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 confer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Red/brown. No head, almost nocarbonation activity at all.
S- Sour cherry in the smell.
T- It changes with the temperature. The cherry taste is most dominant. Not much booziness for an 11%.
M0-Fairly thin on the feel. This is a dangerous beer. So potent and so easy to drink. A great sipper and it will be a holiday regular.

 326 characters

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of j1knapp
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of dawgnation51
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of jackrodgers77
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into new belgium tulip glass, color is translucent amber with light carbonation, head is light tan but quickly dissipates with no clinging.

Smell is light cherries, hints of other fruitiness, raisins, plums, not alcoholic.

Taste is clean, surprisingly for such a strong beer, with sweet malt flavors that mingle with slightly tart cherries with other fruits, bitterness is light but noticeable but no distinct hop flavors. Light hints of spices and yeast come through as it warms.

Mouthfeel is very balanced, again its hard to believe this beer is 11% abv, very nice flavors and bitterness make it somewhat drinkable.

Overall, very drinkable strong brew, I like the light cherry flavors, I'm not sure if I'd like some of the flavors to come through stronger but it is tasty.

Review for 2015 vintage: pours still clear, better lacing, thin lingering head.
- Aroma is similar, a bit of booze, but pleasant interplay of malt and cherry.
- Taste is still quite clean for a big brew, nice booziness, some tart cherry, and then some stronger lingering malts with biting yeast off flavors.
- Mouthfeel is strong, a touch biting, and tart but not sour.
- Overall - a beer I've had numerous times since my first review and always presents differently - great fresh, great on draft, and now a great aged version as well.

 1,323 characters

Photo of GrabMeAnAbbey
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of jeanphony
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Magikarp
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of PhillyDrinker1
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a bottle of this at a restaurant recently. It arrived in a bottle and was poured into a goblet. The appearance was very dark and there was a little head when it poured. The smell was strong of spices and smoke. The taste was spicy and sweet, without a strong btter aftertaste. The mouthfeel was thick but smooth. Overall drinkability, not bad for a seasonal dark ale.

 373 characters

Photo of Fermenticusrex
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into mad elf tulip.
Pours reddish amber very clear with a nice fluffy white head.
Lots of cherries, some vanilla, honey, and a little booze.
Follows the nose, cherry, vanilla, and a little alchohol. Not much honey though.
Thin watery mouthfeel, not much of a problem except maybe it makes it too easy to drink.
Overall a nice beer, not exceptional but solid. Hides the 11% very well.

 403 characters

Photo of thekanna
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours the color of rust, with a thin white head that dissipates quickly
S: some holiday spices and a light sweetness and nuttiness
T/M: sweet and spicy on the uptake. Flavors of honey and alcohol overwhelm the palate and drown out anything else. Medium carbonated with heavy body, almost syrupy. Too strong and phenolic for my tastes.

 337 characters

Photo of twobeernuts
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of htrae2014
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of nopucophop
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of williahd
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Pjev11
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of AdamBear
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-dark reddish amber with a nice cream colored head that thins out pretty quickly.

S-spicy belgian sugars. molasses. slightly smoked and burnt, yet sweet and syrupy.

T-comes in with a dog breath creaminess with a spoiled taste of belgian sugars. ends with a warming taste of caramelized sugars and smoked burnt taste. pretty forms a matching long lasting after-taste with some bread malts. complex but not exactly well balanced. quite boozy.

M-syrupy heavy low carbonation with a dry finish

O-its difficult to drink more than a pint of this. it hits quickly. the tastes just don't hold up well. you can tell its not brewed in belgium. too much heat, and artificial tasting flavors that don't mix well. honestly i think people get this because its a lower priced alternative to the belgian christmas beers, but just buy them instead. don't save your money by getting this instead.

 885 characters

Photo of GennyCreamAle
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of martin123012
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of McNealc31
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first this that stands out with Troegs Mad Elf is the brilliant ruby color. The nose is full of interesting flavors, too, including sour cherry, black pepper, and a hint of vinegar.

Everything seems to come together quite nicely. The sour cherries aren’t too sour. The vinegar isn’t very aggressive, the hops add a nice dryness and bitterness at the end, and the huge 11% ABV is nothing more than a pleasant warmth. The sweetness from the malt and honey provide a nice counter point to everything else going on.

A different take on the style than most winter warmers and this relies on the cherries and yeast for flavor, rather than familiar warm spices. It would have been easy to go overboard with this one, but there is no hint of medicine or bad candy, something I was afraid of with the cherries. Definitely worth a try.

 835 characters

Photo of laymansbeerfan
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of thatdirtymick
2/5  rDev -48.3%

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