Thursday, December 17, 2009

12 Beers of Christmas, Day 4: Troegs Mad Elf Ale

Brewery: Troegs Brewing Company, Harrisburg, PA
Style:Strong Belgian Ale (?)
ABV: 11%
Date Poured: December 2009

This is one of the craziest Christmas beers you'll ever come across. It's ruby red, brewed with cherries and Pennsylvania honey, uses a "spicy" Belgian yeast and hopped with the "noblest" of hops, hallertau and saaz. It's an odd concoction that somehow works. I haven't had this beer is years but when I came across it during a recent trip to Maryland, I picked up a bomber.

It's a crystal clear ruby red in the glass with a thinnish ivory colored head. Fruity aromas, honey and ripe cherry. Also smells boozy and oaky.

As you might expect, lots more cherry in the mouth. Very, very sweet. The honey is quite present. Just a touch of tartness fromt he cherries. Sweet spice in the finish, herbal hops in the aftertaste, detectable but faint. Big beer and sticky mouthfeel but the alcohol and the hops clean just enough away in the finish to keep it from being cloying.

It's truly original and, more importantly, really tasty. I wish that I could get it more often.

Troegs Brewing Company


Lost said...

I really enjoyed this one too. One might expect that cherry flavor + boozy = cough syrup, but it doesn't at all in this case. Careful though...that 11% ABV will knock you on your ass. :)


Crawdaddy said...

Troeg's is a pretty solid brewery out of Harrisburg. Mad Elf is a Christmas Eve tradition for me going on five years now.

Heath said...

Lost: I drank a bomber of Mad Elf and the bottle of Scaldis Noel inthe same sitting. I was feeling no pain after that session!

Crawdaddy: I love Troegs. When I lived in Maine, we drove through Harrisburg on our way to Maryland when we visited family and swinging by the Troegs Brewery to get a growler filled was a tradition.

I also have what's left of a sixer of Dead Reckoning in the fridge...