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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,742 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2742
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
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Ratings: 2,742 | Reviews: 1,146 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheDudeBeers
TheDudeBeers

Minnesota

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

A - Orangish-Purple in color. No real head to report
S - Fruit and perhaps some clove and other spices
T - Apricot, citrus fruit, cherries up front with the spices coming late in the taste.
M - A little heavy for a winter warmer but I like that. Thick on the tongue with low carbonation.
D - I usually don't like Winter Warmers. It's just not my favorite style but I think this is pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 19:40:14 | More by TheDudeBeers
Photo of BigTomZ
BigTomZ

Virginia

1.78/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours a nice looking red with decent white creamy head that stayed around.

S - Smells like sweaty ball sack, with some cherry notes.

T - Taste was like cherry cough syrup with pennies and band-aids in it.

M - Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy.

O - That thick mouthfeel combined with the sweetness and metallic taste did not make for an enjoyable beer. I really enjoy most beers from Troegs, but not this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 07:25:39 | More by BigTomZ
Photo of vikingloki
vikingloki

Pennsylvania

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

Poured into a pint glass with a small head that disappeared almost immediatly.

Nice red orange color, nothing about the small is overwhelming, just a brief whiff of hops.

First mouthful is tart, might be the carbonation, medium mouthfeel, no hint of hotness from the whopping 11% ABV.Very crisp, good balance, I would think this beer would smooth out and more flavors will come out with ageing.

Just a hint of honey and cherries, but obviously they were the big reason the ABV is high as it's not a malt monster of a beer. It's kinda wierd the ABV is high and the beer is not dark at all.

Very drinkable - very warming - 3 beers and I wouldn't recommend driving! I was hoping I'd like it more, but it's ok. The more I drink, the more I like. It reminds me of a barleywine more than anything else.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 01:26:06 | More by vikingloki
Photo of Lafe
Lafe

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of this beer is a beautiful, rich, reddish, amber. The aroma is sweet, with heavy overtones of honey and fruit (cherry), and an undertone of alcohol.

The first taste screams "sweet!" A burst of cherry and honey is followed by a most subtle bitterness, that doesn't quite balance the dominance of the sugars. The lack of assertive bitterness is almost made up for in the bite of alcohol that follows. The salvation of this beer is that the alcohol bite makes its appearance in a very pleasant, and probably planned, way.

There is no head to speak of, nor is there any lace. This beer, however, doesn't really seem to need it. It is outstanding for a cold winter evening, sitting and reading reviews on beeradvocate.com!

Also, I have to give out props for the artwork on the bottles and six-pack cardboard. Very nice.

As I finish the beer, the alcohol content really stands out in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2003 04:51:40 | More by Lafe
Photo of rhythmguitartz88
rhythmguitartz88

New York

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was nice although the head did disapear quite quickly. The smell was hard to find but once found it was pleasent some bitter-esque qualities coming through the smell but overall nice. The taste was nice with a strong finish that stays on your tongue. The mouth feel was above average.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2007 03:30:19 | More by rhythmguitartz88
Photo of SteelerNation
SteelerNation

New York

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

Wayyy past the season, but I picked up one of the last bottles and had to try it anyway

A: Red. I haven't ever seen a pure red beer before so I give it high marks. Average head and lacing for a high gravity ale.

S: Bavarian banana yeasts. Super yeasty.

T: A mad array of flavors. The cherry is pronounced but the honey is subdued. Banana phenol yeasty flavors dominate. I can barely taste the delicate honey flavors. Unbelievably sweet for such a high abv. The alcohol is masked wonderfully. German Hallertau and Saaz hops make an entrance late. The aftertaste is a bit cloying and slightly medicinal.

M: Dextrinous but not too heavy.

D: Tastes more like 8% abv than 11%. Give me a whole six pack of this and I would be wasted immediately.

Complex and maddening. Definitely a Belgian ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 05:22:38 | More by SteelerNation
Photo of Lordsloth
Lordsloth

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
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! :)

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 00:19:49 | More by Lordsloth
Photo of mtyrrell
mtyrrell

Delaware

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A- A nice amber red with a small head that quickly recedes, no lacing

S- Spicy, fruity, alcohol, fruit maltiness

T- Fruity cherry taste, spicy yeast, strong alcohol taste for a beer

M - Medium body, very smooth

D- Got a nice buzz from this 22oz bottle, 11% ABV. A pretty good brew, just not my cup of tea

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 22:45:02 | More by mtyrrell
Photo of BillHaverchuck
BillHaverchuck

Virginia

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

pours a deep ruby red with a shallow white head, looks like the holidays
smells sweet and fruity
deliciously sweet mouthfeel to this, nice carbonation level here as well
a nice sour note comes from the cherries, blends well with the sweetness from the honey creating a wonderful tartness
dangerously drinkable for an 11% (aka great for the holidays)

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 01:44:10 | More by BillHaverchuck
Photo of tdrshayden
tdrshayden

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby in color with an aroma that speaks of cherries.
Flavor was full-bodied with notes of cherries, sweet malt backing with little to no hop presence, the finish was very robust with a spicy, alcohol kick. The alcohol is pretty much in your face throughout the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2008 19:24:46 | More by tdrshayden
Photo of easement
easement

Georgia

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

A- Pours amber red/garnet with a small off-white head. little head retention. no lacing.

S- Honey and spices. I detect sweet fruit.

T- Fruits and sweetness. notes of maple and honey. Hints of cherry, but it's not overwhelming.

M- Very smooth. Small amounts of carbonation. Very syurpy.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for 11%. I could drink a few.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 00:45:58 | More by easement
Photo of tgncc
tgncc

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking red color, tinge of brown, small white head. Looks a bit like cherry soda. The smell is classic belgian ale: yeasty, spicy, corinder, orange peel. Maybe a little candy sugar, but not much cheery or honey. The flavor is malty, sweet, sugar, vaguely fruity. Definitely a little honey in there. Good finish, nice hop sting on palate, which endures. Not bad, not as good as I had hoped. Certainly drinkable; in fact, it's hard to believe it's 11% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 02:34:10 | More by tgncc
Photo of casemw
casemw

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in a 12 oz bottle.

A-Pours a rich amber color with 1/4" head that fades pretty quick.
S-Smells of Cherry and Honey, very little alcohol considering its abv%.
T-Alcohol is fairly subtle; cherries and honey dominate. Tastes like a strong amber ale.
M-Mouthfeel has decent carbonation, sweetness lingers.
D-Suprisingly drinkable at 11%abv. Could drink a couple of these brews without much problem at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 22:23:22 | More by casemw
Photo of applky
applky

New York

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Sunset Grill and Tap, served in a 13oz tulip glass

Dark garnet in color with no head (this is just because of the way the beer was poured, I think). A dark cherry flavor apparent in the nose becomes more prominent when tasted. Full-bodied and malty -- a very unique brew. Almost like a Belgian winter warmer (but no obnoxious spices; the cherry flavor works very well). Very easy going down despite the high alcohol content.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2009 02:05:44 | More by applky
Photo of brewsadedotcom
brewsadedotcom

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice...

A: Has a dark red color, pours with a thin film of foam that disappears quickly. Nice lacing.

S: Strong smell of cherries. The aroma makes it immediately apparent that this is a big beer.

T: The taste of cherries evolves into a pruney taste and finishes with a sour aftertaste.

M: Carbonation is faint. Leaves a sour aftertaste.

O: I don't think my description of this beer is particularly flattering, however I did enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 23:22:15 | More by brewsadedotcom
Photo of alexhammond
alexhammond

Maine

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a nice looking redish-orange color with a very thin head. smells of cherry and honey, but this is clearly noted on the label so maybe it's just because I'm looking for these scents. a bit of orange and cinnamon are also noticeable.
the taste is a little too sweet, but I really enjoy the mixture of flavors, and the extra sweetness (especially with the cherry) was kind of a nice surprise as I was expecting a much spicier/darker brew.
very light carbonation, served it at almost room temperature, and I think this is probably the best way to drink it in order to really bring out the full range of flavors. the high ABV and sweetness make this beer something I would probably only have one of at a time, or even split a bottle with someone. a sipping beverage for sure. all in all, definitely a great beer for the holiday season, as it warms the insides, and caters to being shared with good friends or family.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 23:13:52 | More by alexhammond
Photo of Hypersomnia
Hypersomnia

New Jersey

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

Poured into a Pint glass from a bottle.

Appearance is nice and pretty typical for the style I think.

Nice malty flavor, somewhat sweet with a nice cherry flavor. Should be nice during the winter, could be a nice drink for Christmas time. The belgian spiceness becomes more apparent as this warms up a bit.

Aroma is more or less the same as the flavor. Pretty nice.

I seem to detect a bit of a banana aroma and flavor in this which is kind of interesting.

Mouthfeel was good.

In conclusion, this is quite a good beer but not mind blowing.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 00:13:23 | More by Hypersomnia
Photo of kenpo23
kenpo23

Massachusetts

3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

oh christmas beer oh christmas beer....

A: pretty flat, with no head. pretty red color that some irish red ales dont even have.

S: nice fruity smell. i can smell the cherry (and it doesnt smell like cough medicine to me) and honey.

T: wow, smooth. i can't taste the honey at all but my other half, the super taster, is amazed that i can't taste it. the alcohol taste didn't really hit me.

D: sip away. i cant imagine trying to pound one of these.

nothing extra special about this beer. its very much got a holiday flavor to it though. i bought one for christmas and i will do the same next year, but no more than one for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 21:44:10 | More by kenpo23
Photo of Mertzy81
Mertzy81

Maryland

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky brownish-red with a decent head of off-white, coarse bubbles. No retention or lacing.

S: Aggressive nose of syrupy cherries. Hints of vinous grape, a bit of lactic acid, and sugary fruit juice.

T: Juicy cherries hit the palate, along with a smooth blend of spices, sweet and grainy malt, and Belgian yeast. Hints at cloying cough syrup but is pulled back by the malt and yeast. Bit of a smooth, medicinal honey sweetness. Fruity Belgian esters mix well with the cherries and honey. A bit of alcohol in the finish, but it's barely perceivable.

M: Relatively full body and fine carbonation.

O: This definitely grew on me as the glass drained. Can get a little cloying, but ultimately it's pretty balanced, and the hiddenness of the alcohol is remarkable for 11%.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2013 08:50:12 | More by Mertzy81
Photo of boblinneman
boblinneman

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe a little young, but this barley wine is good. Dark ruby color looks great when held to light. Smells of sweet cherry and alcohol. The sweet honey/cherry flavor is balanced well with hops. Very clean finish with a lingering alcohol warmth. Wish the beer was bottled so I could age some.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2002 19:38:14 | More by boblinneman
Photo of ryandurka
ryandurka

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this strong beer is from pa and that makes me proud. it taste like a beer from easton, but unlike the beer i wont mention , this one doesnt give me a head ache. mad elf is seasonal so get it if you can find it. its worth seeking out and the price is low considering it is on par with beers imported from euroland.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 23:44:47 | More by ryandurka
Photo of Cavalier92
Cavalier92

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid holiday offering from Troeg's, but by no means a super star. They sell it as containing honey and cherries and being ruby red in color, but mine was coppery brown and tasted more like a strong golden ale.

It's got a spicy nose from the Belgian yeast and it finishes smoothly for an beverage with 11% ABV. The sweetness and alcohol hide any hops or yeast notes.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 23:49:51 | More by Cavalier92
Photo of jc85
jc85

Virginia

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

Picked this up at a local Wegman's. I didnt realize how expensive this 6pack was until I got to the register.

Appearance- Poured a nice redish brown, with a finger off white head that dissapated quickly.

Smell- Defnitly my favorite thing about this beer. You can cherries and honey bombard your nose as soon as you take a whiff.

Taste- Good taste, definitly more cherries than honey, and the carbonation level is a nice balance, gives it a little sting when you take your first sip.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied, it fits the flavor nicely though.

Drinkability- You could probably throw back a couple of these before you remember that its 11%, by then it will be too late.

Overall good beer, cant wait to see what a year of cellaring will do to this.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 09:12:00 | More by jc85
Photo of Scourge07
Scourge07

Pennsylvania

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

A: Poured into pint glass from bottle. Had about a finger of head that dissipated down a bit, but maintained retention. It's not as red colored as it appears in some of the pictures online. It's more of a rich, clear copper color.

S: Spicy yeast - very Belgian. Very sweet smell with a touch of honey. Cherries not as apparent, in my opinion.

T: Honey, sweet malts/yeast. Slight hint of cherries in the aftertaste. Very sweet with practically no bitterness.

M: Easy drinkin' for 11% Only a slight alcohol burn in the aftertaste. Full/syrupy mouthfeel

O: This is definitely a great Belgian-style ale, and perfect for the holiday's. However, I was expecting the honey and cherry flavors to stand out more, since they were advertised on the bottle. Unfortunately, they were quite subtle. Not something I would buy again, but definitely worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 04:56:34 | More by Scourge07
Photo of eslemarc
eslemarc

Ohio

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

Bomber in a Mad Elf tulip glass.

The beer pours with an off-white cream colored head, maybe a finger tall at most, deep amber color and fully transparent with visible carbonation. Little lacing from each sip.

There is a strong scent of cherries and a little honey sweetness. Some alcohol is present, similar to the alcohol presence in a red wine. Slight hints of a malt breadiness with a clear hop balance to keep from being too sweet.

Relatively lighter mouthfeel than I would have imagined, a fair carbonation leads to a clear taste of cherries and maybe some banana. Tastes clearly boozy, but deceptive to the 11%abv.

The beer seems more like a digestif, very comforting and warming post dinner to substitute a port wine. The sweetness would work well with dessert. A fine beer as a great winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 17:52:20 | More by eslemarc
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,742 ratings.