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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

3,539 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,539
Reviews: 1,216
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 204
Gots: 795 | FT: 22
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
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Ratings: 3,539 | Reviews: 1,216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MordorMongo
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of BodiesLexus
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of JamnesCameron
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a New Holland Pint glass.

A - not very dark. More of an amber color. Very little head, leaves a thin wisp after about a minute. Not very close to style for a belgian dark ale, even taking liberties with the fruit and honey added.

S - Cherry pits. Sweet, honey, and malt. The cherry really dominates.

T - Cherries, cherry pits, and sweet honey. Don't taste anything particularly belgian about this or dark ale, but it is very "good" - just don't taste the underlying style.

M - mouthfeel is medium, some fruit tannins, dryness from the fruit pits, mildly astringent. Some tartness builds up after a few sips.

D - I wouldn't call this representative of any particular style, much less belgian strong dark ale. But it is very "good." Very pleasent drinkability, almost dangerous.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured reddish amber into an American pint glass, with a very small head and spotty lacing. Sour cherry, mandarin orange, brown sugar, and malt in the nose. Medium-bodied, bittersweet, and good hop/malt balance throughout, with the alcohol presence surfacing in the form of a warm finish, and warm afterfeel. Would love to try some aged bottles of this to see how much it smoothens.

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Tanger for sending me a few of these and one of them being a 08. This review is from doing a side by side with 08 and 11.
The beer pours a amber red color with the 08 being a duller and murkier color with the 11 vibrant and clear. They both have a light tan head that fades quickly and sticks to the glass.
The 11 smell like a cherry and clove bomb, spicy, honey and alcohol. The 08 smells amazing much more balanced then the 11 with the smell a bit candy like.
The taste follows suite to the nose on both beers, the 11 was dominated by belgian flavors with clove, cherry and alcohol. The 08 tastes fantastic, its sweet yet spicy, the clove has faded off a lot revealing a balanced cherry and honey to mesh with the belgian flavors.
They both have a medium body and good carbonation. The 08 in my opinion is leaps and bounds better then the 11, if I get anymore bottles this year I will be putting them away for awhile.

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 PsilohsaiBiN
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish amber, with a head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Cherries with some vinous undertones and some honey underneath it all. Pretty strong and pleasant.

Taste: Cherries, booze, malts and belgian style yeast. The ending is a bit too boozy for my liking, in that it's not covered effectively enough to hide the 11%. If the funky(corianderish), boozy ending could be fixed through aging, I'd probably buy these a year early, just to mellow them out before I drank them. Being that I bought a sixer of this and I'm not exactly crazy about it, that will probably happen. I guess I'm just not crazy about coriander type ending.

Mouthfeel: A bit thick with average carbonation.

Overall: Again, there's just something going on in the ending, be it strong booze and/or coriander, that just doesn't do it for me. I bet that if you let this age, the cherries will eventually hit harder on the back end. I don't know if aging can fix this, but one can dream...can't they?

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

2006 vintage. Pours copper and clear with a small loose cream head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma shows some cherry, some tartness and behind this a deeper light sweetness. The alcohol is present in the aroma as a fairly rich booziness. There is a dry white wine character in the aroma as well. There is a mix of tartness and a light sweetness and cherries up front in the taste, followed by a nice breadiness and finishing with a slightly dry small alcohol bite. Body is fairly light and thin. The alcohol although present is fairly well balanced for its strength and its light body. Not something I'd drink a few of back to back, but I look forward to aging some and seeing how it develops. Nice festive beer, I enjoyed the tartness which mixed well with the slight dryness and alcohol in the finish.

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JLapadura
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of blknikon
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of beerme626
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of alex_hart
4.69/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Belgian Strong Dark Ales are by far my favorite style of brew, so when I saw that a beer at 11% abv was on tap, and was this style, i knew I couldn't turn away.

This was love at first taste. Dark cherries, spice, and caramel. It looked dark and foreboding (which is what I like), but it was soft, smooth, and delicious. The smell threw me off a little bit and made me nervous before the first sip, but that is the only negative thing I could say about it. This is one of those beers I could drink every day for the rest of my life and be content, though my organs would fail.

Photo of tvghost
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dithyramb
2.82/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served on tap per this year's XMas in July at Max's in Baltimore. Poured into a large tulip cup, it was a pale rose colored brew with absolutely no carbonation going on in the brew, no real head. There may have been a slight ring around the edge when it was first served. No lacing.
Smell of cherries soaked in honey
Sorry, but couldn't help but think this was light cherry cough syrup. It even had the same sticky mouthfeel going down. Slight tanin like hop finish. Not fond of this one on tap after it had been sitting a few months. Plus, I'm not overly sure if this is a Belgian strong...

Photo of athomasPSU
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of rcjennings
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JandJMD
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of abcramer
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of ski271
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, medium reddish-copper with a very small, frothy, slightly off-white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film. Actually didn’t even know what style this beer was until I smelled it. Obvious Belgian with moderate wheat, sweet malts, cherry and some other fruit esters accompanying the light alcohol presence. Toward the end of the bottle when it really warmed up, I was picking up some light clove and a light woodsy smell. Flavor-wise, it starts out with rather typical Belgian flavors, mostly because I had served it too cold. it then opens to reveal a wonderful malt backbone and a complex array of flavors, but it’s the duo of cherries and sweet malts that steal the show. I admit at first it threw me a bit, but the second try was much better. And it kept getting better all the way to the bottom of the glass. It has a medium body, lightly oily texture and soft carbonation. This is a real holiday treat that is well done. Hard to believe this beer is 11%! Use with caution.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish red color, with a 1 finger head that dissipates quickly. Medium level of carbonation. No lacing at all and the head that completly dissapears hurt the appearance a little.

Smell is bready/toasted biscut with just a touch of the added cherries. Can't really detect the honey. Taste is also very bready with just a hint of cherries. Where is the alcohol? It is hidden amazingly well. Medium bodied mouthfeel with a mildly spicey (nutmeg) aftertaste.

This is a nice holiday brew, but one at a time is plenty. I enjoyed it and look forward to next years offering. Probably a little on the pricey side but worth it once a year. I wasn't sure what i would think about this one, i normally don't like beers with fruit added, but this was just subtle enough to be enjoyable.

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of vwbus7
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of jhartley
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.
Received a 6 pack for a Christmas gift.

A-Great looking label! Bottle imprinted with 2011-2012 Batch#110812. A beautiful ruby red-brown color, almost looks like iced tea. 1 finger head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S-You definitely know there's cherries in this one! Also picking up on the malts and a somewhat raisin like smell; tart.

T-Cherry right away leads into a nice maltiness and finishes with a nice alcohol bite. Sweet N Tart. For sure a Belgian style. Really pick up on the honey at the end

M-Tangy, tart and sweet. Enough alcohol at the end to cut the sweetness.

O-A great holiday/winter warmer for sure the 11% abv kicks in at the end, you want to be careful how many of this you're going to drink and be careful once you get up. I definitely could not drink this one all the time, but it was/is very nice for a change of pace. If you're a fan of Belgians; give this one a try.

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!

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,539 ratings.