Scratchin' Hippo | Adelbert's Brewery

42 Reviews
Scratchin' HippoScratchin' Hippo

Brewed by:
Adelbert's Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BgThang on 01-04-2012

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 145
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 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 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 BgThang
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours like a begian bier de garde, and smells fruity and malty like one. the head is fairly dense.
Mouthfeel is a little sharp due to the mild to heavy carbonation but I can see this beer aging well.
lucky enough to snag a bottle at a local shop.

going to revisit this one in a year or two

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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 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 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 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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Photo of specksnreds
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spicy like your grandma's lazy Susan. It's pretty too, with it's perfect little bubbles and dark honey color. Very appetizing. Big malty candy bar smell blends well with lazy Susan effect. I haven't a clue what spices; they all seem to form one coherent spice profile. Bubbly going down, and no residual stickiness. Impressive. I'll buy more.

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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 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 elNopalero
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a light malty-amber color with thin lacing around the top. There’s a slight funky tart aroma. Hop bitterness hits you up front. The biere de garde tartness comes through on the palate with a lingering finish. There’s a pleasing maltiness that becomes more apparent as it warms. This beer has a bitterness and an edge which makes for a nice contrast with the malt flavor as it warms. Slightly funky, too, while remaining easy going. Effervescent and filling.

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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 CopeTech
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice biere de garde. The bottle was over-carbonated and belw off the cork. The Beer unfiltered and a bit murky, but I like that in a biere de garde.
A little more astringent than my taste. And too carbonated, took a while to pour a glass (all head).
A - Rich color, with a white head.
S - A little to yeasty - smells like unfiltered homebrew.
T - Nice although the carbonation makes it have more bite than it should. I let mine blow off for a while and it was nicer.
M - Nice rich feel with the depth of a fully fermented well aged beer.
O - A very nice beire de garde, a remarkable beer for so young a brewery.

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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 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 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 metter98
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy reddish amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of earthy yeast are present in the nose along with notes of Belgian yeast and hints of fruit.
T: The taste follows the smell, but is more complex with additional hints of spices. There is a light amount bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't ate difficult to drink and seems a lot lie like a cross between a Belgian PBA and a Saison/Farmhouse Ale.

Serving type: bottle

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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 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 AndrewMichael
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL corked bottle poured in a stemmed glass.
Dark amberish brown color, with a nice white foamy head on the beer. This is part of the Rare Beer of the Month club that my sister got me for my birthday, so excited to try, assuming if it's part of a club, it can't disappoint. It certainly did not. If I have other biere de garde styles, I want it to be similar to this. Incredibly smooth maltiness, and a touch of sweetness on the end.

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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 jefe2
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Adelbert's Scratchin Hippo Belgian bier du guarde (basically a dubbel)
6.7% (acc to label, though website said 6.8%))
750ml cage/cork bottle from WhipIn 12/27/2011
debut release from Adlebert's Brewery, based in North Austin.

a - hazy translucent dark stained walnut wood brown, white medium/thin head that dissipates into an solid fine bubble sheet across the top
s - nice dark fruit malty with a nice lively tangy acidity, like plum
t - good dubbel profile, with a nice lively tangy acidity. Better than average dubbel, but starts to get a bit dry the more you drink. B to B+.

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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 Lawl3ss
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Day-old (but unopened) growler poured into a stemless tulip pint.

Look- Hazy amber-brown with one finger of chalk-white head that fell quickly to a thin film. Decent amount of lace left as the glass empties.

Smell- Amber malt, light yeast spice, rose water, faint lemon, maybe some white raisin. Sweet, but not overly so. Not as "farmhouse-y" as I was expecting, but appealing nonetheless.

Taste- Like it smells, plenty of graham-cracker-like malt, vanilla, and bit of root beer-like spice. Mild citric hop bite at the start, toffeelike finish. Nothing unexpected, but very well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Crisp start, medium to full body. Silky on the swallow. Mild tartness towards the end. Drinks like a spicy dubbel, which seems appropriate.

Overall- Mild for the style, not particularly interesting, but it's pretty darn tasty, and easy-drinking to boot. I'm not sure I'd pick it up regularly, but I might snag one on tap now and again.

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Scratchin' Hippo from Adelbert's Brewery
3.67 out of 5 based on 145 ratings.
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