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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,343 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1343
Reviews: 750
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.62%

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: 1,343 | Reviews: 750 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 22:27:53 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2007 01:47:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2005 16:10:25 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


2.65/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

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


3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: bottle

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


2.55/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: clear, amber color, nice 1/4", well-retained, creamy froth atop.
Aroma: malty, herbal, on the sweet side, ...almost too sweet, but not bad, really.
Taste: odd entrance on the palate, a bit harsh and unpleasant, bitter, but not the way I like, ...I'm frowning with this beer in my mouth and that's not a good thing. Can't be from hops...malt is lightly felt in the flavor, too, but it can't cover up that offensive attack at the fore. Some people complain about a beer's "after-taste", which I call "flavor",...this one has a problem with the fore-taste!
After a few more sips, this lessens and the brew is more bearable, but it also bottoms out on flavor, too. Thins out incredibly, and we're left with an unimpressive feeling in the mouth...and then the offensive fore-taste returns.
An amber lager shouldn't be such a chore!
Got two in the sampler pack...don't know what I'll do with the other...

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2004 01:23:06 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2006 05:43:50 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours just as it's name calls for, "amber". There is little head, but a nice thin lace. The aroma is of a traditional lager, but with the addition of caramel malts giving it a amber color and aroma. I'm not a particular fan of lager beer due to the fact that most are so simplistic in make up. They hardly ever meander from the regular. The taste is good. I like the amber lagers better than a plain. I guess it must be that there is some malt character although it's still not much. The mouthfeel is good; a low bodied beer. A real booser's beer. A clean finish marks the end of this beer. Not bad, as far as lagers are concerned.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2003 19:01:30 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a Carta Blanca pint glass (don't judge me). Beer is amber in color (shocking), they nailed the color. The head was big at first but fell away and remained about 1/8 of an inch all over the top, once i started drinking it reduced further and was diffuse. Smell....not impressed. There is a smell but its like an odd smelling lager, almost an ocktoberfest, but its a miss. Taste, can taste some diacetyl but its OK. I should say that I'm not a big lager fan here and I'll leave it at that. I think its a decent beer. Drinkability is fine. Could probably put this away in short order but there's no rush. Flying dog may be growing on me.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 03:26:38 | More by drabmuh
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 06:22:26 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.28/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Code 253A06
Pours with a frothy, amber-tinged, tan colored head that is initially about two fingers thick. The beer is a brilliantly clear, dark amber color. The aroma has a soft, raisin & sweet plum like, fruitiness to it, some notes of caramelized malt sugars and a lightly toasted bready quality. All in all it is a soft aroma that is predominantly malt focused, though there is a touch of hop character here as well.

The beer is quite dry up front, yet manages to finish with a solid fruit character without much sweetness. The fruit notes remind me of raisins, sweet plums and a touch of apple. There is a toasty bread like note up front that sort of morphs into a cracker character by the end of a sip. There is also a malty caramelized note here, yet, like I said, this beer tends toward the dry side of the spectrum. There is some herbal hop character here as well as a bitterness that flows throughout the flavor profile. The hop character though is fairly muted, though it is on the same level as the rest of the flavors in this beer. It is quite light on the palate, but, luckily, it does not become watery.

This is a fairly light beer, which is a bit boring to my palate, though it is not nearly as bland as there Tire Bite beer. This beer is well made and I don't detect much in the of flaws, but that doesn't mean I would want to drink a pint of this brew given other tastier choices.

Purchased: 58 Degrees, Tucson AZ

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 19:44:25 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 03:46:25 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There is a code, but no freshness date.

Pours reddish copper with a thin head that soon becomes patchy.

The smell is of some vague caramelish graininess and some general fruitiness. Mild.

The taste is of caramelish and grainy sweetness with some balancing fruitiness. Slight breadiness as it progresses. Crisp finish.

The body is lighter side of medium. Some flavor hangs on.

It has characteristics of a lager and an ale. This one is decent, but nothing special, IMO. There is a certain blandness that holds back its drinkablilty a bit, but is fine for an easy drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2007 18:53:10 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.85/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brown 355ml bottle, 5.3%,loads of life left, poured into a tall tulip shaped stemmed Corsendonk glass.

Clear body of a true amber colour, good tan head at first, soon fell away to a collar and wispy covering.

Very little aroma, gets my standard score of 3 for a non-smelling lager/pilsner. Hints of malts as it warms, otherwise nothing much at all.

Malt feel to it more than a malt taste to it, if you know what I mean. "The Sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray, the Sun has got his hat on and he's coming out to play" This is a beer for drinking in the garden during a heatwave (like today). More body than a normal lager, but not rich, creamy or flavoursome, just a cold beer to cool you down. It kind of threatens to be sweet, but doesn't back it up, strange.

Not overly impressed, only had a few beers in this style and much prefer the Brooklyn Lager to this version.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 15:07:20 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

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

Pours a copper color with 1/2 inch head. Some light lacing developed through the drink. The aroma was pleasant, as malt and honey tones were most prevelent. The flavor sports a nice balance of malt and bitterness with a mellow caramel candy tone. Full flavored and not wimpy at all. Comes in on the lighter side of medium bodied.

The mouthfeel is smooth. Carbonation levels were perfect. The malt and bitterness quickly leaves the tongue after swallowing. Very drinkable. Good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 12:29:09 | More by Gavage
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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,343 ratings.