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 joeskirkie
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear rich amber but not a whole lot to the head.

Nice aroma of lime but with a sugary sweetness in it.

Tastes light and sweet, has a quick bitter punch in the aftertaste and goes sweet again, nice mix. It's light an smooth and very easily drinkable, not too much carbonation. Really nothing preventing a good session. This is such a good style, I'd like to see more of these then I do.

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Photo of EvilKeith
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle- '055A06' code on side of label

Pours into the glass a very clear pale amber with a fluffy off-white head that quickly fades to spotty lace.

Smell is a mixture of earthy sweetness and a bold malty signature.

Taste is sweet caramel malts well balanced with spicy hops. Dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied. Oily hop feel, carbonation excites the tongue.

They are drinkable. I wouldn't turn one down.

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Photo of danielocean03
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a coppery amber color into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Thin, and fizzy white one finger head quickly dissipated to very light white lacing. Smells very light, mostly of citrusy hops blended with sweet caramel malt, some roasted grain aroma present as well. Taste is fairly simple, caramel malt flavorings are the base that some lighter hop flavors build on, mainly citrus, nothing too outstanding. Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation with a light body, fizzy on the tongue, leaves some bitterness in the aftertaste. Reasonably drinkable beer, just very plain all around, a step up from everyday macro brews. While not a bad beer, simply a little disappointing, knowingly not the best quality that Flying Dog typically offers in the majority of their beers.

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Photo of BassBone
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the always entertaining Flying Dog bottle. Had a white one-finger head that died pretty quickly over an amber/red brew.

Not much of a smell, some faint hops.

A bit of a hop flavor, some mild malt and a bit of an alcohol bite.

Decent carbonation in the mouth and a smooth finish.. Slight bitter aftertaste.

All in all a decent brew; about average. Not something I'd seek out, but not something I'd turn down either.

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Photo of hanco005
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Got this selection in my micro brew of the month club.

A—clear amber color. ½ inch head with a little lacing as I drank the beer

S—a caramel malt and light hop scent, nice but not too strong

T—lots of flavors completing with each other in this one, caramel, citrus, fruit, a little smoky, very hoppy. Best part is the mild bitter after taste

M—smooth and mellow, very enjoyable

D—could (and did) drink the other two bottles that came in the pack. Got a little tired of the taste by the middle of the third bottle, but still a very good brew that is worth the try.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.02/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An elegant looking beer with a clear amber body that pours gracefully. Old Dog shows enthused carbonation, a deft creamy head, and good lace. My bottle yielded a light, grainy aroma with a late surge of malt sugars and a few unwelcome notes of bandaid. A simple mass-market lager taste is coupled with a grainy bitterness and a lingering finish that could have been cleaner. In fact, it’s surprisingly bitter for a lager (or steam beer) with flat, drab contours not unlike an English ale.

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Photo of skizziks
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. 2 inch thick yellow tan head quickly fades to 1/4". Minimal lacing. The beer itself is a clear red amber.

Aroma is strongly malt, smells like munich, with some faint floral hop. Flavor again is malt dominated. It is pretty full-bodied but doesn't seem to have enough flavor for the substance. The malt that I assume to be munich is so dominant that this seems to be miscategorized or simply out of style. Tastes like an Oktoberfest to me. Very little bitter to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is thick and very smooth. Not quite syrupy, it's very easy to put this one away and I'm having a hard time keeping it around long enough to finish this review.

Overall, it's ok. Nothing really exceptional here but it's ok to toss back. The store I use has 6.99 sixers from plenty of fine micros so I doubt I'll be going back to this.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a decent beer leftover in my fridge from one of my co-workers. I've had it before, but it was before I found BA. Just as I remember it, it was good but nothing interesting enough to drink often.

The beer pours to a golden amber color, fairly clear and with a decent carbonation. The head builds up quite nicely to a pillowy two inches in height and laces the glass in what seems to be a series of glyphs.

The smell is fairly uninteresting. Almost smells like a BMC product, or Leinie's at best. Has a light sweet grainy smell, almost like it is brewed with rice. The hops are too feint to be noticable in the nose.

The taste is better. Still seems a bit on the macro swill side, but it has just enough caramelized malt flavor to keep it interesting. The hops are still fairly low key. This is a little bitterness in the finish, but the flavor still eludes me save for such a small hint that I can't quite pinpoint the specific hop flavor.

The body is a bit thin and well carbonated, but a bit on the buttery side. Still has the crisp, but lacks the clean lager finish.

Drinkability is good. The ABV is fairly low and the beer isn't so uninteresting that I immediately felt the need to move on. Not so much on the "would I buy it again" scale [though I won't complain if somebody wants to leave a few in my fridge again].

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Photo of ism
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

True to its name, a dark copper with amber hues, topped with a half-finger white head, very little retention, and no lacing. Nose is sweet, toffee malt, with a very slight citrus hop. Medium-thin body with non-existent carbonation, slightly slick on the tongue, caramel malt flavor, with a bit of hops emerging on the way down, and corn/butter lingering.

Just a step above the average American macro, thin flavor profile, adjunct offsets it, leans toward the sweet malt a little too much, but fairly pleasant and easy-going. Worth a try, but I don't see myself going back to it.

Excellent, distinctive artwork, right up there with Lost Coast.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.66/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper tone, with a fluffy white head (though it dissolved fairly rapidly) that left zero lacing. Oh, now I get the silent treatment?

Smell: Scant floral hop scent mingled with some sour mustiness. Oh, now I get the smelly treatment?

Taste: Predominately malty, with a driving creamy caramel flavor. Mild lemon-pepper bite ending in a clean, though unpleasantly adjunct-like finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and full of soft fizziness.

Drinkability: This is an exceptionally tame brew, with it's thin flavor and aroma barely stimulating the senses. Nothing too far beyond the depth and complexity of a standard macro lager.

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Photo of hoffman
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a 12 oz. Pilsner glass. Only about a half finger head that quickly dissipates into a slight haze covering the surface of the beer, lacing is spotty down the glass. Color is a rich amber with nice hints of carbonation dancing within. Aroma....what aroma, very faint to non-existant whiff of water and subdued malts, with possibly some floral hop...to minimal to even judge really. The tast is there, nice grainy malt tones throughout with a little hop in the finish, kind of a metallic tinge to the grainy aftertaste. Not my thing...but 9/10 of the taste is good. The mouthfeel is not horrible but maybe a bit watery. Carbonation is adequate. If you like macro lager you will like this one a lot I would guess.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: Steadman artwork, indecipherable date code (022A05), nothing else useful (Steadman rocks though).

Aroma: Very mild malt note, deep pulls bring out a hint of caramel. Not much going on here.

Appearance: Clear amber brown showing hints of gold at the edges capped by a tan thin coat that gave a good try at lacing.

Flavor: Caramel malt flavor matches the nose perfectly. There is just a hint of sweetness in the finish, otherwise well balanced. Some slight corn notes, but nothing serious. Overall the taste is very mild and slightly earthy and nutty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, assertive carbonation, slightly creamy and a touch of oil in the finish.

Overall Impression: Mellow, easy drinking session like beer. Fairly clean, but the corn taste is a bit unwanted. Just a bit too sweet, could use another hop cone or two. Worth a try!
I’m surprised at the California Steam style, never would have guessed.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a reddish amber color that looks like an ale,but the head is almost nonexistant.The smell is a pretty strong hop and malt scent.As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell this.The taste is a malty.hop,slightly spice filled flavor that is very refreshing.The flavors are pretty well balanced.
I have to say that this is a pretty good brew and I'll look for this again.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured amber into a tulp pint glass. Not much head to speak of.

I was confused on what to think about this one, but it smells all malty and i was happy about that. It has the mouthfeel of an Oktoberfest, full bodied not overcarbonated, and that is how I would categorize it. There is not much hop balance, just big typical malts. And there is a heavy sweetness on the tongue in the finish.

Despite the sweet lack of balance, I give it high marks for moderate complexity, untold smoothness,and ultimate sessionability. I bet this would be killer on tap.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.29/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour of a 12-ounce bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Very pretty amber-red with a large off-white bumpy head. Lasted a quite a while; but then I DID give it an aggressive pour. Lots of tiny streams of carbonation coming up kept this beer looking nice. Definitely the prettiest Flying Dog beer I've had.

S: Biscuity malt, some mild spices. Not a great deal going on here, but not unpleasant either.

T: Malt and hops are fairly-well balanced, but again, there's not much to write about here. Nice enough -- but just nice. The hops finish seems a bit more bitter than the 22.5 IBU's listed for this brew on the website.

M: Good mouthfeel -- what I'd look for in a lager. Just the kind of freshness that feels refreshing.

D: Carbonation is a bit over the top for this to be very drinkable. Decent.

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3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is a very deep copper amber in color. Head is a quick fading light tan with no lace.

Nose smells like a wheat field after rain and a noticeable nutty backbone.

As you take the first sip you get sweet light nutty body that is even and smooth. Entire palate is full with a nutty zest that is welcomed. Leaves a camilized hue on the mouth. Overall it is dominated by a very pleasant nutty presence throughout, mouthfeel including. Very drinkable but I'd call thes more of a nut brown ale.

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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 Boilermaker88
2.97/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass, this brew showed off a clear amber color, moderate carbonation and a miniscule white head that faded down to nothing in near-record time.
The nose had a rather buttery, toffee-ish aroma along with a real low-grade hops character. The taste was muted and bland with very little going on, to be blunt. Wet, sodden grains and a slight tinge of hops bitterness layered under a blanket of diacytel flavor didn't do much for me. The feel was lifeless and watery.
Okay, I got through this weak offering from Flying Dog pretty quickly simply to make it go away. Dull, boring and uninspired. Pass.

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Photo of Enola
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I must have had a different encounter with this beer than most. I poured slowly, as always, into a mug and the result was no head whatsoever. It is a decent looking beer. A nice orange tint. The smell is fairly good. The mouthfeel is ok but nothing to brag about. It seems a bit watered down. The taste on this beer is just plain insufficient. It looks and smells much better than it tastes to me. I would not consider buying this beer again.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.54/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber color with a golden/brownish tint. Solid finger and half head that leaves slowly. Flying Dog makes some beautiful beers.
S: Bland. Maybe the tinniest hint of hop and yeast.
T: Well balanced between malt sweetness and mild hop bitterness. Some fruit. Pretty thin and bland.
M: Thicker than I expected, but nothing spectacular.
D: Good summer session brew.
Good for sitting around the pool.

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Photo of asabreed
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Flying Dog beer. Though it's readily available, except the Gonzo which I hope I can eventually get, I've yet to try it. So I got a 6-pack to enjoy in the still warm weather.

Appearance: Nice head at first, though it dissipates a bit quickly. Still some thin and white lacing around the glass that's sticking. An amber / brown color, though leaning toward more light brown. For what it is for the style it's not too bad.

Smell: The weakest part of the brew. Nothing is too discernible. Some yeastiness and maltiness, slight fruit aromas, and maybe the slightest hops.

Taste: Pretty refreshing overall. Once again, this isn't a beer that's crazy with its complexity, but the malty character is felt and balanced well with the slight amount of hops. Almost biscuit-like at a point also, but the aftertaste is malty and coats the tongue nicely.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, with carbonation levels that fit the body well. It dissipates quickly, but there's enough to keep it going through the swallow, making it crisp by the finish.

Drinkability: Certainly a 4 for me. I don't think I'd buy this in the winter or anything, but for summer it seems to be a pretty decent and very drinkable session brew.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a small head that dissipates into a ring around the glass, leaving no lacing as the beer is consumed.
Smells malty with a touch of citrus hops.
Taste is slightly alcoholic with hop overtones and a fruity essence and a tiny bit of earthy/ grass taste in the last of the aftertaste.
Pleasant mouthfeel with a nice hop bite in the foretaste.
A pleasing beer. I am not a big steam beer fan but this seems to be an ok example of the steam style.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.95/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I don't know man. This is a pretty boring brew even for a typically watered style of steam beer or california common. I think this is a style problem more than it is this beer. It pours a copper/amber color. the head is apologetic but it does have a ring lacing with each pull. Malts make up the jist of this beer, hints of caramel, hops are an afterthought, a very odd woody taste approaches the end of this brew that is annoying as hell...never had much success with this brewery and this is another example....overall very forgettable. Very mild in every category. better than the BMC? not really.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a medium copper color with tannish head that lasted throughout the glass. Smell is extremely light with maybe a hint of malt present. Taste is caramel and malt, but neither is very strong. Good ending with a fruity dryness that is pleasant to the palate. Good beer to try.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.01/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep amber/auburn color (clear) with a large frothy pale tan head that lingers for minutes and lacing that sticks to the side even longer.

Smell - Mild aromatic hops, slight grain sugar, banana and grapefruit odors. A faint smell, but nice. As it warms the sweet grain aroma increases to announce the great flavor.

Taste - I didn't expect the flavor to be strong from the odor. It is upfront a very very weak banana and citrus taste. Then it progresses to a very strong thick wheat like flavor one would expect from a hefeweizen. Then a mild bitterness joins the thick wheat taste. Very good.

Mouthfeel - Exceptionally smooth, fairly thick and not in the least bit drying. The carbonation tingles the tongue a bit more than I'd hope, but still very good.

Drinkabilty - Very drinkable, goes well with food and goes down easy. Low abv keeps it that way.

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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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