Beer: Mad Elf
Brewery: Tröegs Brewing Company
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Clear dark ruby body with no head. Little bubbles gather at the edge of the glass, though.
Smell: It smells like a Belgian Tripel: bananas, bandaids, cloves. With immense loads of honey and brown sugar.
Flavor: As I remember, Mad Elf is a syrupy punch in the mouth. It tastes like a combination between a Belgian Tripel and a Weizenbock–the latter evoked due to a similar fruity/estery flavor resulting from this guy’s insanely high ABV (11%). Prominent flavors are bananas, cherries, raisins, and brown sugar. It kind of tastes like a cherry danish, if I had to make a food comparison.
Feel: Thin but supremely carbonated–a godsend given the nature of this beer. It feels like vodka going down the back of my throat.
Concluding Remark: What can I say about Mad Elf other than this beer is exactly what a Mad Elf would drink…and then he would immediately overdose. It has one of the highest ABVs of the holiday season, making it a staple in many holiday shopping lists. The Mad Elf is a Strong Belgian Dark Ale. The Belgian character (i.e., the banana and clove flavors) is achieved from the use of a Belgian yeast. Tröegs puts on a twist on a European classic by adding Pennsylvania Honey West Coast cherries–a whole lot of them. The result is a sweet, fruity dark ale. Is it the most perfect beer of all time? No. But it’s surprisingly easy to drink given the high ABV and is guaranteed to give you some sort of spirit–holiday or not. As you keep drinking you become more and more infected but the Mad Elf Syndrome and you begin to care little about the nuances of beer…………………………..
As Troegs says, this beer will “warm your heart [literally] and enlighten your tongue.” It will also warm your brain and blood. The bottom line is is that if you can handle a little bit of sweet in your life, this is a perfect holiday beer. If you can’t, you might want to go looking elsewhere, and actually, avoid holiday beers and celebrations altogether.
This is a Keebler Elf-approved beer.