The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
The Mad ElfThe Mad Elf
Very Good
4,004 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,004 |  Reviews: 1,284
Photo of Sabtos
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dusty copper with a thin khaki blanket that dies off completely.

Smell is banana bread, tons of Belgian yeast, with raisin and caramel.

Taste is big yet oddly sweet Belgian yeast, spiced apple pie, plum and metallic cranberries. The spiciness of the Belgian yeast makes this relatively moderately spiced Christmas beer seem ultra spiced, so it amps up what doesn't need amping up.

Full and frothy.

 400 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Sellen
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Slack
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber brown in color and clear. About a half inch of head that settles to about an eighth. Very good lacing on a sip.

Nose is cherry, cloves, sugar, and pilsner hops.

Taste is sweet cherries, malt, booze, and hops.

Mouthful is medium-ish and syrupy. Carbonation is average. Finish is semi sweet.

A great seasonal beer that lends itself to a hearty meal. Tasty, balanced, and drinkable. The syrupy sweetness is about the only drawback here which tends to inhibit more than one.

 487 characters

Photo of TheWolf
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CertifiedG81915
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of perfectsilence3
4.88/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of 413
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The label on the bottle tells us that the Mad Elf himself brews this seasonal offering, and after tasting the 2016 edition, I believe it. This beer had a unique, front-loaded taste that was dominated by the cherry notes, but not in such a way as to rob the ale of its darkness. I perceived almost no finish or aftertaste and a light mouthfeel. Bringing something a little different, this one makes a great addition to any collection of winter seasonals.

 453 characters

Photo of zrroot
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PaulElk
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Was hoping not to taste the spices but damned if I did. Ok beer and will age a bottle but not really a fan

106 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company. Another gifted bottle from my good friend @nicholas2121. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's got a two finger thick head, with web-like lacing, and a clear deep brownish amber body.

I smell the pleasant addition of cherries among other conventional notes for this style. Now, the cherries don't come off as too sweet, syrupy, or artificial. Which is the quality I've come to love and appreciate from Tröegs.

Tastes like smooth, sweeter malts oh-so nicely blended with the cherries. I really can't pick up on the 11% abv here, either. Again, said sweetness is very masterfully proportioned. Mmm mmm good!

Mouthfeel is just a hair over medium, but nothing like a porter or stout. Medium carbonation.

Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company has earned an overall 4.5 in my book. A sipper that I hope to come back to sooner than later.

 929 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tröegs The Mad Elf brewed by Tröegs Brewing Company, with an ABV of 11.00% This brew pours out a deep brown amber color with a nice off white head. There is a decent amount out lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass really nice. The smell is rich with sweetness, with cherry and honey. There are also some nice roasted grians and malts in the smell. Between the look and smell this brew is really inviting. There is a lot going on in this brew. Now for the taste, it bold with flavors, you also pick up on a rich honey and cherry sweetness. You also pick up on some roasted grians and malts. I really like the smooth sweetness in this brew. There is a nice amount flavors in this brew. I like how smooth this brew goes down. It is really hard to pick up on the 11.00% ABV in this brew. The mouth feel of Tröegs The Mad Elf is Bold, Rich, Clean and Refreshing. Overall I'm Tröegs The Mad Elf a 4.50 out of 5. I would definitely buy this brew again. Tröegs Brewing Company, did a real nice job with this one.

 1,034 characters

Photo of philerman
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of AccipiterofBeer
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of hopsputin
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep ruby red color with some purple notes. Not much head to speak of. It's a beautiful beer

S: dark cherries, candi sugar, brown sugar, raisin, plum, and huge caramel. End of the nose has some alcohol

T: huge dark fruits up front: plum, raisin, prunes, fig. There is an alcohol bite directly behind that followed by a huge blast of sweetness from the malts. I'm picking up some Belgian yeast in the flavor along with a touch of clove

M: heavy mouthfeel. This is a sipper for sure. Carbonation level is low

O: big beer with big flavors. This is a great winter sipper. There's a lot going on in here, so take your time and appreciate it

 643 characters

3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Okay so I was surprised by a beer manager with a sixer of The Mad Elf .
I didn't know much about this Christmas brew , however had heard some mixed feelings.
Being what is it sounded like something that would be up my alley .
The look is fairly nice as it resembles one of my favorites (Samichlaus) except with more carbonation .
The smell is a fruity and spicy as most typical Holiday brews..
Taste is delightful, but a little thin ..
I gave it 3.75 and 4's, but overall a 4 for its 11 abv as it's not even noticeable.

I would buy it again next year and have put a couple of bottles away, so that I can compare them side by side next year;)

Funniest part of the story is I had to get out of the store, before I was tackled as at least 4 different couples asked me where I got them ..
I guess I never realized that they were so desired ..
Thanks Mr Beer Manager for thinking of one your regular customers :)

 921 characters

Photo of tabhill
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

New 2016 bottle. Get clove and slight cherry

44 characters

Photo of drews240
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cambabeer
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jsalz21
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of sisterofba
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JLK7299
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Johtro
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my favorites. I love the Belgian caramel taste and feel with the complexities of slight cherry and the Belgian yeast. It does a splendid job of cloaking the high ABV.

 181 characters

Photo of Ctb6582
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 4,004 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.