Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mad Elf Madness

My friends had been talking about Troegs Mad Elf so I finally decided to do my small two bottle vertical.  For those that don't now the term, a vertical is drinking different years of the same beer to compare the differences caused by aging.  Most people do verticals with 4+ years to get a nice range, but they also tend to do them with other people because otherwise they'd get wasted by the end.  As I was by myself, I decided comparing the 2008 to the 2010 would be plenty.
In the above picture, the 2010 is on the left and the 2008 is on the right.  As you may be able to see, they were both a ruby brown color but the 2010 was much clearer.  I was actually surprised by how different they ended up being.
This is the 2010.  It had hints of cherry, some honey and some sweetness in the nose.  The flavors were pretty sharp with hints of caramel, toffee and some fruity sweetness.  As it warmed, the fruit taste comes to the fore with the sugar notes in the background.  This is a very easy drinking 11% and so delicious.

After that, I poured the 2008.
It's easier to see the differences in body now with the bigger glass and as I said the 2008 was a bit cloudier.  It smelled sweeter with more cherry, some caramel and a heavy aroma of apples.  On the first sip, I noticed a much thicker mouthfeel than the 2010.  The flavors in general were more muted with the addition of apple.  It was a bit sweeter and not as sharp as the 2010 as a result.

In the end, I preferred the 2008 as I thought the flavors blended a little more and I enjoyed the apple.  Jo, however, enjoyed the 2010 as she doesn't really enjoy those types of flavors in general.  Honestly though, they were both delicious and I could drink either one of them any night.  I love Mad Elf and look forward to it every year.  I still have a 22oz bottle and 3 more 12oz bottles to open at some point so at least I won't run out soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment