22 July 2008

Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager (COL)

So I decided to take a break from my lager tasting to try this English-style ale called Old Scratch Amber Lager. The brewer confesses that this is fermented at "medium temperatures to develop both ale and lager characteristics." Maybe it's a California Common -- I haven't had Anchor Steam in a while for comparison. My first thought upon sipping was that it's reminiscent of Adnams Broadside.

Not that it's a close match. Old Scratch smells initially of a lager with its German hops. It's clear like a lager, although somewhat ruddier than most. By the standards of an ale, it would be fairly light-bodied and crisp. But really, this isn't a lager. It's more malty than hoppy (only 19 IBUs), which I suppose is okay. The malts are somewhat caramel, but also of butterscotch, which is way out of place for a lager. The finish pulls back somewhat dry, but still not entirely clean.

Fidelity to style notwithstanding, Old Scratch is a good beer. Given the Beer Geeks' suspicion of lagers, maybe it's a good way to sneak one in under the radar. The raters at Beer Advocate and ratebeer are only moderately impressed, however.

1 comment:

Billie said...

This is my new favorite beer, I LOVE this stuff. Amberlagers have been my fav for awhile but this beer is GREAT.