Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

very good
3,928 Ratings
Tröegs The Mad ElfTröegs The 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,928 |  Reviews: 1,271
Photo of IronLover
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I haven't seen a beer with a color quite like this. It's lika a dark, hazy rose wine color. After a very aggressive pour, the white foam quickly dissipates leaving no cap or lacings. Aromas are amazing, particularly if you let this warm a bit. A solid sweet malt and belgian yeast backbone with tart cherries and hints of spice and booze. Smooth and syrupy feel with light carbonation. Sweet malt and sugar flavors from beginning to end with tart cherry flavors through the middle that transition to spice and then boozy heat at the finish. Finishes semi-dry at first but very dry over the long haul . Most definitely a sipper. The aggressive pour is a must if sampling from a bottle. Plus, don't drink this too cold. All aspects of this beer improve if you allow it to warm up a bit.

 784 characters

Photo of KajII
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a clear ruby red with a small (less than 1 finger) white fizzy head that dissipated rapidly, down to a small collar with a wisp of residue left floating on top and poor runny lacing.

The aroma was upfront with a nice cherry scent along with a light bread malt and a sweet yeast and had notes of honey, cinnamon, a bit of spice and a little more than mild alcohol tinge.

The taste was fruity sweet and a very lightly malty with a touch of cherry and honey throughout, with the finish becoming rather yeasty with a hint of cinnamon and a slight spicy alcohol ending. The flavor lasted a decently long time following the swallow, having a nice yeasty and fruity cherry taste along with a mild alcohol warming sensation left behind.

Mouthfeel was a few shades above light in body and dry in texture with an almost prickly carbonation.

Overall I found this brew to be exceptionally tasty with a good fruity flavor that was blended very well with the yeast and spices, allowing for a very good concealing of the exceptionally high ABV thus creating a superb drinkability. I do believe this is the best Winter Seasonal I have tasted to date, and I want more…

 1,252 characters

Photo of danwho
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish amber, with a head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Cherries with some vinous undertones and some honey underneath it all. Pretty strong and pleasant.

Taste: Cherries, booze, malts and belgian style yeast. The ending is a bit too boozy for my liking, in that it's not covered effectively enough to hide the 11%. If the funky(corianderish), boozy ending could be fixed through aging, I'd probably buy these a year early, just to mellow them out before I drank them. Being that I bought a sixer of this and I'm not exactly crazy about it, that will probably happen. I guess I'm just not crazy about coriander type ending.

Mouthfeel: A bit thick with average carbonation.

Overall: Again, there's just something going on in the ending, be it strong booze and/or coriander, that just doesn't do it for me. I bet that if you let this age, the cherries will eventually hit harder on the back end. I don't know if aging can fix this, but one can dream...can't they?

 987 characters

Photo of jason_nwx
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kevgod
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of julielynndubee
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mattboyer182
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%

Photo of Ken_P
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of razorsdescent
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of kkmiller76
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ELECTRONICAnonymous
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Segelstrom
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kegatron for this extra.

Pours a cherry red/orange, clear. Head is good but dissipates very fast leaving next to no lace. The nose has alot of wheat in it, and some belgian spice. The taste is thin, but good flavors with alot of wheat flavor and alot of spice with the slightest hint of cherry. Smooth finish goes down nicely. The mouthfeel is a bit thin here, but overall good. Drinkability gets good marks, as the 11% is incredibly well hidden. Good brew, would be a good one for some session drinking during the winter. Thanks Heath.

 547 characters

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of PGVG
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split with my roommate. It's a celebration, as I just moved out my ex-GF from hell. Let's get it on!

A- A nice caramel, ruby red, robust coloration with a fizzy, but nice head. For 11%, it's fantastic.

S- Caramel, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin pie, alcohol.

T- Very flavorful; Like drinking cider/potpourri/maple syrup/pumpkin pie. An orgy of spices, mild alcohol noted. Very tasty. Puts me in the Christmas mood, alright.

M- A bit boozy, but nowhere near the 11%. A bit hot, due to the spiced aspect... very nice. A winter warmer on steroids.

D- I'd have a whole bomber to myself, I love this beer. My first time trying it; I will be buying more for sure. Not the cheapest winter beer, but for sure one of the best. Very well done.

Note- Doesn't strike me as a Belgian Strong Dark... maybe a Belgian Spiced Amber, if such a category existed. Whatever it is... it's fantastic!

 894 characters

Photo of stevec32
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Gregf51
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of WunderLlama
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass

Ruby red with faint carbonation. Two finger white foam cap quickly settles into a fizzy layer with no lacings.

Aroma of spices, cloves, pepper and hint of cherry and alcohol.

Smooth start. Sweet malt, bubblegum, slight carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

Visited the Troegs brewery last week and had Mad Elf on tap, excellent. Bottled version is very good, sweet winter warmer with a deceptive alcohol kick. At 11% abv! it sneaks up on you. Very good beer and worthy if stocking up the fridge for those long, cold winter nights.

 554 characters

Photo of Peter1977
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Brushkanna
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ethanmc12
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tröegs The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,928 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More