Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Mad Elf Ale

Brewer: Troegs
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 11%
Country: USA, Pennsylvania

Since it 'tis that time of year, I decided it would be a good time to review a holiday beer. Bo beat me to the punch with the Delirium Noel but there are plenty of holiday ales out there for all.

I gave my pint glass the night off and decided to go with a stein for this one. It poured a dark amber with a little bit of ruby, a rich and wonderful color. It was very clear, and had only a hint of a head which vanished without a trace of lace.

A big wave of sweetness was evident as soon as I stuck my nose in the glass. Plenty of honey and cherries dominated with hint of alcohol.

The taste was incredibly sweet, almost syrup like. The main flavor was cherries with a good bit of honey in the mix as well. The taste of alcohol is present in the background reminding you that this contains nearly as much alcohol as three lite American beers. The body is on the lighter end of medium with a good bit of carbonation. Not so much that it burns your mouth, but enough for a pleasant fizziness. Aftertaste had enough tartness in it to remind you that this wasn't a soda.

This is a great beer to have at your next holiday party. Plenty of good sweet flavors to spread the holiday cheer and enough alcohol for roasting chestnuts. I was surprised at how easily this went down and with the ABV punch it carries, it wouldn't take many before lampshades are on heads. One of my first thoughts was about how much sugar Troegs had to add initially in order to hit the alcohol content while leaving enough residual sugars to still be incredibly sweet. This could use a bit more bitterness to balance out the intense sweetness but it was still quite delicious. A-

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