Friday, November 18, 2016

The Mad Elf (Re-Review)

Beer Review #169

I try not to re-review too many beers, but from time to time its fun to check out something from the 'early days' of my beer drinking journey in order to see how many taste and knowledge have changed. This is also a chance to record episode 49 of 'The Pour' for My Youtube Channel. As a Pennsylvania winter standard, The Mad Elf seemed like a good candidate for revisiting. I originally reviewed this one exactly 364 days ago (review #61), and as with my two previous re-reviews I'm intentionally going into this one 'blind,' and not -re-reading the earlier review prior to writing this one.

Troeg's Independent Brewing is a Pennsylvania craft brewing staple. The once-yearly release of their beautiful transparent ruby hued spicy Belgian brew, Mad Elf , is eagerly awaited each autumn. Weighing in at a hefty 11%ABV (and only 15IBU), this festive, $18 per six-pack, libation is dangerous good.

Each batch is brewed with honey and cherries. My vague memory of last year recalls a more intense presence of both. This year those element seem a bit more subdued (to me), with the spicy Belgian element being more pronounced. Prepare for a spicy, peppery tingle on the sides of your tongue as you swallow, with ample helpings of pungent clove and ginger.

The beer smells much the same as it smells - clove, ginger - but there is also an underlying foundation of overly ripe cherry and creamy raw wildhoney.

Medium-high carbonation, quickly dissipating head.

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