Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Saranac Amber Wheat - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Amber WheatSaranac Amber Wheat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

74 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 93
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Dark Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 74 | Hads: 93
Photo of beerthulhu
2.5/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A glowing sunset orange yields a dome shade linen white capping atop that was respectable retention wise. A steady moderately paced showering of carbonation was observed through a fairly high rate of clarity. An amber wheat that wasn't quite amber in color, nor wheat (golden) but rather orange, so I guess they got it right. edit: i later learned this style was changed to a dark wheat ale which makes even less sense and warrants a reduction in points. A lack of lacing leaves the glass walls empty.

S: Light dried orange peels appear on the nose along with a soft wet flowery hopping. Sour dough yestiness appears after several swirls but quickly diminish as does my interest. A finishing trail of honey candy sweetness occurs.

T: Thin flavor, apples and pear juice fruitiness against a thin malt sweetness. Dried maize with a corn syrup sweetness and some honey. A bitterness of green mildewy leafy hops moves in for the finish. Not quite an amber, not quite a wheat, and certainly not a mixture of either much less a dark wheat. A fruity sweet start concludes with a faint mildewy hopping that will leave you wondering what the intention or direction of this beer was.

M: Very light mouthful offers an easy resistance, oily texture and only slight bubbly action on the tip of the tongue. Gets washy on longer holds with a bit of a tart orangey fade.

D: Not really impressed here, or would bother to spend my hard earned, or even easily earned money on this. Easy and sweet but ultimately easily forgettable with no real amber or wheat contribution. Overall hardly worth bottling or the marketing costs. (1,615 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.6/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well this one at least looked the part. Aroma wasn't as disturbing as other selections, small amount of grain earthiness.

Another real easy to drink (i.e., not challenging) beer, but you get bored 2 sips in and are asking, hey, where's the caramel, the wheat, the lemon, the "anything that resembles the proposed style" of this beer vibe I always get w/ Saranac. Very pedestrian, and I didn't pick up anything of note to say in the taste profile. Mouthfeel lacks the tang I want in a wheat. (492 characters)

Photo of russpowell
2.63/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a somewhat effervescent amber with a finger of cream colored head. Average head retention

S: Wheatyness that fades fast

T: Some grainyness, mineral & grassy hops up front, faint apple flavors too. Apple peel flavors dominates as this warms, dryness is there along with some grassyness. Finishes grainy & crisp with some pear flavor once very warm

MF: Thin, grainy with an okay carbonation level

Average drinkability this is a very forgettable beer in a very mediocre summer mixed 12 pack. I'm not sure I'll buy any future ones based on this group of 6 mediocre beers (576 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
2.76/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The Moment: Easing into a pre-July 4th celebration, thanks to a nice party thrown by friends Jim and Maria...
Glassware: Saranac willibecker...
Appearance: slightly hazy orange body that supports a thick, frothy head...
Aroma: Malty with a bit of dough and some banana notes--not complex but appropriate for the style...
Palate: consistent, medium-bodied and fizzy...little staying power on the finish...a strange experience, as the body actually shifts weight in the sip and thins noticeably...
Taste: malts rest on the tongue as the wheat attempts to impress the throat; not much profile to this one, save the wafting caramel, and I know the style may not demand such articulation, but the watery constitution leaves the "unfiltered" claim wanting and the dunkel aspect with kid gloves...
Overall: The nerd in me asks: why does Saranac label this a "wheat ale"? Is it simply a question of brewing technique? And the "amber" part must be on color alone...after the rye pilsener I had a couple of days ago, this one doesn't deserve the slot over in the case...refreshing in its genre... (1,086 characters)

Photo of PatrickJR
2.77/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into weizen glass.

Doing an all out re-review (a whole day later!) since this brew's reclassification.

A - Light amber with a very minimal haze. Still mostly transparent. About 2 fingers of very light tan head rise. Retention is fairly short leaving a thin cap. No lacing.

S - Expected "dirty" American wheat beer aroma. A little more interesting than expected with subdued notes of caramel and sweet/sour fruit.

T - Standard APWA "dirty" tastes hits first mixed with mild and indistinct fruit flavors, maybe something distant approaching the banana flavors present in it's foreign cousins. A fair bit of wheaty sourness takes over mid palate, but there's little accompanying flavor aside from more dirty wheat. Caramel tries to creep in on the corners but never fully manifests. Bizarre bitterness begins late palate and persists well into the aftertaste.

M - Spritzy almost. Fairly thin body, many sips seem quite watery. Carbonation is higher than my previous go at this beer with a moderate-high level. Crisp overall.

D - Well, it is what it is. Nothing outstanding about this beer but perhaps a decent tamed down version of a dunkelweizen for American audiences. Absolute lack of banana/dark bread flavors and creamy mouthfeel. It isn't bad, but it is pretty uninteresting. Sadly, yet another forgettable Saranac. (1,351 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
2.81/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Part of the summer pack, on to the beer:

Bronzed orange color with a clean looking body. The head on top is a little creamy, and it leaves a little lacing on the glass. There isn't a whole lot in the nose, light toasted grains and a little dextrin. It hardly smells like a "wheat ale" of any kind.

It tastes more like a "cheap" English pale. I'm getting a little toasted malt, and also a little fruity ester flavor. The malt seems to dry, and th esters aren't the ones I'd die for. The light and airy mouthfeel with just a snap of carbonation was working for me at the time.

Well, I finally got to knock-off "American dark Wheat Ale" from styles that I've reviewed. I just hope that Saranac's version isn't typical of the style. (733 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.83/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Post long run porch beer #2.

Copper color with a 1 finger white head. Pretty clear for a purported unfiltered ale. Thick horseshoe retention leaves a few laces tracks. Nice color.

My first impression of the aroma was a toe jam, wheaty, yeast funk...but that dissipated as the head did and left a subtler, delicate caramel in its wake. Some grassy hop in there as well.

Well, it's not offensive. Yep, I am definitely not offended by this beer. Nor am impressed. Very light caramel notes like a raw, non-cold conditioned altbier. Light yeast snap in back.

Overall, dumbed down but drinkable. (594 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.86/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a clouded light amber copper hue with a nicely formed white head creamy and thick. Aroma has some American wheat grain and yeast notes but definitely no dunkel weizen characteristics as mentioned on the label. Flavor is straight forward semi sweet with some powdered yeast notes nothing too impressive maybe a touch of fruit, green apple perhaps. Overall I would compare it to Michelob Hop Hound amber wheat. Not offensive just a bit bland and boring, mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with decent carbonation nothing much to report here. Drinkability overall, it is what it is another Saranac 12 beers of summer offering. Thirst quenching is this brews best quality. (677 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
2.9/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Saranac Amber Wheat is a cloudy amber beer with a thin white film of a head that leaves some good lacing. There are notes of banana, resin and bread in the nose. It's thin in the mouth; a little watery and a little metallic. It's lightly flavored. The grassy bitterness is light. It's a little resiny and it tastes like wheat. It's not really my thing, but it's chuggable. (372 characters)

Photo of mempath
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

not a favorite style, but let's give this a fair shot.

pours rich and deep as expected. ok head and lacing. it's neither transparent nor opaque in its amberness, but i like the faux fogginess.

smell? barely anything there. a torn piece of malt?
maybe it's allergies, but i got plenty from the previous Saranacs an hour ago.

taste is fine. sour sweet wheatiness delivers. but nothing to make it special. maybe it's not supposed to...seems like a red lager. a yuengling. i prefer the latter.

it is somewhat thick and creamy, but the citrusy sharpness seems off-balance due to the mouthfeel. too too much carbonation sparkling around, keeping the quality guests from entering the fray. well, there's no fray to speak of...

this isn't boring but compared to others, relatively, it IS. sure, it beats ANYTHING from the big three macros and a host of many micros....but plenty pummels this. why settle for unabashed mediocrity?

it's still a hair above average for drinkability. nothing to session with. best with a spicey meal. interepret that at will...;)

p.s.
i will say this...the remaining 3 of these from the case will be ice cold and enjoyed either with thai food or after mowing the lawn...i know they will find their niche therein! (1,241 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

dark brown color that yielded a big head of tan that faded quickly and only moderatly coated the sides of the glass. interesting, but nothing really to go nuts over. aroma is off chocolate, wet hay, moldy grain and campfire smoke, it just did not work for me, i wish it had, as i wanted it too. the flavor was a touch better as the chocolate died down and more of the grains and a touch of dark fruit came through which served it much better. (442 characters)

Photo of jwc215
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From summer variety pack:

Pours hazy amber with a thin off-white head taht descends to a wispy cover. Thin lines of lacing stick.

The smell is of a light caramelish sweetness, some light must (wood?). Didn't get much "wheat" character. Odd all-around, but not bad - caramel hint helps it, a bit.

The taste is of sweet caramel with (peach-like) fruitiness. Sweetness, while not cloying, does linger a bit.

The feel is pretty watery. It has an effervescence that borders fizzy.

Rather bland. A mediocre brew with a light hint of caramel sweetness. (551 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A peach and copper-colored mixture, off-white head, which leaves a few drops on the side of the glass. Nice amount of bubbles floating up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Some malty sweetness from the wheat, mild caramel, and grain. Not much else.

Taste: Grain and earthiness, along with mild wheat sweetness, and a bit of caramel. Maybe some mild finishing bitterness with some hops. Not much to discern here.

Mouthfeel: For a darker beer, I expected a bit more thickness and body, but this seems pretty thin. The carbonation's also oddly spiky, if that makes sense, as if it's too overly carbonated, making it feel a bit too much like soda water in that sense.

Drinkability: It's not that I necessarily disliked this brew, but it's definitely average, at best, and doesn't really provide anything memorable. (868 characters)

Photo of bourbonbock
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle from the summer collection into my mug.

A. Chestnut colored body with about 2 fingers of off white foamy head that has fallen to a cap after about 5 minutes.

S. I can smell sweet toasted malts and some caramel and yeasty aromas.

T. Pretty straight forward clean and cold flavor. Not much in the way of depth of flavor but its got some nice earthy, malty, and some citrus flavors to it.

M. Light and clean. Definitely has lager characteristics and leaves a pleasant aftertaste on the pallate.

D. I definitely don't mind this beer but it isn't very special. I'm glad there aren't more than two to drink otherwise they might hang around for a while. (678 characters)

Photo of Offa
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a decent, pleasant, very drinkable, but thin, one-dimensional beer with little more character than a basic American pale lager.

Nice amber, it has a medium pale tan head soon thinning to a ring and wisps.

Aroma is perfumy, sweet caramelly apple and grain, faint soapiness.

Taste is light toasted bread with old, fermenting apples and vague leafy-peppery bitterness that comes on in the finish. It ends smoothly but thin and overall, it is thin in character and a feel. Though pleasant enough, it has very little character or body and little to mark it out as anything but a basic, slightly darker and more caramelly, American pale lager. (648 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

The color is a light amber with a finger of foamy white that does not stay long, and some slight lacing.

The smell is mildly fruity with some slight wet hop flavor in the background.

The taste s tart with a bit of a wheaty flavor that mixes well with a fruit flavor. There is a slight malt sweetness to the beer that gives a little sugary feel.

The feel of this beer is a medium body is drinkable and would go well with some BBQ. It was part of a summer mix pack and would fix right in around a grille. (552 characters)

Photo of JDH2000
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a sampler case bought in mid-May.

A- Light brown, almost a copper color.. Not really amber.

S- Subtle hints of caramel and malts.

T- Again, the caramel and malts. I'm only getting a slight wheat flavor.

M- light mouthfeel with slight carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

D- overall, an okay beer. Not my first choice, but not my last choice. Consistent with the rest of the beers in the sampler. (408 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. Sparkling clear. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a chalky faint caramel and a slightly toasted malt.

The taste was light and rather neutral with traces of caramel and wheat.

The mouthfeel was thin for the style.

Overall an uneventful experience. (340 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saranac "Amber Wheat." I don't even know what that is suppose to mean. It is amber, it is wheat, it's amber wheat. This is a first for the style for me.

Poured from a standard brown bottle with no indication of freshness into a weizen glass. It appears a clear amber orange color with an initial half finger of slightly yellowish stained head that receeds to a thin layering atop the brew that creeps slowly to the outer limits of the glass. Constantly rising bubbles of carbonation rise in support of this outer ring of head that remains. Minor patches of lace cling to faint spots to the glass and the head maintains relatively decent but not top quality powers of retension. The aroma of this beer smells of buttery caramel malt with a slight indication of hops on the backend. Outside of that, there isn't much else going on in the scent department. Taste is light, somewhat crisp and modestly carbonated for the wheat style. The flavors apparent in this brew consist mostly of a light caramel/bready sweetness that finishes with a taste of butter and some faint hop bitterness.

I have zero basis for comparison when it comes to this brew and other examples of the style so it is both the best and the worst amber wheat I have ever had. Drinkable? Yeah, it is easy drinking but not all that enjoyable if you are looking for decent flavor and aroma. (1,356 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of a Beers of the World pack from Cost Plus World Market.

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch whitish-orange head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace sink back down into the remaining beer with each sip. Smell is of wheat and toasted grains. Overall smell is pretty subdued really. Taste is of toasted grain, caramel, and some wheat flavors. A bread-like aftertaste after each sip. Carbonation level is pretty good with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer. My first of this style so I can cross this off the style list. I wouldn't get this one again. (624 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: orange amber, prominent head
S: sweet, unspiced bready smell
T: plain wheat, slightly sweet; this is a very inoffensive beer--neither remarkable nor bad, neither bitter nor overly sweet; tones of orange
M: watery
D: it may have improved its drinkability factor if it were slightly sweeter. (292 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a nice shade of amber with a one finger white head. Head actually sticks around for awhile

S- it smells really sweet, almost like honey or maple syrup. Smells nice

T- bland. Getting a lot of sweetness, from what tastes like the maple...really no hops whatsoever. Blah

M- its actually a little thick...weird, based on the style. Not a huge fan of wheat beers having a body...but whatever

D- nonoffensive summer beer. Par for the course for Saranac (500 characters)

Photo of skinny0ne
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's got a great creamy head. The color is equally great. A deep and cloudy amber. The aroma is a bit light but smells of wheat and hay. The flavor is a bit lacking. There's a bit of caramel undertone to it. Definitely can taste the wheat. It's got a medium body. And the finish has a little bit of hops to it. It's a beer you could easily drink a lot of, but not one to really enjoy. It's kind of a jacked up Yuengling. More flavor, more color. But certainly less than special. (478 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some wheat and spices. Taste is also mild, grains with a touch of spice, not a lot of flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent beer. (282 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Took this from the summer variety pack. There's a wonderful cookie aroma with a little spice, but the flavor is pretty plain. There's just a plain, smooth wheat cracker taste. If you're splitting up the summer case, give this to someone afraid of beer. (252 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Amber Wheat from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.