Saturday, December 25, 2010

Troegs Mad Elf Randallized with Brandied Cherries

The beer that I most anticipated at TJ's 7th Anniversary Party was Troegs Mad Elf Randallized with brandied cherries. For those of you not familiar with a Randall, Dogfish Head created a vessel that bars can add ingredients to run the beer though, changing the complexity of the beer. Some people have thought of this as a gimmick and an insult to the original intent of the brewer. My take: it allows for beer bars to do some interesting things with the beer that you wouldn't get from the brewery. If you don't like the idea, simply order the original beer that is not Randallized.

Anyways, the Mad Elf pours a bright red color (it seemed brighter than normal Mad Elf, but is that possible?) with a foamy white head. The aroma is big on the cherry with a sugary sweetness, most of the alcohol being covered up by the cherries. The taste is sweet and smooth with no alcohol bite at all which was completely surprising. There is bit of a brandy accent but definitely was not overwhelming nor did it change the beer much. The alcohol content of Mad Elf is 11.0% ABV, so I would assume this to be similar, even thought it is possible that the brandy could have added some alcohol content. From the Randall, the Mad Elf had so much cherry flavors that made it amazingly delicious and allowed the chocolate to come back on the finish with brandy.

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