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Old Scratch Amber Lager | Flying Dog Brewery

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Old Scratch Amber LagerOld Scratch Amber Lager
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,537 |  Reviews: 762
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear coppery amber with a white head that does not stick around. Aroma is strong and malty with hints of banana and butterscotch. Crisp flavor is mainly malty with some hop bitterness and an undertone of banana. Texture is smooth, fizzy and jazzy. A good choice.

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Photo of BrandonB
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle. Pours a medium amber with a smaller slightly off white head that dies off rather quickly. A reasonable aroma with hints of light hop and malt. Taste is smooth on the tongue with hints of malt, caramel, and a bit of hops as well. Easy to drink, but lacking complexity. A clean, rather crisp finish.

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Photo of Brenden
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a nice, dense head that leaves some patches of lacing on the glass. The color is a deep, clear golden-copper with active carbonation.
The aroma is very basic: straight hops. Gentle. Perhaps some caramel malt as well?
The bitterness from the hops is pretty mild. It's an earthy, almost herbal hops taste with some toasty malts and caramel notes on top. Light toasted grains are there as well. Hops leave a very grassy, earthy taste on the tongue in a decently lingering dry finish. Alcohol is noticeable the further along you get.
Mouthfeel is interesting, seemingly alternating between chalky dry and smooth. There's a little bit of a crisp bite at times as well.
Overall quite drinkable and worth a try.

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Photo of tronester
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, with a medium tan head. Smell is somewhat rusty, not too hot. Taste is quite a bit better, toasted grain, a hint of diacytal, and a very earthy hop flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth, somewhat rough, high carbonation. Drinkability is quite good though, it would be easy to drink several of these. All in all a good beer, i would drink it again.

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Photo of Aenema
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this on draft at an O's game.
Appearance - Pours a clear, burnt brown with reddish tinges and a persistent, thin white head. Not much lacing.
Smell - Nose is mostly toasted malts, but not much to it. 3
Taste - Bready, slightly toasted malts.
Mouthfeel - Medium body with moderate carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel.
Drinkability - Very drinkable, a very enjoyable beer.
Overall - Very solid, sessionable beer to relax with and enjoy a ball game.

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

A: Pours a rich, deep amber. I poured vigorously but it produced a thin head that dissipated quickly.

S: Nothing really predominate. Heck, nothing really. The aromas are fairly muted on this one. A little malty smell but nothing really strong.

T: Nothing really much to say here. Don't get me wrong, it has a good well balanced taste. It's just that nothing really jumped out at me. A nice light malty start balanced with a light hoppy finish.

M: Light to medium body. Light carbonation. Smooth - nothing harsh. Easy to drink.

D: This is a drinkable beer. Like I said above - nothing harsh. Easy on the mouth. At 5.3% ABV and not a really strong flavor I could drink multiple of these in a given session. Because this is not really robust or rich flavored I would use this as a utility beer.

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Photo of Parrotshake
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've tried every other Flying Dog beer available in this country, and it's mostly been very enjoyable. I figure it's time to give this one a go, though I'm not real interested in the style.

Lovely translucent amber (that IS what it says on the bottle) without much of a head to speak of, but quite a bit of lacing.

I didn't smell it right away, but instead washed out the bottle for to show off the interesting artwork later, and while doing so I thought "Huh? Hops?", this being supposedly a malty amber lager and all. The notion was reinforced upon swirling the beer in the glass. No malt or caramel to speak of, just hops and.... maybe diacetyl? I'm still not sure what that smells like, but there was something vaguely buttery about it. Not butterSCOTCH, legit butter.

Citrusy hop taste up front, but not persistent. Very mellow and rounded overall, with just a bit of malt in the finish, which is a bit disappointing. Still a great deal more interesting than any domestic lager I can think of. It's only 5.3% or so, but you can tell. Bit of alcohol warmth, which struck me as odd.

A bit watery with no real finish. Very refreshing though, without having any other water-like traits.

I could drink a ton of these (if it were cheaper over here), and I'm guessing that's the idea. Not super-interesting, but flavorful and not insistent. You'd never get sick of it.

Kind of... unusual for a lager, but serves the purpose to a tee. A six-pack is around $35 AUD, so I won't be taking it to too many BBQs, but that's not to say I wouldn't like to.

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Photo of smibroncos
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured a dark amber with a one finger light brown head. The head dimminished quickly, and slight lacing clung to the glass.

S. Not much here, some nutty tones, leaves.

T. Suprising the Taste was bold compared to the smell. Good malty flavor with a slightly sweety taste. Bitter in the end.

M. Full bodied lager, good carbonation, semi dry.

D. I would like this beer in the autum, it reminded me of a new england fall.

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Photo of mempath
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

an all-around very good lager...VERY similar to yuengling's lager on all counts.

it looks good as it pours, skimpy lacing (as expected, smell is fine but not upfront...taste is above average as it is and compared to other craft/micro brews. blows all macros away (doesn't that go without saying)...but seems like it could be more which is where the mouthfeel didn't play as hard as the rest of the team (along with it's smell teammate)...VERY drinkable, good spring/summer brew to quaff and eat with fried clams, boradwalk fries, anything that has tabasco on it...

overall, nice, but not a masterpiece. sadly, there are many masterpieces out there, so the bar is raised. the macrobrews have only one choice: go out of business or just admit publically they aren't about taste. oops, that's two choices.

snake dog is the better FD.
yuengling is the better amber lager.

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Photo of soupermirl
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice amber color, caramel malty smell with pretty good head and decent ringer. Good looking beer. Good smell. Taste is clean and malty, not exceptionally great but still a very good beer. Easy to drink and easy... Mouthfeel is decent, clean and malty with pretty good aftertaste. Malty all the way, very little hops but just enough and smooth...

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Photo of kingothewoods
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is really good. Great copper color with thick, lacey head. Ummmm looks tasty... Smells of malt and hops. Dry, smooth taste. With hoppy, deep flavors. The aftertaste is sweet. This is a good lager. Purchased after a recommendation from our local liquor owner.

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Photo of Chapter40z
3.91/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A. Beautiful Amber color, completely clear with a small off white head, a very inviting brew.

S. First thing i smelled was hops, after sip or to could definitely pick up hints of esters.

T. A crisp citrus flavor, only a small level of bitterness.

M. Slightly watery, flavor washes out quickly, doesn't leave a lasting impression.

D. Very high, the light body and flavors would make this a great session beer. Over all its an good yet average beer.

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Photo of Bung
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Cloudy amber pour. No real head to speak of. Malt and quite a bit of floral hop characteristics. A bit of a dry bitter finish for an amber. Not bad, I'm just not sure it fits with the style. I think the things that make their high gravity beers excellent might be working against them in this. Not to say I wouldn't drink it again though.

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Photo of webbcreative
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours amber, obviously, got about a 1 finger head out of it. Can smell the malts in this one, also some citrus-y smell. tastes pretty good to me, taste a bit of that citrus, also getting good malt taste, with just a bit of bitterness in the end. overall a pretty tasty brew, but nothing overwhelming about it, its not that memorable.

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Photo of HeroJH
2.33/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is the last beer from the flying dog sampler pack I bought a month ago that I had yet to try. I'm glad that trip is over. I'm left un-impressed by Flying Dog unfortunately. The ones I tried were from the Denver brewery, and think I read that they were closing it. I wonder if there was a difference between these and ones that would come from the main Fredrick, MD brewery.

A - nice clear amber with a touch more red and gold. The head didn't maintain.

S - very light smell. A little caramel and malt.

T - started like it would be full and smooth, quickly went bitter and ended with a musty dryness. With the second sip, it's a bit astringent from over boiled hops and that hangs out with me for the remainder. Gulps 3-5 I'm searching for the flavor I smelled. I'm getting some dry grain. The bitter is blocking anything else. Lagers can be quite subtle depending, and the bitterness on this is blocking anything from registering on my palette. Tastes a bit like club soda.

M - bitter with a coating. Too carbonated.

D - No thanks.

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Photo of KTCamm
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured reddish amber, very light foam which disappated quickly with virtually no lacing or retetnion.

Smells of caramel and malt, with a slight hint of fruit.

Taste begins lager-clean which evolves into a smooth malty, bready taste with a relative smooth finish. There are some hops at the end which lingered longer as I worked through the 12 oz.

Light carbonation in the mouth.

Decent drinkability - I liked the beer, though not sure I'd re-up.

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Photo of CityBoy1986
3.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

The pour is amber coloured with a tall off-white head. Retention and lacing are low.

The nose is mostly bready with just a hint of citrus. The taste is more of the same with a mild bitterness at the finish. The alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkability is decent; I could have more than one in a sitting.

This is a decent beer, but I don't think it is one that I will keep regularly.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, some spice, some citrus and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not heavy at all up front with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. There's a decent hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, I wasn't expecting much of anything from this beer but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a pretty decent beer overall.

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Photo of kels
2.66/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was surprised to see my local Ruby Tuesdays offering a few craft beers on their bottle and tap list. Followed a DFH 60 minute with one of these.

Appearance: Pours transparent amber with a 1 1/2 finger sticky white head that fades immediately into nothing. Decent sticky lacing appears as the drink goes down.

Smell: Very flat, low odor - only the slightest hint of malt makes it through.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste is very mild, with a bready malt presence and very little hops to complement. Stronger presence of alcohol than I'm used to in this style - not masked much by the flavors. Very flat, watery mouth.

Drinkability: It would be easy to drink plenty, but the taste, smell and mouthfeel don't encourage it.

Seeing as my review is so much lower than the average, I imagine maybe I just got an old bottle. I may have to try this again in the future, but I don't know if I'd get around to it with so many other good brews floating around out there.

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Photo of stumac
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this brew pours up an amber color with a nice big 'ol off white head. pretty nice lacing too. I smell sweet malts, faint hops in the finish. Smells like a sweaty day in the mid summer. I taste basically the same as the nose. Sweet malts, faint hops, caramel, and a whole lotta love. medium bodied, low smoothe carbo. a great sessionable beer.

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Photo of harkjohnny
4.38/5  rDev +28.1%
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 Bagman007
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured in a pint glass.

A- Clear brown coloring with a light brown thin layer of head.

S- Initially has somewhat of a sweet scent to it. Slighty hoppy as well.

T- Has kind of a dry, sweet flavor to it. Strong, but not overpowering.

M- A little dry, but otherwise not too bad. Fairly well carbonated.

D- Pretty drinkable beer. Can definitely have several of these in one sitting.

Overall a pretty standard Amber Lager. I might consider this to be slightly better than other Amber Lager's I have had.

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Photo of FrothyBeverage
3.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Overall this is a pretty tasty beverage. I was not really impressed with the apperance or smell. What lacks in smell and apperance is brought up in taste and mouth feel. I think it has a very light crisp taste and very refreshing. The mouthfeel is very carbonated and is very refreshing on the way down. I think this is a decent beer.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an OK beer. It was amber in color with a medium-sized white head. Not much aroma, just a little bit of caramel malt. The malt came through a little more in the taste, but was still understated. Little bit of hop finish. I had a couple of these, and wouldn't want any more.

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Photo of introvertedone
2.49/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed: 1/11/09

Old Scratch had a beautiful amber-to-light-caramel color upon pouring. The aroma presented bisquity but had not much going on in the way of flavor. This amber lager had a smooth kind of heavy mouthfeel. Overall, not too impressed by this one and probably wouldn't get this again.

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Old Scratch Amber Lager from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 1,537 ratings
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