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.

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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 39
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 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 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 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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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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Splinter Red from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 55 ratings