Monday, January 17, 2011

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

Brewery: Troegs (There's an umlaut over the "o" but my feeble mind can't comprehend how to make one magically appear.)
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Name: The Mad Elf
Type: Strong Ale
ABV: 11%
I realize that elf season is past us but this beer is worth talking about well into the cold months. I admit, I was skeptical at first with Mr. Elf. The high ABV had me enticed but the label noted that this ale was brewed with honey and cherries. I've had cherry beers before (Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat) which sort of tasted like a cross between cough syrup and cherry flavored liquid ass. My mood upon opening this beer was one of trepidation. Mr. Elf materialized in a current of dark amber with hues of ruby passing through it. There was absolutely no head to speak of, not even a thin foam layer across the surface of the beer. The nose was plentiful. Honey, cherries, and alcohol all shone through. Accompanying notes included banana and aromatic spices. It reminded me of a Belgian Triple which, in my opinion, is a good thing to be reminded of. The mouthfeel was borderline syrupy with a "barely there" trace of carbonation. Taste was plentiful with cloves, spices, and alcohol (hmm...shocking, really) all up front on your palate. The cherries come through on the back end as a nice compliment, not at all like the flavor I was so anxiously dreading. A somewhat bitter aftertaste is present but it's the nice warming sensation that the alcohol brings that really makes the finish of this ale enjoyable. My only complaint is that my lips felt fairly sticky after drinking this beer. As far as I'm concerned The Mad Elf is someone I could find myself hanging out with on a regular basis during the Christmas season.
A better Elf than Orlando Bloom.

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