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Saranac Rauchbier - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac RauchbierSaranac Rauchbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 69
Avg: 3.28
pDev: 14.02%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Estarrio on 10-19-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 69
Photo of bierman2000
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber, thin body Ruachbier. The smoke takes a few sips to get through the malty overtones. Rocky head but not chewy like other Rauchbiers, nose is malty and very faint smoke. Smooth, clean mouthfeel and since not real smoky or heavy quite drinkable, but not overpowering. A nice effort by a large brewing company.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.67/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear copper color. Alliteration aside, it's totally see-through. Very small dishsoap head, with no lace.

Heavy dark malty smell. Slightly sweet lagery scent. Defnitely a toasty malt.

Smoky-sweet flavor. Deep, dark taste and the malt is subtle. Leaves a nice smoked aftertaste. Taste suprised me given the color.

Light and watery. Smooth but without much body. Sits on the tongue a bit. Light color and feel; the dark flavor is suprising given how light it looks. A very solid beer; surprisingly good.

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Photo of NEhophead
2.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a nonic.

Pours a pale copper with golden highlights. Thin, white head that fades to a pasty sheet rather quickly. Noticeably active carbonation. No lacing that sticks.

Mild, toasted malt character with hints of diacetyl and yeast. Light oak and just a trace of peat. Too subtle in aroma for such a robust style.

Stiff, malted wheat with just a touch of sweetness; very grainy with flavors of adjunctory ingredients: rice and corn. Notes of peat following a smooth finish, and a light bitterness. Caramel, diacetyl, and very mild smoke in the aftertaste.

Light, medium in body; smooth and rounded. A decent balance on the palate between graininess and creaminess.

A weak flavored Rauchbier. Not unpleasant, but not a good take on the style whatsoever. Not a lager to be proud of.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big head of tight, compact bubbles, on top of a rusty ruby/orange, the color of autumn leaves.

Musty aroma, peat and hops present. Smells more like an English pale ale than anything.

Veddy veddy interestink...this only brings on the smoke in the finish, and even then it's quite light. Otherwise the flavors are sweet malt and light hops, somewhere between an English pale ale and a German lager.

Mouthfeel seems wrong for the style, being light and crisp, fairly dry, and well carbonated.

This is not a bad tasting beer at all, but I have to doubt whether it can really be called a Rauchbier. Okay, they used smoked malts, but it doesn't have the gusto of other, more assertive smoked beers. Bah humbug.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter Sampler. This would be my first foray into the rauchbier style. This was an excellent tasting lager and much better than Saranac's Adirondack Lager. The smokiness was barely noticable but perhaps that's what makes this an all around good beer. Would serve this beer at bar-b-ques and with other smoked foods. I'm eager to try some true German made rauchbiers with the stronger smoke flavors after this one. Sarancac should add this to their regular lineup.

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Photo of Suds
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac rauchbier is a clear amber beer with a shallow white head. The aroma is full of soft, melanoidin-laden malt. There’s a very modest hint of smokiness behind the malts. It’s a mild and simple smoke sensation, one that seems like more of an afterthought than a centerpiece. The taste is similar, with lightly-roasted (and a bit smoky) malt flavors. The finish is moderately dry, with a slight bitterness. Soft and round mouthfeel, with lower than average carbonation. This is a pretty good beer, but I’d like a Rauchbier to have a lot more smoke character. This one is far too restrained.

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Photo of Abita45
3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer has a lightly copper color and no head to speak of. There's a lightly hop and yeasty aroma to it that is pleasant, though I expected it to be a bit smokier based on the style.

It is a smooth, balanced beer with a nice combination of lightly bitter hops and smokey malts. There's a nice amount of carbonation that makes gives it a crisp finish, and which compliments the eveness of the overall beer. It is a fairly straightforward beer without a tremendous amount of complexity to it, however, what it does, I think it does well. I found this to be a very good beer, that feels good on the tongue, and drinks well.

I'll definitely have another soon.

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Photo of Phatz
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance pours a clear deep gold with orange hues when backlit. The head fades fast and it leaves little to no lacing throughout the duration of the beer.

Smell: Peaty smoked malts and hint of caramel find their way in to nose if you look for them.

Taste: As Traditional American Lagers go this is a fine beer and would fair better from me in that league. A smoked lager sure. But to pass as a Rauchbier now you have stepped up the bar. Aside from the smokiness hints in the malts and light tobacco flavors, it lacks some of the robust character of Aecht Schlenkerla. Certainly, I understand why. This is an approachable friendly, gentle Rauch and as such is a bit more mild. Clean and easy to start. Still it is a commendable effort.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with a medium light weight but decent carbonation. The body tries to stand on the bubbly and does not have much of a backbone. Dry bitter finish that sloppily lingers on the palate.

Drinkability: I found one of these an interesting adventure but I don't need (or want) to do it again. Thanks for the journey Saranac. Keep coming up with new brews and continue stepping up the bar.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Gmann
2.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden amber color with a small head which dissipates quickly leaving no head. The smell is of caramel malts but no real hint of any smokiness to it. The taste is of dull hops, caramel malts, again no real smoke taste. Light bodied, well carbonated, finishes easy not dry or bitter. This lager drinks well enough, though it reminds me more of an amber lager.

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Photo of ekempey
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A nice golden color with what looks like good carbonation and almost no head retention. No lacing to speak of either. A very light fruity aroma. A nice robust taste as it hits the 'buds. Not as carbonated as it looked from initial viewing, definately could be a little more carbonated, imo. Mouthfeel was good, pretty drinkable. Doesn't leave a very pleasant after taste. Pretty well drinkable, taste did start to fade as beer warmed up (might just be me), something I have never experienced before. Overall, a drinkable beer, one I would like to try with a good burger.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2/5  rDev -39%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Saranac- Rauchbier

Appearance- Light copper brown with no head.
Smell- Not much going on here, light ashy malt smell?! So faint.
Taste- Just a touch of malt, ash, cheap adjunct corn/ hay.
Mouthfeel- Watery with a slight dry bitterness in the end.

Overall- BOOOO!!! What a letdown. No smokiness at all! So watery and so little flavor. The dud of the 12 pack sampler!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a light copper amber tone leaves even lace with an off white head almost a beige tone. Aroma has malts that come with upfront caramel and a touch of smoked malts just barely evident. Flavor is clean with mild smokey flavor and leafy tobacco hop tones that blend well together overall a mild mainstream rauchbier better than nothing but by no means comparable to a true rauch from Bamberg. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated not much else going on in the complexity region. Drinkability is decent but by no means is this a rauchbier and flavors don't blend that well overall I'm not impressed by this effort.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Rauchbier
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink # on the side of the bottle - 2696 10:22
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a light golden orange. Wispy white colored thin lace for a head. Limited patterns of sticky lacings.

Clean nose. Very lager-esqe. Whiffs of light caramel malts and apple juice.

Sweet and juicy caramel malt. Clean and refreshing, yet full with a very soft mouthfeel. Hints of stale apple juice, toast and fresh rye bread. Choppy hop snap on the finish.

The obvious - this beer lacks that authentic smokey presence that any true German Rauchbier would flaunt. Reminds me more of an Oktoberfest with its juicy caramel malts and clean, drinkable quality.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliant orange-red color with massive chunky white head. Good retention and lacing.
Smell is lightly of malt with no smokiness detected.
Taste is pleasantly malty and has a bit too strong hop bitterness also present.
Finishes very dry and bitter.
A nice drinking beer, but I think they forgot to put any smokiness in my bottle.

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Photo of scarletfire79
2.57/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

horrible representation of the style. very little if any smoke prescence, seems like a decent amber beer but rauchbier? i'm not sure. definitly the most dispointing in the 12 pack sampler. would never think about picking this up again and would advise the same.

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Photo of BBM
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of the new "winter sampler" beers. They have a bit of nerve calling it a rauchbier. It pours a very clear amber color with a little white head and no retention or lacing. Smell is... barely there. For something smoked, you'd expect a nice nose. Not here. Very faint maltines and even subtler smoke.

Taste is the same. Sweet up front, with a slightly smoky hoppiness / bitterness toward the end. If this were called "Saranac Amber Lager" it would've scored higher. Because the beer itself isn't terrible tasting. There's just no way it's a rauch. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. Not awful, but misleading in title. This tastes like water compared to an ACTUAL rauch.

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Photo of sraimondi
1.83/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottom line--NOT a smoked beer at all. Worst of the 12 pack by far. I had this one with some very good smoked salmon--and it ruined the experience. I'll not try this one again. In fact, I am now done with the 2006 Winter 12 pack, and I will definitely not get another 12 pack this season. Very disappointing overall. Only liked 2 of the "new" ones. Saranac failed here for sure!!

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.74/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Looks like a macro. Mild golden color with a small head of white foam that bubbled off quickly. No lacing in the glass.

S: Weak. Hints of smoked malt and grain, but very light. Needs a good kick in the pants to distinguish itself as a true rauchbier.

T: Kind of like the old-time Wendy's commericals... "Where's the Smoke?!" Light smokiness with buttery malts dominates the palate, with hints of corn and flowery light hops. Hints of sweet brown sugar hang over the entire flavor. Not what i'd hoped for, but oddly, it's damn good.

M: Nice. Bubbly on the tongue and easy going down. Feels rich, yet not heavy or dense.

D: This is far from a true rauchbier, so much so I wanted to tear the lable off the bottle and chastise it for calling itself the holy of all holy German beers. Strangely enough, i'm drawn to it, and find it very, very drinkable.

Notes: Maybe it's the light smoke, maybe it's the fact F.X Matt brewing was daring enough to make a try at the style, I don't know. All I know is I bought this 12 beer sampler for this one, and have fallen for it, regardless of whether it is appropriate for the style or not. It's official. Matt Brewing: Here is your winner. Brew it year round, change the name to something like Campfire Smoke Lager, and put it in cans. This is my savior beer, and I am madly in love.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep burnt orange/golden with a nice fluffy well formed white head that stuck around for quite awhile.A pretty clean nose with light notes of brwon sugar and subtle smoke and even a tinge of iron,what I liked about this rauchbier is that it gave off smoked flavor without tasting like a Smithfield ham.I know alot of people like that big smoke me not so much this gave off enough smoke flavor to satisfy with out being overbearing a nice brown sugar note went along with the smokiness along with a noticable herbal sharp hoppiness.I like it I like it alot I like the new offerings in the12 beers of Christmas pack this year.

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Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 2006 WInter Seasonal case.

A: The beer is a beautifully clear copper orange color with a small white ring of head. There is no lacing in the glass.

S: The beer has the standard Saranac grainy malt aroma with a faint, and I stress faint, hint of smokiness.

T: The beer is, like most all Saranac offerings, spectacularly middle of the road. The beer begins with a malty biscuit flavor and little hops. The smokiness does not show up in the beer but does pop up in the finish, adding just a hint of smokehouse.

M: The mouthfeel is decent but lacks the smokiness that you would want to see.

D: The beer is drinkable with a nice malt mouth, but don't expect a real smoked experience.

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Photo of Billolick
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 12 oz. bottle was from a 2006 "Beers of Winter" variety pack.None of the Saranac beers in this box has any freshness dating. Pours clear light orangy amber, thin off white head, and leaving minimal lacing. Malty nose with perhaps the slightest hint of smoke. Pleasant enough brew, nothing remarkable. Very minor smoke presence. Typical middle of the road, saranac offering. Craft beer? maybe, but just barely...

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Photo of maddogruss
3.97/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Nice, orange-amber color with a small, white head. The smell of smoke is prevalent even in the smell. Tasted very smooth and it had a smoky meat aftertaste which was very delightful and made me want to go camping. Very nice mouthfeel; didn't feel like I was drinking water. I like the smoky taste, so I'd have to say that this beer is very drinkable adn will be with me next time I'm going camping or roasting something over a fire pit.

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

A - this saranac offering pours a light orangeish tan, with a thin instantly lacing white head

S - a very strong and up front maltiness in the nose, bigger than i thought it would be, with a slight and subdued smokiness in the background

T - after that whiff, i thought the taste would be overly malty also, but it wasn't, a nice balance of that malt profile and an opposed smoky hoppiness, maybe i'm crazy but there seems to be a slight celery flavor as well

M&D - smooth and easy down, a nice beer with a nice blended flavor, but unremarkable

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Photo of riversider76
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich honey color. Thin white head, not much retention,but decent lacing. Smell is sweet and smoked. Body is medium, no carbionation to speak of. Taste is of bready malts with a hint of smoke. Nice sweet honey like finish. A very enjoyable brew!!

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Photo of sacfly
4.07/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter seasonal pack
Pours a clear light orange color with a thin head of small bubbles. Smoke is readily apparent in the nose at first, but quickly fades. Fades to a light smoke and bread along side a rich sweet malt. Flavor follows suit with the aroma. Smoke and bread give way to the sweet malt. Malty aftertaste, no hops to speak of. Overall, light on the smokiness but very well done. Very easy to drink and a departure from a standard lager. For whatever reason, this one hit the spot.

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Saranac Rauchbier from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.