Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,928 Ratings
Tröegs The Mad ElfTröegs The 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
Ratings:
3,928
Reviews:
1,271
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
15.06%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
1,141
For Trade:
24
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,928 |  Reviews: 1,271
Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer poured from a bottle into a tulip. Beer is amber / brown in color, forms a thin off white head of medium to small bubbles. Head falls away leaving some lacing.

Beer smells sweet, carmel, some cherries? a little tartness. Smells inviting. Really sweet smelling.

Strong honey taste, really strong. Its front and back with honey. There is a slight aftertaste. Sweet, some caramel. Some alcohol comes through as well. This is a fine beer but unfortunately not my favorite.

EDIT: the more I drink this the more it seems like an imperial hefeweizen....i like it.

 564 characters

Photo of ZachDow7
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of JMB22
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 12oz glass. Wonderful dark red color, but almost no carbonation and almost no head. That may be the biggest downfall. The taste is overpowering, not really a bad thing, but very intense. Lots of cloves, and very festive. Almost no head halfway through. It's extremely high alcohol content is fairly obvious. Overall pretty darn good, but I am only man enough for one!

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Photo of Chadbrew
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Brilliant reddish beer (very Christmas-like!) with about a half finger of head that disappears pretty quickly to a ring around the edges and little islands of fluff drifting around.
Aroma - Lots of malts and certainly a honey presence. The cherries came through but a little like cherry medicine.
Taste - Lots of honey, it’s like chewing on honeycomb (not the cereal). A bit of a flowery taste that I assume is from the honey. The cherries show themselves in the end. For something with all this sweet stuff it finishes remarkably clean.
Body - No lack of it.
Drinkability - No matter how hard I look for it I cannot find the alcohol presence, match that with the super clean finish and you get a pretty drinkable beer. Still don't think I could drink 3 litres though.

 786 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Small head, little lace. Brilliant blood red, like rudolph's nose.

Smell: Sweet malt, cherry and hint of roses. Alcohol is a bit too prevalent.

Taste: Sweet with a tart cherry twang. The honey is very mild. A bit medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Thin, carbonation is off.

Drinkability: I didn't smell or taste the high ABV, which I usually find very noticeable. Dangerously drinkable. Couldn't finish it fast enough. I really wish I had another right now.

 460 characters

Photo of Lafe
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of this beer is a beautiful, rich, reddish, amber. The aroma is sweet, with heavy overtones of honey and fruit (cherry), and an undertone of alcohol.

The first taste screams "sweet!" A burst of cherry and honey is followed by a most subtle bitterness, that doesn't quite balance the dominance of the sugars. The lack of assertive bitterness is almost made up for in the bite of alcohol that follows. The salvation of this beer is that the alcohol bite makes its appearance in a very pleasant, and probably planned, way.

There is no head to speak of, nor is there any lace. This beer, however, doesn't really seem to need it. It is outstanding for a cold winter evening, sitting and reading reviews on beeradvocate.com!

Also, I have to give out props for the artwork on the bottles and six-pack cardboard. Very nice.

As I finish the beer, the alcohol content really stands out in the flavor.

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Photo of snowmageddon
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of C_Adams
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of epyon396
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheItalianStallion
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A: Pours a transparent ruby red with a 1 finger head. Foam quickly fades to a thin collar that leaves behind minimal lacing.

S: This beer isn't very fragrant, but I am getting aromas of alcohol soaked sweet cherries with a miniscule amount of honey. Some yeasty esters come out as the beer warms, but there really isn't much going on on the nose.

T: Flavor is one dimensional as all I'm really picking up is sweet cherries and a very small bit of honey on the finish. Even as the beer warms no new flavors come out.

M: Mouthfeel is lacking in my opinion. The body of this beer seems light on the palate. It is smooth but very thin, almost watery.

O: I was really looking forward to this beer and to be completely honest, I was a bit let down. The aromas and flavors are subtle, and I think this is not a good representation of what a Belgian Strong Dark Ale truly is. It seems a bit too "mild" for the style if that even makes sense. The one thing I must say is that the alcohol is masked extremely well for 11% ABV. So much so that If you told me it was 11% without me seeing proof, I wouldn't believe you. I would drink this beer again if it was free, but I most likely won't buy it again.

 1,233 characters

Photo of Fermenticusrex
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into mad elf tulip.
Pours reddish amber very clear with a nice fluffy white head.
Lots of cherries, some vanilla, honey, and a little booze.
Follows the nose, cherry, vanilla, and a little alchohol. Not much honey though.
Thin watery mouthfeel, not much of a problem except maybe it makes it too easy to drink.
Overall a nice beer, not exceptional but solid. Hides the 11% very well.

 403 characters

Photo of TripleSun
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very smooth for a belgian strong!

L - lucious ruby red with a creamy head
S - cherries, honey and alcohol
T - bananas, cherries, tiny bit of syrup mouthful
F - full bodied and very smooth

Troegs makes some good beers and this is pretty decent. Has a bit of a sticky feel to it but nice flavors going around

 308 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear ruby color with only a half finger of off-white head. Even with a vigorous pour it struggles to get much head, and retention is pretty poor. Not much lace or stick. Disappointing in that regard.

Smells quite boozy and fruity, with the cherries they use coming through along with some malt sweetness.

Taste is also very boozy, and the alcohol is a bit strong until it starts to warm. Warming is key here as the flavors smooth out and it's really very tasty. Tastes very fruity and sweet, with lots of malt sweetness, honey flavor and delicious cherry. There is a belgian yeast character to it that is noticeable throughout, as well. The sweetness starts to get cloying and bothersome for me the more I drink.

As hefty as this beer is the mouthfeel is a bit thin. I'd expect a much fuller body, but it's not. Still, it's smooth on the palate with very light carbonation, and is drying through the finish.

This is a really tasty beer, but as I said you must let it warm. It's the only way to let the flavor shine through the booze. It's a little rough around the edges, but the flavor is nice. The sweetness starts to get cloying, and I have trouble getting through more than one. Still, a tasty brew that is very nice around Christmas.

 1,252 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Rich amber clear, not much head nor lace.

S- Big malty smell, almost cloying in nature. Interesting, though.

T - Big malt beer. Not so much of the Belgian attributes that I am used to, but nice.

M - Medium, good carb, ok balance.

D - Did not really touch me.

 266 characters

Photo of thestranger99
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sleazo
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A_Pours a clear chestnut colour with a smallish off white head. Staying power and lacing are nto strong points.

S_Sour and sweet cherries dominate the smell. There is also a decent ammount of carmel malt.

T_Cherries hit huge up front, mildly sour but mostly sweet. This is followed by a healthy dose of caramel. The finish is dominated by a spicy yeast character which unveils flavours of pepper, bread dough and and even a bit of wine must. A minor hint of alcohol heat in the aftertaste doesn't distract

M_Slightly viscous with a small bubbled but tight carbonation.

D_The cherries are a bit too strong here and make the whole beverage a bit cloying. If there was a bit more sourness I like this better. That said, this is probably what they going for and this is clearly a well made brew. For a brew of this strength the alcohol is almost completely hidden.

 864 characters

Photo of BeerIsland
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought I'd celebrate the end of winter with a 2006. Head's totally gone in a few minutes; looks OK otherwise. Not a lot of aroma left in this one. Tastes great all the way through; oogles of complexity, well balanced, nice carbonation, pleasant lingering finish.

 263 characters

Photo of mtyrrell
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A- A nice amber red with a small head that quickly recedes, no lacing

S- Spicy, fruity, alcohol, fruit maltiness

T- Fruity cherry taste, spicy yeast, strong alcohol taste for a beer

M - Medium body, very smooth

D- Got a nice buzz from this 22oz bottle, 11% ABV. A pretty good brew, just not my cup of tea

 335 characters

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jbfarris
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sfoley333
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle(thanks ahatcher78). Poured a red ruby clear color with a thin white head. Smell is super sweet cherry bubblegum, corriander and a whiff of alcohol. Taste is cherry cough syrup with a sweet honey spice flavor and herbal alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth. Its a very interesting beer but hardly a session beer more like an after dinner drink.

 377 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad Elf pours a still, clear ruby color with a thin off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving no lace on the glass.

The aroma is faint with sweet notes of bubblegum, clove and cherry. Reminds me of a hefeweizen. As the beer warms the aroma becomes more apparent, but still not too strong.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer has a sharp fizz on the tip of the tongue and a light syrup feel on the palate. The flavor is sweet with a balance of spice. It begins with cherry and bubblegum, spicy notes of clove, cinnamon and pepper appear in the middle and it finishes with a touch of alcohol and oak(?). Once gone the cherry and bubblegum flavor lingers on the palate.

For 11% abv this is a quite drinkable beer, however the alcohol sneaks up on you pretty quick. The flat appearance is a bit of a drag, but the complex flavor makes up for any faults.

 876 characters

Photo of UDbeernut
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 100th review, on tap poured into a pint glass, not the correct glass wear

a: nice dark amber color, translucent with slight carbonation. When it arrived at my table, there was no head but lots of sticky lacing.

s: alchohol and cheery

t: cherry sweatness dominates flavor. Also taste alchohol. I think I taste a bit of honey too.

m&d: full bodied beer, very nice beer but i would not drink more than one during a session.

Cheers!!!!

 439 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Merry Christmas to the Mad Elf.

He poured out of the bottle a beautiful ruby red color with a nice to it. Fingers worth of white head really put me in the Christmas spirit...well maybe not, but it looked good. Lacing isn't a factor with this one.

The aroma is a funky Belgian one with some cherries, honey, caramel, and sweet bread.

Flavorful seasonal with tastes of holiday spices, funky yeast, sweet cherries and oh yeah...alcohol. Woo. I think I can breathe fire right about now. This is good, but I think it needs a little aging. Bit rough around the edges although I can see the tasty light at the end. I think I'll sit on some of this for a while.

Body is thinner than expected, yet a bit syrupy. Definately believe a little time in the cellar will help this one out. Right now one bottle is plenty, but with some age this should be even more enjoyable.

 871 characters

Photo of thain709
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A very nice ruby color...a faint head

S - A sweet smelling ale with cherry notes

T - The taste follows the nose as it is very sweet...cherry, honey, and roasted malts

M - A heavy body...the alcohol doesn't come through as much as expected

D - With the alcohol not coming through too much it makes this a very enjoyable beer...but watch out for that 11%!

 361 characters

Tröegs The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,928 ratings.
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