Recently at The Brew Club, we’ve been trying to keep a Christmas Beer / Winter Seasonal Beer review theme going, and even though its just after Christmas, this next beer review is no exception! Troegs Brewing Company out of Harrisburgh, PA produces The Mad Elf Ale for our Christmas beer enjoyment!
This 11% ABV brew (yes 11%) is a clear, medium reddish-colored beer that poured into my glass without creating much of a head to speak of. There was just a minimum amount of foam, but as you can see in the picture which was taken immediately after the pour, it’s kind of flat.
You may have also noticed in the picture an actual ‘Mad Elf’ that is apparently passed out in front of the beer. (Passed out with eyes open is really messed-up) I asked the elf to please go someplace else to sleep off his hangover, but he told me to ‘piss off’ and if I bothered him anymore he would ‘toss my crib’. It sounded threatening, so I let him rest and went on with my picture taking. What’s the world coming to when humans are threatened by drunken elves in their own homes? Stupid elves.
ANYWAY, so The Mad Elf Ale seems to be a little on the flat side. How does it smell? Well, according to the label , this Holiday beer is brewed with honey and cherries, and I can say that there is a subtle cherry aroma that you can pick up. There is some sweetness to the smell too, but I can’t identify honey specifically as the source of that. Overall, it smells pretty good.
Now on to the taste. As you are drinking the Mad Elf Ale, you can taste the cherries and indeed even the honey that is mentioned on the label. Its slight, but it is there. I would not say that this is a ‘Cherry-flavored beer’ or a ‘honey flavored beer’ the Mad Elf is much more subtle than that. The Mad Elf Ale, as you remember, is a relatively strong for a beer in the alcohol department, and you can definitely pick up on that – especially in the aftertaste. The ale is, I would say, on the thin side, not much body, but it wasn’t sticky and was very, very smooth. Very drinkable. There is a very slight hop finish, and other than the ‘alcoholy’ aftertaste – that’s it.
So, how would I rate The Mad Elf by Troegs? Well, it isn’t bad, and it will mess you up if you’re not careful. Its like having two average beers from an alcohol standpoint, so just watch what you are drinking as you should be anyway! The taste is OK. The high alcohol content is well masked, and it does not taste like one might think. You do get a sense of the cherries and honey, but not much. Its low on the carbonation end, and to me a little thin, but it would make a good Holiday beer to try. Surprisingly, I would probably get it again! 3.5 Stars!
What do you think of Troegs ‘The Mad Elf Ale’? Do you have a favorite Christmas brew that you would like to share? Why don’t you leave a comment for the whole class to see????
Scott – TheBrewClub