It’s a Miracle – I’ve Found the Taste of Christmas!

As you may know, I’ve been rather disappointed in the most of the Christmas beers I’ve had thus far.  It boils down to a simple fact – they just don’t taste like Christmas.  They’re have all been very nice beers and all will make lovely gifts, but unlike Oktoberfests or pumpkin beers, the tastes are all over the map.

What does Christmas taste like you ask?  I think it’s different for everyone, but you’ll know it when you taste it (sorta like when you see pornography, or so I’ve heard).  The magical moment has finally happened for me, and I have found my go-to Christmas beer for years to come…

The beer that has won my heart is Mad Elf Ale by Troegs brewing company.  I know this beer has been around a while, but it’s my first time tasting it and it REALLY hits the spot! The pour is an awesome frothy golden amber affair that releases scents of cherries and  honey. It really draws you into the glass.  The taste backs up the aroma with a tasty and tart cherry flavor nestled in a bed of honey and sweet malts.  The beer finishes warm, as it is 11% ABV, but you really can’t tell from the taste as the alcohol is really well hidden.

For me, this beer has it all; a unique candied taste perfect for tree gazing, a lush and inviting aroma that is worth smelling again and again, and enough alcohol to allow you to pace yourself as your thoughts drift to the happy holidays of bygone days.  It’s a really special brew.

And of course it’s priced like one, too.  This stuff goes for $13 or more a six pack and well over $50 for a case.  Of course i bought a six pack, fell in love and went back out for a case, but I’ve been nice all year, so I deserve it.  I’m so excited to have finally found a beer that doesn’t just say “Cristmas” on the bottle, it says Christmas IN the bottle.

Merry Christmas to me! (and all of you as well!!)

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Categories: Beer


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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18 Comments on “It’s a Miracle – I’ve Found the Taste of Christmas!”

  1. December 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Mad Elf is a great holiday beer! One of our favorites. I even have a cousin who comes over for Christmas breakfast and pops one open each year with his eggs. I, of course, do not advocate drinking beer with breakfast but to each his own. Unfortunately, I heard that it was selling for $60-75/case this year. Too pricey for me. Luckily we have a nice stock of this one from previous years. One of the boxes we have in the basement is labeled $35. The good old days, huh?

    • Jim
      December 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

      I looove the eggs idea! A great way to start the day for sure.

      I paid a little over $50 for my case, which isn’t cheap, but it’s really worth it. It’s my first year with the Elf and my wife and I agree that it’ll be the taste of Christmas for years to come.

  2. December 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    Sounds incredible. Wish I could get it in MI…

    • Jim
      December 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

      You’ll have to make due with Bell’s Double Hearted IPA, Brian. We should trade.

  3. December 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Can you recommend a whiskey to put in it too?

    • Don
      December 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

      There are many great bourbons with which to pair the elf. For me I would recommend something aged with some barrel notes, and a higher proof, at least 90. I would start with a Knob Creek, as that is my go to bourbon for just about any occasion, or I would go with the softer wheat bourbon like a Old Weller Antique, 107 proof and 7 years in oak it is always a chart topper.

  4. December 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    I was going to skip this one this year, but after reading your review I think I might reconsider. It was my favorite Christmas brew last year – I really liked how the honey and cherries come across. Nice job by Troegs.

    • Jim
      December 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

      I think you should pick some up Scott. Your previous comments made it sound as if you were skipping it this year, and that’s no fun! I know it costs more than other beers, but with that hefty ABV you just about break even on the alcohol-for-the-buck scale, right?

      What Christmas without a couple of Elfs?

  5. December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Unfortunately, Troegs does not make its way down to South Florida. I had to go way out of my way to have a friend bring back the Troegenator from a business trip. Your review makes me want to drink this beer now, though. Could be the final straw of getting the heck out of Florida and back to the Northeast.

    • Jim
      December 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

      I’m not sure if it’s worth moving for, but it might be. It certainly makes frozen winter nights more bearable, that’s for sure. But down there you probably don’t have to worry about that, so at least you have that going for you!

      Maybe you can have a friend send down a care package?

  6. December 15, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    @BeerDrinker, you don’t want to move to Jersey for ANY reason! Jim, you’re probably right, what’s Christmas without an Elf or three?

  7. December 15, 2009 at 1:12 am #

    Property taxes aside, New Jersey has some good qualities. For example, they have Total Wine and More stores. There’s also Mack & Manco’s pizza and Kohr Brother’s ice cream. I guess that’s all that I can think of. For beer, though, it seems that PA is the place to be with Troegs, Victory and Yards to name a few.

    • Jim
      December 15, 2009 at 2:30 am #

      I agree that NJ is a great beer state. NY and PA are full of great breweries, and there are lots of fancy beer stores around here with a strong selection of brews. Property taxes are highway robbery, but it’s pretty up north, so we have that going for us.

  8. December 15, 2009 at 6:40 am #

    This is for sure a damn fine holiday ale. The last tasting I hosted, this was one of the beers we sampled among a host of excellent holiday brews. Love the cherry and honey in this dark ale.

    try making a steak with beer, absolutely amazing!


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