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.
very good

2,943 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,943
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 141
Gots: 424 | 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: 2,943 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kayrex


4/5  rDev +3.6%

11-29-2011 22:48:28 | More by kayrex
Photo of KFrank729


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

03-21-2014 12:27:38 | More by KFrank729
Photo of brauseboof

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

12-11-2012 00:27:44 | More by brauseboof
Photo of NickyDee21


4/5  rDev +3.6%

07-31-2012 14:55:17 | More by NickyDee21
Photo of marshmeli

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%

01-03-2013 22:20:08 | More by marshmeli
Photo of ManekiNeko


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

12 oz. bottle served lightly chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Clear red with just a hint of orange. Topped with a short-lived and frothy white head that recedes to a film and then just a ring of foam. Itty-bitty blobs of lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Nice whiffs of honey and cherries overlying a brandy-esque smell. Mildly floral, too. Not a bad little sniffer.

Taste: Sweet, sweet caramel malt flavor with overtones of honey and light cherries. Grainy and boozy aftertastes. Quite nummy.

Mouthfeel: Lightly syrupy. Solid medium body with not an ounce of flab on it. Alcohol is well masked, but this is still a muscular beer. A masked Mexican midget wrestler, if you will.

Drinkability: Not to reference my thread about mixing this and Samichlaus together, but I do wonder if one would be moved from the "naughty" to the "nice" column if I left a few of these for ol' St. Nick. A great, high-octane fruit beer.

11-22-2003 21:24:45 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of DrStiffington

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.6%

12-25-2013 15:52:59 | More by DrStiffington
Photo of allenson21

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

02-08-2013 18:14:15 | More by allenson21
Photo of timoteo833

New York

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12-25-2013 03:50:31 | More by timoteo833
Photo of JandJMD


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

04-13-2013 23:33:57 | More by JandJMD
Photo of Atlas1


3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Gotta try something called Mad Elf, even if it is early on in the holiday season. Troegs does a number of very fine beers (Nugget Nectar, anyone?) and I hope this is no exception.

Poured into my DFH barrel pint glass, the Mad Elf is a thin-looking, clear copper/amber color with a nice full-bodied white head that dies down over time. Not much lace to speak of. The aroma screams strong Belgian and German dopplebock at the same time. Lots of candied sugar with bananas and, as intended, cherries. It's good, but it's almost a bit over the top for my liking. The taste is deep and rich, with notes of banana, spicy yeast, clove, honey, and sour cherry (although, in my opinion, the cherry flavor is a bit muted). Nice spicy hop kick on the back end of it, but it's also got a noticeable boozey quality to it. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety.

This is a great spiced ale for the holidays. Not my favorite style of beer, but I think I knew that going into it. Honestly, I'd love to take a big IPA, like a Double Simcoe or a 90-Minute or a Two Hearted and mix it together with the Mad Elf to see what comes of it. I think it would make a fine combination. That said, this is a nice winter warmer. At 11% ABV, it'll do the trick. Enjoy around the fire place after a ski run.

11-10-2007 02:07:25 | More by Atlas1
Photo of atoulouk


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12-24-2012 03:53:51 | More by atoulouk
Photo of rwilde


4/5  rDev +3.6%

11-20-2011 15:23:01 | More by rwilde
Photo of devilfluff

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.6%

04-02-2014 23:27:24 | More by devilfluff
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -6%

Last year I reviewed this on Christmas Day. Can't wait that long for this year's edition.

12 ounce bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - The beer pours out as red as a ruby with a compact off white head. The red color really is pretty.

S - Big fruit smell along with the distinct smell of Belgian yeast. Some alcohol character and some dark bready smell.

T - The initial sip is sweet but a tartness comes over this beer. I definitely get the cherries in there as well. Alcohol on the finish.

M - A bit of a lighter body than I expect for the style.

D - Intriguing, a lot of sour characteristics that I didn't expect yet are still welcome

12-16-2006 07:31:27 | More by EStreet20
Photo of PBRstreetgang


4.28/5  rDev +10.9%

Thanks to FroggyFrog for the sample! Pours a clear amber hue with a fizzy, pale tan head of two fingers. Dismal retention and no lacing but thats forgivable given the ABV. Wild berry and tropical fruit phenols; more alcoholic than Belgian. Vanilla bean and toasted malt aromas in the background, with undertones of champagne yeast and honey. First sip is sweet with toasty pale malt, a touch of caramel, and some errant dextrins. A flash of zesty marachino cherry, reminiscent of a young Kreik. Subdued Belgian Phenolics are more tart than funky, and combines with the other flavors to mask the alcohol very well. The aftertaste is a little boozey, and further dries out the palate after the mild hop bitterness balances the malts. The mouthfeel is ultimately well-balanced, dancing from sweet, to tart, to dry, and finally a clean alcoholic heat with all flavors receeding- leaving no cloying or residual sugar. The medium-light body is well-attentuated and well-carbonated- thus giving the mouthfeel a light and spritzy character- capable of lifting the powerful elements displayed. Finishes surprisingly mellow, as the malt, alcohol and yeast profile seem to apex, then fade away rapidly leaving only faint white-wine notes on the tounge for the last few swigs. Solid drinkability given the high alcohol, and an impressive interpretation of the style.

04-25-2007 05:14:52 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of ej285701


4/5  rDev +3.6%

11-16-2011 06:56:23 | More by ej285701
Photo of PhageLab


3.3/5  rDev -14.5%

12oz bottle poured into a sifter.

A - Deep ruby red coloration. Produced a fingertip's worth of froth that stuck around for a bit, then faded out into a ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S - Hmmm, cherry and citric acid. A bit pungent for my tastes. Alcohol also shows up here.

T - Quite hideous chilled, but once it had time to breathe and reach room temperature, some flavors actually came through. Cold it tastes like citric acid, but as it warmed more of the spices came through, as well as the cherry flavor. Not bad, but not great either.

M - Medium body, warming from the abv, low carbonation, pretty smooth on the palate.

D - Okay I suppose, although I wasn't too impressed. I think I just bought into the hype a bit much, which one should never do. I doubt I'll seek another out, though I wouldn't turn one down if offred. Maybe cherries just don't belong in my beer. Recommended if that's your thing.

12-06-2007 16:25:19 | More by PhageLab
Photo of cvfish


4.47/5  rDev +15.8%

Rated the #1 christmas beer in Don Russell's book

A - Poured a cloudy red color that produced a fluffy white head that retained well and left a nice lacing around the glass

S - Strong scents of cherries and sweet honey with some spicy backgrounds, possibly cinnamon

T - A sweet cherry and honey flavor that mix well with the spicy flavors of cinnamon and malty goodness

M - Medium bodied with fair amount of carbonation

D - Very good Christmas beer, well earned reputation

12-23-2008 00:00:58 | More by cvfish
Photo of djgustafson

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

11-10-2013 04:09:38 | More by djgustafson
Photo of BierReise


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured a nearly clear cherry red color with no head at all. Just a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Aroma is fruity and malty with strong notes of sweet cherries. I also detect yeast in the aroma. Has a nice crispness like a Belgian Tripel. Flavor is sugary sweet and syrupy with lots of cherries. Alcohol is well hidden, a pleasurable brew.

11-28-2003 22:08:23 | More by BierReise
Photo of arguemaniac


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Pours a deep, reddish copper color with a fairly robust head and generous lace (especially for 11% ABV). Fruity and alcoholic aromas in the nose. The very malty flavor features a multi-layered estery, fruity character (primarily cherry), a pleasantly sour tartness, and well-masked alcohol bite. Mostly grain with a distinct touch of fruitiness in the finish. A creamy mouthfeel with mildly active carbonation.

For an 11% ABV brew this one is very drinkable; you would never guess how alcoholic it really is. Add that to really tasty sweet and tart flavor with a somewhat silky mouthfeel and it’s clear that Mad Elf is one of those beers that can get you into a bit of trouble. Highly recommended, but imbibe carefully….

01-18-2006 06:38:44 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of paulys55


4/5  rDev +3.6%

06-09-2014 03:48:24 | More by paulys55
Photo of razorsdescent


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

01-23-2012 10:14:05 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of Kaydogg


4/5  rDev +3.6%

11-30-2011 14:34:22 | More by Kaydogg
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,943 ratings.