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Scratch Beer 44 - 2011 (Team America) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Scratch Beer 44 - 2011 (Team America)Scratch Beer 44 - 2011 (Team America)
38 Ratings
Scratch Beer 44 - 2011 (Team America)Scratch Beer 44 - 2011 (Team America)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Based on the winning recipe by Team America from the Troegs Metal Brewer in fall 2010. Featuring Special B and CaraBelge malts with a combination of Magnum hops for bittering, and Saaz hops for an herbal contrast to the caramel malts, along with Demararra sugar. For a unique twist on this style, we used a combination of Saaz whole-leaf hops, and more than 40 pounds of Zante currants in the hopback. We pitched Westmalle yeast for a complimenting spicy balance.

Added by Deuane on 04-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 30
Reviews by krisandajt:
Photo of krisandajt
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle courtesy of number1bum. Cheers Josh!

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my DFH chalice, the brew is a murky, cloudy brown. There's not much in the way of head, lacing is also lacking.

Smell: A slight smoky quality, some nice sweetness, and a bit of Belgian yeast. Not bad, but a little underwhelming.

Taste: A little bit of the smoky quality sneaks thru, but it takes a backseat to some dark fruitiness (plums mainly) and a slight bit of booziness. Overall it's not too bad.

Mouthfeel: A solid medium body, but a bit undercarbonated.

Overall (Drinkability): Not a bad drinking brew, pretty much what I expected. Decent flavor profile without overdoing anything.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of malt, with a lot of toffee and brown sugar notes. The alcohol is well hidden, but there is a little bit of dark fruit hidden behind the malt notes in the aroma.

The flavor is also very malty. I get a lot of toffee and Belgian yeast notes, as well as some brown sugar and raisins. The alcohol is more present in the flavor than it is in the aroma, but it is not overpowering.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby in the glass, with 2 ½ fingers of light mocha head. This thins down a good bit but settles into a roughly ¼ finger of froth that holds tight across the surface, leaving back a foamy cascade that sticks some thick swathes of patchy lacing onto the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of sweet caramel and additional sugars, with mellow dark fruit character that mixes in. A touch of yeasty sharpness and spice blends in with some underlying alcohol warmth. A gentle floral feel from the hops hangs on the edges a bit.

The taste is sticky caramel, candied sugars, and toasted grains, with a deep dark fruit character from the currants that seems much bolder here than it did in the nose. A leafy and slightly green bitterness hangs on the edges of the profile and pull together in the back and is coming on stronger than what you would expect for a Quad. This finishes with an extra flush of fruitiness and leftover sugars, while a moderately dry spiciness from the yeast lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a lively and effervescent feel that prickles the mouth with those flavors and pretty much stays sharp the whole way through. Alcohol is very well hit and the only sense of it that I’m getting beyond the fullness of the body is the flush of warmth over my face as I work through this bottle.

While certainly interesting, I felt that this lacked the powerful boldness and overall depth that you would expect out of a Quad. I mean if you’re looking for something to warm you up, then this is a decently flavored and easy sipping beer for the strength (which I think helped my overall impression of this some) but I think that the flavors actually worked better in the previous Scratch 42 take on a Dubbel.

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Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A growler filled yesterday. Poured into a snifter.

A: The growler creeps open without a hiss. Poured into the snifter, it barely conjures up a wispy foam. That aside, the quad has a mahogany fullness, brown and red highlighting the opaque ale. Autumnal orange hues peak out of the base of the glass.

S: Candi sugars are prominent fresh out of the growler. Dark fruits become more pronounced, with raisins and currants taking the lead. I like the full sweetness of the nose, belying the 9% alcohol tag. As it warms, the noble hops add an earthy touch. Spices, thanks to the yeast, also make their way to the surface.

T: Spices are strong, setting the stage for a very rich experience. Cinnamon, brown sugar and sweet candies are immediately present, spicy with some heat. Caramel malts are strong, a serious foundation for everything else. The body is light, failing to leave the heavy-handed impression that most quads muster up. That's both good and bad in my opinion. It prevents that cloying sweet strength that a quad often presents but it doesn't allow the flavors to breathe. The result is a flash of sweetness that quickly turns syrupy. The currants add a vinous fullness, with certain flavors reminding me of the Brandy Angel's Share that I had yesterday. I didn't want to like this beer, but I find it growing on me.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet, driven by spices, yeast and the currant addition. Thin at times, the flavors often disappear as quickly as they appeared.

Dare I question, has the Scratch series run its course? I need to go back to 35 to find a stellar one.

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Photo of isualum12
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm brown? Nope not for me. Great beer though

Look- dark copper with zero head. Little activity but it's there
Smell- great smells like a mile English bitter
Taste burnt hop with malt showing through.
Feel- it's not smooth but it is not overpowering. I enjoy it.
Overall. I like this alot. I wish we got it here in Idaho. Thank for making such a good beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | 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.

Rich looking pour, very cloudy with a nice big head of white on top that nearly came over the side of the glass. I am honest I was expecting a bit darker of a color here, but no matter as it really has a nice overall presentation to it and the staying power of the head and lacing was near perfect.

I pick up pears and apricots immediatly upon leaning into the glass. Fruit is definitely a big player here. Warming though brings on some nice hints of herbal spice, nothing too strong, just nice, almost meadow like touches of grasses and light grain.notes of grape seeds and plums. Smooth near perfect feel and carbonation really lend themselves here to showing off the palate. Light fruits start off the exchange here, again picking up pears, apples, light plums and grapes and figs perhaps before rolling into that light grain with a touch of spice that just gives it that much needed balance. Finish strong and dry, last bit of flavor leaving the tongue several minutes after the session was over.

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Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of rfgetz
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed dull copper brown color, minimal head, little lacing. Scent is dominated by plum like fruits and booze, light brown sugar and some fresh malted grain. First sip follows scent, strong fruit notes, mostly plum, not much currant. Sweetness is subdued, brown sugar more than candied. Fresh malted grain as opposed to bready. Unexpected earthy and muddy hopyness. Medium bodied, light carbonation. Not what I expected for the style, and rather odd.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ballofruit for this bottle. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a moderate brown color with a nice khaki-colored head and a bit of spotty lacing. The nose carries a bit of Belgian yeast and fruit plus some dark malt and a bit of toast. Flavor is along the same lines. Mellow flavors throughout. Medium body and a smooth finish. Boom.

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Photo of HosP
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TroyG2352 for this beer. Poured into a Jackie O's snifter.

A- Pours brown with a reddish tint to it. Very thin white head quickly grasps the edges and nothing else.

S- Some nice aromas. Starts with some clove and spices. Some sweet sugar smells. Dark fruits, raisins come through at the end. Spices come throughout the nose.

T- Follows the nose nicely. Very nice flavors throughout. Starts out sweet with candy sugar. Clove and spices poke through here and there. Dark fruits towards the end finish nicely. Get a little alcohol burn in the middle. Very nice flavors, however they seem a little muted.

M- Almost a full body. A little more carbonation than I would have liked.

O- This is a good beer. Would drink this again for sure. Like before, the flavors could have been a bit bolder, but were there. Thanks Troy for sending a couple bottles my way.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

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

The Scratch Beer Dash races forth. This younger leg pours a clear russet topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuit, caramel, mandarin orange syrup, and light orange zest. The taste holds notes of toffee, sourdough, brown sugar, mandarin orange, and light orange peel. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a grainy-ish feel. Overall, a solid Belgian-style beer. I think the currants came across as oranges with me (for whatever reason), but I think it generally worked for the beer.

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Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a garnet hue with a slim sudsy beige head. Nice color, slight haze, soft whisps of head. It's nice.

Smell -- Bright red currants, amber malt, banana, fruit cake, and some gentle spiciness. The raw comes out surprisingly strong, and the mild molasses smell pairs really well with the currants. The hops come on too strong - vaguely smelling of leafy shrubs and a hint of green bean. Some good charateristics, some bad - it's a wash in the end.

Taste -- Easily the hoppiest quad I've ever had - leafy vegetation and green bean. There is some nice fermentation character - dark fruit and spice cake. The red currants are an interesting addition, and agree well with the raw sugar, but paired with the high hopping this doesn't work incredibly well.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with crisp carbonation. Again, not bad and not great.

Overall -- After Cacaoabunga Redux, this falls flat. There are certainly some good characteristics, but it's all so muddled. Too much mixing of hues on the pallet has made it go grey. Glad I tried it, but I don't see this being repeated.

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Photo of DaveHack
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.31/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Troegs Scratch Series "Belgian Brown"

Appearance: Pours a vibrant cherry color with small floaties after a careful pour. Active carbonation streams up to the center of the etched glass.

Aroma: One of the most remarkably fruity aromas I have experienced in a beer. Currant and bright tart cherries are up front. Berry juice.

Taste: Cherry fruityness, vegetation, spicy belgian yeast, mild tartness from the currants used in brewing. Alcohol is felt, not tasted. Bitterness is mild and plays with the sweetness. Suggestions of oak/char are also in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly syrupy but manages to finish somewhat dry.

Overall: Hell yes Troegs. This is a good one! Has crossover potential to get the average consumer (and craft/Belgian outsiders) to try something else and enjoy it. Beer fruit juice.

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Photo of dafla67
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass (June 2011 - Phila Beer Week event)

A: red-brown color; small head that disappeared quickly

S: sweet aroma -- sugar; currants, spices

T: tastes as it smells. begin with the sweetness followed by the spices and ending with the currants. None of the flavors are overly strong but subtle. The alcohol becomes more obvious with the spice flavors.

M: medium body; not too much carbonation

O: I'm not a Belgium beer drinker but I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Actually, tasting this beer led me to trying a bunch of Quads last June.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to ThoreauLikeAGirl for this a while back. poured into my 3 philosophers chalice.

a - brew poured a murky purple brown with a thin cream colored bubbly head. is this a quad or a brown ale? sort of looks like a brown...has some quad like looks, but not thick and the head lacks the creaminess.

s - niuttiness with some plums and dark fruit. toasted malts. some cherry and a bit of brown sugar. smells nice.

t - flavor is molases with fig/grape juice. tastes rather fruity. much more than the nose would lead you to believe. it is interesting and different. there is a candied sweetness with a lot of brown ale properties and belgian yeast. tasty, but not quite a quad and not quite a brown ale.

m - a bit thin for a quad, but nice for a brown ale. medium to light bodied. a bit thick and lacking in carbonation.

o - overall, interesting. like i said, kind of like a cross between a quad and a brown ale. more on the belgian side of the spectrum which makes it so interesting. the flavor has some really nice candied belgian yeast.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks again, Josh.

A: A rough pour yielded barely an inch of dark tan head over very deep mahogany liquid. The head quickly faded into a thick collar that left a few notes of spotty lacing down the glass.
S: Sweet notes of berry juice dominates. It smells like currant/blueberry juice. I get a few notes of darker fruits as well including raisins, red grapes, and maybe dried dates.
T: Sweet raisins, caramel and fruit juice flavors meld with a touch of wood and damp basement must in the finish. Some peppery spices show up in the aftertaste. This leaves a weird taste in my mouth.
M: Frothy carbonation, medium-full body, tingly mouthfeel with just a touch of alcohol.
O: Wasn’t really digging this one at all. Not sure what it was about the beer, it just wasn’t for me.

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Photo of orangesol
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Troegs into a goblet.

A - Pours dark brown, with reddish highlights, with a small film of off white head, dissipating down to nothing at all, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of the usual Belgian yeast, candied sugar, clove, currants, ripe banana, dark fruits like figs and raisins, and some light alcohol burn. It has plenty of fruit up front with some lingering spice toward the end.

T - This one packs a wallop. Tons of spice, candied sugar, and strong alcohol burn make up the core of this beer. Some dark fruits, Belgian yeast, and currants offer as much contrast as they can. The finish is a mix of sweetness and booze, lingering for a short amount of time. This was an OK quad, but something is missing, just not sure what that is. Not the best but far from the worst.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. A whole bunch of sweet heat, both in the feel and the finish. Toward the end of the glass I had a pretty hard time finishing it.

O - Well this was just OK. It really didn't blow me away in any way. The flavors were good but it never really fully came together. The past few scratches have been a bit of a letdown...

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Photo of stakem
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bryan for sharing a few of these. Poured from the standard 12oz bottle into a snifter this brew appears a hazed color of ruby amber. There is faint particulate stuck hanging in suspension despite a careful pour. A finger of yellowish stained head appears and quickly dissolves leaving a webbing of lacework both on the glass and across the top of the brew. A light swirl revives the yellowish tan cap back to half a finger's strength.

The aroma of this brew is a familiar scent of belgian yeast characteristics that are spicy with a scent of clove and pepper. There is an herbal aspect and a bit of citrus rindy incorporation. A little bit of sulfur, minerals and some green yeastiness. Initially there was an exaggerated amount of fruitiness that quickly dissipated into the rest of the scents of this brew. As the brew warms, it picks up a light medicinal character from the combination of alcohol and fruitiness.

The taste includes a bold amount of the spiciness from the belgian yeast with plenty of clove and peppery spiciness. There is quite a modest amount of bitterness that is herbal which clashes a bit for me with the belgian yeast characteristics and fruity rind-like flavors. There is a mild amount of sulfur and mineral aspect included in this brew along with some green yeastiness. The alcohol is felt both in flavor and warmth throughout the experience.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It has a creamy feel that coats the mouth with a lingering flavor of herbal fruitiness that isn't really noticed through the body of the brew. It finishes quite dry and spicy with the warmth of the alcohol really coming out last. It is not a bad offering but the herbal hop bitterness seems out of place. I'm just not feeling this brew even after trying 2 of them. Both this offering and scratch 42 seem like an attempt at making a more session friendly version of mad elf with the whole westmalle yeast and fruit additions. This was an interesting concept, it just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of thain709
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown body with some lighter brown highlights...light brown head...it becomes spotty and settles into a full ring...light lacing

S - Grapey with other dark fruits dominating...there is a quick sweetness that lingers around

T - Here the sweetness is up front from some caramel...the dark fruits settle into the middle with grapes, dates, raisins...there is a tart currant finish with some raisins coming back as well

M - Medium bodied...light carbonation...everything leaves very quickly

O - This was pretty one dimensional for me...even after it warmed up a little there still wasn't anything there...lots of dark fruit flavors going on with no big sweetness level

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Photo of Slatetank
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this chilled into my BFM chalice and allowed it to gradually warm to cellar temp.

A deep coffee brown shade with thick cream cap made up of tightly condensed bubbles. The head retains well and lace sticks to the glass. The smell is fruity up front with a very herbal and woody nose w/ some light raisin and bits of spice from the Belgian yeast w/ some toasted grain notes. The feel has a rough texture in general with green and yeasty body w/ a high amount of carbonation and sweetish middle with a concentrated sugar and alcohol influence midway into the finish with some malty tinges and it finishes more on the sweet side than dry.

The Team America Quad is mildly bitter roasted and almost woody with a coarse taste of dark fruit and overipe banana in small amounts with a sugar covered raisin taste. The toasted malt is not really roasted or bready just comes off as dark dry toast with raisin high in the taste w/ a prune accent or overly dry and sugary earthy flavor that lingers and verges on almost meaty with full flavor that carries a lot of yeasty spice into the finish. This is not a bad quad, but not the best example of the style either. There is something disjointed about it I can't put my finger on -perhaps the raisin, or zante currant I mean ;). The alcohol is too intense in the flavor IMO, I would cellar this one to smooth out the sharp and coarse sugary aspects.

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Scratch Beer 44 - 2011 (Team America) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 38 ratings
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