Scratch Beer 103 - 2013 (Dark Fest Lager) | Tröegs Brewing Company

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18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
As dark and foreboding as a Porter or Stout, but without the anchoring heft of either, this German-style Dark Fest Lager celebrates the complex union of the bold, robust flavors found in full-bodied ales with the crispness and drinkability of German-style Lagers. Subtle chocolate and coffee notes mingle with hints of toasted bread, giving Scratch #103 a clean roasted edge with plenty of German malt complexity. Brewed since the Middle Ages (the first documented mention was around 1390), the dark lager may very well be the world’s oldest beer style. Scratch #103 continues the age-old tradition of the style, using noble European hops and a variety of malts to create a balanced, authentic German-inspired brew. Don’t let its menacing color fool you; this latest Scratch offering is quite a refreshing and multifaceted brew!

Added by 1sophrosyne1 on 07-08-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by Birdmarg741:
Photo of Birdmarg741
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: pours a dark opaque brown with a light head.

S: smells a bit sweet and bitter. Like stale coffee with a hint of grapefruit

T: initial smoke flavor fades into a bitterness that covers the tongue; smoke lingers in the nose after swallow. A nice ending and surprise from what is revealed in the smell

M: medium body and carbonation. It is lighter than expected for color and overall taste however.

O: certainly worthy of a try. A nice play with bitter and smoke that is easy to drink and pair with food. I would not say it stands alone strong on its own, but with food- a nice complement

 595 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Kmahood13
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Jeremy_Zim
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Bdel34
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of salthemonster
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 7/20/13 at the Troegs Brewery Tasting Room in Hershey, PA, served in a stange glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, caramelized malts, lager yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong chocolate flavor but without a lot of sweetness. Then some breadiness comes in from a hearty malt character and lager yeast. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid sessionable beer to drink for a long time.

 788 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of IPAchris
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of JakeEsterly
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of jagada
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of orangesol
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Brewery. Not really sure why this one was added as a Dunkel as it is clearly a Schwarzbier...

A - Pours pitch black with a creamy one finger tall tan head leaving sticky webs of lace down most of the glass.

S - Smells of slightly smokey dark roasted malt, chocolate, some day old coffee grounds, a bit of caramel and a dash of dulled spicy hops. A little dull initially but it starts to grow into its own as it warms up.

T - Starts off with some mild smokiness quickly giving way to hints of the stale coffee, some chocolate and caramel sweetness and some faint spicy hop bitterness. Finish is surprisingly pretty clean, only leaving the palate dried for a short period of time after each sip.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. It has a nice smooth, roasty feel with only a touch of astringency. The low ABV makes it really easy to consume.

O - I wish more brewers would make this style. It packs a good amount of flavor into a moderately sized package. I will be happy to consume a few of these while it lasts.

 1,046 characters

Photo of SourAddict
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Slatetank
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap at the tasting room in Hershey - served chilled in a stange.

The color is dark cocoa brown with a thick beige cap of 2 fingers which leaves ringlets of lace on the glass. The smell is very malt focused with a nutty bready smell with slight biscuit roastiness and light cocoa aroma with mild yeast ester that adds a plum-like scent. The feel is great, a nice balance is struck between mild hoppiness and smooth bitterness under a dark malt toast texture w/ mild sweetness and moderate carbonation with mostly dry finish.

The taste is excellent with slightly creamy nutty flavors w/ slight cocoa and dark fruit with a hint of hops in the finish. The spiciness is noticeable but blends well. Overall this is a pretty complex lager for only being 4.6% I love the way it has some roastiness but doesn't cross into a coffee flavor. I would definitely drink this again, and get a growler of this to share.

 921 characters

Photo of lobos62
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed over 20 minutes outside the tasting room at the brewery.
This beast pours a very dark brown that shows just a hint of red in the bright sun. Opaque, but not thick. A tight lacy head hangs on only briefly.
It smells of malt and spice. Forresty hops are present with a scent of sweet skunk. Grass is apparent. Roasted rye rises to the nose at it warms. A bit stronger smell profile, overall, would be desirable.
The tastes are balanced and even--nothing dominating. Caramel, coffee, lemon...some blackberry and thin smoke, as well. A hint of red berry peeks out from under coffee acids over time. It warms the belly as if the season is cooler, even though the enthanol is difficult to sense in the mouth. More forward presentation of the same flavor profile, I'd have preferred.
This brew is smooth and creamy to start. Later, it is mildly drying to the membranes with a small pierce of carbonation. A bit more heft would be nice, but the upside is that it's very drinkable due to the low alcohol content.
Overall, this is quite an enjoyable beer, and great with marinated barbecue pork. Nice contrast between appearance and taste--just a bit more of everything would have been...better.

 1,194 characters

Photo of barflybastard
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of GFD400
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Scratch Beer 103 - 2013 (Dark Fest Lager) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 18 ratings