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Scratchin' Hippo - Adelbert's Brewery

Not Rated.
Scratchin' HippoScratchin' Hippo

Educational use only; do not reuse.

39 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 134
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 3
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Adelbert's Brewery visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BgThang on 01-04-2012

Named to commemorate a night when the Naivasha House in Kenya was shaking so strongly Del thought it was an earthquake. It turned out to be a hippo from lake Naivasha scratching itself against the house. Scratchin’ Hippo is a complex malty beer low bitterness, with an earthy character approximately 6.8% ABV. Goes well with hearty rich foods like steak, roasts or beef stew.
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 134
Photo of SLeffler27
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Almost clear, orange amber (SRM 8-10). A big, dense white foam fills the PBGC Sauvin Glass before slowly dissipating to leave thick patches of lace. A mix of random carbonation and columns of carbonation enliven the glass.

The aroma opens with ripe orchard fruit. Specifically, one notes apricots, apple pie, and pecans. Earthiness brings out a light, faint, funky yeast, however, the profile lacks complexity.

The flavors are a big muddy but one can pick out the components revealed in the nose. Sweetness and bitterness are fairly well balanced and a slight sourness is perceptible. The caramel is a little overplayed in a faint lingering finish.

This one has a medium to light body with a silky texture and moderate carbonation. Alcohol is as expected.

Scratchin’ Hippo was enjoyable on a cool Autumn afternoon and could hold pace with a Marzen this time of year. However, it lacks the warm, home-comfort typically expected from this style.

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Photo of Dope
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 025. Bottled 7/31/15.

A: Pours a ruddy sort of red/brown. Mid-sized frothy light brown head. Head fizzes out fast, leaving no lacing and only a tiny bit of head retention.

S: Sweet. Caramel and burnt sugar abound. Light toastiness. Mild earthiness and a hint of dark fruits when it's fully warmed up.

T: Not quite as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe but still plenty malty. Loads of caramel and toasted grains everywhere. Hints of chocolate and dark fruit. Swear I even get honey on the back end. All malty flavors from beginning to end. A touch of earthy spiciness and black pepper in the aftertaste - belgian yeast I assume.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and sweet.

O: Not bad. A little sweeter than I was expecting. Nothing to really balance it either. Still plenty smooth and drinkable, just more unbalanced than a typical biere de garde. Still a nice brew and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Batch No 025. Bottled on 7/31/15.
A: Pours a clear dark amber hue with 2 inch light tan head with excellent retention. Backlighting produces a nice dark honey color. Very nice...especially for style.
S: Toasted cracker grain, lightly sweet caramel malt, white pepper, earthy spice yeast, brown sugar, and a hint of clove and mint.
T: Brown sugar, cola, white pepper, clove, mint, delicately sweet caramel malt, cherry, soft cocoa, earthy spice, and a hint of wood smoke.
M: Light-medium body. Delicately sweet. Soft spice. Nice lingering and maturing on the palate. Rustic. Mild tickle of effervescence.
D: Exceptional for style. What a treat from Adelbert's! This is lovely on its own, but would pair very well with heavier fare.

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Photo of Myotus
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle (bottled on 05Jun15) into a tulip. Beer was allowed to warm to 45°F before rating the aroma and taste.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of khaki foam that halves itself after 35 seconds. Copper in color with a peach tint (pretty combination). The rising bubbles are in high quantities. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: Mild aromas of oak, coffee from roasted malts, caramelized malts, and sour yeast are up front. Hints of figs, spicy hops, and sweet chocolate lie beneath.
TASTE: Strong flavors of coffee combine with mild flavors of caramelized malts, coffee, and sweet chocolate to create the initial taste. Immediately after and as the intial flavors persist, mild oak and sour yeast flavors entangle with hints of figs and spicy hops. This tasted way different than what my nose would of thought. I love it.
FEEL: Full-bodied and mildly carbonated. This is so creamy and smooth, it's glorious. Like seriously. Wow. Unfortunately, the finish is moderately dry, but I could be worse.
NOTE: I see this is much lower by other people. Not too sure why. My experience was legit.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #91 (Aug 2014):

Rustic, Refreshing, Mild, More-ish

Pours dark and ruddy with a beige head that’s incredible foamy. Nose is bready, earthy, and dashed with white pepper. Very crisp. light, and palate awakening with a creamy mouthfeel. Bready malts, chicory, hint of browned apples, slight tartness, pithy, yeasty, earthy, and clove meld into a chalky, dry finish. This would make for a great table beer. Rustic, highly drinkable and approachable, with just enough complexity to enjoy on its own or with food.

STYLE: Bière de Garde | ABV: 6.9% | AVAILABILITY: Rotating

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Photo of BMoney575
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled on 5-9-15
Batch No. 020
Bottled on 6-5-14

Appearance: pours a cloudy, deep amber color, with a sizable head that quickly fades. Lacing sticks in thin rings all the way up.

Smell: slightly fruity, then a good, semi-sour Belgian kick. Buttery sweet malt shows up at the end.

Taste: continues the smell, sweet fruity malt all the way, with a Belgian hop finish. Aftertaste is sticky, sweet.

Mouthfeel: suits the beer, not too thick helps the sweetness.

Overall: a decent Belgian beer, maybe a bit too subtle.

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Photo of salcedo
4.59/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass.
L: Hazy reddish brown.
Thick tan colored head that dissipates quickly, leaving a lingering layer of foam at the top of the glass.
S: Caramel and toasted grain
T: Rich and malty taste.
Ends dry, with a nice toasted grain flavor.
F: Medium body.
Carbonation is present without being overwhelming.
O: Tastes much lighter than it looks, but full of flavor. This beer would be great with lunch or at the end of the work day, just before dinner.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From popping the cork to the last sip, this was a fine biere de garde. The malty brew had a nice reddish brown color and was mostly clear, and had plenty of carbonation and a big head.

Aroma and flavor were malty and Belgian yeast forward, a spicy complex playing of flavors, accented by the relatively high carbonation.

Body was medium and the high carbonation was appropriate for the style.

This was my first try for this brewery, and I'm pretty impressed. This isn't a common style, but this beer is an example of the style done well.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: 2/18/2014
Meduim- light tan head. A light earthy brown color that seems to be darker brown around the edges
Mild malt, cocoa, light alcohol scent
Both mild and heavily roasted malt presence, fruit, light mouthfeel and a familiar Belgian style coriander finish.
This beer has a light mouthfeel, is very rich in flavor yet very drinkable. I also enjoyed how it is very roasted and malty and yet still has traditional Belgian qualities which make it a complex and refreshing beer considering it’s a heavily malted beer.


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Photo of DelMontiac
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Hank brought this back from the Big D while visiting for a concert. Interesting, haven't had a bier de garde in a long while.

A note for the brew master: the corks are a son of bitch to pull from your bottles. I mean...holy shit! We had to get out the channel locks and after it broke off, we had to use a cork screw. Hey, at least they won't lose their carbonation!

This one pours a nice copper/bronze shade producing about a fingers worth of white bubbles which fizzles down to a thin rim. Not much lace to speak of.

Flavors of sweet fruit - grapes, kiwi, and apple. Has some alcohol warmth which is balanced out with nice woody vanilla undertone. Tasty stuff.

Feel is quite silky, medium-bodied, and dry.

Would not hesitate to try other brews from Adelbert's.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber pour with a small off-white head. Big malty aroma with some spice and dark fruit. Taste has sweet malt and dark fruit upfront backed by spice and a light earthy bitterness. Medium to full body. Finishes sweet and malty with dark fruit and light spice flavors lingering.

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Photo of tubeyes
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Dark copper, light white head, dissapated quickly, leaving some lace.
S Strong malty, fruity flavors with some alcohol hints
T Lots of malts, fruits, nutty, pecan, some spice, orange, maybe banana in there somewhere, some alcohol hints
M Velvety mouthfeel with mild carbonation, good feeling drink, leaving a malty aftertaste
O Enjoyable beer, loved the flavor, backstory and the love and dedication that seems to have gone into this brew. Had from bomber in a Deep Ellum Cherry Double Brown Stout large snifter. Bottled: 12/13/12 Batch: 011 Bottle: 1801

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Photo of brurevu
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From my tasting notes: It was a reddish copper color with a Belgian yeast and dark fruit aroma. The taste was sweet caramel malts, fruit and Belgian yeasts with a slight earthy tang. It was more subtle than the Shlafly biere de garde but with enough complexity to keep me interested and coming back for more. The Scrachin’ Hippo was great and puts Adelbert’s firmly on my radar.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy bone head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but nothing too memorable.

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Photo of fizzgig
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

33cl Belgian bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Deep translucet copper, a little head that didn't last long.

S: Sweet hot caramel apple that diminished but not completely.

T: Strong malt flavors, somewhat roasted. An unsweetened toffee perhaps. Moderate bitterness.

M: Subdued carbonation, even coating.

O: Reminds me of an ESB somewhat, not as bitter and more malty. I expected more complexity, maybe I missed it. Certainly worth a try if you get a chance.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottled: 12/13/12. Batch 011.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, amber-hued body with, well, no head formation, as the bubbles are evaporating nearly instantaneously. A beer that begins with a mewling whimper.

Smell: Minor note of toast and light, lightly husky grains. Beyond ripe, soiled fruitiness of apples, apricots, and peaches. Slight phenolic spiciness with a medicinal hint to it.

Taste: Notably devoid of sweetness from the first sip. Slightly husky, toasty maltiness wrapped in a pervasive sourish that really knocks the wind oughta my sails. A fruitiness of fruits that have gone south a few days prior. A blip here or there of phenols. Finishes fairly flat with a little lingering sourness and meager medicinal tone.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Very low carbonation.

Overall: A beer that is woefully undercarbed and poor tasting doesn't exactly win me over. Where are they scratchin' that hippo?

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice deep hazy brown with reddish/amber hues toward the outer area of the ale, its topped off with a thick white, bubbly head that sticks around for some time. It’s got thick lacing too! The aroma is dry, very fruity, apples, grape and berries come through very well. Mildly tart, it is medium bodied, some spices do come through cleanly, phenolic alcohol tastes pretty good and is accompanied by mild bready flavors. Some fruit flavors do come through, there is a mild hop flavor in the aftertaste, but it is barely detectable. This is a very good beer and it goes down very smooth.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, wagenvolks and xpimptastikx!

Cloudy amber. Not a lot of visible carbonation--small bubbled khaki-colored head. Leaves dots and irregular lines down the glass.

An earthy, somewhat nutty, aroma. A bit of a pepper and grain presence. Fairly mild.

As with the aroma, the flavor is earthy and nutty--kind of like wheat bread and mild peanut butter, even. Some mild spice and grain notes. Very drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Decent and quite drinkable. A unique interpretation of the style. Glad I got to try it. Without flaw, but unexciting.

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Photo of DavidST
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz short bottle into a goblet glass. This pours a slightly hazy tea color with a large off white head which has good retention. The smells are of citrus, a little funk. The feel is medium very high carbonination. The taste is okay, you get the alcohol, a little funk, some citrus.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy medium amber with a moderate, dense head, somewhat coarse, with scattered, patchy, thick lacing. The carbonation is fine and profuse. A loud exhalation of CO2 was heard when the bottle was uncapped.

Aroma: Rather tart and sour wheat notes, coriander, pepper, and some earthy notes. Phenolic alcohol is present as well.

Taste: Opens with a rather tart note, soon followed by musty notes and phenolic alcohol soon after. There are solid bread notes throughout. As the taste progresses, there are occasional notes of light fruit. Finishes with a mild, lingering medicinal hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: An interesting rendition of a rare, at least in Texas, style. One has to admire Adelbert's efforts in offering this unfamiliar style.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom eleven point two ounce Duvel-style bottle, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Bottling information: Batch 007, bottle #09916, bottled on 02/27/2012. Purchased at Spec's in Austin, Texas.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured reddish orange with a yellowy head. The smell was purely of citrus fruits.
The taste was practically more of the same. Mostly citrus with some young tree bark thrown in. It's got good yeast character that gives it an excellent mouthfeel and some character that prevents it from being thin, citrusy nastiness, but I'm not getting much malt character. And earthiness? Meh. It's just fruity, primarily on the citrus side. Surprisingly fresh-tasting citrus at that, considering that it was brewed 6 months ago. That didn't seem to mellow it any. I'm going to have to NOT suggest this. If you're looking for citrus, but with body (in a way that works oddly well), go for it, but if you want malty and earthy like it claims to be, don't expect much.

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Photo of roblowther
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged, the way God intended! VERY assertive "pop" of the cork, this beer wants to be drunk. I know how it feels. It is hazy copper with a big head that settles into a rocky, sticky off white. It smells of bananas, brown sugar, hay, and vanilla. The taste is wood, leather, biscuity and a dry finish. The mouthfeel is tingly and sticky and I know there's a joke in there somewhere. Overall, its a very good beer. Good flavor, not quite as "refreshing" as I tend to imagine when I think of this style but more interesting at the same time. This hippo can scratch me any time. That is what the kids are calling it these days, right?

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Photo of ChrisKuhns
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this 11.1oz bottle from locally HEB Plus.

A: Poured a nice burnt orange with a little white top.

S: Found some notes of orange citrus and some toffee along with yeast.

T: Taste similars, malty and a little yeast.

M: Bitter hop and dry malt finish.

O: I would probably rate it higher after my second bottle in the future. It is easy to drink even thought it is my first biere de garde ale. Good job, Adelberts!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Watch out, it’s explosive...The pour itself is a burnt orange sort of color with a tall white head. The nose is much sweeter than expected. Lots of sweet malt and fruit notes with a bit of yeastiness. Quite a lot of apple to it. The flavor is heavy on the sweet sugar and malt notes. Lots of apple and pear fruit notes, maybe white grape, and a hint of banana. There is a mild yeastiness, too. Really an odd, though not unenjoyable, beer.

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Photo of vinhgoh
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you're a fan on Belgian's, especially Duval's, this is for you! Its got nice almond-caramel notes. But it still has that signature Belgian bitterness. Adelbert's Brewery maybe a young brewery, but it sure as hell knows what its doing. I'd definitely buy a six pack if they sold them at my local store.

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Scratchin' Hippo from Adelbert's Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.