The Mad Elf Grand Cru
Tröegs Brewing Company

The Mad Elf Grand CruThe Mad Elf Grand Cru
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #40
Ranked #7,082
4.09 | pDev: 8.8%
Nov 21, 2023
Oct 28, 2017
We’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. Twenty years in just feels right. If you know Tröegs, you know The Mad Elf, the mischievous belle of the holiday beer ball that helped put our little brewery on the map. In your hands is the Director’s Cut. Tart Balaton cherries – loads of them – make all the difference. Bottle-conditioned and flush with notes of cinnamon and clove, this beer begs to be shared. Take a bottle home, gather your friends, and cherish the cherries.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Nov 21, 2023
Rated: 4 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Nov 19, 2023
Rated: 3.98 by travelguy from Ohio

Nov 16, 2023
Photo of Darkmagus82
Reviewed by Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured from a cork top 375 ml bottle into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a super dark ruby red color with a tiny head of pink foam. The head has a lighter level of retention, fading rather quick to leave a touch of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma is huge of a sour cherry smell mixed with a bit of cracker and some lighter notes of honey. Along with these smells comes strong aromas of yeast and coriander as well as some notes of candied sugar, blueberries, and plum. A bit of a graininess and some light herbal and grassy smells are in there as well, creating an overall Belgium sour cherry smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a big sour cherry flavor as one may have anticipated from the nose. At the same time there is a bit of sweet cherry as well, and some light notes of honey, berries, and plum. There is a crisp cracker malt taste mixed with some light breadiness. As the taste advances the sour cherry gets stronger and is joined by more doughiness and some yeast. The yeast bring along a touch of coriander, cinnamon, and clove, and with a touch of herb, one is left with a sweet and sour cherry-berry flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body is slightly medium in thickness and creaminess with a lower carbonation level. The feel was pretty good for the brew, although I would have liked a bit more carbonation to balance out the sour cherry better. Overall OK.
Overall – Quite a bit more sour in comparison to the original. I think I prefer the OG, but this was a fun one to try, and is sorta a tripel, cherry sour like combination.
Nov 13, 2023
Photo of mvanaskie13
Reviewed by mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured into a Mad Elf snifter: color is deep cherry amber, head is light tan and presents very quickly before dissipating to nothing, no lacing.

Smell is cherry, fig, malt, toast, esters, berries.

Taste is big cherry, dark aged fruit, malt and toast, some honey note, berrie sweet/tartness, light belgian yeast spice, some cinnamon spice.

Mouthfeel is low carbonation, big sweetness followed by tart pucker, no bitterness, drying and lingering sweetness on the tongue.

Overall - an amped up Mad Elf - big tart sweetness, some spice, but a sipper for sure.
Sep 10, 2023
Rated: 4.04 by Buck_Jones from Michigan

Feb 26, 2023
Rated: 5 by doctorgary from New York

Jan 20, 2023
Rated: 4.2 by BigFatOgre1975 from Rhode Island

Dec 29, 2022
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
Reviewed by Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Enjoying at the brewery in Hershey, PA, on the way home from our after Christmas trip to Bethlehem and Philly, PA. 12/28/22.

Strong raisin, cherry, slight effervescence on the nose.

Leah said "yummy" right away on first taste! Sour tart cherry, slight raisin and a drawing of the mouth as in saline. Leah loves, Dave, not so much.
Dec 28, 2022
Photo of damndirtyape
Reviewed by damndirtyape from Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12.7 oz corked and caged bottle served in a snifter. Bottled on 09/22/2022.

Appearance: Dark burgundy / ruby red color, a bit hazy. Thin off-white/pinkish head died back quickly and left no lacing.

Smell: Tart cherry, honey, a little bit floral, some underlying Belgian yeast-fruity esters.

Taste: Tart cherry, honey, some spices.....maybe some cinnamon, but I'm not getting the clove. Tart finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick, prickly carbonation, some slight mouth-puckering tartness/astringency at the finish.

Overall / Drinkability: Powerful flavored and a slow sipping beer. Alcohol is hidden at 11% under all the flavors, but about halfway through the glass I started to note it. Glad I had it, but I think I prefer the original Mad Elf more, and would not necessarily want another in an evening.
Dec 26, 2022
Photo of buschbeer
Reviewed by buschbeer from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12.7 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours dark brown with some garnet highlights. It is topped with less than an inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

Tart cherry aroma with hints of roasted malt. Muted spices

Big tart cherry flavor. The spices are subtle yet add to the flavor.

Full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel

This is an enjoyable cherry ale. The alcohol is well hidden. Great flavor and drinkability. Glad I picked this one up.
Dec 25, 2022
Rated: 5 by Crhunt

Dec 25, 2022
Photo of Ernald_Elbertson
Reviewed by Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
The only thing I have of note regarding this otherwise amazing beer is that it is perhaps a bit *too* sour. If it was just a little more balanced, I think it would possibly even outshine the original (a mix between the two would actually be perfect, I might try that). It's not too sweet or spiced, but the tartness is a bit overpowering
Dec 24, 2022
Rated: 4.05 by MICAMD from Maryland

Dec 18, 2022
Photo of sulldaddy
Reviewed by sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Sampling a cellar temp 12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Picked up at the local beer store recently as part of a swap, have a few bottles left for my own holiday enjoyment.
The beer pours a deep rich ruby color that appears more mahogany until held to a light source. Several very active streams of carbonation rise to the surface. A dense creamy pink tinged head foams up about 1.5 cm. This foam fades to a sturdy surface covering that sticks around for the sampling. I get dense totally covering lattice almost like milk when I swirl the glass or take a sip. No breaks in the coverage of the glass. Very nice!
Aroma is tart cherry mixing with some sweet toffee malt and hints of honey. I also get hints of clove in the background. Nose is generally a little tart and spice. There is no hint of the ABV and hops dont show up on the aroma either. 11% hidden is impressive.
First sip reveals a medium body with very fine tingly carbonation and a bit of a slick texture mouthfeel. Beer drinks very easy on the physical traits.
Flavor is briefly brown malt then moves to a hint of sweetness and then tart cherry takes over. The tart cherry lingers and is certainly not candy like or artificial. Leaves a bit of a tart note on my lips after each sip. Definitely not sour, and not sweet either. Still no hops, and no hint of the 11% here either. I dont get any of the cinnamon or clove mentioned on the label, the cherries carry the day by far.
I am enjoying this brew and honestly think it looks beautiful. Id really like the cinnamon to come through a little more but otherwise this is great!
Dec 17, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by Blogjackets from Ohio

Dec 12, 2022
Rated: 4.43 by selekt0r

Dec 04, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by Jsalz21 from New Jersey

Dec 01, 2022
Rated: 3.98 by Danzifer from Ohio

Nov 03, 2022
Rated: 3.92 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

Apr 10, 2022
The Mad Elf Grand Cru from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 165 ratings