Tröegs / Church Brew Works / Devil’s Backbone Scratch 97

Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap


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RATINGS: 25   MEAN: 3.5/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.35/5   SEASONAL: Series   IBU: 80   EST. CALORIES: 129   ABV: 4.3%
Earlier in May, Tröegs hosted fellow 2012 GABF winners to brew a special collaborative beer for Philly Beer Week to commemorate each brewery’s success at the festival. Brewers Matt Moninger of The Church (Large Brewpub of the Year) and Jason Oliver of Devils Backbone (Small Brewpub of the Year) joined our own Andrew Dickson, Tim Mayhew, and Matt Hobbs to brew a session-strength Black Rye IPA using peppercorns, three varieties of rye malt, and plenty of American hops. Hand-crafted by three decorated breweries with a combined weight of six gold, three silver, and six bronze GABF medals (in 2012 alone!), Scratch #97 has enough precious metal linked to it to make even Michael Phelps tremble in his speedo… or at the very least prompt Mr. T to exclaim, “I pity the fool who don’t try this Scratch Beer!”

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DCLawyer (2825) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - AUG 29, 2013
Sample at RFD. Draft->mini lager. Deep brown with small tan head. Aroma and taste of grapefruit, roasted malt, rye, ash, pepper. A bit messy, but overall OK.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ROGUE (2215) - Lewes, Delaware, USA - AUG 21, 2013
On tap at State Line. Pours a deep dark brown color with a thick two finger light tan head. Faint hops on the nose with a bit of sweet roasted malts. taste starts with chewy rye and slightly sweet chocolate malt. Hints of the black peppercorns, pine resin and citric hops help round things out. Finish is quite dry with some bitterness lingering on the palate. Medium body, with moderate carbonation, slightly chewy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MadRobin (2952) - Silver Spring, Alabama, USA - AUG 20, 2013
On tap 6 oz. sampler at The Bistro in Old Line Wine in Beltsville, MD. Opaque, intensely dark near black with a small khaki head and very good lacing. Aroma of burnt grainy roasted malt, dark roasted coffee, lemon, sweet light fruit, chocolate, dark fruit and charcoal. Taste of sweet roasted malt, lemon, chocolate, roasted grain, rye, chocolate and herbal hops. Medium body and medium carbonation. I love intense beers, but this one was overwhelming at the start. It has an aggressively charred flavor and aroma, which eventually mellowed a bit as the beer warmed. My score is based on the eventual mellowed result, not my initial impression. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nimbleprop (8176) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 18, 2013
4oz sample at Max’s Hop Fest 2013. Pours a cola brown with some creamy, off white head. Nose is sweet, lemon, dried orange peel, bread, cracker, orange pulp. Flavor is malty, sweet, orange, pine, lemon. Dry, spicy finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alobar (3727) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2013
Cola brown color with minimal off-white head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, bread, and hops. Roasted malt and chocolate flavor with some citrus and a quick hop bite. Very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DocLock (10562) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 23, 2013
Draft at Capone’s. Poured nitrogenated-looking old hay color, with off white head. Nose was subdued malt, hops, and resin. Tastes hoppy, floral, with notes of smooth malt, black pepper, and a smooth finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - JUL 20, 2013
Troegs Scratch 97. Serving: Draft at MacDowell Brew Kitchen. It pours solid black with a small tan head. The nose has a nice bit of roast, chocolate, earth, and a touch of rye. Medium bodied on the tongue with notes of pine, earth, roasted malt, and chocolate. I was guessing porter or stout before I saw this was a black IPA. Very drinkable and tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (12208) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 19, 2013
On tap at Capone’s. Poured a dark brown color, with amber edges and an off white head. Rye breadiness, chocolate, roasty, and floral.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Emeister84 (2413) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JUL 16, 2013
Aromas of grapefruit, roasty malts, and subtle black pepper. Dark brown with a fairly lasting, khaki head. Dry, roasty, bitter, and savory. Light bodied, despite the complexity of flavor, with good carbonation, and a quick, clean finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Travlr (23971) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JUL 13, 2013
Draft at Churchkey. Very dark brown color, beige head with good retention and solid lacing. Aroma of burnt coffee grounds. Taste is roasty coffee, bright pine, cocoa. Nice example of the style.

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