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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,412 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,412
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 27
Gots: 61 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,412 | Reviews: 752 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.53/5  rDev +3.2%

Best before 8/2/12.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and some caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild herbal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and easy to drink.

11-04-2012 05:01:54 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +17%

12-13-2011 21:58:26 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


3.45/5  rDev +0.9%

A: Copper-colored with off-white lacing.

S: Amber malt and a bit of caramel.

T: Semi-sweetened amber malts and a bit of hops.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Doesn't quite fit the style for me. A decent beer, but nothing super special about it.

04-28-2009 23:35:51 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.35/5  rDev -2%

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a finger high head that quickly dissipated and left some lacing on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of caramel in the smell along with notes of floral hops.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel and toasted malts and has some hints of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink and goes down rather smoothly.

09-09-2011 18:27:03 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.05/5  rDev -10.8%

Bright orange-amber, heavy on the orange, with several whispy floaters suspended within. The head is dark cream in color, average in size and leaves mere scraps of lace on the glass. The nose is faintly hoppy at best. Not much else going on in the aroma; it's pretty subdued overall.

Disappointing on the palate. The first thing that strikes me is the thin, watery mouthfeel which makes describing the flavor difficult. The beer doesn't hang around on the tastebuds long enough to make much of an impression. Caramel malt with a touch of earthy hops is about all I can manage for a description. This is one seriously under-flavored beer.

I haven't been impressed with Flying Dog in the past and Old Scratch Amber Lager does nothing to change that. If the brewery put as much effort into their beer as they put into their labels, they might end up with something a little better than merely decent.

04-01-2004 22:50:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +6.7%

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a bg bubbled head that drops quickly and fails to leave any lace

Smell: Toasted malt aroma

Taste: After an initial touch of citrus up front, the caramel malt flavors take over big time; after the swallow, the caramel builds in depth and is complemented by a vague nutty, earthy quality from the hops; no lager twang

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Innocuous and highly drinkable; nice session beer

08-03-2007 01:47:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of zestar


3.25/5  rDev -5%

08-06-2014 06:03:50 | More by zestar
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +22.2%

So I am finally working my way through the entire Flying Dog lineup, so that includes going for the mixed twelve pack, which thrilled me to pick up anyways. This poured a deep, dark amber, with a nice burnt reddish hue. nice one inch white head, gave way to a nice coating along the top of the glass. Not really any residual side glass lacing to speak of. Nice carbonation bubbles rippling up through from the bottom of the glass. The smell was very nice, lots of grains and cerals, with a hint of some caramel and a touch of bittering pine hops mixed in. A very light off fruit aroma could also be detected after a few minutes. The taste was very well crafted. A good malted back with a good deal of a hop character mixed in. I did not really detect much of a citrus taste at first, but subsequent sips showed this to be more pronounced then I had thought earlier. Very well balanced beer as no particular taste won out over another. Great feel, decent carbonation, but the feel was very smooth and effortless. A little slick, but not distractingly so, rather easy drinking. I could throw down a six pack of these with no time. Definatly a chugger. Overall this was damn fine, and the first steam beer I have had in quite a while. I will definatly be having another one of these in the near future. This was almost too good to pass up if I saw it. I really enjoyed it!

07-23-2007 22:27:53 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect


4/5  rDev +17%

A very enjoyable amber lager. I am typically not a fan of these beers because of their cloying sweetness with little complexity. Old scratch pours copper to golden like a pale ale. Smells malty caramelly, toasty, toffee, mildly herbal, nicely hopped. Taste is much like aroma. Slightly doughy, creamy, crisp and refreshing-moreso than most ambers. Clean finish. A very easy drinking beer.

07-05-2005 16:10:25 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -15.8%

Bottle courtesy of Okbeer: Poured a copper color beer with a small foamy head with not much retention but some surprisingly good lacing. Taste of pure malt with some subtle sweet nutty notes. Taste is slightly sweet with some very subtle notes of caramel and nuts. Light body with some low medium carbonation. No hops presence could be easily detected. Overall, this is was not too bad as a session al but not something I would go for very often since it did lack some character.

06-07-2007 15:07:21 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of kjkinsey


3.25/5  rDev -5%

01-01-2013 03:08:01 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.65/5  rDev -22.5%

Appearance: Copper tone, with a fluffy white head (though it dissolved fairly rapidly) that left zero lacing. Oh, now I get the silent treatment?

Smell: Scant floral hop scent mingled with some sour mustiness. Oh, now I get the smelly treatment?

Taste: Predominately malty, with a driving creamy caramel flavor. Mild lemon-pepper bite ending in a clean, though unpleasantly adjunct-like finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and full of soft fizziness.

Drinkability: This is an exceptionally tame brew, with it's thin flavor and aroma barely stimulating the senses. Nothing too far beyond the depth and complexity of a standard macro lager.

12-31-2005 08:21:39 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc


3.25/5  rDev -5%

11-07-2013 01:49:35 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004


3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

A: 3 finger head leaving no lace and some in the periphery. Solid amber color.

S: Malt, barely and caramel.

T: More malt, caramel and barely. Finishes with a light hop taste.

M: mild to medium carbonation. Medium body.

Overall: Nice beer. Pretty refreshing, nice taste profile.

08-24-2011 01:14:26 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Knapp85


3.08/5  rDev -9.9%

The beer was a pretty stand looking Amber Lager. The pour was pretty good, it had a nice looking head on it that had a little yellowish color too it. The look of the beer is pretty nice, lots of bubbles coming up from the glass and adding to the head. The smell of the beer is of hops and malts, lightly roasted aroma as well. The mouthfeel is on the heavier which is pretty nice for the style. I'm happy that it wasn't overly watered down. This is a good drinking beer, it can be enjoyed by many and the drinkability is good here.

04-07-2011 03:46:25 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +6.1%

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

12-18-2004 00:21:28 | More by oberon
Photo of zeff80


3.3/5  rDev -3.5%

A - Poured out a copper/red color with a small, short-lived head. No lacing.

S - It smelled mostly of malt.

T - It tasted of malt, hops and grasses. A slight bitterness.

M - This was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied brew.

D - This is a pretty good beer. A nice flavor but nothing amazing.

02-21-2007 03:04:38 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR


3/5  rDev -12.3%

12-29-2011 22:17:52 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.9/5  rDev +14%

Fying Dog's Old Scratch displays a crystal clear copper body with a reddish cast beneath a good-sized head of ivory foam that holds well and leaves some nice splashes of lace about the glass. The nose combines a delicately sweet and subtly caramelish, toasty maltiness with a nice touch of yeasty fruitiness. It's lightly crisp and then smooth in the mouth with a medium body and carbonation. The flavor reveals a richer maltiness than the nose suggests with some Munich or Vienna malts, and probably a good dose of crystal/caramel as well. Grassy and leafy hops become apparent towards the swallow along with a very nice fruitiness (strawberries, sweet apple, pear); and it finishes lightly sweet and lingering but never cloying - there's just enough bitterness there to keep it from going out of bounds. Well done!

07-22-2004 22:17:25 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.65/5  rDev +6.7%

I think this beer should be the supermodel of beers. The color is so crystal clear and so perfectly red hued amber that someone should just take a picture of the damn thing. If only there were a bit more head in my tulip.

When I was a kid, my grandmother always gave us little boxes of raisins to put on our cereal for breakfast. This is exactly what it smelled like. Amazing. Talk about jarring the memory.

Flavor is a touch of tang and zingy earth. Seems a bit lop sided. Too much zing. Too much tang.

Feel has a decent carbonation to it. Liquid is a decent feel.

Overall this one is merely "okay". I can't say I am really blown away at all. The only thing that set this score higher is the appearance and fragrance of it. Other than that, it would be quite lower.

01-01-2008 04:49:54 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev +10.5%

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

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, some spice, some citrus and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not heavy at all up front with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, I wasn't expecting much of anything from this beer but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a pretty decent beer overall.

02-07-2009 02:39:03 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of nickfl


3.8/5  rDev +11.1%

A - True reddish amber color and excellent clarity with one finger of off white foam.

S - Nice amber, caramel malt aroma. A little bit of toffee and bread, no hops to speak of.

T - Big caramel flavor with bready notes and some low key roasty, tobacco or coffee like flavors. Hop flavor kicks in briefly towards the end followed closely by mild, but mouth coating, bitterness and then a long lingering malt finish.

M - Nice thick body and moderately high carbonation.

D - Nice, sessionable beer. The malt character is quite nice and the hops are subdued but they come out when they need to. Overall no complaints, but I have to wonder why Beer Advocate classifies this as a steam beer because it does not really strike me as one

10-08-2007 04:37:58 | More by nickfl
Photo of Jason


3.55/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

08-08-2002 08:08:44 | More by Jason
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -2%

Crystal clear amber tone with a full inch of foam sitting on top of the body leaving scattered webs of lacing around my pint. Aroma has some zesty lemony tones along with a mild sweetness and caramel malt tones to it very nice aroma pleasant and appeasing to the senses. Flavor has a bit of an alcohol edge to it then a wave of hop bitterness blended with a sharp sweetness created from the malt and mild fruit tones also arise in the finish. Crisp with a nice hop profile that does compare to Anchor Steam on tap however the bottles never seem to travel well from San Fran but I can compare this to the draught version. Mouthfeel from a light to medium bodied beer is slightly syrupy texture with a sharp carbonation to tickle the palate nice. Drinkability not dying for another could easily consume this amber lager purely due to the fact that it does have a really nice flavor profile.

08-06-2003 03:20:33 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of russpowell


3.8/5  rDev +11.1%

Pours caramel with a 2" white head. Minmal head retention & lacing

Smell; A litte malt, that's all

Taste: Toffee with slight bitterness, some alcohol notes, & a slight fruitiness. Finishes sweet & smooth

MF: Rich, with a nice balance & slightly undergassed

Goes down easy, good, not great example of the style

04-16-2006 05:43:50 | More by russpowell
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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,412 ratings.