Tröegs Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,241 Reviews
Tröegs Mad ElfTröegs Mad Elf
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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
Reviews:
1,241
Ratings:
3,808
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
26.68%
 
 
Wants:
228
Gots:
1,059
For Trade:
20
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,241 | Ratings: 3,808
Photo of puck1225
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the Public House in west Erie, PA. A deep red gold color with a thin head and nice lacing. Nice sweet and spicy smell and taste. Gingerbread, honey and nutmeg. Went great with the smoked wings!

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Photo of DanJan
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite seasonal offerings. Doesn't feel like Christmas without it. Pours a beautiful amber with ruby accents and a little bit of head with some lacing. Almost looks likes the holidays in a glass. The smell is dark fruits, dominated by cherries with a hint of the alcohol to come. Tastes like a mix between a strong wheat beer and a sour cherry beer which is exactly what you'd expect from the info on the label. Just enough of an alcohol burn to remind you of the ABV but it really balances it out nicely. The tartness of the finish allows you to enjoy the coating on your tongue before going for another sip. I plan on aging one or two this time and seeing how they mellow in a year.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby red with a thin off-white head.

S: dark fruit and cherries. Reminds me a little bit like cough syrup.

T: malty sweetness and honey. Cherries, as expected

M: medium body with low carb. Silky smooth

O: just picked up one in a mixed six pack. I am not a big cherry fan but wanted to try anyway. I can see the appeal for some but not really up my alley. Worth a try.

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Photo of Myotus
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 47°F from a 22oz bottle (2014) into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger of khaki foam that dissipates into a line within 25 seconds. Ruby in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are small in size and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and very subtle.
SMELL: Strong aromas of honey are backed by mild aromas of sweet cherries (I personally hate sweet cherries so my rating will reflect that), toasted malts, cloves, earthy yeast, and subtle aromas of alcohol.
TASTE: Strong sweet cherry and honey flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by mild clove and earthy yeast flavors. Mild flavors of caramel along with subtle toasted malt and alcohol flavors lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for honey and cherry, which fade to mild.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: An objective review, but a subjective rating. I don't like sweet cherries at all. I'm more of a tart cherry kind of guy. This was very sweet cherry forward. If you love sweet cherries and Belgian Ales, this is your beer.

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Photo of Bwise73
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I would suggest drinking this as troegs suggests between 45-55* . I had it really cold and rather warm and didn't like it. I've had it as they suggested and love it!!

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Photo of bmeehan
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mad Elf is now my favorite winter beer, as it does so much more to stand apart from the rest of the winter ale lineup than anything else I've had does. It smells like cherry and honey, which are both included in the brewing (read the label!) and it has a spicy sweetness that feels great on the tongue.

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Photo of mlockman
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer is crazy vinous, it is almost like drinking a wine, to be honest. Definitely not my favorite, but wasn't horrible overall; I really don't understand why it is in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale category.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a copper color with a tan head.

Smells of caramel malts and holiday spices.

Has a nice taste to it. Spices are nearing the point of being too much but not quite.

I really like this beer. To bad it's $15 for a six.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden copper color with off white head that dissipates quickly no lacing. The smell in a little off putting initially it smelled a little like rotten fruit, once the head dissipated you get a slight cherry smell and orange note. The taste is not bad some cherry flavor the alcohol stand out it is also a little bitter. Light beer leaves a slight tingle on the back end cherry up front. Overall not a bad beer but it does not stand out.

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Photo of Rreay724
4.76/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers and I wish it came around more often than just the holidays. Definitely tastes like a Christmas time type of beer and it's well worth the money. I recommend putting some cinnamon sugar around the rim of the glass for added taste. Just a heads up though, it's 11% alcohol so if you're not a heavy drinker you'll probably get bombed after a couple of these. Just got some to have tonight after my run. Can't wait.

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Photo of EMV
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Otto's in State College, PA. Poured into a snifter.

L: Pours a clear deep golden color with a trace of amber. 2 fingers of white head. Nice lacing.

S: Pitted fruits and cherries. Sweet and tangy. Belgian yeasts.

T/F: Malty and boozy. Cherries and honey... a bit spicy. Strong alcohol warmth. A bit sticky/chewy.

O: An over the top winter favorite, both boozy and tasty. Tastes like Christmas should (sans evergreen). Always great to grab a few around the holidays.

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Photo of gr0g
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle. Reddish-copper color. High clarity, not much in the way of head formation. On the nose, Belgian yeast character in the way of a chalky aspirin bottle note hits first. Sweet honey note. Cherry cough syrup.

Flavor is sweet but well-restrained. Alcohol strength is quite well hidden. This isn't bottle conditioned, so the carbonation isn't very vigorous, though it's a bit harsh. Malty and fruity character, though the finish is a bit bland. Having had this several times throughout the years, it's main selling point is that it's strong. Otherwise, it's unspectacular.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 once bottle into a tulip.

a: Festive Ruby colored body. Like a cherry gold color more specifically. 2 1/2 finger slightly off white head. Disappears quickly. Little lace.

s: Faint malts, honey, Cherry juice, alcohol, wormwood.

t: The Cherry and alcohol overpower everything. The combination of the two make the beer taste like it has an overdose of cherry bitters.

mf: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Thin finish with a slight alcohol burn.

o: I don't like slamming beers but this isn't for me. On a personal note I get too much bitters flavor from the cherry, spicy yeast, alcohol heat combination. I like bitters in cocktails but a few drops.
On a style note, aside from being high in alcohol, this is not reminiscent of a Belgian Strong Dark to me.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 11% abv

Appearance- Pours a deep red, with a brownish tint. One finger head with some lacing. Quite hazy.

Smell- Dark fruit; prune and cherry. Medicinal smell, similar to a Belgian yeast

Taste- Sweet grainy flavor turns even sweeter with Belgian yeast notes. Fruit comes full on, notes of cherry especially meet the palate, not only being sweet but a fair amount of tartness as well. The beer finishes sweet from the cherry flavor but also has a fresh honey flavor that comes in with just a hint of pepper.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation. Alcohol burn.

Overall- A fine strong ale of Belgian inspiration. The cherry and honey additions make this beer unique and stand out. Despite the alcohol burn this is a fine beer, but that is part of the novelty of this brew. Worth a try.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. It's a really pretty red-amber in color with a two-finger, frothy, milk-colored head and nice lacing. It's a very attractive pour. The smell is primarily nutmeg, coriander, yeast, and some subtle cherry. The first taste sensation is the cherry and malt, with a lot of pepper and spice, and a tart, slightly bitter finish. For an ale, it is full-bodied, nicely carbonated, and while the 11% ABV is definitely noticeable, it's not overpowering. Overall, this is a really good Belgian Ale. I'll definitely have some of this on hand for the holiday.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; deep amber in color; 1 finger moussy light tan head that receded to a thin collar; OK lacing;

S: dark fruit, sweet malt, candi sugar, coriander and black pepper; a little perfumy;

T: dark fruit up front; sweeter in the middle and that lasts through the finish; mild to moderate bitterness in the aftertaste;

M: medium to full bodied - a little creamy; ABV is smooth and warming;

O: really good; dangerously smooth;

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Photo of Marraybay
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Red amber: About a finger of white foam on top.

Smell: Egg Nog believe it or not, presumably from sweet alcohol notes (rum) and
spice (nutmeg).

Taste: Sweet fruit upfront, with an occasional- but not constant- hint of tartness, presumably
from the cherries. Definitely very "spicey / peppery" on the tongue, with the slightest hint of
hops near the close.

Feel: Spicy, slick

Overall: A fun / festive beer. The sweetness(honey) and cherries are definitely a hoot and of course the punch it packs @11ABV screams celebration. Not sure I would relish one every single day of the "12 days of Christmas," but having it indiscriminately scattered about the holiday period would certainly be a welcome addition to the seasonal beer rotation .

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form a growler via Jungle Jim's in a snifter. This nice warmer pours a nice ruby red with a touch of brown, a decent head of white foam that subsides to a thin ring and nice lacing. Nose of sweet candy sugar, medium strong yeast, spice, and strong alcohol. Flavors exceed the nose with brown sugars to the front, cherries to the sides, and a touch of spicy herbal hops to the rear to cut through the sweetness. Slick mouth feel, full body, and warming alcohol on the sides and rear. What's not to like? An excellent brew from an excellent brewery.

Cheers

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 09/29/15 at 45 degrees into plastic hotel glass
$ 16.90/six pack (Includes tax) ($ 0.234/oz) at Denny’s Beer Barrel in Clearfield
Aroma – kind of yeasty, horned directly from bottle
Head small (< two cm, aggressive pour), off white, fizzy, diminishing to two mm ring and partial layer
Lacing – none, but the plastic may be why
Body medium reddish-brown, clear
Flavor starts sweet, no cherry in either nose or palate, just on the thinner side of syrupy, ends with a hint of medicine or cough syrup; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, almost syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

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Photo of devo1980
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This looks and smells amazing. As suggested, drank out of an oversized wine goblet. Strong and smooth. Does have a faint cough-syrup aftertaste, so sadly the "taste" category is its lowest. However, i would gladly drink this beer at any winter-time holiday.

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Photo of thebeers
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear reddish amber with a finger and a half of tan head that's quick to dissipate. Medicinal cherry, dry yeast and some honey sweetness on the nose. They all carry over to the taste, along with some pepper, subtle Christmas spices like nutmeg and warming alcohol. Thin, slightly oily mouthfeel. Pretty good.

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Photo of VFBeerman
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much every year I consider this my first Christmas present.

Pours a lovely reddish color fitting of the holiday season. You can actually smell the warming character on the nose - definitely yeasty, but in a good way. All the typical qualities of a really nice Belgian but with the wonderful flavor imparted by the cherries and honey.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red like a glass of cherry juice with a head that doesn't stay around. The smell is boozy with yeasty tones. Musty, earthy, cherry and honey with dark fruits and clove. The taste is typically belgian with clove, yeast and banna bread flavors but with the sweetness from the honey and the taste of cherries at the end. It is a little boozy and slightly thick. Pretty decent holiday beer that is a great cold night sipper.

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Photo of astrocreep2000
2/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

dunno how this beer is so highly rated. this beer tastes like cherry cough syrup, or nyquil. however, it looks nice in the glass and its 11 percent. overall i cannot recommend.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich Amber with a slight tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smells of yeasty malt, raisin, fig, plumb, and a musty earthiness.

A rich tasty malt bomb with notes of fig, plumb, and raisin. A lively carbonation keeps the flavors moving balanced by some bitter herb and oaky dryness.

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Tröegs Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,241 ratings.
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