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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

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1,504 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,504
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 33
Gots: 104 | 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: 1,504 | Reviews: 765
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.

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].

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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,504 ratings.