Saranac Hefeweizen - Matt Brewing Company
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Ratings: 285 | Reviews: 196 | Display Reviews Only:
3.6/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
07-09-2006 12:46:38 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.23/5 rDev -6.9%
Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy dark golden color with a fluffy head that sticks well and leaves some lacing
Smell: Mild banana tones with a touch of clove
Taste: Starts with a mild banana bread flavor, which quickly fades after the swallow, but not before leaving a little bit of white pepper and clove on the tongue
Mouthfeel: Light and watery; moderate carbonation
Drinkability: Inoffensive and a reasonable stab at the style but there are many better examples, both domestic and imported
07-24-2007 21:17:35 | More by brentk56
3.18/5 rDev -8.4%
This was the third beer I pulled from the summer sample pack. I really love Hefe's, especially in the summer so I am always stoked to try another, went into this was feeling good and ready for it...
A - Poured a dull hazy golden yellow amber. A nice two inch thick head of foamy white lace graced the top immediatly and ever so gently rested into a thin layer of lace that covered the top and stretched from side to side. Very nice visible carbonation was evident thoughout, looked very nice.
S - Aroma was rather light, almost too light. Grains and yeast were apparent but again, you really had to search for it to find it. Some light peach maybe in the back, but again just nothing wowed me here. Smell was pretty much your run of the mill average Hefe, did not impress, but I will say average.
T - Very light and frankly a bit bland. It came off as just your average Hefe, I expected more, not sure why, but it fell kinda flat on me. Lots of wheat in it for sure, and had a nice hop finish almost, but just came accross as average I guess I have had some good hefe's lately that have spoiled me.
M - Good. Nice consistency and a smooth delievery/ Nott slick or watered down was able to roll it nicely. Went down quite smooth.
D - Very good, definatly a session beer. Very light and not very filling. This was your summer lawn mower beer.
Overall this was a totally average Hefe that was simply just average. I actually just thought it would have been better for some reason, dont know why, but this came off as just plain to me. Not bad at all, just average.
08-08-2007 23:21:46 | More by mikesgroove
2.5/5 rDev -28%
12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Charlie's Beer and Wine in Marietta, Georgia. BB Sep 2012.
Appearance: Pours a lightly cloudy, darkish, dull orange-hued body with an ultra thin, white head that's gone in seconds.
Smell: Some malted wheat, some raw grain, some banana, some clove. Not much going on at all.
Taste: Lightly grainy, malted wheat with a low level of sweetness. Powdered sugar atop stale bananas. Pop of clove spiciness, which is the predominate taste until the hohum finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.
Overall: A rather weak, cheerless rendition of the style.
07-20-2012 23:42:45 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.18/5 rDev -8.4%
A - Poured out an orange/gold color with a bubbly, white, one-finger head. It was highly carbonated and left no lace.
S - It smelled citrusy and of banana. Also, there were some notes of pine.
T - It tasted sweet and fruity. There was a banana flavor present and some yeast.
M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.
D - This is pretty good and a descent American representation of a German hefe.
08-07-2007 02:11:07 | More by zeff80
3.9/5 rDev +12.4%
A surprising treat from F.X. Matt! Although it's a bit restrained for the style, it's refreshing and enjoyable with enough character to keep it interesting. It pours a cloudy gold with an orange cast and a short but creamy bright-white head that unfortunately drops shortly and leaves very little lace. The aroma, however, offers some softly sweet malt, a bit of bubblegum, and a touch of clove. The carbonation is lower than normally expected for the style, but the body is medium with a very fine carbonation that's creamy in the mouth. The flavor remains fairly complex with notes of vanilla, soft fruit, banana and mild clove. It finishes short and lightly sweet. Very drinkable and quite enjoyable. An excellent summer beer that has enough going on to be enjoyable during any season. Well done!
02-17-2003 18:07:22 | More by NeroFiddled
2.75/5 rDev -20.7%
Pours a very slightly fogged amber orange. Minimal head. Nose is a real harsh orange yeasty mix. Not very smooth at all it seems. Flavor is another mess of citrus, mostly orange, and weird hefe characteristics. Feel is sticky. Overall, not very good. Weird orange citrus characteristics. Odd sticky feel. Hits in all the wrong ways. More drain pour.
12-31-2007 09:33:56 | More by RblWthACoz
3.08/5 rDev -11.2%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is heavy with banana, theres a little bit of wheat and not much of anything else.
T: The taste starts out with a banana sweetness but its not as strong as it is in the smell. The sweetness quickly fades into a bready wheat flavor. The hops presence is very mild and the malt character is very thin. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.
M: Smooth with a little bit of crispness, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean finish.
D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, there are definitely much better beers within the style that I would choose over this one.
03-15-2007 03:07:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.8/5 rDev +9.5%
12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.
A- Haze pale orange with three fingers deep of a head that seems to want to stay around.
S- Dusty stale clove, faint banana with a wheat malt sweetness in the nose.
T- Solid wheat malt character holds the beer together. Mild clove-like spiciness milds with a fermented wheat banana twang. Faint nutty yeast in the back with more bready wheat malt.
M- Decent smoothness with a moderate body and flowing carbonation.
D- I did not get tired of drinking this after two bottles.
Certainly a beer to drink in the summer but not a bad beer to have around all year either. Perhaps one of the best beers to come from Matt Brewing IMO.
08-14-2005 22:04:48 | More by Jason
3.05/5 rDev -12.1%
Appearance is a honey clouded unfiltered gold, with a bright creamy textured white head forming thick above the rim of my glass. Sparse speckled lacing sticks to my pint as the head dwindles. Aroma is upfront with the banana esters and limitied on the clove and vanilla aspects more bubblegum and other candy like esters flow. Sharp citrus bite peaks through as well with a really sulfur like smell coming throuhg as well. Flavor wise the banana esters and vanilla cream with chammomile tea like qualities really coat the palate. Powdered yeast cakes and an undertow of citrus with a spicy feel really lay it on as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly stick and cloying at times but carbonation carries it decently. Drinkability I can't get over the sulfur and banana bomb in the flavor, seems like their in the right direction but miss the mark just a bit. Much better than the likes of a Sam Adams labeled hefe that is just an American Wheat.
05-19-2008 21:20:38 | More by WVbeergeek
2.85/5 rDev -17.9%
appearance: clear, straw yellow color, lacking the sort of haze associated with hefe weizens, and possessing a good, thick, pure white head.
Aroma: soft, citrusy, sly notes of banana & clove at first sniff, but becoming stronger with each passing moment, until it's quite thick, where it's nearly a blended banana cream pie!
Some and creamy mouthfeel, but lacking the grit and tackle in the texture that good hefe weizens should have.
Label speaks of cloudy appearance and noticable sediment, but both were MIA. Mmmmm, no, wait, they're there, just hiding, and insubstantial. Light body, middling malt, tiny hops.
Banana cream flavor utterly dominates, but without the yeastiness, it's not a very appealing weizen in the least. Not enough citrus or wheat, or a hell of a lot of things. Good thing I've got some Weihenstephaner in the fridge, to remind what a hefe weizen's supposed to taste like!
Too sweet, too watery, not a beer I'll turn to again.
06-12-2003 18:57:02 | More by feloniousmonk
3.7/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
05-14-2012 19:25:25 | More by StonedTrippin
3.38/5 rDev -2.6%
The beer pours a slightly cloudy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is average. It has a weak and watery wheat scent that contributes a mild banana and clove aroma. This is typical of macro hefes. They have a filtered feel to them. The taste is decent. It has a mild wheat flavor that finishes dry and fruity. It tastes better than the aroma indicates. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer is a good drinker even though it is a weak example of the style. This would be a good choice on those hot summer days.
05-01-2004 00:59:23 | More by WesWes
3.85/5 rDev +11%
Pours hazy (not really the expected cloudy though) golden yellow with a thin white, lasting head. Virtually no lacing sticks to glass.
The smell is of wheat and banana. Pleasant enough, though nothing particularly special.
The taste is of banana/clove. Candy-like sweetness, wheat crispness.
Smooth, crisp, refreshing.
It's not on par with the tradition Bavarians of the style, though the influence (yeast strain) is certainly there, but one of the better American interpretations of the style and one of the better brews I've had from this brewery.
This says "winter release" but is part of the summer mixed pack. Especially enjoyable in the summer, though I could see having this year-round.
06-05-2007 15:45:24 | More by jwc215
3.33/5 rDev -4%
Hazy golden yellow in color with a short 1/2" head. Some lacing spots develop through the drink. The aroma is of wheat, banana, and spice. The flavor is rudely dominated by strong wheat, malt, and banana tones. In the background some clove, citrus, and a bit of bitterness were detectable.
Nice carbonation levels. The mouthfeel is crisp and dry. The finish is dry with the strong wheat tones riding the tongue briefly. This beer seems unbalanced and not as refreshing as I would like, causing drinkability to be very average in my book.
06-09-2005 12:17:03 | More by Gavage
2.4/5 rDev -30.8%
Pours a slight cloudy, pale golden yellow color with a half finger white head that immediately fizzles into a thin ring. No lacing.
Earthy, slightly spicy aroma with some grassy hops and zesty clove followed by some bready yeast and light fruit. Floral but kind of bland with most of the traditional heffe notes kind of muted. Hints of apple, pear and subtle banana.
On the lighter end of medium bodied with tight carbonation and a prominent zesty spice presence up front. Lots of peppery clove and coriander that lingers throughout and dominates the flavor. There's also some dry earthy, grassy hops up front which are countered by subtle bready yeast and light fruit notes. Hints of apple and pear with subtle banana but surprisingly there's hardly any citrus flavor at all. Not offensive but kind of bland and not very flavorful.
06-21-2012 04:53:24 | More by corby112
2.9/5 rDev -16.4%
Bought as part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer mix pack ($11.99/12)
Typical, run of the miill Hefe. At this point, still have yet to find a Hefe I can truly say I enjoyed drinking. Had the banana and clove aroma and taste but the body is just way too think and the lack of carbonation makes it tough to drink. Not something I would try again.
09-09-2008 23:08:12 | More by oriolesfan4
3.6/5 rDev +3.7%
Appears a hazy gold with a fluffy white head that slowly fades into a mild film and collar.
Smell is of sugary bananas and crisp wheat with just a touch of pepper and clove.
Taste is a bit one dimensional leaning toward the banana note perhaps combined in a bowl of frosted flakes...they'rrre OK!
Mouthfeel is crispy and bubbly on the front of the tongue and roof of the mouth with a snap on the back of the tongue during the swallow.
Drinkability...slightly acidic and bubly on the tongue. Sort of reminds me moreso of an American Wheat but showing signs of a true German.
06-12-2006 21:35:38 | More by weeare138
2.65/5 rDev -23.6%
Another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's latest drop-off.
From the bottle: "This traditional German-style wheat beer (pronounced hay-fuh-vite-zen) remains unfiltered to preserve its natural smooth flavor and aroma. Don't be alarmed by its cloudy appearance or noticable sediment. The slight banana and clove aroma comes from authentic German Hefeweizen yeast. Crafted from winter wheat, two row malt with Mittelfreuh and Tettnang hops, it has a light and refreshing finish. Enjoy!"
I went with a very aggro pour as this is a hefeweizen and not a kristalweizen. As such, I got just over a finger of fluffy, bone-white head with decent retention. Color was a cloudy orangish-yellow. Nose was more of clove than banana, which is more towards my sensibilities anyway. Mouthfeel was thin and watery and the taste was fairly bland. It was faintly spicy with clove esters, but overall, it was a stretch to say that there was much there. Finish was likewise bland. I'll keep trying.
03-13-2013 20:43:42 | More by woodychandler
3.03/5 rDev -12.7%
puffy head, develops to a tiny bubble film, leaves nice lace. Yeast in nose. Has some decent hefe flavors,banana mostly, but a bit thin and watery. not much follow thru in mid or finish. A hint of cabbage in thin finish. A so so starter wheat. Drinkable cuz, its light and light bodied....would do OK in a pinch or on a hot summer day with a salad.
01-18-2004 15:05:38 | More by Billolick
3.83/5 rDev +10.4%
From the 12 Brews of Summer.
A: The ale is a clear orange, looking for like a kristall than a hefe. The head is a small white ring atop the glass.
S: The nose is bubblegum and clove, must stronger than I was expecting based on the color (I was expecting a pale wheat ale).
T: The bubblegum and clove that are evident in the nose follow in to the taste. The clove flavors are soft and almost minty. Only after the sip is swallowed does some faint banana sweetness emerge. Despite coming to the party late, the flavors linger long after the sip is gone.
M: The mouthfeel is quite robust, this is a decent approximation of the style. The clove and banana really come out, giving the palate a lot to enjoy.
D: The moderate abv and sweet flavor make this a good beer to enjoy on a hot day, it'll fill you up without knocking you out.
05-06-2007 18:53:50 | More by akorsak
3.7/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
06-02-2007 04:37:10 | More by Zorro
3.85/5 rDev +11%
A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Hazy yellow in appearance with some head but no lacing.
S. Sweet banana yeast. A bit of clove. The wheat is delectible and theres a slight sour hop profile.
T. A wheaty twang and the banana taste is there as well. Very tasty.
M. Crisp and smooth, light to medium bodied.
D. An excellent summer selection, as most Hefe's are.
06-01-2008 16:58:58 | More by Stinkypuss
Saranac Hefeweizen from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.