The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

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The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
4,026 Ratings
The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Bitterness (IBU's) : 15
Color (SRM) : Ruby Red
Availability: Seasonal, 12 oz. & 3L bottles, 1/2 and 1/6 kegs (contact your local retailer to pre-order)
Malts: Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate
Hops: Saaz, Hallertau
Yeast: Spicy Yeast
Pennsylvania Honey West Coast Cherries

Added by WilliamPhilaPa on 12-14-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#15,193
Reviews:
1,288
Ratings:
4,026
pDev:
14.99%
 
 
Wants:
240
Gots:
1,195
Trade:
24
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,026 |  Reviews: 1,288
Photo of AdamJGP
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ghooul
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of soundaurora
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of peterpunk15
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Justincredble
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of LarryV
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A friend gave me a bottle of this, freshest by date is 9/18/18 so it's still got a couple of months before reaching that date. Aroma is mostly malty, very faint cherry smell in the distant background, Poured a red tinged dark amber color with no head. Taste is sugary, boozy, malty with just a hint of the cherry showing through but not in an enticing manner. Slightly sour note, the flavors of this beer don't seem to blend in a harmonious fashion to me. It's certainly not an offensive beer but it isn't something I would seek out, especially at the $16+ price the locals were asking for it. I found it somewhat of a chore to drink a bottle. I usually really like Troegs beers, but this one just isn't one that I can recommend, I can understand why my friend gave this away.

 777 characters

Photo of npdevil27
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dafla67
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bdiiorio
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of QuentinDishaw
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BilleGibbons
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great winter brew, look forward to it every Christmas. Love the chocolate and cherry. It's a very smooth drinking beer given its strength. More than one and you will need a cab.

 179 characters

Photo of cbb77
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of optionalgambino
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

strong beer, but still pretty tasty.

36 characters

Photo of Bobolinksy
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

FAIR WARNING!!!!
THIS IS A... "RAID THE CELLAR!!! WE"RE OUTTA THE BEER WE AREN"T AGING AND I WANT ANOTHER BEER!!!... kinda review.

You have been warned.

So I just finished a 21st Amendment "Baby Horse" which followed a coupla Stone Ruinations... I want another beer and it isn't quite bedtime, but I'm all out of beer that I'm not aging... I don't even have any skunk or otherwise lousy beers that I hold onto because my neighbors know I manage a beer store and always have something in my fridge.

Poured gently into a snifter.

L - Clear, dark amber. Almost no head.

S - Immediate cherry aroma. Some booziness in the background.

T - Nope... No... You bet I'll finish this beer but 11% beers are supposed to age better. All I got was a hint of cherry... I guess it was cherry.... followed by a malty finish which left a sugary aftertaste in my mouth. I remember a much bolder cherry flavor when I drank it back in November and there was no maltiness.

On the bright side, the booziness of the fresh Mad Elf is mitigated. I didn't detect any.

F - I truly suck at this one. It's.... typical? Not like a milk stout or a shandy... It's... typical.

O - Disappoint. I guess I shouldn't be. Or more accurately... I guess I should be disappointed.... in myself. Freakin' DURRR!!!!!! Aging beer does NOT accentuate or "refine" a cherry flavor... Aging beer accentuates and/or refines BEER flavor.

So yeahhhhh.... Gotta reassess...Maybe aging isn't what I want to do. I got a bottle of Mad Elf Grand Cru 2017 in the back of my fridge that will definitely get poured within the next week. I have another bottle of Grand Cru that I'll decide on based on that.

So that's it. My drunk review of a bottle of 2017 Mad Elf by Troegs Brewing.

I liked it better when it was fresh.

 1,773 characters

Photo of Richie_C_Johnson
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woemad
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle courtesy of bl00. I believe it's my 1st from Troegs. According to the label, it's "Best Before 100218."

Ruby-brown in color, with a thin, beige head. Said head dropped faster than Trump's approval ratings among the non-MAGA crowd. Not surprising given the high abv.

Sweet and boozy aroma. Smells like cherries and honey. Belgian yeast aromas were not so distinct beyond a whiff of spiciness.

Sweetness in the flavor as well. Honey and cherries, as advertised. A little more cinnamony Belgian spiciness emerges in the flavor, but it's still way in the back compared to a typical beer of the style.

Carbonation seems low. Mouthfeel kinda flat and heavy.

Not a bad beer, but the carbonation issues hurt things. As for the sweetness overpowering the Belgian yeast notes, I'd be interested in trying one that was closer to that best by date, maybe things would be melding a little better by then. If I come across it again, I'll sit tight on it a while longer. Regardless, my thanks to Dan for something I'd not get a shot at locally.

 1,047 characters

Photo of quadmad
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BEERdedCharmer
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LeftyMike
4.51/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Whitey_from_Remedy
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Djoneil
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz snifters of the 2017 & 2015 @the Brass Tap in Baltimore

Edited (180714) to correct a typo - I'm a terrible typist

123 characters

Photo of themayorkoch
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chiefz1
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GeorgianBayPackr
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If it weren't for the sour notes, this Holiday ale would rate higher for me. It seems to be a bit conflicted because the honey & cherries are there, but they simply do not shine through against the sour Belgian yeast. Still a very enjoyable "one bottle" pour

 258 characters

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The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 4,026 ratings