Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

760 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 760
Hads: 1,530
Avg: 3.41
pDev: 20.53%
Wants: 37
Gots: 141 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Scratch Amber Lager Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 760 | Hads: 1,530
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 459 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 281 characters

Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 473 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

 531 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev +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

 483 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

 388 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 271 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.86/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

 479 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.27/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 302 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

 903 characters

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
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

 419 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
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!

 1,369 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.76/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

 731 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.66/5  rDev -22%
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.

 645 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

 816 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a true imperial pint glass in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live. This was one of the bottles available in Flying Dog's sampler pack.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of slight soft cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear copper (NOT Amber!).

Sm: Biscuity yeast, cream, and amateurish barley. Smells like an all extract homebrew beer. The strength of the aroma is moderate.

T: And it tastes like a homebrew extract as well. Light caramelized malt doesn't add anything, but instead pollutes the balance. It's simply built and crappily so. The balance is off. The cream is understated, but may still be its best feature. A near watery finish; certainly a bland one.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with an artifical creamy undertone to it. Far from complementary of the flavours in the body.

Dr: Fairly drinkable excepting the lackluster quality. Overpriced as part of the sampler pack. I won't have it again.

 996 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best one of the Flying Dog mixed pack, It pours a beautiful deep red color and has a very thick body for the style which makes for a great mouthfeel. Tastes of caramel malts and is a really drinkable beer. This is a damn good one and I would try it again for sure.

 268 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 768 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Wegman's in Mechanicsburg, enjoyed in a tumbler from a chilled bottle.

The color is deep copper bordering on brown with a decent amount of beige cream. There is little lace left, but clarity is good and carbonation is visible with tight bead. The smell is ok, but a little fruity slightly caramel in a general way, not overly fragrant, but the smell of malt is dominant. The feel is very good, lots of carbonation with mild sweetness and gentle spice with a similar level of yeastiness to a vienna lager with slight hint of fruit tanginess lingering.

This is a good example flavor wise, it has some lager-like traits with mild sweetness and subtle caramel tinges with a nice hint of hops with some yeast fruitiness in the background. It ends mostly dry with a little spice and the carbonation pushes some of the steam-like qualities forward. I enjoyed the drinkability of this and would purchase it again.

 925 characters

Photo of Jason
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 657 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +10%
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

 321 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 773 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 11/26/2013. Pours crystal clear deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, light fruitiness, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, light fruitiness, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malts, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice amber lager style. Good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,425 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 888 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored and very clear. The head is gone in a half minute; it poured to a single finger thickness.

Yeasty and soured milk, like a very soft lambic--most surprising considerign the style. I cannot discern any hops. In all, a very light smelling beer.

The taste is mostly malt. True to the smell, there is a (very) slight sourness to this brew. The hop does show up, but only as a harmonic interlude. The beer is above average in body. Not my favorite beer from Flying Dog.

 484 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 760 ratings.