Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

very good
3,928 Ratings
Tröegs The Mad ElfTröegs The Mad Elf

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,928 |  Reviews: 1,271
Photo of wcudwight
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter a dark red(nice). with a inch head that quickly reduces to a thin ring around the crown.
Smell: I get cherry, cranberry, jucyfruit gum and alcohol.
Taste: Mmmm, taste starts with loads of malty sweetness, mixed with cherries. Kind of toasty tasting in the middle. The finish is of dry alcohol.
Mouthfeel is good. Thick and filling.
I consider it nicely drinkable for 11%. I've aged my bottle for 6 months and the alcohol is really only noticable in the finish.
A very good beer that is worth the hour and half drive across state lines to purchase. One that I will be looking forward to this coming holiday season.

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Photo of SonOfKyuss
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of sunofneurot
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SharkNado
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mpenske
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

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 Ralphs66
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Syracuse12
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of aoampm
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jjayjaye
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A crystal clear reddish brown color. When poured aggressively a faint wispy head formed and faded quickly. The smell is sweet and very coriander spice and fruity. Light-Medium bodied, the mouth feel is whoa fully under carbonated, but the spiciness and tingle from the alcohol keep things interesting. The spicy coriander cinnamon character is slightly overwhelming. I understand that its made from cherries. I am definitely not getting the dark fruit fig taste that i expected. Oh well, just another interpretation i guess. Give it a shot.

 540 characters

Photo of pwoods
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've gotten 3 of these as extras in trades so thanks you guys!

12oz brown bottle poured into a pint. No visible dating.

A: Pours a cinnamon brown with good visibility. Maybe 1 finger of off white head that dies quickly to a thin skim. No lacing.

S: Yeasty and bread-y. Undertones of clove and banana. Bottle says Honey and Cherries, though I can't detect any, maybe due to it having a pretty soft scent. No detection of alcohol(11%? really?)

T/M: Not bad at all for a Belgian strong dark... not normally my favorite style but this is very manageable. Yeast isn't overpowering but holds its own. Bananas and black cherries. Sweetness is definitely honey. Mouthfeel is just slightly on the light side. Alcohol is present but adds warmth instead of burn. Dry throughout.

D: 1 of this style is enough for me, though this one is very tasty. 11% also restricts the possibility for a session, too. Easy of consumption still helps.

 928 characters

Photo of bschinelli
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Gajo74
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Out of the bottle it pours a translucent brown color that looks darker when it hits the glass and also has elements of ruby red. Minimal head quickly disappears and leaves no lacing or remnants; I'd like to see more from a Belgian.
A lot going on in the aroma; my favorite feature of the beer. Dark fruits such as raisins, prunes and figs with a splash of alcohol. There is also a nice coating of dark chocolate malt as well as spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
The dark fruit detected in the aroma are evident in the taste, along with a dried red grape consistency that is evident in a sweeter red wine. The predominance of sweetness in the taste can border on cloying at times, except for the fact that there is a cherry tartness that balances things out somewhat. There is some spicy clove like elements that are found in the middle phase, however, the sweetness returns towards the end. The alcohol is evident, although well masked for such a high ABV drink. It is on the high side of medium bodied.
I feel that this one had some nice qualities, however, I would have liked to see more spicy Belgian characteristics to balance out the sweetness. Maybe I should give it another chance as a dessert beer?

 1,209 characters

Photo of cambabeer
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gcamparone
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a nice amber body with a 1 inch head that reduces to a layer of foam.

Aromas of raisins, vanilla, dark fruit, caramel and some spices. Smells like a dubbel or tripel.. quite tantalizing.

On the tongue is bananas, wheat, dark fruit, honey/caramel, some cherry on the finish.

Not too noticeable alcohol for the high abv, relatively easy to drink. Medium body

Overall a nice change of pace. Wish there was a little more cherry but nice nonetheless.

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Photo of RMoeNay
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of AMCPhD
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JandJMD
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single 12 ounce bottle from the local beer shop. Cracked it open with the future Mrs. two days before Christmas.

I drank this straight from the bottle so I can't tell much about the color. Sacrilege, I know.

The beer produced a very light scent of candied cherries and medication. But not like cough syrup because it didn't have an artificial scent.

The taste was sweet cherry upfront followed by cream and honey which ends with a sour cherry twang. That was the enjoyable part. The taste that I did not care for was spicy Belgian yeast. Totally ruined the beer for me.

I preferred this beer a lot more as it warmed. Possibly because the honey becomes more pronounced. The alcohol is extremely well concealed. I would have had no idea this was 11% without the checking the label.

 792 characters

Photo of Stillmakingnoise
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jason1337
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of pjkelley82
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not too shabby at all, it just happens to be of a style that is associated with so many world class brews. As an American take on a Belgian strong dark ale this is pretty enjoyable.
The flavor profile is pretty typical- fermented dark fruits, dark cherry speaking up the most because of purposefully added cherry in the brewing process. Making this a little less typical is rather roasted type flavor that one usually expects from stouts or porters. It makes for an edge of bitterness that isn't exactly offputting but needs to tempered with some sort of food pairing to maximize enjoyment.
For American brewed Belgian ales there are better options but this is worth trying.

 675 characters

Photo of Josbor11
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JohnofUpton
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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