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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

2,979 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,979
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 150
Gots: 440 | FT: 19
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: 2,979 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atoulouk
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

atoulouk, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of Atlas1
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Atlas1, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev +3.6%

rwilde, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of EStreet20
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

EStreet20, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

PBRstreetgang, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of Dirty25
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Dirty25, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of ej285701
4/5  rDev +3.6%

ej285701, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of RichD
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

RichD, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of PhageLab
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

PhageLab, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of cvfish
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

cvfish, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of misternebbie
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%

misternebbie, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of BierReise
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BierReise, Nov 28, 2003
Photo of arguemaniac
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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….

arguemaniac, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

YeastEnthusiast, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of gonzo000
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

gonzo000, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of gopens44
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark red with a decent two finger frothy head

S - Dark cherries and booze. I like that smell, so I liked this already

T - Much like the nose, a boozy cherry time ensued. Following the cherry's shenanigans was a spice party that included clove and coriander, but not overwhelming like a Belgian Ale. Just a nice balance to the powerful cherry booze fun.

M - A little more than thin, and a smidgeon chewy. Not much carbonation, and a bit of bitter aftertaste.

I really enjoyed this mad bastard, and I'll probably get more this season to drink and age. Love to see what a year or two may do to this.

gopens44, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Kaydogg
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Kaydogg, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of rusty3335
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

rusty3335, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of rojapa
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

rojapa, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Beerbuddha
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a copper color with a thin white head which disappears quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The smell was a bit lacking. It had a very dominate sweet smell. The taste was of honey and not much else. I really expected cherries but in this particular bottle I had none. It wasn't bad but when I see cherries I expect cherries. The really good thing was the 11% ABV wasn't dominant. The mouthfeel was medium body with medium carbonation. Overall drinkability was fair. It would have been great had I tasted cherries. I'll have to try another bottle.

Beerbuddha, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of lpotter
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

lpotter, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of HopBrain
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

HopBrain, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of Travcofarms
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Travcofarms, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, almost black color with ruby-red highlights, with a tan colored head, leaves a good lace. On the nose there are whiffs of alcohol, good hop malt balance in the aroma. On the palate there is exotic spices, dark fruits, hints of dried cherries, rich malt flavors, slight sweetness, slight bitterness as well, the alcohol comes through a bit in the finish-11% abv…very good winter brew though…

WilliamPhilaPa, Dec 14, 2002
Photo of sdaly3
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

sdaly3, Nov 29, 2013
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,979 ratings.