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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

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1,494 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,494
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 33
Gots: 98 | 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: 1,494 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Westsidethreat
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Rich, clean, golden amber. Very low carbonation, head fell fast. Only a small beige ring remains.

S: Slightly roasted. Grainy, melon.

T: Lightly fruity, raspberries, slight caramel notes in the aftertaste. Very boring.

M: Thin with a fuzzy carbonation.

D: Meh. Pass.

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

Pours dark red with some brown, no bubbles. No head, just wisps of foam that fade away quickly. Lacing is decent, however. Nose is primarily sweet malt. Taste is very sweet malt with some hops in the background. There’s some hints of caramel-toasted barley. Good representation of the typical amber ale flavor. Mouth is semi-creamy, not bad, wet and smooth. Drinkability is OK overall, a good summer chillin’ beer.

Overall: Not a bad amber ale. A bit sweet for my tastes, it would benefit from some hop balance. Poor head, but good mouthfeel… this one is really a personal preference thing. After trying it twice, I probably won’t try it again.

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

Thanks to Chonyr for this one.

Deep amber colour, very nice. Head and lacings scant, only mildly carbonated.

Bready with hint of caramel. Flowers, grass, and mild spicy tang.

Much like the aroma. Sweet bready taste with hint of caramel intially, then ends in mild spicy and grassy bitterness.

Relatively light in body, has just enough substance to be satisfying. Nice balance between clean malt and hop flavours. Could use a touch more sparkle or carbonation.

This is a nice beer, and easy to drink. Would be easy to finish a 6 pack on a hot summer day. Would be good for a serious drinking session or to serve as a crossover beer. If this was readily available and i felt like having a few on a hot night i'd look for this again sometime.

Photo of Poser
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: A slightly red tint with a thick head. Some lacing.
S: Bitter hops come through strong.
T: It's a little citrusy with some sweet malts. It then fades to a hops aftertaste.
M/D: Seems a little off for a lager, but it's a great beer overall. I consider this one of the better brews offered by Flying Dog Brewery.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear red copper with a moderate head and slight lacing.

Smell is very malty with a hint of fruit.

Taste is caramel malt, touch of fruit and nut. Buttery diacetyl flavor is a distraction. Finish has a touch of herbal hop that adds bitterness and a bit of spice.

Mouthfeel is light bodied.

An inoffensive beer. Flavors are balanced and mild. Seems a little thin on flavor and mouthfeel, but still drinkable as a session brew.

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

This looks to be one of the better amber ale's i've seen. It pours very nicely into a pint glass. Nice amber color w/ a white puffy head that disperses into a ring. The smell is a light hop scent. It tastes fine, w/ a wheatish caramel flavor. It is average to good, I almost went 3.5 on this one. It has a slight bitter aftertaste which was nice, it was crisp. I liked this better than the other flying dog brews that I picked up in a sampler pack and wish there was more than 2 in there of this kind.

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.

Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,494 ratings.