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Monthly Archives: December 2011
The first this that stands out with Troegs Mad Elf is the brilliant ruby color. The nose is full of interesting flavors, too, including sour cherry, black pepper, and a hint of vinegar.
Everything seems to come together quite nicely. The sour cherries aren’t too sour. The vinegar isn’t very aggressive, the hops add a nice dryness and bitterness at the end, and the huge 11% ABV is nothing more than a pleasant warmth. The sweetness from the malt and honey provide a nice counter point to everything else going on.
A different take on the style than most winter warmers and this relies on the cherries and yeast for flavor, rather than familiar warm spices. It would have been easy to go overboard with this one, but there is no hint of medicine or bad candy, something I was afraid of with the cherries. Definitely worth a try.
There is no doubt that Trappist Monks know a thing or two about brewing beer. So Ommegang Abbey Ale certainly has a lot to live up to with their interpretation of a world-class style of beer.
The color is spot on for a Dubbel. Deep ruby with a fluffy off white head. The familiar sweet malt and sour fruits fill the nose. The flavor is quite close, too. Sweet malt, fruit, lots of spice and black pepper. Maybe some anise, too. Full and creamy in the mouth with a pleasant alcohol warmth on the way down from the 8.5% ABV.
If there is any drawback, I’m getting an overly salty soy sauce flavor.
Overall, it’s outstanding, but I would put it a notch below similar offerings from true Trappist breweries.