Tröegs The Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Company

Tröegs The Mad ElfTröegs The Mad Elf
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 3,934 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,934 |  Reviews: 1,272
Photo of sommersb
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-26-2012
Freshness: 2012 Vintage
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Goblet
Purchased: Received in a trade

It's the day after Christmas, so a little Mad Elf seemed appropriate...

This beer isn't much to look at -- pours a semi-clear reddish-brown with very little head to speak of. The head disappears quickly and leaves no lacing behind.

Smells are malty and sweet, with big fruit and cherry notes. I also get some complex holiday spice aromas such as cinnamon and clove. I think I can also detect the added honey, but maybe that's just because I read it on the label...

Full-flavored ale here, sweet and of dark, ripened fruits like raspberry and cherry. Bitterness is low if not non-existent.

Mouthfeel is full in body with carbonation in the medium range. Finish is fruity and sweet, with a lingering spice flavor. The 11% makes itself known with some pleasing alcohol warmth.

Overall an enjoyable spiced holiday ale. The appearance left something to be desired, but other than that was a brew I'd recommend to anyone who likes malt-forward spiced holiday beers.

Thanks to baybum for this one!

 1,133 characters

Photo of HeadyTheElder
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Jeffrey2310
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of WVUbrew
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Brown120
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of davegray
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of dbossman
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby hue with a thin quickly dissipating head and decent lacing

S: Lots of tart cherries, vinous, grainy, boozy, and raisins and other dark fruits

T: Subtle cherries and dark fruits on top of a subtly sweet malty backbone; sweet, boozy, slightly fruity, mmm

F: Medium body and sticky; pretty good mouth feel

O: Warming alcohol, fruity, bready: like a fruitcake but actually tasty and welcome at the holidays

 414 characters

Photo of ramrod666
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Beestin
3.6/5  rDev -7%

Photo of ALLISON01
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of MrJuengling
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of beergeek279
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a very reddish-amber, with a wispy white head. The smell is of cherries and honey. The taste is dominated by the tart cherry, though a nice honey comes through, and somehow the beer is balanced and not cloying; alcohol is not at all apparent in the beer. Mouthfeel is very thick. As for drinkability, I'd definitely have these as long as I could.

Probably my favorite Christmas beer from last year. A rich mix of honey and cherries that's perfect for a cold December night. Simply delicious, and this is certainly a beer I'll be getting plenty of next Christmastime!!

 612 characters

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

Thanks to fitzIPAtrick for letting me snag this from this cellar.

A: Pours a ruby red color--almost like a cran-grape color with a cream colored head that dissipates slowly. Not much retention on this.
S: Cherries, strawberries, and raspberries all coated in honey. Sweet sugary presence.
T/M: Syrupy cherries and strawberries. Sweet fruit notes mixed in well with yeasty and spicy belgian esters. Thick and juicy fruit bursting in the mouth. An interesting brew with a nice blend of flavors. Dry yeastyness in the finish coupled with thick and juicy fruits. Almost too sweet for me.
D: A good change of pace for me with this brew as I would possibly only pull this out once a year during the holidays. Nice and warming in the chest with the high abv.

 760 characters

Photo of Skunkdrool
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of wertschy
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LutherBrau
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter glass.

pours a clear dark amber/ruby tone with a finger of off-white head that quickly recedes into a thin collar around the glass; patchy lacing.

nose smacks of sweet malts; lots of candied fruits, cherry, and a touch of honey. nice aroma but makes me worry it will be too sweet. (a concern that fortunately isn't realized.) flavor follows the nose with a strong front of sweet maltiness; however it never crosses into the dreaded cloying realm. cherry presence lasting through the finish, where the 11% ABV (unsurprisingly) is most noticeable. enjoyable brew, if nothing mindblowing.

medium bodied mouthfeel, average carbonation; feels nice in the mouth... drinks dangerously well for an 11-percenter.

originally reviewed: 12-07-2010

 771 characters

Photo of Archemedies
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of jjwisenheimer
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dsauter
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spedprof
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Myotus
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 47°F from a 22oz bottle (2014) into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger of khaki foam that dissipates into a line within 25 seconds. Ruby in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are small in size and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and very subtle.
SMELL: Strong aromas of honey are backed by mild aromas of sweet cherries (I personally hate sweet cherries so my rating will reflect that), toasted malts, cloves, earthy yeast, and subtle aromas of alcohol.
TASTE: Strong sweet cherry and honey flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by mild clove and earthy yeast flavors. Mild flavors of caramel along with subtle toasted malt and alcohol flavors lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for honey and cherry, which fade to mild.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: An objective review, but a subjective rating. I don't like sweet cherries at all. I'm more of a tart cherry kind of guy. This was very sweet cherry forward. If you love sweet cherries and Belgian Ales, this is your beer.

 1,118 characters

Photo of marine1975
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

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

Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a glass stein.

A= deep cherry-amber, very slight white head which quickly faded, modest white lacing.

S= upon opening the bottle it smelled briefly like someone's dirty socks or smelly feet (probably the cherries and yeast settling in), but thankfully that disappeared quickly upon airing and pouring. Light but style-typical scent obvious, sour cherry and biscuit, live yeast and slight hints of alcohol.

T= sweet syrup, yeast, malts, cherry and alcohol. Decent for a holiday beer. Somewhat reminds me of a Belgian Ale or even a cherry Lambic but much better. It's even better if you let it age for 1-2 years, speaking from experience-- it matures to a fantastic treasure.

M= light alcohol traits, slightly watery honey sweetness and sweet-cherry tartness on the tongue.

D= probably one or two per sitting is all I could handle as far as ABV. Otherwise very drinkable. A definite must-try if you have the opportunity. Buy a few at holiday and stock them for a few years later for a great celebration.

 1,016 characters

Tröegs The Mad Elf from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.2% out of 100 with 3,934 ratings
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