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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

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,494
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 33
Gots: 99 | 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 HoboAGoGo
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful amber color, with a rather impressive head that stayed around for a while. I'm not used to lagers, so I'll have to review this one as best as I can. Had a very light taste, could taste the light hops. A light malt, that was less prevalent than the hops, some fruit, kind of a mild apple taste to it. One of the better lagers I've had thus far.

Photo of skybluewater
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a standard amber color. (There's even some lace!) Smells of pears (WTF?), and sweet malt. Taste isn't bad, just average. It tastes of malt and just enough hops to keep things from getting cloying.

This might not be the best amber out there, but it went down smooth. While I wouldn't go out of my way to buy, I wouldn't turn one down if offered...

Photo of scottum
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out amber amber amber with a small bright white headskie. Tastes nice and crispy hopped with a decent malted balance. Mouthfeel is smoothm but nothing special. A very decent beer, but not a great beer. Solid drinkability. Amoung the better of the Flying Dog brews.

Photo of Padron4KM
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours out clear amber with a 1" reddish tan head. Head dissapates rather quickly but it does leave some decent lacing.
yeasty, bready malt aromas with some hints of caramel.
Flavor is slightly sweet, a touch of caramel, with some very light hops at the end. barely enough to tingle the tip of the tounge.
Body is thin.

Photo of TastyTaste
2.52/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Very light copper color, with a moderate creamy tan head. Smell is grassy and musty, slightly skunky. Taste is malt dominated, grassy and skunky, not very good, leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Is this a California Common/Steam beer? WHo know or cares. Eych, another lackluster beer from Flying Dog.

Photo of elricorico
3.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew is a clear, almost cherry red colour with nothing for head. Okay, a thin white head formed on an aggressive pour, but it was gone before I could sit down.

The smell is somewhat sweet, bready and floral. A fairly strong aroma, and not unpleasant.

The taste is much like the smell up front, but its finish is a bit of a mystery to me. There is a fair burst of flavour over the back of the tongue. It makes me think of black licorice, but that isn't exactly it. I'll have to read through some of the other reviews to see if anyone pinned it down. Anyway, I find the flavour is about average, it isn't greatly pleasing to me, but not offensive either.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, and the beer is fizzy, not very comfortable to leave on the tongue for too long.

Not a bad beer really, but not something I'll be looking for on shopping trips.

Photo of BeerBob
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Old Scratch Amber Lager is anything but amber, this stuff is red that poured out of my 12oz dark brown glass bottle. Head went to less than two fingers before disappearing completely of the face of the earth, I’m talking gone as in alien abduction here. It goes without saying... no lace either.

Nose is a light floral hops with whiffs of alcohol. Palate is a creamy malt with an assertive floral hops.

If floral hopped lagers are your thing, you will be right at home with Old Scratch Amber Lager from flying Dog Brewery.

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this beer is underrated. It is a hybrid beer and it definitely has both Ale and Lager characteristics, but it leans more towards an ale .It pours a medium amber color and has a thin white head .It smells malty and yeasty... pretty inviting to me. The flavor is interesting. It is a it schizophrenic, but it is supposed to be. Is it a lager or is it an ale? Is it really a steam beer? Who cares? It is a good beer and worthy of companionship on a worthy evening.

Photo of mentor
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle obtained from Westminster Liquor (Colorado) in Jan 2005 and consumed that same evening. Review from notes. Poured hard to generate a 1.5 finger light beige head over a slightly coudy light brown (or light rust) liquid. Smooth clean smell. Nice penetrating caramel with some toffee (remniscent of tamarind) and some faint hop. Taste caramel sweet. Fruity, despite being a lager. The frutis are mild and consist of orange playing off of tangerine. A very sutle Vienna malt (maybe even Biscuit) flavor. Good carbonation, which allows the malt sweet to hang around a bit. A bit too sugary for my tastes, but okay all around. Moderate lacing and medium light bodied.

Photo of ngandhi
2.48/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I guess it depends (it being how I should react to what I'm going through right now) on what you say an amber lager actually is? Some intrepid soul on BA has gone so far as to classify this as a steam beer. Yeah, there's something in common with a steam beer, but for it's brewing procedure alone this simply is not a steam beer.

It's a commendable guess, though. How would I identify this if I'd tasted it blind? "Amber lager" might not be my first guess. Is color enough to define the beer, or should "amber" actually mean something in terms of flavor?

This tastes like Old Style. Grainy and reminiscent of underpopped popcorn. Soft carbonation. Long, gassy, adjunct-laden aftertaste. This is probably all malt, but everything from the hops to the old, stale yeast all blend together to somehow create the flavor of a commercial American lager. It's like they tried to make it this bad, and I'm sure there's some guy at Flying Dog who drinks this everyday and thinks it's just great.

As Old Scratch warms, it becomes more amber-like with some malts actually coming through, but it doesn't know where to stop. The flavors drift on and on from pure malt to stale burpy air and finally into a pressing sweetness from a misuse of medium crystal malts.

Dirty. How to say it? I feel so . . . bad.

Relax, relax.

Photo of woemad
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a mixed FD 12-pk. Cool/disturbing artwork by Ralph Steadman.

Poured a dark yet clear amber color. Head was tight, yet creamy. While it didn't hang around too long, there was lots of lace, and things stayed foamy for some time.

Smell wasn't bad, but it was rather weak. Mostly of mildly sweet malts and bready yeast. There was a tiny, medicinal hop note as well.

The taste was a little bit better than the smell. Again, the maltiness is most dominant, but the hops are a little more noticeable, providing a mild, citrus flavor. Not horrible, but nothing to write home about.

I think this could have used a little more carbonation, but it's not a big gripe. This is a medium bodied beer, reminding me more of an ale than a lager.

Not a bad beer, but there's nothing really noteworthy about it either. If it's the best choice around, I'd go for it, but that's pretty much the only reason to buy this.

Photo of smcolw
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored and very clear. The head is gone in a half minute; it poured to a single finger thickness.

Yeasty and soured milk, like a very soft lambic--most surprising considerign the style. I cannot discern any hops. In all, a very light smelling beer.

The taste is mostly malt. True to the smell, there is a (very) slight sourness to this brew. The hop does show up, but only as a harmonic interlude. The beer is above average in body. Not my favorite beer from Flying Dog.

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

Presentation: 12 oz long neck bottle with freshness code on label. Another great work of art by Ralph Steadman on the label. 10 yr. anniversary bottle cap.

Appearance: Poured a fairly red amber color with a nice head that disappated to leave a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Very sweet aroma with hints of hops.

Taste: Nice carbonation and a little bit dry - good mouthfeel. Fairly well balanced - neither hops or malts stand out. Tastes more like an ale than a lager. A little bit sweeter than I would normally look for. Has an aftertaste that is a bit to sweet and clingy.

Overall impression: An interesting lager - but not one I'd seek out again.

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber with a big fluffy head thats sticks well down the glass,quite a dose of citruisy hop in the nose along with a toasted grain not I pick up a touch of caramel as well.Quite a hoppy flavor up front citruisy and piney,get like a brown suger flavor coming thru big late an in the finish.Hey a well rounded lager with enough hops to make it somewhat interesting,much better than I thought it would be

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: clear, amber color, nice 1/4", well-retained, creamy froth atop.
Aroma: malty, herbal, on the sweet side, ...almost too sweet, but not bad, really.
Taste: odd entrance on the palate, a bit harsh and unpleasant, bitter, but not the way I like, ...I'm frowning with this beer in my mouth and that's not a good thing. Can't be from hops...malt is lightly felt in the flavor, too, but it can't cover up that offensive attack at the fore. Some people complain about a beer's "after-taste", which I call "flavor",...this one has a problem with the fore-taste!
After a few more sips, this lessens and the brew is more bearable, but it also bottoms out on flavor, too. Thins out incredibly, and we're left with an unimpressive feeling in the mouth...and then the offensive fore-taste returns.
An amber lager shouldn't be such a chore!
Got two in the sampler pack...don't know what I'll do with the other...

Photo of BigRedN
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright Red/Amber, easy to see through. Small white head, gone before I knew it. No lacing.
Smell: Slightly sweet, caramel. Noticed maltiness but limited hops.
Taste: Again a little sweet, a tinge of hops, but the sweet maltyness and grains overwhelm this. Thin, I sip the liquid and as soon as I swallowed, the taste was gone.
Mouthfeel: As I mentioned, it was rather thin and shortlived. Light bodied, no carbonation noticeable.
Drinkability: A decent thirst quencher, but left me wanting more substance than this.

Photo of clvand0
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color (duh) with a small white head that quickly falls away to nothing and leaves almost no lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet and floral - some sort of hops there, but I don't know what kind. The flavor is slightly hoppy and has a sweetness with a caramel malt flavor. The drinkability on this one is fine, but it didn't seem all that special to me.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.11/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Orange to amber color with a weak head that dissipates quickly. The nose is essentially nil on this beer. Some faint caramel malt scents, but even that might be a stretch. The flavor is a bit sour with notes of carmel malts. There is also a light tanginess and perhaps a citrus flavor. The beer is sharply carbonated and and it distracts from what little flavor may be there.

Photo of moocey
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a six-pack of Old Scratch Amber Lager at a deli while I was waiting too long for them to make my sandwich. It was the only thing in the cooler that wasn't skunked import or macro swill, plus I'd never tried it before. I've tried a couple of brews by Flying Dog in my BA infancy and they were tasty back then. However that was when I was just learning about beer beyond boring american adjunct lagers. I might have a different impression of Flying Dog now.

This lager pours a copper/amber color with an average head of foam that fizzles out quickly. It leaves a small amount of lacing around the glass. There's not much aroma to be had, but what's here is pleasant. Kinda malty and sweet.

The first taste is of caramel malt. It's sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. I can detect a faint hint of hoppy afterbite that lingers in the aftertaste. This is a light bodied lager with a pleasant taste. I could put away a few of these fairly quick. However, it's nothing to get excited about. It was pleasant, but nothing about it stood out as being great in my opinion. This is just your average microbrewed lager. If you're looking for a decent lager there are plenty of other beers that are just as good plus a whole lot cheaper. (like Yuengling or Shiner Bock) This isn't something I'll go out looking for, but I'd drink it again(for free or very cheap)

Photo of Guinness4me
3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since I approach most Flying Dog Brewerie beers with trepidation, I tried once more and I'm glad I did.

The more red than amber color of this brew was a jewel of a beer. The head was light and left quickly.

The smell was a combonation of fresh bread and sweet fruitcake; quite a surprise.

The taste grew on me as the beer warmed. At first I felt it was a bit overpowering with apricots and alcohol but the flavor mellowed and blended as it warmed. There was a slight aftertaste but not unpleasant.

Rather rich in taste, one or two in a sitting would be plenty for me.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice amber colour with a fairly large and mildly sticky head. pretty good stuff thusfar. the smell is slightly above average: malt, some grain and a touch of sweetness. the hop/malt balance is much more even in the flavour (as hops couldn't even really be detected in the smell). there' a slight toasted bread flavour mixed in along with a touch of caramel before a moderate hop-bite finish. i would have liked this one to be a bit bigger-feeling, but overall it's a fiarly tasty brew that could be spruced up a bit, but is by no means offensive. a tad boring but tasty nonetheless.

Photo of arizcards
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is another part of the sample case from Costco.

This reddish lager did not pour much of a head. The smell was good, of carmelized malts. The taste was interesting, a nice blend of the carmel malts and a bit of a hop finish to make it interesting. I thought this was a bit thin but overall this is an easy drinking beer. The Flying Dog line seems to be made for summer!

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.62/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very "flat" beer all-around. The taste is nothing impressive. The hops and malts are there. But not much that tantlaizes the tongue. The aroma is of malts (I'm assuming that's the amber aspect). There are hints of toffee in and around the beer, but nothing that makes this beer stand out to me. It poured the color of mud with no head and no lace.

Photo of NEhophead
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.

1/2" frothy white head leading to some thin, sporadic lacing. Crisp orange and amber in color.

A mild caramel-malt sweetness. A touch of floral aromas but nothing overpowering.

Mild caramel and toasted malts with faint oak and nut flavors. Moderate hop bitterness that fits well with the sweetness.

Decent amount of carbonation. Medium bodied on the palate and well balanced.

A very drinkable beer and a solid version true to the style. No surprises here yet no disappointments either.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance - popped a pair into a half-liter glass. Pours a pleasant orange-amber and creates a stiff-peaked lightly tanned head. The bubbles melt down to a half-finger, but leave some thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma - bready malty with an initial element of citrus. The fruitiness fades and leaves a very malty smelling beer.

Taste - lots of bready malt, fairly predictable from the nose. A little metallic taste, but not too bad. Some balancing hops on the finish, a touch bitter, also picking up some background lemon notes. On the whole, not near as good as the look and smell, but it's okay.

Mouthfeel - kinda thin, kinda lifeless. Some weak bubbles make it feel kind of watery, too bad.

Drinkability - not a bad beer at all, it's got its ups and downs. Had to visit Old Scratch at least once, it was worth the money.

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