Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Troegs Mad Elf Ale

This is one of my favorite seasonal beers, and I picked some up as per my annual compulsion. I'll admit a special fondness for this beverage, as it plays an important role in the genesis of my online handle of "Cmaaarrr!!!" But that is a tale for another time...

  • Alcohol: 11.0%
Scoring (in solidarity with Charlie the Beer Guy):
  • Appearance: 6 - Pours a deep reddish-brown, with a minimal white head that fades quickly to nothing.
  • Nose: 7 - Dominant cherry aroma with a strong undercurrent of malt.
  • Taste: 8 - Bready malts and cherries upfront, moving to a strong hit of sweet and spicy cherries in the middle, which fades to a slight alcoholic bitterness in the end. Honey and other spice flavors are subtle throughout.
  • Mouthfeel: 5 - Moderate-bodied with minimal carbonation, and a mild spice aftertaste.
  • Holistic: 7 - A well-crafted brew that manages to centerpiece the cherry and honey components, yet keeps them well-balanced in the overall style. I suspect that a bit more carbonation, as well as drinking this at a slightly warmer temperature, would inspire an even higher rating.
Overall: 33 - This is a great, strong holiday beer that carries a truly unique character, and doesn't fall into the "holiday brew trap" over over-spicing. While certainly one of the more balanced fruit beers I've had, the strength of the cherry flavor can be a bit much if consuming several in a short timespan. Recommended as a necessary, but occasional, winter beverage.

Oh, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all whom it applies to. :)