jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - MAY 8, 2004
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2005 Very interesting brew. Pours red with an off-white head. Aroma is of honey, cherries and dark fruit. Intense flavor of cherries, nutmeg, spices and other holiday goodness. Very syrupy sweet. Has some belgian brew characteristics, particularly the spiciness.. Mouthfeel is a tad thin however it is still full with a definitive alcohol presence. Not my favorite brew, but very interesting.
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2010 2009 rerate - they hit the mark this year. So smooth and drinkable at 11%, just scary how well this years batch came out. Had it on tap and in bottle, both very similar. Was not happy in the last 2 years, this one was markedly better.
2007 version rerate - Seems this batch was not quite ready. Really hot this year and tastes like it needs a few months in the bottle. Past years were spot on, varied slightly each year. Last two years had a more prominent Belgian yeast flavor and aroma.
I will rerate in a month or so, but have to take off some points this go round until then. Cellaring these for now.
Oh My!!! Just the way to end a weekend!
Dorothy would be jealous of this Ruby red pour. A hint of carbonation, slight off white head.
Cherry sneaks right in there, helps hide the high alcohol content and provides a excellent finish. Hope they do this again in 2004! One of my top 10 beers over the last year.
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 28, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Appearance: a brilliant bright and shiny crimson color...gorgeous! And adorned with a fuzzy, cream-toned head that’s lives too briefly.
Aroma: big on the fruit, but never too sweet, somehow, and damned interesting, feeling like it’s rife with spices, and I can pick up the honey hinted at on the label, and the cherry factor is flowing over, in much abundance and joined with a brandyish character, ushering in the full effect of the alcohol content...oh, yeah, 11%, how about that, huh?
So, let’s taste!
Dark, rich, fruity, utterly alcohol-drenched cherry goodness! The booze is king here, and it’s sublimely delicious! Malt is in command in this beer, and I don’t believe hops have a word to say, it’s not their show tonight, malt and booze is all, but the sweetness never cloys somehow, and balance is acheived, but not if you account for the monstrous alcoholic component.
Sadly, the mouthfeel gets a bit thin in the middle, and I wish the body was fuller, but that rich, delicious taste seems to redeem any/everything...and then, the booze kicks in for real, and nothing has no excuse! That’s how a Mad Elf is born!
My second bottle downed, and this review is done "live" while drinking it and referencing my notes, however scribbly, from the last taste. And I’m nothing short of wowed by this amazing creation! These guys got guts! I’ve had other Troeg’s beers that were commendable and tasty, but not overwhelming and utterly incredible! I really, really, really like this beer!
Eirikur (351) - hafnarfjordur, ICELAND - APR 25, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Now thats a nice brew, Looking deep red, small head that faded farly quickly. The cherries are not very noticable but they make a nice combo with the honey and the choco malt. Extremely well masked of alcohol. Beautiful brew.
Kalli (502) - Falun, SWEDEN - APR 24, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark, dark, ruby/burgundy with little head and almost clear.
Fruity berry and hop aroma, perhaps the tiniest bit of unpleasant lactics. Fruity berries in the taste, almost syrupy but very nice. Good hop profile also balances it a bit. Not big hops, but uplifting. Nicely masked.
haukur (1124) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - APR 23, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 24, 2004 pours a deep red burdundy red, with a small head. Taste is pure cherries and hops, along with some sweet malt. This is one of the best masked brews I´ve ever tasted very enjoyable and thanks to ruffian for this excellent brew !
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 19, 2004
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a deep amber/brown in color with virtually no head. Aromas are of fruit and not much else. Flavors are of banans, cherries, lots and lots of honey. Mouthfeel isn't as thick as I thought, but still a alittle sticky. The alcohol doesn't burn as much as one would expect from such a strong brew. A little too sweet though for my tastes and as it warms it thickens.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - APR 13, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very rich in color, opulent orange/brown/topaz with a diminished cream colored head. Fruit punch bouquet. Passion fruit, bubblegum and bananas all mixed with a touch of nutmeg and poured over toffee. Where to start. by the ABV listed I was expecting a real warmer. Not really the case. No burn in the mouth or gullet, even the stomach seem to be spared, tomorrow morning maybe another story, but for now things are rather sedate. Actually just noticed the burp had a slight burn on the esophagus. Full feel. Spicy and rich in character, but lacks a lot of depth. I long for a malt linger, but it does not venture out to this tryst. Cherries do seem to become out more as this one warms. Honey seem to have thinned this one out in the finish. Still one of these on a cold night would do wonders. Thanks to jeffc666.
DocLock (7198) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 9, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I lucked out, and got to try a bottle that had been in stirage since November, 2003, at the Beer Yard in Wayne, PA, today, at their Troegs tasting event. I could not find this beer in 2003 during the holidays. This beer pours the color of my wife's toenails, sort of dilute candy apple red. One of the reddest beers I've ever seen, and a decent head. I don't see how you can rate the appearance less than 4 or 5 for this one. Huge aroma of cherries, honey, fruit, nutmeg, and cabernet. Tastes very smooth and amazingly complex, with hints of cherries, fruit, spices, malt, honey, and strawberries. Finishes very smooth, slight heavy. The alcohol is well hidden, but the beer is somewhat dense as you'd expect. One of the most complex beers I've had. I won't miss this one next year. First thing Monday morning, I'm putting myself on the Beer Yard waiting list for November 2004.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 3, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2006 2003 Bottle. Thank you Jeff (jeffin7). Great pour, golden brown, with some dark honey colors, lightly hazy but mostly filtered. Good enough beige head. Smells of cherries, meaty and somewhat prune like. Yeasty, and a deep caramel sugar tone as well. Flavor starts out with a belgian kick, like they threw some belgian style yeast in. Has a hint of cherries but not dominant. Body is medium, lightly fizzy, but mostly soft. Sweet on the finish, sugary, lightly yeasty. Very unique to say the least. I have two more bottles and I think, based on the slighty syrupy texture, it should age well. Excited for the rerate.
2003 bottle and 2005 bottle sampled side-by-side blindly November 2005. The 2003 was easy to pick out, the cherries having subsided somewhat, while there was a hint of oxidation, yet the flavors overall, were better homogenized. The 2005 seemed rather syrupy, tart on the end, and too carbonated at this point. Both still showed poor head retention, though the 2005 was better, obviously. Neither showed the alcohol. Still just a bit too meaty/bready for me.