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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,745 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2745
Reviews: 1146
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,745 | Reviews: 1,146 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this bottle. This is the second time I have tried the beer but the first time I have reviewed it.

The beer pours a medium red color with a white head. The aroma is honey and tart cherries. The flavor is more of the same: Heavy on the honey with some tart cherries as well. This is one of the first beers I have had that you can really smell and taste the honey in. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 21:24:07 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heard a lot of good things about this beer, so figured I better review it.

A: A light head develops of about 1/2 inch. It's brilliantly clear with an amber orange brown color with a big bright reddish hue, really presenting those cherries.

N: A very Belgian strong ale nose, with lots of sweet Belgian malts, slight yeast, and a big alcohol kick. Some light toasty bread malts trickle through, and hints of cherry beckon at you in a nice subtle way. Perhaps a slight spice and other things nice (see what i did there?)

T: Very much of a Belgian strong to start. Lots of Belgian malts, sweet malts and some sugar, some yeasty flavors. A big alcohol taste dominates too. Spicy flavors and warming alcohol. Some spicy flavors, possibly from the Belgian yeasts. A slight tangy fruit also comes through, but I don't get much for cherry anymore, unless that's the tangy fruit. I think I do get a little honey, and that probably shows on the dry finish... Ah, I got some dry cherries finally. It's pretty light but I finally got some.

M: Super warmth and alcohol burn. The alcohol is somewhat like bourbon in it's burn. It has very light carbonation and is pretty light.

F: Finishes really dry and really rips the paint, er skin off your tongue. The alcohol is so heavy and tastes like burning. You can feel it all the way down the throat. Some light sweet Belgian sugars stick around a bit, and the slight yeasty flavors also linger for a bit. Overall not a light finish, but not too bad all things considered.

Final thoughts: A pretty nice Belgian strong ale, lots of Belgian sweets and malts and yeast, etc. Some spices, little honey, tangy fruit, not much on the cherry front. The only issue I see is that the alcohol is a little too overbearing. I think that could have been throttled back a bit. Otherwise a nice beer, sippin beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 01:49:53 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at 58°F. Pours an amber copper color with a tan head that quickly dissipates. It has an alcoholic fruity nose with a hint of cherry. A soft subtle beer, with a hint of cherry in it. There is quite a bit of sweetness (though not overly so), and it has quite the alcoholic kick in the finish (though not in a bad way, it is in no way a harsh kick). There is a mellow fruitiness that pervades this beer throughout. It is quite light bodied, especially for an 11%'er. The honey probably helps to dry it out. An interesting interpretation of the holiday ale class of brew. Quite tasty, me thinks.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2004 22:03:56 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The mad elf, it pours out as a rich caramel color with pretty nice tan head on it. The aromas are spicy and most definitely Belgian. There might even be some Christmas berries in there too. The taste reminded me of a sweet cherry jelly mixed with a lot of alcohol and some spices to give it some tingle in the aftertaste. This is an enjoyable beer for the winter season, it's a heavier mouthfeel too. The ABV will keep ya warm when you out shoveling snow as well.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 03:32:41 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours ruby red with a thin head that soon becomes a patch.

The smell is of cherries, honey and alcohol.

The taste is of tart cherries. Subtle hints of sweet honey and spicy, doughy yeast. Sharp alcohol. Malt and yeast dominate, with little input from hops. Sweettart, alcohol finish. Aftertaste is medicinal - almost like a cough drop. Medium-bodied and sharp. (Cellaring for a good while might mellow it.)

An interesting brew - fruity and sweet. A slow sipper.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 17:13:44 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautifully ruby hued amber with a thickly spiced aroma that has a fair amount of yeasty funk lingering as well. Flavor is spiced like a winter warmer. I feel like I am diving into this at the wrong time. It needs to be snowing like hell with a fire nearby.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 06:25:22 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on draft at Mad Mex the Robinson location, I was just excited to see at tap handle from Troeg's. Appearance: Ruby tinted thin creamy white head little lacing alcohol wards this off. Aroma: Cherries soaked in alcohol with a mild tartness in the air, spices bringing more Christmas cheer, and the malts used a much more complex than bringing out a caramel / mild cocoa scent. Taste: Is comparable to a cherry liquer massive alcohol note sweeps the palate, very warming spicy with tart sweetness and a soft finish this one ties it together. Mouthfeel: Troeg's went MAD this beer has crazy amount of alcohol kicking, full syrupy mouthfeel definitely a one glass at a time type brew. Drinkability: Didn't get tired of the rich tones thought it would be overbearing I was served sixteen ounces of this fine nectar for six bucks not a bad deal.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2003 13:38:42 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear reddish amber color. Starts off with a nice 1" head, but it disappears rather quickly, and I mean nothing, not even a surface foam.The aroma is sweet and lightly tart, as cherries, malt, cinammon and alcohol are easily detectable.

The flavor is complex. Thick malt is matched with cherry, apple, yeast, alcohol, honey, cinammon, nutmeg, and some other spices. What makes this interesting is that the flavors come at different times during the taste, like cherry and malt up front and honey and alcohol at the end. As it warms the flavors became more intense.

Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy at the start and finish. The malt seemed to stick to the tongue, and an alcohol kick came just after swallowing. This is a super brew, but for sippin' and relaxing on a cold evening only.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2004 23:39:26 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Minor head to start that quickly settles to rim bubbles only. No lasting lace whatsoever. The color is deep amber, almost brown. Crystal clear.

Smells of Belgian yeast. Sweet aroma of honey. Some spice that reminds me of oregano. Complex and interesting. Light alcohol warmth.

Cloyingly sweet. Very, very rich body. The carbonation seems quite low. Strong alcohol presence in the swallow and the brief aftertaste--the potency of this beer is very evident. The yeast flavor is more muted than the smell would suggest.

Although the smell might indicate complexity, the taste does not follow through.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 20:36:35 | More by smcolw
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is the quintessential holiday brew for me, i look forward to it each year, and have been cellaring different vintages for experiment. i find a year really cools down the alcohol heat and lets the flavors develop. the fresh one im drinking now pours a rich cherry amber color, with a sexy frothy pearly white head nearly three inches tall. the nose is lots of fruity, cherries, plums, baked pears, lots going on. also some honey or molassas sugar, a lot of booze, and a curious blend of winter spices, a little heavy on the clove. the flavor is identical to the nose, if a bit less fruit forward. its very balanced, and you dont taste the alcohol as much as you smell it, but you sure do feel it. whew. belgian yeast and candy sugar work magically together, creating a velvety grog that is sure to warm up the coldest bones in the winter time. relaxed carbonation and about as full a body as you can have in a beer that still lets some light pass through it. it gets really hot in terms of booze as it warms up, but thats just fine by me. overall one beer that is not to be missed come christmas time, and one that i keep going back to again and again. if you get youself a case, put a few in the basement until next year too, youll be glad you did!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 20:35:57 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure what to expect at first, but this sure smells belgian. Lots of spicey aroma up front. I'm used to this being in the paler belgians, but I guess this one might be in the middle. More spice (corriander? in the flavor mixed with the honey and cherries and a little earthy bitterness that blends with the fruit. This is certainly different. It kicks outs at the end with a cherry tang and a hint, albeit an unsubtle one, at the alcohol. Definately not my favorite, but I recommend giving it try. It's worth it.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 05:01:50 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this a few times but most recently this weekend at Eatonville in DC. Served in a mason jar type glass.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of Belgian yeast, cherries, sweet dark fruits, spices, bready malts, bananas, and light sugar. Pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of cherries, light dark fruits, Belgian yeast, light spice, and bready malts. Taste is a slight step down from the nose. Not as much fruit or as strong as the nose.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and doesn't feel like 11% ABV at all.

o - Overall a pretty nice Belgian Strong Dark. Nose is very nice and full of cherries, though the taste wasn't quite as fruity. Definitely didn't feel like 11% ABV, would have it again next winter.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 17:09:21 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 10oz serving as part of the Belgian dinner at Iron Hill's Belgium Comes to West Chester. Appearance and smell are copied from an earlier growler review.

A: The ale is a copper color with some distinct orange highlights. The head is big on pour but does not retain very well.

S: The aroma is cherries and honey with a bit of medicinal tartness.

T: The ale, served fresh, has a stronger alcohol character. That warmth assists the cherry flavors in coming out. As the ale continues to warm, the cherry character becomes more sour, losing a sweeter character that is present when the ale is cold.

M: The alcohol and cherry pair nicely together and were a nice compliment to the salmon carpaccio that it was served with. The sweet cherry and honey in the beer were a nice fit with the honey-topped salmon and pepper.

D: Well made, the cherry is a nice component that adds strong character. I never imagined that this would pair well with a seafood dish, but it does and is worth a look.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2007 01:59:31 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ? (Eulogy maybe)

I have Mad Elf more on tap these days than in bottles, and the profile is similar, though perhaps they've mellowed out a bit with the recipe so that the taste isn't completely overwhelming. Pours--typically into a stem glass--copper-brown with reddish-orange hues that become more visible in the light. Typically, as with the bottle, an off-white head that retains and laces well, and perhaps is more pronounced when being served on tap. Nose of fruitcake, cherries, honey, dark malts, raisins, and cloves. Some alcohol notable. The taste follows the smell almost to a "t," with complex flavors of dark caramel malts, honey and brown sugar, cherries and raisins, and subtle spice. Some alcohol burn. Medium bodied, full-flavored, and highly desirable. I give it points off overall, because despite the fact that I do like it, it is one of the most inconsistent beers year to year as far as flavor goes.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 00:18:47 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, without freshness dating. Poured just below room temp in a Belgian style chalice, pours, medium mahogony, with a slight reddish hue, minor tan head, quickly dissapating, medium sized bubbles and leaving some, not too impressive lacing. Nose is just slightly picked up, grainy and of fruits and some alcohol. This is a smooth, easy drinking Belgian stlye ale. 11% hidden well, but with a nice fruity, cherry warming feel. Notes of, malt, light candi sugars, vanilla, honey, mild hot sauce and sherry soaked cherries. Fine and flavorful sipper.

Thanks to my friend "Grassy" for a sixer of this hard to find nectar...

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2006 22:17:41 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a clear warm brown body with a red hue to it. There is a sea of tiny bubbles that pop to the surface to form a head of tan bubbles.

S- This beer has a aroma of brown sugar, toasted malt a hint of circus peanuts and a caramel malt aroma.

T- The soft sweet malt has a dark nougat notes and some faint circus peanut flavors. There is a blended quality of dark cherries that comes through in the malt flavor but is not pronounced. The finish has a soft boozy quality that is quite nice.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight little fizz finish and no real alcohol heat until it gets pretty warm.

D- This beer has some great Belgian strong dark ale qualities with a mysterious malt flavor that is sweet and rich and has a nice accent of cherries to it. This is a great winter sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 19:25:01 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger white head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Clear amber/red color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Honey nose. Flavor is sweet honey with hints of cherry. Smooth honey finish. High ABV is totally hidden, is it really 11% ABV?? $3.25 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 22:35:31 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a bottled on date printed on the neck.

Appearance: Quick to give two fingers of foam but the crackling leads to a ring of lace and very little head. Brilliantly red in colour, dark red at that.

Smell: Sweet malt, touch of bitter phenols and a hint of cherries in the back. Faded whiff of alcohol throwing some rosy esters.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Alcohol is evident in the full bodied and malty brew. Lots of sweetness on the palate of malt and a kiss of juicy cherries. Spicy phenols help to balance a bit … very little hop character to be had. Suggestions of brown bread and toasted husk middle to end, nice juicy burst of fruit in the middle as well. Finish with a sweet, alcoholic and spicy kick.

Notes: Perhaps one of the most interesting beers I have run into for a long time. Highly complex yet this bottle seems a touch green … you have to wonder what a year or two in the cellar would yield.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 02:10:30 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of Boxing Day BIF and Pentathlete.

This is a beer I have wanted to try for sometime. This is last year’s version but it is a big beer that can take a year of aging!

This pours a clear copper colored ale with a warm red glow. Carefully poured to leave the sediment behind no head forms. To be honest the careful pour probably killed the head more than the beer itself.

An intensely aromatic beer, this is another beer that can fill a room with smell from the glass. This has almost too aromatic to sniff closely. Fairly sweet scent with an intense fruity nature. Strong honey, vanilla, and cherry scents. Lesser aromas of cinnamon, caramel and black pepper. This is a beer that makes you seriously as the question if it is possible to have too much scent? I am sure that this has stunned my sense of smell, it is that intense.

Taste is not as amazingly intense as the smell. The first sip hits you with sweet malt and vanilla. Cherry and caramel are the next flavors that I can taste with a black pepper in the finish. Brown sugar and cinnamon come near the end of the glass. There are also fairly strong lemon and orange flavors to this. This is one hard ale to describe, it is very intense.

Mouthfeel is syrup thick.

The only downside of this beer is in the drinkability department. This is a very intense experience, almost too intense. This is strong enough that you could use it as syrup, just briefly bring this to a boil and you could pour it over pancakes. It is the syrup intensity of this that cuts its drinkability score significantly. This would make an amazing glaze for a ham or just pour over ice cream like hot caramel. An amazing beer that is probably too intense for 99% of most people.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 06:28:13 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Foxman for this one.

Pours a clear dark amber color, nice carbonation, small head, nice lacing afterwards. The nose is of sweet malts, grassy/wheat, dark fruits (Cherries), belgian yeast, and caramel. The taste is sweet/malty, grassy, with a slightly dry finish, ABV hidden very well. Medium body, a complex brew. Very drinkable, does not remind me of an Belgian Strong Dark Ale at all, more like a Strong Pale Ale or WeizenBock.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 22:51:59 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber with a slight white head. Aroma of cherries, honey and alcohol. Although the abv is 11% the alcohol is masked very well making this a smooth beer. The cherries and honey give this beer a nice sweetness that is balanced out by a slight maltiness.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 09:04:00 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 3/4" of beige head, which laced nicely, over the reddish copper brew. Aroma is of cherries and malts. Taste is not the tartness one might expect from the cherry aroma, but malts upfront, combined with a deep sweet cherry flavor, which is not overdone, as could easily be a problem, but just right. Alcohol kind of creeps in at the end, in a nice kind of way. Mouthfeel excellent, just like a Belgian dark that you would expect, and the drinkability is excellent, in that even if you aren't interested in another straightaway, the character of the brew will make you return at another time. Excellent holiday brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2004 00:54:06 | More by ppoitras
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second review of mad elf for the year, this time on tap.

Pours a very clear orange color with a bit of redness about it and a minimal amount of white head that is quick to dissapear. Nose is your typical belgian including phenols, clove, spice, fruity sweetness and a warming kick of alcohol astringency in the end. Where this beer deters from the normal belgian is in the sweetness of the aroma. It is quite reminescent more of honey and cherry. Taste includes just about everything you would expect from the aroma: a bit of clove and spice, sweetness exaggerated by cherry/honey and a quite warming finish. Feel of this beer is light and moderately carbed. Overall it is a nice sipper and I enjoy this beer while looking forward to it again each holiday.

The noticable differnces from this beer on tap verse the bottle is that the mouthfeel is significantly lighter but that is probably mostly in part due to the higher level of carb than the bottle version.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2010 15:43:36 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the New Cumberland Elephant & Castle Pub during their annual Troegs Christmas in July event.

Pours a dark, clear ruby red color with a 1/4 finger of creamy eggshell colored head. A soft ring of retention and thin wisps that skim the top leave behind some thin strands of lacing. The aroma is a big time cherry blast of tartness but there is just enough honeyed sweetness to balance things out. There is also a bit of alcohol beef in the bouquet that reminds you that your about play with fire.

The taste is just the same as the aroma and still has a surprisingly fresh feel to it. Cherries dominate the profile but are extremely well balanced with sweetness from the honey notes and maybe some darker feeling malts. The mouthfeel had a medium to full body with not a lot of carbonation but still maintains a slick and smooth feel on the palette. There is also a good bit of heat in the overall feel but the flavors and body more than help cover up any stinging effects from it.

I love this beer because of it's simplicity. Cherries + Honey + Alcohol. It's as simple as that and it's a credit to the well balanced nature of this, that it doesn't come out tasting like cough syrup. It's all so smooth and easy on the palette, that the ABV of this can creep up on you very unexpectedly. Packed with festive flavors and toasty feel, this is a perfect for the holidays or anytime your looking for a warm and flavorful pick-me-up from a beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2008 17:02:57 | More by Kegatron
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer would rapidly fizz up with tiny cream coloured bubbles that would disappear just as soon, each crackling loudly as they faded. I couldn't believe the colour at first - one of the most clear and vibrant and bright colours I've ever seen in any beer. Quickly turned flat and bright ruby in colour, it closely resembled a glass of cranberry juice.

(I later couldn't resist but pour in all the sludge from the bottom of the bottle, greatly polluting the clarity, sullying the appearance, which then more closely resembled tomato juice. But the original, unsullied appearance was beautiful, like a Christmas stocking.)

I absolutely love this aroma, and there is no shortage of reasons why. For one, the honey reminds me of quality Polish mead. It has a waxy, earthy, polleny, buckwheat-infused balm that should be evident to even those with a poor sense of smell. Secondly, the cherries are appreciated and blend well with the notes of pear, apple and peach that are byproducts of the yeast. Lastly, malty hints of toffee and figgy pudding accentuate gracefully.

Although this relatively fresh sample should rightly be considered zippy, I've had older bottles which clearly illustrated how high alcohol and low carbonation can combine to make a syrupy mouthfeel. This example veers clear of being syrupy although I do feel slightly let down by the lack of texture and lingering...

For a beer made with sweet and sour cherries, dark malts, bitter hops, sweet honey and spicy yeast you'd think there would be just a tad more texture. Flavours, on the contrary, are ripe and plentiful. The honey is appreciated most, lending plenty of noticeable flavor. The fruity spiciness of the yeast is next, followed by a light tartness from the cherries. The malts, though thinnish, manage to contribute figs, dates and butterscotch.

I'm not crazy about Mad Elf but I do like it a fair bit, namely because its ability to age, its Christmasy flavours of figgy pudding and cranberry, its spicy yeast and warming sensation make it an extremely apt beer for the holidays. It likely wouldn't be the first thing I'd grab when hankering for a yuletide tipple, but if I were more in the spirit for a nightcap, I might be inclined to skip the port and go straight for the Tröegs.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 18:43:49 | More by biegaman
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,745 ratings.