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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

3,183 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,183
Reviews: 1,164
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 185
Gots: 544 | 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: 3,183 | Reviews: 1,164 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of athomasPSU
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

athomasPSU, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of CreightonSM
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

CreightonSM, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of hinemk76
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

hinemk76, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of confer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Red/brown. No head, almost nocarbonation activity at all.
S- Sour cherry in the smell.
T- It changes with the temperature. The cherry taste is most dominant. Not much booziness for an 11%.
M0-Fairly thin on the feel. This is a dangerous beer. So potent and so easy to drink. A great sipper and it will be a holiday regular.

confer, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of clay23
4/5  rDev +3.4%

clay23, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of EricCioe
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

EricCioe, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Ngntjp
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

Ngntjp, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of frank4sail
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very lucky to get the last of these at The Beer Yard. Yes quite a drive for me and always worth it.. (Matt is the man).. Jcalbi told me this beer was a must try "by any means get your hands on some". So here goes.. out of my Westmalle goblet: (one of the best labels i have ever seen on a holiday beer!)

Deep bright red sparkle colors swirl in the glass. A nice tan snow head on the pour this then leaves the glass quickly (ABV?). Wonderful crystral ruby look. Sweet cherry hop sharpness to the nose. Initial big bready, yeasty (belgian quality) to the taste. This sharp base then is smoothed by honey and hints of cherry on the tongue. Great balence for a big beer. Your mouth is left slightly dry and wanting more. The beer is not overly fruity or sweet at all, but that hint of honey and cherry skins hypnotise the palate. This is really a treat. If you shut your eyes you would think you were sitting in a bar in Brugge next to Jingle and Jangle (Santa's elfs in A year without a Santa Clause). I would buy more if I could!

PS.. caution after three or four of these you will have full conversations with Jingle... thanks Jcalbi (jim) for the heads up on this brew ....

frank4sail, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of TheDeuce
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy red amber color, minimal head but big crackling bubbles. It says on the front that it is brewed with honey and cherries; both flavors come in immediately along with Belgian sugar and meaty hop shots. Alcohol is felt but not tasted, though as it is known if you have too many of these you will keel over. Suprisingly subdued finish adds to drinkability, I hate cherries and honey, yet actually enjoy this beer, the Brothers have done it again.

TheDeuce, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of Sturmthis
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Sturmthis, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of mzwolinski
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy red in color, with a thin uneven top.

The aroma is sweet and malty. Cherries and honey are understated at first, but give signs of a bit too much sweetness down the road.

The flavor is not bad right out of the fridge. A bit sweet with hints of cherry and very little in the way of hops. Alcohol almost completely undetectable. Nothing terribly stand-out about it, but certainly drinkable

As it warms, the malt and alcohol combine to give the beer a cinnamon-bread character. This is one of the more pleasant aspects of the beer.

As it continues to warm, however, the beer becomes a bit cough-syrupy … too sweet and sticky in the throat. And the warmer it gets, the worse it gets. Even at 55 degrees, it's pretty awful.

mzwolinski, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this years version into a Mad Elf tulip glass from Christmas last year,by the way this is my 100th review.Poured a beautiful ruby red color,quite clear for a belgium style beer.A white 2' thick head,turned into a ring around the glass quicker than I would had anticipated.
Very tiney bubbles stringing together throughout the beer.A very tempting looking beer.
The aroma was very yeasty,clovey,fruity,spicey,slight bannanna,a cherry overtone throughout. An intense and complex aroma,couldn't keep the nose out of this beer.
The taste was very complex and intriging,it was clovey,yeasty,fruity,spicy,a subtle cherry presence throughout. Sweet,dry.tangy the 11% alcohol was a bit hidden in the taste.
The mouthfeel was surprisingly light and airee. A fuzzy warm feeling on the tongue.a nice sharp.dry smooth bitterness,a tartness that makes the mouth water.
A fairly drinkable beer for the style,the alcohol creeps up dangerously upon you.Every taste makes you want more,this beer really grows on you. Smoother and more drinkable than last years version.

A must try Christmas beer!

jcdiflorio, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for sending this bottle.

Pours deep amber into a tuilp, producing about half a finger of light tan head.

Smells of malts, Belgian yeast, honey, and perhaps a bit of fruit.

This beer begins with flavors of malts and bread, and finishes with Belgian yeast, spices, a hint of banana, and just a little alcohol warmth.

Mad Elf is medium-bodied and smooth, with minimal carbonation. Even at 11%, the alcohol is just barely noticeable, making for a nicely drinkable beer.

Pellinore1, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of bigdeuce
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Leaves some decent lacing but not as much as a real belgian..but other than that, this is a world class beer. Pours an amber/red color with a fast disapating head. Tastes of fruity plums, honey, and cherries. Finishes dry with a rummy note at the end. Is light and crisp and very hard to detect it's strength. Glad I got a case of this one.

bigdeuce, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of BigPlay1824
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber
Served in a Pilsner glass

A: pours a beautiful reddish amber color with one finger of foamy off white/pink head

S: has a smell reminiscent of a belgian style ale, the sweetness of the cherries is present

T: Beautiful tasting brew, quite sweetened up by the cherries and the honey, nice solid wheat notes

M: nice carbonation tingle, very smooth across the pallet, sweetness really spreads through the mouth

D: perhaps a bit too sweet to be an easy drinking brew but the taste definitly begs for the next sip

BigPlay1824, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Jonada
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2012 vintage. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark red color with one finger of head, which dissipates quickly to a slightly off white collar. Body is hazy with quite a bit of suspended sediment.

Smell: Cherry, clove, dark fruits, honey and some light medicinal notes.

Taste: Spicy Belgian yeast, cherry, dark fruit, pepper, sweet bread. Insanely drinkable for 11%.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, slightly heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is medium and ideal for this particular beer. Finish is lightly sweet with medium alcohol warmth.

Overall: Extremely tasty and very unique beer. One of my favorite winter seasonal beers and always worth seeking out a 6 pack when it's released.

Jonada, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of ggaughan
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle. Although I have tried all 3 years of Mad Elf, I have not done a vertical of them yet but plan on doing in the future. Maybe around Christmas.

The 2005 poured a nice shiny amber color with a medium thickness light brown head that disipated pretty quickly after completing the pour into the Mad Elf glass. And what a lovely glass it is.

You can pick up the spice notes in this beer upon smelling it and even more spice (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon?) once you get a good taste. The cherry taste is not overly noticeable but still adds a nice touch to this stellar beer.

It is hard to tell that this baby is 11% abv with how suprisingly smooth it is and goes down. That is why I like it so much and go back each year to try some.

Can't wait to get my hands on a 3litre of this for the holidays.

ggaughan, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of BigCheese
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

BigCheese, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of NumberNone
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

NumberNone, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of Zraly
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep pink with orange tints. Little to no head. Smells of cherries and bread dough. Pleasant.

The flavor is tremendous. Rich, sweet malts accompanied by the flavors of cherries and bread. A complimentary flavor of clovey spice and fruit rounds of the yeasty presence. You can taste the alcohol...period. But it gives this ale a wonderful complexity in terms of the taste department.

This is an interesting brew but not entirely approachable. It seems a bit "raw" in some way. Once you get past that quality, you find an eccentric character lurking about as a strong ale.

A nice night cap.

Zraly, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of bluesplit63
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

bluesplit63, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of philipquarles
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-red with minimal head that disappears to nothing.

Smells of sour cherries, spices, malt, some Belgian-esque yeast, and alcohol. This carries on to the flavor; sweet malt and sour fruit at first, but soon overpowered by the alcohol. It would be nicer if it were masked a bit better. That said, it gives a nice warming sensation.

The mouthfeel is nothing special really; somewhat thick and a bit syrupy. All-in-all, I'm somewhat disappointed after hearing all of the praise. Certainly not bad though.

philipquarles, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of kegger22
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a clear red with modest head that dissipated to a collar. The aroma was cheap cherry Kool-Aid. The taste wasn't as bad as the aroma would lead you to expect, but it wasn't very good either. Something my mom would have poured into ice cube trays to make homemade popsicles, 40 years ago. The feel was medium bodied with reasonable carbonation. Drinkability was only decent due to high ABV and questionable taste.

This was a bad idea that went badder (if I may). While not horrible, everything about it screamed artificial, cheap and tawdry. Does Boone's Farm make a cherry?

kegger22, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of ConradKenney
4/5  rDev +3.4%

ConradKenney, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into little tasting glasses- split this year's edition with a few friends...

Deep ruby red with a quickly dissipating head. Left surprisingly good lacing.

Aroma of toasted malt, slightly sweet, fruitiness (cherries, dates) but mostly just alcohol. Saying that it is very present is an understatement. I recently got an 05 as an extra in a trade and am very excited to see how it has mellowed.

One friend said the words "Cherry cough syrup" and once I heard that, I couldn't stop thinking it. Had a nice, creamy, full bodied mouthfeel but the alcohol was very present. Somewhat yeasty/spicy throughout. Interesting to try, but certainly a sipper for the cold months.

Ineedabeerhere, Jan 09, 2009
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,183 ratings.