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12 Beers of Christmas Day 6 | Tröegs Mad Elf Ale

12 beers of christmas
Danny King

Christmas is a time of joy and laughter and good feelings. It’s also a time where one freaks out thinking of perfect gift ideas, is over-commited to attend too many parties in 3 weeks, and deals with high-stress travel plans that all conspire to drive you insane. When I was 13, my family took over hosting duties for my mom’s 7 siblings and their family. By Christmas Eve, we weren’t speaking to each other and the only carols I heard were the frantic string instruments in my head like the score to Martha, Inc.

Tröegs Mad Elf Ale is the savior of the overworked for the holiday season. Poured as suggested into a chalice, it has a beautiful dark cherry wood color with a oatmeal head that smells distinctly of banana bread and roasted nuts (open fire not included)

Mad Elf in it's natural habitat
Mad Elf in it’s natural habitat

The moment the first sip touches your tongue you get a full blast of the cherries and honey promised by the label. Tröegs used both sweet and sour cherries, but the honey addition allows team sweet to pretty much dominant the taste. The ale tastes like it’s flowing in slow motion as your drink it, sliding smoothly from its sweet, but not treacly, start and chocolate malts into the yeasty finish of big Belgium style beers with clove, nutmeg, and allspice. The banana and nuts almost make a delightful comeback in the beers final moments.

At 11%, it’s not only a tasty addition to your holiday beer rotation, but it’ll also f*ck you up – which is exactly what you need this time of year. Mad Elf is the ultimate stress reliever. The chalice automatically inspires an unconscious repetitive swirling that expends nervous tension, and the ease with which Mad Elf goes down will quickly make you realize just how insignificant the distribution of ornaments on your tree really is and focus on more important things like, for instance, tasting all the spices in your collection to denote exactly what your beer tastes like.

Whether shared among friends to achieve cherry-cheeked winter perfection or used as an emergency device to keep your Mom from shanking your sister with a serving fork, Tröegs Mad Elf Ale brings sweet tidings for your holiday season.

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