Troegs Brewery Sampler Pack
By: Thomas Muhs
Not too long ago, my dad was on a business trip out on the east coast. During his trip he asked me if I had ever tried a beer from Troegs Brewing Company. I said no, and seeing that as a call to action, he sent me a sampler case; 12 beers, four different varieties. I figured instead of drinking and then reporting on them one at a time, I’d give you all four at once. I’ll highlight all the different aspects you would expect to find in a beer review, and then of course you can go and drink some for yourself.
Troegs Brewing Company is based in Hershey Pennsylvania and has been making beer since 1997. It’s run by two brothers Chris and John Trogner, who combine English style brewing techniques with modern American eclecticism. They currently have seven beers available year round; nine seasonal, and then they run a special one-time batch of beers called Scratch Series. Scratch Series is a line of beers they make that are experimental in nature and tends to use unique ingredients and techniques. These beers are available in very limited quantities however so if there’s one that comes out which catches your attention be sure to grab some quick.
This beer was at one time a scratch series creation but became so popular that the brewery soon put it into full production, making it a year round selection. When poured into a glass it has a clean golden pilsner color with a small but lacey head on top colored bright white. When you put your nose to it you get really powerful aromas of hops which identify as both spicy and floral. The taste however really doesn’t measure up to the flavor of it. The flavor is slightly sweet, cleanly hoppy and just a little bit dry on the finish. But the flavor of this beer is pretty one dimensional and the body of this beer is pretty watery which is a bit of a letdown. Grade: B/B-
Dead Reckoning Porter
When you pour this beer, it has an unusually dark color, even by porter standards. It seems to look more similar to a stout and has a thick, two fingered head with hues of chocolate milk. It has a nicely complex smell profile with notes of roasted malt, caramel and just a hint of chocolate. At first sip you get a really robust flavor of toasted malt and just a slight hint of hops. It also has some nice tasting notes of chocolate and coffee which helps to round everything out. This beer has great flavor, a nice full body and plenty of different flavors to keep any connoisseur of craft beer satisfied. Grade: A-
Hop Rising Amber Ale
This beer has a deep rich copper color with some hues of ruby and when poured into a glass has a decently thick one finger head colored like sketchpad paper. It has a sweet, slightly floral flavor coming from the hops but also a noticeable malt backbone as well which gives off a similar smell you’d find in an American Pale Ale. The taste is also very similar to an American Pale Ale, but what makes this beer different is that it has a much sweeter malt flavor than most other amber ales which tend to be a bit more roasted in flavor. This beer is very enjoyable to drink and unique among its amber ale peers. Grade: A-
Scratch Series #111: HopCyclone Harvest Ale
This beer in particular is the one I’m most excited about. I had already tried the previous three before writing about them in this post, but I’ve been saving the Scratch Series for a special occasion. I’ve never featured a special release or limited edition small batch craft beer on this blog before and so I am incredibly excited to share this with you guys. When poured it has a deep opaque tangerine color with a one finger head which likes to stick to the glass and is colored like cotton. When you put your nose to the glass you get nothing but intense spicy hop, which was not what I was expecting. At first sip, you get a noticeable yeast flavor with just a little bit of citrus and a dry hoppy finish at the end. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this beer, but the flavor is great and I would absolutely recommend it. Grade: B+