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Saranac Kölsch - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac KölschSaranac Kölsch

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

309 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 14.69%

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

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WesWes on 04-14-2005)
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Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 177 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

2.25/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

[Suggested Glassware: Kölsch Glass]

The pour was a clear light amber with a large (2-3 finger) white frothy head that hung around for only a short while, reducing to a thin cap and had fair streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a straw malt, herbal hops and a musty yeast with hint of citrus and a dusty cardboard odor.

The taste was very lightly sweet and a tad malty with a touch of citrus throughout, with the finish being a rather minerally with a light bitterness and had a dusty bland ending. The flavor lasted only a short time which turned out not to be a bad thing in case, with the lightly bitter bland citrus taste disappearing quickly off the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a carbonation that was just above soft.

Overall this was a weak tasting brew, with the only thing standing out was a mildly bitter cardboard taste. Most definitely not worth having another...


Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 16:43:55 | More by KajII
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From twelve ounce undated bottle.

Aroma is grassy. Pours clear orange body with an inch of beige head. Head dissipates almost immediately to a thin ring with hardly any lace. Taste is a bit bland, like lemongrass tea with a slight bitter bite on the finish. A good summer choice, very drinkable but not particularly notable!

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 23:12:06 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of Offa


2.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a decent kolsch, not great, but enjoyable enough.

Gold, it has a big white head steadily shrinking to ring and a few weak bit of lace.

Aroma is thin perfumy grain/corn, grassy hops, a bit soapy - pleasant enough but a bit crude and thin.

Taste is pleasant, tasty grain and grassy hops & slightly zesty but a bit soapy and rough and thin and a bit gummy. It's kind of like a basic pale lager with an extra zing.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 04:42:20 | More by Offa
Photo of Brenden


3.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The packaging is new; not sure if the beer is. 125th anniversary pack.

The color is somewhere between white gold and yellow gold, bright and clear with a very constant, champagne-like bubbling. The clean white head starts off at a pretty, fluffy two fingers. It falls somewhat quickly, though a consistent foam is kept up by the bubbling activity. Lacing forms mostly via spotting, slightly less than moderate.
In both aroma and flavor it's vinous, lightly lemony, grainy and almost juicy (like a mix of lemon and orange juice), as well as dusty with a lightly bitter finish. It gets fruitier while it warms. It's different, but I like that it gets the vinous character and dry malt notes down.
It has a nice body; fluffy, soft, light, creamy but crisp, and quite dry.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 21:20:31 | More by Brenden
Photo of Darkmagus82


2.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear amber color with tons of little carbonation bubbles seen streaming up through the brew. Upon pouring there is a very small white head on the top of the brew that fades almost instantly to leave no lace and a tiny amount of foam on the top of the brew.

Smell – The smell is largely grainy and caramely with some lighter notes of wheat as well as a very light grassy smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a malty flavor of a grainy and cracker nature with just a hint of caramel sweetness and some lemon citrus tastes. The sweetness fades fast leaving a rather dry cracker taste to the brew. At the end a light earthy and grassy bitterness comes to the tongue leaving a rather dry and crackery flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite light in its creaminess and thickness with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The two in combination are appropriate for the style making for a refreshing brew overall.

Overall – Nothing too special here. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 02:22:03 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of DrewsBrews450

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours blonde, clear, thin ring of head with little lace. Smells like buttered bread, pale malts and yeast. The taste mirrors the smell with a little more yeast taste as it warms. Medium body which kinda saves the beer for me. Just a very simple beer if I was out on deck on a hot day mabye this would be refreshing. Its ok just in the mood for somthing more complex.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 22:46:55 | More by DrewsBrews450
Photo of TheSSG


3.43/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, soft, soapy head. A wonderful bready aroma with notes of lemon. Clear and golden. Starts with a nice, bright citrus flavor. Moves into a nice biscuit middle with a TOUCH of hop bitterness. The finish is citrus and biscuit blended wonderfully.

Overall, this is a great Kölsch. I love how assertive the citric notes are. If I didn't know better, I would SWEAR this had coriander or lemon zest added to it!
True to style? hahahah, no. Good summer drinking? You BET!

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 23:54:13 | More by TheSSG
Photo of stella77artois

New York

3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Part of Saranac's 12 Beers of Summer sampler.

A - Medium golden yellow. A fair head, which was pretty thick.

S - Not much going on. Malt up front, followed up by a slighty fruity Belgian-esque aroma.

T - Does taste like a kolsch, but it's pretty weak tasting. Not much flavor. Malt up front again, and the same fruity taste during the swallow. Not an offensive beer, I just don't have much to write about, as there isn't much going on.

F - The beer could potentially be a good quencher, I found it pretty refreshing. Some good carbonation feel, easy on the tongue and throat. Probably it's best quality.

O - Not one of Saranac's best, the other bottle from the sampler will probably sit in my fridge for a while. Not in any rush to drink it. It's not an offensive beer or anything, it's just not that good. The flavor itself actually isn't bad, it's just so damn weak. Increase the flavor, and this could be a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 18:20:52 | More by stella77artois
Photo of papaglide

New York

3.04/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- deep golden with a nice half inch of tiny bubbled head on top

S- toast, musty, grainy, wee bit-o-fruitiness

T- malty, toast (as in a slice of toast), grainy - funky? Dry, without any real defined malt or hop flavor. Truly lacking in character:flavor.

M- bubbly and dry

O- Decent drinking beer, there are better ones. Is it a Kolsch? Maybe. Maybe not.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 21:57:30 | More by papaglide
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle from a sampler pack poured into a pint glass.

A-Crystal clear golden color with a big, fluffy white head. Spotty lacing.

S- Grassy, grainy, mild malts.

T- Blonde German ale wannabe.

M- Light with some bite. Semi-dry finish.

O- Not a bad light summer brew, not good either.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 19:43:19 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.58/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

as light and easy as the kolsch style goes, I think this Saranac version is especially light and easy, almost to a fault, or certainly to a point of being unexciting. it pours a nice pale golden color, clean and clear, with a short white head. the nose is german malts and yeast, very bready, but light like a pancake. hops are only in there for bittering and balance, which are both dialed in the nose and the flavor. there is a slight caramel sweetness that rounds it out, and a dry refreshing finish that begs for another gulp. very active carbonation and a thin body makes it even lighter, and this is a very sessionable summer beer from the mix pack. not the most exciting thing they are doing these days, but a worthy offering for hot weather. my dad thinks this is exceptional, I would like to see more hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 14:51:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.04/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, straw-gold coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy white surface coating of head. Aromas of floral highlights, buttery tones, and a toasty backbone. Strong and a bit unbalanced nose for the style. Flavors are bitter initially, with a sharpness from the light body and carbonation levels. Buttery tones once again, with a watery palate and feel at the end of each drink. Watery and muddled aftertaste, with a limp finish that has a kiss of hops that just can't right the ship.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 03:02:55 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


3.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into stange. Light clear golden yellow with a lively fizzy head that dissipates very raipdly, leaving no lacing. Smells very "beer-like," with pretty evenly distributed malt, yeast, and hops. The smell is clean, a little spicy with some wine-like notes. Taste is light and clean, german yeast flavors are present with some tart wine-like flavors. Mouthfeel is clean, somewhat dry and medium-bodied.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 00:32:31 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of cavedave

New York

3.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Nice look to it, billowy white head over a clear, golden beer. The head collapses to a skim, then a thin ring pretty quickly.

Light aroma, some of that tart Kolsch yeast, bready grain, light floral, and the lightest hint of lemon.

Light flavors, all those of the nose, but a bit less of the lemon, and a deeper sweet to the grain. Juicy and clean, but really not enough flavor. It's a Kolsch, supposed to be subtle, this is even lighter than that.

Decent mouth, a bit thick for how little taste it has, still a refreshing drink.

Enjoyable and forgettable the two words I hope you take away from this review. Lots of better easily available, get one of those.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 21:32:03 | More by cavedave
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

2.89/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, pale yellowish gold.
Smell: Some wheat, light banana, and some floral.
Taste: Light floral. Maybe just a hint of grape.
Mouthfeel: Spritzy carbonation.

Unimpressive is probably the best way to describe this. The smell is mainly wheat and banana, then shifts to floral as it warms...however, it's very, very light. The taste is mainly floral. By mainly I mean that it tastes like Perrier with some floral and wheat thrown in it. Although drinkable, I would not get this again unless it came in their sampler pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 02:32:36 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of fx20736

New York

3.73/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought as part of Saranac's Summer Variety pack from Southtown Beverages on 4/26/13 for $ 7.99.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Hefe glass, served at fridge temp.

appearance: Honey yellow with a thick 2 finger white head. Nice lacing.

aroma: delicate floral bouquet, true to style.

mouthfeel: light.

taste: nice pale malt, light noble hops.

notes: Nice example of the Kolsch style, a light, delicate beer perfect for warm weather.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 15:32:45 | More by fx20736
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review

New York

2.31/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

Light golden yellow color with heavy carbonation and not too much head. Very hoppy, yeasty, hay-like aroma. A bitter, hoppy, hay-like taste with earthy notes. Can't taste too much alcohol. It tastes similar to the aroma. Finishes sweeter than it starts. Overall, kind of bland.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 03:21:02 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of woodychandler


3.69/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's latest drop-off.

From the bottle: "This golden sparkling Blonde ale was brewed to pay homage to a 1000-year brewing tradition rooted in Cologne, Germany. Clear, crisp, and easy to drink, the Kolsch of today is more pale than the "house" beer that was served in Cologne 200 years ago - the city that made Kolsch famous. We hope that you'll enjoy it!"

My pour netted better than two fingers of dense, foamy eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a deep golden yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a grainy, grassy quality, like a field of hay. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was dry, slightly biscuity and very grassy. Finish was semi-dry with the malt and hops working well in tandem to create a very quaffable beer. Lacing was quite evident as I drank through the glass. I could see this as a good beer on a hot summer's day.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 22:47:20 | More by woodychandler
Photo of tone77


3.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some light hops. Taste is crisp, light, very mild hops, a touch of malt. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a refreshing beer, but kind of light flavored and just a bit bland.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 23:47:37 | More by tone77
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - Charlie's Beer & Wine in Marietta, Georgia.

BB September 2012 (reviewed early July).

Appearance: Pours out a fairly clear, deep gold body with a fine, white head receding at a moderate pace, though it never quite fades away completely.

Smell: A sniff of simple, basic maltiness with barely a hint of breadiness to it. Very, very little lemon and spiciness from the hops. It's present without much presence.

Taste: A lightly sweet touch of pale malts, with a slim measure of breadiness. Low, light citrus accents hinting at basic lemon. Very light spiciness from the German hops. Lightly bitter. Less than crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. It's got some slight bubbliness to it, but I would feel remiss to declare it crisp.

Overall: A humdrum Kölsch that misses the mark, but serves as a fine light beer to cool me off in the dog days of summer.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 19:23:58 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear gold with tiny to almost no bubbles on the body. Head is almost nothing at all white that is maybe a tenth of an inch.

Smell: Light hops, feels more like light pale lager.

Taste: Light hop taste, little bitter but also slightly dry.

Mouth: Medium, and lightly sticky. I appreciate the crisp texture and amost truly feels like a German beer.

Overall: Not bad at all, easy brew to like. Hope you enjoy, grab a movie and sit back. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 05:31:33 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass.

A-clear and golden with medium carbonation that leaves a two finger head that disappears fairly quickly. Leaves some lacing

S- wheat, lightly toasted malt, grapes, bananas

T- resembles the smell, slightly spicy. Smooth And crisp with no lingering aftertaste

M - medium carbonation and body. Once again, very crisp and refreshing

Overall, a good beer to refresh yourself on a Hot summer day (or any other time that you'd like some refreshment, such as after a hard day at work) .

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 01:50:29 | More by gcamparone
Photo of Slatetank


3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Wegmans enjoyed from a stange chilled.

The color is deep golden with good clarity and fast rising bubbles of carbonation that lead up to a thick soapsud cap of white with tight bead. The lace stickage is decent. The smell is slightly floral with a mild sweet malt odor and gentle toasted grain tinge. The feel is so-so, very light bodied with moderately high carbonation and has some sweetness with generally clean and dry finish very low in bitterness.

The flavor is pretty standard for the style. I get mostly a light toasted grain with very mild sweetness and slight herbal element from the hops, but in general the flavor is pretty tame, overall not a bad beer, best use for this is summertime when you are looking for something quenching to refresh your palate during the heat and humidity.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 17:22:00 | More by Slatetank
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by September 2012:

Into my stange:

A: light golden colored body with a light paper thin white head, barely any carbonation is seen rising and minimal lacing is left.

S: centers around the malts with the hopss and a bit of light grassiness coming out mildly.

T: same noted smells but with a slight earthiness settling in it.

M: light to medium with the right amount of carbonation felt, definitely drinkable

O: this wasn't bad, it wasn't necessarily one I need to run out and buy again, but its do-able enough if I got this again in the twelve pack of summer, I would be happy about.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 00:42:58 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of PicoPapa


3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with SEP 2012. Pours a translucent golden color with a 1/4 inch of head. Almost no lacing. Aromas of grains, grass, with some floral notes. Taste is of grains with some orange peel and floral hops. Floral, grassy finish. Light mouthfeel. Nice summer beer. Nothing great but nothing bad either. Overall, works well in the Summer Mix Pack but wouldn't buy it on its own.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 06:08:12 | More by PicoPapa
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Saranac Kölsch from Matt Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.