complex - sweet malt with honey, some dark cherries, light spicy hops, Belgian yeast, and a bit of astringency. The alcohol makes itself known, providing a nice warming finish. The body is fully and slightly creamy, about perfect for the style. This is only the second beer I've been able to acquire from Troegs, and I have to say they do pretty well with their Belgian styles. Wish I'd gotten more than one bottle.

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 tempest
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure what to expect at first, but this sure smells belgian. Lots of spicey aroma up front. I'm used to this being in the paler belgians, but I guess this one might be in the middle. More spice (corriander? in the flavor mixed with the honey and cherries and a little earthy bitterness that blends with the fruit. This is certainly different. It kicks outs at the end with a cherry tang and a hint, albeit an unsubtle one, at the alcohol. Definately not my favorite, but I recommend giving it try. It's worth it.

Photo of Trent
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz.bottle into tulip style glass.

Took somewhat aggressive pour to get one finger short lasting head. Clear ruby/amber color.

Wonderful aroma of Belgian yeast,spices,some cherry- can't pick up the honey myself

A very good tasting beer- tastes like it smells. The alcohol is there but not overpowering. Not at all too sweet for me- nice balance.

Nice feel- not too much of anything

For such a strong beer, it is very drinkable. A great holiday beer to share with friends or consume by yourself. I have had this on the shelf for a bit and will be sure to buy more this season before it is gone.

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,484 ratings.