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Beer Review #37 Mad Elf

While I may not be in PA anymore, that didn’t stop me from enjoying on of my favorite seasonal beers, Mad Elf. Made Elf is made by Tröegs Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA. They only make it for two months of the year and it can even be tough to find when it is in production. Mad Elf is classified as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale and it is brewed with honey and cherries. It also rocks in at 11%, so that wonderful warming feeling is sure to help on a cold winter night. And if you noticed, or care, winter officially beings today, so our winter seasonals will be coming in on the site.

The beer pours a nice clear ruby color, with a thin head that fades pretty quickly. The head is fully white, with no off colors and is made of mostly tiny bubbles, with a few medium ones mixed in. The nose of the beer is decidedly Belgian. It smells a lot like a Tripel, with everything you would expect out of a Belgian Ale yeast. I did not pick up much of the honey notes from the nose, but the cherry component comes through very nicely. There is some malt in there is well, but minimal hops.

The taste is complex and rich. The Belgian yeast flavors are in there, and so are the cherries. The cherries are not as strong as the nose might suggest. The honey comes through a bit more in the taste. I can really only describe the flavor as rich and creamy. It finishes dry with a wonderful aftertaste. The esters from the yeast and a bit of the hop leave the pallet pleased. As the beer warms it gives way to some heat (alcohol), though you would never suspect that this beer is coming in at 11%.

Mad Elf is carbonated nicely and has a nice and full mouthfeel. I really enjoy this beer and it reminds me of home. I know last year at this time I enjoy more than my fair share of it to the point that the guy at the beer store would have me ready to check out before I even picked out my beer. Rarely do I do a repeat case of beer, but with seasonal beers I take a “get as much as I can” approach. I know some people will by two cases a year; one to drink and one to let sit for a year.

I have never had this beer when it was aged, but in general I am not a fan of aging beers. I feel like you get a fresher flavor and more accurate taste the newer a beer is. The one exception is when there are a lot of hot notes, as they tend to fade with age. Getting back on track, Mad Elf is a nice winter seasonal that will warm you. The 11% sneaks up on you and can throw you for a loop if you are not careful. But if you enjoy a Belgian beer with a more complex grouping of flavors, enjoy. It is going to be more sweet than a normal Belgian and also not as spicy, but a great balance overall. (more…)

08-13-07

Troegs Brewing Company Troegenator Double Bock Beer Review

08-13-07I’ve been in Texas for a month now and I am enjoy a new group of beers. I have access to a lot of Colorado brews and west coast brews as well. I do long for a few beers from home, one of them is Troegenator Double Bock from Troegs Brewing Company. Troegenator is one of their year round brews and it happens to be one of my favorites. Here is what Troegs has to say about their beer:

“The Troegenator Double Bock, is a dark, strong lager (8.2% abv).  It pours into a glass with a bronze to brown color, fluffy white head and bready malt aroma. The Troegenator leaves a rich, warming feeling and subtle spicy flavors. The style, Double Bock, dates back a century or so ago.

During periods of fasting without solid foods, the Monastic brewers relied on the double bock;a stronger, richer beer to fulfill their basic nutritional needs. Known to them as “liquid bread”,a double bock has a strong malt aroma and chewy rich body.  Traditionally these brewers ended the name of their double bock with the suffix “ator”, ex. Celabrator, Illuminator,Subliminator…..   In the spirit of the tradition we give you the Troegenator to provide warmth and richness through the early spring months. A double bock of epic proportions, beware,the Troegenator is deceiving smooth and delicious.”

08-13-06The first two sentences sum up this beer perfectly and yes it does rock in at 8.2% abv. When you pour it you are immediately hit with a nice malty caramel smell. If it is a bit warmed up there is a small amount of alcohol on there as well. It leave a whitish head that gave excellent lacing to my glass.

The first taste is malt with a small bit of hops on the backend. There is a little desernable spice to it as well. The alochol flavor is there, more when you get to the halfway point through the glass though. My favorite part is the bubbles on the front of the tounge with all of the wonderful flavors mixing. The after taste is very clean and leaves you wanting more. In particular I like to drink this right around the first frost, say Halloween. The high ABV is perfect for that type of weather and so is a malty beer. I’m not entirely sure why I am posting about it in August, but I have a craving for one. I highly suggest this beer if you have the privelage of trying it. Click the read more link following this for more pictures. (more…)

09-06-11-02

Troegs Brewing Company Nugget Nectar Ale Beer Review

09-06-11-02

Troegs is one of my favorite breweries. For the past five years I have lived in Lancaster, PA, which is about 20 minutes away from Harrisburg, PA, home of Troegs. So needless to say, I made a few trips out there during my time living near it. Feburary is one of my favorite times for beer. The spring beer are beginning to come out and Troegs releases their Nugget Nectar Ale. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say:

Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s) : 93ish
Color (SRM) : Straw-Orange
Availability: 1/2, 1/6 and Cask Conditioned kegs, 12 oz. bottles
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
Yeast: Ale

09-06-11-05Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up: Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

On the nose, this beer is hops, hops, hops. Citrusy and wonderful. It pours a nice orange color and has a decent amount of head, that lasts through the entire drink. As the brewery claims, it is like their Hopback Amber Ale, just an intense version.

It is nicely balanced and has a great malt backbone to support the hops. If you like IPA’s you will dig this beer. I f you can get it in Feburary do it. It is fresh and wonderful tasting. I had this in a 22 oz bottle in Feburary. I just found this at a local bar, on tap, and it is not as fresh, but still good. I wish Troegs made this year-round instead of just one month of the year. Again, if you are a hop head, go get this if you can find it. (more…)