Old Scratch Amber Lager | Flying Dog Brewery

1,537 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,537 |  Reviews: 762
Photo of guntherhophead
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Rich amber.Not much of a head but some retention.
S. Some malt with an almost chocolate /tobacco aroma. Some spice too.
T. Slightly bitter with the right amount of malt at the end. Some caremel with a bit of tobacco/ chocolate taste(slight) a small amount of citrus as well.
M. Good. Carbonation is decent. Very smooth.
D. Looking forward to the next one. A good beer!
This brewery puts out some pretty decent beers. It's not my overall favorite but I do enjoy this amber and am looking forward to my twelve pack sampler!

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a half finger head with litte retention. nice full amber color as well.

smell is faint of caramel malts

there is a biscuity caramel malt flavor. there is a chocalte malt finish with a balancing citrusy hop bitterness

mouthfeel is slightly creamy and smooth but a little boozy as it warms.

this is a decent stab at the style and fairly sessionable.
reviewed on my phone.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a nice ruby red with a 2-finger foamy head on it. This settled to a nice sheet along the top that left excellent webbing along glass edge.

Smell was not that exciting. Struck by a wave of fresh-bread scent right off the bat. Smelled sweet, with maybe some banana going on.

Very watery feel to this drink, but smooth nonetheless. Tasting some bread and a touch of metal at first, but this let's go as I continue to drink. Some charred aftertaste. Light to medium bitterness.

This is a good representative of how I like my Ambers. Great job by the Flying Dog boys. I'd get this again.

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Photo of therica
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= pours amber with a fair-sized foamy amber-white head that dissipates, yet laces well throughout consumption.

S= a little like autumn, slight hints of smoke like good wood burning in the fall. Some metallic hints, roasted malts and burnt caramel.

T= similar to the scent, although the metallic taste is a bit of a put-off until the beer has set for a few minutes. Nice lightly-burnt taste, burnt or roasted malts, hints of sweet caramel, mild bitter hops.

M= a little bitter bite, slight astringent flatness on the tongue.

D= probably fairly drinkable even in quantity if it's being poured or served. Worth the try. Probably great with most meals.

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Photo of glid02
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this from a mixed 12-pack from Green's in Atlanta.

Pours a deep amber color with a small off-white head. The head diminishes into a thin layer of bubbles.

The smell is malty with a slightly metallic tinge. Not all that pleasing.

The taste is also pretty malty with just a little bit of hop bitterness. Just as with the smell there's a metallic aftertaste. Again, not all that pleasing.

The mouthfeel is better than the rest of the beer, kind of thin, but decently smooth.

This isn't that drinkable just because the taste isn't that good. It's not horrible, but it's not refreshing either.

I wouldn't recommend this beer. If you have to drink it it's not the worst thing in the world, but I wouldn't choose to drink it again.

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Photo of sholland119
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice, moderately malty amber lager. A little bit of hops and malt in the nose. Same thing in the taste. Not bad but nothing exceptional. Light mouthfeel as there's not much going on that would hang around. This is a perfectly drinkable lawnmower type beer. I would not seek it out but would not refuse it either.


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Photo of SeanRedd
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty crisp, sweet aromas, and a handshake of hops to balance. Flavor walks a tightrope, suspended above the safe zone. Clean pipes of sweet grain and a time reminiscent of gold prospectors drinking with San Francisco transvestite gold diggers. Not bad from the half ass boys. I think I like it.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured small foamy head on a light amber body. Sweet, caramel dominated the smell, and the taste, with coffee coming through in the taste as well. Also a dustiness that wasn't so nice. Medium bitterness was nice, and it's medium carbonation was nice as well. Okay, nothing too special or remarkable, but that dustiness didn't help.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Into an American pint glass, this beer is a clear reddish-amber color with a slight quarter-inch head on top of it. The nose has a pleasant caramel tint to it, clean with a light hoppiness. On first taste, lightly toasted caramel comes through, followed by a gentle bitterness. Do I taste the alcohol? There's an odd underflavor that tastes a bit like peppery alcohol, despite the very moderate strength. Otherwise, clean and simple.

Something about this beer, I just don't find very drinkable.

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Photo of berserker256
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Little head but nice color. Rich amber but minimal lacing. Decent scents of sweet malt and slight carmel are the most abundant smells that I smell. Good malty sweet flavor but nothing too extraordinary. Nice body and it's a good sipping beer. Better than average but not awesome.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A deep orangish amber color. With a off-white foam head that did not last too long. Pretty standard for this style.

S: Lots of roasted malt smells. Caramel was most predominant.

T: A pretty standard amber flavor. Starts out on the sweet side, toasted grains and some caramel. Finishes with a slight bitter taste.

M: A little bitter flavor on the palate, combined with a sweet flavor. Pretty balanced beer.

D: A decent amber lager, worthy of a try.

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Photo of JRed
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I poured the Old Scratch into my pint glass I wasn't surprised at what I saw. A clean, molasses-colored brew with a mild head. Light carbonation rests on the tongue instead of attacking it but the flavorful brew my tastebuds were waiting for did not come. An aftertaste richer than the initial is what followed. There are subtle notes of deep, mohagany that go over well but they hide in the background a little too much. This beer is a pretty good amber lager but sacrifices flavor too much for my liking. This dog needs a kick in the ass to make it fly.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.96/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a quite frankly, pitiful white head, but I really like the colour.

S: Light, malty predominately, a bit of cola.

T: Burnt toast, a lot of amber malt there as well. Light grapefruit hops, not a bad flavour overall, but too roasty.

M: Best part of the beer, medium-bodied, creamy, crisp, biting carbonation, nice afteretaste.

D: Not a bad beer, just kind of boring overall, and the flavour isn't great. Much rather have a Sam Adams.

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Photo of mhewes
2.64/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A : Pours a nice amber color with an offwhite head that leaves some spotty lacing

S : It's got a buttery malty aroma

T : There's a buttery malt flavor just like the smell. Not working for me

M : Smooth and medium bodied

D : I just don't care for it. Not one I would try again.

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Photo of number1bum
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber color, good clarity and a nice two fingers of light beige head. Head retention is pretty good and it leaves some stick, too.

Smell has a buttery sort of aroma, bit of caramel and some grain. Not a whole lot else going on. Pretty boring and I'm note a huge fan of that buttery aroma.

Taste has some caramel malt, buttery flavor again and a bit of toasted grain. Really not much in the way of hops, and like the smell it's pretty boring and bland. Still, it drinks pretty well and is pretty smooth.

Mouthfeel seems a bit thin, a bit too watery. It's on the lighter side of a medium body and carbonation seems appropriate.

This is a pretty bland beer overall. Not a whole lot of flavor, really, and while it is drinkable I don't think I'd revisit.

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass nice orange/red color, with little head.

Malty and alcohol smell.

Taste was very crisp and earthy, had a malt and slight hop flavor towards the end, and ended with a dry alcohol finish.

This is a drinkable beer, overall not bad.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.41/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clean amber/ orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, small sweet maltiness. In the taste, malty, sweet and somewhat skunky. A small bite and medium mouthfeel, with a dry malty aftertaste. Kind of skunky taste, malty and dry. Really not that good.

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Photo of beeragent
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass:

A - The beer pours a deep amber, forming a 1/2 inch off-white creamy head with very minimal lacing.

S - Strong aroma of sweet malts creating a nutty caramel aroma with just a hint of the hops coming through.

T - Medium caramel flavor from the malts with a light hop finish. Simple.

M - Thicker mouthfeel than expected for an amber. Light carbonation and smooth finish.

D - I was impressed with this amber. Full flavor and smooth mouthfeel. Definitely a sessionable lager.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger head with that recedes to a small, thin island of foam in the middle. Tecolor is a nicecarml copper with some light, lazy bubbling. The aroma has some caramel, light orange sauce witha hint of mint hops. These scent are pretty hard to detect though. The taste is a fruity carmel with a toasted malt finish mixed with some light spruce hop notes. The palate is a light, sweet fruit mixed with earthy hops. With a bit of carameled hops.

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Photo of jhu1995
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber color with minimal head. Aroma is lightly hopped with a touch of sulfur and some caramel. Taste is malty but not overbearing - mostly caramel flavors with a faint amount of hoppiness. Mouthfeel is creamier than expected and medium-bodied - easy to drink like a god lager should be. Overall a good standard, everyday, type of beer.

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Photo of bark
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is deep amber; the low nice head is white. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is bold with lightly roasted malt, mild tart matured notes and some sweetness.

The taste is malty with some cask-matured flavours. Lots of aromatic hops with hints of wax and vegetables. The aftertaste is milder with hoppy notes of vegetables, chemicals (candle-grease?), fruits and dough.

The carbonation is medium strong, the liquid quite light.

Probably a very pleasant drink for a calm evening.

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Photo of jordoo
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poored into a pilsner glass.

Its a nice ambe colored brew with a smallish quickly receiding head. Smells of toasted and sweet malts with hints of floral hops. Taste is mainly toasted malts upfront and throughout with some sweet hints and a little hop hit in the rear. Has a nice mouth feel but isn't overly drinkable because of the lack of overall flavor. Not a bad beer but I would't seek it out.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a clear copper amber color with a thin off-white head.

Aroma of light hops and caramel.

Tastes of caramel and toasted grains upfront with a touch of spicy hops following behind.

Lighter mouthfeel and lightly carbonated.

A pretty decent drinking lager from Flying Dog, but not a standout by any means.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a beautiful amber color. A lively head sits atop initially but dwindles to nothing. Good carbonation throughout. The aromas are not really there. You do get a hint of malts and some slight floral hoppiness. The flavor is no suprise with mostly malts. There is a slight caramel sweetness. The beer does have a nice bitter hop bite. This doesn't linger, which is desirable in a lager like this. THe mouthfeel is thin and light. Carbonation tickles the tongue.

OVerall a decent beer. Not a great beer, but a good lager. Enough flavor to make it interesting. Light enough to make it drinkable.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-ounce longneck with funky Steadman art on it, poured into my DFH pint glass yields a rich garnet-hued amber with two fat fingers of light beige grainy foam that retains at a fat-edged sheet and leaves sticky patches of lacing.

Smells faintly of caramel with an earthy note of Pekoe tea.

Malt flavors mostly, but nice and clean. Sweet at first with pale ale richness, then a little tart with a nice toasty malt syrup-- then nutty, dry, and biscuity, even with a slight astringency. Supremely smooth with a nice bitterness and a surprisingly dry finish.

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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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