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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

2,859 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,859
Reviews: 1,148
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 135
Gots: 390 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,859 | Reviews: 1,148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CurtFromHershey


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

11-13-2012 17:20:07 | More by CurtFromHershey
Photo of SlidersAce814


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

06-20-2013 23:05:00 | More by SlidersAce814
Photo of OUJayhawk1799


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12-09-2013 01:34:06 | More by OUJayhawk1799
Photo of Coreynezy4


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

05-01-2014 20:32:19 | More by Coreynezy4
Photo of bigaltemple


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12-12-2013 05:11:06 | More by bigaltemple
Photo of cfh64


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12-31-2012 03:12:47 | More by cfh64
Photo of vette2006c5r

South Dakota

3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

Mad Elf pours a reddish color with no head. There are strong Belgian candy flavors, with good hints of cherries. The taste has strong cherry flavors, lots of Belgian candy notes, and a yeasty like aftertaste. Very full body, and full flavors. Overall its a sweet and spicy beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2014 01:26:15 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of tuckevalastin


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

A: Redish amber with a small and quickly disappearing head

S: A fruity tone with a hint of spice

T: A strong cherry flavor with some honey taste coming through. Lots of spice on the back end. Lots of malt and very little hops. The alcohol hides alot.

M: Thick and sticky from the fruit but very smooth. Not much heat to speak of.

D: For 11% alcohol this is certainly very drinkable. A little too thick to want to drink outside of winter.

Having not read the reviews before trying this I was a bit surprised. It's a little too fruity, has a little too much spice for the fruitness, is a little too alcoholic, but has a little too little alcholic flavor showing.... yet it's a decent beer and one I'd drink again this winter.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 01:54:54 | More by tuckevalastin
Photo of jbone78


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this from a friend swveral months ago. There is a code on the bottle, but I couldn't find where to use the code on their website.I'm guessing it is an '09. But I bet that's fine.

Pours slightly hazy and amber in color. Nearly no head, which I would've thought odd because it's labeled a Belgian Strong. Smells a tad malty, but not much there. Tastes is complex to me. It starts with a spice and the sweet cherry flavor follows, but the sweetness (I'm sure) is from the honey. I don't pick up a distinct Honey flavor, jus the sweetness.

Carbonation is low to medium and at 11% this one drinks easy. It's not very syrupy, I like. I could easily drink more than one.


Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 23:21:39 | More by jbone78
Photo of aracauna


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Now this had the character that Old Fezziwig was missing. Beautiful red color that catches the light nicely with a smallish white head. A good bit of bubblegum in the aroma, a touch of clove (yeast or spice?), coriander, peppery alcohol and a touch of malt. The flavor carries on with a little less complexity than the aroma, but with just a touch of cherries. 11%? I couldn’t tell. Fun beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2005 03:01:33 | More by aracauna
Photo of padan7


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

This review is for the on-tap product. I have had the bottle twice and find it too sweet to be enjoyable. And would give the bottle a c+ rating.

This is a beautiful looking beer. The redish color make it quite appealing.

The smell is also quite pleasing with hints of the cherries & honey.

Taste is sweet but not as much as the bottle. I found the honey seemed cloying in the bottle.

This is something that I can enjoy when in the mood for a sweet holiday beer.

Mouthful is good but I would have preferred more carbonation.

The drink hides the alcohol well.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2008 12:58:50 | More by padan7
Photo of womencantsail


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

Thanks to TroyG2352 for sending a bottle of this in a recent trade.

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a thin off-white head and nothing in the way of lacing.

S: There's a heavy spice component to the nose along with some fruity Belgian esters and alcohol.

T: The spice is once again very strong along with a very noticeable sweet pear flavor. The sweet caramel malt and a light sugary flavor provide some additional sweetness.

M: I was surprised by the fact that this is fairly light and crisp on the tongue.

D: Unfortunately, this beer didn't seem to be all put together. Luckily, the flavor is better than the nose, but not amazing in any sense.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 17:35:35 | More by womencantsail
Photo of TheBrewo


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a glowing, golden-red color. It has a meager, half finger head of white bubbles that disappear quickly. The glass is otherwise almost translucent, with little carbonation to speak of. The aroma is a bag of sugary sweets and fruit. More specifically, the honey and cherry boasted from the bottle, candied apples, and Christmas spice. Malts are also present, with a faint smattering of citrus for the balance. As we sip, the front of the taste is malty, with a bit of wheatiness. This is then joined by the tangy fruitness of the cherries through the middle. The flavors here are clean and sweet. The alcohol finally rears its head on the finish, which also includes hollow echoes of fruit and tinny yeast. The aftertaste breaths a bit spicy, with black pepper and a soothing alcoholic flame. The body is medium, and the beer is undercarbonated. As the beer sips it is almost syrupy, which helps to leave the mouth coated. There is a slight drying characteristic, and a light burn from the alcohol. The large abv and sweetness to certain parts of the beer make this a sipper.

Overall, the best thing about this brew was the aroma. While it was quite sweet smelling, the contributory components remained complex. There was also a nice and rich maltiness that helped to smooth the drink along. In the end, this mad elf certainly brings happy holidays!!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 01:20:52 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of NolanGTI


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

This one was a real eye opener for me, not at all what I expected. It pours a nice clear brown, slight amber. One finger cream head. Light nose, not nearly what I expected from an 11% brew. The kick was well hidden.

The taste was exceptionally smooth and not overly pince coney or spicey, probably a bit more tame than I would have hoped for. All in all, a very nice beer but one that you can drink far too much of far too quickly, so be careful.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 20:21:38 | More by NolanGTI
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i poured as aggressively as possible, but the beer didn't care. i coaxed a sizeable head out of the bottle but POOF gone. brilliantly-clear-orange-tinted ruby color

tart raisiny fruit with an earlier slight cherry flavor. some bitterness. the 11% hides well amongst the esters; this elf is generally less mad than i was expecting. there's definitely balance here...is it fair to call it bland?

the standard yeasty belgian aroma is missing. i get caramel malts and a spicey hop and alcohol zing, but little of the classic belgian character, almost as if troegs didn't use an authentic yeast

EDIT: after i saw the bottle again, and the "holiday ale" label, i decided that to judge this beer as a "belgian strong ale" is missing the point. there was a nice spicing that was quite holiday-ish and it was actually incredibly drinkable

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 03:32:12 | More by bruachan
Photo of chodinheaven


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

Color of a dark cherry, good clarity. Looks like a port, maybe a little lighter. Virtually no head, even on a medium-heavy pour. Basically no lacing as you sip. Honey and sweet ripe cherries do come to mind as well as a touch of booze. Malted barley rounds it out. A little like cough syrup in aroma actually, but somehow not really to its detriment.

Sweetness of the cherries and the honey are combined with a warming alcohol presence to bring out a very nice sipper of a dessert beer. Maybe a touch too boozy and a touch too sweet, but with the right setting, this is a decent selection. The pilsner malt and munich malts contribute to a malty backbone that keeps it just hearty enough to work. Spicy yeast is welcome as it adds a prickly mouthfeel that compliments the low-medium carbonation level. Actually without this little spiciness, this beer would be thrown out of whack and lose the continuity that makes it all gel together. Surprisingly light in body and finishes bone-dry.

Would have to be in the mood for this one as it is pretty sweet and a little boozy. But the two flavors work well together and make for a good holiday after-dinner sipper.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 03:26:13 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of rootbeerman


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into boston lager glass.

A: brownish red, with very short lasting half finger foamy white head.
S: cherries, honey, cinnamon, and clove. sweet malt.
T: spices, with cherries, honey. sweet malts, very light hop on the back-end
M: light like thinned out honey thats lightly carbonated
D: easy to drink...would be good dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 02:50:48 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of MarcatGSB


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into DFH Signature glass. Thanks to David for this tasty brew!

A: Pours a copperish read color with a super thin white head. Some bubbles accumulate, but don't hang around long.

N: Good amount of Belgian yeast notes, with some spice and a good amount of cherry coming through. Some candied sugar notes support.

T: Very similar notes to the nose. Sweetness from the sugar and a bit of cherry tartness. The honey comes through slightly, and the Belgian yeast comes through with a good amount of bread like character. Some good hops shine to balance the beer.

M: It's actually rather thin for a BSDA...lacks a bit of character. Minimal amount of staying power.

D and O: Very drinkable for the ABV, I will give it that. It's a really solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 22:42:50 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of BarrelO


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

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Ruby red body. Decent head that leaves a smidge of lacing.

S: Yeast, spices, cherries, and alcohol.

T: The Belgian yeast takes over in a big way. Spicy and phenolic. Cherries and honey are detectable, but I probably wouldn't be able to detect them if I didn't already know they were there. Pretty big alcohol burn.

M: Big and thick, little carbonation.

D: As a BSDA, it's merely OK. As a winter warmer, it's more than acceptable.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 01:49:52 | More by BarrelO
Photo of RblWthACoz


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 TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A sharp nose, tinged with cherry. An almost oak barrel aroma, with some sherry hints. Solid malts, I think caramel.

A brightly colored, deeply colored but clear orange / brown with nice ruby highlights. White, delayed-bubble head that displayed champagne-like quick dissipation. Whisps stuck around on top, and there was a slight ring, not much lacing at all.

Cherry tartness and flavor build and stick to the palate, offset a little by some honey sweetness. Grassy hops. A sharp and mouth puckering brew, with an alcohol presence that seamed to leach the saliva from my mouth. Some warming.

Medium-heavy body. A pretty creamy feel, but with a carbonated fruit flavored beverage spritziness disrupting things (in a good way).

The ABV is well hidden, but this is a bit much to be that drinkable. To me it gets cloying and a bit too fruity if not sipped. Good fun, though. A cheerful beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 17:40:36 | More by TheMistler
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish amber, with a head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Cherries with some vinous undertones and some honey underneath it all. Pretty strong and pleasant.

Taste: Cherries, booze, malts and belgian style yeast. The ending is a bit too boozy for my liking, in that it's not covered effectively enough to hide the 11%. If the funky(corianderish), boozy ending could be fixed through aging, I'd probably buy these a year early, just to mellow them out before I drank them. Being that I bought a sixer of this and I'm not exactly crazy about it, that will probably happen. I guess I'm just not crazy about coriander type ending.

Mouthfeel: A bit thick with average carbonation.

Overall: Again, there's just something going on in the ending, be it strong booze and/or coriander, that just doesn't do it for me. I bet that if you let this age, the cherries will eventually hit harder on the back end. I don't know if aging can fix this, but one can dream...can't they?

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 04:47:52 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of kawilliams81


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

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- amber color with a 2 finger off-white head. Some lacing, resides quickly.

S- Belgian yeast for sure, banana, cloves, dark fruits, slight metallic smell.

T- spices, some sweet malts, dark fruits ( cherries) are there but not a large part of this beer. Again, there is a slight metallic taste like the aroma.

M- medium body, abv hidden well which makes this a smooth drinking beer.

O- good beer, different. basically a higher abv dubbel ale. Wish the cherries were a little more pronounced.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 23:17:54 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of 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 YouSkeete


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

A: Nice full copper/ruby red color, mildly orange. Almost completely transparent. Tiny white head, practically no lacing at all.

S: Big malt and fruit aroma up front, followed by notes of honey, caramel and molasses. Bananas and cherries make up most of the fruit.

T/M: Smooth yeast/bread flavor with a simple balance of mildly citrusy fruits. Big Belgian yeast flavor, almost at the point of being overpowering. 11% ABV is extremely well hidden. Bananas and cherries are definitely a big part of the body in this brew, while smooth malts and barley follow. Medium body with medium carbonation.

D: Pretty good. Not my personal taste, but a well brewed ale nonetheless. A decent Christmas-time ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 02:19:15 | More by YouSkeete
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,859 ratings.