Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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very good

3,393 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,393
Reviews: 1,186
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 195
Gots: 663 | FT: 21
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
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Ratings: 3,393 | Reviews: 1,186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WuBByG999
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of crwills
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received two bottles of this from Skinnyelvis in the Secret Santa 2007.

Poured a moderate but opaque brown with not much head. I used a large wine glass for this. Held up to the light, there are some red or orange highlights that make for quite an attractive presentation. Aroma is sweet and malty, with hints of dark fruits and a little bit of something that reminds me of brown sugar. Flavour is sweet, but pleasant and not cloying. The cherries are very restrained, and I think the honey serves to add body rather than flavour. Excellent dark, caramel malts lend a warming flavour all the way through. No hop presence to speak of, and the alcohol (at 11%!) is very well hidden.

I rarely like Christmas brews, as I'm not a fan of most of the spices, but since this one is not really "spiced" I was very pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Mark5252
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of mgbickel
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BodiesLexus
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of KimenTshom
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of s1ckboy
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

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

I like this beer a lot, surpasses Great Lakes Christmas in my book for sure. A dark red brown color with smallish head on it. Nose is sweet malt, some fruitiness (cherries?), some nice spicing to it too. Very holiday, honestly. Flavor follows with some of the same notes, almost fruit-cake-y overall if you up the spicing (cinnamon, nutmeg, and others)--very good. Very smooth and an easy drink. Nice beer, one that I will be getting again.

Photo of damienblack
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to akorsak for this bottle in trade.

Pours a pale crimson red, like the essence of raspberry distilled in water. Like looking through one of the red-enameled christmas ornaments. In fact, the light coming through the glass projected onto my hand (in a nice little circle thanks to my Duvel tulip) is raspberry pink. Head pours a very slight tan, and only retains around the outside of the glass, the centre dissipated quickly. Smells like a malty boozy barleywine, crossed with cherry, raspberry and other sweet fruit.

Interesting taste, with the malt up front, and the fruit really doesn't come in until a couple seconds have elapsed. Not so strong of cherry as I have heard, more like a slightly tart cherry-raspberry-whatever mix. I can see where the cough medicine analogies are coming from, but it's nowhere near as strong as that. The tart fruit flavor comes through a little more on the back palate after swallowing. The end is ridiculously smooth, I think it is the honey flavors coming through. Mouthfeel feels sticky and coating, but not in a particularly good way, again, this comes through after, when the beer is in your mouth, it is a bit thin. No hop bite, and almost no booze presence - this hides its 11% ABV admirably. If you can get past the cloying mouthcoating after, it is a very easy drink.

After letting the beer warm for a bit and partaking some more, I definitely like this beer colder. In the nose I get less of a fruit smell, and more of something akin to rubbing alcohol. Also, the thinness comes through more, if feels like a fuller brew whilst cold.

I doubt I would drink this on a regular basis, but as an occasional drink, it works great for me. It's almost like a weaker version of a barleywine. Even though it is a BSDA in the database, it doesn't taste it at all. Then again, people also say Jager tastes like cough syrup, and I have no problems with that, so maybe it is my palate. Even though it is a winter release, the strong fruit presence would make this a pleasant treat in the summertime.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp, clear, amber color with a big fizzy head that quickly disappears.

Lots of cherry and funky booze on the nose. Some swirling brings out a sweet honey smell and a bit of spice. Smells like many other beers in this style with a large addition of cherries. Kind of like cough syrup.

Booze and sweet, bready malts hit the mouth on the first sip. The finish brings out a nice cherry flavor. Coriander and a bit of orange peel are noticeable as well. Honey comes in and out. Overall, very sweet, boozy and fruity.

The mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation, but seems to be lacking the body that usually accompanies an 11% ABV beer. The body that is there is somewhat syrupy.

Drinkability is above average, but not by much. The high ABV and sweetness make this a one bottle beer, tops.

Overall, this is a good holiday beer. It goes along with the festive atmosphere, but the excessive sweetness and cherries are a bit too much for me.

Photo of razorsdescent
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of dbc5
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 2011 bottle poured into Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Really nice looking beer on initial, aggressive pour. Ruby red with 1.5 finger off white head. Unfortunately, the head doesn't stick around very long which is someone expected given the 11% abv.

Smell: Smells very nice. Sweet cherries, some bready malt, honey, and an underlying tart quality.

Taste: Flavor carries over the tart cherry and sweet honey. The malt comes through in the backend and keeps this from being too sweet. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden given the 11% tag, although you certainly get a nice alcohol warming as you work through the glass. This seems appropriate for a Christmas beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a bit odd for me as I simultaneously get a syrupy feel that somehow seems thinner than I expected. In no way off putting, but just average here.

Overall: This is probably my favorite Christmas seasonal around (although it seems pretty early to have this coming out in mid-October). A nice departure from the typical spiced holiday offering.

Photo of mweso2000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of perrymarcus
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter glass.

pours a clear dark amber/ruby tone with a finger of off-white head that quickly recedes into a thin collar around the glass; patchy lacing.

nose smacks of sweet malts; lots of candied fruits, cherry, and a touch of honey. nice aroma but makes me worry it will be too sweet. (a concern that fortunately isn't realized.)

flavor follows the nose with a strong front of sweet maltiness. does a nice job with the sweetness, however; doesn't cross into the dreaded cloying realm. cherry presence lasting through the finish, where the 11% ABV (unsurprisingly) is most noticeable. enjoyable brew, if nothing mindblowing.

medium bodied mouthfeel, average carbonation; feels nice in the mouth... drinks dangerously well for an 11 perenter.

Photo of JxExM
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of djgustafson
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of rcjennings
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of cowboy83
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Lawl3ss
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Elfastball7
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of timoteo833
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Lothore
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear, crimson hue with a fizzy 2 finger head which dissipates fairly quickly.

S- Smells very sweet and yeasty, lots of clove and banana.

T- Taste is follows the nose with a huge amount of clove and mixed light fruit with a strong undercurrent of belgian yeast.

M- Thick with quite a bit of carbonation (and this bottle is over a year old!)

D- This is a very sweet beer. The alcohol is hidden well but I find the banana flavor to be a little runtesque (like the candy ...). I don't know if i could handle more than one of these in a sitting but it is a good nightcap.

Photo of mountdew1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a darker amber orange that was nicely translucent. Head was very thin, slighty off white that left a small ring around the top. Aroma was sweet, slightly licorice hints. Taste was slightly sweet, hints of fruit, and a tad of spicy vanilla. Felt good in the mouth, was just slightly sticky so it coated well, and just a tad of carbonation. Pleasant to drink. Hid the ABV extremely well.

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

A 2007 bottle

A: pours a nice gorgeous vibrant orangish red. slightly off white head. low retention level and a light amount of lacing.

S: smells like a quad. sweet and fruity, light honey notes, with a great deal of spices.

T: some age on it but I really pull the honey the most. Followed by the cherries, they are light but they are definitely present. AS it warms the cherries really start coming through. A slight funk it present. Some spices, mostly clove are there as well.

M: medium bodied for the style. mild carbonation with the aging. a little chewy. very warming.

D: a very nice brew, especially aged. Fresh is awesome as well, but I wanted to see where it would go after a year. 11% is up there but it is a great seasonal beer for the winter as it is very warming.

Photo of marcpal
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from glass into a pint glass. Tremendous beer- extremely impressed.

A: As listed, ruby red with thin head that dissipated. Lacing was minimal, nothing drastic.

S: Spicey with some alcohol/wine character. Is it from the cherries? Didnt notice the cherries but enticing.

M: Toastiness and just warming to the palate and the head. The alcohol kick in the background was very comfortinig. Respect others opinions, but I think this one really shines through.

T: Couldnt tell at first but it was definitely the honey that was coming through. Didnt really catch the cherries but a nice fruitiness that was really pleasant. Dellicate and unique balance between sugary and spicey. Such a tight seasonal. I had a few with a turkey pre-thanksgiving feast. Pefect for the meal.

D: Deception is key here. Although the warming alcohol is there, I could happily drop many of these ina row. Couldnt be more appropriate for the holidays. My favorite holiday beer, taking over for Anchor Christmas. Not a fan usually of Troegs either, but this is really good. Gotta load up for 08.

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,393 ratings.