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Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown LagerSaranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

232 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 232
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 13.22%

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 01-23-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 232 | Reviews: 175 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A rich, deep copper color with an orange tint. A very large, creamy off-white head bubbles up with good retention and very nice lacing.

S: Bland malt sweetness accompanied by some earthy hop aromas. Considerable nutty and yeasty scents as well. Appealing, but not especially complex.

T: Not a ton of complexity in the malt department - just a vaguely caramel sweetness. Some bready touches as well, now that I think about it. A nice nutty flavor is undercut by some steely, earthy and herbal hops that come across as a tad unrefined. A slight dose of sugar in the aftertaste.

M: Somewhat full-bodied with lightish carbonation. A fading, somewhat dry finish.

D: This is pretty nice - it certainly looks great. Not especially complex, but it's got a strong flavor and it's definitely not one of the cloying, cinnamon and nutmeg infused winter seasonals from many breweries.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 03:37:14 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of Bockrules

New Mexico

3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - pours a dark amber with a tinge of orange. A moderate amount of bubbles stream to a two-finger tan head. Good head retention, leaves behind decent lacing

S - Nice balanced sell between biscuity malt and earthy hops upon opening the bottle. Upon warming up, I'm getting more nut smells in the mix and something that reminds me of ammonia....

T - Roasted malt flavor up front followed by nutty body with hints of hop flavor. A lot of flavor on the finish with good balance between nutty malt and earthy hops. Bitter, Nutty aftertaste. Really needs to have more flavor in the body.

M - Medium Bodied with ample carbonation. Suits the style well.

D - This would be a great dark lager if it weren't for the ammonia smell that seems to develop as the beer warms. I didn't notice it the first time I drank the beer, but then again it was cold and I had a few beers before it. Unfortunately, the smell ruins a otherwise decent beer for me and reminds me off my high school chemistry days of synthesizing Nitrogen Tri-Iodide.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 07:30:39 | More by Bockrules
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of a standard, brown bottle this brew was a wood-stain brown color with some mahogany highlights. The head was two fingers thick, tan and left streaks of lacing off the skim. The aroma was mostly of roasted malt and caramel malt with little hop profile. The flavors were at first semi-sweet, starting on the caramel malt note it then became more nutty before heading to a dry, bitter finish. It was not unlike an E.S.B. in a lot of ways, complete with hints of sourness. The body was medium, the mouthfeel watery and the carbonation moderate.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 23:36:54 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of JamesS


4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice semi-deep brown with a bit of head and a tiny bit of lacing. Nice deep and malty scent, hints of nuts, but mostly malt. Good deep taste, nice malty brown ale (ent draught) with a perceptible nutty flavor. Goes down very well. An excellent beer, much like a standard nut brown ale, but evidently with a lager yeast, making it nice and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 22:50:26 | More by JamesS
Photo of jwc215


3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of winter variety pack (6 beers - 2 each):

Pours brown amber with a foamy tan head that stays. SOme lacing sticks.

The smell is nutty with caramel (some orange?) floral and husky.

The taste is herbal/floral with a nutty, toffeeish maltiness. Light, but nice. Somewhat husky. It has a pretty crisp, sweet-ish finish.

It has a light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation.

Not a bad brew. A bit husky and nothing particularly noteworthy, but a decent lager with a nice nut brown character.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 20:21:14 | More by jwc215
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on Super Bowl Sunday 2009 from 12 fl. oz. bottle no. 2678-I157. Part of the Saranac Winter 12-pack.

Appearance - Gorgeous dark brown with a good amount of foamy off-white head that stays together for a few minutes. Good lacing on the pint glass.

Aroma - Malts, hops, and nuts or raisins. Quite inviting.

Mouthfeel - Medium to bold. Remains in tact for a decent amount of time after swishing on the tongue.

Taste - Great balance of malts and hops. Mildly bitter with a slightly dry finish. No aftertaste to speak of. Easy to drink.

No ifs, ands, or buts, I thought this one was a nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 18:49:31 | More by puboflyons
Photo of tmoneyba


3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured medium brown color with a rocky white head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

Aroma was combination of hops and roasted malt.

Medium flavor of nut and sweet malt with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration.

Drinkable seasonal beer and very good for style.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 17:35:31 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of schoolboy


3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a decent beer. It may be a bit of my usual, realm of more distinguished stuff, but these Saranac samplers have been good for a few years now. They always have 6 ambitious styles - nothing like the Black and Tan I first tasted from them 20 years ago. But these things tend to be drinkable.

It is a pretty complex taste. It tastes like the malts were well roasted. I don't think that I would grab a 6 of these. No, I wouldn't.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 19:37:42 | More by schoolboy
Photo of kennyo

New York

2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A nut brown lager

Pours a mahogany brown, clear, with 1" white head, Belgian lace throughout.

Aroma - nutty, some malt, a little spicy

Taste - some malt, sme chocolate malt

Thin body, nicely carbonated

Definitely not the Season's Best beer that i drank but not bad. Kind of a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 03:48:56 | More by kennyo
Photo of ShaneBertou

New York

3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice rich deep amber color with a modest head. It had a decent smell, the hops and malts were both prevalent.

At first is was really nice tasting beer. Hints of caramel and brown sugar, just a hint of hops on the backside of the flavor. But the flavor did wear on me the more I had, which affected it's overall drinkability as well.

Of the beers that came in the "12 Beers of Winter" sample pack, this one is by far my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 01:48:58 | More by ShaneBertou
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature in a tasting tulip. From this year's seasonal pack, the freshness code "2958" is clearly lasered on the neck.

Appearance- Euro Dark Lager? Interesting out of the gate. This beer pours somewhere between a chestnut and mahogany color, supporting a creamy off-white three finger head. Crystal clarity, lacing is absent.

Smell- Some roasted malt and hazelnut aromas waft from my glass, along with a tinge of fleeting hops with a signature English character... well balanced and very subtle.

Taste- Although the initial flavors, which echo the nose I observed, come through early on... they fade quickly to a more bland, pedestrian display of weak flavors that go nowhere. A very mild bitterness comes through in the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Thankfully better with regard to texture than the last few Saranac offerings. Mildly prickly in the mouth, never going over the top and not going flat either. Drinkable, no doubt... just unmemorable and a bit flabby.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 03:16:24 | More by yelterdow
Photo of kkosmoski

New York

4.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Longneck poured into a large Ayinger glass. Very deep amber to light red color with a heaping of offwhite head. Very clear with just a bit of carbonation rising. Aroma of toffee, chocolate chip cookie dough, and caramel. Flavors include dark toast, caramel, hint of chocolate, toasted nuts, and a bit of a spicy bitterness in the finish to balance everything out. Feel of the beer is medium, and the carbonation is not overdone. Drinkability is good on this lager, though it is geared toward the malty side, there is some dry bitterness that comes in and keeps it in check. A pretty solid beer year to year from Saranac and a winner in the winter 12-pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 03:15:41 | More by kkosmoski
Photo of saradad


3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a 12oz glass and formed about a 1" head over a nut brown body (so far, so good) Taking a sniff gave me a slight nutty malt smell with earthy and citrusy hops aromas. The taste at first is also nutty up front with citrusy hops in the back, slowly it fades to a citrusy finish and afertaste. The feel is light (not lite!!) and refreshing. Overall it's a decent beer with nothing wrong with it but it is just solidly average. A decent addition to a mixed pack but not something to run out to stock up the fridge with.

Edit...01072009...after retrying this beer it reminds me of SA Boston Lager, a little less aggresively hopped perhaps and since I ain't no hophead that's not a problem and this stuff is starting to grow on me. I just might run out to get a case for the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 20:43:02 | More by saradad
Photo of bluejacket74


3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, part of Saranac's "12 Beers of Winter" sampler. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear brownish/red color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. The aroma is piney hops, nuts, toffee and caramel. It tastes like toasted and bready malt, nuts, toffee, and piney hops. There's a slight bitter hoppy and nutty finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it has good carbonation which works well with this beer. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy and would be a decent choice as an occasional session beer. Overall I think this is a good beer, I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 23:44:43 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of sjohansen


3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Season's Best poured a red tipped shade of mahogany. The clarity is pretty brilliant, with tons of tiny bubbles racing to the top. They form a slightly off white, thick and rocky two finger head. Head sticks around through almost the entire session. Lace goes ring for sip for the full twelve rounds. This winter lager looks fantastic.

Earthy malt in the nose. Spicy/piney hops. Something in the smell puts me off a little. Can't put my finger on it.

Taste is overly spicy throughout, even as it warms. Great bite in the finish. I found the balance leaning a little more to the hops side. Malts are overpowered, but deliver some sweet smoothness in the front of the palate. Before I can really get a handle on them, whether they're chocolate or coffee hinted, maybe caramel noted, the hops clear everything out, and the beer is gone.

Medium bodied with great carbonation.

Well, it was certainly refreshing for the little amount of time it occupied my glass. This is a really decent lager, but season's best it's not. There are quite a bit of other selections around the winter months that are more intriguing.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 01:21:51 | More by sjohansen
Photo of Kraken


3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Jever pilsner glass. Firm pour yields a one finger head that holds up much better then the other varieties in the winter sampler. Decent lace. Pours a very dark amber.

Nose- Piney hops, peat, and hints of coffee.

Palate- Light piney hops, coffee, peat and roasted malts, burnt caramel and toffee. Finishes slightly dry

Mouthfeel- Creamy and dry.

Drinkability- Good. This is best of the winter sampler.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 01:50:46 | More by Kraken
Photo of Vendetta

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Large, foamy head that leaves a soapy lacing.

Smells mildly malty with a faint hop background.

Tastes superbly malty, sweet, some balancing hop bitterness in there. Strong semi-toasted caramel presence.

Mouth feel is very, very good. Creamy with slightly tingling carbonation. Finish is a bit bitter.

This is a pretty good brew from Saranac, definitely one of their better ones that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 03:58:48 | More by Vendetta
Photo of yesyouam

New York

3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a rust-colored lager with a dissipating thin white head. The aroma is of caramel malt and... a bit grassy. It is thin and watery-- a light body that's very clean. The flavor is tight and pretty bitter. The caramel malt is present and it's a touch sour. Good stuff.
(rated May 15, 2007)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 04:16:07 | More by yesyouam
Photo of tburkhart


3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of raznug.

Pours a very nice ruby color with a layer of head .25 inches thick.

Smells of malts and nuts.

Tastes of caramel with slight nuts. No noticeable hops in this one.

Pretty solid brew from Saranac, nice beer to drink on a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 00:43:15 | More by tburkhart
Photo of philbe311


3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - One fingers worth fluffy yet fizzy tan head... Fast paced, small bubbled carbonation rises along the inside of the glass... Highly translucent brown tea color with the slightest red highlights visible under the right light... Very solid lacing throughout is present throughout the session...

S - Very mild scent... Nutty scent is first and foremost... Also present are malt, caramel and perhaps a hint of cinnamon...

T - A hoppy spicy grassy bitterness overpowers... Not at all what I expected and far from pleasant... There's also hints of nuttiness and maltiness...

M - Full bodied... Coats mouth well... Surprisingly bitter... Slightly creamy and lush...

D - Not impressed... Not bad, but far from memorable... I'll take the Winter Wassail back in this mixed pack any day...

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 02:56:18 | More by philbe311
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a bottle into a pint glass.Pours a dark brown color.Good off white heading with ok lacing.Smells of a roasty source but not to hoppy.Lightly carbonated and easy to drink.A very nutty aftertaste.I do enjoy this one but it just seems to miss something from hihg end lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 22:22:25 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Season's Best pours a transparent amber color with a large off-white head. Crags of lacing all the way down the glass. Great retention.

Weak scent. Smells of hickory and general nuttyness.

Cake/nutty malt up front with a huge, thick spiced tea hop flavor headbutt with the swallow. Startling if you're not expecting it.

Not just Season's Best, but Saranac's best. I usually find them to be just an average brewery but this stuff is nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 01:07:09 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear dark amber/brown with a thick off-white head. Aroma of sweet fruits (raspberry jam) and malt. Flavor is of super sweet malt with some nuttiness. A little too sweet for me. Not something I would revisit.
Aroma: 6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 04:27:19 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of mikereaser


3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a nice mahogany brown with a layer of fine bubbles covering the top

S - strong nutty flavor with a bit of sweetness

T - toasted malt flavor with some sugary sweetness

M/D - very drinkable, but nothing special about this one.
The taste is ok and very mild. Maybe I was expecting something different so that might be what made me not like it that much.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 15:30:12 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber brown color with a tight cream colored head that left some nice lacing on the glass as it settled. As with most Saranac offerings, I have a hard time picking much up on the nose. There seems to be a light caramel/buttery malt with a subtle spicy hop kick. The taste is sweet from the caramel malt, there is also a spicy sweetness to it as well. The sweetness is balanced by a spicy tea like hop. The brew has a moderate body with plenty of carbonation that leads to a crispness. Finishes bitter and astringent. A servicable lager, fairly crisp and some nice flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 03:53:32 | More by Gmann
Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.