Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,934 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:
3,934
Reviews:
1,272
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
15.06%
 
 
Wants:
234
Gots:
1,142
For Trade:
24
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,934 |  Reviews: 1,272
Photo of AaronMello
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of astrocreep2000
2/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

dunno how this beer is so highly rated. this beer tastes like cherry cough syrup, or nyquil. however, it looks nice in the glass and its 11 percent. overall i cannot recommend.

 176 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of Will18
2.04/5  rDev -47%

Photo of Overlord
2.04/5  rDev -47%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to a generous trader!

Pours a dark amber, slightly ruddy color. No head, just a thin white crust around the borders. Pretty color, worried that it has no carbonation. Then again, upon checking the ABV, it's 11%. That surprised me.

Smells like sweet malt (no honey, just really sweet). That's about it. Maybe a vague fruitiness. Cherries, perhaps, or maybe just an indistinct dark fruitiness.

Taste is a blistering assault of sugar. Whoa. A tinge of cherries, but mostly just straight up sugary malt. Lots of bread-y yeast. I can feel my teeth dying from the sugar. The sensation I get is cherry listerine or cough syrup.

Flat. Super boozy.

 651 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
2.06/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle in a snifter.

Cherry red color with a thin head and lots of bubbles. Plenty of lacing.

Strong alcohol over cherries and honey. Boozy.

Memories of the cherry flavored medicines of my childhood is the best I can do here.

I feel that I'll eschew this "beer" forever more.

This does not meet my definition of "BEER".

 330 characters

Photo of BukaBob
2.08/5  rDev -46%

Photo of Wfdoyle
2.12/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of cassandra
2.2/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.22/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Mad Elf is dark maple colored brew with a thin tan head. It is strongly perfumed with an aroma of cherry-flavored cough syrup that quickly overwhelms faint wisps of hop.

Taste opens spicy with phenols, then sweet malt kept in check by cherry vapors and alcoholic burn. I get a slight tartness in the background and possibly a banana note. The mouthfeel is viscous, thick, flat and syrupy, but I was only able to feel that once my tounge had been numbed to the scorching alcohol.

This is a valient attempt at a new take on x-mas beer but I am not into it. I have been very impressed with the other Troegs beers I've tried, but find Mad Elf a little to close to Mad Dog.

 672 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.25/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of supermanny
2.25/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of Liberatiscioli
2.25/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of nrbw23
2.26/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours a pretty, clear dark red with an off white head. Head has decent retention, forms a thin layer of bubbles and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells of raisins, figs and quite a bit of spices (ginger and cinnamon). Cherries are also pretty strong here as well.

T- Tastes way too sweet!! Other than that a ton of booze, sweetened cherries give way to a yeasty aftertaste and also the honey just adds to the sweetness.

M- Medium body, maybe a touch on the watery side and low carbonation.

D- Tried this one a couple of times and no thanks I'll pass on this one.

 570 characters

Photo of goldbot
2.3/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep, brilliant, ruby red; clear, with essentially no head - which isn't too surprising. Any aroma is very subdued at first - just a barely detectable hint of malt and dark cherries and raisins. Seriously, how does this beer have almost no aroma? There is some flavor, at least. Malty and sweet but lacking any complexity. Hints of bread, raisin, cherry. A subtle, spicy yeast flavor tries to come out but is held back. There's flavor but not very much of it. Somehow the alcohol is very well hidden but I don't know how. Slight bitterness; full bodied but with a thin, watery mouthfeel. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but this beer lacks any character whatsoever. Alcoholic malt water.

 688 characters

Photo of ER527
2.32/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Tastes like cough syrup

23 characters

Photo of Hophead717
2.33/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A fresh 2011 12 ounce bottle, poured into a DFH Signature Glass.

A: A deep, pretty ruby red, with a thin head that entirely dissipates almost instantly.

S: Sweet malt and dark cherries rush at the nose, with notes of honey and hints of spice also making themselves known. this beer is overwhelmingly sweet (not in a bad way). smells almost like candy.

T: Dark cherry upfront, with a strong sweetness to the beer. Unfortunately, the cherry flavor comes across is an identificably medicinal flavor. The more I sip, the more I notice. You're left with the same medicinal taste after the finish. There are some slight hints of spice from the Belgian yeast, but my palate is having a hard time picking them out over the medicinal flavor. I wanted to like this beer...but did not.

M: Nicely carbonated and surprisingly thin for a 11%. Mouthfeel is fine.

O: Definitely disappointed. This is a beer I've heard a lot about and was excited for. Oh well. I have five more that I'll age for a bit and we'll see what happens. Expectations are low.

 1,039 characters

Photo of mfc
2.34/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Let me first off say, they get one full point for their label art. Pretty cool. Sadly, the rest of it wasn't so great.

A: It looked decent. Dark orange, almost red with a hint of cherry color. Almost no carbonation (I assume because of how alcohol-heavy it is?)

N: Lots of cherry, syrupy

T: No bueno. Sorry. It is flat and alcohol city, USA. Reminds me of cherry schnapps.

M: Flat flat flat and way too heavy on the booze without any balance or attempt to mask.

Addendum: Reading other people's reviews, I think I may have gotten a bad bottle. Mine had nearly zero carbonation. I'm going to bump the mouthfeel up to 2 for that, but I stand by the fact that it is too syrupy and tastes a bit like cherry cough syrup.

 720 characters

Photo of shanegatter
2.38/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Not bad but the alcohol taste/feel is a little too much

55 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Maybe this thing needs to be cellared for awhile but I am not a fan. It reminds me of Robotussin. In the words of Chris Rock "Out of Tussin? Put water in the bottle and shake it up, More tussin!" It definitely has a lot of stuff going on, I'll give it that. Tons of alcohol in this one with a big malty sweetness. The cherry aftertaste though is horrid. Truely horrid. A very unbalanced beer, the alcohol is very evident and makes it an unpleasent, if warming, drinking experience. Lots of people seem to like this so maybe my tastebuds are tweaked the wrong way but this stuff tastes like cough medicine to me.

 611 characters

Photo of claspada
2.44/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aromas of layers of sweet cherries and some sublter Belgian yeast funk smell, with lesser bananas and clove esters.

The taste is a complete flop for me. Simply put it tastes like a cherry cough syrup which was fermented with Belgian yeast. Way too sweet as well from the honey I presume. This isn't beer in my opinion but a mead/lambic hybrid mess.

The only saving grace is that the mouthfeel isn't totally syrupy and cloying; medium bodied and very good level of carbonation.

Overall this is a miss for me, too alcoholic, unpleasant and even ended up being a drainpour. Will not revisit ever again, even for free.

 618 characters

Photo of eggplantwiz
2.47/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an ommegang goblet.

A: No real lacing, no / minimal carbonation. Flat-ish amber appearance.

S: Overwhelmingly sweet, honey and cherries come out. This is the strongest point for this beer.

T: A little bit unexciting really. Sure, I taste the honey and cherries, but it's almost cloyingly sweet with negligible complexity. I'm not sure why this beer gets such good reviews.

M: Smooth enough mouthfeel, medium to light bodied.

D: Surprisingly drinkable for 11% -- the alcohol is well hidden here, no booziness at all, really. Very smooth, but still not exciting.

Overall, a below average beer, but pleasant enough. I don't think I'd seek this out again.

 669 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.47/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

$6 @ Gulu-Gulu, Salem MA

Arrived at the table a beatiful ruby color but with not even trace amount of foam. I'll assume a bad pour. Came in a big boy glass which was nice because Boston seems to be trending towards even remotely big beers in miniscule pours.

Smelled of light grain and thick, sweet cherry juice. I guess you get what you ask for. Taste is syrupy medicinal cherry with a boozey slickness. Bleh. I couldn't finish it.

For some reason I feel the addition of juniper would greatly improve this beer. Get on that Troegs. Thank you.

 547 characters

Photo of DominicAnders
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%

Photo of jatinkee
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Tröegs The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,934 ratings.
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