Flying Dog Brewery’s Old Scratch Amber Lager is, like most of Flying Dog’s brews, a little out of the ordinary. As the name suggests, sort of a hybrid amber ale/lager. It is fermented at medium temperatures to develop both ale and lager characteristics.
This unusual beer has won several awards including the Silver Medal in the Amber Lager category at the 2006 World Beer Cup. That’s no small accomplishment.
Old Scratch has a golden amber color with a nice head. The appearance is exactly what you would expect from an amber ale.
Faint hops with some sweet caramel but very little smell overall.
The taste is very clean, crisp, and mellow. It’s on the malty end of the scale and has a slight but noticeable bitter aftertaste. I caught a bit of a chocolate undertone but it was very subtle.
Light but more robust texture than a typical lager.
This beer is heavier than a lawnmower beer but I think it is every bit as refreshing.
I am not a lager drinker but I really enjoyed this beer. It has the characteristics of ale that I love but is light and refreshing.
Even if you don’t like this, or any Flying Dog beers, you should check out their great website, particularly the “Free Shit” section. The irreverent branding and funky artwork are enjoyable in and of itself.
Disclosure: Flying Dog is an advertiser on Beer Utopia but did not pay for this review.