Scratch Beer 46 - 2011 (Naked Elf) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Scratch Beer 46 - 2011 (Naked Elf)Scratch Beer 46 - 2011 (Naked Elf)
Very Good
40 Ratings
Scratch Beer 46 - 2011 (Naked Elf)Scratch Beer 46 - 2011 (Naked Elf)

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Naked Elf takes a hard look at the less-is-more theory. Ever since we developed The Mad Elf, we’ve speculated what it would taste like without the cherries and honey. So what lies beneath the fruit? Naked Elf is unfiltered, so the spicy yeast taste is more prominent in this strong, hazy orange ale. The combination of the Pilsner, and Vienna malts give a lot of body and minimal sweetness, but Naked Elf has a dry finish. Finally, the heat of the alcohol makes its presence known in the finish. The Naked Elf’s finest quality is the delicate balancing act between a lively yeast kick and a slight alcohol note that lingers in the back of the mouth—constantly reminding us not to overindulge in this complex, warming elixir.

Added by orangesol on 08-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by younger35:
Photo of younger35
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Gibby!!! That generous son of a gun sent this my way not too long ago. I’ve been very lax on my Scratch beers lately and have missed a few. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching the AFC Championship game (New England vs. Baltimore).

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear reddish orange with a small fluffy bright white head. A spotty cap and thick collar remains along with a bit of random lacing.
Smell- Like Mad Elf the beer just smells almost sickly sweet with big bold yeasty esters throughout. Very candy like smell as I get quite a bit of licorice and cotton candy. The cherry smell is still there as is a touch of rhubarb. Loads of dark fruits make their presence known in the form of raisin and prune. I get a touch of butterscotch as the beer warms but it’s just part of something vanilla like and the crazy sweet smell.
Taste- Well the sweetness I get in the nose doesn’t translate too much into the flavor but neither does anything else. I’d describe the flavor as yeasty and watery. A touch of what may be Belgium Sugars sneaks in adding a pinch of toasted sweetness. Some honey like earthiness as well but that’s about it. Boring and bland.
Mouthfeel- All things considered it’s fairly light for the style. Crisp carbonation is pretty nice though.
Overall- Not that good. It’s sort of blah and bland with not much going on. It really is Naked Elf since pretty much the only good parts of Mad Elf are gone. Oh well, these Scratch beers are 90% miss anyways. This one is no different. Thank Jeff!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-gold color with a white head. The aroma is full of candy sugar and toffee, with some Belgian yeast and some light cherry notes also mixed in.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of toffee and biscuit malt, as well as some nice cherry notes. There is also some candy sugar notes in the flavor, as well as some alcohol. The beer is easy to drink.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of akorsak
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle, last night, before an early bedtime. In a tumbler.

A: Pretty dark for a pale ale, the ale is only marginally less colorful than Mad Elf with a robust amber tone. Still transparent, the ale supports a very thin, precarious head. Best to just move on.

S: A sweet, Belgian-influenced nose. Plenty of candi sugars, although they don't last. Darker caramel and chocolate malts atand out as well, a darker aroma that is easily lost under the cherry in the dressed version.

T: More candi sugars. Again they are prevalent but without a lingering powdery presence. They strike quickly and last but without any further flourishes. Chocolate malts are the nicest find, a fuller malt flavor that stands out throughout the glass. Sweet caramel and Belgian yeast wraps things up nicely, all aspects coming together for a sweet finish.

M: Lacks oomph. The yeast/candi sugars could do more and that's my primary issue. A warming way to end my night though.

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3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to tulip. $4.50 for the single. Sampled 4/25/12.

A: Pours with a small 1/2 finger high light tan head that quickly fizzes up and back down. The body is amber orange in color and completely opaque except at the thinnest parts of the glass. A thin collar remains and the overall look is rather still. Lacing is spare.

S: Very strong Belgian yeast esters give off fruity aromas of berry, cherry, Juicy Fruit gum, dried banana. Medium high phenolics. Light Belgian candi sugars and sweet grain.

T: A light dusting of clove adds a little spiciness that works well with the fruity profile. The second half of the sip turns from moderately sweet to mildly dry while adding a paper flavor lasts until the finish.

M: Medium to medium full body with a slick upfront texture that begins to prickle the tip of the tongue and then expands across the rest.

O: It's not hard to believe that this beer is the base for Mad Elf. But, truthfully, I liked this better. Much more approachable as it doesn't hit you over the head with aggressive overly-done flavor. Sure it's a bit of a departure from the standard BSPA, but it's worth a try nonetheless.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

murky amber color with a huge, two inch plus head of off white yeasty foam on top. Nice retention

spicey and yeasty. fruit notes were very prominent from the start. Lively aroma, ySmooth, very very smooth. Not even a hint of the alcohol inside this one. It was just a very spicey belgian. Made your lips tingle a bit, this one tasted alive still, very nice. It had a good earthy grain quality and a touch of some light fruit. Very nice balance. It was effortless to sip. Gave a really good pop once it hit your palate and kept itself feeling vibrant throughout the session. I was quite impressed with the staying power of the carbonation

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Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ShanePB
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce Scratch Beer Series beer labeled "46 - Naked Elf" and poured into a tulip glass. From what I've read, this is essentially the base beer of Mad Elf... no cherries or honey addition.

A: Fairly clear amber / copper colored body with a small off-white head that had extremely quick dissipation, and rather lackluster retention. Only a thin ring remains and there's absolutely zero lacing present.

S: Caramel malts, brown sugar, spicy yeast, honey (even though it's not brewed with it) and beeswax. For me, this has a definite blander nose than you might expect. It does, however, portray a wide variety of malts quite well but it's just extremely... dare I say, boring?

T: Alcohol notes are present from sip through swallow, something I should have expected with Mad Elf as one of this beers byproducts. Caramel sweet malts are showcased nicely, along with a touch of a bitter, sappy hop note. Towards the end I get more honey returning but I attribute this to the array and distinction of malts your palate is forced to focus on.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated and medium-bodied. It's prickly but still has a nice creaminess about it, perhaps in part to the high effervescence. Really exceptional in this department.

All in all, the beer itself is a bit disappointing. It does have enough flavor to keep me interested for this one bottle but not enough for me to ever return to it. For what it is, it's nice to showcase what a beer can be without the additives and for that, I think Troegs did a nice job.

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Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of dbexpert
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of CHickman
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper to borderline reddish with a 1 finger beige to tan creamy head that faded pretty quickly, leaving a creamy layer on top around the edge of the glass and pretty lame lacing. It looks like the Mad Elf, or at least the Mad Elf light…when they said “Naked” I expected the beer to be clear yellow, so I guess I’m pleasantly surprised.

Smells of yeast and Belgian beer funk, with spices like coriander, pepper and light cinnamon, as well as clove, sweet malt, light fruit which might be cherry or sour apple, biscuit and a hint of alcohol. This definitely smells like a fine Belgian ale, but I must say that the nose is on the mellow side considering the nice complexities involved.

Tastes like a Belgian as well, with yeast funk, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, sweet malt, banana, cherry, sour apple, biscuit or wet bread, herbs, grains, hay, tea leaf, orange peel, red grapefruit, pear, and light alcohol. This beer definitely smells and tastes very similar and very good, with the flavor hiding the alcohol quite well. Tasty and complex with the yeast and fruit sweetness dominating the palate along with the spices, which are soft, sugary, funky and work well together. This beer seems like it would age well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with very light carbonation, a medium body that is chewy and almost feels like there is yeast particles left over on your tongue with each swallow. The sweetness and yeast funkiness remains throughout, and the finish is tart and dry like the fruits are souring and taking over.

Overall this was a good Belgian Strong Pale Ale effort by an American brewer which went down really easy considering the strength and mix of flavors. I’m very glad I was able to stop by the brewery and pick up a six pack as this was a treat.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours amber with a paper thin white head that quickly fades. Disappointing from a Belgian

S- mild yeasty aroma, not much else going on. Mad Elf without cherries and honey is boring

T- sweetness and a bit of a flowery taste from the yeast, but not a lot else

M- medium bodied, on the thin side. Huh

O- this really didn't work for me. Thoroughly unimpressive

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Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Thanks to Hophead101 for this bottle!

My first crack at this (ie the earlier Scratch offering) wasn't ideal, so my hopes are high for this one being some sort of redemption. It pours a clear sinopia (look it up) topped by a finger or so of short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises mild caramel, strong wheat, light graham cracker, light brown sugar, and the outside layer of orange rind. Things seem pretty stagnant, boring. The taste brings in more of the same, though stronger on all parts, and with some vanilla bean, nutmeg, cardamom, and mandarin orange flesh. Much better, but the spices' clashing with the fruity malts detract from things slightly. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an aspirationally chewy feel (yeah, I said that...). Overall, I like this one better than the earlier version, but I think they both pale in comparison to the Mad Elf...

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Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice reddish amber colored beer with a fluffy head that settles down and fades away slowly. A steady stream of tiny bubbles continues towards the top as you drink. Yeasty banana/clove aroma; faintly alcoholic and fumy. The taste is the same, very Belgian big banana yeasty flavor; quite delicious.

Moderately carbonated, with a medium dry finish that fades away in 15 to 20 seconds or so. Another reviewer mentioned the carbonation could be a smidge livelier and I tend to agree, might make it drink even better.

Really a very nice Belgian style ale...maybe they should put this one all the time?

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Photo of robwestcott
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to erikkoppin for this one.

poured cold to a surly darkness 12oz snifter a murky copper with a wisp of a short lasting head

aroma of yeasty bread and caramel.

tangy belgian yeast, nutty(?), spice. it's a bit of a blend, no individual flavors jumping out.

thin to medium bodied, medium carbonation, tang on the tongue, sweet.

overall a decent belgian pale, refreshing, interesting.

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Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of scottfrie
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark copper with a thin off-white head that faded into a wispy film leaving thin lace.
S: Sweet notes of apple cider, pears and good blast of holiday spices.
T: Follows the nose with a big spicy pear/apple cider flavor. I get a bit of Belgian yeast notes and some sweet sugar as well. The finish is full of clove and banana, and the aftertaste is very sweet.
M: Full bodied, thick viscous mouthfeel, and low but fuzzy carbonation that is very soft.
O: Tastes a bit like a hefe met a Belgian tripel or something. Great fruity/spicy flavor but it’s a bit sweet for me to love it.

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Photo of harrymel
2.87/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottled, 2011

A: pours reddish copper with excellent clarity and no head production, leaving a mirrored surface. No lace.
S: Belgian yeast, sweet grains, some banana esters and coriander notes. Nothing special.
T: Some alcohol tones over the coriander and grain. Yeast is strong and the mid-palate is sweet as can be.
M: Medium-light body with hi carbonation. Semi dry finish. Wish the carb was a little more subdued.
O: Pretty standard example of the style. Nothing fancy. Better than the seasonal offering.

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Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in the Tasting Room into a Stange glass.

A - Pours hazy copper orange with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of spicy belgian yeast, biscuity malt, apples, pears, and some light peppery spice. It smells just like Mad Elf, without the sweets and cherries added to it.

T - Starts off with a mix of chewy malt and spicy belgian yeast slowly giving way to a mix of apples, pears, candied sugar, and a touch of peppery spice. While it is quite chewy the light sweetness and fruity flavors help to ease its blow on the pallet. The finish is a mix of light spice and chewy malt. I really don't miss all the flavors they subtract from Mad Elf to get to this point. Very nice.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Spicy, chewy, feel with plenty of it lingering through the finish. Usually I am not the biggest fan of "chewy" beers but this one is very good.

O - I have always liked this beer. It is much easier to drink than Mad Elf and the flavors are just as good. The spicy belgian yeast keeps the pallet guessing and the light fruitiness helps break up all that chewiness. Good stuff.

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Photo of stakem
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle just picked up at the taproom. It was my intention to do this in a side by side tasting with the other "naked elf" scratch #21 but I guess that will have to wait for another day. Poured into a snifter this brew appears a lightly hazed amber color. Around the edges is some orange to golden yellow coloration. A finger's worth of tan head appears and audibly fizzels away to a faint line around the rim. That was the quickest dissolving head I have ever seen from a troeg's offering. Constantly rising bubbles of carbonation rush to the surface but pop just as fast as the make it to the top. A swirl agitates more bubbles out of solution but it fails to ever formulate a head after the initial pour. Scattered spots of lace cling to the glassware.

The smell includes primarily belgian phenols. It has a familiar spiced aspect smelling of clove and faint banana with other mild fruity scents. Almost a note of something similar to bubblegum mixes with a light citrus aspect that is nearly like orange zest but not quite. Some herbal hops are present through the back but they play a very faint role considering the dominating character of the spicy yeast. Some warmth of alcohol slightly stings the nose along with the lightest touch of sulfur.

The taste is as spicy as you would imagine based off of the aroma. A flavor of clove meets a touch of banana and some other fruity esters. There is a residual sweetness somewhat like belgian candy sugar present that accents a fruity flavoring. The fruit taste isn't quite like the orange I picked up on in the aroma but it has a zesty bitterness somewhat like orange pulp that does a good job contrasting the other characteristics of the brew. Interesting and quite drying into the finish yet balanced very well with lots of belgian yeasty flavoring. As the brew comes up to temperature, it has a lightly grassy aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with an initial effervescence of carbonation that mellows out a bit with swirls but is still very much active in the feel and maybe a bit overdone. This brew is all about the yeast, it is spicy and enjoyable. The alcohol hits with a warmth and flavor expected of the 8% range. If put up side by side with mad elf (like was done at the tasting room today and yesterday) I enjoy the greater depth of flavor that mad elf has. However, Naked elf is easier to approach and just as enjoyable in it's own right.

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Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with a golden body that had a darker side to appeared like a darker shade of honey...the head was small and white and disappeared rather quickly...there was some lacing left behind

S - Belgian notes reign supreme as one would expect...there is spiciness to the nose mixed with the yeast strain and a slight sweetness

T - All of the aromas carry over to the palate and are enhanced...they mix together very well...there is an initial sweetness that I wasn't expecting coming from candied sugars...the spices really take over in the can detect pepper as a leader...those spices mellow out and the yeast strain comes in with some subtle fruity notes...again did not expect a fruit presence in the beer...there is a spicy-sweet finish

M - Medium's crisp with a spicy-sweet finish a the slightest trace of alcohol

O - I actually did the side-by-side with Mad Elf...I consumed about 3/4 of the Naked version, allowing it to warm, before I sipped on the Mad version...there is a big difference in flavor profiles...the Naked Elf is exactly what they say...naked!

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Photo of cpuglisi
4.25/5  rDev +13%

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Scratch Beer 46 - 2011 (Naked Elf) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 40 ratings