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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,233 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,233
Hads: 3,766
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 26.75%
Wants: 225
Gots: 1,010 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,233 | Hads: 3,766
Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: This beer seems interesting right from the start. A beautiful ruby red hue. There's a nice white/tan head making this beer look extremely inviting.

Smell: Chocolate, figs, cheeries, honey and a nice smelling warming booze aroma coming off this brew. It's pretty beautiful.

Taste: A perfect balance of tart, caramel, fruit, bready and spicy flavors. The only thing setting it off balance is the big booze flavor, which is actually nice.

Feel: Just like I said, the big booze flavor is very nice mostly because it warms you up! It's the perfect seasonal beer. It is sort of cry at the end, but other then that it's nice.

Overall: If there was one beer I could drink during cold weather the rest of my life, this would be it. It's almost exactly how I'd want my brew to be. Beautifully done.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

2015 Mad Elf shows a beautiful ruby red color beneath a small, off-white head. The aroma is sweet and spicy, combining honey, chocolate, cherries, and alcohol. Heavy malt creates sweetness in the flavor that's aided by the honey and cherries and culminates in a long-lasting, spicy finish. The alcohol is not hidden and will warm you up as you drink it.

Always a unique treat around the holidays. I'm throwing a couple of bottles in the cellar just to experiment.

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Photo of AndreRus
4.69/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful red/amber color. Wonderful hint of cherries. Just the right amount. Not overwhelming. Definitely something to look for around Christmas time

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Photo of tlema1
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: deep copper/ruby red, with a thin head
S: sweet, Belgian yeast
T: little sweet, boozy, some honey
F: full body, great mouthfeel
O: great overall brew

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap into a chalice. Pours copper red with a small white head. Smells of Belgian yeast with wheat. Tastes of banana and berries with slight wheat taste. Beer is full bodied but still very drinkable, good carbonation. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 version from a 32 oz growler from TBG poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark ruby red with slight brown and orange highlights. Little head on the pour that disappears to nothing immediately.

S - Banana bread. Cherries. Booze.

T - Very much the same as the nose, honey is apparent on the finish, with some chocolate notes. Not as much booze as on the nose.

M - Carbonation low, heavy feel but not sticky.

O - Can see this as a good post meal sipper in the winter.

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Photo of jcipa88
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew at 11% will put hair on your chest. It's absolutely delicious, but relax wen you get it, you'll be dying to try, just take a step back. Let it sit on the counter for 10 min. Then open it, let it sit another 10min. Then either pour into any glass you want, who cares! Then just smell, great malty / cherry aroma. The head is white and it's lovely. Now have a Cape Cod potato chip and have another taste. Just a great to have during those chilly days / nights. Cheers

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours a mahogany color with a solid white head.

smell is unique. has some of that Belgian yeast candy aroma. smell is sweet, the cherries are present as well. great aroma!

taste is sweet up front, almost some char to it. finishes with some bitterness to it. fruit taste to it, the cherries are present again. goes down smooth, nice sipper. it finishes bitter as well.

overall this is pretty good. not a bad winter seasonal. has a full and unique flavor. it has a nice balance of sweetness, char, fruit, and bitterness to it. glad i picked this up

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Photo of mmcsporran
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased a growler of this beer from Consumer's Beverages in Buffalo. Very nice dark amber colour. You think there might be more of a honey flavour, but the alcohol balances the sweetness. Excellent dark ale that warms you up on a cold winter day. Appropriately named as well. Absolutely recommend this beer.

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Photo of classixIII
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my favorite beer season and Mad Elf is one of the many reasons why.
Poured a dark amber with little to no head. Amazing smell of fruits, cherries right out there. Honey, grains and a hint of alcohol. Very smooth, minimal carbonation. Dry finish with a hint of bitterness and just enough alcohol.
I need more!

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Photo of puck1225
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the Public House in west Erie, PA. A deep red gold color with a thin head and nice lacing. Nice sweet and spicy smell and taste. Gingerbread, honey and nutmeg. Went great with the smoked wings!

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Photo of DanJan
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite seasonal offerings. Doesn't feel like Christmas without it. Pours a beautiful amber with ruby accents and a little bit of head with some lacing. Almost looks likes the holidays in a glass. The smell is dark fruits, dominated by cherries with a hint of the alcohol to come. Tastes like a mix between a strong wheat beer and a sour cherry beer which is exactly what you'd expect from the info on the label. Just enough of an alcohol burn to remind you of the ABV but it really balances it out nicely. The tartness of the finish allows you to enjoy the coating on your tongue before going for another sip. I plan on aging one or two this time and seeing how they mellow in a year.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby red with a thin off-white head.

S: dark fruit and cherries. Reminds me a little bit like cough syrup.

T: malty sweetness and honey. Cherries, as expected

M: medium body with low carb. Silky smooth

O: just picked up one in a mixed six pack. I am not a big cherry fan but wanted to try anyway. I can see the appeal for some but not really up my alley. Worth a try.

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Photo of Myotus
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 47°F from a 22oz bottle (2014) into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger of khaki foam that dissipates into a line within 25 seconds. Ruby in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are small in size and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and very subtle.
SMELL: Strong aromas of honey are backed by mild aromas of sweet cherries (I personally hate sweet cherries so my rating will reflect that), toasted malts, cloves, earthy yeast, and subtle aromas of alcohol.
TASTE: Strong sweet cherry and honey flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by mild clove and earthy yeast flavors. Mild flavors of caramel along with subtle toasted malt and alcohol flavors lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for honey and cherry, which fade to mild.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: An objective review, but a subjective rating. I don't like sweet cherries at all. I'm more of a tart cherry kind of guy. This was very sweet cherry forward. If you love sweet cherries and Belgian Ales, this is your beer.

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Photo of Bwise73
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I would suggest drinking this as troegs suggests between 45-55* . I had it really cold and rather warm and didn't like it. I've had it as they suggested and love it!!

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Photo of bmeehan
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mad Elf is now my favorite winter beer, as it does so much more to stand apart from the rest of the winter ale lineup than anything else I've had does. It smells like cherry and honey, which are both included in the brewing (read the label!) and it has a spicy sweetness that feels great on the tongue.

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Photo of OrangeMen
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage

Appearance- Pours a ruby red color w/ glistening deep orange hues. Fine layer of slight off-white colored head, fizzy and dissipates quickly. Transparent in glass. Lots of alcohol legs.

Aroma- Spicy yeast, Belgian phenols, clove, earthiness. Ripe cherries, bright berry notes. Syrupy malt sweetness, touches of honey and sugar.

Taste- Tart cherries, but also some sweet cherry with a syrupy maltiness. Lots of spiciness from the yeast, earthy, clove, slight white pepper, and coriander. Banana, honey, tangy berry fruits.

Feel- Medium body, syrupy consistency and feel. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Lots of different flavors come together. Cherries come right forward, w/ a slight tangy tartness. Syrupy and sugary maltiness brings out some sweet cherry, almost like a cherry pie filling. Belgian yeast influence is very forward, adds a lot of spice and earthiness to counterbalance sweetness. Warming sipper, rich and filling.

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Photo of mlockman
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer is crazy vinous, it is almost like drinking a wine, to be honest. Definitely not my favorite, but wasn't horrible overall; I really don't understand why it is in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale category.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a copper color with a tan head.

Smells of caramel malts and holiday spices.

Has a nice taste to it. Spices are nearing the point of being too much but not quite.

I really like this beer. To bad it's $15 for a six.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden copper color with off white head that dissipates quickly no lacing. The smell in a little off putting initially it smelled a little like rotten fruit, once the head dissipated you get a slight cherry smell and orange note. The taste is not bad some cherry flavor the alcohol stand out it is also a little bitter. Light beer leaves a slight tingle on the back end cherry up front. Overall not a bad beer but it does not stand out.

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Photo of Rreay724
4.76/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers and I wish it came around more often than just the holidays. Definitely tastes like a Christmas time type of beer and it's well worth the money. I recommend putting some cinnamon sugar around the rim of the glass for added taste. Just a heads up though, it's 11% alcohol so if you're not a heavy drinker you'll probably get bombed after a couple of these. Just got some to have tonight after my run. Can't wait.

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Photo of EMV
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Otto's in State College, PA. Poured into a snifter.

L: Pours a clear deep golden color with a trace of amber. 2 fingers of white head. Nice lacing.

S: Pitted fruits and cherries. Sweet and tangy. Belgian yeasts.

T/F: Malty and boozy. Cherries and honey... a bit spicy. Strong alcohol warmth. A bit sticky/chewy.

O: An over the top winter favorite, both boozy and tasty. Tastes like Christmas should (sans evergreen). Always great to grab a few around the holidays.

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Photo of gr0g
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle. Reddish-copper color. High clarity, not much in the way of head formation. On the nose, Belgian yeast character in the way of a chalky aspirin bottle note hits first. Sweet honey note. Cherry cough syrup.

Flavor is sweet but well-restrained. Alcohol strength is quite well hidden. This isn't bottle conditioned, so the carbonation isn't very vigorous, though it's a bit harsh. Malty and fruity character, though the finish is a bit bland. Having had this several times throughout the years, it's main selling point is that it's strong. Otherwise, it's unspectacular.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 once bottle into a tulip.

a: Festive Ruby colored body. Like a cherry gold color more specifically. 2 1/2 finger slightly off white head. Disappears quickly. Little lace.

s: Faint malts, honey, Cherry juice, alcohol, wormwood.

t: The Cherry and alcohol overpower everything. The combination of the two make the beer taste like it has an overdose of cherry bitters.

mf: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Thin finish with a slight alcohol burn.

o: I don't like slamming beers but this isn't for me. On a personal note I get too much bitters flavor from the cherry, spicy yeast, alcohol heat combination. I like bitters in cocktails but a few drops.
On a style note, aside from being high in alcohol, this is not reminiscent of a Belgian Strong Dark to me.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 11% abv

Appearance- Pours a deep red, with a brownish tint. One finger head with some lacing. Quite hazy.

Smell- Dark fruit; prune and cherry. Medicinal smell, similar to a Belgian yeast

Taste- Sweet grainy flavor turns even sweeter with Belgian yeast notes. Fruit comes full on, notes of cherry especially meet the palate, not only being sweet but a fair amount of tartness as well. The beer finishes sweet from the cherry flavor but also has a fresh honey flavor that comes in with just a hint of pepper.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation. Alcohol burn.

Overall- A fine strong ale of Belgian inspiration. The cherry and honey additions make this beer unique and stand out. Despite the alcohol burn this is a fine beer, but that is part of the novelty of this brew. Worth a try.

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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,233 ratings.