Old Scratch Amber Lager | Flying Dog Brewery

761 Reviews
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Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

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.

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Reviews: 761 | Ratings: 1,537
Photo of BeerLover48Fan
4.87/5  rDev +42.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Good looking beer. Didn't get much of a look at it since I ordered one in a dimly lit bar.

S: Smelled sweet and malty. I liked it

T: Very sweet with a hint of maple. I don't remember it being bitter but I had already had a few other brews in me and that usually kills the bitterness of later beers.

M: Very light and easy to take when you're just planning to have a good night with friends without dealing with sub par beer.

D: Very drinkable. The kind of beer you would want to go to if you plan on drinking for a while and you want something with actual taste. I guess I would call it a "fun" beer

Serving type: bottle

Got lucky and I got to drink not one, but two of these last night. Will definitely buy this again next time I plan on drinking with a crowd of people. I had 2 complex brews and a cheap adjunct before this so it was a nice way to end the night.

Basically a fun beer that is very tasty and good to drink when the beer isn't the most important part of the night.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of maxpacemph
4.76/5  rDev +39.6%
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!

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Photo of matracy68
4.7/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one good looking amber in my book. I enjoy the color of the beer. It is sort of in between a dark and a light. I got my first Scratch in my Beer of the Month Club and I have been searching for more ever since. This is an easy drinking beer that is tied for first as my favorite beer at the moment. The bad part is trying to find more of the beer where I am located. I would highly recommend any beer from the Flying Dog. I sampled quite of few of their tasty treats at the World Beer Festival in Raliegh, NC in April 2006.

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Photo of LLENROC
4.68/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted the Old Scratch on Tap at the Blue Moon Cafe in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

I am a big fan of SACKETS HARBOR BREWING COMPANY - War of 1812 Amber Ale, but this is a step above. What a great beer, great mouth feel, no bitter after taste, exceptional drinkability and down right tasty!!! I love it ...

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Photo of uconnroller
4.65/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark Amber with a fizzy white head that has limited retention.

Smell: Roasted grain malt with some sweet herbal aromas.

Taste: Sweet malt with some mild herbal notes. Mild bitterness and yet very mellow. This Lager favors the malt side with its medium caramel flavors and a hint of yeast.

Mouthfeel: A pleasent mellow, semi-dry and moderately bitter finish.

Drinkability: Legit one of the best beers I have ever had. It's not as smooth as Yuengling Lager but is a bit sweeter and less bitter than yuengling.

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Photo of wavz
4.65/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice Copper Straw color with a quickly disappearing head.

S- Malty with a slight hint of caramel and hops just in the distance.

T- Big malt inital taste with just a bit of bitterness on the end. Almost reminds me of a Mibock.

M- Smooth and tasty with a hint of sweet and dry at the end.

D- I love the balance of this beer, malty with a hoppy bitter finish.


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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.

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Photo of lsrose
4.54/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beer poured a very tall head with an aggressive pour, wound down to a thin covering with some lacing.

S - WOW. Initially smelled this three times and each time I was surprised with the strong smell. It takes the typical amber lager aroma to another level. As good as it gets in the style.

T - Beer has strong malty sweet amber lager flavors.

Really surprised with how flavorful this beer was. Could see some problems with people thinking it was slightly too weak as it is initially, but finishes with lots of taste so a very good amber lager IMO.

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Photo of SaintPeter
4.47/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle marked 5.5%, 19.5 IBU

A deep copper color with a huge fluffy large-bubble tan head leaving mass lacing and cling all up and down the glass. It's impressive!

Aroma of caramel, toffee, sweet malt, cigar tobacco, old leather and cereal grains. There is a flan-type smell (the caramel desert) buttery and sweet in the nose. Sweet and malty like a desert such as bananas foster.

Malt and sweet in the mouth with an injection of hops in the middle which lasts through the finish. Finishes ultra smooth and mellow with a balance of malt and hops in the aftertaste. More like an amber or brown ale with all the flavor. Lagers usually don't have this degree of flavor.

Creamy and slow on the tongue. This is an incredible lager chocked full of malty goodness and with ample amounts of hops. Full of flavor and of high quality. Up there with the best

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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!

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Photo of startreker
4.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L. Beautiful red deep amber color. Medium bodied head, left lacing that stuck to the glass.

S. Deep Malt with spices and mild hops.

T. Robust malty taste with caramel notes and spices. Mild on the hops, and no bitter after taste. Notes of toffee as well.

F. Medium creamy mouth feel very nice! Very easy to drink.

O. Overall, this is a wonderful amber lager that`s a pleasure to drink. I really enjoy the caramel toffee notes in this lager, would most certainly purchase this one again!

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is good suds. Poured out to a orange amber color with a good head of about 1/2 inch and rings of lace were present. Medium level of carbonation. Aroma of hops and sweet grains. Taste was really good; flavors of hops, malt, grain and raw veggies blended quite well, and were not overly harsh or abrasive. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and well balanced. Higher level of drinkability, I would imagine this on tap would be exceptional and even better than in the bottle. A good beer for any time of year. Recommended. Special thanks to battlekow for the sample.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.4/5  rDev +29%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, clear, deep, dark, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malt up front, followed by some caramel and brown sugar. Very bready and sweet in aroma. Very nice!

Taste: Great!! Very malty up front, with strong notes of bread and cereal. Next comes some caramel and brown sugar-like sweetness and some spices of black pepper, a touch of coriander and a touch of ginger. The beer finishes with some beautifully balanced hoppy bitterness. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty smooth and creamy as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an outstanding amber lager! Malty, sweet and creamy! Delicious! This is going to be a regular beer in my fridge!

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Photo of harkjohnny
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Herbal woody aroma of the hops, some fruitiness. No diacetyl.

A. Pours a really pretty copper red color, very clear with medium head retention.

F. Caramel malt is upfront and solid, then gives way with a dry bitterness at the finish. Hops are strong and do exactly what they are supposed to...showcase the woody/miny Northern Brewer hop.

M. Body is medium as appropriate with medium carbonation.

O. I've never given this beer a really solid try and glad that I finally have. (Thanks BJCP class!) The slight fruitiness and lovely over-balance of hops against the caramel malts is quite refreshing. The woody/minty combination makes me think of summer. Wishing I had another... I don't, but I will next time I go beer shopping.

P.S. this was judged as a Cali Common... which leads me to ask why it's not classified as that here??

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Photo of StevieW
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well the old doggie got me again, I had it in my head these beers would be lousy, but I really, really liked this one as well. Did I get an IPA in an amber lager bottle ? Nice copper color, big fluffy head with tiny hop bubbles coming through. Lots of hop smells and some slight sweetness. The taste is pleasantly hoppy, with an equal balance of malty sweetness. Unbelievably pleasant and drinkable, just the right body, balance, hops, and carmel sweetness. I must have got the best of the batch, this stuff was really tasty. Despite my doubts, this brewery is 3 for 3 with me. Just goes to show how many great beers are available, if you just look a little. I will buy it again.

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Photo of RAdragna
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this beer at a Ruby Tuesday's in Bristol, Connecticut as an alternative to Yuengling b/c of no Yuengling in CT. Artwork very nice.

A: Pours a amber-copper color with a good ivory-white head.

S: Easy on the nose, nothing strong.

T: Toasty malts and grains are present. Sweet overall. Good dry finish.

M: For a lager, the taste and aftertaste reminded me more of an ale. It's suprisingly filling.

D: Good to have one or two, maybe three, but no more because of ale-like filling characteristic.

Good beer to try, but don't overindulge. It fills you up for a lager.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.37/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured in a pint glass

A - nice clear orange/amber color with a small bone white head that flattened out leaving no lace.

S - nice sweet malty aroma makes you want a taste.

T - very nice tasting beer, sweet, rich malty taste, crisp/clean finish.

M - light body and light carbonation make for a good mouth feel.

D - excellent drinkability, goes down smooth and easy. 5.3% abv makes this good for drinking a whole lot of anytime you're in the mood.

IMO, better taste than Sam Adams Boston Lager at a lower price.

Good Beer - No Shit

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Photo of FMetzger
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright amber color. Completely clear. Medium (1 finger) head retention after 5 minutes. Dissipated most of the rest after 10 minutes. Looks drinkable.
Smell: Malty nose. No real hop aroma at all.
Taste: Very similar to smell in that it is quite malty with no real hop presence. Slight astringency, but not distracting. This is a malty beer.
Mouthfeel: Soft, clean. Medium body, nothing shocking, which is nice when these beers can easily be too thin.
Drinkability: Superb. I would definitely drink another.

This style has not been my favorite in years past, but this beer could change my mind. I was pleasantly suprised when the hops did make an appearance, but would not have been too disappointed if they did not. Overall, this beer retained some sweetness through the finish and did not end up "tinny" or metallic tasting as some ambers and reds do at times. Really a very good beer.

Clean tasting and the hops only come through at the very end., and the type is completely indistinguishable. The malt is fantastic on this beer. Rich and complex

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Photo of smcreator
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Reddish amber with a one finger head.
S: Nothing special but it does have a nice clean smell.
T: A nice balance between slightly sweet and slightly bitter.
M: Very smooth and fresh taste. Just shy of a perfect mouth experience.
D: Since the beer goes down light and still tastes good, it is very easy to drink all night long.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.27/5  rDev +25.2%
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!

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Appearance - Red/amber color. Nice foam head, disappears quickly though.

Smell - Not too complex but a nice sweet malt smell, a little bready as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, very smooth.

Taste - A mixture of sweetness and a hint of hops . Simple flavor but still good.

Overall - This beer is simple but still extremely enjoyable. I like it very much, can't wait for another one.

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Photo of pootz
4.23/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glorious....thatÂ’s the only way for a malt head to describe this wonderful creamy, malty complex concoction. Poured a deep orange-amber in the glass with an off white rocky cap and good lacing, moderate carbonation allows the flavors to charge through. Aromas are sweet caramel malts with slight fruitish-cider tones. The taste is very malt biased with the sweet caramel/biscuit malts float on a creamy mouth feel...woody, herbal, slightly tangy hops show in the middle and long wet finish. A very tasty and enjoyable lager with some malt characteristics of a Vienna and a creamy delivery...great stuff.

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Photo of njmoons
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a great medium bodied amber lager.

I poured the bottle into a glass, which provided a small head and rich red color. Great malty smell added to a good start.

The flavor was great, rich and malty. I know that there is a bias towards big flavorful beers (me incluced, so as good as I can rate a medium lager is a 4 on taste), but for me it is also about balance.

I have rarely tasted a lager with such great front end taste, and no loss of crispness on the back end.

If I am looking for a session beer, Old Scratch will be high on my list.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flying dog's amber is one of my more favorite ambers.

It has a nice amber color (duh) and its head doesn't last too long.
Smells almost like a Belgian dubbel, maybe the yeast strains they use. Tastes great. Alcohol is a present taste and leaves me with an almost citrus or fresh taste in my mouth.

I would buy again, and I bet it is great on tap.

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Photo of RollingRocker
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice amber color with short lived head and lacing that disappears quickly.

S- Malty with a barely noticeable metallic odor

T- Good malt flavor slightly citrus and hoppy finish that lingers for a hot minute.

M- The carbonation seems very fine, like little tiny bubbles falling off my tongue.

D- Drinkable probably pick up a six-pack here and there.

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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
3.41 out of 5 based on 1,537 ratings.
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