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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,895 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,895
Reviews: 1,148
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 138
Gots: 405 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,895 | Reviews: 1,148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of plfahey
plfahey

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance-Amber to copper hue, with a slight reddish tint. Quite clear. Moderate beige head with fair retention and some lacing.

Aroma-Tart cherries, light biscuit and caramel malt, and low to no hop aroma. Some floral honey aromas present. Perfumy, rosewater, and peppery alcohols are present in the background.

Flavor-Brown sugar, molasses, licorice, and dark candi sugar. Light sour cherries, hint of vanilla. Hop bitterness is low, but the sweet flavors are somewhat dried out by moderate floral alcohols. That said, it has some definite residual sugar, and the brown/dark sugar lingers on well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Moderately feel mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Some decent alcohol warmth. Quite smooth.

Very tasty, but I'm satisfied with one bottle-I wouldn't want to drink a ton of this. Haven't had very much from Troegs, but I'm glad I got a chance to try this while I was out on the east coast.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 00:30:48 | More by plfahey
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the 2007 release.

A- Reddish brown in appearance, more reddish, off white head doesn't build up too much and fades very fast. Lots of floaties, I poured some of the yeast in. I really like the color.

S- The smell is fruit, sugar, I wouldn't maybe guess cherries, but I guess they are there. Has that trademark belgian yeast + fruit that you find a lot in their strong darks. Ok, as I smell it more as it sits in the glass, the cherries really come out, especially w/ swirling.

T- The taste is a mix of sweet and earth. Finish is really bright fruit. It's definitely sweet on the palate.

M- Carbonation is fairly low. Mouth is somewhat slick, on the heavier side of medium body.

D- It goes down fast. A really good beer for cold months. Enough fruit to surpass any cloying sugar that might've been left behind.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 02:30:55 | More by MiScusi
Photo of nickthetick
nickthetick

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear reddish amber into a Mad Elf tulip with two fingers of tan head that hang around a bit and leave little lacing.

S: cherries, vanilla, caramel, honey, plums and light citrus.

T: mirrors the nose well. A lot of cherries, plums and berries are right up front. The sweetness of the honey and caramel does not go unnoticed and makes the tart berry and cherry more recognizable. There is an alcohol sting.

MF: medium body, just a bit chewy, light effervescence and just a tad warm.

O: a great beer! I love it when this comes out, I buy it every year.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 02:11:35 | More by nickthetick
Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
BeerisfoodLLC

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Red tinged beer with a thin head that disappears fast.

S - Fruity with the classic Belgian yeast scents. Can smell the cherries right away.

T - Packed with taste, the fruit & spice tastes are strong and overshadow any hops. The maltiness blends very well with the fruit.

M - This is very heavy bodied. Downright chewy. Light carbonation.

D - Great sipping beer but the high ABV doesnt make it very conducive to having more than one or two.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2009 20:54:57 | More by BeerisfoodLLC
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served cellar/room temperature per suggestions on this site, and boy did it make a difference. pours an amber/ruby colour with a thin, slightly tan head that has a moderate stickiness to it. the smell is loaded with cherry, but because of this it had a bit too much of a cherry medicine smell at times. i thought the cherry was going to have to be toned down a bit, especially before sipping this one, but at a warmer temperature, their taste within the beer is just right. much more subdued than in the the smell. ther eis also a mild alcohol flavouring throughout which provides a nice warming effect. as the beer itself warms the taste gets that much better. the finish is slighty dry and this is just tasty all around. a ver yeasy to drink brew for 11% abv. it's a bit too sweet to drink more than one or two per sitting, but i'd definitely sample it again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2004 20:45:18 | More by guinness33
Photo of Patrickbrusil
Patrickbrusil

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love those cherries!

By no means does this brew have any sour components. However, I get bowled over by smooth sweet cherries. Oh sweet sweet cherries. Super smooth.

Slightly hot. Only tiny bitterness at the end. The smell is fruity and floral. Pours a bronze clear orange amber.

Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 03:43:55 | More by Patrickbrusil
Photo of AragornUnplugged
AragornUnplugged

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interestingly dark orange/ruby pour. I have found it is necessary to get aggressive to produce a head, but doing so nicely mellows the first sip. The label proclaims that Mad Elf is brewed with honey and cherries and there is no doubt upon drinking that they mean it. You can smell both, along with some spice, and they are layered in the taste. I would like this beer to have a bit more body, as that would firm up an otherwise great and unique product. Carbonation is light, alcohol is noticably present but quite drinkable. Strangely enough, this is the beer that rescued my sister from the grasp of a heavily imported green bottled macro, causing her to liberate my stash. Good thing I have a source. I need more.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2004 21:37:06 | More by AragornUnplugged
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I assume this brew was last winters release. No date on the bottle to indicate otherwise.

A - orangish brown in color with a small off white head
S - sweet almost vinous brown sugar malts, honey and cherries.
T - similar to the aroma but with a honey softened effect. Kind of like the edge was taken off and an injection of warmth added. Quite tasty.
M - medium to full bodied, mildly carbonated smooth
D - at 11% this one hides the abv deceptively well. Aging nicely and was great as an evening relaxing drink.

I would buy this every season. quite a treat.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 15:36:12 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to red with just a bit of head that disappates quickly. Little lacing left on the glass. Aroma is cherries and sweet honey - easily detectable. Taste is strong - slight alcohol presence but not surprising at this strength. Reinforces much of the nose - cherries are slightly sour and present up front through the middle where the honey takes over on the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2012 01:59:28 | More by Oakenator
Photo of gabrielsyme
gabrielsyme

Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I remember having this last year and not being impressed. Either this year's batch is different or I'm drinking it fresher (or maybe my tastes have just evolved), because enjoyed it much more. 12 oz bottle in a standard shaker, amber color and clear. Taste is cinnamon, clove, honey. I don't get the cherries, but this is a nice winter warmer (this doesn't seem to have the characteristic belgian yeast qualities to me to be called a belgian strong).

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 01:38:18 | More by gabrielsyme
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mad Elf....no review---WTF! On tap at Grey Lodge Pub during the Christmas in July celebration. I wonder how many pints of this I have drank over the years?

A-Brilliant, almost glowing ruby red with a thin white head that reduces to a thin ring and leaves zero lace.

S-Sweet biscuit and caramel malts with a splash of cherries and some dark roasted notes.

T-Sweet, luscious smoothness...if you can taste smoothness! Cherries come into the background with a tart little bite. Ends with a touch of spicy bitterness and honey smooth sweetness....again!

M-Medium-light bodied honey, silky smooth and viscous.

D-This is 11%--really? I know it is sweet but...I cant help myself. I find this to be one of my indulgent treats each and every holiday season (and out of season when available!) Honey goodness with a light cherry pop...and then the ABV kicks you in the head after your third pint!

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2009 11:11:46 | More by Deuane
Photo of phnphilly
phnphilly

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours an amber reddish color and with a vigorous poor only had about a 3/4 inch head. The head dissipated quickly and before I had a chance to take the first sip was completely gone. Beer smells sweet with a lot of cherry flavor coming through. The beer tastes similar to the aroma with a lot of cherry flavor, sweetness from the honey, and almost no hop aroma or taste to speak of (surprising for a Troegs Brew). There wasn't a lot of carbonation and to my surprise almost no alcohol warming for an 11 percent ABV brew. This beer was very drinkable and I haven't been able to have just one yet. I wish Troegs would add a small amount of hops to balance the sweetness of this beer which is something I would never thought I'd say about a Troegs beer. In all however this is a very tasty beer and is perfect for the Holidays (especially Thanksgiving dinner).

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 19:12:17 | More by phnphilly
Photo of pschul4
pschul4

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one Alex!

Shared with Bigbobo before doing our Econ homework (Shoutouts to Marcus Casey!)

A- Pours a caramely brown with little head that recedes almost immediately leaving very little lacing

S- Strong dark fruits with some alcohol kick in the background

T- Cherries and some honey in the back but the dark fruits steal the show. Plums and figs kick your palate around but in a good way. Slight burn on the back end

M- A little too much carbonation for my liking. Not over the top but it could be a little smoother

O- I'm very impressed. I generally dislike BSDAs but this one is a winner. Can't wait to determine my cost/benefit analysis of drinking this beer

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 00:15:20 | More by pschul4
Photo of cichief
cichief

Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beers a deep amber, with a thin off-white head. It smelled of fruit, although cherries and honey are used in the brewing, I couldn't say it was cherry. It tasted fruity, sweet and warm. It was smooth, not at all over carbonated. At 11% alcohol, I wouldn't drink too much of it.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 01:28:02 | More by cichief
Photo of GoalieRon33
GoalieRon33

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Medium brown with a reddish hue. Clearish, until it warms then becomes a little cloudy.

S- decently malty, somewhat sweet. Definate honey tones

T- Deep, spicy taste. Cherries, Honey, and other great sweetness propel this beer to the next level. Slight alcohol burn towards the end.

M- Not too heavy, but just right. A ittle thickness towards the end of a bottle. I don't reccomend more than 2 of these.

D- Great beer that is so easy to drink. Being 11%, it is a real wallop of alcohol, but it is barely detectable until the post drinking warming feeling.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 07:04:21 | More by GoalieRon33
Photo of Alkey
Alkey

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a ruby red with a small amount of head and scents of sweet fruit and alcohol taste has a bit of sweet cherries and honey with a backing of some belly warming alcohol. A winter warmer indeed but not an all night beer just a couple and I'm good. A great night cap.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 11:22:57 | More by Alkey
Photo of Liverpool08
Liverpool08

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 01:04:53 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear, bubbly deep amber, aspiring almost to ruby. A finger and a half of matte white head dwindles gradually to a frothy toile veil. Pips and flits of lacing meander on the inside of the glass.

The aroma emits a malt and honey sweetness backed by a tart cherry note and a yeasty sourness. It's all mitigated by a haze of blended spice. A distant alcohol hint loiters covertly, reminiscent of vanilla extract.

The first sip tenders a sweet splash of toasted malt and drippy honey, not cloying, but strongly present. A cherry fruit tartness lines the sides of the tongue, while a mild melange of spices lays across the back. The sweetness clings as things proceed, still dueling with the sour and tart character, but joined by a mellow yeasty dough trace near the close. The finish sees sweet and sour slip into a rounded dry spice memory. Noticeably absent is any really overt alcohol reference, short of a comfortable warming body-wide.

Medium bodied, the sweet toothiness and carbonation combine to deliver a fine palatal experience.

Increasingly eagerly awaited each holiday season, it certainly should be this year. All the elements envelop the senses and seem to exist just for your enjoyment. It's a winter warmer that wraps you in sweet holiday cheer. The ABV is felt rather than tasted, but it is very real, and not to be forgotten. Still, I can't imagine a time when the first wouldn't lead to a second. Hell, you can keep your egg nog; mad elves make good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 16:55:53 | More by Foxman
Photo of BeerRun13
BeerRun13

California

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear reddish orange. Has a small ring of a head and little lacing.
Spices and estery alcohol. A touch of pumpkin spice or nutmeg?
Nice flavor. Fruity malt backbone. Low on the hops but has some other spice inside although I don't know if it matches the aroma. The alcohol shows through easily. Well balanced and tasty.
Medium to heavy body. Smooth and creamy. Alcohol warms the palate all the way to the stomach.
Good drinkability. I can see how this could be a holiday favorite.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 22:52:05 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of Retail1LO
Retail1LO

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a 10 oz. snifter. This pours a brilliant ruby color that is nearly transparent. You can see clean through one side of the glass, the beer, and out the other. Pours with the faintest of heads and disappears quickly. The nose is extremely fruity...very winey. The cherries and honey meld together to give this the nose of a mead. It's a lovely scent nonetheless. Were I blindfolded, however, I'd have said this was wine or mead with the quickness. The taste is very sweet, with a shade of tartness to it. The honey and malt tail in at the back end of a taste. This has a very nice mouthfeel to it. Not too heavy, not too thin. It's got a wonderful finish too. Overall, this is a nice, easy drinker that at 11.0%, could very likely catch up to you fast. It doesn't come across nearly as boozy as the ABV suggests it should be. Great seasonal beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 23:00:14 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
BdubleEdubleRUN

California

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Tanger for sending me a few of these and one of them being a 08. This review is from doing a side by side with 08 and 11.
The beer pours a amber red color with the 08 being a duller and murkier color with the 11 vibrant and clear. They both have a light tan head that fades quickly and sticks to the glass.
The 11 smell like a cherry and clove bomb, spicy, honey and alcohol. The 08 smells amazing much more balanced then the 11 with the smell a bit candy like.
The taste follows suite to the nose on both beers, the 11 was dominated by belgian flavors with clove, cherry and alcohol. The 08 tastes fantastic, its sweet yet spicy, the clove has faded off a lot revealing a balanced cherry and honey to mesh with the belgian flavors.
They both have a medium body and good carbonation. The 08 in my opinion is leaps and bounds better then the 11, if I get anymore bottles this year I will be putting them away for awhile.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 20:41:51 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of pershan
pershan

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a beautiful clear, dark amber with a thin white head into a chalice. The aroma was heavy with bubble-gum Belgian yeast and sour cherry - very nice. A big tart bite up front, with the cherry and bubble-gum flavors dominating, transitioning into a slightly sour/tart malt finish with alcoholic ester undertones. A slightly astringent mouthfeel, but not unpleasant. A very smooth-drinking strong ale, especially considering the very high ABV - great for sipping on a cold winter's day.

Serving type: cask

12-17-2009 18:43:01 | More by pershan
Photo of garuda
garuda

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, 2011 vintage

A - Brilliant cherry red, clear, a white soapy head at first that dissipates quickly, leaves little lacing.

S/T - Big yeasty nose, with some of the honey sweetness as well, and a touch of a rusty coin on the back end. Taste follows the nose, with a more pronounced sweet cherry mid palate, finishing with slightly tart cherry, honey sweetness, and a bit of booze. As it warms, it gets a similar to a cherry cordial.

M - Medium body, surprising considering the abv, with a lively medium carbonation, finishes mostly dry.

O - One of the beers that get me hooked on craft. I always look forward to its release each year. I still find this to be a solid beer, which I can't say about many of the beers I once thought were good.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 00:37:15 | More by garuda
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle at about cellar temp. pours a clear red/orange copper color with a quickly dissapaiting head that left just a ring. small amount of lacing. definately not your typical hazy looking big fluffy headed belgian appearence.

however, the belgian aroma is there for sure (as well as the belgian taste). sweet malts, flouride like yeast, solvent alcohol, cherries, phenols, spiciness, bubblegum. smells authentic.

wonderful complex taste as well. sweet malts, tart cherries, a nice spicy, phenolic yeast. not much in the way of honey flavors as suggested, but a wonderful tasting belgian non the less.

nice crisp carbonation that settles to a minimum carb towards the end. medium to heavy mouthfeel. easy drinking for 11%, hardly noticable, wouldve guessed 7-8%. nice beer, other than the appearence, this is a very good example of a belgian, close to the real thing. warms you up on those cold winter nights, i highly suggest you seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 00:13:43 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent caramel/red with a thin filmy head. Minmal lacing & no head retention

S: Sweet, fruitty & hints of cherry& oakyness& a little booze as it warms

T: Dry with berry/cherry notes up front. Some woody/oaky character & a slight medicinal twang comes through. I also catch a little vanilla as it warms. A little warming alcohol is present as it warms. Finishes winey with cherry notes, slight chocolate & dryness

MF: Extremely low carbonation & slick

Drinks really easy for the abv, something a little different, but 2 of these beauties & you're done, This took the chill off a brutal winterstorming evening & certainally got me in the holiday mood! This would work with turkey or fruitcake. Mad props to GnomeKing for this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 03:34:48 | More by russpowell
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,895 ratings.