vadavid (142) - Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA - DEC 27, 2012
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I always keep Mad Elf around for at least a year before I drink it. Fresh, I find the beer a bit "hot" from the high ABV and overly sweet. I am not a fan of fruit in beer and I find Mad Elf to be cloyingly fruity sweet when first released. However, I discovered years back that aging the bottles for at least a year mellows it out. I’ve got some 5 year old bottles still in the cellar. The bottle I reviewed was from the 2009 release and was quite enjoyable.
The beer is an attractive deep red color with a thin beige head. The aroma is sweet with dark fruit and a mild earthiness. The flavor of this aged beer is still a bit tart from the cherries, but a hint of sweetness balances that out. The high alcohol content is well-masked. The mouthfeel is thick, leaving behind a sticky coating on the lips.
tillmac62 (54) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - DEC 17, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a beautiful ruby amber with a reasonable head and lacing. The nose is of cherries against a slight chocolate coupled with a typical Belgian yeast aroma. It also has hints of sweetness and alcohol. Almost medium body with good carbonation. Nice slick mouthfeel. A superbly balanced beer, with a flavor profile similar to the nose. Tart cherry over a nice sweetness with a chocolate background. For an 11% alcohol brew, this one hides it well - but you get the nice burn all the way through. Crisp finish with a burst of flavor from the carbonation that brings the spice flavor to the forefront. The finish is also where the alcohol becomes more evident as the beer nears room temperature.
tomer (1367) - Rishon Le Zion, ISRAEL - DEC 16, 2013
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
At a tasting, thanks Yoav, no head, quite hazy rusty red colour, aroma of strawberries and raspberries, with a touch of malt in the back, strong jammy flavour with a strong and a bit coarse bitterness, some alcohol coming through. Heavy and unappealing.
beechner224 (224) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - DEC 14, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from UDBeernut. Pours amber with nice white head. Aroma is all spice and cherry. Taste is sweet, bready, spicy. Aftertaste sticks around a bit, sweetness lingers.
DSG (4711) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - DEC 12, 2013
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle sample at a tasting at Dancing Camel. Thanks Yoav. Reddish amber color. Aroma of malt, honey, caramel and some dark fruits. Sweet flavor, caramelly, honey-ish, fruity and slightly spicy, finishes a bit alcoholic. Medium to full-bodied, a bit syrupy.
jrodooo5 (694) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - DEC 6, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Excellent! Interesting cherry aroma. Subtle fruit on the palate but Crazy smooth at 11%. This is damn good!
Alpha10 (208) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 4, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2013/12/05 - Pours a ruby-amber colour with a small, off white head that fades quickly and does not lace. Aroma is cherries, dark fruits, spices, yeast and slight chocolate. Taste is cherries, spices, biscuit malts, and booze. Leaves a sweet medicinal aftertaste, almost like cough syrup. Mouthfeel is medium with prickly carbonation. A nice tasting brew, but I find the aftertaste somewhat off putting.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
flyingzambonie (41) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2013
0.5 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
I'm not sure what this "beer" is. All I get is a sickly sweet cherry cough syrup. Very slight malt. Almost no head. Couldn't finish half of it.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
vlan1 (57) - Maryland, USA - DEC 3, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from fresh growler. Clear Red Ruby color with a thin dissipating head. Aroma of faint honey maltiness. Taste is solid malt backbone supported by mild honey and faint cherry notes. Also faint pepperiness from the yeast.
samsmith33 (262) - - DEC 2, 2013
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma Is honey, spice, Dr Pepper. Clear reddish brown color. Taste is sweet cherry, yeast, 11% alcohol is well masked.
Really good, although a bit sweet, and tough to drink more than one in a row.
pinkie (321) - New York, USA - DEC 1, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a handsome deep amber with hues of copper and with a cherry blush. There is gold hue around the edges and even some orange like color. Yeast is floating around in suspension and the head is fat , tan and falls pretty quickly to a ring and film on top. It’s clear enough to see the individual particles of yeast that dapple the body of the beer. No real lace except a few spots.
The nose is dripping with honey. Raw and sweet it is the most prominent feature of the nose. It even smells a bit sugary. There is a smooth and soft yeast that promises a bit of earth and has just a faint touch of cedar wood. The cherries are ripe and sweet and the malt is soft on the nose except for a light candy sugar and hint at flaky biscuit. Bit of spice to tickle the nose. I really had to dive in but I detect a subtle bittersweet chocolate that is faint but an overall enhancement of the nose. There is a rose like floral on this that is perfection.
Taste is seamless and perfect like so many of troegs beers. The balance is impeccable. The yeast is soft and lends the drink softness. The malt is feather light as if it was tended with expert care and imparts a light cracker to the front end of the drink. The cherry and honey are equals not rivals and the cherry leaves a nice tartness mid palate in deference to the sweet rich honey. There is a bit of spice that entertains the back palate as much as seeing one or two snowflakes fall out of the sky entertains the eye. Nutty flavor in the middle rather than chocolate and that is pleasant and uplifting. The carbonation is fine so that you don’t notice it but it excites the tongue . This finishes with only a vague hint of medicinal alcohol that is quite remarkable to the perception of the finish. Dry but the mouth is watering. Slight gentle warmth from the alcohol.
What a fabulous beer. Drinks a lot like mead. It has a bit of stickiness in the mouthfeel that is wonderful and pleasant. The drink is bold yet refined. Troegs makes great beer.