Wednesday, 10 February 2016
My Bitter Birthday--The Mad Elf
I didn't have a tonne of Christmas ales this year, so I was glad when my birthday mixer included a 12oz bottle of The Mad Elf, a holiday beer brewed with honey and cherries. Brewed in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this beer was made by the Tröegs Brewing Co. It contained a daunting 11% alcohol and featured a creepy and possibly drunken elf on the label.
Presumably owing to the cherries used in the brewing process, this beer had a bright reddish hue. It was amply carbonated, though topped by only a thin ivory head. Tart and fruity through the nose, with cherry notes and some yeasty elements. The flavour had cherry notes, but with less emphasis than I was expecting. As well, there was serious sweetness--both from the booze and the honey. Not a lot of bitterness was on display in this beer. It had a thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel.
The Mad Elf was a pretty enjoyable holiday ale. It was too sweet for me, but had lots of cheery warmth. Also, for an ale containing 11% alcohol, its strength was dangerously subtle.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10.