Old Scratch Amber Lager | Flying Dog Brewery

761 Reviews
Read the review
For Trade:
Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 761 | Ratings: 1,534
Photo of FinchSCF
3.34/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Pours a honey gold with a slight amber tint. Head just short of an inch rolls down to some spotted, hazy lacing. Clear body with mild carbonation bubbling to the top

S - Sweet and yeasty. Light flowery scent, sweet honey notes. Not a lot going on scent-wise, but it's pleasing.

T - Very light in flavor. Slight hop bitterness but that goes quickly. Some of the honey taste from the smell but that dies out quickly as well. Finishes out malty but goes off the tongue fast, leaving a slightly metallic taste behind.

M - Smooth-drinking, which is probably the best aspect of this beer. Maybe a hair too much carbonation but it is still close to what I'd expect and want from an amber lager.

O - Not something that stands out and not an example of this style that made me feel it stacks up well to it's competition. There's just not much that sticks out about it. It is a very easy drinker and something that would be enjoyable on a hot summer day and would be a good choice for company that's maybe not big into micros.

 1,024 characters

Photo of Ryan_Graham
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber color. Not picking up much of an odor. Taste is okay. Not much complexity. Smooth at first, good initial flavor but has no aftertaste. I'd like for it to have a little more depth as far as taste is concerned. It tastes watered down. Overall it's an okay beer. Better than domestics but not outstanding.

 308 characters

Photo of utopiajane
2.35/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a true amber color. Almost no nose and no head. While it didn’t boast of anything up front I did notice a little floral hops character, some bitterness. No lacing. Light carbonation. The body of this beer was weak and unbalanced. It had a flat, fruity sweet quality that really detracted form the essence of the malt.

 325 characters

Photo of BeerYoss
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into the complimentary Flying Dog 'wine' glass that came with the case.

Appearance - pours with a high and firm head, the pillow settles down but never fully dissipates. Redish-coppery color. Looks crisp but full. Lacing clings to the glass the whole way down.

Smell - Hoppy, sweet and citrus smell

Taste - Citrus of the hops and some other flavors that I can't particularly finger but typical lager flavors, yet full and crisp. Take a deep sip of the beer.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation comes on strong. It is light and refreshing but all the flavors and feels are unmistakably 'there'. There is a bit of a lingering 'oily-ness' but not overwhelming.

Overall - Haven't had a lager for awhile but this is a good brew. I would recommend. I imagine this would go very well with food. But it is highly drinkable on it's own.

 828 characters

Photo of Maltdog
4.64/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Easy drinking-went down smoothly.
Perfect to accompany food-complimented flavors perfectly !
This went well with both normal food, but was quite refreshing with spicy food.
My companion thought it was eminently drinkable; attractive flavor and color, with balanced body.
"Food friendly" and thoroughly enjoyable.

 312 characters

Photo of TeamMathis
2.99/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Almost ale-like. Keeps a fine/very thin head.
Smell: Subtle sniffs of maple syrup, honey, and egg.
Taste: Subtle sips of maple syrup, honey, and egg.
Mouthfeel: Smooth. Improves as it warms.

I suppose if you were in the mood for a lager, this is not a bad option. Both the taste and smell is subtle, but it mixes well in the final swallow. As my hand warmed the glass, it did seem to make the whole experience a bit more enjoyable. A decent drink, but I probably wouldn't get it again.

 499 characters

Photo of lilmissbeer
4.44/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yum! The first thing I noticed about this beer was it's great smell! It has a really refreshing taste without being totally seltzer-y. Awesome mouthfeel and aftertaste. A great beer to accompany a meal (I'm having some berries, chocolate and almonds with mine, and it complements them well). It was hard to resist chugging!

 323 characters

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Sparkling amber half a finger of yellowish head. doesn't linger

Aroma- CIder, some egg/sulphur, a slight touch of carmel and some real light florals.

Taste- Light toffee flavor at the front some light bready-ness and baked goods mixed in. The Hop bitterness is a bit vegetal and the whole taste stops somewhat abruptly. It gets better though as it warms.

Mouthfeel quite a bit of Carbonation LIghter to medium bodied with a dry finish. It finishes like a lager for sure.

overall- maybe amber lagers are just not my thing, i would do a black lager or a lager. If i wanted "Amber" I would just have a brown ale. That being said I could see myself having a few of these in an airport bar. at 5.5 abv they would get the job done for a short flight. I could also see them mixing well with dry snack mixes and and potato chips.

 839 characters

Photo of habitual_calculus
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Looks nice, not much head/lacing, a fairly dark brown lager color, compared to say, Red Oak's Red Oak.

Smell: The smell was good, more complicated than other lager's I've had but nothing I could really note.

Taste: Things take a left turn here. Although the main body of flavor wasn't bad, pretty standard lager, there is an after-taste or spice I can't put my finger on, but it really turned me off. I just came from some purity law style lagers (Red Oak Hummin' Bird and Red Oak) and I couldn't bring myself to finish more than half this one.

Mouthfeel: Forgotten with the bad taste.

Overall: Not as good as other offerings I've had from Flying Dog

 666 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear red-brown with one-and-a-half-finger, white, creamy foamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Okay lacing.

S: Caramel malt. Mild.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Lightly sweetened bread and toast. Some fruity notes. Mild.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

O: About average amber lager. Looks really nice though.

 399 characters

Photo of PADIV
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Pours a semi transparent Amber color. A small htan head that dissipates quickly leaving a film on top with little lacing.

Smell – A malty, caramel smell that is quite pleasant and inviting for a taste.

Taste – Solid tasting of malt with a slight hint of fruit. The taste is pleasant and has a small "bite" of bitterness at the finish. After the first couple of sips the flavor kept me wanting more.

Mouthfeel – Average feel with a light creaminess. A soft feel as expected.

Overall- A slightly sweet taste with a nicely roasted malt flavor. A beer that is worth putting in the rotation. Light on the lager scale.

 640 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.04/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours an amber brew with red highlights showing through. Upon pouring there is a two finger off-white head that fades rather fast. Upon fading it leave a light amount of lacing and a persistent film on the top of the brew.

Smell – A strong sweet smell of caramel and molasses are mixed with some fruit aromas of orange and apple. The overall sweet aroma has notes of roasted malt and a light biscuit smell. It has quite a wonderful smell.

Taste – The taste begins with sweeter and breadier tastes. The sweet are mainly caramel in nature with the bready taste being of a lightly toasted flavor. As the taste advances more sweetness comes to the tongue. Flavors of the light fruits detected in the nose (apple and a little bit of orange) come to the tongue. These sweet flavors linger on to the end of the taste, but are balanced out by an upsurge of roasted flavors that come at the finish of the taste. Some lightly bitter hop flavors of an earthy and floral nature work their way into the taste at the end as well and with the rest of the flavors leave a nicely hopped sweet flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The beer is average in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average as well. Both the body and carbonation suit the sweet and lightly hopped and roasted flavors nicely and maintain the brew as an easy drinker.

Overall –A nice blend of roast, sweet and hop make this beer a good easy drinker with a nice smooth flavor and taste transitions. Rather tasty.

 1,577 characters

Photo of dexterk1
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a light amber color and small head.
Odor is slightly sweet with a distinct toasted malt note. A little spicy as well.
Taste is malty and slightly biscuit. Malt comes through, but has some nutty notes as well as a hint of honey. Mouthfeel is smooth and pretty clean. Does not linger long when you drink it. Relatively light on the tongue.
Overall it is a pretty good amber. It is not one of the top ones, but has it's place in the middle. Drinkable and solid.

 472 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 8/2/12.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and some caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild herbal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and easy to drink.

 459 characters

Photo of mckenziac
2.06/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber color. Has a smallish, fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell: Smells grainy and sweet with strong notes of caramel malts.

Taste: Mildly hoppy up front. Transitions to sweet and grainy at the end. The finish is sort of sickly sweet with a grainy lager taste.

Mouthfeel: Watery and over-carbonated.

Overall: A poorly constructed amber lager. Flying Dog has always been hit-and-miss with me and this is definitely a miss.

 559 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

290A12, so best by October 16th, 2012

A: Pours an amber color with a fingers worth of head

S: Get a good maltiness with some graininess and caramel

T: Again, very malty with some sweetness, graininess, and caramel

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Certainly not your average fizzy yellow lager. Has good flavor for a lager and plenty of malts to give some sweetness. Worth a try if you're into lagers

 417 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this bottle at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ. They served this beer with a pilsner style glass.

I gave a decent score for a good looking, light brown beer with a very light head. There is bonus points for the bottle art, which, I feel adds to the aesthetic.

The smell was a little sweet, with malt. It reminds me of a steam style beer. I like the hybrid presence to this beer.

This beer tastes good. I'm growing as a lager drinkger, and I like this one. I especially enjoyed the malt forward presence.

Overall, this is an extremely drinkable beer with no real aftertaste. The flavors are tasty.

 608 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.07/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Magic Hat #9 pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Color is exactly as the label indicates with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains shortly before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and random splotches of surface foam. Thin lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Smells of toasty cereal grain that's a tad sweet. Malt aroma is a little on the heavier side for the style.

T- Solid malt backbone with "just a kiss" of the hops to balance. Toasted cereal grain continues, only not as sweet as in the aroma. Dry aftertaste.

M- Perfect amount of carbonation with a full-ish body. Just the right amount of alcohol bite.

O- As far as amber lagers go, this one ranks up there with the best of 'em.

 738 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those offering that is inoffensive. It's very drinkable and enjoyable, but not particularly memorable. It pours a deep copper with not much head and poor retention of that, and no observable lacing. Smell is bread, malt, citrus, and roasted nuts. Mouthfeel is full and satisfying. Taste is very mild with the expected sweetness up front followed by a mild bitter on the finish. The bottle says that the IBU rating is 19.5. It is not all that bitter, but it seems like a little more than that. Still an enjoyable beer, one that would make an excellent session beer.

 579 characters

Photo of Converge
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours a clean copper hue with a bubbly off-white head and big bubbles of carbonation. Nice soapy cap, but no lacing.

S - Some sweet grassy notes, with toasty caramel malt, nuts, and a touch of spice. Not much depth after that. Unspectacular, but also unoffensive, I suppose.

T - A pretty clean and simple profile. Light grassy sweetness with a touch of honey. Toasty notes, as well as nuttiness from the malt. Finishes with a touch of spice and a subtle hop presence, grassy and light. Somewhat refreshing, with no off flavors throughout, however not really my thing.

M - Fizzy, but not overly so; the carbonation is high, but also very fine. Pretty light body.

D - A simple, quaff-able lager with a light malty presence to it. Certainly not my ideal beer, but this wasn't half bad.

 835 characters

Photo of mpyle
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale ambert color, brilliantly clear. Pours a mediumm sized head, tightly bubbled with good retention.

A nice toasty malt aroma, a little bit of caramel sweetness, but generally quite clean.

Malty but not sweet, some toastiness to the malt flavor. Slightly minty hop flavor, then transitions to a dry, clean and slightly bitter finish. No sharp hop bitterness, but is sufficiently assertive.

Medium body and med-high carbonation. Think the carbonation could be toned down slightly to improve.

A lager with some flavor, and oh so easy to drink more than one. Not sure if I would consider it a shining example of a CA Common.

 627 characters

Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Some slight smoke comes off the top of the bottle which is always a plus for me. Pours a golden, dark amber with 1/2 inch off white cram head that leaves some decent lacing.

S: Aroma consists of sweet spice, nuts and molasses with an earthy character and some caramel.

T: Nice caramel upfront with that sweet spice and molasses in the middle. The flavor finishes with earth notes and a slight bread feel, but not enough to make it a dry aftertaste.

M: Light bodied flavor and texture, some carbonation which brings forth those earthy notes and sweetness. Didnt know this was a steam beer, so this would be my first.

O: Never had a steam beer, but have had a couple Flying Dog brews in the past and they are the new brew on the block. Nothing special stands out to me about this brew, but hopefully some others will. Either way, its a different style and worth a try for anyone who hasnt had a steam beer!

 911 characters

Photo of 57md
3.94/5  rDev +15.5%

I believe that this beer is brewed like a steam beer if I am not mistaken.

Copper in color. Nose has nice malty and bready notes. The flavor profile follows the nose pretty much. The caramel malt is apparent and the body is fairly hearty for the style.

 255 characters

Photo of Greenmachine07
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-toasty brown, what you would expect in a amber lager

S-nice roasted notes with good character. nutty almost walnut

T-great taste on this, im going to say if i was a lager man this would be my go to. simple yea full bodied. good roasted flavor with a nice balance of malt with a hint of hop.

O-good beer for the price got it in the mix pack. personaly would not buy it because im not a lager fan.

 401 characters

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #184
Served On: 07/06/2012
Glassware: Tumbler Pint
Labeled ABV: 5.5%
Date/ Code: -

This was in the latest year-round mixed 12 pack that Flying Dog offers.

Look: Poured a light amber color with tinges of gold at the edges. Head was a thin consistent kaki film. Carbonation bubbles were slow and steady.

Smell: Spicy biscuit like a frosted cinnamon bun. Also some evidence of citrusy hops.

Taste: Initial biscuit note lead into a nice spice typical of darker lagers. The middle had a nice roasty bitterness. Finish was fairly clean with some lingering roasted malts coupled with more bitterness.

This is a great lager with some nice qualities. I can’t quite find the California Common characteristics. In my opinion I would have to consider this more of a Vienna Lager.

 788 characters

Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 761 ratings.