Tröegs Mad Elf - Tröegs Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,944 | Reviews: 1,149 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +12.7%
Pours a crystal clear reddish amber color. Starts off with a nice 1" head, but it disappears rather quickly, and I mean nothing, not even a surface foam.The aroma is sweet and lightly tart, as cherries, malt, cinammon and alcohol are easily detectable.
The flavor is complex. Thick malt is matched with cherry, apple, yeast, alcohol, honey, cinammon, nutmeg, and some other spices. What makes this interesting is that the flavors come at different times during the taste, like cherry and malt up front and honey and alcohol at the end. As it warms the flavors became more intense.
Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy at the start and finish. The malt seemed to stick to the tongue, and an alcohol kick came just after swallowing. This is a super brew, but for sippin' and relaxing on a cold evening only.
11-05-2004 23:39:26 | More by Gavage
4.25/5 rDev +10.1%
12/28/04- Received via trade with Santoslhalper.
Presentation- 12 oz bottle with a freaky lookin' elf on it. No expiration date. Poured into my Westmalle chalice.
Appearance- Nice head at first, but rapidly disentigrates. Very little if and lace. Nice deep ruby red color.
Smell- Ultra sweet malt. Sweet fruityness, (cherries)? Plus there is definite alcohol fumes.
Taste- Taste like a really malted and liquored up Kriek. Heavy sweet malts and cherries. Plus a large alcohol kick towards the end of your swallow. Maybe a bourbon taste? Whatever it is, it's pretty tasty.
Mouthfeel- I was expecting a thicker and more full mouthfeel on this one due to the high ABV. Low carbonation. Still goes down smooth with that little alcohol warming sensation going down.
Drinkability- I'm already feeling it after half this beer. I have another one left that I am going to age and maybe try next winter and see if it thickens up a bit. Thanks very much to by BA bud Santoslhalper who has sent me several brews I have yet to try. This one scores pretty well though. Quite tasty, even if I did have it with Boston Market take out. Probably would have been paired better with something else.
12-29-2004 00:15:11 | More by GClarkage
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
A beer I've been psyched to try for a while and finally got around to trying it. Bought a bomber of this for about $6. Pours an orange/red color, alcohol and cherry smell to it. Taste is complex and dangerously tasty. Medium bodied, great mouthfeel. The honey and cherry flavors really shine through, and the beer remains well balanced throughout. Being 11% ABV, the alcohol has a presence so this is a sipper for sure. A pleasure to drink, tons of complexity and tastiness to get through... will most likely be buying a few more of these before the winter season is through.
11-28-2011 03:16:38 | More by oriolesfan4
4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
Pours a nice dark amber with a slight white head. Aroma of cherries, honey and alcohol. Although the abv is 11% the alcohol is masked very well making this a smooth beer. The cherries and honey give this beer a nice sweetness that is balanced out by a slight maltiness.
12-01-2008 09:04:00 | More by corby112
3.98/5 rDev +3.1%
This is the '03 version of the Elf that's been aging.
Appears a hazy reddish amber with a small white head that lasts for a minute and fades into a small collar.
Smell is of honey, cherries, rich candy sugar, along with a hint of cocoa powder with that trademark Troegs yeast.
Taste is of a viscous, syrup mix of the above mentioned aromas.
Mouthfeel is thich and viscous with some mellow corn syrupy sweetness that's raw but smooth.
Drinkability - This is a sipper by all means. It reminds me of cherry lip balm in a weird way. A little hard to swallow, even after aging for over 1.5 years. Delicious but still a one and done for me.
08-25-2005 17:15:11 | More by weeare138
4.03/5 rDev +4.4%
Not sure what to expect at first, but this sure smells belgian. Lots of spicey aroma up front. I'm used to this being in the paler belgians, but I guess this one might be in the middle. More spice (corriander? in the flavor mixed with the honey and cherries and a little earthy bitterness that blends with the fruit. This is certainly different. It kicks outs at the end with a cherry tang and a hint, albeit an unsubtle one, at the alcohol. Definately not my favorite, but I recommend giving it try. It's worth it.
02-04-2007 05:01:50 | More by tempest
4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
Served thru a dogfish randall-the-animal with brandy soaked cherries and vanilla.
A - Pours deep, dark, amber with no head at all leaving minimal lacing down the glass. Looks like normal mad elf with no head.
S - Lots of cherrie skin aroma that lingers for some time. A bit of booze from the brandy but it is hidden very well. Very nice nose.
T - Cherries up front that carry thru the entire drink. Middle is a nice mix of cherrie and a bit of chewy malt. Finish is strong with a bit of cherrie syrup and plenty of booze. This has to be close to twenty percent after the brandy was added. It is hidden so well it is honestly scary.
M - Medium body with a heavy flavor and moderate carbonation. Tart finish with plenty of booze lingering on the pallet.
D - Fairly high. I loved this one but after having so many beers already this was the final straw, I had to leave after this one. I have had normal mad elf, splinter red aka BA mad elf, and yet this was the best mad elf I have ever had. The balance was great but the ABV is so high you just can't have more than one.
12-05-2010 04:42:23 | More by orangesol
4.2/5 rDev +8.8%
12 ounce bottle, without freshness dating. Poured just below room temp in a Belgian style chalice, pours, medium mahogony, with a slight reddish hue, minor tan head, quickly dissapating, medium sized bubbles and leaving some, not too impressive lacing. Nose is just slightly picked up, grainy and of fruits and some alcohol. This is a smooth, easy drinking Belgian stlye ale. 11% hidden well, but with a nice fruity, cherry warming feel. Notes of, malt, light candi sugars, vanilla, honey, mild hot sauce and sherry soaked cherries. Fine and flavorful sipper.
Thanks to my friend "Grassy" for a sixer of this hard to find nectar...
04-13-2006 22:17:41 | More by Billolick
4.03/5 rDev +4.4%
Second review of mad elf for the year, this time on tap.
Pours a very clear orange color with a bit of redness about it and a minimal amount of white head that is quick to dissapear. Nose is your typical belgian including phenols, clove, spice, fruity sweetness and a warming kick of alcohol astringency in the end. Where this beer deters from the normal belgian is in the sweetness of the aroma. It is quite reminescent more of honey and cherry. Taste includes just about everything you would expect from the aroma: a bit of clove and spice, sweetness exaggerated by cherry/honey and a quite warming finish. Feel of this beer is light and moderately carbed. Overall it is a nice sipper and I enjoy this beer while looking forward to it again each holiday.
The noticable differnces from this beer on tap verse the bottle is that the mouthfeel is significantly lighter but that is probably mostly in part due to the higher level of carb than the bottle version.
01-30-2010 15:43:36 | More by stakem
3.98/5 rDev +3.1%
Pours amber with just a slight head. Smells of sour cherries and sweet malt with some oak tannins on the back end. Tastes quite tannic with a lip puckering bitterness that carries through to the finish when more sour cherries kick in and help balance the tannins. Not quite what I was expecting, but unusual enough to be enjoyable and interesting.
08-22-2011 15:37:35 | More by Georgiabeer
3.9/5 rDev +1%
A 10oz serving as part of the Belgian dinner at Iron Hill's Belgium Comes to West Chester. Appearance and smell are copied from an earlier growler review.
A: The ale is a copper color with some distinct orange highlights. The head is big on pour but does not retain very well.
S: The aroma is cherries and honey with a bit of medicinal tartness.
T: The ale, served fresh, has a stronger alcohol character. That warmth assists the cherry flavors in coming out. As the ale continues to warm, the cherry character becomes more sour, losing a sweeter character that is present when the ale is cold.
M: The alcohol and cherry pair nicely together and were a nice compliment to the salmon carpaccio that it was served with. The sweet cherry and honey in the beer were a nice fit with the honey-topped salmon and pepper.
D: Well made, the cherry is a nice component that adds strong character. I never imagined that this would pair well with a seafood dish, but it does and is worth a look.
01-28-2007 01:59:31 | More by akorsak
3.83/5 rDev -0.8%
Served on-tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY
A: Pours a clear dark copper in color with some amber highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a ver thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Moderate aromas of cherries and dark fruit with some light notes of spices.
T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of malts with some dark fruit sweetness and cherries. Additionally, there are notes of honey contributing to the overall sweetness and a light to moderate amount of spice. Very light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fade quickly.
M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Light hints of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is pretty easy to drink due to the fact that the rather high ABV is well hidden. This is a good sipping beer, with a decent amount of complexity but too strong for anything other than slowly sipping.
04-14-2013 17:50:05 | More by dbrauneis
4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a clear warm brown body with a red hue to it. There is a sea of tiny bubbles that pop to the surface to form a head of tan bubbles.
S- This beer has a aroma of brown sugar, toasted malt a hint of circus peanuts and a caramel malt aroma.
T- The soft sweet malt has a dark nougat notes and some faint circus peanut flavors. There is a blended quality of dark cherries that comes through in the malt flavor but is not pronounced. The finish has a soft boozy quality that is quite nice.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight little fizz finish and no real alcohol heat until it gets pretty warm.
D- This beer has some great Belgian strong dark ale qualities with a mysterious malt flavor that is sweet and rich and has a nice accent of cherries to it. This is a great winter sipper.
02-23-2009 19:25:01 | More by rhoadsrage
4/5 rDev +3.6%
Pours a three finger white head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Clear amber/red color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Honey nose. Flavor is sweet honey with hints of cherry. Smooth honey finish. High ABV is totally hidden, is it really 11% ABV?? $3.25 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.
05-07-2009 22:35:31 | More by jdhilt
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of Boxing Day BIF and Pentathlete.
This is a beer I have wanted to try for sometime. This is last years version but it is a big beer that can take a year of aging!
This pours a clear copper colored ale with a warm red glow. Carefully poured to leave the sediment behind no head forms. To be honest the careful pour probably killed the head more than the beer itself.
An intensely aromatic beer, this is another beer that can fill a room with smell from the glass. This has almost too aromatic to sniff closely. Fairly sweet scent with an intense fruity nature. Strong honey, vanilla, and cherry scents. Lesser aromas of cinnamon, caramel and black pepper. This is a beer that makes you seriously as the question if it is possible to have too much scent? I am sure that this has stunned my sense of smell, it is that intense.
Taste is not as amazingly intense as the smell. The first sip hits you with sweet malt and vanilla. Cherry and caramel are the next flavors that I can taste with a black pepper in the finish. Brown sugar and cinnamon come near the end of the glass. There are also fairly strong lemon and orange flavors to this. This is one hard ale to describe, it is very intense.
Mouthfeel is syrup thick.
The only downside of this beer is in the drinkability department. This is a very intense experience, almost too intense. This is strong enough that you could use it as syrup, just briefly bring this to a boil and you could pour it over pancakes. It is the syrup intensity of this that cuts its drinkability score significantly. This would make an amazing glaze for a ham or just pour over ice cream like hot caramel. An amazing beer that is probably too intense for 99% of most people.
01-05-2006 06:28:13 | More by Zorro
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.1/5 rDev +6.2%
Poured into town hall chalice.
Pours hardly and khaki tan head. Fades down fast. Color is a ruby red copper.
Aroma: Cherries right away. Then I get some spice notes. I'd have to say it is ginger. A nice dose of honey with some biscuit flavored malts. This is a perfect holiday beer.
Taste: Lots of cherries and honey up front. Ginger and spice notes. Bready malts. Maybe some plums and molasses as well. This is a great treat for the holidays.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and refreshingly creamy. A very hint of heat. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation, but that is fine since it is a year old. Ends pretty dry though.
Overall, I was impressed with this one and very drinkable for the abv and the little hint of booze that showed. I really enjoyed this one and it is a great seasonal.
12-26-2009 00:10:36 | More by mothman
3.18/5 rDev -17.6%
12oz 2008 bottle poured into a troegs pint glass. Picked up a single of this on a whim.
A- Mad Elf pours out a copper reddish color almost ruby like in appearance. A decent frothy white/beige head pops up to an 1/2 inch leaving some very spotty lace. This minimal lace eventually fell down into the liquid.
S- Even though this is billed as brewed with cherries and honey, the cherries are very faint in the nose. The honey comes through a tad bit more but nothing impressive enough to make it a dominate smell. I do get a ton of alcohol in the nose which does not bode well with me. A lot of malts wih some hops and some spicy yeast.
T- Alcohol is the main factor here which is a shame as it detracts from the taste, at least for me. Some sweetness coming from the cherries but not even half of what i was expecting. The honey used increases the sweet taste of this and actually saves this beer. The three different malt varieties are noted and work well while any bitterness from the hops is minimal at 15 IBU's. Some yeast notes in the finish.
M- The malts would make this a smooth sipper but the alcohol completely drown out any other flavors making it a task to drink. It is both smooth and cloying from the alcohol if that makes sense. Mad Elf has a medium build with some carbonation nothing exciting. The mouthfeel does not remind me of a christmas ale even though this is billed as a BSDA.
D- Not that high for me. I've tried this occasionally through the years trying to find something new but this beer never wowed me. It's a decent BSDA but if your looking for a christmas style brew with a nice spice factor look elsewhere. The alcohol completely gets in the way of the cherry and honey additions. I'm not sure if aging this would do any good either.
02-12-2009 19:50:42 | More by BARFLYB
Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,944 ratings.