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Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,964 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,964
Reviews: 1,149
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 147
Gots: 433 | FT: 20
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: 2,964 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PretzelCity
2.53/5  rDev -34.5%

This was my third and final attempt at trying to figure out why people seem to enjoy this beer. That being said it poured a nice copper red into my glass with a one finger white head. The smell was mostly alcohol with a hint of cherry. The taste, for me, was lacking. It says right on the bottle "ale brewed with honey and cherries". Not typically a phrase that leads me to purchase a beer but I've had some great brews that were made with cherries. This is not one of them. The cherry flavor is weak and seems artificial, like Ludens Cough Drops. I know this is not a sour but I'm still underwhelmed. Mouthfeel and drinkability are low due to the medicine/alcohol traits. Overall,the third time wasn't a charm. Although it did get a little better each time it never turned into a good beer. Being from Pennsylvania I did want to like this beer but it seems to me it's all hype.

PretzelCity, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of kkmiller76
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

kkmiller76, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of cubedbee
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

Pours a bright brick red with a small off-white head that neverthless has good retetention and leaves some moderate lacing. Nose is nice natural cherries, not syrupy, a honey sweetness, and a slight clovelike spiciness. Taste is a nice smooth cherry with some other pear/apple fruitiness, a nice bready malt, and a decent spicey and hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is medium/full with a nice smoothness. Overall this is a really nice beer, hides the alcohol well, nice to sip on a cold day.

cubedbee, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

Very beautiful dark cherry color beer with a lot of alcohol (not surprising at 11%) in the nose along with dark fruits, cherry, fig. Very nice spicy character in the nose as well. Could not conjure up an head at all and no lace down the side. Very sweet oily character with cherry, and very sweet. Since I like sweet, no worries, but some would probably describe it as cloying. Strong yeast character as well. Hops is listed on the website as only 15 IBUs, which seems true with no hop character, so the yeast is the main component for the spicy notes. Very cool, fun beer with lots of character and punch. Not overly complex, but a very good beer overall.

FightingEntropy, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of csurowiec
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

csurowiec, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of Profchaos20
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Profchaos20, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of dextermcgurk
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

dextermcgurk, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of rusty3335
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

rusty3335, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Lurkerson
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Lurkerson, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of misternebbie
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%

misternebbie, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of jhartley
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

jhartley, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of UDbeernut
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

My 100th review, on tap poured into a pint glass, not the correct glass wear

a: nice dark amber color, translucent with slight carbonation. When it arrived at my table, there was no head but lots of sticky lacing.

s: alchohol and cheery

t: cherry sweatness dominates flavor. Also taste alchohol. I think I taste a bit of honey too.

m&d: full bodied beer, very nice beer but i would not drink more than one during a session.


UDbeernut, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Viciousknishs
3.9/5  rDev +1%

A- Pours a deep garnet ruby red with little to no head. The little that was there in the initial pour quickly dissipates in to thin air. Mad elf doesn't hide much and one can see the gateway to yule tide insanity through its translucent body.

S- A bouquet of sweet malt and caramel are predominately present initially. That blends nicely into some spice and cherry aroma with a grand finale of pleasant warming alcohol.

T- Starts of like biting into a caramel covered cherry. The sweetness is balanced nicely by the spice and 11% abv but I would never guest that it was that high. A little bit of cocoa powder and fruitiness on the back end with some warm spiced bread.

M- Mad Elf has a light body and is a little prickly and warming from the alcohol content.

D- Although this not a low abv beer Troegs does a wonderful job disguising it without burying it beneath the sweet and spiciness making Mad elf superbly drinkable. Wish it a little bit fuller body but other than that I really enjoyed this ale.

Viciousknishs, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of ghostwalker
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

22 oz bomber, poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Red body with a thin, almost non-existent head. Not sure where the "dark" came from in the description. It looks like a golden ale with some cherry color added. No longer golden, but certainly not "dark".

S: Nose is boozy, sweet bubblegum Belgian esters.

T: Flavor is crisp and clean with a cherry bite and Belgian finish. Almost champagne-like. Not at all what I expected from a holiday ale.

M: Hits the palate thin and clean. No real body to it. It's actually rather quenching, for an 11% concoction.

O: Nice ale. Not deep and rich as I expected. Instead it's very thin, light and crisp. A nice holiday sipper. I'll go sit by the fire with this one now...

Merry Christmas!

ghostwalker, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of keithmurray
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

Appearance - Copper body with faint tan head

smell - Cherries, yeast, malts, honey

taste - cherries, raisins, honey, malts

mouthfeel - sweet upfront, ample carbonation, medium bodied, tart finish on this, finish seems out of balance to me even though there is no booziness present

overall - decent offering from Troegs, I was impressed overall with their attempt at a Belgian style ale

Price Point - single 12oz for $3.99

keithmurray, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of davesway10
5/5  rDev +29.5%

davesway10, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of nkeckhar
4/5  rDev +3.6%

nkeckhar, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of soze47
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Drinking a 2010 edition from a 22 oz. bomber. Looking forward to trying this one since a buddy told me how much he loved it this past July.

Appearance: Very amber with an almost purple glow. No head, no lacing. The color is very striking, but nothing else is.

Aroma: Honey and cherries are there (the bottle touts this additions on the label). Some doughy tanginess too. Definitely some spicy and herbal qualities presents after it warms up a bit.

Taste: Hot and tangy right off the bat, but a quick, honey, rich sweetness rushes in. As the flavor develops, the cherries and dark fruits come out. This one opens up quite a bit as it warms to reveal a real hop-driven spiciness that goes well with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This is thick in body, but much like a good Belgian strong ale, it isn't so much cloying. It is heavy on the palette and your mouth is going to be busy while drinking this one. This one bomber lasted me all evening, so not one to get in a time pinch or to fill a pint glass with. It's 11% is very real.

Overall: This one really grew on me as I drank it. It definitely benefits from warming up a bit. Drinks heavy, almost like a port or rich wine. All the flavors (cherries, honey, malt, hops, heat) create a simultaneously tangy, spicy, sweet, and slightly sour beer. I'm going to go out to get one of these for the cellar. I could see why this one could get better with a little more melding of these flavors.

33 Beers Flavor Chart (5 high to 1 low):
Alcohol/Solvent: 4
Dark Fruits: 4
Citrus Fruits: 2
Hoppy (pine): 1
Floral: 1.5
Spicy: 3
Herbal: 2
Malty: 3.5
Toffee: 2
Burnt: 1.5
Sweet: 3.5
Sour: 2
Bitter: 2.5
Astringent: 1
Body: 3.5
Linger: 4

soze47, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of AlexM
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

AlexM, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Barnsley
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Barnsley, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Pauly2X
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

Thanks to dashirey for this one.

A- Solid ruby red, wispy head.

S- Clean, slightly vinous hints of cherry.

T- Lightly grainy sweet malt upfront makes an almost seamless transition into a light cherry flavor that is intertwined with floral notes from the honey. Finishes clean and semi dry.

M- Medium-full bodied with balanced carbonation.

D- If it weren't for the 11% I might do more.

A very interesting take on the style. The alcohol is well hidden. This would make a great crossover beer for those who like red wine.

Pauly2X, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of dubdrop
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

dubdrop, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of ReeseMax3
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

ReeseMax3, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of NJB145
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

NJB145, May 20, 2013
Photo of chodinheaven
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

Color of a dark cherry, good clarity. Looks like a port, maybe a little lighter. Virtually no head, even on a medium-heavy pour. Basically no lacing as you sip. Honey and sweet ripe cherries do come to mind as well as a touch of booze. Malted barley rounds it out. A little like cough syrup in aroma actually, but somehow not really to its detriment.

Sweetness of the cherries and the honey are combined with a warming alcohol presence to bring out a very nice sipper of a dessert beer. Maybe a touch too boozy and a touch too sweet, but with the right setting, this is a decent selection. The pilsner malt and munich malts contribute to a malty backbone that keeps it just hearty enough to work. Spicy yeast is welcome as it adds a prickly mouthfeel that compliments the low-medium carbonation level. Actually without this little spiciness, this beer would be thrown out of whack and lose the continuity that makes it all gel together. Surprisingly light in body and finishes bone-dry.

Would have to be in the mood for this one as it is pretty sweet and a little boozy. But the two flavors work well together and make for a good holiday after-dinner sipper.

chodinheaven, Oct 30, 2011
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,964 ratings.