TRÖEGS MAD ELF: “I COULD SNIFF THIS ALL NIGHT”
TRÖEGS MAD ELF 2016 Abv 11 IBU 15
WE step once more into the tanks at Tröegs brewery in Hershey, Pa. We’re running it today because it’s such an easy stop after the trip to Elizabethtown featured in our Hopping Around post for the week. We’ve been featuring TRÖEGS’s Scratch Series, but it’s worth remembering that their big batch seasonals cause a ruckus in the beer world several times a year. Mad Elf is one of their stop traffic releases. I think the batches they turned out in Harrisburg might have been a bit more distinctive, but it’s just as likely they didn’t have the competition then that they do now. Even in this overcrowded spiced and holiday market, however, Mad Elf lifts itself above the crowd.
Tasting notes: Mad Elf is just ridiculously smooth for an 11% beer. A rich malt starts it with lots of sweet cherries and some floral notes in the finish. It is, however, really sweet, and hop heads aren’t going to swoon over the 15 IBUs. Tough luck for them There’s a bit of Ludens as it drinks, but it holds its depth. I looked over as Ellie began to taste her glass. She looked up and said “I could sniff this all night.” She did wind up drinking it, but if I ever am told I can’t drink anymore, there may just have to be smelling sessions with this sort of rich beer. [tasted from a bottle one day removed from the brewery]
Food Pairings: Big rich meat dishes. Spicy vegetarian casseroles. Cheese, because cheese is almost always a good choice for a beer above 8% and this is way over 8%. A soft cheese could allow the spices of the ale to show even more clearly. [review 0067, 20170219] Tomorrow: Three Notch’d Minuteman IPA.