The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

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The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
4,018 Ratings
The Mad ElfThe 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
Ranking:
#9,723
Reviews:
1,287
Ratings:
4,018
pDev:
14.99%
Bros Score:
3.77
 
 
Wants:
236
Gots:
1,192
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,018 |  Reviews: 1,287
Photo of dcurrin
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of LampLighter26
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of IPhantom
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A PA Christmastime classic, sought out all over the eastern seaboard, and mythological for the supposition that you're only legally allowed to serve 2 pints of it (more on that later).

Pours a sort of cordovan into a fluted pint glass. Quickly dissipating head, but that may be because I poured it too cold. Smell is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, dried cherries, dark chocolate, artificial maple syrup, little bit of leather, pumpernickel bread. The taste is winey up front, big lush dark fruits, raisins plums and prunes oh my, fading through a grainy phase of rye crispness, finishing up with some mildly grapefruity tang and a faint bit of burn. I mean faint...that 11% is lethal to the unfamiliar. There's really nothing like it, as far as Belgian stylings filtered through American ingenuity goes. Mouthfeel is about a 3.5 on the syrupy--carbonated scale...this one can get heavy to some people. It's not particularly sessionable for obvious reasons, but the second one would be that. Nonetheless...some of us try.

Overall, even if for fairly sentimental reasons, this is one of my favorite Christmas beers. I always look forward to getting Elf'd up. One of the prime features from the Brothers Trogner, and I dare say one of the best American Belgians overall.

 1,269 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Gouden Carolus Classic.

A: Clear red-amber with one-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a minute. Not much lacing.

S: Belgian yeast and some dark fruit.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Tart and spicy. Some honey and cherries.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Dry and alcoholic. Kind of smooth.

O: Not much of a head. Smells okay, but the mouthfeel is dry. Too much alcohol to enjoy this beer. I liked the Gouden Carolus Classic better.

 512 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish-amber hue with a white ½-finger head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace.

S: Sweet cherry and fruit aroma with an alcoholic twinge.

T: Flavor is very sweet with an alcoholic punch to face. Very fruity – cherry is definitely present and dominate. This is almost wine-like.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and minimal carbonation

O: Wow – this beer was great! Definitely a sipper at 11% abv. It wallops quite an alcoholic punch but is easily drinkable.

 555 characters

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My 100th review :)
I started out with an average pour and ended up getting a little more aggressive when no head seemed to form. I got a half finger of very active bubbly head that was gone in 30 seconds. The beer now sits there with nothing other than a ring atop the body, which definitely fits the "ruby" description.

The yeast hits the nose first, and is quickly followed up by the unapologetic smell of booze. Notes that linger after are malt, cherries, dark fruit and spice.

The taste is very underwhelming. With the nose being what it was, I was unprepared for what would be a serious search through the nuances of flavor. Up front I taste a bit of yeast, heavy spice and some honey, with a little cherry tucked in for support. Unfortunately the alcohol takes over after that, and in combination with the cherry flavor, it tastes like cough syrup for a little while there. Once this mellows out, malt and spice come back out to say goodbye.

Medium bodied, it has enough carbonation to hustle it over your tongue pretty quickly. It doesn't coat very much, nor does it dry, but it does sting your tongue a little, seemingly a little from the carbonation and a little from the alcohol. A strong burn builds up in the back of the throat.

 1,243 characters

Photo of fryer98
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Brewsky29
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a transparent red with quarter inch of fizzy head that dissipated quickly.

Smells of cherries,honey and spicy yeast.

The taste is very sweet honey fruity with alcohol warmth and a slightly fruity aftertaste.

Feels very fizzy, highly carbonated, warm. Almost wine like.

Overall its a nice change of pace. It is a little sweet for my taste, and I'm not sure if I would pick this one up again. Maybe just a single.

 431 characters

Photo of Laurville
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of brewsclues
3.07/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Deep crimson that is perfectly clear with no head or lacing at all.

Sort of a standard Belgian-style smell (nothing to complain about here) with plenty of cherry, phenols, bananas and banana bread, and some cloves. I get some chilli peppers in there, too - certainly some nice spice to it.

Some good Belgian flavors and some good spice at the back on the mouth at the finish. Big cherry flavor with it hits the tongue - not particularly subtle. Not really sure what all the fuss is about though. The alcohol taste is prominent, and smacks a little bit like cough syrup. In comparison to other strong ales, this is average at best.

A flat mouth feel to it - didn't like it compared to other strong Belgian ales. Little carbonation, and a flat, watery finish to it is below average.

I like Troegs, just not sure that the Mad Elf is all it's cracked up to be. For such a strong beer, it leaves the palette unfulfilled and tastes a bit too much like cherry cough syrup. Average at best.

 1,027 characters

Photo of SvenLehman
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of zapahoppa
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of syntheticwings
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of jifigz
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DrDogbeer
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of JMWEB2
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted...12/14/2011
2010 keg on tap at the growler station @ Joe Canals... thank you

A: Pours a muddy crimson brownish color head completely dissipated, some minor lacing left behind.

S: Alcohol is there, but there is a fruit flavor... cherry-like. Interesting.

T: Alright this must have mellowed significantly, the booze flavor is not present and there is a nice tartness of cherries. Clove is also present, very enjoyable, and I'm not a big fan of the style.

M: Smooth very little carb.

O: I'm glad I went with the 2010 because they had 2011 as well, very nicely done again Troegs.

 588 characters

Photo of ububru
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Zeisloft
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of jam354
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of MA08
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of RyanCMcGovern
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of atr2605
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a nice transparent red amber color with a off white head with pretty good retention
S-cherries, sweet malt, caramel, low hop aroma
T-Cherries up front followed by the sweet malt, hops not contributing any flavor but providing some balance for the strong sweetness.
M-medium bodied
O-Very drinkable for the high alcohol content and good balance of flavors

 363 characters

Photo of Myst
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of beerme626
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 4,018 ratings