Scratch Beer 10 - 2008 (Grand Cru) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Scratch Beer 10 - 2008 (Grand Cru)Scratch Beer 10 - 2008 (Grand Cru)
Very Good
64 Ratings
Scratch Beer 10 - 2008 (Grand Cru)Scratch Beer 10 - 2008 (Grand Cru)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The third time just might be the charm—Scratch #10-2008 is our third triple in the Scratch Beer series. This grand cru has been lovingly aged since late-February, yet still unleashes the slightest hint of alcohol heat. Scratch #10-2008 also has a triple flavor inspiration combining the caramel/toffee notes of dememera sugar and molasses, with citrus and licorice flavors created by the orange peel and star anise; lastly we create a peppery/spicy finish with the same trappist yeast has been used in each Scratch Beer Triple.

18 IBU.

Added by John_M on 05-16-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 58
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky apricot with all sorts of dark floaters, some of which sink to the bottom of the glass. No worries, the mouthfeel is silky smooth. The cap is yellowish gold in color and is anything but Belgianesque in terms of size and texture. A single swath of BB-shot lace is the extent of the glass coverage.

Troegs calls this big brute a tripel (and a grand cru), to which they've added all sorts of interesting stuff: orange peel, star anise and molasses. The first two are appreciated, although I could never have identified them if blinded. Trappist yeast adds a phenolic spiciness that is typical of the style.

Scratch 10 isn't the best of this series, but it's pretty damn good. Even though I believe that beer of this style doesn't need to be dressed up, the ingredients that TBC chose to use work well. It helps if you like black licorice because the star anise comes through loud and clear. There's also more sweetness than is typical, probably due to both demerara sugar and molasses.

The flavor profile consists of pears in heavy syrup, licorice/anise, molasses, sugar-crusted citrus peel and a mini-blast of ground clove. I hate to simply repeat the ingredients list, but that's really what the beer tastes like. More than one year of age might have something to do with the beautifully buried alcohol.

All that added sugar makes the mouthfeel full and moderately sticky. It's American Big Beer lush and plush, even if it isn't as lightly creamy and expansive as the best Belgian ales.

For my money, the Scratch Series from Troegs is the best such series in the world of craft beer. I've now had 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12. Only 12 (an IPA) wasn't outstanding. I hope these guys are smart enough to brew some of these beauties again. On a regular basis would be great.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of whoneeds8
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this bottle for a couple months. Poured into chimay glass orange with little to no head, lots of seadement. Smells very strong, good spice notes and plenty of roasted malt scents as well. First taste and the spices come out great, with the same roasted malts flavor that I could smell. The flavors don't stay on the palate as long as I'd like. The mouthfeel is strong with an alcohol presence. Overall, this is a very drinkable beer except you can't have more than one because of thie ABV.

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Photo of pwoods
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Shane(beachbum1975) for this bottle.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a Leffe wine/chalice glass.

A: Pours a very matilda-esque fire orange, good visibility. About a half finger worth of pearl white, slightly fizzy head forms and holds for only a moment before dieing to a thin skim. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of fruity esters and light phenols. Some spices play in the back behind a pleasant caramel sweetness. The spices bump up some as it warms further and a small touch of anise peaks out as well.

T/M: Nice spices yeast flavor with a bit of spicy alcohol. I never would have guessed 11%, very nicely controlled. More of the sweet caramel character though not as sweet as I would have expected. The fruits aren't as juicy as the nose suggests and they actually come off a bit on the dark and fiberous side. The anise really starts to pick up in the end. Body is medium to medium full and has subdued carbonation. I'd like to see a bit stronger carbonation.

D: As I said before, 11% is very surprising and could easily sneak up on ya. A nice sipper.

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Photo of LordofTime25
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours to a cloudy amber with a thin white headthat disappers quicky! Can see sedement floating.

Can smell a heavy dose of anise and a sweetness of cardamon. Alchoal very present to the noise.

You are hit hard by spices and vanilla. Very over powering flavors.

Is medium bodied with a pertty smooth.

I will probably never drink this again. And this confermed I really don't like Belgain Strong Pale Ales.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Dr. Jay for saving me one of these little gems. Virtually no carbonation and light golden yellow with no head. Yet tasty for sure. Alcohol knocked me over for the rest of the aft, nice spiciness(clove, orange peel, bannana yeast, licorice, corriander), medium mouthfeel.No question that over time these bottles lost carbonation.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of nickd717
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Troy G. for the tick.

Cloudy orangish-amber color with a small fading off-white head and lots of floaties in the beer.

Nice aroma, evident of a big beer. Honey and white wine, citrus peel, anise, sugar, and Belgian yeast.

The flavor is rather spicy with a sweet malt base, honey and sugar, caramel, orange, spices, and molasses.

Medium-full bodied with some booziness remaining after three years of age. Some alcohol warming.

I expect this beer is probably a little better now than it was young. It's not a standout, but it's enjoyable and definitely does the trick as far as getting some good ol' CH3CH2OH into your system.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from hophead101, cheers Greg!

Pours an effervescent & semi-hazed amber with a finger of beige head that drops too fast. Some floaties, minimal lacing & even less head retention

S: Pears & appleskins & tropical fruits that really open up as this warms.

T: Apples, cinnamon & pineapple up front. More fruittyness, peach juice, booze infused pineapple & honey dryness, plus toffee as this warms. Finishes dry with much tropical fruit & honey

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & syruppyness

Drinks great for the style & ABV, by far the best of scratch beer series that I've tried so far!

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Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from a case purchased at the brewery.

A: The ale is a deep amber color, an orange-brown combination that is darkened with red syrup. The darkness gives the ale a cloudy look. Little foam arose on pour and what's left just sits atop the ale.

S: The anise is still overwhelming (the ale has 6+ months under its belt). Candi sugar and Belgian yeast leave a sweet, slighlty dry profile.

T: A fantastic, if not overwhelming, flavor emanates from the ale. Dry, sweet black licorice springs from the anise. It is met with a bready caramel malt body and a significant candi sugar sweetness (a different sweetness, polar opposite of the licorice). A peppery flourish follows, creating a nice finish of pepper and anise.

M: The ale is very sweet, the anise is soothing and pleasant. The alcohol is hidden behind the anise but said anise does become a little too strong at times.

D: At 11%, this is a one and done beer.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Troegs Brewery

A- hazy dull orange color. Yields little head and no lacing. Yeasty and suspended in my beer.

S- a strong floral smell and some dark fruit as well. slight malts and alcohol

T- a creamy milky floral flavor with hints of the dark fruit(banana as well). Alcohol is very well hidden.

M- strong belgian feel in the mouth. Floral and strong. Thick and creamy.

D- One of these is enough for me but some people might enjoy two or three but be careful they could knock you on your ass.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 of 2! Scratch 10's received as a plethora of extras in a recent trade with DIM. Very cool! Shared with Brenda.. mine in my New Belgium snifter.

Short lasting 1" head... no lacing and really not much of a cap... Brew is a pretty fairly clear orange.

Aroma is sweet and spicy ... some immediate alcohol on the nose.. slightly orangy.. reminds me of Stone 777 out of the gate... a little white peppercorn as it warms.

Flavor has an abundant star anise presence right now.. the spice is punctuated by the sweetness... I don't like black licorice... and the star anise doesn't come across like a big bag of black licorice.. but still is overdone... I keep thinking Sambuca or Galliano ... big sweetness again reminds me of the 777.

If this brew was a constant on the bottle rotation for Troeg's, I could see it gathering a small but dedicated following.. but tonight.. I have one bottle left, and I am going to let it age for a looong time before I revisit.

Dan I appreciate the opportunity, but sorry.. not my cup of tea.. although I still have a "cup of spice tea" on my palate. :-)

Edit: Brenda says it may be fantastic with some Chinese Cold Smoke Duck that has alot of Chinese 5-spice with it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra the other day from a great PA trader and immediately threw it in the fridge to get it not the rotation. I love the scratch beer series and have really loved being able to get a hold of most of them, now I just need to get around to reviewing them! So I started with this one. Poured this lovely twelve ounce bottle into a snifter at about fifty degrees and watched as the hazy and cloudy rusty amber color gave way to peaks of light coming through from the other side. Rich looking with a nice one inch layer of white on top that literally hung around forever, and the top of it never did get bare throughout the entire session. Good side glass lacing as well left me very impressed with a first impression.

The aroma was spiced to all hell. I was really surprised by this as I was not expecting it at all. Really full of clove and Anise, some cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. Lots of yeast notes coming through as well with some banana and peach and a touch of a biscuity aroma as it warmed. The flavor followed suit almost ideally. I have to admit for being 11%abv there was no touch of this one anywhere to be found and I was quite impressed by this whole situation. Very spiced right out the gate, at first it reminded me almost of a pumpkin or spiced holiday ale, really nicely done and quite a bit different then what I was expecting. Big Anise notes here again with a tremendous amount of banana and clove. Some light bready flavors in the middle and a nice finish up with a good touch of yeast and a overall earthy feel to it. No lingering flavors really, except that finish with a touch of spice that I could still detect a good few moments later. Very nice Mouthfeel, much thicker then I thought it would be. Great carbonation profile here as it did a nice job from keeping it from getting too syrup like. I still had a touch time with this one being 11%, as there was just no hint of that anywhere to be found. Really just ridiculously smooth and well done, I could have had another one right after it with no issue at all.

Overall I was a little bit shocked by this one. It was really more of a spiced ale then a Belgian strong, but I guess it could fall into either category without issue. Very smooth and very different I would not turn my nose up at this one. This might sneak up on you if you are a fan of the style, but if you do not like spiced ales, I would steer clear.

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Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of weeare138
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Appears a hazy amber toned gold with a small, white cap that fades into a mild collar. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of anise overkille, cardamom with sweet cream found in the background.
Taste is over the top with spices, vanilla, and sugar. A bit too much to handle.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet, with spices that linger throughout the palate long after the finish.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GREGER for including a couple bottles of this as extras.

Pours a golden amber with a tight white head that leaves a little bit of lacing.

Smells of pepper, licorice (from the star anise), belgian yeast, and a strong sugary backbone.

The spice and sweetness on the taste sort of overwhelm this one for me. As a trippel its sort of too spicy and very sweet for me and is also quite boozy on the finish. Otherwise the yeast is nice and its a decent tripel.

Mouthfeel is medium with plenty of fizzy carbonation.

Again just a little too sweet and spicy for me. I'm very glad I got the chance to try this one though as Troegs is pretty awesome.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from mikereaser courtesy of the Local Goods BIF, 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 deep golden brown color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, apples, alcohol, some Belgian yeast and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with candy sweet flavors of caramel and brown sugar. Then a strong alcohol sting follows quickly along with some spice and tart flavors of apples and other fruit. There's a hearty malt character and a faint hops presence. There's a lot of complexity with the flavors but not much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, decent representation of style, this is one of those beers where there's too much going on for its own good thus detracting from its overall quality.

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Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seved in a snifter:

Pours hazed golden with a thin, bubbly, white head.

The smell is of anise, coriander, grainy maltiness, banana-ish fruitiness and floral notes. Slight whiff of alcohol.

The taste is of anise, coriander, bubblegum, bread/biscuit with a bit of alcohol - though milder than abv would have it. It has a sharp finish.

It has an effervescent, becoming mild, carbonation in a light-to-medium body.

A nice, strong, Belgian-style pale - very complex, especially in the nose. While there is noticeable alcohol, it is very reasonably covered for abv, making this one deceptively drinkable. A very nice interpretation of the style!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via GATM from mday. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an Otter Creek Imp Series tulip, formed a 1/2" beige head above the slightly cloudy honey amber brew. Head holds on well, with thick coating lace. Aroma is sweet and spicy, with a moderately alcoholic undercurrent. Taste is sweet to start, a bit of fruity tartness in the middle, and closes with some tannins and an almost harsh alcohol flavor. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pretty good, limited somewhat by the strong flavors at the swallow.

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Photo of grub
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one in a recent trade with Slatetank. thanks matt!

12oz bottle. sampled may 3/09.

pours deep copper orange with just a touch of haze. the small dense head disappeared quickly and left only a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. alcohol. tropical fruit - mango, pear, pineapple, melon. gingerbread. clove and belgian yeasty spice. cracker and white bread. the aromatics on this one are great. i just keep going back for another smell.

taste is good. butterscotch and toffee. lots of tropical fruit again - pineapple, pear, and mango. alcohol. a neat mix of spice - clove, ginger, and belgian yeasty spice. white bread and cracker.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is nice. there's no missing the alcohol in this one. the big fruity sweet base tries its best to balance it, but for the most part loses the battle. still, it's got enough going on to hold my interest and sip on it for a while...

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Greg for sending this one my way!

A: The beer pours a slightly hazed orange color with a thin and short lived white head, though there are plenty of carbonation bubbles on the glass.

S: Smells like pure candy. Intensely sugary with lots and lots of banana notes. A bit of a floral honey note and some other sweet/overripe fruits, perhaps some pears. Strong herbal aroma, especially anise and perhaps sage.

T: Lots of sweet sugar, caramel, and brown sugar flavor. A bit of a white grape flavor and some other intensely sweet fruit flavors. The anise character is a bit more subdued, but it comes through more and more as the beer warms up.

M: Medium in body with a somewhat low carbonation.

O: I wasn't a huge fan of the anise flavor in this beer. It seems to just take over. Luckily there wasn't any booze presence, which is surprising for an 11% beer.

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Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Troegs indicates that this is a Grand Cru - number 10 in their scratch line-up.

At least for my money, this is the best Scratch beer I've tasted to date. Was able to sample some from a bottle at the BA gathering at the Spring House Drafting Room, but it's also on tap right now at Max's in Baltimore as well. I did not notice an appreciable difference. By bottle or on tap, it was excellent either way.

The beer pours a dark gold color with good head retention and lacing. After the first whiff you can tell you are in for something special. The aroma is exotic, and I get bannana, rootbeer and bubblegum. Incredible. For the most part, the flavors on the palate replicate the nose. The beer is pretty rich and sweet, but it is so delicious I had no difficulty drinking down my glass of it. Flavors on the palate include cherry, melon, apple and pineapple. Really, there is literally a fruit cup variety of flavor to this beer. The beer has a medium body and is very smooth and long on the finish. The combination of high abv. and sweetness impact the beer's drinkability a bit, but it's so delicious and so falvorful, for the most part the abv. is well disguised.

An excellent effort from Troegs and an absolute treat to see on tap at Max's.

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Photo of Khazadum
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of Deuane
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from my backlog of notes...trying to clean up the old Scratch beers that I have failed to input my data.

A-Brilliant hazy dark gold color with visible "floaties" with a thin white head that left spotty lace.

S-Very strong aromatics with notes of corriander, banana, bubblegum. and other generic "spicy" notes.

T-Like a spiced fruit salad with honey drizzled on top. Apple, banana and melon with spicy notes on top. All of this is swirled in a honey sweetness. Very nice.

M-Medium body very smooth and viscous. Flavours linger long.

D-While I found this one very pleasant, wonderful aroma and good initial taste, it started to wear on me. I enjoyed my pint but I was glad when it was done. I think a 12 oz bottle of this at a time is plenty.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle received from CaptainCougar (RB) at the Cuvee de Castleton release. Thanks Tom!

A: Clear orange pour with a thin white head that recedes fairly quickly to a ring. Some visible carbonation

S: Strange. Sweet and mildly spicy and herbal with bananas, chamomile, fennel. Interesting but not terribly appealing

T: Starts off fruity, bubblegum sweet before a noticeable spice note kicks in with a definite anise character. Very fruity with a lot of melon flavors - honeydew melon? Dries up leaving a peppery note.

M: Carbonation is ample for a beer this sweet and the alcohol heat is noticeable on the finish.

D: The high ABV really hurts this one. This is definitely not the best of the BSPAs that i;ve had and I'm not sure I'll drink this again any time soon

Notes: In general, I'm not a big fan of beers where the fruit and spice notes are yeast based instead of hop-based. If you are, you'll probably like this

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Scratch Beer 10 - 2008 (Grand Cru) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 64 ratings