Scratch Beer 41 - 2011 (Cacaoabunga Redux) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Scratch Beer 41 - 2011 (Cacaoabunga Redux)Scratch Beer 41 - 2011 (Cacaoabunga Redux)
42 Ratings
Scratch Beer 41 - 2011 (Cacaoabunga Redux)Scratch Beer 41 - 2011 (Cacaoabunga Redux)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A redux of Scratch 27 this brew is a chocolate stout with 50 pounds of roasted cacao nibs and a healthy dose of vanilla beans, Simcoe and Galena hops, giving it a described "blast of bittersweet chocolate and a rich finish". This is another collaboration with Scharffen Berger Chocolate.

Added by Deuane on 02-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 30
Reviews by SFLpunk:
Photo of SFLpunk
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stakem for this one! 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Scratch batch "Stout - 41."

Pours a thin black with even thinner off-white head. Nose is perfumed with chocolate and the suggestion of a rich, chocolate liqueur. Palate is medium bodied and biting on the front palate. Maybe because of the hops? Flick on the tip of the tongue and then wide open dusty, whole bean cocoa and coffees all over the board - earthy and velvety. Great flavors here! Mouthfeel is pretty good, maybe it's just too cold.

Notes: Wasn't expecting this awesome of a beer. Well done!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murky dark brown color with a thin light brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving almost no lace.

This beer has a nice mild roasted malt aroma. Some caramel amd molasses. I can also detect some figs. I also get a milk chocolate aroma.

This beer tastes like cocoa powder. I taste some caramel malt as well, but the dominate flavoe is chocolate. Mild though, and not cloying.

This beer is smooth. It is low in carbontion, fitting the style nicely. It leaves a chocolate aftertaste on the way down.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It tastes good, its mild, and it isnt too high in alcohol.

Overall: This beer is pretty good. Thanks to Sbaldwin for the chance to try this one.

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Photo of Bwig218
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Troegman
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it when released at the brewery.

Pours like a nice stout should with a nice tan creamy head on it.
Has a sweet chocolate nose with some vanilla in there as well. Coffee is in the back round.

I'm tasting a nice vanilla and chocolate combo with some malt/coffee base. First bottle I had seemed too sweet(two weeks ago) but had another last night and liked it more.

Has a medium body to it, not as heavy as FBS. Carbonation seems correct.

You really don't taste the alcohol. The more I drink it the more I like it, but maybe only one at a time.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black in the glass, with a tight finger of burnt and reddish looking dark mocha head. This sticks around with a ½ finger of foamy richness, which throws up a robust cascade of lacing that then hangs on the sides in thick spotty swathes. The aroma has a thick sweet tang to it of chocolate and vanilla, with is enveloped in some dark roasted coffee character (there is a touch of acrid smokiness to this) and a green smelling leafiness.

The taste is sweet with chocolate, caramel, milky sugars, and vanilla up front, before giving way to a fairly sharp bitterness here, courtesy of some citric hops and dark crunchy roast. This is maybe a bit too bitter across the back of the profile, as this ends with a deeply dry and burnt finish that lingers strongly. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, with a firm sharpness to the carbonation that then gets creamier towards the back. I actually taste just a smidge of alcohol in the profile here but the overall feel definitely has a bit of a warm heft to it.

I think that I might have enjoyed the first incarnation of this beer a bit more, as I remember it placing more of an emphasis on those sweet chocolate, cream, and vanilla flavors and a little less on the more burnt and bitter aspects of the base Porter. Don't get me wrong, there are still lots of things to like here but I would have liked to see a bit more overt sweetness present. So they've worked this beer twice now. I wonder if we might be seeing this as a bottled seasonal at some point down the line? Heck, I'd be happy just to see it every February!

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Photo of dfclav
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - pours a dark brown, almost black color with a very nice frothy two finger head that leaves creamy lacing all about.

S - the smell is of deep roasted malts, dark chocolate and vanilla that gives it a mocha-like smell. I didn't read about coffee being added here but it sure smells like it was used in moderation. The vanilla isn't as big as I thought it'd be, but it's there just before the boozy twang sets it off. The hops used here give off a very citric smell that go well with the beer. 

T - no, no coffee here. Very rich cocoa flavor and vanilla. Almost like how melted chocolate tastes. The flavors are well-blended. The booze is there but integrates well with the flavors. Aftertaste is splendid, like milk chocolate and hops.

M - a bit confusing here. Has potential to be more rich and complex but falls pretty short. No real twang from hops, good blend of malt character though. This really reminds me more of a schwarzbier then an American stout. It leans toward the light category in mouthfeel and the citric twang leads me to believe the hops played a large part in the bittering here. Finish is slightly dry with a very good aftertaste.

D - very good! I would love to session this beer early on in a tasting. It does well to pinpoint the initial flavors many dark beers have and doesn't wear your palate out. If they decided to bottle this I think it would make a good addition to a winter lineup. 

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Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle pulled from the cellar.

A: The stout Is dark, a wholesome black color that betrays nothing else. A tan head, more like coffee and cream, is thin and wispy.

S: Chocolate aromas are strong but not dominant. Instead they are sweet and smooth, well at home amongst the darker malts. A few stray vanilla strands liventhe nose up.

T: Vanilla and chcolate together, a winning team. The vanilla beans are rich, lush and sugary. They are paired with abundant chocolate, semi-sweet as compared to the vanilla. Spices follow, probably not intentional but a pleasant side effect. In total, the ale tastes light, not a heavy winter's stout. The dark roasted aspects of the stout are lost amongst the cacao and vanilla.

M: The mouthfeel is about right for a stout, darker but not burnt. Reduce this one down a bit and drizzle over vanilla ice cream? Sounds delicious doesn't it?

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 fantastic. Huge tan head rises up above an entirely black body. Wonderful retention leaves it several inches high and deposits tons of side glass web like lace. The smooth vanilla and cocoa aroma melds wonderfully with hints of coffee and a touch of molasses. Very complex here. As i take a sip the huge full bodied feel comes in waves over the tongue and settles down with a wonderful coating feeling of sweet chocolate and vanilla. As this fades though a very nice bite of hops comes in and seals the deal. Super sessionable, it was far more complex then the ABV would suggest,

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Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of danwho
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Le Cheval Blanc pint glass. Pours a jet black with deep ruby highlights around the edges of the glass. Slight, tan head that stands up.

Aromas of dark cocoa, vanilla, and dark roasted malts. Hints of chocolate covered orange peel.

Flavors of rich dark bittersweet chocolate, some of that chocolate covered orange peel you get on the nose. Some vanilla and dark roasted malts, and hints of dark roast coffee. Finish is medium, with bittersweet cocoa lingering.

Mouthfeel is medium, a mouthcoating light bitterness.

Overall, an outstanding flavored stout. Deep rich cocoa flavors really make this beer, especially paired with the citrus hops.

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of iadler
2.58/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Exitmusic00 and I decided to crack open the 3 random Scratch beers tonight we received in our first box from the tasting partners bif a couple months back. Thanks to our senders??

A- Pours a dark brown with a nice two finger mocha head that dissipates into a thin cap with some spots of lacing left behind.

S- Initially, it has a nice aroma of rich milk and dark chocolate, coffee beans and red cherry but then a soy sauce and bitter and earthy aroma of grass and dirt emerge.

T- Old coffee grounds, some grassy bitterness, roasted malt, soy sauce and a hint of dark chocolate. Odd with a slightly tart/bitter taste. Reminds me of old coffee that was left out for a few hours.

M- Low carbonation and body. A thin watery mouthfeel that finishes with some roasted malt.

O- Age has simply not helped this beer, which isn't a surprise. Very thin and watered down stout. Maybe it tasted better when fresh, but I will never know.

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Photo of dbexpert
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of pitweasel
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to my buddy Ben for giving me this bottle from his stash after I couldn't get any

A- pours jet black with a dark and beautiful three finger brown head. Real puffy. Lacing all the way around the glass. Beautiful.

S- chocolate! Smells pretty great. Not getting any of the vanilla, though...disappointing there

T- getting some bitterness from the chocolate, and also some sweetness from the vanilla bean...the combination creates a nice flavor profile that tastes like a nice ice cream swirl

M- I know we on BA hate these terms, but it seems very creamy and smooth. Real chewy. Not overwhelmingly thick, too

D- it's tasty for sure, and I really wish this was a full-time brew. One of the best scratches Troegs has done

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Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand bottled from a growler pour thanks to dfclav.

Very light fizzy head, most likely lighter due to hand bottling, thick essentially pitch black beer, fairly thick with some nice legs on the sides of the glass.

Nose is interesting tons of chocolate, hot cocoa, baker's chocolate, dark chocolate, some vanilla even, caramel, vanilla beans, smooth and rich and super heavy, some coffee and roast, toasted nuts, wow, intense!

Taste seems a little thinner than I expected from the nose and appearance, but not bad. It brings a lot more chocolate again, cocoa powder, a really high % cacao dark chocolate, bitter dark chocolate and baker's chocolate, some vanilla beans, little caramel and mocha, touch of coffee and roast, a slight gritty feel. The finish is fairly quick, lots of nice chocolate, cocoa bean, and rich, bit of vanilla.

Mouth is medium bodied, lighter than I expected, with very light carbonation, again due to hand bottling I'm sure.

Drink is good, creamy smooth, no real booze, a little thin on the body, nice dark chocolate flavors, could have used more carbonation but not the beer's fault.

 1,112 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

The Scratch Beer Dash keeps on truckin'. This leg was tasted side-by-side with the original Cocaoabunga to see how they measured up against each other. This younger version pours a very dark garnet-brown topped by over a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises rich dark chocolate powder, dark greens, roasted malts, mocha, and light buttery toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though the chocolate is more earthy, the bitterness is amped slightly, and some graham crackers are thrown in for good measure. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth-ish feel. Overall, a slightly richer, more bitter, and a bit spicier version o the original Cocaoabunga. I'd say it's a slight improvement.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike for sending me this one. I liked Scratch 27 a lot, so hoping this one is just as good.

A: The pour is almost black with a creamy off-white head.

S: Big time chocolate on the nose with a little bit of a peanut butter smell to it. Plenty of coffee and a nice roasted character to it. Just a hint of vanilla in there. Really enjoyable and solid overall.

T: The chocolate and vanilla flavors and very pronounced here. A nice creaminess and richness. Mild coffee and a little bit of roasted malt character. Just a hint of earthy hops.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, creamy carbonation.

O: Maybe even better than Scratch 27. This was damn good stuff.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Pours an impossible black hue that looks nearly still until a thin mocha foam appears as the last ounce leaves the bottle. Good retention considering how small the head is, plus random smatterings of lace. What a color...

Smell -- Definitive cocoa sweetness, reminiscent of a chocolate malt (milkshake), plus roasted-bordering-acrid malt, and a dark fruit note that resembles mostly dark and sweet cherries. Also a mild earthy hop presence. Very impressive.

Taste -- Dark roast malt is more prominent in the taste than the nose, with their competing characteristics giving a nice balance to the beer. There's also a very intriguing dark fruit character, almost a sweet cherry-meets-blueberry sweetness. Mild earthy hop bittering keeps the malt sweetness in check. Lingering flavors of charred malt and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel -- medium-light in body with prickly carbonation. Slightly gentler carbonation would have been preferable, but a twirl or two dozen remedies the issue. Probably the low-point of the beer as a whole, but still non-offensive.

Overall -- On the whole, the Tröegs Scratch beers are typically quite good, with #41 being in the upper tier. Really well executed - I can see why they chose to make this one twice. Great chocolate character, but not sickly sweet or one-dimensional, as is often the case for chocolate-infused stouts. Impressive, and definitely a contender for a new seasonal.

 1,430 characters

Photo of Khazadum
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice creamy froth appears in my pint glass! Did a good washing before I grabbed this bad boy to warm up a bit, by the way. Tons of retention, nice emulsive top with middle-aged mom cellulitis appearance from top down. Lacing is pretty decent. Little sporadic here and there, but otherwise good. Everything sits above this inky darkness... soy style, with the amber crimson hues at the base and edges.

S- Caramel for sure. Bit of brown sugar. Nice nutty sweet characteristic. Kind of earthen swing on the back end of it. Totally solid malt bill with just a bit of roast going on as well. I feel like there might be a hop power on the last flutes of air to flow into my nostrils.. something sharp, but I disregard that as a fleeting hallucination.

T- First impressions are kicking! We have at once a nutty and sweet combination. It has this brown sugar and molasses power with possible milk chocolate resemblances. Mmmm, cocoa powder chocolate as well! A milky sweetness that reminds me of lactose sugars. Middle presence is mostly caramel covered brown sugar and the finish is mild.

It has an almost non-existent hop presence, but it does show up for a brief chat at the last hurrah of the tasting segment. Gives me a little kick in the shins of bitterness. This was followed by a slap on the back of the hand from a roasted, folgers coffee-like flavor, and then there was no one left for me to converse with. Generally a sweet, flash-fire of a party with no one to help clean anything up.

M- Full bodied, very crisp, almost bitter, on the beginning but that doesn't detract from anything. I feel the carbonation that fades ever so quickly generates the buzz for all the interesting sweet variations on brown sugar. Little bit sticky, but nothing too noticeable.

D- I really like this beer. It is truly tasty. I don't know if I'm super biased after what I just finished drinking not too long ago, but this has rekindled my love of beer as quickly as Mamma destroyed it. Very easy to drink, no alcohol complaints at all. Probably very session-able if I had to give it a guess, 6%. I really wanted to say it was a brown ale, but something is giving me a kick that the roasted character needs addressing. Perhaps just a plain old American Stout? No... no way... I'll stick to Brown Ale for now.

 2,305 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Troegs Scratch 41 on tap at The Pony Bar in Hell's Kitchen, NY.

Appearance: Served in an eight-ounce glass, it comes with a superb tan head, almost overflowing from the glass. Perfect one-finger height/depth and lots of bubbles. Doesn't die! Outrageous retention, stays on and on. Fantastic lacing as well.

Smell: Some coffee, smooth-but-thick chocolate, roasty bitterness. Subdued compared to the very chocolaty taste. Sugars and cream, very dessert-like, but a high-quality one!

Taste: In the mouth, this beer is chocolate and more chocolate. Not over-the-top like Southern Tier Choklat, though, but smooth and well-balanced instead. If anything, a bit one-dimensional. It's all chocolate! Cocoa powder, chalky and bitter. Some vanilla. Dry finish. Malty-roasty bitterness all around.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body, full flavor. Sticky first, then dry.

Drinkability: Good, perhaps almost very good. Pleasant, never boozy. Well balanced. Engaging, enticing, would love more!

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Photo of yergermeister
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

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Scratch Beer 41 - 2011 (Cacaoabunga Redux) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 42 ratings
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