The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

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The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
Very Good
4,016 Ratings
The Mad ElfThe 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,016 |  Reviews: 1,286
Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ethanmc12
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of oso
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of ccozzi
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BeerTruth
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from my "Syracuse" brother, number1bum, as well as leftmindedrighty. Thanks a bunch guys, 'tis the season!

12 oz. bottle with a nice imprint announcing, "HAPPY HOLIDAYS", poured into my Selin's Grove goblet thanks to KRAMER17801. Season's Greetings ya'll!

Pours a dark brown ruby with a one finger off-white head that fizzles down to a thin pillowy layer. Very nice color, but the lacing could use some help. Smell is big on honey, cherries, and yeast. Robitussin aromas make an unwanted appearance in the nose. Alcohol and some out of place banana show up as well. Sour cherries and a whole bunch of yeast up front followed by banana, ugh. Rich caramel with a spicey pepper warms the mouth. Booze from start to finish but it's much less noticable served a bit warm. Medium bodied with a cough syrup like texture. Carbonation that tickles the tongue. Nice holiday brew, but the bottle should probably be shared. Very powerful this Mad Elf can be, watch out!

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. Thanks Andy for sharing your Christmas gift from me! Poured into a tulip. The beer pours a dark cranberry color with about an inch of white head that vanishes almost immediately. The body is clear and transparent. The aroma is full of dark cherries and malt. It kind of has a medicinal aroma to it also. Again, cherry flavor right up front. It kind of rounds out with vanilla and oak. Again though, it's kind of medicinal; like a cherry cough drop. The feel is fair. It's kind of dry. It seems to have tannins like a red wine. It's drinks fair, I'm glad I've tried it, but I probably won't grab this unique beer again.

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Photo of cestlavie
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Joecaddie
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of touchmeimsac
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of u2carew
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz long neck. Consumed 01/09/10

A) Pours with a finger thick head. Settles slightly. Lacing is thin and sticky. The body is absolutely transparent with active upward carbonation. Amber in color with just a bit more red than usual. This has got to be one of the best beer presentations I have seen in a longer - nearly perfect!
S) Sweet - caramel, toffee. Notes of alcohol. Mild citrus notes. Black pepper.
T) Malty and alcohol up front. Hints of dark fruit - cherries and apples in the mix. Malty sweet all the way through. Finishes with just a hint of hops. The aftertaste is sweet banana and alcohol effervescence.
M) Very mellow fizziness. Medium body with a little bit of girth. Slight syrupy feel.
D) A nice Belgian in style. Was hoping for something unusual / unique that would make this a standout... oh well, still a good brew.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle - 2006 edition

Pours a clear cherry red with a small white head that vanished. A few specks of lacing here and there on the glass. Very pretty color.

Smell is bready and yeasty with a light tart cherry aroma and a mild hint of honey.

Malty taste upfront with a nice Belgian bready/yeasty flavor. This leads into some mild tart cherry flavors and just a touch of honey. Finishes rather clean and dry with only a slight hint of the big boozy backbone.

Full body, light carbonation.

Dangerously drinkable at 11% ABV. This beer has the characteristics of a monster tripel with just enough cherry and honey to add some additional complexity without becoming distracting. In my opinion, this is the best version of this beer to date.

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

Photo of MattGrimley
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BrewNoob1
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of aforbes10
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at The Drafting Room and liked it a lot but didnt review it so i bought a bottle to review later. This is in regard to that bottle: Pours cherry red wine-colored with a small thin white head. Fruity alcohol odor. Cherries pretty obvious on the nose in kind of a candy-like way. A ton of alcohol obvious in the taste at first but it ramps back a bit after a while. Cherries come through later, along with a heavy maltiness. Sticky syrupy mouthfeel. A sipper i think. Overall it's good but it was better on tap with a meal in front of me.

 554 characters

Photo of harryhops
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ChipChaight
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeastLU
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of sbricker
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ManapuaMan
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Amazing that 11% ABV can be so subtle. High marks for the beer's ability to subdue any hints of burn with a great balance of flavors from cherries to cinnamon to bready malt. A seasonal treat that could be enjoyed all year.

 223 characters

Photo of seedyone
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From bottle at home. Coppery, brown ale color with virtually no head or lacing. The cough syrup aroma is redolent of cherries. The texture is far from syrpy...actually a bit disappointing. That being said this is a true wintery treat.

I was introduced to it as a blend w/Troegs Dream Weaver in a 80/20 mix, The Elf adding a very pleasant balance to the wheat beer dryness of the Weaver.

OK on it's own, at the right rime of year, but since we're running about 15F+ on the year, this might find it hard to become a preferred quaff...but the marriage works very well.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep cherry red with virtually no head and quite still. Smell is of sweet malt, apples, cherries and spice.

Taste is very sweet and malty, overpoweringly so. Lots of fruit flavors in here. Apples, cherries, some citrus and just pure honey creeps up as well. Caramel flavors are evident. Hints of underlying spice and just sweet, sweet, sweet. Almost too sweet but not quite. Mouthfeel in sticky and syrupy. Wish there was a bit more taste in the finish and/or aftertaste. I was shocked to see that this brew is 11% ABV (didn't notice that on the bottle). Incredibly smooth and drinkable for that strength! A very good winter warmer but not at the top of my wish list.

Thanks to PintofAle for the sample.

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The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 4,016 ratings