Monday, December 24, 2012

Troegs Mad Elf Ale - Gus #31

First of all, I want to wish everyone and their loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  This time of year brings out some really great brews.  I decided to review a couple of Christmas brews this week.  I had one last week as well to get warmed up for the season.  Today's brew is one that has really good reviews and is a favorite of many.  This will be a quick little review as I haven't had a whole lot of time between being in the woods and spending time with family.  Let's take a look at Troeg's Mad Elf Ale.

How it rates with others:

YouTube review:
Joseph via Proper Hops

ratebeer review:

beeradvocate review:

Information from the website:

ABV:  11%
Hop Bitterness (IBU's):  15
Color (SRM):  Ruby Red
Availability:  Seasonal, 12oz. & 3L bottles, 1/2 and 1/6 kegs (contact yoru local retailer to pre-order)
Malts:  Pilsner, Munich, Chocolate
Hops:  Saaz, Hallertau
Yeast:  Spicy Yeast
Adjuncts:  Pennsylvania Honey and West Coast Cherries

Seasonal Release (Mid October-December)

"The Mad Elf is a cheerful creation to warm your heart and enlighten your tongue.  The combination of cherries, honey and chocolate malts delivers gentle fruits and subtle spices.  Fermented and aged with a unique yeast, this ruby red beer has significant warming strength that underlies the pleasant character of this intriguing yet delicious Ale.  The Mad Elf is a jolly and delicious beer for the holidays."

Serving Suggestions:
Temp: 50-55 Degrees Farenheight   Glassware:  Chalice or Tulip

I poured this brew into my Raise Your Pints snifter glass.  I've since broken this glass and need to get another one.  It was one of my favorites!

Appearance:  The brew poured from the bottle into the glass a ruby red just like they describe.  Maybe a hint of mahogany in there as well.  Very small head that dissipated very quickly.  I wouldn't expect a head very big or lasting very long with the high ABV.  Slight lacing but that went away when all of the head was gone.  It was a smooth looking brew.  Very apparent alcohol legs and it was very clear.  Decent amount of carbonation but I didn't really pour a very aggressive pour.  Nice looking holiday brew.

Aroma:  Instantly your nose is filled with hints of cherry as you approach the glass.  It has sort of a maraschino cherry aroma mixed with some spice hints from the yeast.  Hints of alcohol come out but nothing too overpowering.  Slight aromas of honey and maltiness with a little bit of citrus maybe.  I can tell they use Munich malts from that distinct aroma it gives off.  Ever so slight hints of chocolate from the Chocolate malts.  Very nice aroma.  Some clove mixed in with all of the other as well.  The alcohol hints give it almost a cough syrup aroma if you really dig into it.  Not a bad thing and others that have tried this with me haven't always gotten that.

Taste:  Up front you are really hit with the cherries and honey.  Honey gives the brew a smooth mouthfeel. Middle of the mouth the spices from the yeast come out and you get a little bit more of the clove.  Some dark fruits and malt flavors from the Munich malts are there as well.  Not too much chocolate in the flavor.  Slight bit of alcohol sweetness and there is definitely warmth in the back of the throat and the belly.  It is absolutely a sipper.  This is really nice but all the intense flavors do make it a heavier brew.  I would be limited to just a few of these at a sitting.  Super flavorful and enjoyable.

Verdict:  This brew really brings all of the holiday spices and flavors to the table.  I think Troegs really hit what they were trying to do with this one.  I am a big fan of this.   I hope to have a couple of them before the season ends and have some more next year!  The cherry is a really nice mixture with the malts and the spice yeast that they use.  This one will definitely warm you on a cold night.  I'm gonna give it an A and add that I'd love to have this with some nice fruit cake or holiday spice cookies.  Actually any holiday candy or cake would be great with this!  My parents make an awesome no-bake fruit cake and I would love to try this with that.  I may have to take some cake back home and try it!

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.  Comment, subscribe and follow!  Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!