1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,964 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,964
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 147
Gots: 433 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,964 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TEAMHOLT
5/5  rDev +29.5%

TEAMHOLT, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of YaKnowBrady
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

YaKnowBrady, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of crashdavisinoh
4/5  rDev +3.6%

crashdavisinoh, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of trixdout
4/5  rDev +3.6%

trixdout, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of shuajw
4/5  rDev +3.6%

shuajw, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Lawnboy33
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

Lawnboy33, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of karlfree
4/5  rDev +3.6%

karlfree, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

DaveHack, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Heatwave33
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Amber with an off white head.

Smell: Cherries, hops, malts and honey.

Taste: Cherries, hops, malts, honey, slight alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, smooth and slighlty dry.

Overall: Very well balanced! Couldn't tell it is 11% ABV. As it warmed up the alcohol was present but still very tastey. A great winter brew. Cheers!

Heatwave33, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.13/5  rDev +7%

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.

Patrickbrusil, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.13/5  rDev +7%

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.

BdubleEdubleRUN, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of jmerloni
4.9/5  rDev +26.9%

A - Mahogany to ruby in coloration, with a small but heavy cream-colored head that laces fairly lacklusterly. But this is one of the only beers whose color I haven't been able to quite describe. It's a color I've never seen and I guess it's special in that way.

S - Incredible smell. Light, FRESH maltiness, dark fruits which you can already tell are perfectly acidic and perfectly sweet in all the perfect, balanced places.

T - Off the charts delicious. Tastes like how an 11% beer should taste without all the alcohol. Achieves a very impressive flavor profile between malt and and hop. Really, really impressed by the flavors here. They're really pleasant. Cherries! Honey malts. Fresh, west coast IPA hops. An incredible mix. Almost just jawdropping.

M - Medium to light bodied, not very carbonated. Incrediblly profession makeup of each sip in this beer, though.

D - One of the only beers I've ever tried that is just unmistakably elite. And one of the only beers I've ever encountered where a brewery just set out to make it great. It doesn't fit any real description nor style. Troegs just set out to make a great, elite beer, and they have with Mad Elf, they absolutely have. Try this if you haven't, and you'll understand what I mean.

jmerloni, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

A - Pours a not quite clear but not quite hazy deep ruby. Offwhite head dissipates rather quickly. Love the color.

S - Very strong nose, extremely sweet. A wonderful aroma of cherries and honey. Heavenly.

T - A super sweet bomb, not for the weak of heart. Honey and cherries overtones lead the way with undertones of sweet bread and stick buns. Slight metallic twang in the finish, most likely a byproduct of the munich malt. Very boozy.

M - Mouthfeel is syrupy, very brandy like. Definitely a sipper.

) - A perfect choice to be enjoyed after a big winter meal. One of my favorite winter beers.

BostonBrewins, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of MDDMD
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

A-red amber in color with a off-white head which quickly dissipates, minimal lacing

S-malt, honey and cough syrup aroma

T-sweet malt and yeast flavor with cherry cough syrup finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, alcohol not obvious given 11% content

O-a holiday ale with good flavor and balance

MDDMD, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of MicEp
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured this bottle according to instructions, down the middle of the glass to unleash the cherry aroma. It poured a very nice deep red color. The nose was not what i expected, very little cherry.

The taste also did not really exude cherry as i expected but it did start with a very nice smooth and clean malt taste followed by spice and ended with faint honey notes.

For an 11% abv beer it is very smooth and the alcohol is hidden very well behind the spice and honey after taste.

All in all Mad Elf is a very good beer and I would highly recommend anyone to give it a try around the holidays. Its around $16 a six pack but if you can find a single bottle its a must buy.

MicEp, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bought this bottle as a start for the Christmas season. It poured a clear amber/mahogany gold with little white head building about half a finger high. Little retention and little lacing.
The smell is of cherries, malt and spice.
Testing the beer this flavors are confirmed in order. First the cherry fruit flavor, being met by malt and honey notes, than some decent hops and spice to finish the beer. Good balance and very drinkable. The alcohol is noticeable, but well hidden! Great Winterbeer!

Hopfenpeter, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Crossmd
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured 55 degrees Fahrenheit into a Dalmore whisky glass. Smudged born date.

Poured a lucid tea color or light ruby red. Slight head, dissipated quickly. No lacing to speak of.

Smells of belgian yeast, bananas and a hint of cherry. Not well projected.

Taste is a just slightly tart, effervescent blend of spiced fruit and honey. The balance between honeyed sweetness and cherried tart really is perfect here, and I can't believe that the blend works as well as it does though. I can see some however, potentially finding this a little bit like cough syrup. It stops just short of synthetic for me, but more sensitive palates or supertasters may have a hard time with this one. Plenty effervescent, lot of boozy cherry in on the background, as those tertiary flavors take off into the drydown.

Overall, really a unique beer that stands alone next to a slew of dark, stouty winter seasonals. I started off not liking it initially, as it was just so vast different from anything that I was used to, but working my way through the bottle really had me enjoying it at the end. Overall, a fantastic offering.

90.

Crossmd, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of josefnewsong
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%

This is a seasonal favorite of mine...just picked up my first sixer of the winter so I figured a review was in order...
A - red, clear, dark, little head
S - cherries, honey, boozyness, belgian yeast
T - all of the above, and more...this beer is more than the sum of its parts. Cherries dominate and honey is behind with alcohol present but concealed just enough...but there is something else that I can only describe of as 'mad elf' flavor. Perfect.
M - a bit syrupy but aside from that is medium bodied, which works perfectly for this beer...
O - exceptional brew. Might need to grab another...11%? really?

josefnewsong, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of justintcoons
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a brilliant ruby red with a thin head that dissipates quickly to a whispy head. Thin webbed lacing and moderate carbonation.

N: Clove, banana and booze. Cherry and honey in the background.

T: Fig, honey and candy sugar upfront. Dates, banana, horse blanket, cherry Jolly Rancher and tobacco mid-palette. Coriander, clove and peppercorn in the finish. Sweet and sugary throughout.

M: Medium-full bodied, chewy, smooth, sticky and dry.

O: The booze is apparent but it's not too overpowering. Very sweet and sugary. Really showcases the Belgian yeast strain and candy sugars. Honey and cherry just make an appearance in the background.

justintcoons, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of ciachef1212
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

This is a very interesting beer. Almost red in color with tones of carbonation. Smells of spices from the belgian yeast and slight cherry notes. The flavors are of cherries and spice and everything nice. Couldn't tell it is 11% ABV. This is a really different beer and I really like it. Be careful for 11% it is really drink able.

Cheers,

ciachef1212, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of FLOglida
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Troegs is by far one of my favorite breweries, they are consistent with their beers and they know how to do things different. The mad elf is no exception. Very strong with booze and fruit in both the nose and the taste. I usually dont like the overly fruity beers but whatever type of cherries they used in this are amazing. At 11 percent you can definately get warmed up by this one. i love winter warmers, i love beer
CHEERS

FLOglida, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
3.9/5  rDev +1%

A big thanks to DSlim71 for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a very clear ruby color into a tulip with just a hint of head and slight lacing.

Smell – Definite honey, cherries, spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and slight clove. Finishes with a sweet caramel aroma.

Taste – Interesting. The Belgian characteristics are immediately apparent. Cherries are prevalent as is the honey (which makes the finish quite dry). Bready malts, slight tartness, and a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall – A decent Belgian strong ale. It kind of reminds me of Three Philosophers (but sadly not quite as good). A solid beer, and one that is keeping me nice and warm on this chilly night.

SpdKilz, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.55/5  rDev -8%

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Getting a head start on Christmas I guess.

A real nice ruby and clear red body, but with a very fast and falling foamy off tan brown head. Lots of noticeable sounding carbonation as well. Barely a collar manages to hang on shortly after and leaves barely a whisp of a top.

Nose is big on Belgian like candi sweetness and some sense of cough drop cherry. A real sense that something sweet is coming.

A kind of juicy light jammy cherry sense on the palate, mixing in with a little bit of bready malts. Surprisingly not as sweet as I thought it might be coming from the nose. Texture actually feels pretty solid, this very nice juicy body almost jammy.

Overall not too bad, nothing real crazy that I am getting excited about though either. For eleven percent abv, it doesn't feel like a boozy mess or hard to drink, which is a nice surprise. However, I am not finding myself really drawn to this.

smakawhat, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of eslemarc
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Bomber in a Mad Elf tulip glass.

The beer pours with an off-white cream colored head, maybe a finger tall at most, deep amber color and fully transparent with visible carbonation. Little lacing from each sip.

There is a strong scent of cherries and a little honey sweetness. Some alcohol is present, similar to the alcohol presence in a red wine. Slight hints of a malt breadiness with a clear hop balance to keep from being too sweet.

Relatively lighter mouthfeel than I would have imagined, a fair carbonation leads to a clear taste of cherries and maybe some banana. Tastes clearly boozy, but deceptive to the 11%abv.

The beer seems more like a digestif, very comforting and warming post dinner to substitute a port wine. The sweetness would work well with dessert. A fine beer as a great winter warmer.

eslemarc, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours a clear dark amber/ruby with a small white head that fades away. Some spotty lacing.

Smell is dominated by sweetness with and holiday spices. Cherries are pretty strong with a hint of booze.

Taste is pretty sweet as well. Honey, cherries and more spices dominate with very little bitterness and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and syrupy.

This seems to be one of the most accessible Holiday beers because it's sweet and high in alcohol. A bit too syrupy for me.

TheMultiYeast, Nov 05, 2011
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,964 ratings.