1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Saranac Lager - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac LagerSaranac Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

141 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 141
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 14.64%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 01-31-2001)
View: Beers (88) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 141 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Norfawkers:
Photo of Norfawkers


3.55/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you like Yuengling...

Appearance: Deep golden with minimal to no head and little lacing

Smell: Barely there

Taste: Slightly malty

Mouthfeel: A sight bitterness towards the end but relatively smooth

Drinkability: very drinkable; try it for a pizza and beer night

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 19:05:13 | More by Norfawkers
More User Reviews:
Photo of Durandal_777


3/5  rDev -6.5%

04-23-2014 20:08:00 | More by Durandal_777
Photo of Slatetank


3.75/5  rDev +16.8%

05-26-2013 19:41:23 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Bill235


3/5  rDev -6.5%

05-09-2013 17:59:29 | More by Bill235
Photo of generallee

New York

3.5/5  rDev +9%

08-29-2012 11:20:27 | More by generallee
Photo of PeteRiz


3/5  rDev -6.5%

04-26-2012 01:00:11 | More by PeteRiz
Photo of lccrunchy


3.5/5  rDev +9%

01-11-2012 22:52:56 | More by lccrunchy
Photo of AndrewMichael


3/5  rDev -6.5%

12-31-2011 21:20:03 | More by AndrewMichael
Photo of ROGUE16


3/5  rDev -6.5%

12-02-2011 19:53:18 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of rab53


3/5  rDev -6.5%

12-02-2011 04:14:40 | More by rab53
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -6.5%

12-01-2011 23:18:17 | More by djrn2
Photo of jmdrpi


3/5  rDev -6.5%

11-22-2011 05:11:26 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of CBlack85

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

this beer pours a rich amber color, very clear, with about one inch of off white creamy head. little to no lacing. a bit hoppier than your average lager. a slightly malty sweetness. very crisp and clean tasting, but still not a typical lager flavor. Not a very "big" flavor. easy to drink, a good light tasting summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 03:55:59 | More by CBlack85
Photo of tone77


3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown bottle into a weizen glass. Has a rich amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Mild malty aroma. Taste is o.k. but not overly flavorful. Feels smooth in the mouth. Drinkability is average. Overall this is a decent beer but nothing spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 23:26:27 | More by tone77
Photo of Brenden


3.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a light golden amber. This is my first pale lager, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but the look is respectable and not as pale as I had thought it might be. Head retention is pretty good and there's some fairly even lacing.
The nose is simple and somewhat subdued. A mix of malt and hops with a grains backbone. A little like a light, but a little stronger. It's respectable.
Hops and malt are both evident, and the absence of adjuncts puts this a step above most macros despite the aroma and palate not being very strong. Grains are present and there's an underlying sweetness. As expected, the finish doesn't linger very long.
The mouthfeel is good. It's a little thin, though not too much. A light body and gentle carbonation make for a clean mouthfeel that's pretty smooth and very crisp.
Nothing out of the ordinary or especially complex, but I'd call this one pretty good and easily sessionable at such a low ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 13:52:47 | More by Brenden
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 fl. oz bottle no. 3527-11407. Sampled on Feb. 14 2009.

A - A copper-reddish color in the pour with a little bit of headf and light lacing. I like the color a lot. It does not look like most America Pales I've had.

S - Definitely some sweet malt stuff going on here. Kind of sugary-honey aroma.

M - A medium mouthfeel and rather smooth like caramel.

T - Very sweet and mild. Slightly bitter and almost tart.

Not a bad experience all told.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 01:36:16 | More by puboflyons
Photo of changeup45


2.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden color topped with a generous off-white head. Sweet fruity, malty aroma. Flavor is slightly watery with malty notes and a sweet flowery taste that lingers in the aftertaste. Pretty good, smooth and easy drinking. Overall this is a very refreshing beer that is better than a lot of other mass produced pale lagers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 22:11:49 | More by changeup45
Photo of theopholis


2.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Crystal clear amber with a mediocre off-white head. Head quickly settles down to nothing. No lacing at all.

Aroma: Fair amount of malt sweetness with light malts, sa very mild fruitiness, and a hint of canned corn.

Taste: The taste is far better than the aroma. It still tastes like neither a lager, alt or amber. A bit more hops up front, almost like a pale ale. Other flavors include some malt sweetness with flavors of caramelized malt. I'm really wondering if there was a snafu at the facotry, and this batch was mis-labeled.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and smooth, light-medium body, with a god CO2 level. A sightly sticky finish.

Drinkability: Not wretched, not great.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 02:22:13 | More by theopholis
Photo of tugdriver7


3.58/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the first Saranac beers I tried--and one I like to go back to when I can find it. Very easy drinking. Simple, yes; and a bit "plain" in the flavor department, but it goes down smoothly with absolutely no odd flavors and no perceptible aftertaste. Golden in the glass, small head, just a hint of something (malt?) in the nose; and the flavor on your tongue isn't much to write home about. Clean, malt with very little (if any) hops balance. Even so, definitely one to keep around when you just want (say it with me) "a beer" and one of the macro offerings just won't cut it. Simple. Cold. Refreshing. That's about it.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 23:21:53 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of philbe311


3.88/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden with a slight orange hue... Very mild carbonation... Thin head gives way to a thin delicate lace...

S - Grains and malt at first... Mellow hops cut to the top...

T - Grain and hops at first... Malt is present, but sublte... Crisp...

M - Crisp, light, refreshing...

D - Looks like lager, smells like a lager, tastes like a lager, feels like a lager, and a very good lager at that... Refreshing and simple...

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 01:17:38 | More by philbe311
Photo of Schmidts


3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out with a half inch head that disappears fast. Smells of malt and corn. Nice taste not special but not bad. Feels fairly refreshing in your mouth. It is very drinkable and not a bad beer for its price nice flavor. Over all I enjoyed it not special but not bad either! Worth giving a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 00:53:00 | More by Schmidts
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.6/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Textbook amber with no more than a few bubble streams leading up to a featureless cap that should have been much bigger after an increasingly elevated pour. The foam is dirty white, is down to less than one finger inside of one minute, and is leaving no more than a smeary necklace of lace. The appearance is generic at best.

The nose is average at best. Lager smells like untoasted barley and... very little else. Cluster and Tettnanger hops are supposed to be present, but aren't appreciated.

The best all-malt lagers taste like fresh grain. They can favor sweet, or bitter, or both at once. Saranac Lager is far from the best of style (note: since changed to American pale lager). There isn't much malt, and what's present tastes like adjunct-riddled macro lager rather than craft beer.

Some amount of bitterness is evident, though good hop flavor is in short supply. The beer also has an odd apple tanginess that is out of place. Simply put, this isn't a credible effort for any brewery that prides itself on simple, straightforward beer. A brewery like TMBC.

The body/mouthfeel is light, which is fine, but loses it way by descending into wateriness on the short finish. A little too much fizziness seals the deal on a below average score.

Even though I've given up on ever being impressed by any of The Matt Brewing Company's regular offerings, I actually thought they'd be able to come up with a decent all-malt lager. Wrong again. In a word, Saranac Lager is forgettable.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Several months later... it turns out that I had two bottles of Lager/Traditional Lager in my possesion, with different labels, and didn't know which was the new one and which was the old one. I decided to drink the other bottle today to see if impressions are different.

Without taking the trouble to write an entirely different review, it's clear that my first bottle was old and this one is new. This beer looks better, smells better, tastes better, feels better and drinks better. A clean sweep. The Cliff's Notes version is that Saranac Lager tastes like sweetened cereal grains with a small handful of German hoppiness. Not bad, not bad at all. Apologies to the brewers for slamming a beer that was (in retrospect) way past its prime.

old scores: 3.0/3.0/2.5/2.5/2.5 (2.7)
new scores: 3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5/4.0 (3.55)

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2008 12:28:43 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light golden color with minimal, airy head that dissipates very quickly. No lacing on the glass. Smell is of light graininess maybe some hop spiciness but not much else. Flavor is typical of the style. Some light malty graininess, a touch of sweetness, a tad bready, and a touch of hop bitterness in the finish. Very crisp, well carbonated beer that is definitely refreshing and goes down the hatchet with ease. A good after work beer or hot summer day-mowing the lawn type of beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 15:25:44 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of Brad007


3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the $1 beer at 3 Needs. Pours a nice amber color with some head. Aroma is malty and there's some fruitiness in it, though it's a lager. Taste reflects much of the aroma and it is smooth for a lager. It goes down well on a warm day. Well worth more than a $1 a pint.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2007 00:07:05 | More by Brad007
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

1.95/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Hot June evening--must be a lager night! Pours a Miller-Lite color in a pilsner glass...vanishing head and faint malt notes in aroma...back punch of sour malt in mouthfeel, a nasal presence in aftertaste....nondescript taste, no insult meant...refreshingly three parts removed from H2O...

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2007 01:05:55 | More by dacrza1
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Saranac Lager from Matt Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.