Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,929 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:
3,929
Reviews:
1,272
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
15.06%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
1,142
For Trade:
24
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,929 |  Reviews: 1,272
Photo of silentjay
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ruby red indeed with a small pink-hued tan head that quickly recedes and barely leaves a film, yet laces okay.

cherries and dark honey jump out at you in the aroma. a touch tart, but mostly sweet with a bit of spiciness and some sweet and dark malts.

sweet cherries, a bit of milk chocolate, some syrupy sugar sweetness and plenty of honey that soothes the throat, though a bit of alcohol heat comes after the swallow to counteract that.

very syrupy and sticky with minimal carbonation and tons of oil left behind on the tongue.

a lot going on turns this one into a sipper as does the alcohol heat and sweetness. it doesn't quite come together seamlessly, though it is tasty. alcohol is there though not quite as harsh as 11% could be. reminds me a bit too much of cough syrup as it warms. very good, not great.

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Photo of kushlash23
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stored in the closet for about 8 months. Doughy fruity (cherry) aroma with a hint of alcohol. Opaque, ruby chestnut colored beer. Small, froathy dark cream colored head fades to a broken film. Small, scattered patches of lace cling to the glass. Mellow, creamy vanilla up front with a pinch of cherry, a bit of alcohol takes it into the finish. Nice solid beer, but not very sticky, easy to drink. Damn tasty, I wish I had a case.

 430 characters

Photo of bort11
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DuqTroops for this one. He got me a 2005 and a 2006 in a trade. I had these one after another, starting with the '05

12 oz bottle, 2006 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip. Thin white head that recedes to a thin ring. Color is a clear reddish tint, a lot lighter than the 05. Smell still has a distinct Belgium yeast aroma, with a slight hint of the cherries. The cherry taste is more prominent but is still blended well with the honey sweetness. The yeast gives it a bit of tartness as well.
Mouthfeel is is a bit thinner but still a solid medium body. Mild carbonation.
This is still a pretty drinkable beer, but I think the 05 really benefited from the aging.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Goblet on tap at Cole's in Buffalo, arrives an amber/cherry wood color with no head, hard to raise some on a subsequent swirl. Pretty still.

Cherry and 'Belgian' esters/yeast along the lines of a triple dominate, some grain, light cloves and all spice. Very rich and creamy, heavy caramel and honey sweetness running through, light Saaz hop dryness in the finish. Boozy in the finish, you can tell this is a heavier beer though you might not guess as high as 11%!

Not bad, though it's too sweet to be more than a sipper. A little brash on the esters, could be dialed down a notch. Can't say I would jump to drink this one again, though perhaps in the bottle or with some age it might mellow a touch.

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Photo of TripelMark
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of Newport_beerguy
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Benesi88
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Bustersuess
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jvgoor3786
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of neonbrown82
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This bottle was provided in trade from GCBrewingCo. It's been a while since the trade, but I figured this one would be better saved for the first snowfall of the year at the very least. It surely has enough staying power at 11% considering that it's the 2004 release, but this beer is quite questionable to say the least.

Pours to a very dark burgandy brown with absolutely no head. I put some serious distance between the bottle and the tulip glass while pouring, but all I got were a few clear air bubbles. Obviously no lacing, and the carbonation couldn't be seen if it were there. This isn't necessarily surprising with such a high ABV brew, but I usually get at least a head-like film.

The nose is absolutely saturated with a raisin and fig aroma with a bit of ginger and/or allspice and cinamon. The cherries are also evident behind all the figs.

The beer tastes like molasses, honey and cherries, with aforementioned spicing. A bit piney even. Not one of my favorite mixtures of flavor. It seems like they took all of the flavors associated with christmas and went overboard trying to cram as much of that shit as they could into a 12 ounce bottle. The results are quite devastating to the tastebuds, and I'm not one to rate a beer well based on style even though I thought it was utter shite.

The mouthfeel is water and distant. What does this "distant" nonsense mean in terms of mouthfeel? Well, I can't seem to taste much of anything but mild sour cherries until I swallow, and then the burst of flavors hits all at once, confusing the palate. The finish is dry and lingers like a port wine, grape flavor and all.

I feel like I've been duped. This is a wine, not a beer! No offense to GCBrewingCo, if he happens to be reading this (I've already thoroughly enjoyed everything else from that trade), but I am not impressed at all by this beer. In fact, this is the type of thing that put me off from holiday beers last year, but I am going to stay the course for this year.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Auburn/red with no visible carbonation. No head, no lacing.

S - Odor is faint. Mostly malt with a little spice. I can't descern anything over the smell of carbonated water. Since there is no real carbonation, that doesn't say much for the smell.

T - Slightly sour, from the cherries I'd guess, a little spice is detectable, nutmeg and maybe a tiny bit of allspice. It has a strange bitterness, but it mostly masked. I cannot detect any alcohol. It isn't really covered up though, since the taste isn't very strong. I don't know where they hid it, but it is hidden. Aside from the disappearing abv, nothing is too impressive about the taste.

M - Very thick and smooth. Refreshing.

D - There is not a single negative aspect to this beer, but there is nothing great either. I am surprised. It is good, in the sense that it does not offend and is easy to drink. I would sooner have many other holiday brews. Maybe it was the hype, but this Troegs beer is a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of LarryMyers
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of nwhittin
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of alamode
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Harrison8
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep ruby red, with a thin beige head that disappears rather quickly. No lacing left behind. Coriander and honey hit the nose with a strong malty presence in the background. Coriander, banana, cloves blend with a bit of honey and sweet malty presence behind it to form a tasty brew. Mouth feel is a little above average. Good filling nature, but a little harsh on the carbonation. Overall, a tasty brew that has some good sweet notes in the taste and aroma. Very pleasant to drink.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 517 characters

Photo of OriolesFan1008
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of k47k
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Patlee3324
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of sjones5045
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of Denzo
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I assume this brew was last winters release. No date on the bottle to indicate otherwise.

A - orangish brown in color with a small off white head
S - sweet almost vinous brown sugar malts, honey and cherries.
T - similar to the aroma but with a honey softened effect. Kind of like the edge was taken off and an injection of warmth added. Quite tasty.
M - medium to full bodied, mildly carbonated smooth
D - at 11% this one hides the abv deceptively well. Aging nicely and was great as an evening relaxing drink.

I would buy this every season. quite a treat.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I originally had this when I was first getting into craft brew and thought it was quite interesting but not my cup of tea at the time. Seeing as it came out the same did I was picking up some other beers I decided to give it a try again. This pours out a cherry juice red with a decent beige head that eventually falls to a coating of bubbles. Decent lacing was left around the glass as this was consumed. Aroma was a bit sweet with a bit of cherries and a bit of spiciness. Alcohol was evident but it mixed well and added positively to the smell. The taste starts off with a sweet maltiness that had notes of cherries and other fruits with a touch of honey. There was a good amount of spice as well. Aftertaste was a lingering sweetness. Mouthfeel was about medium with a slick and warming feel to it. Pretty damn good drinkability here with the large alcohol being hidden really well. It did warm me up quite a bit as I drank it. Overall this is a very interesting and tasty beer that I would recommend if you haven’t had it already. Oh and Venom’s suggestion to have it warm was spot on.

 1,092 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixtel of the Elf to add to the Saison on draft in the basement bar for a NY Day Bowl party.

From the tap, this has a sizeable 3F head, which quickly lowers to a skim-film w/ very little lacing. Ruby/orange, but quite clear.

Smells of maraschino cherries, and cinnamon-bread dough.

Yes, some cherry and honey in the taste, but also picked up caramel apples, and some banana and clove (like a heavy hefe, if such a thing existed).

The mouthfeel was heavy due to the ABV and sweetness, but not nearly as thick as I expected.

This is way too drinkable, as showcased by several of my friends after dropping back 3-4 pints in the afternoon. "HAPPY" New Year!

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Tröegs The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,929 ratings.
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