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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

1,209 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,209
Hads: 3,650
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 26.75%
Wants: 224
Gots: 932 | FT: 24
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Tröegs Mad Elf Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,209 | Hads: 3,650
Photo of Bebum
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear medium amber, no lace. Medium body, moderate flavor, high heat, avg length, fruity finish.
Sweet but enough bitterrness to keep it from being cloying.
Barley candy flavor, coca-cola.
Rich, enjoyable.

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Photo of drea0695
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: what a pretty beer! Poured into an over sized wine glass, a gorgeous cranberry color.

S: Tart cherries. Not overwhelming but just enough to make your mouth pucker up in anticipation

T: cherries, and a nice biscuity malt, almost like a tart cherry pie and as it warms just a hint of alcohol.

M: light carbonation which definitely helps break up the potential for a syrup bomb.

D: probably too drinkable for an 11%. But it's Christmas! Just don't drive.

I really think this beer is a great addition to the holiday season. It's so flavorful and complex. Pick it up you won't be disappointed!

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Photo of deanwilson
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A. Rich reddish copper

S. Alive with fruit, especially cherries and bananas.

T. Flavorfull from start to finish. Honey and cherry upfront, with a touch of sweetness, then a hoppy, citus, dry banana finish.

M. Suprisingly un-syrupy given the high alcohol content.

D. Very easy to sip on. Seems to taste well with just about any food.

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Photo of whiterascal
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: muted reddish brown, no head
S: a little cherry scent, and some raisins, honey.
T: wow. Unexpected. Just a little hint of cherries. Sweetness. I can definitely taste the honey. A bready finish.
M: slippery
D: great beer, but I'd stick with one for tonight.

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Photo of ProLiquorMan
3.19/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: What a beautiful color! I'm going to call this color red amber. Very little head. But this could be because I don't know how to properly pour beer.

Smell: The only thing I'm getting is some citrus smell. Think about a grapefruit without the sourness and bitterness.

Taste: The taste is very similar to the smell. Again, all I got was some citrus/grapefruit taste. Was expecting more flavors.

Mouthfeel: It was a very "clean" beer.

I was disappointed with this one. There is nothing wrong with it, but it certainly wasn't worth the $16 for 6 bottles. The bottle claims to have some cherry and honey notes. I didn't get any of those. It really lacks flavor.

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Photo of weirdohappy
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Vary, vary guut beer. reminds me of something. But not sure what. Beautiful amber color. Smells of wine? Like a chardonnay. But an amber chardonnay. And also called a beer.

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Photo of grego
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured very red with not much head that didn't last long. the smell is malty with some spicyness to it - hard to describe for me. The taste is the same sweet, cherries, cinnamon. Mouthfeel is very dry. I like Troeg's beers a lot but this one is not a style I prefer. If you like a stronger holiday style beer then I imagine this would be great, just not my thing.

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Photo of padan7
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of deathdealer666
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

A deep amber color with no head.

Smells like a penny and sweat. Kind of mineraly.
Not pleasant.

The only geat thing about this beer is you cant taste the cherries. There's a wierd kind of nothingness it.

It really coats your mouth I don't know what it is but it stays with you.

And then there's the booze. You never would of guessed it at first impression, but alas, yes it is 11%. Now I'm gonna go take my kid trick or treating. Half drunk. Thanks for nothing Troegs.

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Photo of 2x10
4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy brown with a lovely red tint which makes its appearance very enticing.

Tastes of chocolate, honey, and apple with a very bready nose.

as the beer warms, the cherries become very evident and a true warming feeling comes across. The alcohol is truely hidden in the taste, but is felt throughout the body after about 2.

This is by far, my wife and I's favorite beer because of the combination of belgian strong ale, the fresh cherry honey flavor and the fact that its not a beer that compares to the "winter" versions of other beers. You can drink this one year round and we LOVE to save it for the summer time.
This beer also gets better with age and can be stored for several years and is surprising refreshing aged and great in any weather.

Its unfortunate that the mix and match beer stores are buying it all up and limiting the cases that can be bought. It just came out last week and is pretty much sold out in pittsburgh or is being hidden in the back of distributors for special customers.
Get it while you can and savor the yummy goodness that it brings.

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Photo of ElliotNess
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a bottle last night for the first time, my initial glance at the bottle as i poured it into a glass was the ABV of 11%. I was surprised to see that a christmas ale would be this high. But the taste and drinkability, did not hint at the level of high alcohol. The taste gave a cherry flavor upfront and finished smooth like a good ale does. A very unique flavor unlike other cherry beers I've tasted, and would conclude that i hope to find some around town before the season ends.

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Photo of jamesdr1968
1.72/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer poured a beautiful dark ruby red color with a nice, creamy head. The taste was a smorgasbord of cherries, vanilla and honey --- an extremely sweet beer, but unfortunately it reminded me too much of cough syrup. I would like to try this on tap to see if there is much of a difference. Great appearance, but the taste was too overwhelming.

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Photo of imasickboy
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another courtesy of the frog. 2006 season, drank September 2007.

Poured a beautiful reddish amber with a nice two finger, semi-dense head. Truly an outstanding looking beer. I am a sucker for a red-tinted beer.

The smell was no surprise. Cherry and honey. Neither was a overpowering aroma, which was a relief.

It had a medium body, and felt very smooth in the mouth. There was a bit of alcohol feel to it, which is the only reason this one didn't rate even higher.

Tasted simply of a decent, medium bodied beer, with a bit of cherry and honey. Aftertaste was the same, only the cherry and honey seemed to stick around just a bit longer. So ridiculously simple, but extraordinary. I wish I had more to say about this one, but I don't. It is what it is, and it is a mighty fine beer. Unfortunately, with the ABV being so high, drinkability suffers. I could easily drink MANY of these, would it not kill me.

Despite the steep cost, I will be purchasing either a case or a sixtel of this one when it comes out the end of next month. This is a top-notch beer. I love it.

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Photo of Tombomb
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Reddish amber. Clear. very little head

S: some hops and fruit, very little malt.

T: Tart cherries with some subtle alcohol.

M: very light an about water in texture

D: Way too easy to drink this one! at 11% you could run into probles very easily.

I got this in a beer club as a 'big" beer. This was the biggest and one of the most drinkable

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Photo of sDon
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A friend recommended this beer to me, and I was not disappointed.

The beer was dark and served from tap in a 16 oz pint glass. It has instant sweetness in its taste -- cherries and almonds -- that is not too intense and blends well with the general dark beer flavor. Nothing about it seems artificial or forced, as can be the case with some flavored beers.

The ABV was a bit too high and prevented long term drinking, but perhaps this cannot be avoided. I hope that I drink it again.

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Photo of mtbikeguru
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Gotta love the nice red label that depicts a tipsy elf hanging on the Troëgs name. The 11% ABV would make anyone tipsy if they had enough of these guys.

This bier has a very nice glowing ruby red color and a substantial bone-colored head during the pour, which is surprising considering the ABV, but the head did subsided quickly. Very, very fine carbonation

One would think that the alcohol would be very prominent on smelling this brew but it is very balanced with the cherry, pale malt, subtle spiciness, and some other fruity kind of banana esters to come to the front.

Very drinkable bier so be careful because this mad elf will smack you around if you drink to many of his buddies.

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Photo of briscott99
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice dark reddish brown. A white head of about two fingers. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells substantial.... bready, yeasty, but also a bit of sweet honey in there. Says it's brewed with cherries, but I'm not picking up that scent on the nose.

Taste: Cherries show up in the taste, but only slightly for me. SPICE... there is a big holiday spice component to this beer... shows up in the aftertaste. Nutmeg? This beer is really malty sweet. I don't detect much hop character at all... maybe a little bittering, but it's definitely overshadowed by the sweetness. This is almost like liquid candy. And for being 11% ABV I don't detect much alcohol in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

Drinkability: I couldn't do more than one of these in a sitting. It's definitely interesting and leaves you with a lot to ponder, but I just wish it were a little less sweet.

Not my favorite, but definitely worth a try. It definitely tastes like the holidays to me.

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Photo of Grintbrad
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is ruby brown with very little white head. Head dissipates quickly with little lacing.

Aroma is cherries, yeast, bread, sugar and yeast.

Taste is pure cherries, malt sweetness, with subtle spices (cardamon? Clove?) - not as over powering as expected for a holiday beer. The taste is definitely belgian style with brown sugar and spice, but cherries dominate the flavor to the end.

Mouthfeel is flat - moderate body, but very little carbonation or lacing. Somewhat surprisingly for a Belgian style specialty ale.

Drinkability is just average. The alcohol is quite hidden, but the sweetness to me is overpowering without it, and hinders the ability to have repeat glasses.

Overall, a tasty holiday beer, one of the better ones.

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Photo of AleWerks
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Great ruby red color with good carbonation.
S: Cherries and honey are obvious with fruits coming through late.
T: Cherry and honey again with dark malt, plum, fruit, crystal sugar, and ending with a sweet finish.
M: Rich and full mouthfeel with balanced carbonation.
D: For an %11 ABV beer this one sure goes down easy. A really nice beer.

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Photo of Kopp
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another review split between my roommate and I, he picked this beer up for us at a small liquor store the town over from our school.

A: Reddish clear color, clear with a small head that vanishes immediately, no residue sticking to the glass

S: Sweet scent, but not saccharine... Fruity scent

T: Overall has a taste of cherries, with the flavor of honey that is tasted in the back of the throat. The bite of the elevated alcohol content is noticeable, particularly in the finish

M: Smooth, low level of carbonation, not sticky or gummy

D: Taste and mouthfeel is very pleasant, a bit sweet, but the alcohol content of 11% does not lend it to a session beer

Overall: It's a good beer that we enjoyed splitting. It was a bit sweet for my tastes, but Tim enjoyed it a lot. It was a fine beer that we both recommend, but it's more for a night in than a night out.

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Photo of VFBeerman
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much every year I consider this my first Christmas present.

Pours a lovely reddish color fitting of the holiday season. You can actually smell the warming character on the nose - definitely yeasty, but in a good way. All the typical qualities of a really nice Belgian but with the wonderful flavor imparted by the cherries and honey.

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Photo of WillieBeamen
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Tastes a bit too much like fermented cherry juice topped off with vodka for my taste but an interesting beer that some people love for its uniqueness and holiday festivity

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Photo of drumstik
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First Elf of the Season. I love the ruby red label with the off white and green colors. Of course there is the trademark yellow Troegs cap on top that makes this bottle stand out from the rest.

Pours the a lovely red/amber. This years might even have a little bit more of a dark red hue to it.

Smells of deep rich cherries and plum with lots of malty goodness and a hint of sweetness.

Taste hits with a great malty sweetness with a hint of cherries. Just a touch of spicyness and a tiny hint of hops. As you sip it coats your mouth and throat (perhaps from the honey?) as it slides down with just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes sweet and spicy and a subtle hint of alcohol.

A fantastic beer that lives up to all the hoopla that surrounds it. A great late night sipper to send you off to dreamland. Grab it while you can or you will be regretting it later!

Last year I discovered Mad Elf and I couldn't get enough of it. This year it is wonderful yet again and has inspired me to write my first review here on BA. Hopefully many more to come!

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Photo of eggplantwiz
2.47/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an ommegang goblet.

A: No real lacing, no / minimal carbonation. Flat-ish amber appearance.

S: Overwhelmingly sweet, honey and cherries come out. This is the strongest point for this beer.

T: A little bit unexciting really. Sure, I taste the honey and cherries, but it's almost cloyingly sweet with negligible complexity. I'm not sure why this beer gets such good reviews.

M: Smooth enough mouthfeel, medium to light bodied.

D: Surprisingly drinkable for 11% -- the alcohol is well hidden here, no booziness at all, really. Very smooth, but still not exciting.

Overall, a below average beer, but pleasant enough. I don't think I'd seek this out again.

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Photo of Zaccone
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells like cherries, especially while still in the bottle. After pouring (into a snazzy Mad Elf chalice) smells yeasty and spicy - just as someone else said, like a hefeweizen.

Looks almost iridescent - coppery-red and very inviting. I must say, despite my qualms with drinking more than one bottle at once, if you let me smell it and look at it long enough I'll probably drink it anyway.

M&D: The 11% alcohol owns the aftertaste. Medium-chewy.

finally, Taste.. really a good beer - on occasion, there are times it hits the spot and I call it excellent. The sour-hefeweizen thing is in the background. Very sugary beer, and the cherries are noticeable.

So, seems to taste like a high-alcohol, oversweetened hefeweizen. Very seldom do I enjoy sweet beer, but this one makes my mouth and tummy happy. Though I'll admit to fantasizing about a drier version of the Elf...

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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,209 ratings.