Scratch Beer 19 - 2009 (Imperial Double Espresso Oatmeal Stout) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Consider Scratch #19; originally designed as an enhanced take on Scratch #15 with a slightly higher ABV, our brewers went to town to deliver a brew slightly more akin to our fabled Scratch #5, the Imperial Oatmeal Stout brewed for The Flying Mouflan Experience. For Scratch #19, we teamed up with St. Thomas Roasters of Linglestown to create a special blend of espresso beans. They added Kenyan beans to the mix because of a strong citrus flavor that compliments the hops. Creating en environment akin a French press, the beans are combined with whole flower hops in the hopback, and the hot wort passes through the vessel on the way to fermentation giving Scratch #19 a lush coffee espresso nose and hints of coffee flavor. There is a silky quality to the mouthfeel and a citrus hop finsh coming from the Kenyan beans and hops.

Added by Slatetank on 05-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by engisch:
Photo of engisch
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Day May 30, 2009:
"Imperial Double Espresso Oatmeal Stout" @ 9.5% ABV is quite the description. I was very excited to try one of Troeg's Scratch beers for a first time. I first got a small sample of it, but I quickly followed up with a "pint".

It is dark and has a nice light head. The smell is of coffee and malts. The flavor is of the same, coffee and malts with a small roastiness. Overall I think this is a great beer. I'm not a huge coffee beer drinker, but this was very tastey.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Kegatron
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ Troegs Brewing Company on 5/28/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a dense black (just the finest glimmer of ruddy amber hues come out along the bottom) with a near finger of foamy burnt and reddish mocha colored head sitting on top. This retains with a thick and frothy look, which fires up immediately when swirled, just lining the sides of glass with heavy lace and gooey brown oily residues. The aroma is just LADEN with nose tingling espresso that just has an awesome smelling burnt acrid feel to it, which mingles effortlessly with notes of chocolate roast, thanks to a heavy Oatmeal smoothness that soothes out the nose. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fresh and floral (and a bit spicy) hops that glide along the back, giving this an extra layer of crispness. This took a bit to fully open up, but when it did, it was quite potent smelling (especially the espresso) in the nose.

That robust espresso character thankfully carries over to the taste as well, mixing with the roasted malts to impart a wonderfully burnt and bitter feel that just coats the mouth and is hard to shake for quite some time. Thick and chewy notes of chocolate and caramel offers some big balancing sweetness, as does some flakey feeling Oatmeal, which really helps bring everything together. Spicy hop bitterness really helps end thing on a satisfying note, not only offering bitter notes which helps make the espresso and roast pop even more but also allowing this to end with a firm crunch in the backend. The mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy with a nice crisp feel to the whole thing from the roast and hops that are present. A more viscous and slick feel rides underneath, carrying a good bit of the heavy sweetness and oily citric character of the espresso beans. And finally, the best part of this is that it drinks no where near a 10% beer. Yes it is chewy and beefy feeling but I didn't get any heat pickups at all. As a matter of fact the only sense of alcohol I got was the subtle foggy character that was slowly creeping over my brain after 2 pints of this. Well done!

Wow, this turned out nice! This was a complete success of an amalgamation of their Scratch 5 & 15 beers, being a beast of an Imperial Oatmeal Stout that possesses just a crapload of luscious espresso character. Huge and flavorful with an extremely dangerous drinkibility for its size, this is my new favorite Scratch beer by far.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler filled on May 27.

A: The stout is charcoal black, dark and forboding no matter what angle you view it at. The growler opened without a hiss but the first pour generated a rich head that nicely cascaded. Patches of lace resulted, but none were too thick.

S: Coffee is particularly strong in the nose, leading off with a bang. It is followed by burnt grains, chocolate and oatmeal. Cocoa powder and coffee swirl together; a decadent nose.

T: The first sip is an explosive blend of stout and coffee, with each element one-upping the other. The winner is the stout side, leaving a strong, dark flavor on the palate. Coffee, a sweet java, adds a full flavor that isn't as srong as in Valdez or Planet Bean. That restrained body sits nicely with the stout body. Adding a further cafe au lait sweetness is oatmeal, creamy with a lactic undertone. Bitterness on the back-end compliments the full stout body.

M: The mouthfeel is thick, heavy with coffee, chocolate and dark malts. I love coffee in my beer and this one hits the right mark.

D: The 9.5% alcohol doesn't weigh this beer down at all, even on a warm late spring day. Nicely done.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Troegs Draft room

A- a dark deep brown almost black color. A frothy head that is brown as well. Quite opaque and looks almost like a coffee.

S- coffee coffee and chocolate malt as the topper.

T- a drak roast type of flavor. Full bursting of coffee. It is twice the flavor from their previous try on this scratch. If you like coffee you will love this brew. Cocoa powder taste as well.

M- chewy thick and creamy.

D- goes down like coffee and i love it. Great brew!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ohh hell, here we go. I had wanted to try this one from the moment I heard it was being released. A huge coffee stout is the things of dreams for me. Poured from the growler into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/05/2009.

The pour was outstanding. Black as night with a huge tan head on the top. Dripping down the sides of the inky blackness was tons of web like, coffee colored lacing. Really a big looking beer here. First smell was heaven. Rich coffee with lite sweet notes of brown sugar and vanilla. Outstanding. Molasses hints, lite chocolate notes, simply outstanding combination of things here. Decadent, dessert like flavor. Rippling with rich,sweet coffee notes, like my wife said, its like heaven, and she hates beer, but loves coffee. Rich chocolate notes, lots of vanilla mixing in with a smooth, almost velvet like feel. No hint of the ABV at all, in fact, quite the opposite, I could have drank this one all night.

Overall beyond my wildest dreams, this was simply the most outstanding thing I could have asked for. Sublime, and too bad it was a one off.

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Photo of Deuane
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep, dark brown with dark copper highlights with a thin tan head that holds on tight and leaves spotty lace.

S-Iced espresso with a good shot of musty/earthy notes. Some maple syrup sweetness and hints of floral hop notes.

T-Strong initial shot of espresso roast with underlying maple syrup sweetness. Dark chocolate notes follow. Earthy hop bitterness meld with the roasted coffee bitterness very nicely.

M-Medium body, somewhat viscous with good lingering bitterness.

D-Excellent, what I wished Scratch 15 would have been like. I am glad Troegs decided to give this one another go. Strong coffee/chocolate flavours and supporting bitterness brings this one together.

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Photo of augie
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Thesoundandthefury
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This beer was poured into a small tulip glass. A finger of light chocolate colored head and a deep dark brown color that didn't let any light through.

S- WOW! Lots of coffee, chocolate on the nose. Some toasted notes come through along with a hint of alcohol.

T- Absolutely outstanding. Initial light sweetness with the coffee just booming through. A nice citrus note comes though mid palate. Underlying chocolate and roasted malts also play in the mix. The beer finishes with a light hoppy bitterness.

M- Good Mouthfeel. Not as creamy as I was expected, but the carbonation was excellent. On the lower end of things, which is how I prefer my big stouts. Coats the mouth well and leaves a lingering coffee note.

D- Easy to drink. The alcohol is hidden well. While not a beer I could drink a whole growler of, it is one which I could easily drink 2 or 3 pints of.

Overall a phenomenal beer. I'm hoping that they can brew this up again and bottle some. I'm sure a few years of age would do WONDERS to this beer!

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Photo of number1bum
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to krisandajt for lugging this back from Harrisburg for me.

Pours very dark brown, not completely black, with a finger or so of creamy beige head. Doesn't keep much of a lace at all or leave any stick.

Smell is loaded with coffee aromas; deep, bold and roasty and very nice. Good amount of sweetness, as well, with some cocoa aromas and caramel. Also a nice amount of hops, with some citrus and earthy character.

Flavor really bursts forth with a ton of coffee. It's a really nice dark roast, very bold and flavorful. Surprisingly fruity, as well, with a big citrus flavor. Also some cocoa and chocolaty sweetness, but the sweetness again has a caramel and maybe brown sugar quality to it, as well. There's some roasted malt and bitterness as well, but just enough to provide some balance into the finish.

Mouthfeel is really exceptionally creamy and smooth. It's full bodied, oily and just exceptional on the tongue. Nuff said.

This is an excellent beer and one I'm really glad they revisited. This is how I hoped Scratch 15 would taste. I also see others comparing this to Scratch 5 but it's been a long time since I've had that one, so that comparison I can't really make. It's just a great beer. I really hope we see this one again and that it makes it into bottles.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this at the brewery before the tour, served chilled in a pint glass.

A - Opaque, completely blocks the light with an onyx shade of mahogany. The stout has a thin medium tan head and rings halo the glass.

S - Rich roasted coffee smell w a bittersweet cocoa aroma and mild medicinal hint w/ toffee and toasted nuts. The hops are present in the aroma w/ a mild herbal note and perhaps a hint of anise under the fruity oatmeal stout notes and espresso is very aromatic

M - Rich, dry coffee and sweet oily texture w/ oatmeal and bitter bean/malt feel w/ gentle char and dry warm finish

T - The flavor justs jumps with dark toffee and malty richness and is mirrored by espresso's bitter taste w/ a dark sweet cocoa and a caramel back. The mild oatmeal softness accents the lush malt and coffee bitter flavors w/ a fruit touch reminiscent of plums and has a mild pecan-like dry note w/ more coffee citrus notes and bitter chocolate w/ cocoa notes from the bean lingering w/ mild acidity until the dry finish

D - My second taste of this on tap was as good as the first w/ a fresh stout flavor that doesn't quit. The espresso only adds dimension to the oatmeal stout taste. I really could not tell it was 9.5% it is so luxurious and almost dessert-like it would make a great stout milkshake I am sure. The sad part is I could savor it knowing it was not around long after half the batch was lost.

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Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Deuane for breaking this one out. I thought I had missed it.

A-Pours a very dark brown-black with a fluffy tan head and good lacing.

S-Yes, this is what I was hoping for. Lots of roasted, delicious coffee and dark bittersweet chocolate to start off, tons of vanilla and caramel behind.

T-Starts off with sweet vanilla, quickly changing to roasted coffee and then dark chocolate and coffee. Roasty and sweet in a great balance.

M-Nice silky richness with medium carbonation.

D-Out of this world, really. Like many others, I was hoping SB #15 would taste like this and was disappointed. I am glad they tried it again, hitting it out of the park.


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Photo of tpd975
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge Thanks to mikesgroove for letting me try this one.

A: Pours ultra black, as dark as night with a nice tall mocha colored head. Good retention with a nice smattering of lace.

S: Very roasty aroma with notes of rich baker's chocolate, dark fruit, a new leather baseball glove, and of course loads of coffee.

T: Wonderful roast from both the malt and the coffee. This is a coffee forward beer and the coffee is of darker roast. Nice rich hints of chocolate peek through along with some of the dark fruit I picked up in the nose. Very subtle molasses sweetness comes and goes in waves. Lots of bitterness from the coffee, with just a touch of acidity.

M: Fuller in body, rich, bold, and bitter....I like it.

D: Good, it's one that begs to be sipped in the morning or as a night cap.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this fresh and now opening up a growler about 6 months out. It's been stored in the back of a dark fridge, so not too concerned about the age, especially with a strong hiss when I pop the cap.

Appearance is an opaque near black brown with a surprisingly large and retentive tan head and thick lacing. Aroma has definitely suffered in the aging, currently very rich oat, roast malt and chocolate, coffee is nearly gone (and there was a lot of it fresh). Very thick and chewy mouthfeel, still very well carbonated. Originally flavor was balanced blend of roast malt and dark coffee and now like the nose the coffee has taken a back seat to a chewy, rich blend of oat, malt, and chocolate with a light hop finish. Hanging onto this growler for so long was an accident, but this beer has held up well (minus the coffee fading as expected), now time to finally try my Java Head.

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Photo of TonyT
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler, from the brewery.
Poured into a stout glass

19 took the baseline of Scratch 15 and turned it into a true composition.

A- Outstanding. Dark, fluffy foam and great head retention. Large, round bubbles that lingered in the head. Lacing was very complimentary and stayed for the whole ride. Light did not pass through the darkness of the liquid.

S- Rich roasted malts, combined with the coffee beans gave a solid backbone to the nose. A slight sweetness also came through.

T- Incredible on many levels. What a solid tasting stout. Roasted malts are not in your face but have a great presence. Great Oatmeal flavor and sweetness (which 15 lacked)...very balanced. At 9.5% ABV, the alcohol taste slices through and is evened out by the slight hoppiness that lingers.

M- This beer is a smooth criminal on the mouthfeel...Roasted malts roll up front and stay for the entire ride. The coffee taste hits after the malts and creates a nice bitterness that evened by the slickness of the oatmeal sweetness. The combination of the subtle hops, at the end, and the coffee makes a nice semi dry finish complimented by the slight alcohol burn.

D- Very Drinkable. The mouthfeel and taste are true and consistent, from the beginning to the end. This is the type of stout that can get away from you. We do have to mind our Ps and Qs - The Brothers Troeger have a way of masking the left hook of their ABV.

This is an outstanding beer.
I wish it was year round and/or available in bottles.

Chris/John...Home Run with this one.
Thank you very much.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of HopDerek
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ffej for sharing some of this with me.

Poured a deep black with 1+ fingers of frothy tan head into a snifter. Good retention and lacing with an oily coating as well. Smells of leather, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and earthy hops. Tastes of chocolate and cocoa powder up front followed by some roasted malts and oats. Finishes with a nice dose of coffee, espresso beans, and earthy hops with a nice touch of alcohol warmth. Medium-full to full in body with good carbonation. Silky, smooth, and slick with nice chocolate and coffee flavors. A terrific brew by Troegs, shame that it was so limited. Hopefully they'll do this one again, maybe even improving on it again!

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Photo of younger35
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a growler of this bad boy from the extremely generous FooFaa. This guys extras were better than most trades I make. I've had all the Scratch brews so far and the last coffee beer (Scratch #15) was so-so last time. I expect much more from this one! Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super dark black with hues of a crimson brown around the edges. A very small tan head is formed with a very aggressive pour from the growler but a thin tan ring is all that hangs around the edges.
Smell- Very roasted and malty with big aggressive whiffs of French roast. Creamy and double stuffed Oreo like brownie batter and rich chocolate chip fudge ooze out of the glass. Maybe a bit of vanilla as well to help accentuate the chocolate but the nose is pretty much coffee and chocolate.
Taste- Starts with a bit of vanilla meringue and a tinge of alcohol before the chocolate and coffee take over. I can't decide which is stronger but I route for the coffee so I'll say its more dominate. Its bitter and fully roasted and just how I like it, strong. The chocolate isn't as full of fudge and sweetness as the nose led me to believe. It's more cocoa nib like as it's raw and dark. Maybe even a touch of tobacco on the finish as it has sort of earthy bitter linger.
Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy with a silky smooth oatmeal feel that is somewhat oily and nice. Very light carbonation that adds to that smoothness as well.
Drinkability- This was exactly what I wanted Scratch #15 to be like. The coffee and malt are kicked up a notch and that's what it needed. It's a shame this was only available in growlers and on draft. Thanks much for your extreme generosity Dan!!

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Photo of ffejherb
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured via growler into a shaker pint on 5/27/09. OK, so I'm going to do a second review of this. M'wah!

A - Black body with slight burgundy highlights and two fingers of thick, frothy mocha head that settled to a quarter inch of retention and left lots of sticky lace around the glass.

S - Bitter cocoa nibbs and chocolate with subtle coffee notes and earthy hops.

T - Semi-sweet cocoa and chocolate notes with a more prevalent coffee character than in the aroma. Flaked oats offer a smooth maltiness to the chocolate and coffee aspects. Earthy hops appear in the finish to round out the equasion.

M - Full-bodied with a rich and chewy texture and smooth, luscious yet pretty slick mouthfeel. Finish is quite bitter on the palate.

D - Pretty much the same from the growler as it was on tap. However, I added some points because the growler pour turned out to be a bit more attractive than the draught version I sampled.

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Scratch Beer 19 - 2009 (Imperial Double Espresso Oatmeal Stout) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 18 ratings