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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.
very good

3,001 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,001
Reviews: 1,151
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 162
Gots: 451 | FT: 20
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: 3,001 | Reviews: 1,151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of josh32219
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

josh32219, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of jahred
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 11/3, tasted 5/19/04. Many thanks to beerluvr and BIF 6.0 for this bottle!

Pours a bright orange-brown color with a nicely sized tan head. There's some lace on the glass as I drink, but not an overwhelming amount.

The scent is sweet - there's going to be plenty of of malt, lemon and alcohol in this beer.

The first taste I get is vanilla, with an orange/fruity malty flavor following, and a biting, trailing alcohol aftertaste. As the beer wars, the sweetness continues to come out. Also a bit of spice - is it nutmeg? Clove? Or just something coming from the hops? I can't tell ...

I couldn't quite place that fruity taste, so as I finished up this beer, I looked through previous reviews. Yes - that was it... Cherry, most definitely!

Oddly enough, the Mad Elf had the unfortunate combination of being a little too thin for my taste, along with having too much of an alcohol flavor, with the 11% being very poorly hidden. Though still quite tasty and interesting, I have a feeling this needed to sit for another year to settle down a bit.

jahred, May 20, 2004
Photo of pershan
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a beautiful clear, dark amber with a thin white head into a chalice. The aroma was heavy with bubble-gum Belgian yeast and sour cherry - very nice. A big tart bite up front, with the cherry and bubble-gum flavors dominating, transitioning into a slightly sour/tart malt finish with alcoholic ester undertones. A slightly astringent mouthfeel, but not unpleasant. A very smooth-drinking strong ale, especially considering the very high ABV - great for sipping on a cold winter's day.

pershan, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of tkelley
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz bottle at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont. Poured into a tulip glass.

A -- Beautiful deep ruby color with a nice white head. Bubbles are visible coming from the bottom of the glass. Lacing sticks around on the sides of the glass.

S -- Cherries. Delicious, delicious cherries. And alcohol.

T -- The cherries are, somewhat surprisingly, not overwhelming. They are, however, the dominant flavor (if that makes sense). Its like a good european ale, but with emphasis on the cherries and other fruits. The alcohol from the nose is pretty much absent on the tongue. Belgian yeast as well.

M -- Smooth. I would say... on the heavy side of medium bodied. Not syrupy, but with a noticeable heft. The visible bubbles tickle the lips and again on the back end, but not in the front. It feels good in the mouth. Even though mine was a little cold, it warmed up nicely on each sip.

O -- Really enjoyed this beer. I don't know if I would shell out the big bucks for a case, because I'm pretty cheap, but this would be great at Thanksgiving or Christmas -- just nice to relax with and go through slowly. Cheers!

tkelley, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of rosschive
4/5  rDev +3.4%

rosschive, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of chuckv
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

chuckv, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of tmaury
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

tmaury, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of roysand
2/5  rDev -48.3%

roysand, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of canoehornpoint
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only beer my wife really likes and it's nearly impossible to find, even in season. This pours a deep amber with a nice rich head that lasts longer than most. The aroma is a fruitiness that is not really discernable but pleasant. If you didn't know it was cherry, you would just think "fruity". Nothing is overpowering in this beer. the cherries, malt and hops blend together for a fruity wine taste that is pleasant, even for a guy who doesn't want fruit in beer. this hits the lips light and finishes full. I was pleasantly surprised and will try to homebrew something close.

canoehornpoint, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of BoOmerG
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

BoOmerG, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of andant
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

andant, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of --Dom--
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

--Dom--, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of Leinie
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Leinie, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of beans923
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

beans923, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of RupertRonco
4/5  rDev +3.4%

RupertRonco, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of nriech
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a light head and a brilliant red color, minor tan head, quickly dissapating.

Smell: Grainy and of fruits and some alcohol. The cherry aromas are somewhat muted.

Taste: Flavor is strong in the spices. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and a bitt of pepper. Sweet up front. Full, full body. Alcohol is not very apparent.

Mouthfeel: This had a smooth feel to it and was medium to medium-full in body. It was a touch syrupy. A slight warming effect was noticed.

Drinkability: Easy to drink as the alcohol doesnt seem apparent but keep in mind that it is more so than others. Super clean finish and you get a pretty drinkable beer.

nriech, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into snifter

A: Mahogany with a short-lived off-white head. It does stick to the sides of the glass, but I can't get it to form much of a head to start with.

S: Cherry candy, Belgian yeast, and alcohol...in that order.

T: Slight malty sweetness, spicy yeast -- typical Belgian dark flavors. But then there's this mix of cherry candy and medicinal alcohol that, depending on the temperature and the glassware, can be either awesome or revolting. So it either tastes like a Belgian strong dark with cherries or malty cough syrup. Snifter/cellar temperature seems to be ideal for getting it towards the "awesome" side.

M: The only word that came to mind when I thought about mouthfeel was "syrupy." It's not highly carbonated, and that actually helps. If this beer were to be highly carbonated, it could be easily confused with cherry soda.

D: Goes down easy when kept at proper temperature in appropriate glassware. But it's also 11% ABV, so it will knock you on your ass pretty much without warning. For that quality alone, I do not recommend this as a session beer.

MurphyMacManus, May 17, 2009
Photo of cosmo4u
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

tap takeover at holy smoke

Tröegs Mad Elf is a very clear and dense, coppery red ale with a thin, sand colored head that fades to a film and leaves decent lacing on the glass. It has a very strong, sweet aroma of cherries. Deeper in the nose is a medicinal note. It’s pretty full bodied and syrupy with a slightly sticky finish. It has a pretty sweet flavor. Cherries are prominent but so is resiny wood. A little green bitterness comes in at the finish, along with black pepper. The aftertaste is kind of oaky and spicy.

cosmo4u, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of trixdout
4/5  rDev +3.4%

trixdout, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SuyoonShin
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

SuyoonShin, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of noremac423
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

noremac423, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of kasper
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky copper color with strong auburn. highlights. Heavy, slightly creamy minimalist head that quickly reduces to a ring and swirls, producing some spotted lacing.

S: Strong aromas of bubblegum -- the kind you used to find in the back of Topps baseball card packs. I attribute this to the Belgian yeasts. Aside from that, some honey and tad of sweet fruit.

T: Taste is more of the bubblegum, honey, some grenadine and tad of alcoholic bite, but overall pretty damn smooth.

M: Medium to heavy, but not overwhelmingly so. Lighter than expected. Really mild carbonation, slightly sticky, but overall pretty smooth.

D: This is a strong winter warmer. Too sweet to drink all night. Overall, an interesting brew but I'm not sure I'd seek this one out on my own accord.

kasper, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of mjw06
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, a watery head that dissipated rather quickly back into the dark rich cherry colored body.

The nose packs the cardamon spice of a belgian strong, with a lot of sweetness which smells a lot like maraschino cherries and malted raw sugar, a tad bit of brown sugar, and a tad bit more of honey.

The cardamon hits immediately pulling behind it a warm alcohol that shoots down the center of the tongue and to the back for the finish. Sweet cherry and honey sticks to the mid of the palate. Overall tastes like a warm holiday cookie.

I wasn't diggin how watery this beer seemed to me and the way that affected the taste that was left on my tongue, although it did seem pretty close to style.

A good beer. I'd say be mindful of how you want to drink. Good by itself, but be particularly selective with a pairing. This beer packs a lot of strong favors that can easily take away from whatever you're eating it with.

mjw06, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of capeannbass36
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.
Pours a clear, red brown with a very small off white head. Next to no lacing behind.

S- Cherries, malt, caramel, and clove spice.

T- Malt, caramel, and a little clove spice. Hint of cherries.

M- Sweet and somewhat smooth. Little carbonation.

O- Nice holiday beer. Sweet, but not too sweet.
Very easy to drink.

capeannbass36, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of thomscottson
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

thomscottson, Feb 13, 2013
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,001 ratings.