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 jwc215
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There is a code, but no freshness date.

Pours reddish copper with a thin head that soon becomes patchy.

The smell is of some vague caramelish graininess and some general fruitiness. Mild.

The taste is of caramelish and grainy sweetness with some balancing fruitiness. Slight breadiness as it progresses. Crisp finish.

The body is lighter side of medium. Some flavor hangs on.

It has characteristics of a lager and an ale. This one is decent, but nothing special, IMO. There is a certain blandness that holds back its drinkablilty a bit, but is fine for an easy drink.

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Photo of albern
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice amber lager. It pours a deep reddish brown, decent head that leaves some lacing. The smell is malt, caramel, some sweetness, a little tinny - it smells more like a lager than an ale, but the taste is a bit deceiving. The carbonation in the beer is just about right. The taste is smooth, clean, caramel, slightly malty, not much hop except for maybe a tinge at the end. The aftertaste is subtle. This is a lager that can pass for an ale, except for the smell which gives it away as a lager. Not a bad beer, worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

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Photo of Nesued
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle. Artsy "dog" motiff on the label.

Appearance: Poured with a good sized head that remained for several minutes. Uniform in density. Resolved to a thin layer left lacing on the sides. Always a good "first impression". Color was an amber with a vibrant carbonation.

Smell: Very pleasing to possibly everyone except a "hop-head". Alot of malt aroma with a yeasty background. Very strong and very pronouced.

Taste: If you like malt with carmel undertones, this is it. I was able to pull out some hops in my initial sips, but the malt does indeed rule this brew.

Mouthfeel: Good depth of body here. The carbonation "moved" the body around very well, without giving it an overly "fizzy" feel. Good balance.

Drinkability: Good refreshing lager for the spring/summer/early fall months. The taste gives it a "novel" feel while not going too over the top. Worth keeping a six around.

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Photo of BadRockBeer
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type Sampled: 12fl. oz. brown crown top bottle. Features freshness date. And nice modern art on the label.

Appearance: Pours copper to amber in color. Fluffy 1 finger soft head that faded into a loose lace.

Smell: Sweet bread, nice toffee malt. Very little in the way of aroma hops.

Taste: Carmel malts, bitter brown sugar. Earthy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Good, this beer goes down easy and is pretty crisp and refreshing. A decent lager, but nothing world class.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out rich and clear dark orange amber with a small bubbly slightly tan head.

Smell. Malts certainly dominate with a touch of yeast. Fruity with some dry notes, prunes is what i get.

Taste. Again, malts dominate, but it seems the hops are balanced well. Slight cereal taste to it. I cant tell if i think it is sweet or dry. i'm saying its on the sweeter side.

Mouthfeel. body is medium with pretty decent balance. nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, a good beer with solid qualities. Not one that i think i would ever crave for, but is nice. but for the style, i prefer anchor steam.

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

Deep red with a slight orange tint. It's very clear. No head. Looks a bit flat, no carbonation.

Bitter German style malt smell. Slightly nutty roasted bite, although the smell isn't very strong.

Has a nice bitter malt flavor with a bitter German kick, tempered well by the smooth ambery malt. Pleasant though not amazing. Malt is drier at the end. Sharp roasted malt flavor dominates.

Thick and a bit bubbly with a malty bite. A bit ashy/dry. Overall, very malty, has a bite to it. Typical amber. Competent, but not exhilarating.

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Photo of Shadman
2.66/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Found this in a small cooler that the store owner calls his 'world of beer' cooler...it must be a small world because there's only 15 or so different beers. But hey..it's a start.

Poured a lite amber color and had the consistancy of mineral oil. Very little head and no lacing.

I hammered it on smell because to my noise it smelt metallic.

Tasted somewhat nutty and buttery and a tinge of that metallic twang. Quite smooth otherwise. More of a session ale than a lager is what I'm thinking here

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Photo of MMansfield
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was looking for a California Common and was told about this beer in the forums. Available at Premier Wine & Spirits in Halifax. Bought a single bottle.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy rusty ruby colour wiht a small off white cap leaving a thin lace.

Aroma: Very buttery for a lager. Sweet malt, not much hops, a tad woody and faint notes of grass.

Taste: Very buttery for a lager. A rich buttery flavour with a bit of spicy hops. Low bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth and pretty creamy. Very easy drinking and perfect for quaffing. Has a quite a bit of body to it.

Final Statement: My first California Common is a quite the success. I'm definately planning on buying a sixer of this on the first deck session of the spring. This is a very buttery lager that sits well with me. Nothing mindblowing, but a smooth easy drinking beer with a good flavour.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Clear red-orange amber brew with a small khaki head that rapidly reduces to a bubbly collar. Swirling brings up a short lived cap, and a good amount of lace is left on the glass.

S - Clean smelling crisp pils hops with some round caramel malts.

T - This one is very sweet and sugary. Loads of caramel and cream. Candyish and a little bit boring.

M - Medium bodied and creamy / silky. Very mild carbonation and an extremely pillowy mouthfeel. This is where Old Scratch shines.

D - This one isn't overly complex or intersting, but I may have found a new session brew! Tasty and mild enough to dink all night.

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Photo of zeff80
3.27/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a copper/red color with a small, short-lived head. No lacing.

S - It smelled mostly of malt.

T - It tasted of malt, hops and grasses. A slight bitterness.

M - This was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied brew.

D - This is a pretty good beer. A nice flavor but nothing amazing.

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Photo of terrabyte
2.76/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, bright ornage amber with an average sized off-white head.

Aroma is grainy with a sick or sour smell to it. Not a good start.

Flavor isn't very interesting at all. It is tangy with some fruit, without being sweet. Watered down grains and malt leave little flavor but adds a lot of harshness.

Mouthfeel is average. It's well carbonated, medium thickness, and ends with a nice crispness. And yet, it's not really refreshing. "Old Scratch" is a good name, it kind of leaves the throat a little scratchy.

Drinkability isn't very high. Lack of flavor, harsh ingredients colide, and not very refreshing. Can't really see the point. Hopefully you enjoy the artwork on the lable.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this a a gift in a variety pack. Thanks Marlene!

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz brown bottle. Formed a perfect 1" head of off-white foam that dissipated rapidly and settled into a thin cap leaving a bit of lacing on the glass.

The smell is slightly woody - fairly typical. Better than a macro.

The taste is a bit thin... watery... not too bad here.... could stand to be more robust for my taste. Just a bit of hoppy bite at the end... again not alot. Not alot going on here for taste.... It's difficult to separate out any distinctive flavor.

Mouthfeel was just a bit too carbonated/fizzy for my taste. And a bit too thin.

Overall, a decent average beer... nothing to write home about. I wouldn't turn down another...

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Photo of Neehan
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A moderately light, bright amber with good retention and some splashes of head retention leads into a moderately malty smell. Hints of spices are present. If this beer were just a bit more bitter and had a slightly more bold mouthfeel, it may be something to rave about but its lacking in those areas hold it back. But just a bit, this is a pleasant brew with good flavor just a bit watered down.

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Photo of RevDru
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful bronze-amber color with a thin head an light carbonation. Head breaks down quickly.

S - Darker grain notes, such as rye. Just a touch of chocolate and a hint of toast.

T - Strong pepper notes with crisp apple undertones and toasted grain. Just a hint of hops bitterness.

M - A little more body than many Flying Dog offerings. Full, but not cloying.

D - Everything about this brew makes me think of Autumn; the color of falling leaves, harvest smells and flavors.

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

Flyig Dog- Old Scratch Amber

Appearance- Reddish brown with a moderate size head. Light lacing inside the glass.
Smell- Caramel malt with a touch of earthy hops.
Taste- Caramel/ molasses with a light vanilla flavor. Hops give it a mild earthy bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and candylike. A very light dry bitter finish.

Overall- An easy session beer. Needs a little more malt ummphh!
Otherwise not bad at all!

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Photo of Atron67
3.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass

A- pours a good amber, a finger or so of nice white foam appeared but disappears really quickly no lacing,

S- pretty malty taste

T- malty taste hits first, light hops, alittle bit caramel taste that clashes a little but is otherwise really good, pretty smooth

M- slightly acidic, nice medium body

D- its a good beer, however the caramel flavor i dont really like making it ok

Its a good beer however theres somethign about it that isn't 'great'

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Photo of psinderson
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, medium amber color. Thin, off-white head with a thin layer of bubbles that stick around through the entire drink.

Smell: Definitely malty with a hint of spicy hops. Some obtrusive alcohol aroma is present.

Taste: Malty and bready, but a strong alcohol presence dominates. There is a strange, metallic aftertaste that is pretty offensive. Some citrus in the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Nice full body.

Drinkability: The alcohol character and strange aftertaste really hurt this brew for me. Not sure I want to try this again.

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Photo of umustdrink
2.67/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Light amber color. Head is brownish-white, fades to nothing. Thin to no lacing. Looks like wine after all is said and done.

S - Smell is faint but mostly light malts.

T - Faint caramel malt taste up front, with a slight dark spice aftertaste.

M - Carbonation hinders the taste a little bit.

D - Pretty boring beer here, if it were priced as a macro I would prefer it over a macro....but its not...so I don't.

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Photo of blitz134
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange caramel color. Basically no head, only sporadic shite bubbles, no lacing.

Sweet malty aroma with a touch of biscuit. A bit of floral, sweet hops. Kinda ale-like but has that clean lager aroma of light malts. A little yeasty too. Smells alright really.

Okay taste. Unoffensive, but it doesn't really present enough to even attempt to be. Floral hops come through again over the light biscuit malts.

Weak mouthfeel. No coating of any flavor lingering. Carbonation level is okay again. This just really falls short here.

These are preatty easy to put down though since its a ligher brew with nothing really offensive to it. Not something I'd ever really pick up again, but this would have its merits as a crossover beer.

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Photo of billybob
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice rich amber color with a one finger off white head and a good lacing to the finish, initial smell is of peach or apricot. taste is sweet fruit and caramel, biscuit malt. mouthfeel is medium, good carbonation but leaves a slick oily feel on the tongue. very easy to drink, smooth and good tasting.

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Photo of lpayette
2.2/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- copper/amber color. weak head.

Smell- Mostly malty in the nose with some grainyness.

Taste- Much like the smell... malty at first. And a grainyness that I dislike.

Mouthfeel- Fairly smooth, again- finishes grainy.

Drinkability- Overall a subpar beer that isn't worth seeking out again, but maybe I'll try it again someday.

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Photo of brandtr3
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i knew i was in for a sweet, caramel flavored beer as soon as i uncapped the bottle and caught a bit of the scent. once i poured the beer, the aroma involved the hops, but was still predominantly caramel. the beer had a slight citrus flavor and the hops added to the complexity, giving the flavor some bitterness that balances out some of the sweetness. mild carbonation added to the enjoyment of this beer.

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

Presents a nice golden/yellow body with a good mountain of foam. Head topped out at 2 1/2 fingers, then settled to less than 1/2.
Smell of sweet malt, biscuit, some orange peel and other citrus.
The sweet malt isn't as sweet as it smells. Which is good for me. Nice flavor of some biscuit, slight basil and touch of hops. For a lager this is good.
A bit thick in comparison to other lagers. A good brew nonetheless.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Flying Dog's Old Scratch Amber Lager pours out
with a fluffy head over a clear amber colored brew.
Carbonation is moderate, and the nose is lightly of
malt and yeast. Flavor is a nice blend of malt, herb,
and the smallest hint of vanilla. I'm not a big fan of
lagers but this is a really good one. It's tasty, but not
so heavy that it couldn't be drunk year 'round. Alcohol
by volume 5.4%.

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Photo of jbramley
2.68/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color. Has a soft nose, slightly bitter. Taste is a slight tingle to the tip of the tongue followed by a watered down sweetness at the back of the mouth. Not much flavor beyond that. Fairly bland.

The only thing that keeps this from being a session beer for me is the sweetness, but it's otherwise a very drinkable but not terribly interesting beer.

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