The Mad Elf
Tröegs Brewing Company

The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
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From:
Tröegs Brewing Company
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Style:
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #115
ABV:
11%
Score:
87
Ranked #17,834
Avg:
3.87 | pDev: 14.99%
Reviews:
1,362
Ratings:
2,852
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sep 02, 2022
Added:
Dec 14, 2002
Wants:
  246
Gots:
  1,258
SCORE
87
Very Good
The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
Notes: 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
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of AzfromOz
Reviewed by AzfromOz from Australia

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Procured via a proxy/trade hybrid with @turkeysdrinkbeer in February 2022 and drunk in September 2022.

The beer is a deep copper colour in the glass with ruby highlights. The head is off-white and quickly reduces to a thin covering. There's lacing on the glass. Minimal, lazy, small-bubbled carbonation is evident.

The nose is complex. There's cherry (verging on that Dr.Pepper artificial cherry aroma), marzipan, sweet caramel malt, maybe some vanilla and cloves and a bit of cinnamon in there. Overlaying it all is a hint of alcohol. To me, it's not all that enticing and comes across as a little harsh in the cherry stakes.

The taste largely follows the nose but the cherry and sweet caramelly malt combine well together in the mouth. The cherry is quite forward, but not as harsh as it was in the nose. I don't pick up any honey but there are what I perceive as Christmas spices in the middle of the swallow At the end, there's a sweet, prolonged tanginess present that demands a further sip. Put together it all tastes really nice.

The mouthfeel is sharp, and appropriate. There's minimal carbonic prickling after the swallow but a nice alcoholic warmth settles in the stomach. I felt some numbness in my mouth while drinking this, and while that could be totally random, it was definitely there. I'm ignoring that for the sake of scoring.

Overall I would definitely go back for another one of these, notwithstanding the 11% ABV and the somewhat harsh notes in the aroma. I'm drinking this on a cold, windy day at the start of Spring and it suits the weather perfectly. Christmas Ales aren't really a thing in Australia, as Christmas can be scorching down here, and while I don't subscribe to the idea that you can't drink heavy dark beers in summer there's no denying that this would be great in the middle of winter accompanied by a fire and great company.

Cheers!
Sep 02, 2022
Photo of Lampro
Rated by Lampro from Virginia

3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Good as a Belgian ale, but not quite the cherry/honey bomb that the can promised. Most prominent aroma and flavor were Belgian esters and spice.
Aug 08, 2022
 
Rated: 3.75 by LAM01833 from Massachusetts

Aug 01, 2022
 
Rated: 4.17 by BeerInspector from Delaware

Jul 18, 2022
 
Rated: 4.02 by Sinister from New York

Jul 02, 2022
 
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Handsome looking pour . Clear deep red body under a large tan head that left good lacing. Aroma delivers the promised cherries in a non subtle way, along with a good dose of honey and seasonal spices. Flavor takes off in a couple different directions. The yeasty underpinning, the pronounced fruit footprint from the cherries, the added dimension that the spices, particularly the cinnamon, provide and the soft sweetness from the honey all working together. This sampling is from the 2021 production run with a best by date of 11/2022
May 29, 2022
 
Rated: 4.23 by TC-Mojo

Apr 09, 2022
Photo of arizcards
Reviewed by arizcards from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Picked up a single from The Blue Door Bottleshop 11-26-21 for $3.50. Nest by 11-4-22; consumed 3-29-22.

Beer poured crimson with a nice off white head.

Nose has hints of cherries over a very large malt base.

Taste is a large malt base infused with cherries. Hopping tries to balance things out but does not quite get there. Finishes with a touch of cinnamon and a nice warmth with each sip.

Mouthfeel is medium to large bodied and smooth.

Overall a nice winter warmer that i would have again but cannot see seeking this out every holiday season.
Mar 29, 2022
 
Rated: 4.2 by cabsandking from Ohio

Jan 20, 2022
 
Rated: 4.1 by dbell23 from Tennessee

Jan 18, 2022
 
Rated: 3.81 by DrewTheBrew from Ohio

Jan 06, 2022
 
Rated: 3.94 by sbradley41 from Pennsylvania

Jan 02, 2022
Photo of nelsonracite
Rated by nelsonracite from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Has a dark reddish tint to it. Smells of malt and cherries. Taste of malt and cherry aftertaste on tongue. Overall it’s a nice holiday Ale.
Dec 30, 2021
 
Rated: 3.81 by mudboneINla from California

Dec 30, 2021
Photo of 2market
Rated by 2market from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Christmas Holiday seasonal ale brewed by Tröegs that I get every year. Great balance in the Cherry and honey flavors.
Dec 29, 2021
Photo of Singlefinpin
Reviewed by Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Drinking this at The Parsons Pub in downtown Murphy NC.
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Looks amber with a nice foamy head that lasted.
Smells malty, cherry, sweet.
Taste follows the nose nicely.
Mouth feel is medium for the style.
Overall a very nice example of the style that I would definitely order again.
Cheers!
Dec 28, 2021
Photo of mattpressley
Reviewed by mattpressley

4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Read the description involving cherries, vanilla, cinnamon, etc. and heard that Troegs cut down on their supply this year due to low cherry supply- therefore I expected it to be very sweet and cherry forward. However, it comes off a typical belgian tripel. Very good, would prefer it over anything you could find in the grocery store.
Dec 28, 2021
Photo of mccrackrlm
Reviewed by mccrackrlm from Connecticut

4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Looks really good in a pint glass with it's reddish brown hue. I am not so good with sense of smell, but the taste is very good, I get the flavor of the cherries, could not really get too much honey flavor. The 11% does hit me, but I do prefer a high ABV and I definitely appreciate this Belgian style holiday ale! I always seem happy with products from Troeg's! The one time I was actually at Hershey park, near the Troeg's brewery, but I was not able to visit the brewery. At least their fine products are available near me!
Dec 27, 2021
 
Rated: 3.85 by Hefsbeercaps from Ohio

Dec 26, 2021
 
Rated: 3.34 by Pens1866 from Pennsylvania

Dec 19, 2021
 
Photo of dueserdo
Reviewed by dueserdo from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Love this for the Holidays. The high ABV makes it special for me. Like DFH 120, it is definitely a sipper. Surprising, it is especially good with dinner. Last 6 pack at $18. was what I expected and will buy again next year.
Dec 13, 2021
 
Rated: 4.08 by hotwired from New Jersey

Dec 11, 2021
Photo of AlexRaia
Reviewed by AlexRaia

2.29/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Probably one of the least tasty beers I've had in my life. Sorry to say, I did not enjoy the Mad Elf and had to give the last two of the six pack to a friend... Who left it in his fridge for months and refused to drink the stuff.
Dec 08, 2021
 
Rated: 3.91 by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

Dec 03, 2021
Photo of RonaldTheriot
Reviewed by RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
The Mad Elf has a thin, ivory head, a mostly clear, copper appearance, with fine flecks, throughout, and no lacing. The aroma is of strong brown bread crust, with faint cherry backing. The flavor is similar, with cherries showing up, as it warms. The drinker will notice low bitterness. The Mad Elf has a medium body, a somewhat chalky mouthfeel, and a semi-dry finish.

RJT
Nov 30, 2021
Photo of Spade
Reviewed by Spade from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Not much I can add that hasn't been covered in other reviews. The cherries and honey are well-balanced against the malt and alcohol. A very satisfying brew.

Of note, a can that was a year old had a bit more sweetness and less alcohol bite, and was generally smoother. Wonderful just the same.
Nov 28, 2021
 
Rated: 3.43 by selekt0r

Nov 22, 2021
 
Rated: 3.75 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

Nov 22, 2021
Photo of EaglesSuperFan
Reviewed by EaglesSuperFan

4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Really great holiday beer. It, packs a punch, so just one with a nice heavy holiday meal is really ideal. Some fruity undertones. A really pleasant heavy hitter that needs to be respected. It was once 13%, but still packs quite a punch.
Oct 13, 2021
 
Rated: 3.8 by Danzifer from Ohio

Aug 05, 2021
 
Rated: 4.31 by Antg8989 from New Jersey

Jul 09, 2021
Photo of SpicyJoe
Reviewed by SpicyJoe from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I thought this would be too heavy and sweet, or have too many odd flavors, but it does not. It just tastes good and it goes down easy. It’s been a few months so I’ll have to update next year on the taste. All I know is I miss it.
May 22, 2021
 
Rated: 3.83 by justme from Massachusetts

Apr 25, 2021
 
Rated: 3.58 by GaryM6 from New York

Jan 28, 2021
 
Rated: 4.35 by D-man20 from Pennsylvania

Jan 27, 2021
Photo of guckymeister
Reviewed by guckymeister from Ohio

4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Found this at my local supermarket with a buddy of mine whilst we were studying for some finals in college. Neither of us had heard of this beer, so we thought we'd give it a try with zero expectations. They were room temperature, which was (only was) a bit concerning.

We crack open our first bottle and boy was it pure magic. Both of us agreed right then and there that this was one of the best beers either of us had tasted. Perhaps the stress of the exams with being on an empty stomach stirred up the right conditions to love this beer on that night, but my feelings towards it haven't changed.

Awesome beer, expect something very sweet and QUITE boozy
Jan 25, 2021
 
Rated: 4.45 by BNoble4Life from New York

Jan 24, 2021
The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 4214 ratings