1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,552 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,552
Reviews: 1,219
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 204
Gots: 811 | FT: 24
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 3,552 | Reviews: 1,219
Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Smell is clovey, banana, cherries and a belgian yeasty finnish.

Taste is a sweet, cherryish banana with a nice malty finish.

Mouthfeel is good, and the booze does not overpower to affect the drinkability.

A very good beer that is different than most belgian style beers because of the banana flavors.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish tinged amber body, clear no sign of sediment. One finger soft white head sits atop momentarily. The head recedes back to a slim cap. Slight lacing left behind.

Cherry Starburst flavor pours from the glass. The cherry is very sweet and candylike. It takes a bit of work to dig beneath the fruit up front. Sweet malt can be noticed, some soft yeast characteristics. The smell is pleasant though fairly one dimensional.

The flavor is an improvement from the aroma. The cherry flavor is not as dominant and much less artificial. Sweet, dark cherry flavor melds with an earthy honey flavor. Very strong belgian style dark ale notes are displayed below. Dark fruit and chocolate flavors compliment the cherry up front. There is a decent amount of heat in this beer. It is not out of place, but it is a little more than what I would like.

Medium to full bodied beer. Moderate carbonation, appropriate for the style. Heavy sweetness coats the tongue making for a long finish.

I like this beer, very appropriate holiday beer. The flavors work well together creating an interesting interpretation of a belgian style beer. Mad Elf is a little boozey but not to the point of being off putting. I would like to drink this again, preferably when there is snow on the ground.

Photo of mmcnaughton
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of spedprof
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Schmuckles
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Khazadum
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of WuBByG999
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured some of a bomber into a pint glass. A nice deep copper color, with a fast rising and faster sinking tan head. No lacing to speak of here.

Aroma of tart fruit, some yeasty esters, and a touch of warm alcohol. Nothing noticeable from hops here, and not getting any direct malt notes either. The taste is does have some sweet maltiness to it upfront, quickly drying out though (thank you honey) with cherry and alcohol taking over in the middle and pretty much riding it out to the end. Again, no hops are detected at all. Cherry can take over a beer, but this one does so is a more subtle wine like way. I like the taste of this, but having trouble grading it as Belgian Strong Dark ale.

Not a huge body, which adds to my style confusion. Works well here though and again makes me think of wine. A nice smooth feel, with only mild carbonation more detectable in the back of the mouth than visually.

No doubt this is a very good and interesting beer. I have been wanting to review it for a while and glad to finally get the chance!

Photo of GregSVT
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a small white head that fades leaving no lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of cherries, red apples, and yeasty/bready aromas.

T: The taste is definitely Belgian. Loads of cherries, other fruits, malt, yeast, and biscuity bread flavors. I guess I'm not getting much of the honey that this is supposedly brewed with but I'm sure it just adds to the sweetness of the brew.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied. The finish lasts for a while.

D: Not a bad belgian beer. The ABV is pretty high and will definitely make me think twice about grabbing another in the same night.

Not what I expect when the holidays roll around but it's a good beer. Recommended if you like big fruity belgian beers.

Photo of brentblack1
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of slimntubbs
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a case swap with some friends, though I've had it many times before.

Poured into a tulip a deep reddish brown with bright orange & ruby highlights. Thin ring of white foam, no real head or lacing. A lot of different colors appear, & the body moves between translucent & transparent. Very fun to look at, like a Christmas tree decoration.

Strong, spicy Belgian yeast character leads the smell, like a tripel with cherries. What follows is sweet bread dough, some alcohol, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg). As it warms, a subtle mustiness/funkiness emerges here & there.

Taste has spices up front, sweetness from honey, both sweetness & tartness from the cherries, & slight sourness in a doughy kind of way. The booze becomes apparent but isn't too harsh.

Mouthfeel is full without being chewy or heavy, & active without being prickly or sharp. The booze, while not being abrasive, is definitely warming & I feel rosy-cheeked & red-eared by the end.

There's a lot of good stuff about this, but by the end of it I'm kind of worn out & ready for a nap. I guess "hard-hitting" would be a way to describe it. This doesn't have quite the complexity that a big Belgian style normally would, but what's there is really good. Part of my appreciation for this beer is the nostalgia & associations I have with it -- it's become something of a tradition & is very comforting.

Photo of capnamerica
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jpd026
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

sucks mang. says enter at least 5 words. there you go.

Photo of Callmecoon
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of mitch3114
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12 oz. bottle into snifter glass

A- Nice brown color with a slight reddish hue

S- I smell the cherries! I also smell Belgian yeast and alcohol. This smells a bit like cleaning solvent...with a hint of banana.

T- Well, it certainly doesn't TASTE like cleaning solvent. I can taste the Belgian yeast. It's more subtle than I thought. I taste sugar cherries and alcohol. Maybe some spices.

M- Mouthfeel is great. It's smooth and has just the right "prickly" with the carbonation. It's not too thick, and it's not cloying.

O- This is a unique beer. I am glad I finally got to try it and I got to try a fresh one. I think I will pick up a 6 pack and lay some down. I think when some of the heat burns off, even more of the subtle flavors will come out. I can see why this is a holiday favorite!

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.

Photo of lic217
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of Zraly
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of maddogruss
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Poured an amber body with no head or lacing to note, even while drinking.

S: A slightly sweet, malty smell with banana ester undertones typical of a strong Belgian.

T: A sweet, smooth malty taste with the banana esters evident in the aftertaste. Did not taste the alcohol at all, which is impressive since it is 11%.

M: Smooth, velvet mouthfeel that was crisp and full-bodied.

D: A fairly drinkable beer. Tastes great and goes down easy. While you cannot taste the alcohol, it can hit you rather quickly, so do not expect to sit down and slam back a sixer of these babies.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color w/ a reddish tint when held to the light. Not much in the way of carbonation or lacing, but w/ the high 11% ABV, I won't ding it too much. Somewhat clear in appearance. Nose is that of mainly cherry, honey, and some alcohol. Not as complex as the best in style- a little one dimensional for me. Taste is the same- it's not bad.. but up against the best in style, it's lacking complexity and taste. This is a tough style list though, so it's really not bad. Feel is on the lighter side, w/ a nice sweet honey aftertaste. Overall, this is a good beer, it's just missing more yeast, malt, and complexity in the taste/feel. I like the idea of it though. Cheers.

Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of NumberNone
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MrBoh
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle date: 10/08/14. Pours a ruby brown into my snifter. Little less than a finger of mocha colored head. No real lacing.

The aroma is interesting. Mainly cherries and bubble gum. Raisin or another dried fruit is also present. A little spicy, cloves and coriander.

The taste is much more upfront with the spices. Cherries, raisins, bitter orange peel and smoke round it out. The alcohol is not very well hidden, something I don't remember in past versions. The spices also come out more and more as it sits. I don't remember past versions being so potent, it's overkill for my senses.

I can feel the alcohol not just in the mouth, but down into the throat. The beer is viscous, tricking you into thinking it's sweeter than it is. Each sip it seems like it'll be very sweet, but it finishes somewhere between sweet and dry, but definitely bitter.

I remember liking this a lot more in past years. It just seems to be searching for an identity it can't find. Somewehere between a fruit beer and a Belgian dark ale, it almost finds itself closer to a spicy, less oaky barleywine. Maybe I've just been spoiled with great beer lately. It's still good, it's just not much more than that.

Photo of Bill235
4/5  rDev +3.4%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,552 ratings.