Scratch Beer 20 - 2009 (Apollo Imperial Ale) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Scratch Beer 20 - 2009 (Apollo Imperial Ale)Scratch Beer 20 - 2009 (Apollo Imperial Ale)
64 Ratings
Scratch Beer 20 - 2009 (Apollo Imperial Ale)Scratch Beer 20 - 2009 (Apollo Imperial Ale)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Scratch #20 has been dubbed Apollo Imperial Ale because of our experimentation with a new hop variety. Apollo hops are high alpha acid with an intense aroma. Married with other high alpha hops, with almost two pounds of hops added per barrel produced, AIA has an intense staying power in the back of the throat. After a long discussion between Chris, John and the brewers, they dubbed this hop flavor stinky grapefruit with a hint of perfume. The dark color might lead you to believe the some malt may shine through; but no, the hops are the true player in this ale. Scratch #20 serves a dual purpose since it will also appear as The Drafting Room’s Anniversary Ale for 2009. We brewed a bit more to serve the brewery and The Drafting Room, but get it while you can.

Added by ffejherb on 06-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 57
Reviews by BeerTruth:
Photo of BeerTruth
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from younger35, about time you hooked me up with a Scratch beer ;)

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a muddy brown with a red tint when held up to the light and a monster three finger off-white head. Great head retention with a chunky lace that holds on to the sides of the glass. Some floaties in this one as well. Aroma consists of gooey grapefruit with lots of sugar. A good amount of caramel malts and some biscuits as well. A tiny bit of pine can be detected in the nose as well. Taste starts off with more sweet grapefruit, pear, and some mandarine oranges. Midway some grassy flavors emerge with a touch of spruce. Aftertaste is where the malt profile emerges; caramel, molasses, and bread. This is a tasty beverage. The feel of this beer seems to be the only short coming. Creamy with a medium to full body, but there's a sting in the mouth that seems to linger for quite a while that's unpleasant for sure. This is a great DIPA, and quite a surprise actually. Another one I'd love to see in Troeg's regular lineup. Thanks again Dan-O, but you're still a Monday lover.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Troeg's tasting room yesterday. Pours with a thin head & nice lacing. Dark amber in color. Citrus hops in taste & it reminds me of NN. Mouthfeel is smooth & this is very drinkable including an ABV of 7%. Not sure if I would call this a double IPA instead of an IPA but this is a fine brew.


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Photo of rudylaw
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to FooFaa for this extra!

Pours a delicious amber with a fluffy head. Recedes to a foamy ring that ushers you all the way home.

Lots of pine with a skosh of citrus in the schnoz.

Same in the mouth but with a good balance of malt. It reminds me of Ambergeddon in terms of taste upfront. Nice carbonation with a pleasant mouthfeel and a dry finish. Drinkability is off the charts!

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Photo of mikey711
3.31/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A cloudy dark caramel, near brown with a qauter inch of foamy white head. Good lacing left behind

S: A slight soapy hop aroma, no bitterness or citrus notes. A decent amount of caramel malt sweetness in the background

T: Mostly caramel malt sweetness with only a touch of hops in the background. It is not totally offensive but not really what i am looking for in a DIPA

M: A very nice creaminess and body. No heat or harsh tones

D: I would have liked to try this one a bit fresher as the hops are non existant.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -2%

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

Bottle via trade thanks to KnightRider on BA, labeled as "Troegs Scratch 20."

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a one-finger off-white head and good lacing.

S - Aroma is citrusy hops - the description of "stinky grapefruit" fits it well - and just a hint of caramel malt.

T - Lots of grapefruity and floral hops, resin, and some caramel malt. Light fruit notes also present. Age has apparently not harmed this beer much - it's still very good and hoppy.

M - Body is medium and palate is resinous with prickly carbonation.

D - Pretty high for an IPA. This is another good one from Troegs, makes me proud of my hometown brewers.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Troegs Brewing Company on 6/25/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a beautiful clear copper with a thin head of off-white foam. Good retention here, which stays frothy, throwing a cascade of foamy lace up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is fairly floral and piny, and VERY citric smelling, which mixes with the sweetness of the malts to really impart a sharp tang in the nose. Very light spicing and warmth to this as well.

The taste has a nice sharp hop bite to it up front, coming off as a bit more spicy and resinous than the aroma did. Actually the bitterness in this is pretty intense at times, laying a heavy lingering dryness on the palate. That same tangy mix of citrus and caramel malts from the aroma is present, helping cut the initial hop blast and then slowly fading into the background to enable the bitterness to shine. I wouldn't say that the balance was excellent in this but it's pretty darn good. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly sharp feel to the carbonation that makes the hops pop that much more and pretty much staying that way the whole way through. There is a touch of beef to this, not a whole lot, just leaving some light warmth on the breath. I had two pints of this and it caught up to me quicker than I thought that it would.

Solid hoppy fix here from Troegs. Nothing really spectacular for me but overall solid. The drinkibility of this for 7% is pretty killer though.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle. Have I ever mentioned that I love having Tröegs right down the street.

A: The IPA is a muted orange hue, a bright amber color even with the haze. A dense head with an eggshell white color has laced around the top of the glass.

S: The nose isn't too inspiring, a little hoppy with a murky malt-hop intersection that suggests hops past their prime. That's sad because the bottle I had a few weeks back was still rocking.

T: The caramel malts stand out, both in the head and in the first sip. Behind the malts, an undefined sweetness lingers. Part hop, part something else, it is a last vestige of this great ale. It retains enough life to fill me with memories. The ale still retains a solid flavor, malt-driven this time around.

M: The malts standout with a caramel sweetness although there is a nice hop undertone that refuses to die.

D: My recommendation is to take a time machine back four months and try this on-tap. A gorgeous IPA then, a decent one now. I'm gonna have to try my remaining bottles soon and hope to find one gem.

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Photo of dental
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mikesgroove
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In keeping up with my scratch releases, I have here with me Scratch 20. I have never missed a release yet and do not plan to start now! Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 07/05/2009.

This may be up there with my favorite release to date in this series. Being the enormous fan of the style that I am, it was only a matter of time before I made another run in with a gem. The pour was brilliant, and just what I would have wanted it to be. Rich amber in color with a light cloudiness to it. A big head of white rises up to the top of the glass to a height of nearly two inches before settling back down into a maze of spider web like lacing that is insane to behold. Some nice carbonation working its way up the glass as well, this one was a damn fine looking IPA. Tons of ripe citrus on the nose, just rank with it. Orange and pineapple, hints of sweet notes buried way down deep, but this was a citrus monster all the way. Thick feel too, but the carbonation gave it that little extra bump so it did not feel to terribly big, but still, wow. As I take the first sip a wave of rich hops just roll across the tongue, Orange and Grapefruit lead the charge with a very bright and very smooth delivery. A touch of light biscuit notes in the back end, but really wow, this was a very hoppy IPA. Smooth and deceptive, I had no idea this was as big as it was and I was able to polish it off in no time.

Overall very solid and something I would gladly do again any day. This has to get down here again, I was loving this one from start to finish.

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Photo of iRun2Beer
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, floral hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste is very nicely balanced and starts with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. There's a good strong but not over-powering hops bitterness that comes in next along with a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet. It seems a lot like a less hoppy Nugget Nectar.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a very good beer that is worth drinking for a whole evening.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear copper color, frothy head that diminishes quickly, decent lacing.

S-Pine, herbs, pepper up front. Citrus and carmel malts on the end.

T-Sharp piney hops and spice. Almost cologne like. Citrusy hops and and carmel malts on he rear, but dont level off the beer.

M-Medium bodied, slightly sticky, piney and bitter aftertaste

D-OK DIPA, too much emphasis on the pine and spice makes it very cologne like. Needs balance.

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Photo of natasharai
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured with a nice creamy, frothy head that dissipated to a thin layer leaving a nice lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is clear with a dark orange copper color.

Smell: Caramel, toasted malt, sweet walnut, and sweet citrus hops. Overall the smell is pretty light.

Taste: Sweet caramel malt, lightly toasted, sweet nutty/earthy flavors, nice citrus hops, some light floral hops. Ends with a nice roasted/hop bitterness that is very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth and silky, nice (lower) amount of carbonation, some hop tingle on the tongue, and leaves mouth very clean and refreshing.

Overall: Really drinkable, the flavors are not too overpowering or too sharp. The hops have faded quite a bit, which makes this beer seem more like an IPA than a DIPA. Nice sweet malt character has come out with the age and makes it very easy to drink and enjoy! Many nutty and earthy flavors come out and the hops maintain their citrus character but become muted. Really refreshing. Would love to have tried a fresh one to compare to, but this was delicious either way.

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Photo of grub
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 5/09.

pours deep fiery reddish orange wht just a touch of haze. a small dense yellowish tan head forms, dropping fairly fast with lots of spotty lace.

aroma is good. bit of alcohol. pine and grapefruit. rye bread. biscuit. light toasty character. actually, multi-grain than rye bread. bit of orange and tangerine. light dark caramel.

taste is nice. caramel. bit of alcohol. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit. pine and grapefruit. light orange. bit of citrus peel. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. slightly over medium body. very fine carbonation, just below medium level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. good depth. nice malt and hop profile.

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Photo of hopdog
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Springfileld location (same as the Drafting Room Anniversary 15 beer).

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, a little toasty, floral and skunky weed. Tastes of citrus (grapefruit), caramel, and I was getting some tropical fruitiness. Some lacing left on the glass.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Greg for this one.

A: The beer pours an amber in color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Not too much intensity left to the hop character. A bit of sweet pineapple aroma and some brown sugar and caramel malts. Light citrus notes in the background, as well as a light pine.

T: The flavor leans toward the sweet side with plenty of bread and caramel. Bitter pine and light grass qualities. Not much of the tropical fruit/pineapple that I picked up on the nose. Also not quite as enjoyable as the nose.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Hasn't held up very well, unfortunately.

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Photo of portia99
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received in trade with tanger. Thanks! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a yeasty orange color with a skim coat of cream colored foam which falls immediately to just a nice collar with a hint of lacing left behind as the beer level descends into the bottom of the glass. Lots of particles in suspension in this beer. Note: it was a pretty vigorous pour with no regard to leaving yeast in the bottom of the bottle.

S - Hoppy - citrusy mainly with some grassiness and tropical fruitiness. Some sweet malt in the background to round things out, caramel, yeastiness.

T - Taste follows the aroma with a little more dimension. Lots of hop flavor and character. Hops are spicy, citrusy and fruity. Grapefruit, oranges, mangos, pineapple. A good bitter bite - sharp and crisp. Caramel and sweet malt keep this beer balanced - although solidly on the hops side. Very good.

M - Full bodied, firm and thick on the tongue. Carbonation is medium, a bit higher than typical for a DIPA, but works for me in this one. Helps push the bitterness to the forefront. Flavors fill the mouth as malty aspects coat the mouth and carry the bitter hops with it. Leaves a tingly feeling in the mouth after the swallow.

D - Only 7% alcohol...not very high for an imperial. Doesn't make it's presence known in the flavor either. Tons of hop flavor and plenty of malt to balance. Very nice DIPA. More balanced than most west coast examples of this style, which I love, but this one stands up on its own apart from that model. Too bad this one is limited. Could go for more of this one.

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Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of John_M
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at TDR today. Some IPA's are better on gas then cask, some are better out of the cask. This is not one of those beers.

The beer pours a striking amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer looks really, really good, but after that things seem to fall apart. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some pepper, cardboard and light malt. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose unfortunately, with the beer showing none of the bright, fruity hoppiness it shows on the gas. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is OK. The beer is fairly smooth on the palate from the cask conditioning, but it really loses some of the lovely hopppy, bitterness one gets on the gas. Still a nice beer, but this beer is so much better on CO2. Oh well...

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Photo of Khazadum
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of aglose45
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sitting here at Troegs Brewing Company in Harrisburg, Pa. I came to pick up a case of this wonderful beer, and decided to sit down and review it directly from the source while I was here!

A: Wonderful golden brown, with a hint of ruby to it. Beautiful, thick, ivory head. In fact, the head was up and out of the glass, which looked quite cool. Thick lacing was left on the side of glass, so thick that I can't see out the other side.

S: Grapefruit is the first smell that I picked up, it was juicy and wonderful. Following that was some orange, and finally a malt backbone consisting of biscuit and bread. This smells excellent, and I'm excited to move forward to the taste. After revisiting the nose I picked up a bit of piney hops, not too strong, but it was there.

T: From the first sip I could tell that this is a wonderfully balanced IIPA. The grapefruit and orange citrusyness just dances on my palate. The flavor is bold and juicy, very tasty. This hop assault, although it's not too bitter - more juicy, is backed up by a solid biscuit and bread maltyness. I prefer the biscuit backbone over the caramel backbone, which leads me to really enjoy this beer.

M: Medium bodied, good stickiness remains on the palate, and there is a good amount of carbonation for the style.

D: This beer has an insane flavor, is balanced so I won't get sick of it after a few pints, and is only 7% abv! What else could I ask for in a IIPA that is available to me by the case? Not much..

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Photo of Deuane
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear copper with a medium yellowish, light tan head that reduces to a thin cap and leaves decent lace.

S-Pine resin and citrus rind hops up front.A strong supporting caramel malt base adds to the aroma. A bit of peppery spice in the background.

T-Sharp hop bite to it up front with a spicy and resinous pop that almost overwhelms. Strong follow up citrus and sweet caramel malt comes to the rescue to help smooth things out.

M-Medium bodied with a sharp biting feel that almost becomes too much. LONG lasting hop bitterness.

D-Damn good but....the hop profile is not my ideal and it almost overwhelmed me at times. Certainly a very good IPA but the pine resin bitterness is just a bit out of balance for me. It does "lighten" up and get more citrusy with warming....odd, but welcomed!

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Photo of augie
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Viggo
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, big thanks to BeerLoco for throwing this one in on a recent trade!

Pours a mostly clear reddish amber, thick off white head forms, settles down to a thick layer, some lace spots stick all over the glass. Smell is interesting, buttery, floral and fruity hops, caramel, not much going on, maybe a diacetyl problem. Taste is a bit better, grapefruit and floral, alcohol, berries, butter, a bit sour, herbal and spicy bitterness in the finish, a bit messy. Mouthfeel is meidum bodied with medium carbonation. Not a winner for me with the scratch series, has some nice characteristics but didn't do it for me. Thanks Alan!

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Scratch Beer 20 - 2009 (Apollo Imperial Ale) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 64 ratings