Scratch Beer 4 - 2007 - Tröegs Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +1.9%
Murky dark caramel with ochre edges. Brown beer doesn't usually look spectacular, but this one does for some reason. The appearance is aided by a thick slice of brown sugar colored creaminess that is currently occupying the upper portion of the snifter. Attractive and abundant lace is icing on the cake.
Darker barleywines have always appealed to me more than paler barleywines. Scratch 4 is of the darker variety, thanks to what looks and smells like a heaping helping of dark crystal malt (pilsner and Munich malt were also used). The nose is reminiscent of caramel-covered fruit. A little more depth and complexity would have earned it the next highest score.
When it comes to Scratch Beer, Troegs hasn't let me down yet. In fact, this has to be one of the most successful series, across a wide variety of styles, in the world of craft brewing. TBC really should consider releasing some of these beauties on a regular (or at least a seasonal) basis.
Flavors include chocolate-covered toffee, dark brown sugar, pecans, tobacco, earthy-musky figs, candied cherries and candied orange peel. Some of the '100-ish' IBUs have most likely faded in the 14 months since the September '07 release. It's still upwards of 80, I'll bet.
Warrior, Chinook and Simcoe hops provide a surprising amount of flavor, especially on the impossibly long finish. The beer is somewhat balanced until the swallow arrives. It's then that the citrusiness begins to ease ahead of the cocoa and caramel of the malt sugars. This is truly wonderful beer that begs to be sipped at fireside.
The mouthfeel either wasn't huge to begin with or took a small hit thanks to more than one year in the bottle. Those of you who like medium-bodied American barleywines rather than fullstickyviscous American barleywines should be right at home. I need more bulk and fewer fine bubbles to break out the big scores.
Scratch 4 is another quality salvo of craft beer deliciousness from the tremendously talented Troegner brothers. If you're cellaring, drink it now. If you don't have any, find some before it's too late. Thanks to barefootbrewer for the bottle.
11-29-2008 14:27:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.72/5 rDev +10.5%
I was lucky enough to get the chance to try this one last night. Broke it apart from my complete set, because I really just wanted to see how it was holding up, and have been hearing this is now drinking wonderfully. Needless to say that was all I needed to here, and away I went.
Appearance - The pour was very nice, with a deep rich brown tinted amber taking the lead on this one and really putting on a show. Lots of cloudiness and haze, so thick making it almost opaque, but enough light was getting through to showcase the honey brown color of it. A nice two finger high head of white foam formed on the top, and gradually settled down into a thin layer that coated the top of the liquid for the remainder of the session. Very nice residual side glass presentation, overall this was looking like it was going to be a beast.
Smell - The aroma was much more hoppy then I was expecting, but definitely well enough balanced to stay within the style. Rich smells of deep citrus hops, which were coated in sugary malts just whiffed off the top of this one. Some candy like sugar smell way in the back, and earthy tones of grasses and grains. Very complex and sweet. As it warmed, some touches of maple syrup like sweetness were coming out, as was the slightest hint of almost what seemed like a color smell.
Taste - The flavor was really top notch, especially for such a young barley wine. Rich, deep, complex flavor profile that came off like I had been cellaring it for a few years. I was utterly shocked by how good this one was. Extremely well balanced, the first notes to hit were a mellowed and subdued citrus hoppiness. Shadows of how hoppy it must have been at first, this was now just aged perfectly. Lots of sweet hints rolling around throughout it, really showing off how good it could be now. Nice grainy malts making up the base of it, and just this nice sweet fruity vibe running thought-out. As it warmed hints of pears, and apples now becoming intermingled with a candy like sweetness and a really nice touch of warming alcohol. This was what a barley wine should taste like. Nice clean finish, with a touch of bitterness and just enough drying to bring you back for another round.
Mouthfeel - A very nice medium, bordering on full-bodied ale here. The carbonation was decent, but it did tend to lend itself to the syrup like side of things. Really quite nice though with never a thin moment to it.
Drinkability - Outstanding on this one. This was dangerously good. It was so ridiculous smooth that it was impossible not to take bigger and bigger sips as the night went on. I would have loved to have had another one of them right after I finished.
Overall, this was absolutely excellent and easily one of the best, sweeter barley wines I have had. I would have no issues at all recommending this one to anybody who is a fan of the style. By far my favorite of the scratch series to date, I would have to tell them to make this one again.
04-15-2008 23:40:58 | More by mikesgroove
4.25/5 rDev -0.5%
Acquired via trade from Slatetank, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a murky medium brown color, with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of brown sugar, dark fruit, caramelized malts and a good amount hops.
T: The taste is sweet and malty up front with flavors of caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar and even a touch of chocolate. There's a strong hops presence that follows and provides a good balance. There's a pretty significant alcohol sting as well. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.
M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.
D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a good high-octane beer to drink throughout the course of an evening and could be pounded a little bit more than most barleywines that I've had.
11-30-2008 00:11:19 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.55/5 rDev +6.6%
Reviewed from a growler fresh form the brewery on 10/1.
Pours a deep, dark reddish brown with a thick tannish head that left fantastic lacing. Aroma is pure hops up your nose with a faint hint of sweetness and alcohol buried in the back somewhere.
The taste is unreal. Strong, pungent hops and citrus that melds nicely into a powerfully chewey but still silky smooth malt backbone. The hops linger with a little bitterness the whole way through. Drinkability is off the charts for a nearly 10% Barleywine and fondly reminded me of a slightly beefier version of some of the West Coast Double IPAs I've had.
Troegs has outdone themselves with this Scratch releases. I'd love to see them attempt to get this guy out as a limited edition every year. Big thumbs up!
10-05-2007 16:57:34 | More by Kegatron
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
thanks very much to tenderbranson69 for sharing this w/ me.
Poured cool into a snifter.
A - The color of mahogany w/ a thin tan head that clings well as lace.
S - Very much as described -like Nugget Nectar's crazy aroma this goes a little further w/ a scent that is both floral/citric w/ vibrant, bold energy and acidity that wants to jump up your nostrils. A hint of booze in the malty afterscent, but the focus is big dose of hop joy.
M - Plenty of citric acidity from a great blend of hops. Nice blend of sweetness and warmth for good measure. The carbonation is ample and pleasing.
T - A nicely faceted American Barleywine flavor w/ piney/citrus blend of flavor at the initial sip. The taste is sharp at first and slightly jagged w/ a bite that mellows, it hangs in the back of the throat. The malty, semi-sweet and grainy taste helps keep the hops from tasting overly bitter. The taste of orange-like citrus in the hops keeps you coming back w/ sunny flavors. A bit of alcohol in the middle lingers but the whole flavor is even and it lingers until the bittersweet finish. I like the way the malt shadows the hops and anchors this ale so well.
D - This is an insanely drinkable barleywine, much like Nugget Nectar has a bouquet and balance, this scratch beer follows suit. The relationship w/ Nugget Nectar is a plus here, so much hop freshness in the flavor and a great balance for such a big ale. Another excellent offering from the brothers Trogner.
10-05-2007 05:11:08 | More by Slatetank
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
Thanks to Slatetank for this one
Poured a murky deep amber with a small off-white near tan head. Nose is sugary, sweet, fruits, caramel toffee. Taste is sticky with dried fruits, caramel, brown sugar. ABV is just right and so is the balance. Really good barleywine
Another one down...
Still very good with lots of dark, dried fruits and brown sugar, molasses, booze still a big hit too. Not over the hill yet, prime drinking now.
04-15-2010 01:30:26 | More by barleywinefiend
4.7/5 rDev +10.1%
A 12 oz bottle from one of the last cases of Scratch 4 sold (thanks to ksak for taking the boys on a brewery trip to grab the case).
A: The barleywine is a deep red brew, looking like brown creekwater with some brighter red notes at the base of the glass. The head has left a small band of slow-drying lace around the mouth of the glass.
S: The nose is a delicious blend of citrusy and piney hops. The nose only faintly betrays the malty presence. This is a hop lovers dream.
T: The beer reveals an immense depth of flavor from the very first sip. Thick malts pile on dry, slightly tart malt flavors, including green grape and grape nuts. The maltiness is strong enough to take on a Belgian-like flavor, with dark alefruits buoying the grains. Interspersed with the malts is a ginormous hop bill. Citrus notes abound, thick grapefruit and pineapple, sticky pine (not citrus but it is there), bitter orange peel, all swirl together to create one hell of a taste. The finish nicely mixes the hops and malt, leaving a thick taste long after the sip is gone.
M: The hops, oh how the hops tickle me! The bitterness betrays hints of the alcohol, but not so much that it diminishes the enjoyment. To quote Yo Gabba Gabba, that was awesome!
D: This is the best of the Scratch series to date, it may even be the best beer in the Tröegs stable. I really look forward to revisiting this beer regularly as I work my way through the case.
11-22-2007 01:53:58 | More by akorsak
3.96/5 rDev -7.3%
During a recent gathering, I opened every vintage of Mouflan in bombers and a friend brought a growler of the 2013 since this year it was not bottled. Thanks go to BA Slatetank for trading me a couple bottles of this scratch 4 some time ago. It was awesome to start the tasting off with the original mouflan recipe.
12oz bottle poured into a mouflan cervoise, the brew appears a clear mahogany color with ruby clarity seen around the edges when held to the light. The cap is compromised of a yellowish froth that leaves stringy lace on the glass.
The smell is raisiny with soft notes of alcohol. Hints of chocolate with a touch of vanilla. It almost feels like it had a barrel aged quality about it. The grain presence is a little dusty giving sight to a minor note of oxidation.
The taste of the brew is quite similar to what the nose suggests with alcohol coming across a bit raisony or prune-like. Faintly like molasses and earth with a bitter herbal touch of hops still present after some 6+ years of sitting in a bottle. Like the aroma, the flavor gets slightly dusty and oxidized in the aftertaste.
This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Plenty of depth and complexity but having drank it side by side with "younger versions" the brew is showing it's age at this point. It was certainly unique and enjoyable, but I dont forsee it becoming any better with more age at this point.
06-18-2013 19:14:06 | More by stakem
4.08/5 rDev -4.4%
Obtained in trade from WeisGuy.
This beer has the looks, a slight chill haze and a quite nice light brown colored head with remarkable staying power.
Sweet and quite heavy with the C type hops. Big citrus aroma giant grapefruit and strong orange and lemon scents. Bit of eucalyptus and licorice in this. Lastly faint melon and a fairly strong black pepper on the alcohol fumes.
Taste starts out a little sweet with a strong grapefruit and oak taste. Unexpected butter flavor mixes with toffee candy taste. Tasty and a near flavor clone of Oaked Arrogant Bastard.
Mouthfeel is good and comparable with a milkshake.
Nice drinkable beer that I would describe as a thicker version of Oaked Arrogant Bastard. A beer I will try again if I ever see another bottle.
01-04-2008 03:01:08 | More by Zorro
4.35/5 rDev +1.9%
Thanks goes out to davide169 for this brew.
Pours a very nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger creamy tan head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, a nice touch of dark fruits, and some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slightly fruit, and some caramel. Medium body, a different ABW, not hoppy at all, very tasty. The alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, a joy to drink.
04-18-2008 01:26:33 | More by Wasatch
4.85/5 rDev +13.6%
Scarlet red smeared in blackberry puree - this is perhaps the most sensual and seductive beer I've laid eyes on. Its rich, deep tone and clear, velvety complexion lure the eyes in. Its garnish and emphatic highlights are simply arresting, they arouse temptation.
The head is far more prominent than is customary for a beer this style and strength. It is not only resilient but ornate considering the trail of lacing that is left behind. On the whole, it's extravagant, it's absorbing, it's heart-wrenchingly gorgeous - and I am in love with it.
Oh and its smell! Once again, if it were possible to score the category higher than perfect I most certainly would. You'll have to forgive this review for being self-absorbed, orgasmic blabbering but this is truly becoming an all-engrossing, quasi-mystical experience.
The beer smells and tastes like candied fruits, finely conched chocolate, rich creme caramel and an assortment of tropical sorbets. A secondary cast includes herbal teas, orange peel, creme brulee, cheesecake, roasted pecans and figs. No beer in recent memory has displayed this much flavour and have all of its parts come together into something so seamlessly, impeccably balanced between sweet and bitter.
The beer was released September 2007 and I'm enjoying it April 2009. I had friends caution against its aging. I had other friends who swore it couldn't possibly get any better than it was at the time of our conversation. Well, it turns out both groups were wrong. I'm glad I wasn't aware of what exactly I had all this time ... this is perfect right here and now.
One's enjoyment of any beer really will change on any given day. I'm not sure what factors added up or what set of stars aligned to grant me the enjoyment, savor and gratification I've extracted from this ale. Whatever the case, I'm left at a loss for words. This is among the most beautiful beers that I believe may have ever graced my lips.
Someone get me a phone, I have to call the Troegs brothers and ask them why in God's name was this only made once? Will it be back? This could undoubtedly be the greatest addition to any beer lineup, even one already as impressive as this brewery's. No doubt, Troegs is accomplished, but this is most certainly the brightest jewel in their crown.
04-08-2009 22:08:58 | More by biegaman
3.9/5 rDev -8.7%
Enjoyed the other night at a tasting over at Slatetank's place.
The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. Nose is attractive, with perfumy, skunky hops and sweet malt. Can only imagine what this smelled like when it was first released. Flavors replicate the nose, except the beer is now dominated by the sweet malt, but with the hoppy bitterness still pretty much in evidence. The beer is medium bodied, but is otherwise fairly full. Drinkability is OK, but with the alcohol starting to show more and more.
A nice beer, but I think its best days are behind it.
12-05-2009 23:46:40 | More by John_M
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
Poured a deep murky amber hue with a half finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.
The smell featured a sweet caramel, dark fruit and a peppery hop.
The taste was superbly complex and consisted of a sweet malt, raisins, oranges and figs. There was a punchy hop spice toward the finish.
The mouthfeel was full and chewy.
Overall an excellent barleywine and a unique drinking experience. Thanks to DIM for this gem.
01-18-2008 01:22:50 | More by plaid75
4.13/5 rDev -3.3%
12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!
Pours a pretty cloudy rusty reddish brown, kind of muddy, thick light tan head forms, quickly drops to a thick ring around the glass and a thin layer, drops a ton of lacing on the glass, very sticky, looks real nice. Smell is intense, very malty, tons of caramel and grapefruit, biscuity, brown sugar, very rich, dark fruits, some raisin, some floral, buttery, some oak, very earthy, pretty nice stuff. Taste is good to, caramel and brown sugar, some grapefruit, similar to the aroma although not as rich, some biscuits and a touch of alcohol, oak and a touch of vanilla, earthy finish, buttery, a bit weak in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, nice body on it, very dry in the finish. I like it but the flavour doesn't live up to the rest of it for me. Thanks Russ!
05-18-2009 22:44:55 | More by Viggo
4.47/5 rDev +4.7%
12oz received in trade with DIM.. big thanks. poured into my New Belgium snifter... Listening to John Digweed Transitions 3.
3 finger yellow/tan head dies back slowly leaving pretty sticky lacing. Brew looks thick.. dark brown with a distinct haze
Smells thick.. alot of hops.. mainly citrus with touches of floral... also more than enough caramel malts... but mainly the powerful hops.
Flavor is very smooth.. more malty than expected with still a big resinous hop palate midway through the swallow.. great caramel mixes perfectly into tongue coating oily hoppy goodness... finishes with an unexpected and pleasant yeasty fruitiness... sorta a mix between a kumquat and an overripe green grape... finish on this one is long and very nice.
Mouthfeel is thick with only enough carbonation to make me really want another sip. One of the best "easily" available Barley Wines out there... and better than many where the hype overruns its actual worth.
This is 2nd time I've had this.. the first was at our Boise BW tasting earlier this spring... I know this was one of my favorites.. but my palate was pretty shredded and I was pretty shredded by the end of the night.
Daniel is an excellent trader.. and I honestly wish I had better beers available to me here in Boise so I could tempt him more often. Huge Props to Daniel and Troeg's!!
06-18-2008 07:22:45 | More by JohnGalt1
4.03/5 rDev -5.6%
12oz single, No BS the 3rd the bif
consumed during Giants-Packers (2nd quarter)
appearance: poured into a bells tulip glass not knowing at the time if this was the oatmeal stout or the barleywine of the scratch series...as it turns out the murky mahogany-garnet body was that of a barleywine. a creamy beige cap tops this one off. lovely
smell: nice and floral, raspberry, plum and other dark fruits, caramel malts, raisins and figs...not too potent but very nice
taste: this barleywine drinks pretty easy...the hops are fresh and floral with extremely minimal bitterness compared to others of the style, smooth caramel malts, raisins, brown sugar, plum and other dark fruit. Solid but tame
mouthfeel: smooth and creamy
drinkability: very nice for the style
01-21-2008 00:29:48 | More by dirtylou
4.43/5 rDev +3.7%
Bottle courtesy of akorsak poured into a snifter.
A: Pours a dark, murky amber with hints of orange. The head is small and short-lived, quickly leaving a collar and traces of lacing.
S: Smell is big and complex, with citrus hops up front giving way to a sizable caramel malt backbone. There is also a big dose of sugar and toffee in the nose as well.
T: Like the smell, citrus hops are the first thing I notice. There is an even bigger sugar presence in the taste with dark fruits as well. All of this is on top of the caramel malt backbone.
M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a slight hop bitterness that tickles the tongue. A little on the thin side, but still nice and creamy.
D: Drinkability is very good on this one and I'm glad Adam gave me the opportunity to try this one. Very, very good beer.
08-04-2008 02:15:43 | More by gford217
4/5 rDev -6.3%
Glowing metal copper orange with a frothy head of white eggshell whip. Aromas of deep roasted biscuit malts as well as green earth hops that are bit subdued by the malts actually. Taste is hoppy and super malty with great fresh bread qualities and a bit of an earthy spiciness as well. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, but a bit cloying. Drinkability remains good. Solid all the way through, reminded me more of an aged dreadnaught than a barleywine. Would probably be much better fresher or on tap.
09-24-2008 17:13:42 | More by francisweizen
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
A: Pours a nice golden amberish hue with a whispy off white head. Little to no retention but it does manage a bit of lace.
S: Bold hop aromas. Resinous pine with citric notes as well. Hints of gooey caramel hide beneath.
T: I have loved the scratch series and this one does not disappoint. If you like hopped up barleywines you will love this one. Tons of hops up front. Lots of sweet pine, with bits of bitter citrus. Hints of green grass, and just enough caramel malt to barely cut into the hops.
M: Medium to full in body, smooth with a perfect level of carbonation.
D: Rather drinkable, would love to have seen how bold this one was fresh. I just got another bottle in the SuperBowl Squares LIF that I plan to lay down for awhile.
02-16-2009 21:31:11 | More by tpd975
4.55/5 rDev +6.6%
12oz. bottle poured into a snifter on 11/17/07. No date on bottle.
A - Very dark body with tones of plum and dark brown/chestnut. Almost has the appearance of a cola, minus all of the carbonation. Extremely thin tan head with mild carbonation. Virtually no head retention or lacing.
S - There's a lot going on with this one! First whiff reveals earthy and piney hops, sweet chocolate malt and raisins. Subsequent smells bring out some additional sticky hops similar to Nugget Nectar. Hop profile definitely smells like a Troegs. Just a tinge of alcohol in the nose as the liquid warms.
T - Man, this is a complex brew! It's extremely hoppy, but very well balanced by the malt. Earthy and resiny hops prevail, with traces of raisins and currants, dried fruit and maybe even some bitter chocolate. The overload of flavors hides the high alcohol content.
M - Medium to full body that's surprisingly creamy at first, but quickly turns bitter and a bit prickly as it coats the tastebuds. Definitely not as harsh as other barleywines I've had. Hops linger in the finish and stick with you for a while.
D - Good sipping beer that will warm you up. It's got a wonderful flavor, but I wouldn't recommend drinking more than two of these in one sitting. My wife and I shared a growler when it was first released, and by the end, it was like drinking liquid sandpaper. Still, this is a truly delicious, top-notch brew!
11-17-2007 21:25:01 | More by ffejherb
Scratch Beer 4 - 2007 from Tröegs Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.