Old Scratch Amber Lager
Flying Dog Brewery
Crafted in: Frederick, Maryland
HopShock Brew Review by Pants
They Say: “Old Scratch Amber Lager is a malty, mellow beer that is fermented at medium temperatures to develop both ale and lager characteristics.” (https://untappd.com/b/flying-dog-brewery-old-scratch-amber-lager/4002)
Stats & Facts:
Global Untappd Score: 3.42/5 (>16K reviews)
Flavor Notes: Smooth, malty, caramel-y
Additional Notes: Brewed in a California Common (steam beer) style
** This beer is no longer in production, though I got some in a Flying Dog throwback variety pack. Frustratingly, this means there is zero info about it on Flying Dog’s current website.
Even in poor lighting, Flying Dog’s bottle artwork manages to strike a balance of intriguing and unnerving in the most fascinating way.
Looks Like: Medium amber with a thin head. Some slight carbonation peeks through the volume. The overall tone is certainly inviting.
Smells Like: Caramel, nuts, and maybe some honey and cloves. Smell it as you sip it to really flesh out the experience.
Tastes Like: Smooth and mellow, as their description states – heavy with caramel and malts on the front (though not too sweet) that then sit with just a tinge of gently-prickling carbonation. If you let it hit the back of your tongue, you get some type of nuttiness that pokes out in the most pleasant way. Near-zero bitterness is present, and I can’t for the life of me find the hops in the flavor. There’s a hint of tart at the end before it leaves a malty-coating feeling of sorts in your mouth afterwards – perhaps a bit too strongly? If you want that caramel-y feeling to stick around after every sip, this would fit the bill; for me, not quite. It’s still certainly pleasant experience overall, if not a slightly complicated one.
Goes With: I’d bet spicy foods would contrast the smoothness and caramel of this beer beautifully – something like pepper steak or maybe Cajun style foods? Soft cheeses may provide a fairly complementary flavor and texture.
Recommended to Folks Who Like: Complicated flavors. Old Scratch is like a solid jazz group at your local dive – most folks may enjoy the overall result, but the people who will get the most out of it will be ones who can appreciate the complexity in each component that builds the whole.
When to Drink: When you’re only going to have one beer for the night to go with (or after) dinner and you’re feeling in the mood for something that will fill out the gaps in whatever you’ve scraped together for the evening. Or perhaps just before bed.
Revelations?: The amber lager may just be the jazz of beers – everyone can at least stand it, but few can truly appreciate the details of its complicated profile. Maybe someday, I’ll be among their ranks.
I Say: 3.25/5 – I like it.