Splinter Red | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Splinter RedSplinter Red
55 Ratings
Splinter RedSplinter Red

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Before filtering the final batch of 2008 Mad Elf we racked some beer into bourbon barrels for six weeks of tender loving care. After bottling, we aged the beer for approximately eight months. This allows the tart cherries to push to the front. Subtle vanilla, bourbon, charred wood, coconut and toasted nut endnotes emanate from Splinter Red.

Added by treyrab on 03-29-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of BMart
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dfhhead25
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

The beer pours a clear rich dark mahogany with deep garnet highlights. Minimal fizzy head that is gone immediately to nothing. Aroma is cherries, big booze, and light bourbon hits. No real hop presence anywhere. Quite a nice fruity malt laden nose.
First sip reveals a sticky and slightly syrupy textured body. Very fine gentle and spacious carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt with cherries, bourbon, and brown sugar mixing together for a fairly robust taste. Again no hops on this sweet beer, I do get a bit of warming booze that keeps this beer a sipper. There is a fair amount of vanilla and brown sugar on the finish. Sweet cherries also linger on my palate.
The beer is actually pretty easy to drink and interesting and complex. I enjoy this beer and wish I had a second bottle. But one for tonight is worth the ride.

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Photo of greg4579
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael.

Served side by side with 2008 Mad Elf, also thanks to Michael.

The beer is a relatively hazy reddish amber hue with a small, fleeting head. The aroma offers candy, sugar, cherries, Belgian yeast, booze. Flavor continues this path with additional notes of vanilla. Pretty good. A bit sweet and still boozy. A bit of age seems to have served this well, though I never sampled this fresh. Light to medium feel. This is definitely best shared with a group, as more than a small serving would be overkill. perhaps a touch of cocunt in the finish with subtle, lingering oak. Not my favorite, but certainly a special treat.

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Photo of oline73
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber color with hardly any head.

Smell: Sweet with an apple juice like aroma. I'm getting a belgian candy note along with some cherries.

Taste: This was a very smooth beer at this point. I don't feel like I'm getting a ton from the barrel. Some banana and cherry notes. Tastes like it has some age to it.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with very little carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I wouldn't say this was fantastic, but I'm really glad I got to try it. I like Mad Elf, so this one was a treat.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my most excited to try beers- aged for about 10 months after a trade and consumed a few days ago.

A- Body is a quite hazy reddish brown hue. Pours with a small <1/2 finger head. Head fades quickly- but cloudiness is consistent throughout the body. Little to no lacing is left behindin the glass.

S- Pretty well balanced-the Mad Elf is there but represents < or = 50% of nose. The rest is bourbon barrell with a good balance between the bourbon astriingency and sweetness as well as the woddiness.

T- The flavor is very similqr to the nose. Its a really good balance between hte bourbon barrel and the base beer. The finish had a lot more bouron and oak and a lot less spice and cherry than the regular mad elf- though the overal alcohol burn is comparable.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a medium weight body with some alcohol astringincy and bourbon stickiness as components.

O- Overall this is another great, well done beer by Troegs. Its really a lot more mellow than regular mad elf-which is a clearly a likable or unlikeable beer- because I love the spicy yeast, cherry and honey, and this particular brew is much more mellow but just as boozy I think I prefer the regular Mad Elf. This is still a fantastic, special well done beer that my boyfriend thinks far exceeds regular mad elf. Personal tastes and personal tastes and Troegs is still my favorite brewery.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of bs870621345
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of mikecharley
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of Desaparecido
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ShanePB
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened at the Weyerbacher Rapture release. I'm not sure who you were that opened it, but a big thank you for doing so!

A: Dark murky reddish color with some orange and brown hues in the light. Some floaters can be seen. A very small thick bubbly head was there but vanished just as quickly as it formed. No lace, no retention, it looks sort of flat. Certainly not the most attractive beer.

S: Black cherries, smokey bourbon, vanilla and some Belgian spices. A touch of cinnamon and perhaps even nutmeg(?) towards the end of the aroma. It's weird but certainly is quite aromatic and does smell quite good.

T: Smoked wood, vanilla, touches of bourbon and sweet malts. There is some cherries here towards the middle, along with hints of honey and more wood. The cherries impart a slight tartness but overall it's more of a cherry flesh and skin flavor.

M: Very low carbonation, it seems to have mellowed out quite drastically in the bottle. Some minor bubbles are on the back of the tongue but it almost seems very flat in nature, although clearly it's not.

This was certainly a nice treat to have and I'm glad I was able to try this. It wasn't my favorite in the Splinter series but wasn't a bad beer at all. A very unique medley of flavors that seem to potentially be on their way out. Thanks again for busting this out, it was certainly nice to try!

 1,361 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark ruddish color body puts down two fingers worth of head that are really going nowhere. really very, very well done i have to say. aroma is cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of hops which i was not expecting, ground spices, roasted nuts and a hint of peat. very deep and complex and very much welcomed around here. flavor is more of the same with a light punch of hops pushing through before being taken over by a bum rush of holiday spices. lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, again a touch of light peat, brown sugar and a nice mix of dark fruit yeast that seem to seal the deal for me in the end. finish is very clean and the alcohol is hidden so well it was rediculous.

 658 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Bottle courtesy of Deuane, thanks! Poured into a snifter.

A: Hazy reddish orange with a bubbly white head that disappears in the blink of an eye.

S: Bourbon blends with caramel and a light brown sugar character. Some toffee and a little apple. Lightly spicy, with some cinnamon and all spice. Evident oak. The combination of bourbon, caramel, and spice is pretty nice. Alcohol wafts from the glass.

T:  Bourbon caramel with earthy hops and lots of oak. Moderate spiciness. Pretty strong booze presence. Light oxidation. Better than I expected.

M: Upper medium in body with lower carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth with alcohol warming.

Overall: Not a great beer, but certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to E-Light aka SpoolinVW who brought this to the inaugural "Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share" event. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours light red; with a good amount of floaters; with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to nothing at all, leaving no lacing down the glass.

S - Some tart cheery puree, vanilla, honey, dry oak, and some light bourbon heat. Good overall balance but still a tiny bit too hot. Still very good tho.

T - Exactly what you would expect if you put Mad Elf in a bourbon barrel. Tart cherries, sweet malt, honey, and vanilla mix well with the light bourbon heat and dry oak. Finish is still a bit hot with some lingering tart dryness. I liked this a year ago and now I love it. Wish I still had a few bottles of this...

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice smooth feel with a tiny bit of lingering heat in the finish.

D - Very good. I am a fan of the normal version of Mad Elf and this one is no different. I had this at the release and it was still pretty raw and hot but a year in the bottle has really done this one some good. It is now quite smooth and enjoyable. Glad I finally got enough to review it properly.

 1,205 characters

Photo of bbeane
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been holding this one for awhile...

A- Poured into my laser etched DFH chalice... starts with a small head that not even the laser etching can keep around. Beer is a reddish amber color with a healthy amount of sediment in it

S- Has a very tart boozy aroma, with a hint of bourbon

T- Very nice... everything seemed to mellow and mesh well. Starts out sweet with honey and cinnamon. Then becomes alittle tart and boozy all accompanied by a hint of bourbon

M- Medium body with very light carbonation

D- Easy to drink, though I'd imagine the alcohol would catch up to you quickly. All in all, I'm glad I waited in line on that frigid December morning for this and my Splinter Gold

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Splinter Red from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 55 ratings