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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,495 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,495
Reviews: 765
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: 1,495 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Naes
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one is amber in color with a small white head that disappears quite quickly.
The aroma is that of a macro lager; nothing special.
The flavor has a stronger malt presence than I was expecting. It is a very grainy malt with some faint hops near the finish.
Mouth feel is watery and actively carbonated. This just seems like another Macro style beer.

Photo of joeskirkie
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear rich amber but not a whole lot to the head.

Nice aroma of lime but with a sugary sweetness in it.

Tastes light and sweet, has a quick bitter punch in the aftertaste and goes sweet again, nice mix. It's light an smooth and very easily drinkable, not too much carbonation. Really nothing preventing a good session. This is such a good style, I'd like to see more of these then I do.

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

12oz. brown bottle- '055A06' code on side of label

Pours into the glass a very clear pale amber with a fluffy off-white head that quickly fades to spotty lace.

Smell is a mixture of earthy sweetness and a bold malty signature.

Taste is sweet caramel malts well balanced with spicy hops. Dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied. Oily hop feel, carbonation excites the tongue.

They are drinkable. I wouldn't turn one down.

Photo of danielocean03
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a coppery amber color into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Thin, and fizzy white one finger head quickly dissipated to very light white lacing. Smells very light, mostly of citrusy hops blended with sweet caramel malt, some roasted grain aroma present as well. Taste is fairly simple, caramel malt flavorings are the base that some lighter hop flavors build on, mainly citrus, nothing too outstanding. Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation with a light body, fizzy on the tongue, leaves some bitterness in the aftertaste. Reasonably drinkable beer, just very plain all around, a step up from everyday macro brews. While not a bad beer, simply a little disappointing, knowingly not the best quality that Flying Dog typically offers in the majority of their beers.

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

Poured into a pint glass from the always entertaining Flying Dog bottle. Had a white one-finger head that died pretty quickly over an amber/red brew.

Not much of a smell, some faint hops.

A bit of a hop flavor, some mild malt and a bit of an alcohol bite.

Decent carbonation in the mouth and a smooth finish.. Slight bitter aftertaste.

All in all a decent brew; about average. Not something I'd seek out, but not something I'd turn down either.

Photo of hanco005
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Got this selection in my micro brew of the month club.

A—clear amber color. ½ inch head with a little lacing as I drank the beer

S—a caramel malt and light hop scent, nice but not too strong

T—lots of flavors completing with each other in this one, caramel, citrus, fruit, a little smoky, very hoppy. Best part is the mild bitter after taste

M—smooth and mellow, very enjoyable

D—could (and did) drink the other two bottles that came in the pack. Got a little tired of the taste by the middle of the third bottle, but still a very good brew that is worth the try.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.02/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An elegant looking beer with a clear amber body that pours gracefully. Old Dog shows enthused carbonation, a deft creamy head, and good lace. My bottle yielded a light, grainy aroma with a late surge of malt sugars and a few unwelcome notes of bandaid. A simple mass-market lager taste is coupled with a grainy bitterness and a lingering finish that could have been cleaner. In fact, it’s surprisingly bitter for a lager (or steam beer) with flat, drab contours not unlike an English ale.

Photo of skizziks
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. 2 inch thick yellow tan head quickly fades to 1/4". Minimal lacing. The beer itself is a clear red amber.

Aroma is strongly malt, smells like munich, with some faint floral hop. Flavor again is malt dominated. It is pretty full-bodied but doesn't seem to have enough flavor for the substance. The malt that I assume to be munich is so dominant that this seems to be miscategorized or simply out of style. Tastes like an Oktoberfest to me. Very little bitter to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is thick and very smooth. Not quite syrupy, it's very easy to put this one away and I'm having a hard time keeping it around long enough to finish this review.

Overall, it's ok. Nothing really exceptional here but it's ok to toss back. The store I use has 6.99 sixers from plenty of fine micros so I doubt I'll be going back to this.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a decent beer leftover in my fridge from one of my co-workers. I've had it before, but it was before I found BA. Just as I remember it, it was good but nothing interesting enough to drink often.

The beer pours to a golden amber color, fairly clear and with a decent carbonation. The head builds up quite nicely to a pillowy two inches in height and laces the glass in what seems to be a series of glyphs.

The smell is fairly uninteresting. Almost smells like a BMC product, or Leinie's at best. Has a light sweet grainy smell, almost like it is brewed with rice. The hops are too feint to be noticable in the nose.

The taste is better. Still seems a bit on the macro swill side, but it has just enough caramelized malt flavor to keep it interesting. The hops are still fairly low key. This is a little bitterness in the finish, but the flavor still eludes me save for such a small hint that I can't quite pinpoint the specific hop flavor.

The body is a bit thin and well carbonated, but a bit on the buttery side. Still has the crisp, but lacks the clean lager finish.

Drinkability is good. The ABV is fairly low and the beer isn't so uninteresting that I immediately felt the need to move on. Not so much on the "would I buy it again" scale [though I won't complain if somebody wants to leave a few in my fridge again].

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

True to its name, a dark copper with amber hues, topped with a half-finger white head, very little retention, and no lacing. Nose is sweet, toffee malt, with a very slight citrus hop. Medium-thin body with non-existent carbonation, slightly slick on the tongue, caramel malt flavor, with a bit of hops emerging on the way down, and corn/butter lingering.

Just a step above the average American macro, thin flavor profile, adjunct offsets it, leans toward the sweet malt a little too much, but fairly pleasant and easy-going. Worth a try, but I don't see myself going back to it.

Excellent, distinctive artwork, right up there with Lost Coast.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.66/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

Photo of hoffman
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a 12 oz. Pilsner glass. Only about a half finger head that quickly dissipates into a slight haze covering the surface of the beer, lacing is spotty down the glass. Color is a rich amber with nice hints of carbonation dancing within. Aroma....what aroma, very faint to non-existant whiff of water and subdued malts, with possibly some floral hop...to minimal to even judge really. The tast is there, nice grainy malt tones throughout with a little hop in the finish, kind of a metallic tinge to the grainy aftertaste. Not my thing...but 9/10 of the taste is good. The mouthfeel is not horrible but maybe a bit watery. Carbonation is adequate. If you like macro lager you will like this one a lot I would guess.

Photo of HardTarget
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: Steadman artwork, indecipherable date code (022A05), nothing else useful (Steadman rocks though).

Aroma: Very mild malt note, deep pulls bring out a hint of caramel. Not much going on here.

Appearance: Clear amber brown showing hints of gold at the edges capped by a tan thin coat that gave a good try at lacing.

Flavor: Caramel malt flavor matches the nose perfectly. There is just a hint of sweetness in the finish, otherwise well balanced. Some slight corn notes, but nothing serious. Overall the taste is very mild and slightly earthy and nutty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, assertive carbonation, slightly creamy and a touch of oil in the finish.

Overall Impression: Mellow, easy drinking session like beer. Fairly clean, but the corn taste is a bit unwanted. Just a bit too sweet, could use another hop cone or two. Worth a try!
I’m surprised at the California Steam style, never would have guessed.

Photo of jmz62565
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a reddish amber color that looks like an ale,but the head is almost nonexistant.The smell is a pretty strong hop and malt scent.As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell this.The taste is a malty.hop,slightly spice filled flavor that is very refreshing.The flavors are pretty well balanced.
I have to say that this is a pretty good brew and I'll look for this again.

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured amber into a tulp pint glass. Not much head to speak of.

I was confused on what to think about this one, but it smells all malty and i was happy about that. It has the mouthfeel of an Oktoberfest, full bodied not overcarbonated, and that is how I would categorize it. There is not much hop balance, just big typical malts. And there is a heavy sweetness on the tongue in the finish.

Despite the sweet lack of balance, I give it high marks for moderate complexity, untold smoothness,and ultimate sessionability. I bet this would be killer on tap.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour of a 12-ounce bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Very pretty amber-red with a large off-white bumpy head. Lasted a quite a while; but then I DID give it an aggressive pour. Lots of tiny streams of carbonation coming up kept this beer looking nice. Definitely the prettiest Flying Dog beer I've had.

S: Biscuity malt, some mild spices. Not a great deal going on here, but not unpleasant either.

T: Malt and hops are fairly-well balanced, but again, there's not much to write about here. Nice enough -- but just nice. The hops finish seems a bit more bitter than the 22.5 IBU's listed for this brew on the website.

M: Good mouthfeel -- what I'd look for in a lager. Just the kind of freshness that feels refreshing.

D: Carbonation is a bit over the top for this to be very drinkable. Decent.

3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is a very deep copper amber in color. Head is a quick fading light tan with no lace.

Nose smells like a wheat field after rain and a noticeable nutty backbone.

As you take the first sip you get sweet light nutty body that is even and smooth. Entire palate is full with a nutty zest that is welcomed. Leaves a camilized hue on the mouth. Overall it is dominated by a very pleasant nutty presence throughout, mouthfeel including. Very drinkable but I'd call thes more of a nut brown ale.

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.42/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is good suds. Poured out to a orange amber color with a good head of about 1/2 inch and rings of lace were present. Medium level of carbonation. Aroma of hops and sweet grains. Taste was really good; flavors of hops, malt, grain and raw veggies blended quite well, and were not overly harsh or abrasive. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and well balanced. Higher level of drinkability, I would imagine this on tap would be exceptional and even better than in the bottle. A good beer for any time of year. Recommended. Special thanks to battlekow for the sample.

Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,495 ratings.