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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.

1,392 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,392
Reviews: 751
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 25
Gots: 49 | 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
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Ratings: 1,392 | Reviews: 751 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of clint1019


3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Has a deep amber color with a toffee colored head.

S - Malty, Caramely, citrusy

T - Light caramel flavor combinded with a hint of fruityness and finishes with a decent hop bitterness.

M - light bodied, very thin feeling, and very little carbonation

O - Not too impressed with this beer. Has a very thin watery taste to it. Not much in the way of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 22:58:35 | More by clint1019
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours amber with a fluffy, lasting off-white head and some lacing.
Aroma is of caramel malt, and some bready notes. Medium, smooth body. Caramel malt is balanced by earthy, peppery hops on the palate. Long, peppery, dry finish. Not a bad brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 19:18:58 | More by mikeg67
Photo of Bendurgin


3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I was feeling whimsical and I asked my bartender what she recommends and she poured me this guy. Allright! This was the beer that got me into craft so it's about damn rime I give it a review.

Poured into a pint over at pigs fly. Pours a hazelnut amber color with just a bit of white head.

Not much to the aroma. Just a big malty aroma filling my nostrils. Not much else for me to pick up on. Very faint. Nothing offensive but I am simply not impressed. Grainy malts on the pallet. It's simple but good.

The feel is pretty decent. Light feel to it with soft carbonation. Overall not bad just nothing special here. Easily approachable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2011 22:47:08 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium amber color with only a thin sand-colored head despite a vigorous pour. The aroma is light and malty, with a mild berry-like fruitiness and a bit of graininess. The flavor is likewise lightly sweet, with a thin caramel character and a dry breadiness, and maybe some light lemony hops creeping into the finish. Any deeper flavor complexity is hard to identify because of the fine yet assertive, prickly carbonation that feels a bit harsh. Overall, although there's nothing necessarily wrong with the flavor, I'm just not impressed.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 04:46:01 | More by devilben02
Photo of kojevergas


2.42/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a true imperial pint glass in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live. This was one of the bottles available in Flying Dog's sampler pack.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of slight soft cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear copper (NOT Amber!).

Sm: Biscuity yeast, cream, and amateurish barley. Smells like an all extract homebrew beer. The strength of the aroma is moderate.

T: And it tastes like a homebrew extract as well. Light caramelized malt doesn't add anything, but instead pollutes the balance. It's simply built and crappily so. The balance is off. The cream is understated, but may still be its best feature. A near watery finish; certainly a bland one.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with an artifical creamy undertone to it. Far from complementary of the flavours in the body.

Dr: Fairly drinkable excepting the lackluster quality. Overpriced as part of the sampler pack. I won't have it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 22:56:56 | More by kojevergas
Photo of jhtipton


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

Thanks to Sully for getting this to me. Nice amber appearance as I pured into my Tusker pilsener glass. Small amount of head but some nice beige lacing on the glass. Smells malty and sweet at first. Taste is very complex for a lager. Some maltiness and maple syrup qualities, slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is nice and light to medium bodied. Overall a nice amber lager not too far off from the anchor steam but a tad sweeter and maltier!

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 16:25:24 | More by jhtipton
Photo of jondeelee


3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Scratch has a sugary, malty nose ripe with fruit esters and smelling of brown sugar, white grape, vanilla, and apricot, with a hint of rosewater hops.

On the tongue, the brew is fairly sweet, fruit esters such as apricot and orange dominating, with caramelized brown sugars and vanilla in the background, all supported by a base of biscuit-like toasted grains. Hops are set at a fairly light level (19.5 IBU), mostly providing a slight bitter fuzz that offsets the malts, but comes through in greater strength in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, and carbonation is set at medium. Subsequent mouthfuls tend to be less flavorful than the first one, the hops and carbonation robbing the sugars of their sweetness and taste. A few more pounds of malt in the mixture would have nicely corrected this problem.

Overall, a decent amber lager with good flavors, but with a few shortcomings that prevent it from getting above-average marks.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 19:33:13 | More by jondeelee
Photo of 20ozmonkey


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

Poured into a Flying Dog pint glass. This beer is a fairly light amber that leans a little more towards orange than red. Thin head that disappeared real quick.

Smells an awful lot of sweet malts and whiskey.

Tastes like kind of an off Anchor Steam. Tastes just like it smells upfront and has bitterness and rustiness on the end. Medium carbonation.

I could drink many of these and I would say that 5.5% is higher than I would think this beer is. Not an exciting beer, but not a bad one.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 22:46:55 | More by 20ozmonkey
Photo of beagle75


2.53/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very mild and understated, with carbon dioxide standing out aside some fairly character-less dry hay and esters.

T: Begins off-dry, with a fine thread of caramel that flees after hitting an early peak. Malt's loss is acidity's gain, with carbonic acid coming on strong and dominating until the middle. Soft bready malt becomes established in the second act, along with cooked mixed fruit, but character-building intensity is generally lacking. The finish is anti-climatic, being gassy and just faintly bitter, with some weak herbaceous notes.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, distractingly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This amber-whatever features little to recommend it, while being saddled with excessive acidity. Although it is not outright undrinkable, this beer is utterly forgettable and probably best relegated to cooking applications.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 00:39:23 | More by beagle75
Photo of rvdoorn


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

Bottle from the local liquor shop.
Look: the beer pours a copper-amber color with a small head.
Smell: Grain, caramel malts, some fruit (orange zest) and spicy hops
Taste: Malts, caramel, citrus, pepper with a nice dry hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation
Overall: Nice beer, bit underrated for the style

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 10:13:13 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of ThaCreep


2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Grenadine nose that becomes a bit of time with the caramel light. Body still quite heavy and with a special flavor, perhaps a little too strong, perhaps too much mixing of tastes and making a grave mistake Association. One finds, loose, slightly roasted malt but also fruity and a little alcohol. Many flavors but a bit too stodgy for a californian common.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2011 22:19:08 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of Groomsy


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

Single bottle purchased at Ozzy's Drive-Thru in Waverly, OH for $1.89. Label reads best by 207/11. Poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Pours out a very nice and clear amber color with highlights of fiery orange and some brown streaks. The body is topped by a sturdy one finger of frothy foam. The foam dwindles down to a cap of lace, but leaves only scant and wispy lacing.

Smell: Nice nose on this one, very sweet, malty, and fruity. Caramel sticks out the most, as well as some bready notes from the malt. There's a vague note of some earthy, kind of dirty hops, and I also get a slight fruity aroma - caramel-covered green apples? That's what I thought of, anyway... The sweetness is a little cloying, but it's kept in check.

Taste: My taste buds perceive this as a really sweet and malty beer. But it's chill and mellow, and I like that. Nice notes of caramel and some grain on the front of the palate, and some bread flavors creep in later. There's just a dash of citrusy/earthy hops in there for balance, but they could be bolder. The finish is bready and fruity all at once, super sweet and mildly cloying. Not bad; sweeter than I'm used to be, but relaxing and mellow.

Mouthfeel: Well-carbonated and dry finish - drier than I'm used to for lagers. There's a lot of lingering sweetness here, which might turn some people off. The body is medium consistency and turns fairly creamy as the beer warms, but is slightly watery.

Overall: Not a bad effort from Flying Dog; I enjoy most amber ales and lagers, so this was a nice addition. Much maltier and sweeter than I'm used to, but good overall, and very relaxing. A go-to for the autumn season? Maybe.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 01:50:35 | More by Groomsy
Photo of bagpiper2005


3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Clear, fizzy red orange color. Streaks of brown on the edges. Two fingers of off-white head that dissipates to a small ring. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts. That's about it. No detectable hops really.

Taste: Pretty much follows the nose. Sweet caramel front end with a bready middle. Slight citrus hop finish. Picked up a slight grainy note as it warmed.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a bit over-carbonated. Still has a certain smoothness though.

Drinkability/Overall: Very sessionable and inoffensive. Doesn't knock my socks off though. Not filling, so you can easily have a few.

Final Notes: Drink this one cold to avoid the grainy taste. A simple lager, nothing special, but it's great for when you want a beer that's not overbearing and that you can drink a lot of easily. Good introduction to better beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 22:47:54 | More by bagpiper2005
Photo of JizackFH

New York

3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This beer pours a nice reddish copper color. It has a nice 2-figner off-white head on it. the head has ok retention, and it leaves some specs of lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of toasted malts and mild hops. There is also just a bit of caramel and citrus.

T - Taste pretty much follows the nose. There are flavors of toasted malt up front, as well as a mild hop flavor. Notes of caramel and some spices are also present.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down fairly easy and has a creamy feel to it.

D - This has decent drinkability. It goes down pretty easy, but the flavor isn't all that great. Overall, It is a decent beer, and it isn't too bad to have on a hot summer day. I thought it was alright, but I probably wouldnt buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 10:08:48 | More by JizackFH
Photo of EnJeiBee


3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Transparent reddish amber hue with a thin white head that disappeared almost instantly, leaving no lacing

S - Caramel malts with almost no hop profile

T - Very very faint bitterness from the hops that is dominated by bready caramel malts

M - Medium bodied with average carbonation and a sweet malty finish

O - Pretty middle of the road amber lager. I felt like it was generic and somewhat one-note. I would certainly drink it again, but I would never go out of my way to get it.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 04:05:58 | More by EnJeiBee
Photo of bubseymour


4.1/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very nice looking color to this beer. Dark red and clear. Head wasn't that good however...large bubbles, 1 finger, fizzy and doesn't last. Not good with the head.

Smell - no hops but I'm picking up some spicy notes.

Taste - Wow! Very exceptional taste for a lager. Very front forward flavoring and a nice crisp hop bite finish. I swear I tried this beer a few years ago and didn't care for it. Now it tastes wonderful to me.

Mouthfeel - sligtly fizzy and carbonated. Otherwise its fine.

Overall - A very well crafted lager with complex, pronounced flavors and aggression on the finish. Recommended for more experienced craft drinkers as like I mentioned before, I know I tried this years ago (when I was a less experience beer drinker/taster) and it tasted bitter and rough to me. For the BA's I recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 00:14:15 | More by bubseymour
Photo of Bajasith


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

Poured nice amber color with a faded thin tan head.
Very fruity as the hop tries to break thru the sweet roasted caramel malt aroma. Nice carbonation with very light body feel (almost watered down) with a slight roast to the malt, hops are noticed but not rough or overwhelming at all. Slight citrus and alcohol notes.
Overall not impressed but a very drinkable Cali common brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 20:59:01 | More by Bajasith
Photo of kstoltz


2.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Nice caramel color with about an inch head that quickly dissipates.

S: Grassy, toasted cereal notes to it.

T: I'm getting a lot of bitter, kinda astringent, little bit of citrus, somewhat bready. The bitterness makes this a bit off for me since it's not backed up by any kind of predominant flavors.

M: Refreshing, nice carbonation.

Overall, pretty much an average amber. Not terrible. Nothing to make it stand out from a crowd though. I probably would pass on another round of this one in favor of something more flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 00:49:35 | More by kstoltz
Photo of gpogo


3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear red amber body with a nice sized cream colored head. Head eventually dissipated to a small foamy cap. Moderate to heavy carbonation.

A- Sweet caramel bread aroma. Light fruity esters.

T- Sweet bready malt flavor. Some light caramel, bready flavors seem to dominate. Nice hit of bitterness in the beginning with a mainly sweet bready finish. Bitterness continues a bit into the finish.

M- Medium body, moderate to high carbonation. Nice refreshing finish. Great on the hot evening I am enjoying it.

D- It's an amber, not the greatest, but pretty good. I'd drink more, but I'm not going to seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 05:31:17 | More by gpogo
Photo of Forb


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle...

Appearance: Your typical red/amber/copper hue on pour with a sticky white lacing that lingers well.

Smell: Esters coincide with the malt / hop combination.

Taste: A good hop kick to this one balancing out the malts with an interesting fruit character but the malts just take control with the bready, caramel impact.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with good carbonation. Nothing fancy but nothing poor either.

Overall: A decent amber. A mediocre amber. An amber.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 19:05:29 | More by Forb
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

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

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Rosey-brown in color, crystal clear and bubbly, with a 1-finger head that settled quickly and left no lacing to speak of.

S: Caramel malts, bread, corn starch, a touch of rye, and some dark berries. Smells a touch like malt liquor...

T: Lots of malts up front with a heavily bready swallow. Not a lot to this beer, mostly heavy bread notes with some clear malt and fruit hints. Some sedimentary, earthy aftertaste with a chalky flavor left in the mouth. Not something that particularly draws you back in for another sip.

M: A touch muddy and syrupy with a grittiness to it. Thin on texture in the mouth with a watery finish.

O: Not the worst beer out there, but for my money I could get better Amber Lagers.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 19:47:32 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of Lillenk


3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was very nice dark tan into amber brown color. Very clear with a nice head.

Smell was a little lacking but i suppose it's pretty typical of the style.

Taste was pretty average. I would say for an amber it was there were the right flavors but very light because it was a lager style and not an amber ale.

Mouthfeel was pretty good. Very easy to drink but the flavors didn't leave me wanting to drink more than one or two.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 01:57:33 | More by Lillenk
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint at 50 degrees. Pours a hazy burnt red with a bubbly band around the shoulders and a soapy slick across the surface. Band eventually settles into a tight circle with no other foam across the surface - no lacing on this one. Nose is quite malty with hints of caramel/toffee and figs or prunes. Taste consistent with nose; however, there is also a faint earthy/spicy character that cuts across the malt backbone. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a crisp carbonation. All and all, a pretty drinkable brew with more character than I anticipated. Well worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 00:20:14 | More by Jwale73
Photo of maxpacemph


4.8/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just want to point out, this beer is very true to it's style. It's always good to have them, they give you a point of reference and reverence! It's got a pleasant taste throughout, and it's got a great citrus quality to it. Setting at 19.5 IBU, combined with hints of caramel and citrus, is like a bunch of angry little leprechauns bouncing on see saws on your palate! A must have in the cooler this summer for sure!

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 18:43:18 | More by maxpacemph
Photo of JerseyKirk

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Looks amber. Off white 1 finger head with minimal lacing. Head dissipated quickly.

S: Citrus and malty.

T: Really just average. Nothing stand out but easy to drink.

M: Spot on for the style.

O: I wouldn't buy this when I make a better amber ale than this. Boring beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 18:26:27 | More by JerseyKirk
Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,392 ratings.