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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

3,533 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,533
Reviews: 1,215
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 203
Gots: 792 | FT: 22
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: 3,533 | Reviews: 1,215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Sunswick in Astoria, NY.

Pours a clear copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with hints of medium to dark fruits - cherries with hints of figs - and a good deal of spices.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet and crisp caramel malt flavors up front are joined by mild amounts of spices almost immediately. Midway through the sip lightly tart cherry flavors enter into things and carry through to a crisp and sweet finish. As the beer warms the malt flavors intensify and the spices dissipate a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with lighter than average carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have had another.

Overall this seems to be a somewhat polarizing beer however I found everything to be present in good amounts and nothing seemed overpowering. Worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of Stubbie1
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This elf is a clear reddish orange color, an slightly off white head makes it to the top of my glass. It came and left rather fast not leaving much of any type of lacing.

The aroma at first is very mellow. However, as this brew warms up it is a frenzy of fruit. Cherries and fresh plumbs come to mind when I breathe in. Hints of spices also fill the air.

Taste: A lightly sweet start with a smooth mild middle transition to a wonderful fruity finish. Again, cherries and fresh plumbs come into play. Not overwhelming but a nice mixture with the malt.

Wow, for one pissed off elf, this beer is great. I’m sure it is better on a colder winters night. The 11% (to me) is not noticeable. The flavors and aroma of this beer get better as it warms.

Bottom line: If your lucky enough to get your mitts on a bottle or two of this brew, do it, I think you wont be disappointed!

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer about over 6 months span from my first time in season to 2 weeks ago when 6 month age. And this beer mature very well. The sourness of the cherries die down and just so sweet the beer is like liquid candy with some kick. The age made it sweeter but also stronger which is good to my liking. I do enjoy this beer and wish this was a year round beer. The Troegs brothers got this making beer down and just impressing me and more.

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy dark orange or amber color with a thin lace of head. Alcohol smell is apparent instantly. Some dark fruit and spice on the back of the nose.

Surprisingly tastes like a Belgian ale and isn't nearly as sweet and sugary as I thought it would be. Slightly sweet up front, hints of cherries, cinnamon, cloves, and dark fruits, nothing to over powering. Spicy balancing finish with a very warming swallow from the high alcohol.

This beer ended up being a lot different than I thought it would be but in a good way. Big and full in body but not syrupy like I imagined.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ale brewed with honey and cherries. 11 abv.

A: Poured a beautiful cherry red color with orange hues. The head was egg shell white, thin, and fizzy leaving almost no lacing.

S: The nose yielded bright, spicy fresh cherries, with sweet honey while the alcohol was hardly distinguishable hiding behind the sweet aroma.

T: The initial flavor had a nice subtle tartness followed by only a slight alcohol warming. Rich, smooth with a honey sweetness and fresh cherries the palate was crisp, and sweet masking the massive 11%abv with hardly any regard. There was a light yeastiness and spicy fruitiness on the finish. The honey and cherries were balanced beautifully with great alcohol coverage leaving only a slight tinger and warming.

M: syrupy feel with a nice viscous nature that was both sweet and smooth.

D: Drinks dangerously easy in regards to its ABV which could mean trouble and come back to get you in the end. Hopefully the sweetness would limit multiples as the alcohol is not a factor upfront.

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle from the cellar poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear red amber with a 1/8 inch layer of off white head. Head dissipates almost immediately.

Smell: Very sweet with cherries and hints of honey and brown sugar. Not much alcohol to be found here.

Taste: Cherry and sweet malt and honey dominate. After that I pick up some caramel and a bit of alcohol, which isn't surprising given the ABV.

Mouthfeel: This one is on the thick side of medium body. The carbonation is low and the finish is slick on the tongue.

Drinkability: Admittedly, this is one of my favorite Christmas beers. It has held up well to a year in the cellar. Good beer for a cold night and I'll keep coming back to this one.

Photo of jcalabre
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a very nice looking clear reddish color. It has a nice cherry nose & it's taste is tart yet sweet. It was very enjoyable. The 11% ABV is extremely well hidden, but it sneaks up on you later. I would imagine that this beer is absolutely stunning in a cold climate where it would be a great winter warmer

Photo of railman
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! The color the label everything! Picked this up after a suggestion last year.
Happened to see it on display at a local beer distributor. Had to get it.

Poured from a 12oz bottle. No freshness date.

This brew pours a nice burnt amber / ruby red color.
Virtually no head or lacing noticed. Almost no carbonation.

Smells a little on the sweet side with little cherry on the nose. Almost no hops detected.

Tastes sweet but not overdone. Minimal cherry flavor.

Feels somewhat syrupy but again not overdone. Medium to full bodied brew.
I really like this brew. Too bad its 11% cause I can suck these down all night.

Cheers.

Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle is from the fall 08 bottling and so has 9 or 10 months of bottle age.

Appearance: The beer pours out a deep clear dark red with a 1/4" off-white creamy head that recedes rapidly to a ring of foam with thin surface coverage. Initially sipping leaves a ring that turns into leggy lacing as some slides down the side of the glass. Later on sipping leaves only a faint ring and light speckled lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is a complex mix of cherry, spice (clove) and honey. The alcohol is well hidden here.

Taste: The flavor is a delightful mix of the cherry, the spice, and the honey, backed up by hints of chocolate from the malt. Any alcohol is in the sweetness and despite the 11% ABV there is no alcohol heat to this one. The flavor is complex enough that it is hard to say that any one part of the flavor is dominant.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with very modest carbonation, only a faint prickle by the end of the beer. The finish is medium long and mostly sweet, trailing off into a light yeast character and almost some dry bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a dangerously drinkable beer. However it's a beer for sipping. At this ABV it would be easy to drink too much, and with this level of cherry/sweetness it begins to cloy if sipped to quickly. I definitely enjoy this beer and will return to it again. Indeed if history is a judge I'll have a case laid in when it is released this year and most of it won't see the New Year.

Photo of JerseyKirk
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: amber red, small head, reddish, white head.

S: cherry, apple, honey, sweet, sugar.

T: cherry, honey, smooth, slight malt.

M: sweet, thick, syrupy. Delicious.

O: delicious. Super scary easy to drink. Love to cellar and do a vertical. Awesome high octane without sourness from the fruit.

Photo of onechordwonder
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A must buy every Christmas for me. Great beer on a cold night, especially considering the sneaky 11%abv. Beautiful ruby color, not a ton of lacing. Flavor is sweet at first, with cherry as the predominant flavor. Malt rounds it out and finishes slightly dry. Could be a little more balanced, but overall a great beer.

Photo of gkunkle
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer really took me by surprise. I wasn't sure what I thought of it, but after I tasted it I was hooked. the beer pours an amber color with a white head about 1 finger tall. Head doesn't last long and there is no lacing, but that cones with the territory of 11% ABV beers. Smell is of honey and cherries. If it didn't say honey and cherries on the label I would have described it as a sweet malt and dark fruit smell. Taste starts sweet then finishes with slight honey taste, there are sweet malts throughout. Thickness is about right, no carbonation though (comes with the 11% territory). Overall, despite the 11% ABV I really dig this beer. I got this in a trade with slvrmon82 and will definitely have to send him some more quality beers in order to get some more of this. I honestly would not have suspected this to be 11%, I could taste a little bit of alcohol, but it wasn't strong.

Photo of Bogforce
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great holiday beer. Ordered a Great Lakes Christmas Ale and instead was given this and asked if it was okay, glad I said yes!

A: Red Red Amber look, small amount of head

S: Cherries!

T: hints of honey and cherry, had a great overall taste

M: wasn't overly strong for the amount of alcohol

D: could drink this all night.... if they weren't such a high abv

Photo of Lordsloth
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received from Scott84golf(IIRC). I opened my second bottle, and I need some more!

Appearance is a deep, dark red/brown, but still quite crisp and clear. Smells like dark cherries and dark malt. Taste is amazing. Very clean taste, almost no aftertaste to speak of. Dark malt and the aforementioned cherry. Mouthfeel is good, light and apealing, but there is a bit of alcohol bite to it. Drinkability is very good. I could go for more. Currently my favorite style.

Send me some more, somebody! :)

Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of jeremy13586
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured in to a Mad Elf tulip

Dark amber in color. Poured a one finger off-white head. The head didn’t last too long. Looks viscous and has a syrupy sheen.

Strong alcohol is in the nose. Totally lets you know that this beer is 11%. tart cherries with a sweet finish.

Tart, hot cherries dominate the flavor of this brew. There is also some good spiciness along with it. Flavor matches the nose, except that it masks the alcohol much better than the aroma. Honey and a bit of nuttiness rounds out the taste.

Medium bodied with a nice carbonation. Smooth, but it does leave a syrupy coating in your mouth.

This is one of my favorite winter brews. It is very drinkable which is the dangerous part. The alcohol content catches up with the drinker before they even notice. Generally a crowd pleaser and a nice one to age for a couple years. Might be hard to find now, so make sure you try it next holiday season.

Photo of jhicks12
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a pint glass, first thing I notice was the glowing ruby red color and white head. Beer had a sweet cherry aroma with just a slight honey nose. First taste really got a lot of cherry not some much sour on first taste but more so as I drank. Slight alcohol warming. Not as much as I would have expected from an 11%. Very drinkable and a nice beer to warm you up with out being too overpowering.

Photo of rajendra82
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the cellar meat package by pentathlete, the Mad Elf came out deep amber red with a smallish head. The beer looked slippery, and the dissipating head left little lacing. The aroma was filled with holiday spices like nutmeg, ginger, and I could also smell orange peel. The taste was sweet and spicy with a cheerfully light body that was backed by rum like alcohol warmth. Although clearly a strong concoction, the 11% alcohol was well poised. The mouthfeel was airy and inviting. The aftertaste was a citric and sweet tang and a faint note of hop bitterness. Warmth of alcohol lingered long after the beer was gone.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange, almost amber in color with a thin layer of off white head that disappears into a ring of bubbles around the edge almost immediately.

S - Cherries, honey, caramel, a touch of alcohol, also a lot of aromas similar to a saison (lemon, peppercorn, belgian candi sugar, belgian yeast). Very complex aroma, very unique and I like it a lot.

T - Flavor follows the aroma pretty close. Same basic flavors, cherries definitely dominate along with the background caramel malts. Honey makes it's way in along with the bubblegum and lemon flavors associated with the saison I find in this. Once again, very complex, very well blended, I find myself going back for sip after sip trying to find new ways to describe the flavor.

M - Medium body, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Finish is sweet and sticky with flavors of cherries, honey, and bubblegum. Lasts a while too.

O - Well balanced, complex flavors, very interesting beer to try. I don't know that I would be able to drink too many, but the ABv isn't noticeable at all. Will definitely buy again.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been hanging onto this one and can't wait to try it. Departs the bottle a wonderful golden red with hints of pink even along with a nice off white head. Sweet cherry Lifesaver aroma wafts up into my nose along with some earthy yeasty notes. Mmmm...lovely aroma.

First sip is a mix of honey/cherry sweet malty goodness along with a nice helping of barnyard/earthy yeast tones. There's a nice spiciness that's running through here too..maybe some nutmeg...I can't pick it out. A damn tasty belgian style winter brew!

Nice creamy, full mouthfeel with good carbonation. No complaints from me. Drinkability is good, as this is a tasty brew I could have a few of. Many thanks to blitheringidiot and merlin48 for hooking me up with some bottles of this!

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this years version into a Mad Elf tulip glass from Christmas last year,by the way this is my 100th review.Poured a beautiful ruby red color,quite clear for a belgium style beer.A white 2' thick head,turned into a ring around the glass quicker than I would had anticipated.
Very tiney bubbles stringing together throughout the beer.A very tempting looking beer.
The aroma was very yeasty,clovey,fruity,spicey,slight bannanna,a cherry overtone throughout. An intense and complex aroma,couldn't keep the nose out of this beer.
The taste was very complex and intriging,it was clovey,yeasty,fruity,spicy,a subtle cherry presence throughout. Sweet,dry.tangy the 11% alcohol was a bit hidden in the taste.
The mouthfeel was surprisingly light and airee. A fuzzy warm feeling on the tongue.a nice sharp.dry smooth bitterness,a tartness that makes the mouth water.
A fairly drinkable beer for the style,the alcohol creeps up dangerously upon you.Every taste makes you want more,this beer really grows on you. Smoother and more drinkable than last years version.

A must try Christmas beer!

Photo of wcudwight
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter a dark red(nice). with a inch head that quickly reduces to a thin ring around the crown.
Smell: I get cherry, cranberry, jucyfruit gum and alcohol.
Taste: Mmmm, taste starts with loads of malty sweetness, mixed with cherries. Kind of toasty tasting in the middle. The finish is of dry alcohol.
Mouthfeel is good. Thick and filling.
I consider it nicely drinkable for 11%. I've aged my bottle for 6 months and the alcohol is really only noticable in the finish.
A very good beer that is worth the hour and half drive across state lines to purchase. One that I will be looking forward to this coming holiday season.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new year and got myself a growler fill of this perfect winter warmer.

A - A nice solid ruby read poured heavily as instructed on the side of a box I saw to unlock the hidden flavors. This resulted in an inch of head which is amazing for the ABV.

S - Warming alcohol with some sweet herbal cherries and tons of honey put in for good measure.

T - The first sip starts off intense with the alcohol burn start followed by a sort of herbal not sweet cherries and honey backbone finish rounding out the burn

M - The warming feeling of this is pretty intense but after the second glass it felt so right.

D - I struggled to finish the growler myself so get some help damn it! Taking a whopping 3 1/2 hours to get the whole thing down by the 4th it actually felt like the night before Christmas and Santa was waiting for me with gifts, to describe the giddiness was the true definition of a winter warmer. Enjoy this with friends and family!

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,533 ratings.