Scratch Beer 54 - 2011 (Cocoa Porter) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our goal when playing with non-traditional ingredients is to find balance between the ingredient and the beer. For Scratch #54-2011 – our third foray into cocoa – we wanted to design a drinkable (under 6%), subtle and satisfying beer. Starting with a base recipe for a mild porter, we added cocoa powder from Ghana and Ivory Coast to the brew kettle during final hop addition. The powder, made from “dutched nibs” typically used in baking, adds a slight bitterness and a rich chocolate aroma. After fermentation, we aged #54 on Ghanaian vanilla beans and medium roast Ghanaian cocoa nibs for ten days. The malt has a slight roast but is designed with a lighter body to let the cocoa flavors show through. The addition of lactose gives a smooth mouthfeel. The vanilla emerges in the aftertaste and the beer reaches room temperature and hints of chocolate linger in the finish. Cheers!

Added by Kegatron on 12-09-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of rastapenguin22
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of BrianSwoyer
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of drummerjon2112
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very suprising beer. Not only is it brewed with cocoa powder but they steep the beer with cocoa nibs. The beer itself is rich and full bodied. The chocolate flavor does not ditract from the porter at all but rather adds to the overall taste. The Cocoa Porter is a great beer to have and sit and talk with friends for a couple hours. Highly recommended. Unfortnately it was a limited run and is no longer being brewed. Hopefully Troegs will put it on their mainstay beer list soon!

 490 characters

Photo of stakem
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go to wishuwerebeer for snagging a growler of this and sharing it with me. A cocoa porter by Troegs in the Hershey location, there's a shocker. How quick this beer became extinct is rediculous. Thanks again for sharing Bryan.

Poured from a counter pressure filled 2-liter swingtop into a shaped pint glass about an hour after it was filled. The brew appears dark brown in color with some ruby clarity seen through the edges without even lifting it to the light. 3 fingers worth of tan head appears and dissolves quickly leaving fingers of lacework sticking to the glass.

The smell is rich with cocoa powder sweetness that abruptly morphs to a roasty burnt grain scent. There are earthy elements present almost like coffee. You can't help but think of burnt brownies right out of the oven while smelling this beer.

The taste is more bitter than expected base off the aroma's sweetness. It is bitter and earthy like raw chocolate nibs. Some coffee-Iike roasted quality provides a mild citrus accent before the onset of sticky vanilla. The vanilla is readily apparent and really draws out the flavor of semi-sweet chocolate throughout the profile.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It gets slightly watery and light as you drink more of it. I'd love to see this thickened up a bit with oats an a nitro presentation. Seemingly no alcohol inclusion is evident despite it being listed as 6%. The usage of chocolate and vanilla was spot on here, I wouldn't change anything about that. More body could have improved this a bit but overall quite solid and enjoyable offering.

 1,607 characters

Photo of jpd7374
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of Ecolello87
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Bdel34
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of thain709
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Served with a deep, dark brown body...the head stood two fingers tall and was a light brown never really went away and it left very nice lacing

S - Lots of chocolate on the's comprised of both roasted dark chocolate and sweet milk chocolate...there is another layer of sweetness from vanilla

T - The beer has a lot of chocolate flavors going on...dark chocolate provides a slight bitterness, but also supplies plenty of roasted flavors also adds to the base of the porter...the milk chocolate adds sweetness along with the vanilla...towards the end there is a very off putting stale chocolate flavor...that flavor stays on the palate

M - Medium bodied...thin, watery, stale...some roast and chocolate flavors do come though

O - I'm going to give Troegs the benefit here, but something was wrong with the keg or the lines...there was a stale flavor that made this hard to put down, especially towards the end...I would like to get back and try another pint because the chocolate flavors were ridiculous in this beer

 1,059 characters

Photo of ffejherb
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A growler filled at the brewery yesterday. Thanks ksak.

A: The porter is a deep brown that verges on black. Ruby colors come when light, at the right angle, hits the glass. Off-white, the head neared a finger on first pour and left a few legs of lace behind.

S: Vanilla and cocoa are both strong, sweet aromas. Of the two, the edge goes to the vanilla in all of its lush beany goodness. The porter's darkness is a nice base of the juju.

T: Plenty of vanilla, a great all-around flavor in most beers. Here the vanilla settles down the porter, a sweetness that rings out. The porter and cocoa conspire to bring sweet chocolate and darker roasted grains. The porter side is well roasted, a darkness that desparately needs the vanilla. The mouthfeel midsipe is a little thin, resurrected only when the vanilla pops back up for the finish. Cocoa is generally fleeting but does come up in the finish. The bigger picture meshing of vanilla and porter is a marked success.

M: The vanilla is probably the best that Troegs has produced, sweet and juicy. The porter body, well it seems a little thin. Emerging chocolate, with the vanilla, seals it for me.

 1,148 characters

Photo of aglose45
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, first time I've visited!

A: Pours black with a tab colored head, thick looking.

S: Insane amount of chocolate on the nose, cocoa, big time melted milk chocolate, some vanilla. Perfect nose.

T: Cocoa and milk chocolate up front, dark chocolate follows, with vanilla and roastiness at the end. Delicious.

M: Nice creamy mouthfeel from the lactose, pleasant. Nice amount of bitterness to offset all the sweet chocolate and vanilla.

D: Wow, this is a very good smelling porter/stout I've ever had.

 533 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Brewery.

A - Pours deep, dark, brown with a creamy one finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving little to no lace down the glass.

S - Smells of rich cocoa powder, sweet vanilla, dark roast, and some dulled hop bitterness. When I first had this beer it didn't have the greatest nose but that has greatly improved since.

T - Starts off with a big dose of bittersweet chocolate slowly giving way to a mix of dark roasted chocolate malt, hop bitterness, and some light vanilla sweetness; it grows a little bit stronger as it comes to room temperature. The finish is kinda dry with a mix of dark roast and light sweetness.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Roasty, slightly sweet, feel throughout. As it comes to room temperature, it becomes a little thin and it develops a bit of a chalky feel from all that chocolate powder.

O - I tried this one about a week before it came out and I thought it was pretty good but still needed some time to develop. It has improved quite a bit since then but I think it could still use a bit of time to develop. I will have to try this one a few more times in the near future to see if it rounds out its rough edges.

 1,222 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Tröegs tasting room in Hershey PA. Serve chilled in a tulip pint.

The color is deep brown bordering on black like a dark chocolate bar. The cream cap is a medium tan and it sticks as lace. The smell is enticing and lush with cocoa and chocolate aromas but not over the top like syrup, more roasty like a high cocoa content chocolate with some bitter notes apparent. The smell has gentle malt but for the most part this is all about the cocoa bean. The feel is very good, a solid base of roasted malt perhaps chocolate gives a nice foundation for the sweet cocoa tinges and subtle creamy, not quite oily presence. The carbonation is moderate and there is a light tannic dry element like when you have eaten dark chocolate in the finish.

The taste is great, layers of chocolate, chocolate malt and subtle bitterness in the background ties it together very nicely. the base porter is smooth roasty and more dry than sweet which is good, not a lot of malt in the flavor to interfere with the cocoa here. I enjoyed how drinkable this is for a 6% porter. I think it gave me a cocoa buzz as a fringe benefit because you can tell they went to great lengths to insure you have no doubt this is a cocoa beer you are tasting. Chocolate beer lovers will enjoy this. The moderately low alcohol makes it a beer I could enjoy more than one of too -recommended.

 1,376 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Tröegs Brewing Company (Hershey, PA) on 12/8/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a deep amber brown in the glass, with some ruby highlights shining through towards the bottom, and topped with a finger of foamy mocha colored head. This retains with a thin fizzy layer that keeps a creamier look around the edges, flaring up nicely when swirled, and leaving back some sticky patches of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of milk chocolate and vanilla, with an earthy citrus presence. There is maybe a touch of a cocoa bean husk feel to this as well, along with a light floral hop tinge to the edges of the nose. The sticky twang of the cocoa here though really drives this home.

The taste is once again milk chocolate, vanilla, and citric hops up front, which then segues into a backend of roasted malt that then trails some cocoa powder character into the finish. I’m not sure if I’m really giving the hop profile enough credit here though, as it does add a quite assertive presence through the middle of the profile and also leaves back some dry bitterness in the finish as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and prickly feeling on the tongue, with a crisp creaminess that follows and helps fill out the rest of the mouth. The carbonation definitely jumps those flavors around the mouth and is maybe coming off as a bit too sharp in spots. Alcohol presence is low though and overall probably helps sell the feel to me the most.

This ended up being quite an enjoyable American Porter, especially as things warmed up and more of that sticky sweet twang from the cocoa and vanilla started to emerge. This is still quite balanced however and combines with that relatively approachable body to help makes this a delicious quaff and probably my favorite of the recent Scratch beers.

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Scratch Beer 54 - 2011 (Cocoa Porter) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 17 ratings