Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

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1,516 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,516
Reviews: 767
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 36
Gots: 122 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,516 | Reviews: 767
Reviews by Huffs:
Photo of Huffs
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a sam adams glass, nice off white head developed, though retention and lacing were mild. Appearance was a nice clear to copper color with a mild aroma with light notes of malt and toffee. Tasted of caramel and toffee, sweet with a medium to light mouth feel. Aftertast was sweet.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber with a big fluffy head thats sticks well down the glass,quite a dose of citruisy hop in the nose along with a toasted grain not I pick up a touch of caramel as well.Quite a hoppy flavor up front citruisy and piney,get like a brown suger flavor coming thru big late an in the finish.Hey a well rounded lager with enough hops to make it somewhat interesting,much better than I thought it would be

Photo of RoyalT
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – A nice, semi-cloudy copper color with a moderate head that left some lacing on the glass.

Smell – Pungent, floral hops complimented the malt aroma and a hint of sugary sweetness.

Taste – The malts comes out bigger in the flavor, on par with the hops. The malt itself is lightly toasted and sweetened with a small amount of table sugar flavor. The hops are mostly floral. Some fruity hops came out in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel – Some nice, crisp carbonation and a bit of dryness from the hops makes this one a winner in the mouthfeel category.

Drinkability – This was very good and went down well. I will definitely buy again.

Comments – It’s tough to pull off the even hop/malt flavoring and retain smoothness, but Flying Dog did a good job of it here.

Photo of ricke
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A dull dark amber color with a very small off-white head that settles kind of quickly leaving just minimal lacings.

S: Malts, a note of bread, comparably big caramel aromas and a fair amount of leafy and spicy hops. Overall, the smell is mild and not very interesting.

T: Sweet malts with some caramel character. Perhaps a note of fudge. Very mild peppery hop flavors. The finish has a gentle bitterness to it with some citric and leafy hop notes and a note of minerals. The taste is by and large mild and thin, but clean and rather refreshing.

M: Moderate body, well suited carbonation.

D: An ok beer, nothing more nothing less. It could really use more flavors and complexity, as for now, it comes out a bit thin. But still it's quite refreshing.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.04/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Scrach Amber Lager...

A- A very clear amber color with decent head that falls to a nice rim around the glass. Pure amber look for the style very appealling look.

S- Sweet brown sugar with alcohol and malt are upfront with nice light floral hoppy scents mixed in as well.

T-M- Mild malts with nice floral hoppy notes dominate the beginning of this one. Then followed by excellent carmel flavors with spicey hints of earthy hops and alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth like hoppy water with a thick feel in the back of the palate.

D- Put it this way if Amberbock or Yinglying tasted this good sales would be on the incline.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Medium dark amber in color, mostly clear, with minimal off-white head. Minimal head retention and practically no lacing.

S: Malty character on the nose, with a secondary aroma of fig.

T&M: Taste is mostly dry and malty, which is a departure of what you might expect based on the initial aromas. Texture is relatively thin, just short of water, with very active fine carbonation. There is a light bittering but it doesn't really come through as hoppy. The finish is long and dry of malt.

D: The drinkability of this brew is about average. It seemed a little dry and a bit light in character, but overall wasn't too bad. I don't know that I would go seeking this one out but I wouldn't turn one down either.

Photo of skybluewater
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a standard amber color. (There's even some lace!) Smells of pears (WTF?), and sweet malt. Taste isn't bad, just average. It tastes of malt and just enough hops to keep things from getting cloying.

This might not be the best amber out there, but it went down smooth. While I wouldn't go out of my way to buy, I wouldn't turn one down if offered...

Photo of blitz134
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange caramel color. Basically no head, only sporadic shite bubbles, no lacing.

Sweet malty aroma with a touch of biscuit. A bit of floral, sweet hops. Kinda ale-like but has that clean lager aroma of light malts. A little yeasty too. Smells alright really.

Okay taste. Unoffensive, but it doesn't really present enough to even attempt to be. Floral hops come through again over the light biscuit malts.

Weak mouthfeel. No coating of any flavor lingering. Carbonation level is okay again. This just really falls short here.

These are preatty easy to put down though since its a ligher brew with nothing really offensive to it. Not something I'd ever really pick up again, but this would have its merits as a crossover beer.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an OK beer. It was amber in color with a medium-sized white head. Not much aroma, just a little bit of caramel malt. The malt came through a little more in the taste, but was still understated. Little bit of hop finish. I had a couple of these, and wouldn't want any more.

Photo of Todd
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, red-ish/amber colour, decent head. Aroma has a touch of sulfur in it and a soft noble hop. Semi-malty, not overly sweet character with light caramel, some roasted, some fruity. Light astringency and leafy feel on the palate. Hops are not bitter but have an interesting almost citrus quality to them, followed by a dry, crisp snap. Finish is a bit dry too, some woody notes. Wait ... what's this buttery flavour doing in my lager?

Other than that ... this is a pretty decent and drinkable beer.

Photo of Beaver13
1.8/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear light amber with a medium white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet bready (slightly vegetal) malts.

The flavor is sweet vegetal caramel malts with a bit of a metallic twang at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some prickly carbonation.

Overall, this is barely one step above a macro. I didn't care for this at all.

Photo of Doomcifer
2.82/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a magnificent, foamy tan head. Smells of light cereal grains, and a faint grassiness. Taste is rather thin. Light cereal grains, followed by a slightly metallic hop bitterness. Not much else to speak of. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a semi-dry finish. I would reach for a brooklyn lager or SA boston lager over this any day of the week.

Photo of Guden
3.69/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours very clear amber orange with little carbonation bubbles throughout. Half inch thick head which quickly recedes leaving just a little lacing. Nothing too impressive or bad.

S- Light caramel sweetness with a hint of sulfur and a wine like tinge of fruity alcohol. Pleasant but unexpected.

T- Nothing wrong here, just some simple maltiness with enough hops to bring it all around.

M- First sip is light and refreshing. The body and carbonation are at just the right levels. A bit filling further along but not overly so, it feels in some ways like a very mild version of a barleywine with a light syrupy quality.

D- This is a solid beer, its nothing extraordinary but something you can happily drink without any fuss. If I had to compare it I would say it is similar levels of sweetness and hops to Sam Adams with the same overall drinkability.

Photo of Jason
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with an dog theme artsy label. No freshness date.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light copper in colour with an off white lace that sticks to the glass.

Smell: Hops hit the nose as a touch of esters make their way through also.

Taste: Hoppy oil, almost a bit citrusy, on top then it fades and a rounded toasty malt flavour and an even leafy hop bitterness rides into the after taste. Alcohol is quite warming. Faint esters and a mild fruitiness are noticable.

Notes: A pretty good brew, very flavourful but seems to have some ale qualities and finishes like an ale also with stronger than normal alcohol qualities.

Photo of tigg924
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: amber in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate/high carbonation, clear

Smell: apple, sweet tea, and toasted malt

Taste: honey, apple, sweet tea, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium/light bodied, nice mix of bitter and sweet

Drinkability: An average amber. Drinkable enough that if I bought a six I would not be disappointed, but there is no need to rush out and get this again. The fruit/tea combo does not work for me.

Photo of badbeer
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained as part of a variety 12 pack.

Poured a dark amber color with a quickly dissapearing off white head. Aroma is malty, with only a hint of hops, has sort of a macro aroma is one way to put it. Taste is of caramel and a small hint of hops, not much there, seems to be lacking. Medium bodied, pretty smooth. Probably seems to be pretty good for a session but I would argue there are better candidates than this one.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this beer.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel and toffee with some piney hops and grain notes. The flavor is a mix of toffee, caramel and tea as well as some grassy and citrus notes from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of FMetzger
4.3/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright amber color. Completely clear. Medium (1 finger) head retention after 5 minutes. Dissipated most of the rest after 10 minutes. Looks drinkable.
Smell: Malty nose. No real hop aroma at all.
Taste: Very similar to smell in that it is quite malty with no real hop presence. Slight astringency, but not distracting. This is a malty beer.
Mouthfeel: Soft, clean. Medium body, nothing shocking, which is nice when these beers can easily be too thin.
Drinkability: Superb. I would definitely drink another.

This style has not been my favorite in years past, but this beer could change my mind. I was pleasantly suprised when the hops did make an appearance, but would not have been too disappointed if they did not. Overall, this beer retained some sweetness through the finish and did not end up "tinny" or metallic tasting as some ambers and reds do at times. Really a very good beer.

Clean tasting and the hops only come through at the very end., and the type is completely indistinguishable. The malt is fantastic on this beer. Rich and complex

Photo of LyonsHead
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep orange, perfectly clear, nice orangish-white head. head left semi-quickly and there was minimal lacing

S: earthy noble hops with a faint malty sweetness, I also get dark fruit.

T: Hit with hop flavor immediately, there are very subtle notes of bread and toast. the finish is taken over by the hop bitterness that lingers into the after taste.

M: rather thin and watery. I was expecting a much thicker, creamier beer from the color and the head.

D: To me this is just average. Nothing really sticks out in the flavors or aroma and the mouthfeel was pretty disappointing.

Photo of mattster
2.7/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Nonic glass.

Pours a thick head of 1" that slowly dies down. Lots of lacing on sides of glass. Brew is dark amber - brown and quite clear.

Smell is malty, not hoppy. Taste is somewhat smoker with hops and earthy dry finish. Is a drinkable beer, but really needs some sort of food to accompany this brew.

Photo of startreker
4.43/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L. Beautiful red deep amber color. Medium bodied head, left lacing that stuck to the glass.

S. Deep Malt with spices and mild hops.

T. Robust malty taste with caramel notes and spices. Mild on the hops, and no bitter after taste. Notes of toffee as well.

F. Medium creamy mouth feel very nice! Very easy to drink.

O. Overall, this is a wonderful amber lager that`s a pleasure to drink. I really enjoy the caramel toffee notes in this lager, would most certainly purchase this one again!

Photo of jondeelee
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Scratch has a sugary, malty nose ripe with fruit esters and smelling of brown sugar, white grape, vanilla, and apricot, with a hint of rosewater hops.

On the tongue, the brew is fairly sweet, fruit esters such as apricot and orange dominating, with caramelized brown sugars and vanilla in the background, all supported by a base of biscuit-like toasted grains. Hops are set at a fairly light level (19.5 IBU), mostly providing a slight bitter fuzz that offsets the malts, but comes through in greater strength in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, and carbonation is set at medium. Subsequent mouthfuls tend to be less flavorful than the first one, the hops and carbonation robbing the sugars of their sweetness and taste. A few more pounds of malt in the mixture would have nicely corrected this problem.

Overall, a decent amber lager with good flavors, but with a few shortcomings that prevent it from getting above-average marks.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brewery calls this a California Common or steam beer. Fruit, caramel and toasted malt are on the nose and palate. It has the extra fruity esters found in California Common but it is a little heavier and sweeter and not as bitter.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pulled from my fridge poured into an SA perfect pint glass. no freshness date.

pours out a copper/ amber color, good clarity with about a one finger of fizzy white head that very quickly settled to a ring and then to absolutly no head. lots of carbonation bubbles. no lace to speak of.

mineral like lager funk at the forefront in the aroma. not much else to speak of besides some light floral, lemony hops and toasted grain. overall clean smelling.

again a nice clean simple taste. mineral lager funk. toasted, biscuity grains balanced by a light lemon citrus, slightly floral hop kick. a little fruity. finishes wet and slightly sweet.

mouthfeel feels good for the style. light bodied with some ample carbonation.

this is an easy drinker for almost any beer drinker, craft or BMC. although this goes down with very little effort, lagers like this really aint my thing, i would turn this down for pretty much any ale. worth a spot in the variety pack, but i would never really buy this on its own.

Photo of Thrasher
3.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the last of a sixer I bought 3 or 4 weeks ago. The 1st was the best, this is noticeably different. Definitely amber, approaching dark side of the spectrum, so they got that right. Head fizzled out and mouthfeel is flat but at the beginning I remember it being fine. Strong piney hops which are the appeal of this beer, giving it a unique character balanced by forceful caramel, buttery malts. Like others have noticed, some ale flavors. This is a good beer, filling and crisp, and it's changed my opinion of Flying Dog after I sampled their unpleasant yogurt-tasting Scotch ale a couple years back.

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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,516 ratings.