Saranac Lake Effect Lager - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Lake Effect LagerSaranac Lake Effect Lager

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156 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 14.24%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.95% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: errantnight on 10-31-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 85
Reviews by sdj5:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the beers of winter 12 pack.
A dark amber color with a medium-sized tan head. Good amount of lacing.
Sweet malt aroma, some floral hops.
White bread taste, piney hops.
Medium bodied. Sweet, herbal.
Pretty good beer,easy to drink. Would drink it again.

Photo of generallee
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. This bottle was part of the 2010 Saranac Winter 12 pack.

Appearance: The body has a garnet color with good clarity. On top sits a thin half inch thick head which is beige in color and fades quickly. Lacing is very minimal and slick leaving a mostly clean glass behind.

Smell: It is light overall in the nose with a light malty sweetness with hints of light herbal hop spice and faint mineral presence.

Taste/Palate: There is a mild bready sweetness up front with some sweet roasted grain notes and some nice moderately balanced hop spice and bitterness with just a very slight mineral touch. It finishes quickly and fairly clean with a thin residual sweetness balanced by light hop bitterness. The body is light to medium with average carbonation.

Notes: Overall it follows the same basic Saranac formula of an easy drinking well balanced beer with a decent flavor profile based on its style.

Photo of Jason
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle no freshness date though it was part of their winter 12-pack 10'-11'.

The two fingered head does a lot of sticking to the glass, clear and tawny with lively bubbles. Taffy-like sweetness, bread crust and herbal hop in the nose. Maltiness has a bit of depth but does not really open up, dried bread crust meets an herbal hop. Clean wet palate that stays pretty smooth.

Not half bad but when it comes to Dunkel Lagers I am always looking to the original stuff. Worth a try.

Photo of Billolick
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, from a holiday box of varied selections. No freshness info to be had.

Pours dakr honey amber, a tad murky, medium tan head, stays at the 1/3 inch level, before leaving a thick collar, some low sheeting and then ample fine and nicely developed lower lace.

Slight chocolaty nose, with some sugary malts in the rear.

Easy drinking lager, chocolte infused malts carry the freight. Rich and smmoth malty notes abound. Pleasant enough, decent cool weather quaffer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love the annual 12 beers of Xmas pack, it seems like as a whole they have put some well hopped beers into the mix. Only two new offerings this year, this Lake Effect Lager seems to be a nice German style dunkel lager at first glance. Appears a dark caramel amber bodied with a nice off white tan colored head forming thick fine bubbled head. Evenly strung thick chunky lacing, very nice look going on poured into my 1/2 liter Sam Adams krug style glass. Aromatics offer up dark roasted malt, slightly nutty touch of caramel. No overt sweetness, subtle bready German malts with Hallertau herbal spicy leafy toned hops coming in as well. Flavors work well together combining a semi dry roasted malt quality hints of caramel and nut with earthy/herbal/spicy hop accents a beautiful mix of true German style brewing. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied sturdily carbonated as the style typically prescribes to. Wonderful semi dry finish not a sweet or hoppy beer just a beautifully balanced dunkel lager. Drinkability overall is pretty nice no problem drinking a couple bottles of this stuff, wish I had another mixed 12 pack to top off the glass I'm drinking.

Photo of gregb13
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First of the winter seasonal pack and my first beer from Saranac. Pours a very inviting ruby redish copper; nice lacing and head retention. Smells very malty with some caramel. Taste follows the nose with a mild hop bite to finish. Overall it's pretty good lager.

Photo of dacrza1
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Occasion: senses are BACK after a bout with bronchitis....
Glassware: nondescript pilsener...
Appearance: dark orange body with strong effervescenceand a thin, off-white head--nothing out of the ordinary...
Aroma: doughy, bready scents; malts are punchy if not pungeant...
Palate: smooth, slightly bubbly finish with a thicker, warming texture on the tongue...
Taste: full-bodied malts! as the glass drains, a balance approaches comfortability with not too much uniqueness..and I have had a good amount of Saranac...
Overall: a slightly weightier Saranac for the winter--bottle's scene is snowy and sentimental, but the beer is what it is--serviceable but not outstanding...fair for the price....

Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: A nice slightly darker copper color with lots of bubbles providing some decent retention and lacing from the off-white head.

Smell: Roasted malts, slightly burnt caramel or brown sugar, a bit of toffee, and some bread notes of crust and toast.

Taste: Another wave of roasted malts, some toast notes, and lightly roasted caramel and brown sugar. And some lingering mild fruit esters and citrus in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-bodied with good carbonation and lots of bubbles without feeling like champagne.

Drinkability: I got more than I expected with this. Enough flavor for the style and the sessionability factor to the QPR is pretty high. Seems like a good brew for winter too, an apt choice for the mix 12 this year.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a mountain of thick, creamy, off-white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of caramel and toffee. The taste is caramel and dark fruit with lager yeast undertone. The dark fruit gets the most attention. It's a medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated beer.

This is a decent beer, but it's not overly impressive. As part of a mix pack it was a good try, but I wouldn't seek it out otherwise.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Mild brown lager with decent carbonation.

Smell: Good smokiness. Almost like heavily burnt sugar. Might not be enjoyable for some, but I don't mind the strength here.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Again, the smokiness is nice. Very malty and pretty sweet, although the burned sugar gives this some bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit weak and doesn't hold up to the taste.

Drinkability: Smokiness doesn't make this the ideal beer.

Overall: Could use some more balance, but it's good.

Photo of Gmann
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear honey brown color with a fluffy airy head that settles into a solid cap.

The aroma is of a doughy/bready malt, has some toast scents as well as some caramel and tin.

The flavor is of a toasted caramel malt, some grassy bitter hops, honey, and some tea like flavors. It doesn't really have the doughy flavor that the dunkels get from the munich malt.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation, crisp; finishes with a slight bitterness. Drinks quite easy.

Not a bad beer just doesn't seem to be totally to style. Doesn't have any munich malt flavor and seems to be a tad light for the style.

Photo of Treyliff
3.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper, almosst brown color with a 1 inch white head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, figs, grains, bread, yeast, and spices.

Taste- Sweet, yet dry malts on the front end, finishes with a medicinal herb like hoppiness. Good, but seems a little thin on the finish.

Mouthfeel is bLnced, but a little thin.

Overall pretty good! Considering this is a "mass produced" beer, this makes a good choice for a winter seasonal.

Photo of tone77
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of malts, a bit sweet. Taste is like the smell, plenty of malts, a light hopping, considerable sweetness. Feels light in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a very good beer.

Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle no. 2790-1009. Sampled on December 17, 2010. If a beer could be judged on its looks alone it would probably rate higher. The mahogany-copper pour ends with a decent head and little pearl drops of non-stop slow upward bound carbination bubbles. The aroma is not overly distinctive but I get a good maltiness and a thin, unusual hoppiness thrown in. The taste is nice and bitter with a light but crisp hoppiness on the tail end. It was quite drinkable.

Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - An active swirling pour gives way to a mammoth head slightly off-white airy batter-like head that becomes slightly rockier as it settles... Decent retention finally gives way to a full creamy lacing... The color is a clean completely translucent medium brown... Mostly still with only some stray sluggish carbonation...

S - The malts are paramount... Toast... Rich dark breads... Nutty... Muted caramel... Muted toffee... Some very minor hints of dark fruit and old coffee... Warm and inviting...

T - The bready malts are first and foremost... Crust... Dark bread... Toast... Roasted peanuts... Weak coffee notes... Perhaps a slight twang of hops... Some faint roasted malts appear on the finish...

M - Starts with a slightly lush texture... Medium bodied... Sleek... A chalky slightly burnt finish...

D - A very solid offering from Saranac... FX Matt doesn't get enough credit for the brews they make... An easy drinker that I would gladly drink again... If available in six-pack form I would pick-up on occasion...

Photo of aranheaney
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Saranac taste of winter 12 pack, picked up for $5.99 at my a great local beer vendor:

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH snifter:

A-Ruby red with caramel head that laces fairly well

S-Malt, roast, some hoppiness

T-Decent, follows the nose, the malt is prevalent and it finishes well

M-Smooth, very respectable throughout

O-A decent Saranac product

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ba Review #130
Served On: 02/17/2012
Glassware: Sam Adams Perfect Pint
Labeled ABV: -
Date/ Code: March 31, 2012

This was in the 2011 '12 Beers of Winter' mixed 12 pack.

Look: Clear copper with slight yellow tinges along the edge. Carbonation bubbles were slowly drifting to the top. The head stared out as 1-finger of spongy light tan foam. It reduced down to a consistent film.

Smell: Spicy ginger with notes of fresh baked bread and some lager qualities in the background. Also some plum or raisin.

Taste: First was a spicy ginger that quickly lead into a cracker note. Middle was roasty with some hops making an appearance. Finish was a nice warm bitterness and some residual spice that lingered.

This is a great winter seasonal from Matt. I think the original name of this beer was Winter Lager but they changed it to Lake Affect Lager a couple years ago.

Photo of Sensaray
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reddish copper with fluffy off white head with audible bubbles

Smell is malty with notes of yeasty

Some sense of hop leads to a much more pronounced malty flavor, kind of nutty, caramel sweet-ish, lightly roasted

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, medium light. Kinda not much to it

Decent. An OK addition to variety pack, nothing I wouldn't drink again, but nothing special

Photo of jonB
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nicely with a thin white head and strong carbonation. Smells strongly of malted barley and finishes dry with subtle hoppiness. There is nothing particularly wintry about this one. Although it is a solid German lager that is very drinkable. Very sessionable.

Photo of musicforairports
3.99/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber, quite translucent, some carbonation bubbles...head is minimal and lacing doesn't last long.

Smells like dark crystal malt, some roasted character, a bit of dark fruit. Impressive malt aromas.

Taste is a blast of robust, mildly sweet malt--some caramel, nuttiness, some fig. Don't get any of the hops the label plays up, but that's okay. This works as a good, big malty beer.

Mouthfeel is medium. Not watery, not too thick.

This is one of Saranac's best malt-forward beers I can think of. It's very robust for its ABV and has slight qualities of a bock or dopplebock. To me, its depth of flavor makes it a bit difficult to drink again and again in one sitting. But it's a good winter beer if you're looking for something with complex malt flavor.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a huge billowing white head that settled down to reveal some subtle lacing that was quite nice. Smell was of caramel, grains, and breads, yeast primarily. Taste was typical brown lager. Some subtle spiceness, great all around flavor. Lots of earthy tones, with a ever so slight sweetness. Mostly malts on this one. This was a decent beer, extremely sessionable and a samn fine call

Photo of rlee1390
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, from the 2010 Winter Mix Pack, poured into my DFH pint glass

A-Dark amber brown with 1/2 finger head that quickly dissipates

S-Lots of malts and some hints of caramel

T-Malt is coming through strong, a roasted type of taste. The caramel from the nose is in the taste as well.

M-Medium with some carbonation

D-Before I drank this beer I was wondering what a lager was doing in the winter mix. After having the beer it was a good inclusion, great for a cold night like tonight.

Photo of errantnight
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mine was received in my beer of the month club, this is generally available in the "12 beers of winter" package from Saranac. Described as: "a rich, malty, old school German lager" this dark brown lager is a bit full for a Dunkel, but it's more appropriate than a Bock or Schwarzbier.

Pours a deep amber/brown with solid retention, no real lacing to speak of. This is almost dark for a Brown Ale, frankly.

Nose is a bit of light, chocolate-y roast finishing with an earthy, spicy hop note.

On the palate this is pleasingly medium to medium full in body with a clean, effective bittering finish. The malt gets a bit lost behind the roast and the hops, leaving this a bit flinty. But it's got a nice, chocolate character that backs a hint of brown bread in the backdrop that leaves this a pleasing, full bodied lager to quaff.

Better for a cold evening in the Northeast than a barely cool evening here in SoCal, and a bit short on malty complexity, but it's a clean, well-brewed, and moderately satisfying lager.

Photo of plaid75
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

The smell featured a burnt caramel, smoke and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a smooth toasted malt with accents of smoke and cocoa. Nice balancing hop. A touch thin though.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and seemingly authentic lager.

Photo of blakelive784
2.71/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pilsner glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent amber/copper color with a surprisingly creamy, off white head of two fingers. Retention is poor.

S - Poorly handled pale malt and caramel, extremely light hops, and some spice. Very mild in strength.

T - Simple Caramel and toasted malt throughout. There are some hops notes near the climax, but they're weak. The toast flavors continues in the aftertaste. It's ok for what it is, but it's way too simple.

M - It's thick, and a bit too smooth. Doesn't really drink like any lager should.

D - Meh. It's ok, and there are no glaring flaws, but it's unmemorable and I'd pass on it.

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Saranac Lake Effect Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.