I received this beer as a Christmas gift this year (along with das boot). It’s a Christmas Seasonal with a 11% ABV. It has been a daunting beer to pick up but I decided to give it a shot before the weather got too warm outside.
The Mad Elf, a cheerful creation to warm your heart and enlighten your tongue. The combination of Cherries, Honey, and Chocolate Malts delivers gentle fruits and subtle spices. Fermented and aged with a unique yeast, this ruby red beer has significant warming strength that underlies the pleasant character of this intriguing yet delicious Ale. The Mad Elf, a jolly and delicious beer for the Holidays.The Mad Elf, a cheerful creation to warm your heart and enlighten your tongue. The combination of Cherries, Honey, and Chocolate Malts delivers gentle fruits and subtle spices. Fermented and aged with a unique yeast, this ruby red beer has significant warming strength that underlies the pleasant character of this intriguing yet delicious Ale. The Mad Elf, a jolly and delicious beer for the Holidays.
And warming it does. I’ve been drinking this beer for about two hours and it is definitely warming me up. Let’s get on with this review to the best of my ability.
Pours deep ruby red and clear. Has a off white frothy head that stayed for quite awhile. This is a very good looking beer. Very clear and beautiful with no sediment and very little bubbles. I sat and enjoyed the colour through a light for awhile before taking my first sips.
You can definitely smell the cherries in here. A mix of sweet and tart on the nose and a little bit of spiciness. Not much hops come through. You can also pick up a hint of alcohol.
Mad Elf is a complex and full bodied ale. This isn’t messing around and a pint bottle is best shared with friends. It’s very smooth with little carbonation. Very slick on the tongue. There is sweetness and tartness in there from the cherries and a spiciness from the yeast. The end is strong with a bit of a bitter hop finish that will stick around on your palate well after your last sip. There is an alcohol bite at the end to remind you that this beer is 11% and not messing around. Unfortunately there is a bit of a cherry cough syrup thing going with the taste of cherries and alcohol. This flavour is there when the beer is too cold and too warm but in the middle the real flavours come out front and center. Recommended to drink at around 10°C and 12°C.
This beer doesn’t mess around. A pint glass got me feeling good and warm over a few hours of drinking. At 11% alcohol it can become a bit difficult to drink a lot of so I would suggest sharing a pint of this with friends. And pairing with a nice herb sausage would probably work really well.
Overall this is a great, full bodied and complex beer. It’s perfect for the cold months of winter. Definitely a nice social beer to be shared and enjoyed slowly. I recommend picking up two bottles of this when it is available. One to enjoy now and another in the cellar for next year.
Quelque Chose is brewed in Chambly, Quebec by Unibroue. A Hybrid beer which is a blend of brown ale brewed in Chambly and a Belgian kriek ale. A kriek is made by fermenting lambic with sour Morello cherries. Lambics are usually sour beers to begin with so adding the cherries probably adds nice sweetness to balance the tartness.
Quelque Chose has been brewed since 1996 and from what I understand it is only brewed every six years. A 8.0% beer with a deep ruby red colour, this beer can be imbibed hot or cold and on ice. Drinking it hot is said to bring out more of the sweetness in the cherries, along with warm spiciness. Drinking it cold will give you little to no head, typical of a lambic.
With an aroma that is said to be of ripe cherries with cinnamon, cloves, honey and vanilla. I think this could be the perfect Valentine’s beer to cozy up with on a cold Quebec February.
Which is why I am searching high and low to find a bottle or two of this. One for now and one in the cellar. If anyone knows any store that carries this please let me know.
For more information head on over to the Unibroue product page and check out the video below of Unibroue beer sommelier Sylvain Bouchard pouring and describing the beer.