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Saranac Hefeweizen - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac HefeweizenSaranac Hefeweizen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

287 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Hefeweizen |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 287 | Reviews: 196 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pentathlete
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a Weihenstephaner yesterday, well, the Saranac, while not bad, just doesn't hold up too well. This is golden, not perfectly clear but close (!?), and small head that falls to a simple ring. Smell has hints of wheat, mild citrus, and maybe a touch of banana, but not much. Taste finds the banana notes over a base of bubbly, nearly malt lagerish flavor. The wheat comes through, with more banana in the finish. Mouthfeel is thin to medium and the finish is short. Nothing offensive and nothing that grabs you. Try it in the summer pack, it won't hurt you and it is not expensive.

pentathlete, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of bboven
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy straw color, that's right on. The head starts out strong but fades to nothing with no lacing.

Mostly bubblegum, but not overpowering as the clove, banana, and yeast aromas are right behind.

A bit on the sweet side, but all the normal characteristics are there.

Carbonation is goo, there's a bit of drying and actually a bit of warming in the stomach as well. Not something you look for in this style, but not unpleasant.

A pretty good example of an easy beer to make that every brewery does. Nothing steps out as this one being great, but definitely on-par for what it should be.

bboven, May 08, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystalline amber with a healthy infusion of orange. All but two fingers of beer made it into the glass... so where's the hefe? The cap is slightly yellowed bone white in color and has a respectable solidity about it. A few scraps of sudsy lace are beginning to stick, but it looks as if the glass will be relatively untouched in the end.

Even though the nose is on the subdued side, at least it smells like a true hefe weizen. Sugared banana is more prominent than lightly tangy wheat is more prominent than clove. I wouldn't mind a bit if the flavor follows this general blueprint, although more boldness would be appreciated.

I'm happy to see that Saranac has come up with a more than credible version. There's nowhere near the depth and breadth of flavor that the best German hefe weizens (or even the best domestic versions) possess, yet it's still flavorful, enjoyable beer.

This is a sweet and fruity hefe, as opposed to dry, crisp and quenching (perhaps a little too sweet). Banana is still in the forefront and earns the beer a hefe weizen banan-o-meter score of 3.5/5.0. Pils malt and wheat malt are next in line, just as in the nose, and there's very little cloviness at all.

My biggest complaint is that the flavor profile is too compressed, too flat. I need more expansive, mouth-filling, taste bud saturating flavor to truly enjoy a beer. I place part of the blame on the body, although it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's wrong with it. It's light-medium and only gently carbonated; not bad characteristics in and of themselves.

I've learned not to become too excited about a new (to me at least) Matt Brewing Company/Saranac beer. Hefeweizen, however, is a better effort than most of their line-up even if it doesn't challenge the heavy hitters of the style. For a 'winter seasonal', this is a pretty good summer quaffer if sweetness isn't an issue.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my Harpoon weizen glass. Appears a cloudy pale straw color with about two fingers of bone white head. The head lingers for just about the entire glass, fading to about a third of it's original size. Smells and tastes of citrus such as lemon, typical banana and clove notes, a touch of spicy yeast, followed by a subtle sweetness with a wheat flavor from start to finish. Crisp, refreshing and medium bodied with ample carbonation for a hefe. No too bad, especially for the price.

ClockworkOrange, May 08, 2009
Photo of ADR
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yea! its hazy, though not as much as the label claims. Initial bright white head of little duration. Estery aroma, yeasty and banana. Nice esters, banana and clove with minimal lemon impression, though there's a strange sense of burnt butter early. Finishes full and pleasant, maybe a little sweet. I'm not much of a Hefe fan but this is a nice beer to refine for the future.

My Saranac "sojourn" is over...

ADR, Nov 13, 2002
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting # 6 of the summer 12-pack.

AP: Hazy-dazy orange hued golden color with good carbonation that creates a thin 1/8" head that dissiptes rather slowly for a thin head with a good cover.

nose: Wheat, grains, cloves and banana scented yeast upfront along with a mildly sweet scented red-berries underneath.

flavor: Over-ripe banana with wheat and spices and a very herbal and fruity edge that rides shot-gun. The yeastie, sour-fruit flavors dominate the after-taste and a wet-earth on a hot day hoppy finish.

Feel: Everything you'de expect in an American Hefe, light, crisp, clean and refreshing.

DA: good 'nough

GratefulBeerGuy, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of nrpellegrini
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better unfiltered hefeweizens I've had. Smooth, light, and a creamy mouthfeel make it easy to drink this beer. Other unfiltered hefe's have been a lot heavier. This one was very appropriate for the summer. A couple spice and fruit flavors...
and a slight hop here and there. I'd say try it while you can.

nrpellegrini, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of IrishRedRock
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't a bad brew by any means, but comparing it to other Hefeweizens, both American and German, it doesnt hold up. Cloudy with a bit of a spicy clove aroma. Smooth mouthfeel with some yeasty banana flavors, but not complex at all. I could also ask for a bit more of a kick in the tastebuds, a bit more spiciness, like a Paulaner dishes out, or against American Hefe's, a Widmer. I guess for an American interpretation it isnt bad, but there seems to be much better out there.

IrishRedRock, Dec 01, 2002
Photo of beerphan
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet, part of the summer sampler.

A nice 2 inch head that quickly disappeared, medium carbonation with a stray bubble popping up throughout.

Light golden straw color with a very very slight haze present.
Smells of banana, clover and light yeast.

Refreshingly light going down. Lots oof banana flavor and i slight lemony hop. A good summer brew, but nothing spectactular or groundbreaking.

edit: 2007
bumped the scores on this one as i think it has improved.

Better appearance, better aroma, better drinkability, creaminess

beerphan, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of jtw5877
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with a white head, dominant clove/banana flavors, not a bad hefe, once again, saranac makes a good intro to style beer. Beer #10 of 12 beer sampler. i still recommend the purchase.

jtw5877, Dec 25, 2002
Photo of asabreed
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from the 12 beers of summer 12-pack. Poured into my Aventinus glass (and good lord does the glass for a Hefeweizen really seem to making a different for everything regarding presentation, especially versus a Hefe in a pint glass).

Appearance: Nice hazy golden yellow, once I swished and poured the yeast in (whether others are adverse to it for not). Decent sized head that's sicking out the duration, and decent bubble lacing. Not bat at all, and pretty pleasant to look at.

Smell: Banana and clove spiciness is more well-done than I thought would be the case. Still could be a little creamier, and maybe a little maltier with the wheat. Not too bad, though

Taste: Maybe one of the better commercial Hefeweizens around. All of it's there, the creaminess, the spice, the banana, and the clove, but it's not necessarily pushed enough, or maybe just not balanced enough? I suppose it may not be the balance, but possibly the slightest bit watered down. Still, the aftertaste is great, and I'm enjoying it still very much as it gets near the end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy body. Moderate carbonation is also working well. Pretty nice.

Drinkability: I could certainly make this a session. With some tweaking this could be an excellent brew. Still, I'm very impressed, and this may be my favorite Saranac brew.

asabreed, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of TheTrevor
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy gold with a two-finger head that didn't last long. The smell has the distinct aroma of banana with some wheat and spices also present. The taste starts off with some sweetness with some citrus and banana characteristic that gives way to some slightly spicy overtones. The mouthfeel is fairly thin with a decent amount of carbonation. I'd consider this beer pretty drinkable and wouldn't mind having a couple on a warm summer night. This is a good example of the style, it's a shame they don't make it all the time.

TheTrevor, May 31, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a two-finger head that stuck around and left some lacings on top of a very cloudy orange body. A decent smell of spices and citric notes, but a little weak. Almost full-bodied, this beer was fluffy and a little sweet from the wheat and had both citric tastes (bananas and pineapple more than citrus) and spices, but the spices beat out the other flavors just a tad for me. This isn't just a summer beer, it's a great all year round beer even if it isn't the greatest hefe to have.

clayrock81, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a cloudy gold colored beer with a smallish white head for the style. Color is too dark for the style.

Neutral scent malt wise with just a little whet malt. Ester wise this smells like and honest Hefe, mainly this smells of clove and medicine. Banana and spice scent is present but is combined into a banana ice cream scent.

The taste begins neutral and spicy. Not much sweetness here this is quite phenolic and mainly medicine and then clove in taste. Banana taste is mostly in the aftertaste here and there is a mildly strong hop bitterness. Definitely a dry and medicine tasting Hefe Weizen.

The mouthfeel is OK.

This is more of a slap in the face of taste than an easy drinking wheat beer. One is enough of this.

Zorro, Jun 02, 2007
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It came as a surprise this morning that this was my 100th beer review. I've made hefe's and had them from germany in crocks hand carried by friends. Suffice to say I was curious to see what Saranc's take on a hefe would be. It's often a tough category with a wide range of interpretation.

This brew poured a nice bold golden color with a refreshing wheat / clove smell. The taste was bolstered by the wheat with a slight hefe style twang in the back of the mouth. In all a nice brew for a summer barbecue and a good american brewed example of the style.

I personally like my hefes' with a solid whallop of yeast clouding up the brew. If you don't know what I'm referring to, visit a quality german bier hause and have your waitress pour one for you. It's a treat! That said, this is a nice brew that should be much easier to find and enjoy. Cheers

barleywinebrewer, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Vendetta
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
July 5, 2008

Smells very good, floral and banana. Looks hazy yellow like a good hefe should. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Tastes very floral, banana, citrusy. I was pleasantly surprised by this brew, it doesn't compete with hefeweizens like Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Franziskaner, but it's far better than Sam Adams' effort. Check it out.

Vendetta, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Stimack
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured to a somewhat cloudy gold color with some highlights of orange mixed in. I was surprised that is was as clear as it was but I suppose that might be from filtration? Had a nice sized slightly off white head that has some legs and left a little lacing. The aroma is quite surprising as it has the aromas of a solid hefe as I was not sure what to expect. Noticeable first seem to be the banana smell which mixes quite nicely with the wheat backbone, clove is not being picked up by my nose. The taste is quite nice actually, seems to have a refreshing quality to it! The banana taste is noticeable up front mixed in with some additional citrus fruit like scents. Also the wheat flavor is quite nice giving it a spiciness even though it seems quite refined in the background. Overall this is a nice rendition of a Hefe by FX Matts (Saranac), possibly one of their better brews and a good one for the summer.

Stimack, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i think this is an excelent hefe, and i am always glad when it pops up in the saranac 12packs. pours a very pale yellow shade with a modest amount of suspended sediment and a tall white head. big aroma of banana and clove in this one, really potent smell. yeast is there behind a wheat malt backing. flavor is similarly banana, which i really like in this one. its a little sweet, tropical, and spicy. not exactly subtle, but not in your face too hard either. feel is nice, not heavy at all from the sediment. bigger carbonation than most, very drinkable. i like this one best in the summer box.

StonedTrippin, May 14, 2012
Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice, tall head billows up on the pour and settles on a mildly clouded yellow-gold brew. It ends up a pure white and lasts the rest of the way about half a finger high with a rocky denseness.
The aroma is wheat, lemon, yeast and a kiss of hops. A bit of clove is here but very lightly with very little banana notes to speak of. The yeast, though evident, doesn't impart that true character in the strength it should.
The flavor strikes me as almost more half hefeweizen / half APWA. There's definitely a good, strong wheat base with a good hops and malts balance and plenty of the yeast character. Lemon is actually prevalent as a flavor in this beer aside from the wheat. It's not as sweet or soft as some, having more of a citrus / lemon zest. Again, banana and clove aren't particularly evident here.
This beer does have very much the right feel for the style. The body is light but with plenty of depth. This is very crisp and refreshing without sacrificing smooth, blending into a creamy finish.

Brenden, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of dacrza1
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker brown (too dark?) gently effervescent body with a quickly thinning soft white head... banana, clove and citrus as expected--little else to quantify... smooth, a bit active at the back teeth--medium-bodied and substantial--a surprising approximation of the style, with a lingering aftertaste to boot... the beer rewards with clove and banana shaking the wheat's hands on the exhale... abit sweet, and drier than expected... I must admit, for the Saranac swings and misses I've had, this stood up when I conducted a showdown between this and Paulaner's hefe--and I've enjoyed Paulaner's offering for years now... nicely attempted, Saranac...a good player in the summer mix pack...

dacrza1, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of nasty15108
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Saranac Summer Beer Sampler.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weis glass.

A - Poured a yellowish color with slight orange hues. Pour produced a small head of white foam. Good carbonation and faint lacing made this look a little more like a Pilsner than a Hefeweizen.

S - Yeast and slightly musty with hints of spice (clove) and banana.

T - Malty with a very slight hint of citrus and spice. Definite hits of banana. Finishes of slightly dry.

MF&D - Pretty much what I expected. Doesn't measure up to it's Greman counterparts, but not a bad effort. A good summer session beer.

nasty15108, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of sacfly
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, part of the beers of summer pack 2006
Pours a cloudy yellow straw color. Ample head of medium white bubbles. Aroma is largely of banana bread. Taste mimics the aroma in every way. Another solid example of the style. I think Saranac with this summer pack is hitting the style guides nicely. Nothing outstanding, but all average to above. I would like to see them push the envelope a bit now that they have clearly nailed most styles they do. (no, I don’t mean another caramel porter. Yech.)

sacfly, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of ybnorml
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy golden yellow beer. Has a small white head that vanishes quickley. There is a lovely traditional yeasty aroma with banana and clove notes. The taste starts out with a mild grain note followed by a hint of banana. The finish has a slight sharp sour bite. Not as flavorful as my favorite Hefe. But clean and refreshing.

ybnorml, Jul 05, 2005
Photo of Wamesit
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very hazy orange amber with a thick rocky white head that gives way to little lacing.

S - Sweet wheat malts with loads of banana and clove.

T - Banana and clove, all day. The flavors could be seen as too powerful to some fans of the style. However, wheat provides a strong enough presence throughout to keep this beer sweet and fruit-rich but still manageable. Slightly more bready malts in the finish.

M - Medium with just the right amount of carbonation.

O - A strong Hefe; a little sweet but I like mine more in that direction.

Wamesit, May 18, 2011
Photo of Bike2work
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Bike2work, Jun 13, 2012
Saranac Hefeweizen from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.