Ah, some more Flying Dog goodness. Old Scratch is one of their mainstay beers, a 5.5% ABV lager that has some strong German roots but has the uniquely American twist: it’s a steam beer—that is, a California Common of the "Anchor Steam" variety. That means, even though it’s a lager, it’s fermented at ale temperatures (they call it "medium temperature") to develop ale characteristics.
There are few enough of these styles out there that it’s always interesting to see what a brewer can do with it.
Appearance: Very attractive mahogany colored, clear beer. Had a respectable, stable head of off-white.
Smell: Chocolate and caramel notes; nutty. A malty note of molasses. Rich and enticing—mouth-watering.
Taste: Nutty and malty with a dry character from some roasted malts. Nice neutral hop profile—bitter and present, but takes a backseat to the malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with an almost smoky feel, and a dry finish.
Overall: Lots of roast nuttiness here that I’m digging; very tasty.