Old Scratch Amber Lager | Flying Dog Brewery

Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager
Liked This Beer
3.42 w/ 1,537 Ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,537 |  Reviews: 762
Photo of Brencr
3.91/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a light head. As an IPA fan, I was supprised by the flavor and lightness of the beer. The color is tanish with no unfiltered material. The taste is well ballanced, not too bitter yet not too flat. Over all, a good lager even for those who do not particularly like lagers. I especially enjoy the twelve pack mix that I purchaced it in.

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

Poured bottle into glass.

Appearance: Nice red/amber color (obviously) that was quite clear. It had a small head, but gave some fair lacing.

Smell: Slightly roasted aroma with a mild hops smell in the background.

Taste: I found it to be fairly bitter, but had a very smooth and slightly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin, but more character than some other, lighter lagers.

Drinkabilty: This is definitely something I could drink again. It worked well for me on a warm day and I feel it would work well in the cold winter as well.

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Photo of berley31
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color, very clear with not much of a head to speak of. Lively carbonation. Smells slightly of malt. No lacing. Smooth on the palate... light and clear with hints of caramel and a medium finish. Not a lot of character to set it apart, but an easy to drink amber beer with a good flavor.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
3.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown long neck bottle poured into an American pint glass. Some kind of alien bottling/freshness date that has letters.

Deep amber/coppery body with off-white head. Dissipates quickly with out a trace. Few bubbles cling to a ring of lace. There is a small hair in my glass, but I'm going to assume that Flying Dog did not bottle a hair.

A sweet malt profile provides notes of maple leaf, brown sugar, and wood. The hops are a bit timid in the nose and a bit more sour than expected. But where is my-... oh, there it is: the infamous lager skunk. It's faint, but it's there.

The malt profile is there, but is unfortunately watered down. Soda bread, maple nut, brown sugar, and lots diacetyl; very buttery. Sour hop citrus is in the undertones, but never fully surfaces. Thick syrupy mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

Unique, but not outstanding. Amber lagers are always fun as they usually bend the rules a bit, providing distinct profiles. However, this is not as up to par as I expected. The alcohol is nice, but the flavor needs to match the nose.

Probably best paired with fall season foods. The lager qualities make it easy on the palate and for pairing, but the peculiar ale-like characteristics will let it fare against heartier meals; such as cooked veggies, casseroles, heavy game dishes, etc.


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Photo of CarlP2
2.69/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a glass. One finger of head that quickly disappeared. Deep amber/red color. Nice looking beer. There are a few bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. No lacing at all.

S- Grainy smell, reminds me of the BMC beers a little bit. Not a good start.

T- The taste follows the smell. Although it has a little more malt than the BMC beers. Slight bitter/metallic aftertaste. I wish the taste matched the appearance instead of the smell.

M- Nothing special here, slight carbonation tingle. Starts smooth, finishes dry.

D- These would go down okay on a hot day. So far this is the back of the pack of all the Flying Dogs I've tried. I wouldn't turn it down, but I won't buy it unless it happens to be in a mix pack again.

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Photo of LyonsHead
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep orange, perfectly clear, nice orangish-white head. head left semi-quickly and there was minimal lacing

S: earthy noble hops with a faint malty sweetness, I also get dark fruit.

T: Hit with hop flavor immediately, there are very subtle notes of bread and toast. the finish is taken over by the hop bitterness that lingers into the after taste.

M: rather thin and watery. I was expecting a much thicker, creamier beer from the color and the head.

D: To me this is just average. Nothing really sticks out in the flavors or aroma and the mouthfeel was pretty disappointing.

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Photo of Psilo707
3.14/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a great time with Golden Tire from Flying Dog, I was hopeful for this similar lager from the same brewery. Poured into a Rieder mug, there was very little head and lacing. A deep amber (slight red tint) hue sank through. Smell was bad, almost non-existent, but what did exist wasn't pleasant for me.

Taste is a lot more bland than expected and I can't identify too many true colors inside it. Malty, slightly hoppy, a definite lager feeling to it. Mouthfeel and drinkability are a bit higher, as this beer is both semi-creamy and easy to take down.

Overall, not my favorite in any way from Flying Dog.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, clear copper color, with a tall, fairly dense and foamy light tan head. Retention is solid, with some foamy lacing left on the glass.

S: Some toasted caramel malt providing some sweetness. A plum or raisin-like fruitiness - a touch sour. Yeasty and metallic notes. Some herbal hops as well.

T: Again, toasted, vaguely caramel malt brings some sweetness. Some fruity hints - yellow raisins, perhaps some pears as well. A bit of herbal and leafy hop flavor. Again, a somewhat metallic off-flavor persists.

M: Medium-flat body - could stand for livelier carbonation. A touch of sticky sweetness.

D: Another pretty average beer from a pretty average brewery. There's nothing at all here to separate this from the overcrowded pack of amber lagers. Not bad, but just blah.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Clear amber with decent off-white head. Standard head retention. Light lace

Smell- Light, grainy pale malt scents. Faint citrusy hop aroma to balance.

Taste- Well balanced. Crisp, pale malts and light, fruity hops. Some bread.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability- Great session beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.85/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brown 355ml bottle, 5.3%,loads of life left, poured into a tall tulip shaped stemmed Corsendonk glass.

Clear body of a true amber colour, good tan head at first, soon fell away to a collar and wispy covering.

Very little aroma, gets my standard score of 3 for a non-smelling lager/pilsner. Hints of malts as it warms, otherwise nothing much at all.

Malt feel to it more than a malt taste to it, if you know what I mean. "The Sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray, the Sun has got his hat on and he's coming out to play" This is a beer for drinking in the garden during a heatwave (like today). More body than a normal lager, but not rich, creamy or flavoursome, just a cold beer to cool you down. It kind of threatens to be sweet, but doesn't back it up, strange.

Not overly impressed, only had a few beers in this style and much prefer the Brooklyn Lager to this version.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= a pretty bright amber color that's a little hazy with a thick one finger head with nice lacing and retention.
S= nice malty carmely odor. Not too pungent though. Quite sweet
T= smoothly sweet not too cloying. Really mellow sweetness to it. Other than that quite typical lager.
M= refreshing and quite coating.
D= very high. Tastes great. I don't understand the low rating for the style. Quite nice.

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Photo of blaje
2.86/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber in colour as expected! White head that disappear quickly.

Nose: Metalic with some toffee and candied citrus

Mouth: Nice carbonation. Low bitterness. Definitely a lager mouthfeel. Light sweet candied sugary taste. No complex flavour found or discernible in here.

Overall, second time in a row that I'm not impress with Flying Dog beer. This one does not stand out of most regular amber lager.

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Photo of cnally
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The amber lager from the brewery I feel is so underrated.

It pours a great amber color in the beer, obviously. The slight off-white head fluffs up well but dies down to a good lacing.

Grains in the aroma. But very clean and very sweet. Slightly grassy and wheaty---but very decent all the same.

Not a very full flavor--but one in which has a very VERY slight toasted malt flavor. Grainy and definately flavored like an adjunct lager. But the flavor deteriorates into a weird musty flavor--very different. But not entirely good.

The feel is a little watery, lower carbonation. Not punctuated by a decent feel.

I believe it is half decent; but there are better options out there. A slight dissapointment from what I feel is a great brewery.

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Photo of RollingRocker
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
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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Photo of cheapxceptbeer
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I tend to stray from fusion beers, except dogfish heads (they seem to always get them right) and this is not an exception. A lager with an amber flavor, I do not have the greatest palate so I have a hard time explaining it but the refined flavor of a lager does not mix with the amber beer flavor. Sometimes I think that flying dog gets away with mediocre beer because of their porter and their artwork, who is drinking this on a regular basis?

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks good, poured tall and slender into a pilsner glass. The beer is... well amber. It's more orange then red and it is crystal clear. The sand colored head fills the glass to the rest of the way (about a fingers worth) but dissipates quickly. Light lacing after each sip but not much.

Not much to the nose. Some malts, some hops and that's about it. It does smell balanced between the two but neither are anything more then average.

Taste is slightly above the ho hum average level. A little bit of citrus, a little bit of caramel malts. The hops lend a touch of floral earthiness but they are subtle and boring.

Mouthfeel is antiquated. The malts taste old and the hops are slightly stale on the palate. Both contribute to a dry finish even though the beer is smooth and mild bodied at the start. I could drink more of this but I'm not really inclined to. This is an average beer that is good in a pinch. I'll give it refreshing but not desirable. Worth a try but I wouldn't buy it again unless I was invited to an amber lager party and was assigned this beer to bring.

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Photo of SaintPeter
4.47/5  rDev +30.7%
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 n00tz
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange-amber body, complete with active carbonation underneath a light beige head.

S - Bready grass. Heavier on the bread lighter on the grass.

T - Toasty malt, grassy and some sweet peppery bitterness tones play out.

M - Mid-light body, bread coats the palate and it burps toasted.

D - Respectable offering from Flying Dog, though not my favorite by far.

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Photo of Ragingbull
4.02/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber in color with active prickle in the glass and a higher than average concentration of bubbles from the carbonation. There is little to no head even right after being poured. I guess the carbonation and volatility is in all of those bubbles. The nose has an understated malt quality to it, maybe some gentle caramel notes. The attack is mild with a pleasant and smooth malt flavor. It seems to me that there are gentle flavors of caramel blended with some coffee flavor that give a net result of smokiness. The finish is very clean, so all of the tasting happens with it in your mouth.

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Photo of bigbelcher
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is a brownish color with some red hues with a very little beige foam head that dissapated immediatley. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with no hops. Flavor was slightly sweet caramel apple coating sweet malt with almost no bitterness to balance it out. Body was low to medium. Better than a flat tire but not by too much.

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Photo of Beerbythepool
3.31/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured beer from bottle into an Imperical nonic glass. Produced a nice 2 finger head that lingered for a while. Nice lacing began to form, but did not hold long.

Color is a nice copper to amber tone.

The nose is malts and corn, but is not overpowering.

I taste malts and caramel. But the flavors could be stronger in my opinion.

Bubbles continue to rise as the carbonation is high and keeps a thin head on the beer.

The finish leaves a syrupy taste in my mouth, but the carbonation helps wash some of that feeling away.

Overall this beer is slightly above average and I would try it again. But it would not be at the top of my list.

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Photo of colsandurz
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the Flying Dog I've been most impressed with so far, though it's not spectacular.

The taste is quite good. You can certainly taste the malt, there's something unique about it I can't quite put my finger on. There's a very subtle smokiness to finish that I really like.

It's also a light and smooth drink.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper-colored with off-white lacing.

S: Amber malt and a bit of caramel.

T: Semi-sweetened amber malts and a bit of hops.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Doesn't quite fit the style for me. A decent beer, but nothing super special about it.

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Photo of Buebie
2.37/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a surly tulip. Off a straight into an upright glass, pretty rigerous pour, only half an inch of head forms. Off white in color, quickly dissapearing to no retention, and only lace where the had had once been. Spotty at best and no lace behind the head point.
Transparent, copper orange in color.

Aroma is Apple juice, meets grassy hops, meets just a touch of grains. A little bit of sawdust in there too.

Taste is Apple juice, some very very small amount of grassy hops and a touch of peppercorn. Way to juice like. Finishing with wet cardboard and a hint of pine.
Its thin, and really lacking in all departments.

How I let the sales guy talk me into this is beyond me. $5 for the six pack was not worth it. I will never take his advice again.

Do Not Want

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a small head and light lace.
The aroma of malts and caramel.
The taste was semi-sweet bread malts and some fruit notes with subtle hops.
The feel was medium body,medium carbonation.

Notes: A decent beer. Nothing special here and I just felt it was pretty boring. All in all it was still o.k.

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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 26.6% out of 100 with 1,537 ratings
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