freekyp (1692) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - NOV 6, 2014
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wham bam thank you Santa! One of my all time faves, this is a juggernaut of holiday cheer crammed into a bottle. Cherries, chocolate and woody notes assault the nose in a weird rum fruitcake topped with cherry tart sort of way. Smells like dessert. Well, that’s because it is. Strong and not ashamed, the Mad Elf delivers its husky 11% without shyness. Sweet but just short of cloying. Spicy but not overly so. Fruity but the muscular malt bill still shines through. Umm hops...not a power play so much as they are there to keep the sweet tooth Elf in check....which they do...barely. They sell this in a 6 pack. That’s dangerous. Mad even. Mad.
beerex (4) - - NOV 4, 2014 does not count
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
$16/6 bottles available at Lowes Foods in King,NC. Fruity, yeasty and alcoholic aroma. Clear reddish/copper color with a short lived off white head. Moderate roasted grain flavor, spicy medium hop profile, fruity esters, warm alcohol, medium to long caramel/buttery finish. Not far from a great beer, I’m thinking this might be one to cellar for a couple years.
teromous (119) - - OCT 28, 2014
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Appearance: Dark transparent ruby brown ale with an eggshell white head that fades to a creamy layer on top of the beer. Some lacing. The red color of the beer gives it a nice holiday accent.
Aroma: Alcohol esters right off the bat, then there is a fig note. A slight scent of bananas at the end. It doesn’t have much Belgian Yeast character on the nose.
Taste: Mellow flavor of banana chips and figs with a hint of caramel at the end. I should note that although the label states that this an "ale brewed with honey and cherries," neither of these characteristics are present. I don’t get a honey flavor, and it doesn’t give me that fermented honey "mead-like" flavor either. The ale itself tastes pretty average for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but don’t expect cherry flavor from this.
Feel: Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with light carbonation. The alcohol is present enough that it is noticeable as a slight warming sensation at the back of the mouth, but the smoothness of the beer keeps it from burning. It is full bodied but not quite as thick as I would like from a BSDA.
Overall: It’s pretty average stuff for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It has a slightly lighter mouthfeel than what is experienced traditionally, so if you find standard BSDA’s to be too thick this might be right up your alley. For me it is a bit too light. It has a decent amount of flavor to keep me interested and enjoying the beer. I am disappointed in the distinct lack of honey and cherry flavor. For a BSDA it’s a good beer but for a spiced holiday ale it lacks what people crave in a holiday beer. Drinking this early (at the end of October) with no presence of the advertised flavors, I can only imagine how it will taste in two months...
aumentm (452) - North Carolina, USA - OCT 17, 2014
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Great christmas ale. Good cold weather ale. Has a high alcohol and very tasty. Incredibly smooth.
joejames (374) - Jacobus, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 16, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Christmas 2014-15 released on Monday this week. I’ve cellared bomber bottles from past 2 years to review in the future. 12 oz. bottle to shaker glass. Pours deep amber/red. Quick small head, lightly carbonated, very little lacing. Aroma of sour cherry, caramel, wild yeast and ether. Taste is very complex. The yeast creates a subtle sourness that keeps the sweetness of the sugars in balance. Very slight bitterness. Full bodied, sticky sweet mouth feel. Finishes with notes of burnt honey, sour cherry, toffee, candied sugar, herbs and of course booze. I limit myself to one of these guys in a day. This stuff is so dangerously good.
BayouBeer76 (12) - Barcelona, SPAIN - SEP 27, 2014
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
caramel, nuts, herb-y aroma; dark amber/brown color, clear, minimal head, medium sweetness, medium body, slick feel, soft carbonation; overall excellent christmas type ale i look forward to every year.
slowrunner77 (7438) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 24, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
"What an interesting beer this was. I see the BSA designation, but the belgian yeast was pretty subtle. The aroma was sweet cherry, honey and booze, and the flavor was equal parts cherry, honey, brown sugar and yeasty spice. Nice unique holiday offering. Trade via Ggrumet. Woulda been higher if the Giants won at home :)"
zvsn (1152) - ISRAEL - SEP 18, 2014
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Clear amber with a small reddish head. Aroma - sweet, fruity, cherries, liqueur, candy. Taste - sweet, berries, dried fruits, alcohol, spices, medium bitterness. Med-bodied, syrupy texture.
rayaron (837) - Kfar Saba, ISRAEL - SEP 18, 2014
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle 330ml. Thanks zvsn! Clear copper with small off-white head. Cherry aroma, and more cherry, some onion notes, malty, toffee, candy, sweet and sour. Very sweet cherry flavor, as the nose, woody. Light carbonation. Full body. Sweet cherry aftertaste.
Bulk_Carrier (2869) - Final Resting Place, Vermont, USA - JUL 14, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Ahh, the good ol’ Mad Elf.
This was poured into the Mad Elf tulip.
The appearance was a nice looking red to somewhat hazy looking purple glossed over sort of look. There was some light lacing sliding down the glass.
The smell had some sweet cherries, light tart cherries, light cocoa, light honey and backed up by a light chocolate malt.
The taste was sweet and somewhat spicy with a light clove-like flavoring underneath it all.
On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fa decent sessionable aspect trying to make me drink more but there’s a part of me knowing that this wants me to sip. The carbonation finishes somewhat dry and crisp.
Overall, this was a nice beer always well worthy of coming back to during the holidays. Now if only I can get Troeg’s to distribute to Alaska.