Scratch Beer 34 - 2010 (Tim's Belgian Brown) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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20 Ratings

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
At Tröegs Brewery we love beers that tell a story and beers with surprise endings. Dubbed TBB, Scratch #34 is brewer Tim Mayhew’s take on his favorite beer style. Scratch #34 packs a malty aroma suggesting raisins with hints of chocolate and caramel. On your taste buds, the raisin flavor continues along with traces of dark rum and subtle spice provided by the Westmalle yeast. It finishes with a slight hop bitterness. The story behind TBB gets to the foundation of the Scratch Series – experiment, educate, have fun and beware of pitfalls. We chose to bottle condition TBB as Tim wanted a near-champagne carbonation for this beer. However, yeast does what it does, and in this case, it crapped out before finishing. Even after Tim spent one evening reinvigorating the yeast (that means he shook the hell out of 180 cases of beer for 30 seconds each), the beer still would not finish and a decision had to be made. Always innovating, Tim and the brewers dumped as many bottles as possible into a wood barrel, and we will await the surprise ending. For now, enjoy Scratch #34 on draft and stay tuned for the complete story.

Added by John_M on 10-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by younger35:
Photo of younger35
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this beer from Gibby as an extra, thanks man! I’ve had a lot of the Scratch Beers but I have missed a few here and there. Drank from my Russian River tulip.

Appearance- Pours a nice clear brownish ruby with a nice fizzle and one finger light tan head. Nah a cap or collar remains along with zero lacing.
Smell- Surprisingly fruity smelling with a strong cherry and almost cranberry like tartness. Seriously, I’d never guess this was a Brown Belgium. It’s crazy tart smelling. Does this have fruit in it? Oddly it’s not on their website to figure it out. There is a touch of grainy toast hiding in the background but mostly this is just fruity and tart smelling.
Taste- Well that tart fruitiness isn’t really present in the taste at all. There is sort of a dry fruity undertone but I’d guess that is more because of the yeast than any fruit. The taste is actually fairly bland as there is a grainy sort of maltiness going on. Surprisingly dry as any sort of sweetness you’d expect from a Belgium isn’t at all present. A fairly earthy finish as there is a lingering empty spice bite.
Mouthfeel- Fairly watery and just blah, a lot like the flavor. The carbonation is fairly low as well but not bad.
Drinkability- Over the beer is really weird. It smells like one thing, tastes like another. I actually really like the nose with the fruity thing but the taste is just weird. I can kinda see what they were going for and maybe they hit it fresh but with a touch of age; not great. Another not so great Scratch.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A sweet Belgian brown, some calling a dubbel. Pours brown bodied, and very little white head left after 5 minutes. Above average mouthfeel that is creamy and suitably undercarbonated.Malted, a little hops, yeast is not recognized as a major taste. Well balanced though on the mildly sweet side, I file this under the style. Nicely drinkable. Alcohol well hidden.

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Photo of nickd717
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler thanks to StormKing47.

Pours a nice clear reddish amber color with a large off-white head and good lacing.

Nice subtle Belgian aroma with caramel malts and nice fruity esters.

The flavor is nice with caramel malt, slightly sweet, maybe some candi sugar, banana and apple esters as well as some red berries.

Medium-bodied with great soft carbonation and a nice smooth finish.

Solid stuff from my hometown boys. A pleasure to tick.

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Photo of Bdel34
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Tröegs Brewing Company on 11/5/10. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a deep clear coppery garnet color (that gets a bit more coppery towards the bottom of the glass), topped with a finger of smooth off-white head. This retains with some foamy richness that throws a robust cascade up which quickly slides the sides of the glass. Not much lacing is actually left back from this. The aroma smells of candy apple, layered on top of notes of toasted bread. Some fruity esters, green fresh hops, and some zippy spice liven this up as well. A stiff mix of yeast and warmth park themselves in the background.

The taste has a bit of a hoppy bite to it, with an earthy and prickly bitterness that is surrounded on the sides by a mix of sugar, fruit, and bread. This is giving off a bit of a light fruit punch presence. There is a dusty and spicy feel from the yeast in the finish but enough residual sweetness sticks around to keep it from being overly so. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a sharp creaminess up front that then gets much softer towards the swallow where it counts. There is definitely some alcohol warmth present, which hangs on the breath after each sip, but this still drinks pretty well for the size and style here.

It's good to see another new Belgian style coming out of the Scratch series. The taste didn't quite live up to the promise of the aroma for me but the body and drinkibility kept this one in the game. I wish that the bottles could have worked out for this Scratch entry, as this would have been a warming sipper to enjoy this winter.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ksak for filling this growler for me on 18-Oct-10. Consumed on 22-Oct-10.

A: The dubbel has a reddish brown ruddy color that is punctuated by bright orange earthy hues. The first pour generated almost two fingers of head, an off-white tan color, that quickly dissapated.

S: The nose has dark fruits and sweet candi sugars and is enticingly full. Caramel malts manage to peak through but for the most part the dark fruits and Belgian yeast dominate. Pear influences, along with dates, are strong.

T: The dubbel is sweet but noticeably strong. Candi sugars are darker and sweeter than the nose let on, adding a fuller flavor. The Belgian yeast adds a very biting spiciness that gets a little hot at times. The booziness often gets in the way, dragging the flavor off-course. Add to that the fact that the full flavors quickly fade. What starts out strong doesn't linger as long as you'd expect.

M: Ample breadiness follows the Belgian presence, a dubbel with a nice taste that fades a little too quickly.

D: Finally, a dubbel! Even with the stronger, boozy presence the ale goes down quite easily.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It was the scratch beer festival night! i had spent a good deal of time collecting these and finally tracked down the last of what i needed and put them all down in a massive tasting. Split with my brother in law and his buddy on 5/6, these were all split into 6 ounce samplers.

The pour was really well done here with a nice amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting. Comes across almost like an amber ale to me, has that bready maltiness and caramel flavor I associate with it. A bit thin on the feel but the carbonation really saves it and gives it that little bit of pop to pull you in. Soo nicely done that it goes down like candy and really just a smooth and really nice drinking beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.73/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the brewery last weekend. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a muddy brown color with a tan head. Slight lace rings. The nose is a light amount of dark fruits and an off astringency--almost earthy and bitter, bordering on metallic. The taste is the same and there really isn't much dark fruit or caramel character to hold the off flavors back. Metallic might be too far, but it's certainly a bit astringent. Had a hard time describing it. Feel is a bit light for the style. I wasn't a big fan of this, I'm sad to say. Perhaps the first Scratch beer I have not enjoyed.

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Photo of vkv822
2.57/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
generous extra sent by pittsburghkid66, thanks man!

Pours a mild brown, with nice red, almost very dark grapefruit colored hues when held to the light. Only a thin wisp of white foam around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is of cherry, or perhaps raspberry upfront.

The taste is again cherry upfront, with some light sweetness and malts, but it drops of quite fast.

The mouthfeel is quite thin, with very low carbonation. Leaves it a bit watery feeling.

The appearance and nose were intriguing but unfortunately the quick drop of in the flavor and thin mouthfeel leave this quite watery feeling and overall underwhelming.

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Photo of sweemzander
1.99/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to kegatron for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a clear amber color. Produced an off-white cap of froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A bizarre smell; orange and lemon peel; a spritzy-like fizzy lemon/orange drink; its like tang/lemonade/and Sprite at the same time. Very odd.

(T)- Agian, like the smell, this is very different and bizarre. A very fruity banana and citrus yeast, but with a rustic-like nutty malt core.

(M)- A crisp carbonation level. Very odd and disjointed; not quite a brown ale and not a fruit ale either. Very weird.

(D)- This is just a weird beer. I am not sold with this being a dubbel, but rather somewhere between and brown ale and fruit beer hybrid.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double checked, but for some reason Scratch 34 has not yet been added to the data base. That makes no sense, so I'm sure there's some story to explain its absence.

On tap at Max's during Baltimore Beer week. Missed the Troegs event unfortunately, or I'd ask the rep what the deal is.

The beer pours a reddish copper color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing considerable brown sugar, caramel and maybe some maraschino cherry. Flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet beer. However, despite the sweetness and underlying spice, the beer isn't heavy or cloying. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long finish. Drinkability is pretty good, despite the amount of sweetness. The 7% alcohol is barely noticeable and is well integrated into the flavor profile.

One of the better domestic dubbel style beers I've had. Very nice beer.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Looked pretty nice, had a decent head development, no stickiness of the lacing, and low low retention. Amber body hides many of the intricacies. Not too much in carbonation, some singular bubbles here and there let you know its not a flat beverage.

S- Strong raspberry sweetness with the fantastic balancing seed and vine aroma. Vegetation. Its unreal the strength of this raspberry aroma after how long?! Some light maltiness on the edges.. simple sweet and grainy.

T- Big bursts of sweetness, raspberry mostly, but the intensity of the sweetness is beyond just fructose. Seems like sucrose was added on top of raspberries. Get the grainy nature of the seeds and leaves. Not much is coming through beyond that, however. There is a phenolic vinous characteristic at least so its not just a fruit drink. Finishes dry and light bitterness, just the barest hint of it right at the left back edges of my tongue, relatively clean.

M- Pretty light body, not too full, watery. Not so sticky, malty for sure. Ethanolic bites here and there betraying the sub 8% alcohol level

Not the best beer, but definitely not the worst. Nice, good, enjoyable. A good start to my MLG night.

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Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Slightly hazed bright copper with a thin white head that held on strong and left spotty lace.

S-Brown sugar, raisins, spicy yeast kick and mild biscuit notes. Overall the aroma profile is rather light but it is quite pleasant.

T-Much like the aroma with more of a spicy kick from the yeast coming through on the front side. Subtle twang in the background and moderating sweetness from the malt and brown sugar aspect. Drying finish increases with warming.

M-Medium bodied and fairly sharp with good lingering spiciness and an astringent finish.

D-Nice, not a "true" dubbel IMHO and more like a Belgian Brown but hey, who am I to quibble? Nonetheless it is flavourful and easy to drink.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's tonight. I was disappointed to have missed the Scratch 35, but was more than pleased to find this.

Clear copper with a dense light brown head that recedes to a ring, leaving a little lace. The nose is malty with caramel, candy, sugar and a little spice. In some ways, it makes me think of fall, with a pleasant blend of caramel and spice. A little floral too, I do get some rose and chamomile-like character.

The palate opens sweet with caramel, burnt sugar and a little spice, all along with some yeast. The floral sweetness is present as well. Drying on the finish, this beer has a medium-light body and medium-high carbonation. There's a blend of sugar and spice, mildly mace/cinnamon-like, maybe? Solid stuff, I'd love to drink this again.

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Photo of orangesol
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in the Troegs tasting room into a goblet.

A - Pours a dark brown with hints of red. A one finger head dissipates quickly leaving a light lacing on the glass.

S - Rich roasty, caramel, malts with hints of dark fruits and cherry. Hints of herbal hops and belgian yeast hide in the background. Very complex nose to say the least.

T - Sweet caramel malt with a dash of spices from the yeast and a biting, herbal, note from the hops. Similar taste to the nose, with hints of dark fruits and cherries. The alcohol seems to muddle the flavors a bit but they are still there.

M - Lightly carbonated with medium-heavy body and flavor with a dry finish thanks to all the wheat/yeast. The alcohol adds a warming sensation to the pallet.

D - A very enjoyable beer with a lot going on for it. A welcome addition to the scratch beer lineup.

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Photo of stakem
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a swing top growler into a goblet care of Bryan. Thanks for picking this up for me.

It appears a lightly hazed amber brown color with 2+ fingers of yellowish tanned head that fade back to a thin film across the top of the brew. Some patchy lace clings to the glassware and bubbles of carbonation rise constantly through the body from the imperfections in the glass.

The aroma is a familiar spiced belgian style yeasty scent. It smells rich with a dark sweetness like candied apple mixed with cloves and a touch of banana. A slight prick of the alcohol is noticed and a bit of maltiness suggesting faint chocolate and a touch of earthy hops.

The taste is spicy belgian yeast upfront with a flavoring a bit like clove and banana. There is a light fruity sweetness tasting of fruit skins minorly reminiscent of apple and some chocolate malt notes. The alcohol becomes more evident as this brew warms with a pleasant flavor that accents the bitterness that keeps the fruity sweet taste of this brew in check.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. I had this one tap a few weeks ago in the tasting room and it really didn't do much for me. Having a chance to sit down and enjoy it now, I am liking it a bit more. Nothing flashy or exciting about this brew but it is done well and is a fine representation of the style.

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Photo of thain709
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a reddish tinted body and a creamy, light brown head...the head quickly disappeared to a ring...but it did leave some decent lacing

S - Not to much on the nose...some sweet notes from the caramel malt and sugar...a slight, underlying fruity aroma

T - The flavors here are just okay...they are more pronounced than the aroma suggests, but as the beer warms up the flavors fade and the alcohol comes for the flavors...the beer starts off sweet with the caramel malt and candied sugar...the yeast strain adds flavor to the middle where it showcases a bit of spiciness...the dark fruits and hops end the beer with an earthy finish

M - Medium bodied...nice carbonation...alcohol comes through as the beer warms

D - I'm glad to see the brothers tried a new style (listed as Belgian Brown Ale at brewery)...but I wasn't impressed...the flavors were okay but there was a big alcohol presence for only 7% ABV...maybe a tripel sometime?

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Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the brewery tasting room on 10/22 -served in a goblet, chilled.

The beer is a medium brown/bronze shade w/out a head, just a ring of tiny beads and clarity is just slightly hazed translucent. The aroma of nutty sweet malt like dates and light raisin w/ a slight candied walnut odor. There is an earthy sweetness and slight toasted grain note too.
The feel is great with lively carbonation and spicy moderate alcohol on the palate w/ tinges of fruity tang and dried fruit sweetness is mellow w/ a very dry finish.

The flavor of dark brown sugar and caramel w/ a chewiness of malt w/ mild toasted and woody flavors combined with a light pepper tinge. The taste has light herbal hop and mild bark tinge w/ slight breadiness in the yeast w/ a dry bristly finish. I enjoyed this a lot- good to sip on while watching Mecca Bodega perform live in the tasting room(thanks to oneraindog for setting it up)! I think this is a quality dubbel or dark belgian ale however you make it fit style-wise. I thoroughly enjoyed this, a quality belgian style from the Bros.!

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Photo of bacher468
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of ffejherb
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Troegs on 11/2/10. Served in a goblet.

A - Appeared as a tawney, translucent reddish brown liquid with a billowy cap of beige foam on top that receded to a thin bubbly patch and deposited spotted lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Aroma isn't too pronounced at first due to the temperature of the liquid. After a few minutes, dark fruit notes suggesting raisin and currant became obvious, followed by a hint of molasses until, finally, a touch of alcohol emerged well after the liquid reached prime temperature.

T - Dark fruit is at the forefront again, although I get a sense of crisp apple and tree fruit skins as well. Chocolate notes and raw cookie dough mingle with bubble gum, which makes for an interesting combination mid-way through. Finishes with a hint of earthy hop bitterness in the backend.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Finishes with a slight earthy hop bite and residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Very Dubbelish, although this was described at the brewery as a "Belgian Brown Ale." The alcohol remains well-concealed throughout. The flavors really opened up after the liquid was given ample time to warm up.

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Scratch Beer 34 - 2010 (Tim's Belgian Brown) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 20 ratings