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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

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1,488 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,488
Reviews: 761
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 33
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,488 | Reviews: 761 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bashiba
2.65/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear amber with minimal head.

Smell had a very light grainy malt quality.

Taste has a slightly sour malt flavor. Very grainy and has a slight corn taste as well. Very light bit of hops in the end. Pretty boring.

Mouthfeel is light and watery.

Overall I can drink it, but pretty bland.

Photo of dbalsock
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a medium amber color... like expected, with a little bit of white head.

Smell: The aroma delivers a subtle malty sweetness, but nothing truly notable.

Taste: I found it quite balanced between the malts and the hops, but not intense or interesting. The flavors mixed to give a standard impression of an amber lager, much like JW Dundees.

Mouthfeel: The most attractive part of the brew was it's subtle bitterness. I found the mouthfeel mild despite that, however, and the light bodied nature did not appeal to me.

Drinkability: This is easily quaffable because it's unintrusive and uninteresting. I won't be having another.

Photo of kimcgolf
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a nice amber color with an off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly and had some, but not much, lacing. Amber pour with a white head. Aroma was weak, but what was there appeared to be a malty sweetness, with a hint of coffee. Taste was also not real strong, but was again on the malty side, with a hint of hops balance. Not a bad tasting beer, but a littel on the weak side in all areas. This beer really did not do much for me. Expected more from Flying Dog after their Pale Ale and IPA.

Photo of sinistrsam
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Now this is my first "steam" beer, so I'm going to try to keep that in mind. And also worht mentioning is that I've always been a fan of Flying Dog.
It poured a medium-dark copper-gold and immediately looked watery. Little ot no head and no lacing. Not terribly impressed.
I tend to take notes as I drink so I can look back before I review, and the first thing I have written is "cheap" under smell. It had hints of sweet fruits, but thats about it. No hops, and not much of anything else.
The taste was interesting; over-ripe bananas, and virtually no hops. Very little malt and not a whole lot else. Not awful but once agian nothing to write home about.
The mouthfeel was easily the best part of this beer. It reminded me at first of a Belgian; the semi-sweet almost tartness fades into a sour-dryness. Not too bad.
Overall, it was somewhat drinkable but nothing special.

Photo of RedChrome
2.64/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour was a deep copper color. The head was basically a single layer of carbonation bubbles on the top of the beer, and disappeared rather rapidly. Carbonation throughout. Light, rapidly receding lacing.

Nice aroma with the hops and malt balanced between sweet and bitter. No fruit notes detected despite the style.

Bland taste has not intense notes of anything. This beer lacked in any flavor worth reporting. The aftertaste was smooth, but can't do anything to stimulate my tastebuds.

A slightly watery body. The carbonation did help all the surfaces feel the beer.

Overall, I can't say this beer would be worth anything more then a cursory try out of a mixed pack. You may like it more then I did, but I don't think most people here will.

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

Pours an amber with medium-red highlights. A small head with a modicum of carbonation. The aroma is sweet bready, grains, almost a kettlecorn/roasted sweet corn smell, followed by the mildest of sharp hops. The flavor follows through with a more substantial hop blanket at the end.

This is decent. I have to admit that I'm not a big amber fan, and so the style doesn't grab me to begin with.

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

Poured into a 20 oz. pint glass with a deep amber color that lightens to an orange/yellow color towards the bottom. A slight head forms, off white in color, that slowly disappates down the glass, leaving several rings along the side. The sweet scent of malt is strong, almost a candy scent, not alot of hop fragrance. The taste is dominated by the malt, giving it a very mild flavor. The feel of this beer is fairly smooth, a slight after taste but nothing to offensive. This beer is very drinkable, the mild flavor makes it to want chug it down. Overall a good beer, great to just quench your thirst.

Photo of cjgator3
3.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown/copper color with a quickly fading head. Nose is of hops and roasted malt. Taste is of semi-sweet roasted malts with followed by a citrusy hop bitterness. I personally enjoyed this brew. It actually has more ale characteristics than that of a lager but overall a good drinkable beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- The light golden brown body is clear with a sea of big bubbles churning to the surface to support a light tan head of thin foam.

S- The smell of lightly toasted malt comes through and it is not sweet or dry, just neutral.

T- The light toasted malt has a slight sweetness to it with a nougat flavor that is a little off. There is a bitter finish that may be from hops but it is a little off as well.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel.

D- This beer started with some nice malt qualities but didn't have much to support or balance the flavors. Several flavors were a bit strange and I'm not sure if it was an old bottle or they were just brewing flaws?

Photo of ADR
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Coppery appearance, clear and attractive with a yellow tinged head of about 1/4 of an inch after sitting for a half a minute. Laces in dripping rings. Slight maple aroma, tinged with a bright smell of husky hay and hops. Mouthfeel is almost medium, carbonation is lower than I expected and a bit tepid. Very neutral balanced approach to a flavor profile, simple sweet pale caramel malt of not a lot of character with a tinge of citric bittering. Just a slight wax paper impression at the close. Actually, one of my favorite Flaying Dog brews, certainly is pretty easy-drinking.

Photo of matracy68
4.7/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one good looking amber in my book. I enjoy the color of the beer. It is sort of in between a dark and a light. I got my first Scratch in my Beer of the Month Club and I have been searching for more ever since. This is an easy drinking beer that is tied for first as my favorite beer at the moment. The bad part is trying to find more of the beer where I am located. I would highly recommend any beer from the Flying Dog. I sampled quite of few of their tasty treats at the World Beer Festival in Raliegh, NC in April 2006.

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness date of (I believe) Aug06, pours a somewhat hazy copper amber with a thin whitish head and pretty good streaking lacing. Aroma is decent, foremost the hops and some sweet malt, caramel in character. Not feelin in. Mouth is pretty good, a medium body verging on syrupy, finishing crisp and even dry. And while not the biggest fan of the style, this is a pretty tasty beverage. malts and hop balanced pretty well. The malts take on a pretty neat warming feeling, while citris hops take on nice oily notes. Overall though, overcoming my dislike for most lagers, this is a pretty tasty brew.

Photo of granger10
2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber color with copper on the sides and a nice medium white head which unfortunately disappears too soon. Decent lacing. Aroma is malty with caramel and a bit of yeastyness I think. Taste is similar. Leans on the malty side. I had no idea this was a steam beer. Helps me understand why it doesn't seem like a lager at all. Slight fruity characteristics and a definitely vienna malt dominance. Decent but it loses everything towards the end. Gets really thin with a cooked veggie taste. Unfortunate. Nothing too special here, tastes like a decent homebrew at best.

Photo of sopor
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant coppery-amber brew capped with a slightly tan inch thick head sticking to the sides of the glass and slowly receding to leave a thin film to the end. The smell is sweet and slightly funky, the way I expect a Vienna/Amber lager to be. Not my bag, but right ony stylistically.

This is definitely one of those beers that makes me have to remember to keep style in mind, b/c ths is not my favorite style, but Old SCratch is a good representation of said style and is pretty tasty. Warmer femerntation of the California Common style probably helps for my palate. Malt starts sweet and is joined by the characteristic lager "funkiness" shared by many an amber lager. Hop bittering is well balanced leading into a clean aftertaste with an airy hint of bready malt. Moderately light body and delicatish carbonation makes smooth drinking.

Pretty darn drinkable, even for not being my cup of tea.

Photo of belgaridub
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light red tinged with gold and forms a light head with lots of lacing. No big aromas jump out at me, smells malty. Ok, the taste is primarily malty, but the hops are definitely there too. I don't know that I really like the word balanced for this beer... more like there is definitely a malty presence and a hoppy presence and they are fighting, with the malt hitting first and the hop finishing. They aren't fighting in a bad way, though, because this beer goes down easily. There is a light mouthfeel and a dry finish. I wouldn't mind more hop presence in this one, but it's still a good beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
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

Photo of timtheenchanta
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden copper look. Thin off white head that laces very well.

Smell is a little musty with some faint hops.

Toasted malt character with very sweet hop presence.

Very dry crisp finish.

This is a pretty good Cali. common. I've tried a few that fell well short. This one is pretty true to the style. Very enjoyable.

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

Pours a bright, clear, medium copper with a fairly small head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves little lacing. Smell is sweet caramel and malts with some rum as well, along with some phenolic alcohol and a touch of hops. Doesn't blend well or appeal to me a great deal. Taste is quite malty at first, with grain and grass clippings along with the caramel hints and fruity notes, and a little hop bite in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, but still crisp, and drinkability is pretty decent. No real complaints, but it's not great.

Photo of Liquids
2.5/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Standard shade of amber, though leaning toward lighter shades and pale yellow more than deep red in the light. Thin pond scum head. Smells like a Flying Dog beer for sure. Grassy, herbal hops and faint alcohol.

Taste is disapointing, booring and weak. Indistinct, stale and unflavorful taste. Too light in flavor, with a ligh mouthfeel, certainly more ale like than lager like, but really indistinct malt profile with a very slight alcohol wash toward the end as there is no malt backbone to hide it. Finishes dry. Balanced only in the sense that nothing stands out in either the malt or the hops. If I didn't know this was Flying Dog, you could have easily convinced me it was a macro beer. Why did they even bother producing this? Extremely dissapointed.

Photo of sevineyes
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from brown bottle feauring a dog/insect (mosquito?) hybrid on the label.

A: Poured with a fairly dense head, slighty off white. Amber in color. Leaves some chunks of lace.

S: Hits with malt right off the bat. Bready with some sweetness like confectioner's sugar. Biscuity. Ends somewhat sour like white vinegar.

T: High sweetness and floral elements that I wasn't expecting. Diluted honey. Although the flavor isn't particulary complex it's definitely there. Finishes very balanced. Aftertaste has some bitterness to it, but you have to hunt a bit for it.

M: Medium-to-heavy bodied. Very silky and smooth with just enough astringent in the finish to keep it from getting oily.

Overall: Kind of impressed with this beer in spite of not knowing exactly what to expect. I does stand apart from Anchor and some of the commons I've brewed, but not so dissimilar that it breaks style. Perhaps could have a more robust flavor, but I can't complain too much about it.

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

Pours a tawny amber with a slightly imperfect clarity. Two and a half fingers of dense, off-white foam show good retention and good sticky lacing. Cascade and floral hop aroma, with a faint fruity ester and strong toasted malt scent. Steely caramel flavor, but not unpleasent, and a mild herbal tea taste in the background. Slightly drying american hop aftertaste, with a mild fruity ester and diacetyl character as it warms. The carbonation is low, and the body light to medium. The dryness produced by the hops keeps the ester in check and prevents any noticable slickness. This also provides a fruity/malty finish that will fade and allow a session caliber drinkability. Good overall balance and very enjoyable albiet poor example of the style.

Photo of tonistruth
4.13/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- light brown to copper in color, off white head and lace. 1/2" with decent retention.

S- sweet pear-like smell, faint grain smell from hops.

T- sweet at first, less sweet in the middle as the hops come in. Grainy in the end. Pleasant grainy/hoppy aftertaste

M- thin and somewhat coarse.

D- wonderful mix between malts and hops, very unique and very enjoyable. Nice beer to break someone into hops, or to break them from macros. enjoyed this very much

Photo of cracgor
3.37/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light hazy, peach colored beer with very little in the way of head to it. The beer doesn't have a lot to the smell. Just a sort of earthy, grassy and orange smell. The Beer tastes very orange peel like, faint hints of grass, no real hop character to describe. Not spectacular in the way of complexity, but a good enough beer to have a few of.

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

Pours a nice crystal clear amber color. The head foams up nicely at first but then drops to a thin bubbly film. Smell is mildly sweet with nothing else of note. Taste is the same, sweet malt very little bitterness or character. No lingering taste of anything, almost like drinking water. Very thin mouthfeel. I dont' like to slam beers but I see no reason to try this one again. There was nothing bad per se about it but also nothing noteworthy either.

Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.