The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

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The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
4,018 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:
#9,774
Reviews:
1,287
Ratings:
4,018
pDev:
14.99%
Bros Score:
3.77
 
 
Wants:
237
Gots:
1,192
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,018 |  Reviews: 1,287
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Belgian spicy aroma. Creamy mouthfeel. Fruity with a sour finish. Yeasty and sour. Lacey. Tinged colour. Winter in June.Sweet and sour and in need of food to separate out the taste directions. An extreme and a different from this brewer.Alcohol warming but no warning it was this high. RFD.

 290 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a clear dark honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, cherry, and cherry syrup aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet malt and cherry flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but fairly syrupy and sweet.

 584 characters

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

this is the quintessential holiday brew for me, i look forward to it each year, and have been cellaring different vintages for experiment. i find a year really cools down the alcohol heat and lets the flavors develop. the fresh one im drinking now pours a rich cherry amber color, with a sexy frothy pearly white head nearly three inches tall. the nose is lots of fruity, cherries, plums, baked pears, lots going on. also some honey or molassas sugar, a lot of booze, and a curious blend of winter spices, a little heavy on the clove. the flavor is identical to the nose, if a bit less fruit forward. its very balanced, and you dont taste the alcohol as much as you smell it, but you sure do feel it. whew. belgian yeast and candy sugar work magically together, creating a velvety grog that is sure to warm up the coldest bones in the winter time. relaxed carbonation and about as full a body as you can have in a beer that still lets some light pass through it. it gets really hot in terms of booze as it warms up, but thats just fine by me. overall one beer that is not to be missed come christmas time, and one that i keep going back to again and again. if you get youself a case, put a few in the basement until next year too, youll be glad you did!

 1,253 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The mad elf, it pours out as a rich caramel color with pretty nice tan head on it. The aromas are spicy and most definitely Belgian. There might even be some Christmas berries in there too. The taste reminded me of a sweet cherry jelly mixed with a lot of alcohol and some spices to give it some tingle in the aftertaste. This is an enjoyable beer for the winter season, it's a heavier mouthfeel too. The ABV will keep ya warm when you out shoveling snow as well.

 463 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beer I've been psyched to try for a while and finally got around to trying it. Bought a bomber of this for about $6. Pours an orange/red color, alcohol and cherry smell to it. Taste is complex and dangerously tasty. Medium bodied, great mouthfeel. The honey and cherry flavors really shine through, and the beer remains well balanced throughout. Being 11% ABV, the alcohol has a presence so this is a sipper for sure. A pleasure to drink, tons of complexity and tastiness to get through... will most likely be buying a few more of these before the winter season is through.

 575 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear coppery amber in color. It poured with a quarter-finger high off white head that died down, leaving a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass and eventually completely fading away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of spices in the nose along with notes of cherries.
T: The taste is similar to the smell – spicy flavors stand out in front of notes of cherries. There is also a bit of sweetness and flavors of honey.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: Despite the strength of this beer, the alcohol is hardly noticeable. It is a good sipping beer.

 684 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candied fruits woven in soft, caramelized grains is a breif descriptor. Alcohol strength providing the power to fuel the malts and esters. This beer shares a lot of similarities to Ommegang's Three Philosophers with it's candied cherry additions, higher alcohols, all leading into a fruit cake meets cough syrup taste; just tempered into a malty flavor that lures beer lovers like moths to flames. This beer begins with a bright copper color, low head formation and retention, with lacing substitued by legging. A real Barleywine appearance. Aromas are chocked full of esters and alcohol sweetness. Cherries make a definate impact along with notes of rum, roses, and delicate nectar sweetness. All that trancends nicely into taste with malt sweetness becomming the forefront elements- soft, bready, caramelly, and flavorful. Alcoholic heat makes the transition from flavor to body an easy one. Malty and sweet, this beer again takes on Barleywine proportions. The low hop character screams English Barleywine even though the maltiness is subtle and delicate. What a lovely beer that displays a lot of character from sweet to spicy; floral to alcoholic; fruity to bready;... the complexity descriptors can go on and on.

Thanks ShadesOfGray!

 1,240 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Low B

5 characters

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle from the cellar poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear red amber with a 1/8 inch layer of off white head. Head dissipates almost immediately.

Smell: Very sweet with cherries and hints of honey and brown sugar. Not much alcohol to be found here.

Taste: Cherry and sweet malt and honey dominate. After that I pick up some caramel and a bit of alcohol, which isn't surprising given the ABV.

Mouthfeel: This one is on the thick side of medium body. The carbonation is low and the finish is slick on the tongue.

Drinkability: Admittedly, this is one of my favorite Christmas beers. It has held up well to a year in the cellar. Good beer for a cold night and I'll keep coming back to this one.

 728 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Akorsak at Dark Lord day for this one...

Pours a translucent red, with a finger of foam.

Aroma is spicy, and lightly sweet and spritzy. A little bit of bubblegum.

Taste seems balanced, with a nice residual pepper & spice in the aftertaste. Label states that honey and cherries are added. Honey is there in raw form, not especially sweet, and not much cherry. Deceptive ABV, never would have guessed it's 11%.

Nice carbonation carries it along, fairly easy to drink, but watch out, that elf looks pretty crazy.

 534 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear red/amber color with a small head that quickly dissipates and leaves just a little bit of lacing

Smell: Clove, bananas and honey predominate in the nose; malts and cherry in the background

Taste: Quite complex; starts out with a blast of alcohol which then reveals a variety of fruit flavors; more candied fruit with bananas than cherry at the outset; in the middle, the tongue starts to tingle from the carbonation and then it winds up finishing with clove, cherry and honey flavors - very subtle

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a bit of carbonation; warmth in the gullet from the ABV

Drinkability: A nice sipper to drink once it has warmed and opens up

Thanks, Shaggy9356, for the chance to re-visit

 722 characters

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/18/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, pear, apple, fig, light banana, honey, caramel, toast, candi sugar, bread, light chocolate, light nuttiness, herbal, light clove, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, pear, apple, light banana, honey, caramel, toast, light chocolate, candi sugar, bread, light nuttiness, light clove, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, pear, apple, light banana, honey, caramel, toast, candi sugar, light chocolate, light clove, herbal, bread, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity of dark/bready malt and yeast ester flavors; with a nice malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong ale. All around good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,497 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of adrian910ss: Poured a medium amber color ale with a small foamy head with average retention and lacing. Aroma of light cherry with some subtle spices and sweet malt. Taste is semi-sweet with cherry and sweet malt. Body is a bit light but alcohol is very well hidden. I was probably expecting a bit much from this beer, which is far from being bad but just not as complex as I had hoped.

 405 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Boone757
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 4,018 ratings