Old Scratch
Flying Dog Brewery

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Lager - American Amber / Red
3.44 | pDev: 14.24%
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old ScratchOld Scratch
Reviews: 762 | Ratings: 1,539 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Jackal:
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Jackal from West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +9%

Jul 26, 2013
More User Reviews:
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pat61 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brewery calls this a California Common or steam beer. Fruit, caramel and toasted malt are on the nose and palate. It has the extra fruity esters found in California Common but it is a little heavier and sweeter and not as bitter.

Apr 08, 2015
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IronDjinn from Canada (AB)

3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Another Ralph Steadman creation on the label, I like it (but not as much as the one on the Pale Ale). It definitely stands out on the shelf, but then again anything with a predominantly orange label will do that every time.

Pours out a fine clear amber colour, smallish head that recedes to a ring. At first the aroma reminds me of scotch, and piques my interest. Sweet malt on the next pass, with an odd sourness as well that doesn't quite detract, ripe fruit, and then leafy hops. It smells like Autumn damnit! In the flavour is an odd balance of sweet caramel malts and citric hops, and a curious sourness from the hops as well in the form of a lemon rind tartness. Perhaps the latter is influenced by the yeast. Full mouthfeel that blankets the palate, rich texture. It's definitely not the best sample of the Flying Dog line I've been able to try yet, but the scotch/fall equinox nose and seductive mouthfeel make this a curiosity that I'll probably revisit again, just to see if those two show up to the next party. If not then I'd probably cross Old Scratch from my dance card in favour of better endowed prospects.

Jul 23, 2004
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ROGUE16 from Delaware

4/5  rDev +16.3%

Dec 01, 2011
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zoso1967 from Michigan

3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As the name suggests, this beer pours a medium amber with some nice burnt orange tones. It has a pretty average looking cream head that fades quickly but leaves pretty good lacing. The aroma is bready, grainy, grassy and slightly toasty with a hint of brown sugar. Flavors include deep bready malt, grain, dry grass, toffee and a bit of brown sugar sweetness. All the flavors are very clean, but seem a bit uninspiring. The mouthfeel is light to medium and has a certain chewy quality to it. Ample carbonation bounces around on my tongue before I swallow and partake of a long, slightly stinging finish that fades to a somewhat dry and hoppy aftertaste. This beer has decent drinkability, but I am not sure I would really seek out another glass.

Aug 05, 2010
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king75 from Michigan

3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- An amber color, with an inch of head that is retained pretty well. Looks solid, but almost a little diluted.

S- Can smell a lot of hops, but then there is a chemical smell that just throw the nice hop aroma off.

T-Has a nice hop and citrus flavor, but again a chemical flavor comes through that throws off the balance of the beer. Something is off but I just can't explain what.

M- very light and crisp at the end leaves a nice dry and yet puckering in the cheeks at the end.

D- drinkability is descent, but the balance in the taste is off.

Notes: This is the best beer I have had yet from flying dog. But it is far from being the best amber I have ever had.

Dec 24, 2010
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Erbo from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +9%

Apr 23, 2013
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WesWes from New York

3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours just as it's name calls for, "amber". There is little head, but a nice thin lace. The aroma is of a traditional lager, but with the addition of caramel malts giving it a amber color and aroma. I'm not a particular fan of lager beer due to the fact that most are so simplistic in make up. They hardly ever meander from the regular. The taste is good. I like the amber lagers better than a plain. I guess it must be that there is some malt character although it's still not much. The mouthfeel is good; a low bodied beer. A real booser's beer. A clean finish marks the end of this beer. Not bad, as far as lagers are concerned.

Jun 20, 2003
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cdkrenz from Wisconsin

3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Prime copper colored body with a medium livedone inch head draped in light tan.

S - Soapy, rich malt aroma.

T - Robust malt with a slight bite. It has a hinting of cereal in the end that makes it rather intriguing.

M - Coarse throughout with a wet finish.

~ For an Amber Lager this is a bit on the coarse side. It has a nice robustness to it in the taste but it never really gets anywhere.

Sep 10, 2010
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patobandito from New Mexico

4.05/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first foray into Flying Dog's beers. Not a bad decision. Love the artwork on the labels. Anyway to the beer!

Pours a nice amber color with a small head that dissapated relatively quickly. No lacing. Smells of citrus with some malt tones. Tastes of citrus, with a bitter aftertaste, which is strange, as you cannot smell hops. Very smooth and light. Quite drinkable.

Overall, a great beer to wind down with after a day at work. Not heavy, but not too light. I look forward to trying more from Flying Dog in the near future.

Dec 12, 2008
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beerprovedwright from Georgia

4.27/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice dark amber color around 17 on SRM. Better than average head with great lace on the side of the glass. Sweet hop smell with a touch of caramel. Sits well in my mouth, nice firm flavor, yet not but a touch bitter. Label shows IBU of 19.5. This bottle closer to 14 to 15. Very little aftertaste except a semi sweet faint hop flavor. Taste better as it warms. Nice amount of buzz factor, makes my nostrils flare. Would buy this one to share with others. Will sample this one again (& again), for sure!

Aug 09, 2010
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jisak74 from Sweden

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Mar 21, 2012
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levi_shanks from California

3.75/5  rDev +9%

Jul 26, 2013
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Rumrunner from California

3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Sep 30, 2003
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BeerSox from Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Deep amber hue with a light tan three finger head that slowly settles to a thick fluffy cap with solid lacing along the sides.

Light wispy malts with some caramel notes. Not much hop aroma to speak of.

Like the aroma, the flavor is pretty light. Grainy malts, light bitterness, and some caramel. There is a bit of creaminess in the middle. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is lingering grain.

Probably the plainest beer you will find from Flying Dog. It's a great session ale, with it's mild %ABV and smoot characteristics. Recommended.

Apr 12, 2008
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle.

Pours a slightly hazy amber color. The head is minimal but a bit of lacing remains.

Smells pretty good. A bit floral and citrusy, with a hint of malt.

Tastes a bit tart and again citrusy. There's some smooth hops in there too. Very bright and smooth.

Mouthfeel is fine for the beer. Smooth without a strong carbonation.

Overall an excellent lager. I wish it were a little more easy to find; this would be a great beer to have as a regular option at restaurants and bars.

Jan 14, 2009
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LehighAce06 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Sylv

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Apr 04, 2012
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craigpatt5 from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Jul 30, 2013
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woemad from Washington

3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Jan 01, 2005
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crwrunner from Virginia

3/5  rDev -12.8%

Sep 01, 2013
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TMinton22 from Ohio

3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Amber color and clear with creamy light-tan head. Not much lacing.

Smell: Fresh baked bread, nutty malt aromas with some toffee.

Taste: Pale malt flavors. Some roasted nuttiness and burnt caramel. A small part of bitter citrus from hops. Finishes a bit bitter.

Drinkability: Sweet and bitter in balance and it is smooth and easy to drink. Could drink a few of these in a row.

Oct 24, 2008
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Amp from Oklahoma

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Dec 31, 2011
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3/5  rDev -12.8%

Mar 29, 2012
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Dapper_Dan_Man from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -12.8%

Aug 04, 2013
Old Scratch from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 1539 ratings