Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,571 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,571
Reviews: 1,223
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 210
Gots: 855 | FT: 21
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: 3,571 | Reviews: 1,223
Photo of Tarheel219
1.4/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Tastes awful. Love Troegs but the spice flavor was too much.

Photo of allenmarkes
2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Honestly this beer is nasty...tastes like feces

Photo of mabermud
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a Belgian guy, but this nice. This has an very attractive, deep, ruby red appearance. the head is off white and extremely thin and scattered. Mostly, this smells like overripe bananas and very sweet candy liqueur. The taste, of course follows the smell, with cloves, and brown, overripe bananas with sugar. The mouthfeel is full(er) with medium carb.

Overall, I am impressed. This is the first time I am actually drinking one of these beers. Someone sent this to me as an extra and I thought I would drink it to make room in my refrigerator. This has probably opened up a new dimension in my beer drinking realm.

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 beerrat
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not my cup of beer.

Photo of Lunaa
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love Mad Elf! when the holidays get near, I'm one of the first in line for 2 cases :)
Its even better on Tap. I personally can not get enough of it.

Photo of Lowlow2010
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's so good! I can never get enough of this

Photo of joecon
4.68/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Simply delicious! A very tasty high alcohol brew!

Photo of theFLZA
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mad Elf didn't start out as one of my favorites, but over the past 5 years I've enjoyed it more and more each year. It is now my most anticipated seasonal release of any brewer.

It is described perfectly by Troegs on the beer's own label: "brewed with honey and cherries".

It tastes like it is capable of creating life and ending wars. It's that good.

I love high ABV beers (like Mad Elf) that don't taste as strong as they really are. In addition, this beer is delicious and continually drinkable at any temperature, with no bad aftertaste whatsoever.

Troegs hit it on the head, as far as my own personal tastes go. Favorite beer of all time.

Thanks for everything!

Photo of JamieDuncan
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Strong Dark Belgian's are my favorite style but I have avoided the Mad Elf due to my beer guru telling me this one was not very good. But got one in my stocking for Christmas so here we go. Poured a clear red with some carbonation and very little head. Some lacing but it would slide down the glass. Decent smell with the dark fruit and cherry but the alcohol overwhelms it, smelled a little like alcohol soaked cherries. Taste is similar, you pick up the cherry and malt but again it is overwhelmed by the alcohol, just kind of off. They made it strong but not very balanced. It gets easier to drink as I went along but was still not what I would call enjoyable. Some lip licking from the malt which was good. The beer is almost thin, certainly not the rich texture I enjoy in the style. Overall, average at best. Beer guru was right yet again.

Photo of schmoyer1
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Super high ABV, it was the holiday and I had to give it a try. Not my kind of beer but worth a try!

Photo of JCarson410
2.64/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

was expecting a little more. Taste was ok.. appearance definitely caught my eye

Photo of little_star
4.59/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good holiday feelings in a glass. I look forward to this beer every year.

Photo of EvoRich
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aged one year

Look: Copper/red in color. Pours with one finger head which fades quickly.

Smell: Cherry cough syrup, A slight hint of alcohol.

Taste: The honey comes through on the flavor, right up front and the cherries, half way through, with a malty finish. Again, only a small hint of alcohol.

Feel: Fairly medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall: I used to like the beer much more than I do now. It's a bit hyped.

Photo of WillieBeamen
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Tastes a bit too much like fermented cherry juice topped off with vodka for my taste but an interesting beer that some people love for its uniqueness and holiday festivity

Photo of TheItalianStallion
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A: Pours a transparent ruby red with a 1 finger head. Foam quickly fades to a thin collar that leaves behind minimal lacing.

S: This beer isn't very fragrant, but I am getting aromas of alcohol soaked sweet cherries with a miniscule amount of honey. Some yeasty esters come out as the beer warms, but there really isn't much going on on the nose.

T: Flavor is one dimensional as all I'm really picking up is sweet cherries and a very small bit of honey on the finish. Even as the beer warms no new flavors come out.

M: Mouthfeel is lacking in my opinion. The body of this beer seems light on the palate. It is smooth but very thin, almost watery.

O: I was really looking forward to this beer and to be completely honest, I was a bit let down. The aromas and flavors are subtle, and I think this is not a good representation of what a Belgian Strong Dark Ale truly is. It seems a bit too "mild" for the style if that even makes sense. The one thing I must say is that the alcohol is masked extremely well for 11% ABV. So much so that If you told me it was 11% without me seeing proof, I wouldn't believe you. I would drink this beer again if it was free, but I most likely won't buy it again.

Photo of brighteyes868
3.04/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Eh....just decent. I don't think I'd get it again.

Photo of barczar
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Honey dominates the aroma, followed by booze, medicinal phenols, musty yeast and a touch of cherry.

Flavor reveals a lightly tart cherry character throughout, which is complemented by pear and banana yeast esters in the aftertaste. Honey sweetness lingers. Thankfully, not as medicinal in flavor as aroma.

Alcohol doesn't hide much in this beast. Had it years ago and loved it, but I think it was aged a bit. Nope to revisit this vintage in a few years.

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 TastyFoodAndDrink
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a red-orange hue, Tröegs Mad Elf has an incredibly pungent smell of sour cherry coming from the start. After getting past the cherry, Mad Elf pounds banana, clove, bubblegum, caramel, toffee, and honey through in powerful doses. All of the smells are slightly soured, and made of what seems like pure explosiveness. There are subtle odors, but it’s mostly funk, earth, and chocolate. Even with these smells though, it’s more like picking out a subtle scent than anything actually subtle. Tröegs Mad Elf seems to made up of nothing but deep, aggressive smells.

On the palate Tröegs Mad Elf is amazingly smooth for a beer sitting at 11% alcohol. The mouthfeel is heavy, but not as thick as one might expect. The flavor of cherry is pervasive and powerful. The background notes aren’t really background notes so much as competitors, like banana, clove, bubblegum, brown sugar, molasses, and dates. The flavors are all laced with a deep amount of funk, and the body hits with a huge amount of acidity. Honey is buried somewhere in there, but this is a powerful brew, and it ends powerfully as well, adding a subtle smokiness to the cherry flavor. The funk, clove, banana, and other elements keep driving it forward, long after you finish it.

Overall though, I just find it a little too intense to keep up with. Tasty yes, but hard to have more than one of.

Photo of finlayj
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great holiday beer. I feel like 2014 not quite as good as previous years, less cherry taste

Photo of b_sters
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Overall I like the beer, but I have two complaints. The lack of a strong Belgian yeast flavor and the lack of head retention. Otherwise, its perfect for the season. I tried vertical batches from 2012-2014 and it does age well.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cherry color with a small tan/off-white head that dissipates immediately

S-sweet, boozy, notes of dried fruit

T-very, very similar to the nose as the flavor is pretty sweet with dark dried fruits (cherry, plum, raisin, maybe some apple) and booze. Not overly complex but more flavorful than a dubbel.

M-somewhat thin, but not over carbonated-sticky like candy

D-very drinkable but its high abv. make it a sipper

Overall, this is a good beer and I enjoyed it.

Photo of scotorum
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/15/14. Two months old.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick

a; Clear copper with virtually no head or lacing. 3.25

s: Ripe dark fruit, 3.5

t: Dark ripe fruit followed by moderate hop bite. Some alcohol throat burn. 3.75

m: Medium, good body, some carbonation tingle. 3.75

o: Sweet and fruiity, as might be expected of a brew made with Belgian yeast, honey and cherries. The combination tastes more like plums but it hides most of the alcohol in this Belgian strong dark. Net effect is a tasty and powerful holiday ale.3.75

Photo of Lanstrum
3.04/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

An interesting beer for the holiday

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,571 ratings.