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The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

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The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
Very Good
3,959 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: 3,959 |  Reviews: 1,278
Photo of MarcatGSB
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into DFH Signature glass. Thanks to David for this tasty brew!

A: Pours a copperish read color with a super thin white head. Some bubbles accumulate, but don't hang around long.

N: Good amount of Belgian yeast notes, with some spice and a good amount of cherry coming through. Some candied sugar notes support.

T: Very similar notes to the nose. Sweetness from the sugar and a bit of cherry tartness. The honey comes through slightly, and the Belgian yeast comes through with a good amount of bread like character. Some good hops shine to balance the beer.

M: It's actually rather thin for a BSDA...lacks a bit of character. Minimal amount of staying power.

D and O: Very drinkable for the ABV, I will give it that. It's a really solid beer.

 769 characters

Photo of mutd8710
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of nos
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of zipyth3pinhead
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of troysoy2
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked a six pack up with my good friend and drinking buddy. Belgian dark ales aren't really my thing usually, but I may as well try.

Poured into a pint glass. Small white head quickly retreats to the edge of the glass. It's a nice, cherry-tinged copper color.

The smell is very deep, like a bottomless pit of cherries. Haha, a cherry pit pun. But seriously, lots of cherries, a little honey, just like the label says. Dark Belgian fruit and a bit of alcohol. It smells sticky and intense.

It's quite sweet, but then again, what were you expecting? Surprisingly drinkable, especially considering how I don't always care for beers of this style. It's quite spicy on the finish, yet almost devoid of bitterness. Cherry comes out nicely, and the surprisingly prickly mouthfeel is an interesting feature. Not too drying, not too cloying. Overall, enjoyable.

It's complex, yet not the most complex thing ever. Palate pleasing, a little dangerous with its high ABV, but hey, the elf on the label seems to be having a good time. I wouldn't drink a ton of it, but it's a nice break from my usual selection. Cheers.

 1,110 characters

Photo of Sinatra716
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of haddyhustle302
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of alpinebryant
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pour is a clear cherry copper with a tiny head of white at the edges.

S: Aroma of ripe cherries, fruit punch , belgian spices and yeast, honey

T: Right there with the aromas, this is hitting hard with cherry and honey. The belgian flavors are slightly subdued, but definitely there. Plenty of noble hopping in order to balance out the extreme sweetness of cherries and honey; I would say that this was accomplished pretty well.

M: Very light in mouthfeel for a BSDA , I would say this is the weak part of this beer but only because of the category that this is in. At 11% abv, this shouldnt come as a surprise, but it is a little lighter than I would have expected for the style.

O: Very tasty Belgian Strong Dark ale and my favorite beer yet from Troegs. I may have to get some more of these to throw in the cellar for next year and compare a few years.

 863 characters

Photo of aflyershckyfan
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of uziangis
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of MystikCelt
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of PretzelsNBeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Brown120
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JSkone09
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of FrankyLikesIt
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of BoringBunny
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Mario61Aler
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of LEdubs
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of BrianOhio
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a ruby red with little to no head, even with an aggressive pour.

Aroma is sweet like you get from a Belgian, but then you pick up the sweeter cherry notes, with some subtle Christmas spice.

Taste follows the aroma...initially that of a Belgian, but then you pick up the cherry, and very light cinnamon and clove. The finish is a warming boozy sweetness.

This is not a beer I want every day, but in the winter warmer category, this is absolutely one of my favorites. The perfect beer for a cold, snowy night.

 523 characters

Photo of airohead2001
1.75/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Split this with glazeman in Buffalo.

Appearance looks like apple cider - flat and dark. Smell is of apples, clove, cinnamon, and allspice. Taste is the same. Really this is just another bad Christmas beer that tastes like cloves and cinnamon. Finish is thin and biscuity, like Miller Lite. No cherries. No honey.

Very disappointing brew from an excellent brewery - not what I expected from Troegs.

 399 characters

Photo of davesway10
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of zeledonia
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2011-2012 vintage. Tasted 24 November 2011, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brownish amber, a warm tone with slight reddish hints. About a half-finger of light yellowish-tan head, decent retention and lacing.

Smell has sweetness galore: cherry and honey. On the upside, the alcohol doesn't come through, which to me makes it much more pleasant than the taste.

Taste is similar to the smell, with a fair amount of cherry and a distinct honey sweetness. Quite sweet, and spiced with fruit and honey. I liked it up to this point, but then it turned over to a rough alcohol sharpness that I really didn't like.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body, quite syrupy and thick. Medium-low carbonation, with a long bitter finish.

This is almost a very tasty beer. I'd say it has most of the elements of a very tasty beer. But the alcohol brings a pronounced sharp bitterness, which I find quite unpleasant. Okay, the ABV is high, but it's not well-hidden at all. And it's not like a pleasant kick, but rather a grinding, grating scrape of the mouth. Boo.

 1,048 characters

Photo of CowsCanBark
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into standard mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper-amber, with virtually no head. Not any lacing left, either, but the color is still very nice.

Smell: Fruits, mainly cherries, slight boozy/metallic smell, slightly floral, perhaps some burnt sugars

Taste: Not exactly what I was expecting, but still very pleasant. A nice nutty/buttery front, sweet with honey, which fades into a nice cherry flavor with a slightly boozy and metallic taste. Dark malts on the finish. I was expecting more holiday spice, but was actually surprised with how buttery the front is. I could drink this all night!

Mouthfeel: Also very good, it has moderate carbonation with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. It really matches the flavor profile well.

Overall: Probably my new favorite winter drink, the alcohol content warms you up nice, and take note that in my opinion, this is a sipper. If you're in PA for the winter be sure to pick this up for yourself!

 963 characters

The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 3,959 ratings
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