Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Mad Elf Christmas

After finishing off the excellent Christmas dinner of Standing Rib Roast, Oyster Casserole and Yorkshire pudding prepared by Colleen, I was ready to sit down with a special beer. Relaxing with a good strong beer is my digestive. I've been eyeing the bottles of Tröegs Mad Elf Ale stored away downstairs and Christmas evening seemed like the perfect time to break one out.

This Tröegs seasonal beer is one that I always keep 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. The ale is brewed with honey and cherries. 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 enjoyed on Christmas 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.

Even aged, the beer is just sweet enough that one was plenty. Of course, the 11% ABV is a factor as well. In any event, I enjoyed lingering over my glass of Mad Elf Ale. Which reminds me, I probably should look at restocking my stash.


  1. One of only 2 beers I do not or did not like. This and a Flemish Red from Iron HIll which I suspect was skunked.

    I love the DB Kilt lifter, for example & other wee heavy style, porters, stouts & holiday ales but Mad Elf is where I cannot go any further. I recall the M/E had a profound ‘alcohol’ taste to it beyond what other heavy beers have such as … say Dogfish head 90min. IPA Or, to get back to another fav - the Devils Backbone IPAs - despite the higher alcohol of the ‘heavier’ DB IPA, the taste balance is impeccable.

    This, and also Mad Elf reminds me of one of my wife’s friends who is very short, loud and well… kind of reminds me of an elf.

    BTW, I picked up some Killbeggan whiskey since you mentioned it previously. Good recommendation :-)

    1. Precisely why I aged my Mad Elf.

      That Kilt Lifter is an excellent beer. Wish they had that on in bottles around here. Thanks for reminding me, we have some Kilbeggan we carried back from Ireland I need to find....

  2. Santa was good to me…bottle of Bushmills & another bottle of Bushmills 10 y.o. single malt.


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