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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,484 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,484
Reviews: 1,200
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.5%
Wants: 194
Gots: 747 | 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: 3,484 | Reviews: 1,200 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChadQuest
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle. so its 4 years old now. the cap came off very easily, like the metal had become more rigid, and i was worried about possible oxidation issues from a bad seal, but after the end i don't think there were any problems. awesome.
This one looks better then most, the head and lacing is just barely off white over a crystal clear cherry body.
Aroma has a deep dense cherry sweetness thatmatches evenly with the flavor. the 4 years must have toned this down i assume because the alcohol is nowhere to be tasted. this doesnt have the spice character i assumed would be in a christmas beer, but instead a rich creamy sweetness from the malts, honey and cherries.


Photo of Dank26
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of scottDC
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of dtx00
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DoctorDog
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into an oversize wine glass. Thanks to the co-worker who felt the pressing need to bring me one of these to the office!!

A: A ruby hue, and strikingly clear in appearance. Minimal white head, which dissipates to almost nothing in a flash.

S: Very sweet, dark fruits. Somewhat spicy, with a distinctive "Belgian yeast" odor.

T: Big sweet, dark fruit flavors are dominated by cherry, and intertwine with spicy notes. Bitterness fairly low. Alcohol presence blends superbly into the mix.

M: Fairly low carbonation (too low, IMO). Medium-light, slightly syrupy feel. Very slight alcohol warming.

D: Good. Excellent flavor, and goes down waaay too easy for it's big ABV, though low carbonation level detracted a bit from the mouthfeel and overall enjoyment.

Future outlook: I recall having this once before where the carbonation/feel seemed a bit better....and I'm typically a big fan of Troegs, so this is fairly likely to get another try from me in the future.

Photo of NickyDee21
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of cavemanlawyer1999
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of crwills
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received two bottles of this from Skinnyelvis in the Secret Santa 2007.

Poured a moderate but opaque brown with not much head. I used a large wine glass for this. Held up to the light, there are some red or orange highlights that make for quite an attractive presentation. Aroma is sweet and malty, with hints of dark fruits and a little bit of something that reminds me of brown sugar. Flavour is sweet, but pleasant and not cloying. The cherries are very restrained, and I think the honey serves to add body rather than flavour. Excellent dark, caramel malts lend a warming flavour all the way through. No hop presence to speak of, and the alcohol (at 11%!) is very well hidden.

I rarely like Christmas brews, as I'm not a fan of most of the spices, but since this one is not really "spiced" I was very pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Mark5252
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of mgbickel
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of tvghost
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this beer a lot, surpasses Great Lakes Christmas in my book for sure. A dark red brown color with smallish head on it. Nose is sweet malt, some fruitiness (cherries?), some nice spicing to it too. Very holiday, honestly. Flavor follows with some of the same notes, almost fruit-cake-y overall if you up the spicing (cinnamon, nutmeg, and others)--very good. Very smooth and an easy drink. Nice beer, one that I will be getting again.

Photo of Lawl3ss
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of damienblack
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to akorsak for this bottle in trade.

Pours a pale crimson red, like the essence of raspberry distilled in water. Like looking through one of the red-enameled christmas ornaments. In fact, the light coming through the glass projected onto my hand (in a nice little circle thanks to my Duvel tulip) is raspberry pink. Head pours a very slight tan, and only retains around the outside of the glass, the centre dissipated quickly. Smells like a malty boozy barleywine, crossed with cherry, raspberry and other sweet fruit.

Interesting taste, with the malt up front, and the fruit really doesn't come in until a couple seconds have elapsed. Not so strong of cherry as I have heard, more like a slightly tart cherry-raspberry-whatever mix. I can see where the cough medicine analogies are coming from, but it's nowhere near as strong as that. The tart fruit flavor comes through a little more on the back palate after swallowing. The end is ridiculously smooth, I think it is the honey flavors coming through. Mouthfeel feels sticky and coating, but not in a particularly good way, again, this comes through after, when the beer is in your mouth, it is a bit thin. No hop bite, and almost no booze presence - this hides its 11% ABV admirably. If you can get past the cloying mouthcoating after, it is a very easy drink.

After letting the beer warm for a bit and partaking some more, I definitely like this beer colder. In the nose I get less of a fruit smell, and more of something akin to rubbing alcohol. Also, the thinness comes through more, if feels like a fuller brew whilst cold.

I doubt I would drink this on a regular basis, but as an occasional drink, it works great for me. It's almost like a weaker version of a barleywine. Even though it is a BSDA in the database, it doesn't taste it at all. Then again, people also say Jager tastes like cough syrup, and I have no problems with that, so maybe it is my palate. Even though it is a winter release, the strong fruit presence would make this a pleasant treat in the summertime.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp, clear, amber color with a big fizzy head that quickly disappears.

Lots of cherry and funky booze on the nose. Some swirling brings out a sweet honey smell and a bit of spice. Smells like many other beers in this style with a large addition of cherries. Kind of like cough syrup.

Booze and sweet, bready malts hit the mouth on the first sip. The finish brings out a nice cherry flavor. Coriander and a bit of orange peel are noticeable as well. Honey comes in and out. Overall, very sweet, boozy and fruity.

The mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation, but seems to be lacking the body that usually accompanies an 11% ABV beer. The body that is there is somewhat syrupy.

Drinkability is above average, but not by much. The high ABV and sweetness make this a one bottle beer, tops.

Overall, this is a good holiday beer. It goes along with the festive atmosphere, but the excessive sweetness and cherries are a bit too much for me.

Photo of nyyfanatic213
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RichD
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of razorsdescent
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of jhartley
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.
Received a 6 pack for a Christmas gift.

A-Great looking label! Bottle imprinted with 2011-2012 Batch#110812. A beautiful ruby red-brown color, almost looks like iced tea. 1 finger head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S-You definitely know there's cherries in this one! Also picking up on the malts and a somewhat raisin like smell; tart.

T-Cherry right away leads into a nice maltiness and finishes with a nice alcohol bite. Sweet N Tart. For sure a Belgian style. Really pick up on the honey at the end

M-Tangy, tart and sweet. Enough alcohol at the end to cut the sweetness.

O-A great holiday/winter warmer for sure the 11% abv kicks in at the end, you want to be careful how many of this you're going to drink and be careful once you get up. I definitely could not drink this one all the time, but it was/is very nice for a change of pace. If you're a fan of Belgians; give this one a try.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter glass.

pours a clear dark amber/ruby tone with a finger of off-white head that quickly recedes into a thin collar around the glass; patchy lacing.

nose smacks of sweet malts; lots of candied fruits, cherry, and a touch of honey. nice aroma but makes me worry it will be too sweet. (a concern that fortunately isn't realized.)

flavor follows the nose with a strong front of sweet maltiness. does a nice job with the sweetness, however; doesn't cross into the dreaded cloying realm. cherry presence lasting through the finish, where the 11% ABV (unsurprisingly) is most noticeable. enjoyable brew, if nothing mindblowing.

medium bodied mouthfeel, average carbonation; feels nice in the mouth... drinks dangerously well for an 11 perenter.

Photo of JxExM
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of timoteo833
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of byronic
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of cowboy83
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,484 ratings.