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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,549 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,549
Reviews: 1,217
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 204
Gots: 809 | FT: 24
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: 3,549 | Reviews: 1,217
Photo of JPowell712
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of illidurit
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of Arbitrator
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

When I first had this beer, I really hated it and I had trouble finishing the 12oz. This second review is off a bomber -- a generous extra from boatshoes -- and the experience was so different that I felt a re-review was appropriate.

A: Pours a clear reddish amber color with an inch of off-white head. After a few minutes there is almost no trace of carbonation left except for a thin head at the edges. It's not an effervescent brew, that's for sure. I expect much more life out of a BSDA...

S: A nicely pungent aroma of cherries, spicy honey, and some booze. The booze actually makes it smell a little medicinal, like cherry cough syrup.

T: The taste is not bad, though. I guess the honey is all fermented out; it's quite a dry beer, delivering only some light honey flavor but mostly cherry, dark fruit, brown sugar, and spice. A firm alcohol bite in the finish.

M: Light-bodied. It's quite dry. Low carbonation, and a booze bite.

D: Eh... It's ok. I didn't hate it this time, and unlike last time I managed to finish not only 12, but a full 22 oz. It's drinkable, but I won't go after it again.

Photo of Lawnboy33
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of JimmyCop
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of stuttle13
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of Fettpopps
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of tellish33
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of marine1975
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of noremac423
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of JStue77
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of Jinxxor
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of bluesplit63
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of sliks96
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of jpd026
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

sucks mang. says enter at least 5 words. there you go.

Photo of djmichaelk
2.52/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a slightly hazy dark amber, with little to no head, and no lacing. Not especially encouraging.

S - Sweet and pretty forward with the cherries. Very much like a typical BSDA, but the cherries are not doing it any favors.

T - The closest I can compare to would be St. Bernardus. It's got that same Belgian spicy yeast, then the cherries really take over. The sweetness is a little cloying. I'm having trouble getting through the glass.

M - Strange. Carbonation is almost too aggressive, making it seem a bit harsh. At the same time, it has such a sweet finish that it almost seems syrupy. I'll give it a pass since they both almost cancel each other out.

O - I wanted to like this, but to be honest it was a struggle to get through the entire beer. I can't say that I'd seek this out again.

Photo of PretzelCity
2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was my third and final attempt at trying to figure out why people seem to enjoy this beer. That being said it poured a nice copper red into my glass with a one finger white head. The smell was mostly alcohol with a hint of cherry. The taste, for me, was lacking. It says right on the bottle "ale brewed with honey and cherries". Not typically a phrase that leads me to purchase a beer but I've had some great brews that were made with cherries. This is not one of them. The cherry flavor is weak and seems artificial, like Ludens Cough Drops. I know this is not a sour but I'm still underwhelmed. Mouthfeel and drinkability are low due to the medicine/alcohol traits. Overall,the third time wasn't a charm. Although it did get a little better each time it never turned into a good beer. Being from Pennsylvania I did want to like this beer but it seems to me it's all hype.

Photo of ratedz
2.54/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy dark amber with minimal off-white head. The little head that it did have was gone in the matter of seconds and didn't leave any lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of cherries along with a bit of sweetness, which I would assume is from the honey. There is some definite spiciness going on in there too, which gives it a familiar Belgian aroma.

To me, this one tastes like a Belgian ale (a tripel, maybe?) with a splash of cherry syrup. Some sweetness on the back end before the tart cherries and spicy Belgian yest come back in the aftertaste, which lingers for quite some time.

Mouth feel is fairly thick and creamy, which was a bit of a surprise. Very little carbonation combined with the thick body made this feel like cough syrup going down because it coats the inside of your mouth and throat. The lack of carbonation seemed way off from other Belgian ales that I've had.

Drinkability was below average because all I could think about was cough syrup. I'd heard a lot about this one and was looking forward to trying it for the first time, but it certainly didn't live up to the hype. Definitely a disappointment in my book.

Photo of allenmarkes
2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Honestly this beer is nasty...tastes like feces

Photo of Spider889
2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at winking Lizard last month, review from notes.

To be honest, this one did not live up to the hype in the slightest. There seems to be a really strong following of this one, but I found it to be lackluster and undesirable for future sessions.

Appearance is a cloudy pinkish red color. Not much in the way of head or lace.

Smelled faintly like a triple - it has that slightly sweet yeasty Belgian character. Other scents: a sour cidery quality, clove, and ginger.

The taste was fairly one dimensional and stunted imo. Tart cherries and an apparent sweetness dominate. Not much in the way of other spices, but ginger once more makes a brief appearance.

Too low on carbonation. In fact, on further retrospection the carbonation was way too low considering that this is a Belgian style ale.

Again, I won't be paying for this again. There's been an increasingly large influx of new Christmas beers every year, and that coupled with the old staples that always wow will ensure that I always have many better options for my seasonal fix. The one bump I do give to drinkability is that the 11% abv was very well hidden considering.

Photo of beer1018
2.56/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Picked this up because of a recomendation by a friend. 6 pack of bottles poured into a tulip glass.

Small head that keeps a small layer on top for awhile. I would say it is close to ruby red but has allot of brown in it as well.

Smell is all spicy bitter phenols with a touch of cherries and malt.

The first thing i taste is the spicy phenols and some sour cherry. I am not a fan of how spicy this is though. I wish they would have used a diffrent yeast strain for this beer. I also get a unplesent sour taste as well.

Mouthfeel is good as the carbonation isnt to strong.

Drink is low just because i am not a fan of the flavor at this point and dont want to drink more then one.
I am going to celler the rest of my pack and re visit them thorughout the year. Also at over $17 a 6 pack here in Ohio i wishi would have got a single instead.

Photo of largadeer
2.59/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle received from dyan in our latest trade. Thanks.

Appearance: Auburn in color, good clarity, reddish highlights. The head disappears within seconds of pouring, a byproduct of the 11% ABV and cherries I'd guess.

Smell: Fruity, sweet, bready, and a bit yeasty and medicinal. There's a touch of cherry, but it blends in with the malt and yeast.

Taste & mouthfeel: Malty sweetness paired with fairly reigned-in fruity esters. Cherry is evident in the taste but actually well balanced with the malt, more a subtlety than a dominant flavor, lending a mild tartness as well. This tastes like a bastardized Belgian quad. Some spicy phenols appear in the finish. Very medicinal and cough syrup-like. Bitterness is non-existent. Pretty tough to drink, not my favorite Troegs beer by a long stretch.

Photo of korguy123
2.59/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes 2010 Release

A- Rich copper with deep ruby highlights. A vigorous pour produces nothing but the thinnest ring around the rim of the glass. Lacing is non-existent but the alcohol holds on for dear life.

S- Right off the bat is rich, sweet honey notes followed by bready yeast. Lemon zest and slight coriander. Cherries start to strengthen as the beer warms further. Alcohol is present and gives the beer a fruit cake smell.

T- Warm alcohol and honey upfront with sweet cherries lingering in the back. Almost borderline too sweet. Lemon zest and coriander. Alcohol is a little overwhelming and overpowers most of the flavors. Tart cherry aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, low carbonation makes it feel slick. Sticky on the lips.

O- The Alcohol is not hidden at all, it's borderline too sweet and just not my thing. Perhaps time will help mellow the alcohol but I'd have to experiment before a re-review.

Photo of bubseymour
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - 1 finger head and best that quickly disappears. Clear ruby red hue.

Smell - sweet and fruity. Definitely cherry notes.

Taste - Not as bad as I would have thought for an 11% cherry beer but still too boozy and heavy to really enjoy. Not quite cough syrup but just a tad below it.

Mouthfeel - full bodied

Overall - Sorry, I drainpoured about 1/3 of it. Not completely horrible but also extremely challenging to drink and be refreshed. Basically its a great tasting cough syrup..but unpleasant beer.

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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,549 ratings.