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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,209 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,209
Hads: 3,654
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 26.75%
Wants: 224
Gots: 934 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,209 | Hads: 3,654
Photo of steorn
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The mad elf enters the glass.A beautiful pour,red-hued,lovely. With an off white head full of active little bubbles.The scent of yeast, malt, and a restrained cherry sweetnes.I think I should taste it.A nice honey seetness encased in alcohol.Awonderful creamy mouthfeel.The cherry arrives ,gently though still accompanied by alcohol.The finish is nice ,slightly sour, fading gently away.This is nice.
Although eleven percent the Elf is amazingly drinkable.I had expected something more intense but instead have a rounded entertaining holiday ale in the glass( now more than half empty):)
Kudos to the one and only Feloniousmonk for introducing me to my new mad friend.

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Photo of mkobes
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice red color. Fruity nose. Cherries. Pours with a thick red head. interesting. I have 5 bottles aging. I can't wait to see what they will taste like in a year. This beer was so fresh. Really enjoyable. Interesting flavors. Lots of fruit. I enjoyed this beer. Had this at Andy's too.

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Photo of Walsar
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A nice effort by the Troeg brothers -- the Mad Elf Ale is a definite winter warmer at 11% abv.

Tasty - cherry - not too sweet -- drink at 50 or 55 degrees out of a big ole wine glass and you will enjoy the experience.

I would recommend this ale - but watch out as they pack a wallop

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Photo of drinknewbelgium
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours deep red to mahagony forms little head at the top smells of spices cinnamon, nutmeg and hints of cherries tastes of holiday spices cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a subtle hint of cherries with alcohol present filles thinner in my mouth than i would expect and i dont know i believe one of these would do it for me very strong beer but very spiced if you liked holiday spiced beer this one here is the right beer for you

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Photo of beer1018
2.56/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Picked this up because of a recomendation by a friend. 6 pack of bottles poured into a tulip glass.

Small head that keeps a small layer on top for awhile. I would say it is close to ruby red but has allot of brown in it as well.

Smell is all spicy bitter phenols with a touch of cherries and malt.

The first thing i taste is the spicy phenols and some sour cherry. I am not a fan of how spicy this is though. I wish they would have used a diffrent yeast strain for this beer. I also get a unplesent sour taste as well.

Mouthfeel is good as the carbonation isnt to strong.

Drink is low just because i am not a fan of the flavor at this point and dont want to drink more then one.
I am going to celler the rest of my pack and re visit them thorughout the year. Also at over $17 a 6 pack here in Ohio i wishi would have got a single instead.

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Photo of NicholasSchell
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep amber/cherry color, with minimal to no head, appears to be very lightly carbonated.

S- Scent is fairly sweet, spicy, and lightly floral. The label promises cherries and honey, they both show but the cherries are king here.

T- Sweet Cherries, alcoholic, woody. The kind of flavor that brings back memories of Christmas past.

M- Feels more carbonated than it appears, slightly sticky consistency, warming.

D- This is a sipper, but as far as a Winter Warmer goes it does it's job well.

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Photo of JoshW
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby/amber color, with the text book perfect finger head.

Smell was sweet, cherries were overpowered by 11% alcohol.

For as strong of a beer as this one is, mouthfeel is thin, honey flavor coats the tongue, cherries and alcohol follow up, someone mentioned "dusty" I think that fits pretty well also.

Drinkability was way too easy for me, started off with one bottle, ended up finishing all 6....


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Photo of BrianOhio
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a ruby red with little to no head, even with an aggressive pour.

Aroma is sweet like you get from a Belgian, but then you pick up the sweeter cherry notes, with some subtle Christmas spice.

Taste follows the aroma...initially that of a Belgian, but then you pick up the cherry, and very light cinnamon and clove. The finish is a warming boozy sweetness.

This is not a beer I want every day, but in the winter warmer category, this is absolutely one of my favorites. The perfect beer for a cold, snowy night.

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Photo of Ty1erC
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.*

a: it's a reddish-amber color, with a touch of orange. the head dies away quickly, and there is an ever-so-slight amount of lacing.

s: the beer smells of honey, cherries, alcohol, unripe bananas, citrus, and spice.

t: tastes of sweet malt, honey, and cherries... there's a lot going on here.

m: it's somewhat syrupy, with low-moderate carbonation.

d: drinks pretty smoothly for strong ale. i'll seek it out again next winter.

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Photo of shealoftus14
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is obviously a darker beer coming it at 11.0% alcohol percentage. Therefore you get your money's worth and don't have to drink a lot of them to get the job done. For people who enjoy pilsner's I wouldn't recommend this but for the heavy drinkers this is right up your ally. It pours a very dark color and leaves a potent aftertaste in your mouth, but I have no problem with it. When I'm looking for a dark beer to give me a little buzz and to go well with my meal I go with Mad Elf.

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Photo of drink_like_a_wahoo
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Mad Elf from bottle served in a snifter.

Look - Golden red
Smell - Dark cherries with hints of honey
Taste - Black cherry sweetness up front that fades into a smooth, less sweet belgian yeast finish
Feel - Smooth and light in the mouth

I have had this beer from multiple years at various ages. My absolute favorite was the 2014 at 14 months, but really everything after 8 months has been delightful. Aging really smooths it out and rings in the up front sweetness that younger bottles carry. One of my favorites

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Photo of BigTomZ
1.82/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours a nice looking red with decent white creamy head that stayed around.

S - Smells like sweaty ball sack, with some cherry notes.

T - Taste was like cherry cough syrup with pennies and band-aids in it.

M - Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy.

O - That thick mouthfeel combined with the sweetness and metallic taste did not make for an enjoyable beer. I really enjoy most beers from Troegs, but not this one.

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Photo of TheDudeBeers
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Orangish-Purple in color. No real head to report
S - Fruit and perhaps some clove and other spices
T - Apricot, citrus fruit, cherries up front with the spices coming late in the taste.
M - A little heavy for a winter warmer but I like that. Thick on the tongue with low carbonation.
D - I usually don't like Winter Warmers. It's just not my favorite style but I think this is pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Lordsloth
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received from Scott84golf(IIRC). I opened my second bottle, and I need some more!

Appearance is a deep, dark red/brown, but still quite crisp and clear. Smells like dark cherries and dark malt. Taste is amazing. Very clean taste, almost no aftertaste to speak of. Dark malt and the aforementioned cherry. Mouthfeel is good, light and apealing, but there is a bit of alcohol bite to it. Drinkability is very good. I could go for more. Currently my favorite style.

Send me some more, somebody! :)

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Photo of vikingloki
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass with a small head that disappeared almost immediatly.

Nice red orange color, nothing about the small is overwhelming, just a brief whiff of hops.

First mouthful is tart, might be the carbonation, medium mouthfeel, no hint of hotness from the whopping 11% ABV.Very crisp, good balance, I would think this beer would smooth out and more flavors will come out with ageing.

Just a hint of honey and cherries, but obviously they were the big reason the ABV is high as it's not a malt monster of a beer. It's kinda wierd the ABV is high and the beer is not dark at all.

Very drinkable - very warming - 3 beers and I wouldn't recommend driving! I was hoping I'd like it more, but it's ok. The more I drink, the more I like. It reminds me of a barleywine more than anything else.

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Photo of Lafe
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of this beer is a beautiful, rich, reddish, amber. The aroma is sweet, with heavy overtones of honey and fruit (cherry), and an undertone of alcohol.

The first taste screams "sweet!" A burst of cherry and honey is followed by a most subtle bitterness, that doesn't quite balance the dominance of the sugars. The lack of assertive bitterness is almost made up for in the bite of alcohol that follows. The salvation of this beer is that the alcohol bite makes its appearance in a very pleasant, and probably planned, way.

There is no head to speak of, nor is there any lace. This beer, however, doesn't really seem to need it. It is outstanding for a cold winter evening, sitting and reading reviews on beeradvocate.com!

Also, I have to give out props for the artwork on the bottles and six-pack cardboard. Very nice.

As I finish the beer, the alcohol content really stands out in the flavor.

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Photo of rhythmguitartz88
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was nice although the head did disapear quite quickly. The smell was hard to find but once found it was pleasent some bitter-esque qualities coming through the smell but overall nice. The taste was nice with a strong finish that stays on your tongue. The mouth feel was above average.

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Photo of SteelerNation
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wayyy past the season, but I picked up one of the last bottles and had to try it anyway

A: Red. I haven't ever seen a pure red beer before so I give it high marks. Average head and lacing for a high gravity ale.

S: Bavarian banana yeasts. Super yeasty.

T: A mad array of flavors. The cherry is pronounced but the honey is subdued. Banana phenol yeasty flavors dominate. I can barely taste the delicate honey flavors. Unbelievably sweet for such a high abv. The alcohol is masked wonderfully. German Hallertau and Saaz hops make an entrance late. The aftertaste is a bit cloying and slightly medicinal.

M: Dextrinous but not too heavy.

D: Tastes more like 8% abv than 11%. Give me a whole six pack of this and I would be wasted immediately.

Complex and maddening. Definitely a Belgian ale.

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Photo of mtyrrell
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A- A nice amber red with a small head that quickly recedes, no lacing

S- Spicy, fruity, alcohol, fruit maltiness

T- Fruity cherry taste, spicy yeast, strong alcohol taste for a beer

M - Medium body, very smooth

D- Got a nice buzz from this 22oz bottle, 11% ABV. A pretty good brew, just not my cup of tea

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Photo of BillHaverchuck
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep ruby red with a shallow white head, looks like the holidays
smells sweet and fruity
deliciously sweet mouthfeel to this, nice carbonation level here as well
a nice sour note comes from the cherries, blends well with the sweetness from the honey creating a wonderful tartness
dangerously drinkable for an 11% (aka great for the holidays)

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Photo of jc85
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a local Wegman's. I didnt realize how expensive this 6pack was until I got to the register.

Appearance- Poured a nice redish brown, with a finger off white head that dissapated quickly.

Smell- Defnitly my favorite thing about this beer. You can cherries and honey bombard your nose as soon as you take a whiff.

Taste- Good taste, definitly more cherries than honey, and the carbonation level is a nice balance, gives it a little sting when you take your first sip.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied, it fits the flavor nicely though.

Drinkability- You could probably throw back a couple of these before you remember that its 11%, by then it will be too late.

Overall good beer, cant wait to see what a year of cellaring will do to this.

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Photo of easement
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours amber red/garnet with a small off-white head. little head retention. no lacing.

S- Honey and spices. I detect sweet fruit.

T- Fruits and sweetness. notes of maple and honey. Hints of cherry, but it's not overwhelming.

M- Very smooth. Small amounts of carbonation. Very syurpy.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for 11%. I could drink a few.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of tdrshayden
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby in color with an aroma that speaks of cherries.
Flavor was full-bodied with notes of cherries, sweet malt backing with little to no hop presence, the finish was very robust with a spicy, alcohol kick. The alcohol is pretty much in your face throughout the beer.

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Photo of tgncc
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking red color, tinge of brown, small white head. Looks a bit like cherry soda. The smell is classic belgian ale: yeasty, spicy, corinder, orange peel. Maybe a little candy sugar, but not much cheery or honey. The flavor is malty, sweet, sugar, vaguely fruity. Definitely a little honey in there. Good finish, nice hop sting on palate, which endures. Not bad, not as good as I had hoped. Certainly drinkable; in fact, it's hard to believe it's 11% ABV.

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Photo of applky
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Sunset Grill and Tap, served in a 13oz tulip glass

Dark garnet in color with no head (this is just because of the way the beer was poured, I think). A dark cherry flavor apparent in the nose becomes more prominent when tasted. Full-bodied and malty -- a very unique brew. Almost like a Belgian winter warmer (but no obnoxious spices; the cherry flavor works very well). Very easy going down despite the high alcohol content.

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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,209 ratings.