Splinter Red | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Splinter RedSplinter Red
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
55 Ratings
Splinter RedSplinter Red
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
troegs.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
55
pDev:
10.27%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
110
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of bs870621345
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.86/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This ale was a rare treat and boy I am sure glad I scored a bottle. I poured this baby quite aggressivly and what little head was present faded fast.
The small floaties were no bother to me I have had much more in beers that were not so special. Lets get down to the aroma and taste. Upfront cherries and vanilla. As my glass warmed I began to notice a smooth bourbon character.
The taste is much smoother than Mad Elf, but it is there. This ale has a more complex taste, and is much sweeter. Cherry vanilla bourbon aftertaste with yeasty delight. The booze is harder to detect, however it is quit warming. The ale is almost bitter sweet to drink. There is no chance of mr grtting this one again and I sure wish I had a nother bottle.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired a few bottles of this at the release at the brewery. The cork on this one was damn near impossible to get off. Needed a cork screw, then needed to break half the cork off and use a cork screw again to get the whole cork out. Anyways, It was poured into a chalice and this is how it tasted:

Appearance: Color was very reminiscent of normal mad elf..maybe even a bit lighter. Head was minimal and lacing was decent. Color was an orange amber color. Not too much yeast floaties until the last pour (it took 4 into this particular chalice before the bottle was empty) and the the last was FULL of them.

Smell: Very mad elf but without a dominant cherry aroma. Definitely hints of bourbon and oak in this one which lend a different kind of sweetness than a normal mad elf does. Vanilla, mild cherry flavor, no tartness.

Taste: Bourbon, oak, vanilla. Though none are terribly prevalent. Mostly sweet cherry, yeast, and some sweetness. Some clove and caramel seem to be intertwined in there as well. Subtle bourbon flavor is a treat, I'm not a big fan of beers that taste just like a shot of bourbon. No sure where people find the tartness, the only dominate fruit flavor is a taste like over-ripened cherries.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer that is incredibly smooth. Not cloyingly sweet either. Just a slight hint of the alcohol, which I presume is in the 12-13% if you assume the mad elf was 11% and it picked up a bit in the barrel aging process. Not nearly as much alcohol warming as a fresh mad elf, though this one did have 1+ years on it though before being bottled.

Drinkability: Honestly, not that bad at all. I finished the whole 750ml in a little less than an hour. I was feeling the buzz, but nothing really stopped me from enjoying and consuming the whole thing.

All in all, a very satisfying brew. I'm not the biggest fan of the barrel aged beers, but this one seems just right. Only aged enough to pick up the flavors without tasting like actual bourbon and still retaining some of the original beers flavor. Definitely glad I still have more of this.

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Photo of number1bum
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was given this bottle as a gift by krisandajt, and shared with friends at a recent tasting.

Pour is a reddish brown color with a few floaties in it. Very little head and no real lace to speak of.

Smells of some chocolate and cherry sweetness and a good amount of vanilla. Just a bit of bourbon as the vanilla is the main element to come from the barrels.

The nose was nice but the taste is exceptional. Lots of vanilla flavor to go with the sweet cherry, honey and chocolate from the base beer. The bourbon is so commplementary and the age of the Mad Elf is just right, and they combine to be an exceptioanlly smooth and flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and very smooth. No alcohol heat to speak of. It's sweet but not to the point of being cloying.

I sampled this at EBF last year and the extra time in the barrel has taken this beer to a new level. I'm not a huge fan of fresh Mad Elf, although with about 2 years on it I start enjoying it more. Aged in bourbon barrels as Troegs has done it is even better. Nicely done Troegs.

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Photo of treyrab
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After hearing that this beer was a limited brew for the extreme beer fest, I could not wait to try it when Zeno's miraculously got it. Lucky me, this got kicked in a matter of hours and I got the last pint. Poured into a snifter style glass...

A: Pours a murky, cloudy rusty copper with definite mahogany and crimson hues most likely from the cherries. This is completely opaque with massive haze. The head was colossal and if I had to guess was about three fingers tall. Overall, this looks similar to the regular Mad Elf, but much hazier. Perhaps that is due to being at bottom of the keg.

S: The smell is the best quality of this beer. I stuck my nose in the glass for at least five minutes before I took a sip. Tons and tons of bourbon soaked cherries. Take those same bourbon soaked cherries and dip them in a mixture of ground clove and cinnamon and you get the main qualities of the smell. Coupled with that are hints of banana and figs. Complex as hell.

T: Very, very smooth just like the Mad Elf but with a faint bourbon that couples the strong flavors of Belgian spices fantastically. The cherry flavors are also there, but there is so much going on in the taste that it is hard to really put your finger on every single aspect of this beer. In short the predominant flavors are: Bourbon, Cherry, Clove, Banana, Cinnamon, Fig, Raisins, Caramel. Very well done.

Overall, I was glad I got to try this beer. I don't know if I will ever see it again, but the Troegs bros are doing a hell of a job concocting crazy and amazing beers over there!

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep red/rich mahogany with not much head or lacing. It does have a lot of nice sediment floating around in glass and settling at the bottom.

S - More on the cherry side than Mad Elf but has a pleasant bourbon aroma with not much trace of any woody notes. Some sweet dark fruit and Belgian sugars are noticeable in the background as well. I thought the honey scent was cut down a little due the pungent aroma of the bourbon.

T - Definitely heavier on the bourbon in the taste than in the aroma but the cherries punch is quickly and give a nice sour contrast to the bourbon's subtle sweetness. Again, not much of the wood flavor leftover from the barrel aging. The honey is harder to pick up than in Mad Elf but its sugary presence is there a little in the aftertaste as well as a lasting bourbon flavor on the palate.

M/D - Tons of very small carbonation bubbles are felt on the tongue but doesn't take away from the heavy body on this beer. It has a semi-dry finish but nothing like oak aging. DEFINITELY a sipper, regardless of the $23 price tag, with just enough of a lingering bourbon flavor to add a nice amount of depth to this brew.

Troegs definitely hit a home run with Splinter Red but smacked a grand slam with the Splinter Gold. Either way, this is a must try for any Troegs/Mad Elf lover!

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Photo of aglose45
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with my father-in-law on Xmas day 2010! Poured into a tulip glass. Tasted side by side with a regular '08 Mad Elf.

A: Pours a beautiful ruby cherry red, nice haziness from the barrel, but minimal head that receded quite quickly (also due to the barrel). The differences in appearance are that the Red is hazier and a more beautiful red color.

S: Delicious bourbon and vanilla up front, followed by strong oak notes in the middle, and finishes with a sweet cherry aroma bringing things together. The main differences are that cherries aren't as tart and the honey is not noticeable in the Red.

T: The taste is similar to the nose, bourbon and vanilla up front, then quickly switches to a sharp oakiness, which transitions into a mild tart cherry. It finishes with a dry oaky flavor, which leaves you longing for more. The flavors meld very well with each other. The obvious differences are there are no bourbon or oak, and the cherries are more tart and honey prominent.

M: Medium to heavy body, very mildly carbonated, and very drying. The differences are a slightly lighter body, mild to medium cabonation, and not drying at all.

D: The flavors really work well together. Mad Elf is a perfect fit for bourbon barrels. The extra year we let this sit also helped it. The bourbon isn't harsh at all, it's very smooth. Overall, a delicious brew that we very much enjoyed! I'm very excited that we have two more bottles! The differences are, while flavors of regular '08 Mad Elf are delicous, the Splinter Red's bourbon barrel aging added a much more complex flavor.

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Photo of kels
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers, Andy! Gonna miss you around here :(

Pours a deep, ruddy brown, somewhat cloudy, with a slight clarity that reveals tons of chunky sediment within. A short, white head fizzes out pretty quickly, and leaves behind spitty spots of lace that slide back down into the brew.

Nose is full of sticky-sweet caramel and tart cherries. The charred oak of the barrel is very apparent and delicious, as is the hot, full presence of the bourbon.

Taste is full of exceptionally hot alcohol, which doesn't surprise knowing that Mad Elf is the root of this beer and it's been aged in bourbon barrels. Speaking of, the flavors really lean more to Scotch than Bourbon to me, but that's just fine, and the effect is tasty. A little of the bourbon and barrel essence comes out in a hint of vanilla, which gives strong but tasty contrast to the honey and wintry spices that still hold their ground against the heat. The wood is deliciously charred and earthy. The feel is slick, sticky and full, and despite lower carbonation manages not to fall flat on the palate. Aftertaste seems to last for days thanks to the heavy, full and sticky flavors.

Tastes delicious, but that alcohol is still so hot and the feel so syrupy thick that this one is a definite sipper.

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Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Deuane for busting this out at our tasting.

Pours a deep, dark ruby red color with dark golden mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into a very thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Complex aroma with an interesting combination of bourbon, honey, vanilla and sweet cherry. Slight earthy oak with prominent bourbon in the nose along with some sweet vanilla that compliments the cherry and honey presence. Much more bourbon in the aroma than I expected but it doesn't completely overpower the other characteristics. Hopefully the flavor holds up.

On the fuller end of medium body with a very unique balance of flavors. The idea of bourbon barrel aging a beer like Mad Elf seems like a strange idea but it definitely paid off. The barrel presence is prominent up front with a healthy dose of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Although the bourbon flavor is strong the beer isn't hot at all really and is well balanced by the sweeter characteristics. Lots of sweet dark cherry and honey notes compliment the vanilla and really mellow out the bourbon presence quite nicely. Slightly vinous with other dark fruit flavors and subtle warmth in the finish. I'm not sure what the ABV is but the alcohol is excellently masked making this complex beer dangerously drinkable.

I wasn't too sure about this beer going in but I absolutely loved it. My favorite of the Splinter Series so far.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice moderate brown with some crimson highlights. Nose brings forward good amount of cherry, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and hints of Belgian spice. The taste is mainly cherry and bourbon along with a little bit of sweetness and some other dark fruits. A dose of oak as well. Nice full mouthfeel with good carbonation and a nice amount of alcohol heat. Deliciously smooth and quite drinkable.

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously provided by Adam at the BA event at Max's today.

The beer pours a honey amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, the bourbon is pretty pronounced, along with honey and vanilla. The flavors replicate the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet beer, though I was impressed that the sweetness was not overwhelming or over done. The beer has something of creamy mouthfeel, and a very long, rich, flavorfilled finish. Drinkability is pretty good, especially considering the abv. and sweetness. A very solid beer from Troegs, and a beer style I hope they will continue to make. Very impressive.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P- Troegs Brewery
750 ml

A- burgundy and reddish brown. Yeasty floaties sparsed throughout the beer as well. Very lil head but that is ok.

S-mad elfish. Bourbon hints come out as well as the oak wood it was aged in. Cherry tartness hits the nose as well. it almost smells like a red wine.

T- Very heavy beer. The bourbon is faint but it is there. Sour cherries and grain. Nice Belgian yeast flavor adds and complements the bourbon taste.

M- very smooth despite the pronounced bourbon in the mouth. It feels like i had a shot and a beer pretty much. Very nice and rewarding.

D- this bad boy is heavy. Even though it doesnt give an ABV id bet its around 10 somewhere. I will be nursing this 950 for a good hour.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Splinter Red has a dark red body with brown highlights, and a small ring of off-white head. Not really any lacing from this one.

The aroma has bourbon, oak, cherry, vanilla and a bit of sweet maltiness.

To be honest, the Red was the only one of the currently released Splinter beers that I did not intend to go out of my way to try. I managed to get a chance to try this one anyway, and I'm glad I did. The flavors begins with a nice mix of cherry and barrel characteristics. A good bit of bourbon and oak along with a surprisingly large amount of vanilla. Cherry and some sweet malts are in there, and the finish has a bit of phenols to it. All of these flavors are balanced really well. The barrel characteristics are balanced by cherry and honey perfectly, not allowing any single flavor to overpower the others. I like Splinter Red a lot more than Mad Elf actually, as I find that beer to be a little bit cloying.

I'd say this body is a little bit shy of being full, but a little big to be medium. This works very well for the beer I would say.

I don't really like Belgian beers in bourbon barrels, and I don't really like Mad Elf. For some reason, I love Mad Elf in a bourbon barrel. This beer isn't hot or overpowering in any way. Very nice.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle into a couple of snifters.

Pours a deep ruby in the glass, with a finger of off-white foamy head. This rather quickly dissipates into a light fizzy that then eventually goes completely flat. Maybe just a wee bit of spotty lacing hangs around the edges of the glass. I realize that Bourbon-aged beers aren't really known for their head retention but this went VERY quickly. Cherries really push hard to the front of the nose here upon first whiff, which is rapidly followed by sweet & spicy notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. The Bourbon character is putting out a good bit of woody tannins and a generous dose of warmth, which stings one's eyeballs if you get them to close down in the glass. Just a lot of well balanced strength to this bouquet, with the high alcohol elements not overriding any of the flavors.

Each sip of the taste just drips with Bourbon flavor. You feel it first once it hits your lips but then the cherries, honey, and spices creep in to add some complexity to this. A flush of vanilla creeps along the back, helping to tone down the fierceness of the barrel but it still hangs tough on the breath with a warm and boozy feel. Just a touch of a charred woody feel hangs on the edges of the profile, with a lot of lingering intense dryness to the finish from the Bourbon and tannic character. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a moderate amount of creamy carbonation to it but this is mostly beefy and slick feeling on the palate. There is a LOT of alcohol and warmth to this, with the combo of the Bourbon and ABV ensuring that this is one that you will take your time with.

The Mad Elf was just a great choice to put in a barrel, with it's hefty sweet flavorings more than up to the task of melding with the Bourbon character, while the vanilla tones from the barrel really helped bring out the bright feel of the cherries. My only real issue with this (besides no head retention) was the overall drinkibility which was just too heavy and warm to call it anything else but good. This actually mellowed some since I had last tried it at EBF '09 and I'm curious to see what some more time in the cellar will do for it. This was a great debut effort to the new Splinter Series for me.

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Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 7/26/10.

Poured into a snifter, splinter red appears a hazed amber red color with some orange tints around the edges. The head appears as a fizzy white cap less than a finger strong that receeds quite quickly.

The aroma initially has a bold front of bourbon notes that slowly give way to a fruity scent of cherry. The undeniable character of mad elf runs all through the nose of this brew with suggestions of belgian yeast and the usual scent of alcohol intensified with bourbon. Where splinter red takes a turn from mad elf is in it's complexity. The smell of vanilla meets some woody notes and nutty character. Also evident in the aroma is a sweetness almost like molasses (but not as dark smelling) honey and a bit of carmelized sugars.

The taste again is unmistakeable mad elf but with a kick of bourbon. Taste of belgian yeast and alcohol upfront with an extra kick of booziness from the bourbon. An alcohol heated sweetness is evident caught in a clash of caramel meets honey and cherry.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. The alcohol really starts to ramp up half way through the experience and starts to open up the depth of flavor in this brew, not just the typical barrel aging depth but some nutty flavors which I never picked up on in mad elf before. Quite drinkable and enjoyable but it is a sipper.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to krisandajt for waiting in line for this one and to number1bum for sharing his bottle. A 750ml bottle. Uncorked and poured into a snifter glass. Red appears a hazy crimson chestnut color with barely a finger of off white foam. The head just about vanished in less than a minute. Nose and flavors consist of bourbon, alcohol aromas, oak-y vanilla, cocoa dusted dark cherries, sweet caramelized malt. Well, what a diffence almost a year in the barrels makes. I tried this at EBF last February, and the added time in the bourbon barrels really helped to create a wonderfully smooth and nicely mellowed ale. Unlike some breweries that release a beer way too soon, that is not the case here. This beer is ready to drink now. Thanks again to Joe and Josh for the chance to try this one.

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Photo of Hophead101
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

drank on 12.29.09 with mikereaser. this beer was well worth the cold wait in line to pick up this bad boy. i had this a year ago at the extreme beer fest - not sure how similar they are, but i remember it being quite tasty.

gave it an aggressive pour into a 12oz chalice glass. the head was nice but dissipated rather quickly leaving a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. the beer had a nice clear reddish brown color with highlights of orange thrown in there as well with a good number of small particles floating around. the beer also had minimal lacing.

the smell was very inviting. vanilla - oak - cherries - slight bourbon, but not overpowering - the aromas all blended very well together.

the taste of the beer lived up to the hype for me - and reminded me how good it was when i had it the first time. no one flavor fights out over another - the blend of all these flavors together is quite delightful (yes i said delightful). there is a bit more cherry in there than expected followed by the oak vanilla. most of the bourbon flavor is light and is most predominant in the aftertaste. as it warms up more bourbon shines through as well. mouthfeel is quite nice - lower levels of carbonation mixed with a great blend of flavors make this a great beer.

i am glad to have gotten a chance to get some of this.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

lantern corps beer summit 2010 - day 2, oct 9/2010. Maltzilla contributed this one. thanks diego!

750ml corked and caged bottle.

pours lightly hazy red-brown wiht a fine ring of white head. drops fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. caramel and toffee. alcohol. bit of dark fruit. cherry and date.

taste is great. similar to the aroma but with less barrel character and more fruityness. toffee and caramel. just under medium bitterness level. earthy.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. great balance. good barrel character.

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

Finally, after knowing of this beer for nearly 2 years, I had it at EBF 2009 before it was released, then at the release in December 2009 and another bottle sometime down the road I broke out a bottle to share with a group of friends and will give it a review.

A-Deep, dark, ruby red with dark, golden kissed, copper highlights. A thin, off-white, head quickly reduces to a thin wispy ring. Minimal hint of lace with spotty flecks left behind.

S-A pleasant, but not overwhelming, aroma combination of complex sweetness with the malt, honey, vanilla and cherry taking the forefront. A nicely balancing blast of bourbon and oak dryness takes over on the back side.

T-I am a Mad Elf fan and I figured the combination of it and a bourbon barrel would be a match made in heaven....well it nearly is! A delicious combination of the sweet notes--caramel malt, cherry, vanilla and honey--moderated with the boozy dryness of the bourbon barrel aging.

M-Medium to medium-heavy bodied and somewhat viscous without being syrupy or cloying. Nice lingering bourbon sweetness, oak dryness and touch of alcohol heat.

D-Well, well, this one has aged with dignity. A most lovely combination of flavours all rolled into one big, sneak up bite you in the ass, barrel aged brew. Looking forward to seeing how my other bottles hold up over time.

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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.

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

Shared with Hophead101 on 12/29/09
Bourbon Barrel Mad Elf

A - pours a thin reddish brown with a layer of soapy bubbles that quickly faded

S - cherries, subtle bourbon, hints of oak, nothing too overpowering, nicely subtle

T - nicely balanced array of flavors, cherries throughout, vanilla and oak comes in toward the finish, bourbon sets in afterwards

M - good carbonation, nice that its not too hot heavy for a bourbon barrel aged beer, medium bodied

D - the alcohol is so well hidden, I could drink alot of this. Nicely balanced all around, bourbon steps in when it warms.

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

Thanks to Deuane for bring this corked and caged 705ml bottle to a recent Splinter vertical tasting on 1/23/11.

A - Poured a clear ruby red liquid with copper hues and a thin dusting of off-white foam around the edges that totally dissolved, leaving no lace behind. Some yeast particulates were seen floating around.

S - Equal parts warm bourbon twang and honey sweetness with subtle tart cherry notes in the background.

T - Lots of lush vanilla gushes out, followed by a moderate bourbon presence that is quelled by sweet caramel and toffee notes in the middle. Overall, Splinter Red is quite sweet with a pleasant bourbon warmth and tang. Finishes with a small dose of herbal hop bitterness and mild cherry tartness.

M - Medium bodied and quite syrupy with mild carbonation. Finishes with a hint of tartness and plenty of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - This really mellowed out after a year of cellaring. I am definitely glad I waited to review this, because my initial impression was neutral at best. This is a really unique barrel-aged creation that benefitted from the cellaring process. I'm glad I have another waiting in the wings!

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jampics2
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured by Chris Trogner at the Cleveland Beer Week event at the Lakewood Lizard. This was the first keg that has been tapped away from their PA headquarters. 2008 vintage, aged for 2 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels.

Poured into a snifter with a happy Mad Elf on it. Appearance is like normal Mad Elf - nice hint of red from the cherries, decent lace, overall a nice looking beer.

Smell is great - normal mad elf aged smell (a little less hot and more subtle yeast) plus just a hint of bourbon that pairs wonderfully with the cherries. Bit of clove and banana round out the nose.

Taste is good - nice bit of belgian yeast, cherry, and just enough bourbon left over to keep one interested. I really enjoyed the subtle bourbon flavor.

Mouthfeel was good - a bit too much going on, and the age made it a touch less carbed, but it was very much inline with what I've grown to expect from Mad Elf.

Drinkability was great. I would have certainly had another if I wasn't driving.

Cheers on a great Cleveland Beer Week exclusive!

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