Wild Elf
Tröegs Brewing Company

Wild ElfWild Elf
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Wild Ale
Ranked #1,336
Ranked #12,339
3.95 | pDev: 10.63%
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Wild ElfWild Elf
Notes: Wild Elf grows from deep roots, courtesy of our oak foeders and pure local flavor derived from wild yeast that rode into the brewery on the back of PA-harvested Balaton cherries. Based on the Mad Elf recipe, Wild Elf goes through a long secondary fermentation in wood barrels, unveiling tart cherry pit and farmhouse bliss. This bottle-conditioned limited release is highly carbonated and comes to life when the cork pops.
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 109 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by maddogruss:
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maddogruss from New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this out from a bottle.
A: pours a reddish amber body with small white head with minimal retention and lacing.
S: smells of cherries and Brett; sour notes as well
T: lip puckering sour beer with some sweet sour cherry finish
M: light bodied and pretty smooth
O: pretty good, overall a; pretty sour, but the sweet cherry notes balanced it out pretty well in the aftertaste.

Apr 18, 2020
More User Reviews:
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown in color with a deep hazy appearance. Poured with a brief effervescence with no retention. Mellow dark cherry and oak aromas with earthy vanilla notes. Medium light bodied with effervescent carbonation with definitive boozy warmth. Tart, dark cherry and earthy oak flavors followed by unapologetic funky sourness. Sourness transitions to boozy heat followed by intensely cherries to the end. Finished dryly with earthy oak and light vanilla notes and lingering tart cherry flavors. A boozy, sour, earthy, flavorful sipper.

May 05, 2020
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Whitey_from_Remedy from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dec 19, 2019
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ThatAmateurBeerDrinker from New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apr 26, 2019
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pubscout from New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty much like its less Wild brother, same fast-fading head, drunk from a chalice. Smell is slightly different--more tart. Taste is oaky wild and has a most pleasant tart kick in the finish. Smooth, moderately carbonated. Despite its 11% ABV, not boozy at all. Honey notes are less in evidence than with the more "sedate" Mad Elf. Very interesting and worth trying, though one a day would be my limit.

Dec 31, 2016
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Sammy from Canada

3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Jan 01, 2017
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, tawny port color with a short-lived frothy head; spots of lacing abound

Smell: Crusty cherry pie tones with fermented honey; hints of chocolate; subtle barnyard aspect

Taste: Cherry pie flavors forward with both the filling and the crust; through the middle, the funk and the oak tones build; slightly tart, after the swallow but also not too sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: All of the interesting elements in the Mad Elf but with Brett., Lacto and Pedio, too; not as sour as one would expect but still quite enjoyable

Thanks, ArtAttackEd, for the opportunity

Apr 22, 2018
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longarm from Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: unsurprisingly a dirty reddish-brown color...a little cloudy. Not much head.

Aroma: Brett, cider, tart cherry. Delightful aroma.

Flavor. Lemony peel-cherry, but not nearly as much cherry as expected. Very different from Mad Elf. Almost no hint of alcohol heat.....it’s 11%! On this front it’s a lot like Mad Elf.

Mouthfeel: Dry but sour finish. Crisp when it’s cooler, but it gets a little more sticky as it warms.

Jan 28, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a cork'n'cage 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Cloudy dark amber pour. Thin off-white head. Modest rim of lacing.

S: Very mild nose... some honeyed sweets and stone fruit. A bit of funk.

T/F: Rich... complex mix of sweet and tart. Definite grain and honey... cherry and tart fruit is more subtle but definitely present. A little funk and oak.... not terribly sour but this isn't a bad thing. Medium to thick in mouthfeel. Reasonably good carbonation.

O: A bit style-defying but quite tasty.... and with more going on than the regular 'Mad Elf' offering. Tart but not sour... complex and really enjoyable. Wish I had a few more of these in the cellar.

Jun 29, 2017
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prototypic from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 31, 2018
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NickyHouHou from District of Columbia

4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hard pour into a 33cl Ayana glass. Quickly dissipating head. Smell is of ripe tart cherries and strong oak. Look is dark red to brown with very light carbonation. Excellent!

Apr 06, 2019
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JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 28, 2017
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I tried this from the bottle purchased at the Brewery in Hershey, sampled from the corked and caged bottle in a tulip.

The color is deep burgundy with translucent clarity with off white head with fine bead. The smell is fruity with a dominant smell of brettanomyces with slight oaky wood aroma. The feel starts sweet with slight tannic fruity quality but full in body with moderate carbonation and slight warming alcohol begins mid palate with mild medicinal finish.

The taste is good with a lot of wild yeast flavor with not a lot of cherry in the taste (perhaps the 'bugs' consumed the sugars)The malt flavor is sweet with slight caramel quality and oak is present with a strong alcohol flavor that is noticeable in the finish. Overall this is good based on the fact it improves on the original, but I don't think the value is there since it has too much alcohol flavor for my taste and not enough fruit -sort of cherry cough syrup effect. There is a good amount of barrel presence though so at least you know it was aged for a considerable amount of time.

Jul 18, 2016
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jul 25, 2016
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dsshuck from Delaware

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 19, 2020
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's Christmas Adam (night before Christmas eve), so this seemed relevant. 2017 vintage
Pours a light fizzy head that fades semi quickly, a touch of lacing, very clear but slight darker mahogany cherry color

Nose big juicy sour cherry and sweet candy syrup, cherry cough syrup a bit, some grapefruit and tropical notes perhaps wild yeast additions, a mild sweet fruity honey note, mild acidity and acetobacter, a bit of vanilla toasted oak

Taste brings honey and syrup out front, candy sweet with sour cherries and cherry cough syrup again, tart cherries with souring bacteria notes, bright acidity and acetobacter, mild malt vinegar and red wine vinegar, a little acidity, fruity sweet honey flavors, some toasted oak with a little vanilla, tart flemmy finish, but semi clean finish

Mouth is med bod, very slick diacetyl feel but not buttery, syrupy as well with loads of sour acidity, very tart flemmy finish, tons of fizzy carbonation, some warming alcohol

Overall this was an interesting beer, I think a little spices would round it off a bit to make it more Christmasy but otherwise an interesting beer, starts to get into the Rodenbach area with the heavy acetobacter and malt/red wine vinegars. Nice cherry in there as well.

Dec 24, 2018
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PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jul 20, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 04, 2018
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Doing a side-by-side tasting on Christmas Eve against a bottle of the standard Mad Elf...

L - Near identical, but a bit hazier than the original...

S - Rather distinct compared to the base beer... The wood aging is noticeable from the get go... There is also a moderate level of barnyard funkiness about... Much sweeter than expected as both the cherry and honey components are dialed up a few notches...

T - A completely different beast... The cherries and honey are intensified,,, The barrel aged seems to have mellowed this one out quite a bit... The yeast works wonders and adds layers upon layers of complexity... The wood aging is subtle but quite effective... Very nicely done...

F - Medium bodied... Dense... Exceedingly smooth... Limited carbonation... Goes down much smoother than its counterpart...

O - Overall this one is much sweeter and much more mellow than its original namesake... Not sure it's worth the hefty price premium, but an excellent beer none the less... Perhaps my favorite of the new Troegs barrel aged offerings...

Dec 25, 2016
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billab914 from Virginia

3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Jun 05, 2016
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BigMike from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 20, 2016
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goblue3509 from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 23, 2018
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TheEpeeist from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aug 18, 2018
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SiepJones from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 18, 2017
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BradC from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jul 18, 2016
Wild Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 109 ratings