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Saranac Rauchbier - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac RauchbierSaranac Rauchbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

69 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 14.29%

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

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Estarrio on 10-19-2006)
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of phisig137


3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 24 karat gold color, with a one finger head with little retention. No lacing.

Aroma is quite mild. A hint of caramel malt, and a tiny bit of noble hops. Not much there.

Flavor isn't a whole lot better. Again, a little sweet malt, a hint of corn sweetness, and a tiny touch of noble hops. I don't detect any of the "hint of smoke" that the bottle describes. Decent body for a lager. Drinkability is good.

Quite a let down from Saranac. Usually thier seasonals a pretty damn good, but this just doesn't do it. No smoke present at all. I guess after you've Aecht Schlenkerla, no other Rauchbier will do.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2006 00:04:47 | More by phisig137
Photo of Redwood21


3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is decent, a nice amber color with a decent head.

The smell is not very strong nor smokey but isnt bad.

The taste is a toss up, i actually really liek this beer, but looking at the style, i had to go back to the guidelines to be sure i wasnt crazy. there is no smoke in this beer. im a fan of scotch many of which have a smokey flavor in them....none here. that said i think it does taste really good with a malty character with a more full feel.

medium in body a nice full feeling to it, pretty pleasant.

i really enjoyed this beer. if they had just called it a malty beer or a "beer" its got some good flavor and is good

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 06:48:50 | More by Redwood21
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a decent pour for the style as it settles in and gives off a nice two finger head tha slips down the sides of the glass effortlessly.aroma was smoked to high heaven, but rather one sided, some touches of a cough syrup like smell coming off it as it warmed, not sure what that was, but hints of grain buried underneath as well. The flavor was surprisingly good though. Rich notes here of peat and malted grains, nice roasted touches and a very nice and well balanced grain bill. Definitely a very nice flavor and it took me off guard, the feel was a bit thin and one sided, but still not terrible.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 01:49:48 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Hibernator


3.3/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 00:31:46 | More by Hibernator
Photo of garcia2a


3.3/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For the style, I like the rauchbiers to have that smokey sausage tase, this beer, while nice, did not have that smokey body that I like. I wouls consider this more of a leichtrauchbier.

This poured amber and clear with a bit of head. The nose had a faint tinge of smoke and spice. The tase was thin with a thin aftertase.

A good primer for those wanting to try this style

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 04:38:49 | More by garcia2a
Photo of beerphan


3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle -> imperial pint
12 beers of winter 2006

Pours a clear light copper almost golden, with a small white head that settles to a film of suds. No real lace to speak of, just a few dots. Carbonation appears on the light side.

Nose: Malty nose with a hint of smoked meat.

Taste: Malts dominate but are weak, there is a little smoked flavor in there but not much.

Mouthfeel is typical macro lager mouth, crisp and full.

I've never had a Rauchbier before, but this seems kind of like a Rauchbiers little brother, the potential is there but it hasn't reached adulthood yet. Thanks to Saranac for putting out such diverse styles in a single package at a cheap price.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 00:43:58 | More by beerphan
Photo of tempest


3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a nice beer, its just a shame it's not actually that smokey. Yeah I can tell the smoke is there, somewhere, but up against another American smoked lager, Ft. Collins' Z's Lager, this beer just doesn't hold up. It looks like an amber beer, smells of amber malts with a hint of smoke. Tastes of burnt caramel, kind of smoke and the flavor isn't too rich. Basically like the Adirondack Amber with a little something extra. Meh.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2006 06:26:39 | More by tempest
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2006 22:14:18 | More by Billolick
Photo of Suds


3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 13:51:00 | More by Suds
Photo of happygnome


3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a golden-orange color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a little lacing
s: the first thing that comes to mind is sweet aroma followed by a kind of grassy aroma
t: better than the aroma, the grassy aroma does not come out in the tastebut it is sweeter than most smoked beers and the smoked flavor is really not very strong
m: medium bodied beer with adequite carbonation

overall this is an ok beer i did enjoy it but there are a lot of things that could be improved

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 18:36:36 | More by happygnome
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brilliant tangerine with almost Champagne-like carbonation zipping up to a whipped creamy, taupe colored head. Most rauchbiers are some variety of orange it seems. Delicate, attractive squiggles of lace are beginning to decorate the top few inches of the glass, making this one of the better looking MBC beers that I can remember.

Smoked beer should smell smoky, should it not? I can appreciate no more than a faint whiff of smoked malt. If it doesn't deliver much more rauchiness on the palate, Saranac Rauchbier will be no more successful than any other beer from this brewery. Although it doesn't smell bad per se, I can't see giving an average score to a nose that is so far removed from what it ought to be.

Perhaps the brewery doesn't have enough respect for its clientele to provide them with an honest to goodness rauchbier. This is, by far, the least smoky version that has ever entered my glass. I think it most resembles a sweeter than usual English pale ale, despite the fact that German hops (Hallertau) are is use. It's only on the finish that one tastes a glimmer of smoked malt.

Maybe it's the fact that it's a surprisingly hefty lager, but I think the base beer is one of MBC's best (of a fairly lackluster lineup). That's why I've decided to grant an above average flavor score to such a wimpy rauchbier. A few more tendrils of smoke appear on the horizon as it warms. Triple the amount would give it a chance to be the brewery's best beer.

As alluded to, there's nothing at all wrong with the mouthfeel. It's on the full side for a lager and has that characteristic polished gem smoothness that I love. They've even gotten the carbonation right: spunky, yet far from buzzy.

Saranac Rauchbier is oh so close to good beer. If I could send a smoke signal message to the brewers, it would go something like this: *add* *more* *smoke* *to* *Rauchbier* *please*. It's too bad more American craft brewers don't take a shot at this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 14:21:34 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of MmmIPA


3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I havnt had a Saranac in a while and I found this one at the beer store.It may be a bit old.

Twelve ounces of amber/orange body and no ead what so ever.Not much carbonation bubbles either.Caramel malts and thats pretty much it in the nose.I taste some malts and smoke.The smoke is at the end of the sip and its nice.Its not offensive to me,its delicate.Its a bit watery but that doesnt take any points from the overall score.This is tasty as are all of the Saranac beers Ive tried so far.They do a good job.Smooth body and carbonation is tingly.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 15:46:10 | More by MmmIPA
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a gold color with a slight reddish hue. It has a nice foamy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, malty scent that boasts of Munich and a bit of peated malt. The smoke scent is faint. The taste is decent also. It has a very average taste with a bit of Munich and very little peated malt. It's light and easy drinking, but lacking in character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average brew. It's run of the mill. I wonder why these guys even bother with making such poor examples of the styles. Hell, even AB is making better beer these days.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 01:05:25 | More by WesWes
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: reviewing from notes. Not as detailed as current reviews...I need to knock out some of these from my notebook as it's getting full.

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 50 degrees. Even though every Saranac seems to resemble one another, I seem to keep trying them all...

A - Pours a hazy darker-golden color with an off-white head. Not very much carbonation.

S - Good smokey aroma with traces of burnt malt. Smells promising...

T - *sigh*. Not bad, just not as smokey as the aroma led to believe. Toasted malt with a nice bitterness on the finish, but none of the flavors are over-the-top. All sits atop a earthy backbone.

M - Pretty thin with a dry aftertaste.

D - Not bad - a nice addition to the winterpack.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 03:24:21 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of bierman2000


3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 18:42:16 | More by bierman2000
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a clear amber color with a ever so slight off white/light tan head that had no real retention and left hardly no lacing at all. The aroma is of malt mostly, maybe some smokiness but I am having a hard time picking it up. The malts seem to remind me of caramel. The taste is interesting, definite malt flavors come through at the start with a slight smoke flavor that comes bout in the middle and sticks around for a bit. Over all it is a pretty good brew, not sure how it would stack up with others within the same type category but I would suppose that it is a nice intro to this style. I feel that Saranac his hit the mark based on what I have seen them produce in these limited batches, nice addition to the 12 beers of winter while introducing people to different beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2006 14:51:14 | More by Stimack
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a orange / amber color with a 1" head that falls to a thick surface foam slowly. Some nice lacing develops.

Smell: very pleasant as a mild nuttiness and a hint of smoke is detectable.

Taste: caramel, nuts, and a very mild bitterness is wrapped in a faint smokiness. I expected a bit more smoke and roasted tones here, but the overall flavor is decent.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, smoother towards the finish. Medium bodied. Very brief short aftertaste.

Drinkability: pretty decent overall and this would pair nicely with some milder BBQ since the smoke tones are weak but wouldn't overpower the food. Worth trying in the variety 12 pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2006 23:14:56 | More by Gavage
Photo of treehugger02010


3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounze bottle into a Solo cup (all of my glasses were dirty). I did notice that there wasn't much head or much lace. The smell was pretty decent, bitter, but subtle. The taste was essectially the same. This was a solid beer, but not awsome. Don't drink and review.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2006 02:57:35 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a solid soft malt aroma with a smattering of noble hops.

The taste consisted of a creamy malt profile and a subtle bitter hop. There was a trace smokey flavor at the finish.

The mouthfeel was creamy.

Overall a tasty beer. However, not really a rauchbier as there was little to no smoked element.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 01:12:26 | More by plaid75
Photo of psinderson


3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Thick, strong off-white head. Some lacing. Clear, very light amber color...a little too light for style.

Smell: Definite smoky aroma with something akin to citrus..possibly the hops? Some bready caramel present as it warms.

Taste: Nice balance between hops and smokiness. A little less smoky than I imagined. Decently smooth finish. The tart citrus seems a little present throughout.

Mouthfeel: Nice, full-bodied feel.

Drinkability: Good going down, but the citrusy smokiness probably turns off some.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 03:05:42 | More by psinderson
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Deep yellow color, not much head or lace that stuck around.

smell - Malts, grass, smoked smell.

taste: Not much smoke or burnt taste that I thought it would be. Malt taste to it, not sweet. On the smokey side but not overpowering.

mouthfeel - Medium body, low carbination here.

drinkability - The last of the winter pack we had. Not a bad drink at all. Don't let the word smoked on the label through you off.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 21:32:22 | More by auxiliary
Photo of riversider76

New York

3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
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!!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 00:18:50 | More by riversider76
Photo of williamherbert

New York

3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 20:26:13 | More by williamherbert
Photo of oelergud


3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transparent honey golden body, moderate carbonation and a white creamy head that has decent retention though not much lace.
Faint ryebread and grass scents. Well balanced nose and abit of licorice.
Taste is pretty good. Semisweet bread and grain. Mellow hoppy aftertaste which is fairly shortlived.
Medium body, abit acidic and a dry finish.
Decent brew and fairly drinkable.


Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 20:50:27 | More by oelergud
Photo of Abita45


3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 14:07:52 | More by Abita45
Saranac Rauchbier from Matt Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.