Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,401 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,401
Reviews: 1,189
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 196
Gots: 668 | FT: 21
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: 3,401 | Reviews: 1,189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NumberNone
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EricCioe
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of gonzo000
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of frank4sail
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very lucky to get the last of these at The Beer Yard. Yes quite a drive for me and always worth it.. (Matt is the man).. Jcalbi told me this beer was a must try "by any means get your hands on some". So here goes.. out of my Westmalle goblet: (one of the best labels i have ever seen on a holiday beer!)

Deep bright red sparkle colors swirl in the glass. A nice tan snow head on the pour this then leaves the glass quickly (ABV?). Wonderful crystral ruby look. Sweet cherry hop sharpness to the nose. Initial big bready, yeasty (belgian quality) to the taste. This sharp base then is smoothed by honey and hints of cherry on the tongue. Great balence for a big beer. Your mouth is left slightly dry and wanting more. The beer is not overly fruity or sweet at all, but that hint of honey and cherry skins hypnotise the palate. This is really a treat. If you shut your eyes you would think you were sitting in a bar in Brugge next to Jingle and Jangle (Santa's elfs in A year without a Santa Clause). I would buy more if I could!

PS.. caution after three or four of these you will have full conversations with Jingle... thanks Jcalbi (jim) for the heads up on this brew ....

Photo of TheDeuce
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy red amber color, minimal head but big crackling bubbles. It says on the front that it is brewed with honey and cherries; both flavors come in immediately along with Belgian sugar and meaty hop shots. Alcohol is felt but not tasted, though as it is known if you have too many of these you will keel over. Suprisingly subdued finish adds to drinkability, I hate cherries and honey, yet actually enjoy this beer, the Brothers have done it again.

Photo of Sturmthis
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of mzwolinski
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy red in color, with a thin uneven top.

The aroma is sweet and malty. Cherries and honey are understated at first, but give signs of a bit too much sweetness down the road.

The flavor is not bad right out of the fridge. A bit sweet with hints of cherry and very little in the way of hops. Alcohol almost completely undetectable. Nothing terribly stand-out about it, but certainly drinkable

As it warms, the malt and alcohol combine to give the beer a cinnamon-bread character. This is one of the more pleasant aspects of the beer.

As it continues to warm, however, the beer becomes a bit cough-syrupy … too sweet and sticky in the throat. And the warmer it gets, the worse it gets. Even at 55 degrees, it's pretty awful.

Photo of Zraly
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep pink with orange tints. Little to no head. Smells of cherries and bread dough. Pleasant.

The flavor is tremendous. Rich, sweet malts accompanied by the flavors of cherries and bread. A complimentary flavor of clovey spice and fruit rounds of the yeasty presence. You can taste the alcohol...period. But it gives this ale a wonderful complexity in terms of the taste department.

This is an interesting brew but not entirely approachable. It seems a bit "raw" in some way. Once you get past that quality, you find an eccentric character lurking about as a strong ale.

A nice night cap.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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 Pellinore1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for sending this bottle.

Pours deep amber into a tuilp, producing about half a finger of light tan head.

Smells of malts, Belgian yeast, honey, and perhaps a bit of fruit.

This beer begins with flavors of malts and bread, and finishes with Belgian yeast, spices, a hint of banana, and just a little alcohol warmth.

Mad Elf is medium-bodied and smooth, with minimal carbonation. Even at 11%, the alcohol is just barely noticeable, making for a nicely drinkable beer.

Photo of allenson21
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of GOBLIN
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Troegs Mad Elf

The only thing I really don't like about this beer is the creepy lil' elf on the label.

Poured into pint glass

A: moughany

S: cherries are solid on the nose.

T: slightly boozy taste but at 11% it's not really an issue. Well done Troegs Brothers !

M: full and decent amount of carbination

O: I always look for this around Christmas time as it is a favorite of mine. Get a little extra whenever you see it and age it a year . . . The honey will really come through and add a new dimension to this brew. Perfect for those cold winter months.

Photo of bigdeuce
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Leaves some decent lacing but not as much as a real belgian..but other than that, this is a world class beer. Pours an amber/red color with a fast disapating head. Tastes of fruity plums, honey, and cherries. Finishes dry with a rummy note at the end. Is light and crisp and very hard to detect it's strength. Glad I got a case of this one.

Photo of BigPlay1824
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber
Served in a Pilsner glass

A: pours a beautiful reddish amber color with one finger of foamy off white/pink head

S: has a smell reminiscent of a belgian style ale, the sweetness of the cherries is present

T: Beautiful tasting brew, quite sweetened up by the cherries and the honey, nice solid wheat notes

M: nice carbonation tingle, very smooth across the pallet, sweetness really spreads through the mouth

D: perhaps a bit too sweet to be an easy drinking brew but the taste definitly begs for the next sip

Photo of JandJMD
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of ggaughan
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle. Although I have tried all 3 years of Mad Elf, I have not done a vertical of them yet but plan on doing in the future. Maybe around Christmas.

The 2005 poured a nice shiny amber color with a medium thickness light brown head that disipated pretty quickly after completing the pour into the Mad Elf glass. And what a lovely glass it is.

You can pick up the spice notes in this beer upon smelling it and even more spice (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon?) once you get a good taste. The cherry taste is not overly noticeable but still adds a nice touch to this stellar beer.

It is hard to tell that this baby is 11% abv with how suprisingly smooth it is and goes down. That is why I like it so much and go back each year to try some.

Can't wait to get my hands on a 3litre of this for the holidays.

Photo of BigCheese
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of mitch3114
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12 oz. bottle into snifter glass

A- Nice brown color with a slight reddish hue

S- I smell the cherries! I also smell Belgian yeast and alcohol. This smells a bit like cleaning solvent...with a hint of banana.

T- Well, it certainly doesn't TASTE like cleaning solvent. I can taste the Belgian yeast. It's more subtle than I thought. I taste sugar cherries and alcohol. Maybe some spices.

M- Mouthfeel is great. It's smooth and has just the right "prickly" with the carbonation. It's not too thick, and it's not cloying.

O- This is a unique beer. I am glad I finally got to try it and I got to try a fresh one. I think I will pick up a 6 pack and lay some down. I think when some of the heat burns off, even more of the subtle flavors will come out. I can see why this is a holiday favorite!

Photo of MrBoh
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle date: 10/08/14. Pours a ruby brown into my snifter. Little less than a finger of mocha colored head. No real lacing.

The aroma is interesting. Mainly cherries and bubble gum. Raisin or another dried fruit is also present. A little spicy, cloves and coriander.

The taste is much more upfront with the spices. Cherries, raisins, bitter orange peel and smoke round it out. The alcohol is not very well hidden, something I don't remember in past versions. The spices also come out more and more as it sits. I don't remember past versions being so potent, it's overkill for my senses.

I can feel the alcohol not just in the mouth, but down into the throat. The beer is viscous, tricking you into thinking it's sweeter than it is. Each sip it seems like it'll be very sweet, but it finishes somewhere between sweet and dry, but definitely bitter.

I remember liking this a lot more in past years. It just seems to be searching for an identity it can't find. Somewehere between a fruit beer and a Belgian dark ale, it almost finds itself closer to a spicy, less oaky barleywine. Maybe I've just been spoiled with great beer lately. It's still good, it's just not much more than that.

Photo of bluesplit63
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of philipquarles
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-red with minimal head that disappears to nothing.

Smells of sour cherries, spices, malt, some Belgian-esque yeast, and alcohol. This carries on to the flavor; sweet malt and sour fruit at first, but soon overpowered by the alcohol. It would be nicer if it were masked a bit better. That said, it gives a nice warming sensation.

The mouthfeel is nothing special really; somewhat thick and a bit syrupy. All-in-all, I'm somewhat disappointed after hearing all of the praise. Certainly not bad though.

Photo of kegger22
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a clear red with modest head that dissipated to a collar. The aroma was cheap cherry Kool-Aid. The taste wasn't as bad as the aroma would lead you to expect, but it wasn't very good either. Something my mom would have poured into ice cube trays to make homemade popsicles, 40 years ago. The feel was medium bodied with reasonable carbonation. Drinkability was only decent due to high ABV and questionable taste.

This was a bad idea that went badder (if I may). While not horrible, everything about it screamed artificial, cheap and tawdry. Does Boone's Farm make a cherry?

Photo of KFrank729
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of hopswap1
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into little tasting glasses- split this year's edition with a few friends...

Deep ruby red with a quickly dissipating head. Left surprisingly good lacing.

Aroma of toasted malt, slightly sweet, fruitiness (cherries, dates) but mostly just alcohol. Saying that it is very present is an understatement. I recently got an 05 as an extra in a trade and am very excited to see how it has mellowed.

One friend said the words "Cherry cough syrup" and once I heard that, I couldn't stop thinking it. Had a nice, creamy, full bodied mouthfeel but the alcohol was very present. Somewhat yeasty/spicy throughout. Interesting to try, but certainly a sipper for the cold months.

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,401 ratings.