Mad Elf already went to 11.
11% ABV is one of the characteristics of the Mad Elf line, which include the beguiling Wild Elf and the stripped down Naked Elf.
But what if you still wanted it to be 1 louder. If you needed that extra push over the cliff. What If you wanted to take Mad Elf truly to 11 like Nigel Tufnel? To push it to 11 in every way, not just in the booze.
Then you make Mad Elf Grand Cru.
More Cherry. Specifically, Balaton cherries added to the O.G. Mad Elf’s already potent mix.
Deeper sugars. Specifically, Demerara sugar to compliment the subtle wild honey with a caramel backbone.
More Cherry. More Malt character.
This adds up to a heady mix. We get a deeper hue. A bright mahogany/blood red that just begs to be swirled in the glass. A nose of cherries that are so intense as to make you wonder “How did they do this with a beer?” The flavors are cherry on cherry but never cloying and the Balaton’s tart notes even everything out and makes everyone play nice. A stunningly long finish that shows off the complexity of the brown sugar along with some hints of pepper (a Troegs hallmark). It sips like an after dinner cordial. It is very intense but not aggressive. It soothes and relaxes.
This beer is so cherry… The question is how much more cherry could it be? And the answer is “None. None more cherry.”
Mad Elf 22oz bottles was my go-to host/hostess gift for years. I would show up at a holiday party with a couple bombers in hand and knew they would be greeted warmly. Mad Elf was just hard enough to acquire back home in Pittsburgh so as to make it really special when I sent it out as a gift. But eventually, the bombers ceased and Mad Elf became both ubiquitous and synonymous with holiday craft beer in this region.
Grand Cru brings all that back. A big 750 mL champagne bottle with a nice little black tag with a “From:” and “To:” label ready to go. (Nice work Justin) This gives Grand Cru “a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That’s refreshing.”
The beer inside is a masterstroke and the packaging communicates clearly on behalf of the beer it carries. It is special inside and out.
Grand Cru is offered as the director’s cut of Mad Elf and as a tribute to 20 years of brewing at Troegs. What a fitting description and tribute it is.
For me… I think this is the beer that finishes your evening. It’s the beer you use to toast to the chef, your host, your friends, and your loved one. This a holiday beer at its most refined and worthy of the name Grand Cru.
Happy Thanksgiving and in the words of Viv Savage: “Have … a good time… all the time.”
P.S. In case you cannot tell, I really love This is Spinal Tap. I also really loved Mad Elf Grand Cru.