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Old Scratch Amber Lager - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,458 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,458
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 33
Gots: 77 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Scratch Amber Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,458 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JackTheRipper
1.9/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Clear amber in color. Zero head or lacing.
S: Thin malty smell. No character whatsoever.
T: A barely there maltiness. Very thin taste. Slight bready taste as this one warms a bit.
M: Crisp and clean. Carbonation and alcohol in good levels.
T: This beer has no soul. Very cool label but nothing but water in the bottle. Not recommended.

JackTheRipper, May 20, 2004
Photo of AllThingsNinja
2.4/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

To sum up this beer. "Eh? While it looks quite good with a white head on a brilliantly colored amber body - there's little of substance to the beer. The grain and grass aroma was sub par, and the flavors less impressive. It was an uninteresting blend of grassy notes and lager yeast flavors. I will avoid this beer in the future.

AllThingsNinja, May 16, 2004
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Caramel, mild apple, cereal grain aroma. Light tan colored head fades quickly to a film leaves a small scattering of lace. Orangish amber colored beer is pretty transparent. Mouthfeel is a bit light and slightly cloying. Malty sweet flavor with a bit of caramel, not much in the finish. Not bad, but nothing really great about it.

HappyHourHero, May 13, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fermented with a lager strain at ale temps.
OG=1.053, 5.4% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear dark-copper, forming a modest beige head with poor retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma predominated by dusty English hops and some diacetyl. Mouthfeel is lively with a medium body. Taste is much better than the smell, with a mild, but fresh English hop flavor (with the suggestion of Centennial), a well-balanced malt middle with lots of nutty and toasty overtones, and a mellow cake-like sweetness in the finish with some mild semi-ruddy hop bitterness. The aftertaste has more of that diacetyl and dusty English hops, which I'm not keen of, but it's thankfully brief. Has an Anchor Steam tang towards the end, but I can't put my finger on it.

If they cleaned up the ferment, this would be much better. The higher alcohols and diacetyl hurt it's drinkability and give me a headache, but I enjoy the mellow sweetness in the finish. Nothing I would seek out.

Mitchster, May 12, 2004
Photo of Foxman
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear bubbly amber, glinting ruby in the light. Two fingers of off-white head swell and recede quickly to a mottled bed of froth. Sparse lacing dots the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there's a considerable toasted malt sweetness, along with a mild doughy presence. There's also a fleeting and rather vague hops essence in play.

Upon sipping, there's the sinewy sweetness of cooked malt and baked dough. A quick glimpse of toffee settles back to a slick buttery current flowing through the middle. The edges of my tongue are stimulated by an indistinct astringence, not distracting, but there nonetheless. A very muted peppery bite appears near the end before a mellow bitterness fades slowly at the finish. It's not especially busy, but it's maltier than I expected, and that works pretty well.

Almost medium bodied, it's slippery and it sets nicely on the palate. The flavor components deliver gentle physical sensations on the tongue.

This one surprised me. Easliy my favorite of the Flying Dog line that I've tasted, it has plenty of flavor, with some sass and some sauce thrown in for good measure. The malt profile is round and warm, and it combines with the understated hops to bring a tasty blend to the table. For my money it drinks well and capably. I'd never say no to one, and might even actively look for it. Amid some damned stiff competition, that's pretty decent praise.

Foxman, May 04, 2004
Photo of DPMomutant
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper body with an average sized off-white head that doesn't last terribly long.

Moderate malty smell comes out of this. I have a hard time detecting more than that, but it isn't bad.

The taste is a bit hoppier than the smell indicated. Just a slight bitterness and buttery taste at the end.

This beer feels kind of oily going down but is smooth. Some more carbonation would probably improve this a bit.

This isn't a great beer but isn't bad either. I'd rather have an Anchor, but if a friend had a 6er of this I could share it.

DPMomutant, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ozer bottle from prepackaged mixed 12-pack from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into a pint glass, formed a half inch tall light tan colored head. The brew is orangey-amber in hue, and has an aroma of sweet malt with a tinge of hops. Taste is of malt, possibly some caramel smoothing the mouthfeel, and only slight bitterness. A slight tinge of citrus seems to pop up as well. The flavor profile seems skewed in the grain direction, but that's acceptable for an amber in my book, and helps the drinkability quite a bit.

ppoitras, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of Tballz420
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an amber colored brew, with a small white head on the top. Slight maltiness to the scent, nothing overwhelming. Clean lager taste, malty with a good hop contrast. I can see where they wanted to go, but the taste comes out too thin. Thin mouthfeel. This one is probably worth skipping.

Tballz420, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of oelergud
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear bronze body with very little carbonation, good off white rocky head.
Scents of sweet apple with mild spices and brown sugar.
Taste has a green apple tartness to it, very mild hoppy aftertaste with some sweet undertones.
Somewhat thin mouthfeel, abit watery yet with a slight buttery feel.
Easy to enjoy but lacks personality.


oelergud, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/brown ale.

Smell is malty and a bit hoppy, mild floral scent is present.

Taste is milder than Anchor Steam. Tastes of malt and tea hops. There is a metallic taste present. A nice attempt, but this isn't quite up to Anchor Steam level.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Very drinkable, just not up too what it tries to mimic.

Zorro, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A good CA Common, though it isn't my favorite of the style. Copperish amber color with a feeble, transient head that seems to be a trademark of this brewery. Smell is syrupy malt backed up by a crisp, citrusy hops aroma. Taste is nice and crisp if a little simple. Sweet at first, the taste gets dry real quick with an abundance of astringent citrus and hop notes. A graininess lingers on. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability is good, as is the case with most CA Commons I've had. I like it but...are we sure this brewery isn't an extension of Coors or Bud? Some of their beer is well made, but lacks any special qualities. This is a one time purchase and I'll be picking up Anchor Steam if I want this style again.

MobBarley, Jan 31, 2004
Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with 1/2 inch head. Some light lacing developed through the drink. The aroma was pleasant, as malt and honey tones were most prevelent. The flavor sports a nice balance of malt and bitterness with a mellow caramel candy tone. Full flavored and not wimpy at all. Comes in on the lighter side of medium bodied.

The mouthfeel is smooth. Carbonation levels were perfect. The malt and bitterness quickly leaves the tongue after swallowing. Very drinkable. Good session beer.

Gavage, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of Reidrover
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Ok bought in the 12 oz brown bottle..usual nasty Steadman label.
Quite an attractive beer when poured into my pint mug..dark copper/amber colour with a good sized creme coloured head..some lacing after head goes.
Smell while ok was pretty average mostly malts.
Nice taste sweet malts followed by some woody tasting hops.
quite smooth in mouthfeel.
highly drinkable beer..its an easy quaffer.

Reidrover, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of pezoids
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out a very bright copper/amber color and was topped off with a thin head of foam that left small lacing on the glass. The aroma gave off something like sweet bananas and sweet caramel malt.The flavor is semi-sweet with caramel notes and is very pleasant on the whole. This is a medium bodied beer with some interesting flavors and a decent malt body. Bitter clean in the finish. A very pleasant and flavorful lager beer.

pezoids, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of RBorsato
4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amberish-copper with a nice full creamy tan head, nice active carbonation, and leaves lace rings. Toasted malt and woody hop aroma. Nice balanced flavor of toasted malt and woody hops. Medium bodied and smooth with a lightly bitter finish.

Per FD website: Original Gravity: 13.3Plato, Specific Gravity: 1.053, Alcohol by Volume: 5.4%

RBorsato, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of mntlover
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with a head that quickly falls to a thin layer of foam. Lots of bubbles rising to the top. Smells caramel malt and citrusy hops. Tastes ok sweet and tart nothing really jumps out and grabs you. Light to medium brew that tingles the tounge with carbonation adding a little bite to the hops. Not a bad beer but not one I would seek out in the future either.

mntlover, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Solid clearish amber color, gained a medium off-white head that fades fast to a skim on top and ink blot lacing. Smell is faint of sweet malts, a touch of dulled citrus, melon husk and grape skins. Taste has a grainy, somewhat raw and strangly textured malts, semi sweet, dulled citrus, and lightly roasted, dry, crispy, mildly flavored, not in a watery way, more of weakened effort then anyhthing. Feel is about medium with a very average drinkability. Plain, a bit boring, an average amber.

tavernjef, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of sabrills70
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper color with a semi thin head that stayed with the whole glass. Better than average lace. Aroma is not powerful. Slightly malty, less hops, a tad of fruit and citrus. Its taste is malty with slight fruit, and light hops. Could stand to be a bit more hoppy, but not too much. This is a medium bodied lager, not very complex but tasty and very drinkable. A card playing kind of a brew. This would be a good choice to introduce to a AB drinker to try and show them the world of beer beyond Bud.

sabrills70, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of hungryghost
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber copper color, medium short lived head. Slight lacing around remaining beer in glasss.
Light aroma, floral hopiness, faint citrus.
Taste a sweet, roasted malt, the hops are not a bittering hops.
Fair amount of carbonation remains throughout most of this one. Not too sticky.
This is a smooth, medium bodied, easy to drink brew.

hungryghost, Oct 24, 2003
Photo of goindownsouth
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very deep and rich copper colored brew, this Amber was impressive from the very get go. The head poured out respectably, and dissipated rather soon. While I am not the biggest fan of neither lagers nor ambers, this is an intriguing brew with complexity. I feel like I am drinking an ale or even an Alt of some kind when I am sampling this one. Well worth it should you be able to hunt it down.

Zum wohl!

goindownsouth, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of Rumrunner
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Interesting lager with some ale qualities as well.

Pours a nice deep copper color. Good fluffy off white head with sticky lacing. The scents are dry brownie. Some musty grass and a bit of hop citrus.

The flavors have some hop citrus that has a good crisp quality. It is not bitter. There is a buttery and caramel oil taste which adds to the balance. Also a minor cola flavor near the finish. The malt does take over the hops in the finish. Pretty good.

The mouthfeel is a little oily and tangy for me. It is smooth and this is a refreshing lager. Very nice medium bodied beer. I would drink another despite the tangy mouthfeel.

Rumrunner, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of aracauna
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This tasted a lot like the the Dunkles I had at Gordon Biersch, but it's a bit better as it has more flavor. It's basically your typical dark lager flavors with just a little more character, probably coming from the steam-style brewing. Of course, that's why Anchor Steam is good for a lager, so it's no surprise.

aracauna, Sep 17, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is copper, with a decent bit of head. The smell is a slight, floral hop. The taste is fairly hoppy, with a bit of a sweet malt backing. The mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability-wise, could have a few more.

When I had my first one, I had my doubts, but this 2nd bottle that I've reviewed seems to be a lot better. Not a bad representation of such a unique beer, and another rare Flying Dog I'd seek out again.

beergeek279, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – A nice, semi-cloudy copper color with a moderate head that left some lacing on the glass.

Smell – Pungent, floral hops complimented the malt aroma and a hint of sugary sweetness.

Taste – The malts comes out bigger in the flavor, on par with the hops. The malt itself is lightly toasted and sweetened with a small amount of table sugar flavor. The hops are mostly floral. Some fruity hops came out in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel – Some nice, crisp carbonation and a bit of dryness from the hops makes this one a winner in the mouthfeel category.

Drinkability – This was very good and went down well. I will definitely buy again.

Comments – It’s tough to pull off the even hop/malt flavoring and retain smoothness, but Flying Dog did a good job of it here.

RoyalT, Sep 02, 2003
Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,458 ratings.