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Saranac Adirondack Lager - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Adirondack LagerSaranac Adirondack Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

760 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 760
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 13.65%

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

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
German Amber Lager

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001)
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Ratings: 760 | Reviews: 468 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JTBacon


4.38/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess most people on this site don't like giving this inexpensive and unflashy beer enough credit. No, it is not in some fancy bottle. No, the smell will not knock you over. And no, it doesnt look like its the nectar of the gods. But the taste, aftertaste, cost, and chug-ability of this beer is world class. Saranac attributes much of the wonderful taste of this beer to the water its uses from the Adirondacks. If thats true, and I believe it is, we should be buying bottled water of that stuff. The taste is super smooth, balanced, mild, and has a great aftertaste. This is the Michael Jordan of Lagers in the class of Acura's and Audi's. This beer is easy to drink, and tastes great on tap or in a bottle. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to have more than 3 beers tonight.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2012 21:25:48 | More by JTBacon
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scrolling through the Matt Brewing Company page here, I realize that I really have not done a good job writing reviews for this brewery, so I'll try to stay on top of that.

Adirondack lager has a slightly hazy, dull yellow body. The white head is quite creamy looking, and the retention is pretty good, as is the lacing.

The aroma is a mix of sweetness, bread and grain. Just a stirring of a musty-type hop.

The hop bite is very faint, with a mix of earthy and metallic flavors. This pilsner is all malt flavor, dominated by pale malts. Light sweetness is followed by a touch of bread-like flavors. Next comes a lot of grain flavor. The sweetness is a touch too much, and the grain is almost as powerful.

The mouthfeel is a little fuller and creamier than I would expect, but not too bad.

Considering how much Saranac beers cost, I very seldom have too much of a problem with them, and this one is no exception. Adirondack Lager is a little too sweet, and skewed toward the malty side a little more than I would like, but it's an easy drinker that I would probably pick up again when I see pints for $1-$3.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2011 04:10:36 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Only23

New York

3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had it at "Saranac Thursdays" in Utica, NY. On Thursday nights in the summer Saranac hosts an outdoor party with live music and best of all cheap Saranacs.

The Adirondack Lager is definitely best. Great pour and color, with a powerful, flavorful taste. A must try!

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2009 19:32:24 | More by Only23
Photo of LumpyGuitar

New York

3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap, my other choices were less than savory so I figured this was at least supporting my locals.

Poured a light tan-ish amber with about a finger of smooth but solid white head. Left faint lacing as it went but not much, and the head didn't stick around for more than a few minutes.

Smelled rather interesting. Sweetness and malt, smells like caramel and bread, faint hints of citrus and nut.

Taste is good, smooth and refreshing it starts with a bit of a sweetness that blends into a solid nut flavor. Little bit of a salty and malty flavor, finishes with a mild dry hop taste.

Mouthfeel is light. This beer would be a good session beer, considering the other options I have, and stays fairly consistent as it warms. Nice light feel but carbonation is off.

Drinkability here is average. I'd get this in a 6 pack or something but theres better out there.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2008 18:14:47 | More by LumpyGuitar
Photo of SirSaranac

New York

3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the normal Saranac that you'll find on tap at most bars in CNY... I've drank it on many occasions, and decided to review it.

A- Pours a nice honey amber.... Perfect carbonation... 2 finger head sizzles out into nice lacing as you drink.

S- Malt... nothing real strong or complex... hops is there too.... yeast as well. *shrugs shoulders... Nothing to write home to Mom about.

T/M- Very smooth. A nice hearty malt starts this lager off, and it ends with a nice little hop bite. Light body, but a little more to it than a typical lager. Very well balanced.

D- I'd select this at a bar on tap against any macro anyday. I often rotate back and forth between this and Sam Adams at bars with moderate selection.... they complement eachother well, and are highly drinkable

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2008 07:07:06 | More by SirSaranac
Photo of AlHam

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clean and clear, with a solid amber hue that is much richer than a typical American lager's.

Smells grainy with a clear hint of hops.

Tastes smooth and crisp. Only once have I had a bad experience with this beer - usually it's perfect on-tap, but one draft I had took on a slightly metallic taste.

The beer is the perfect complement to a summer bbq. Despite its light mouthfeel, the beer is surprisingly heavy. One or two compliments a meal nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2007 03:50:11 | More by AlHam
Photo of PorterNicole


3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: very clear beer, golden-brown in color. frothy white head, very low head retention, however. it disappears very quickly from the top of the glass.

s: nice, smooth malty aroma. low hops smell. light smell of lemon/citrus.

t: extremely smooth taste. a little bit of bite from the hops, but mostly this beer is a good, malty one.

m: low carbonation, almost a relaxing mouthfeel. soft on the tongue, very light.

d: very easy to drink. a great summer beer as it is refreshing and light.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2006 16:48:17 | More by PorterNicole
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clark's Ale House in Syracuse on tap #5 unless I lost count. some hops, watery. Sweet, some toasted malt, creamy head, well carbonated. Amber colour, sweet overall with crisp dry finish. Very mild and Bland and unoffensive. Not missing anything here.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2004 04:19:53 | More by Sammy
Photo of mooseisloose


3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Part of an assorted trail mix. Popping the top yields a bready waft of sweet malt. Pours to a orange yellow sparkling colour with an off white head. On the taste the brew is a consistent balanced combination of the ready malts and a noble like hoppiness. Taste stays the same throughout then the finish stays bitter and fades. A great brew for the style. Spot on. Very drinkable and flavorful with a disguised 5.5 AC.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 00:49:40 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

3.76/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a solid gold color with some carbonation coming though. Very beery looking beer.

S: Lots of toasted malt and bread coming through. Rather like fat tire. Very malty on the nose, but in a very good way.

T: Easy drinking and on the maltier side which is right up my alley. I like the bready and toasty notes that come though.

Overall nothing extraordinary but very solid. I would never turn down this beer and would pick it up again in an instant. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 12:57:16 | More by BucBasil
Photo of Johnny_Muir

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I like to think of craft beer as a caste system, but one that doesnt degrade the lower end of the scale. I put this beer towards the bottom, certainly not an untouchable (that'd be BMC), but also not royalty. However, I am proud to drink this and any Saranac brew on the principle that A) I spent five months doing trail work and climbing peaks in the mighty Dacks, and 2) that Matt Brewing is 100% AMERIKUHN, from Yootika, New Yawk!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 00:12:54 | More by Johnny_Muir
Photo of Aledog

New York

3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

T: light hops, could use a little more malt

O: good, solid beer from Saranac. What you would expect--easy drinking, but nothing to knock your socks off. Loses carbonation quickly. Good for the price, I would buy again. Good staple to have in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 05:42:00 | More by Aledog
Photo of BuzzLitebier


3.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled on 12/27/13 with Arithmeticus
Appearance: The color was a clear apple-juice color with a creamy head and a little lacing, but it looked very clean and nice.
Smell: Apple cider/apple pie not much and not all that great (Would've scored it as Pi, but it's not an option- arf, arf)
Taste: No apple taste at all but very bready and malty with subtle bitterness on finish. The hops were grassy/herbal but didn't linger.
Mouthfeel: light-medium
Overall: Not sure why folks are hatin' on it bc. It was a pretty good beer. I would definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 19:17:10 | More by BuzzLitebier
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear golden orange in color with some light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some light notes of golden yellow + copper highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy foamy off-white head that quickly reduces to a medium to large sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of grainy and lightly toasted malts along with light notes of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of grainy, toasted, and pale malts with hints of sweetness which is followed by light to moderate flavors of grassy hops. The hops impart a light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp and clean.

O: This beer is pretty well balanced with pleasant amounts of sweetness from the malts and bitterness from the hops. Relatively easy to drink and probably a good gateway beer for people just starting out with craft beers. Refreshing and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 21:02:08 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of BMMillsy


2.9/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

My "craft"experience in college in the middle of nowhere, this was one usually around for the night. An ok amber. Pours a light amber golden color with small head. Aroma of sweet malt and very little hop presence. Flavor follows with a strong malt bill, but relative light on the palate. Easy drinking beer with adequate carbonation. Not a great one, but certainly drinkable and perhaps a nice craft intro.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 23:54:05 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours light amber, translucent, minimal white foam. Light malty nose, very modest. Juicy. Light pils taste, interwoven malt. Hints of Vienna lager. Good hop backbone. Fruity. Good blend.

Certainly not a great beer, but enough flavor to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 20:50:04 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Brenden


3.46/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer certainly looks the part of a pils, a completely clear golden color. A good-sized white head is frothy and keeps its form pretty well while slowly receding and leaving a mixture of spotting and patching in moderation.
It's maltier than it is hoppy, but with a pretty good balance from hops. A bit of yeastiness comes out in the middle, while some doughy biscuit sits alongside the sweet caramel, as a bit of citric bitterness lightly rides along. It's clean but very, very light.
Leafy and citric hops bitterness does come out, though again biscuit and caramel are stronger. Grains linger underneath. Toast and an almost English malts metallic note actually serve to round out the flavor. There's even a slight twinge of alcohol into the end.
There's a sturdy crispness to this brew's light to medium body and it's pretty clean, though it dries up a little too fast into a huskier finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 18:58:27 | More by Brenden
Photo of stella77artois

New York

4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Drank from the bottle, assuming it looks like most lagers.

S - Noble hops, a fair amount of malt, some yeast/breadiness and the dankness of a lager. Perhaps a bit of cut grass as well. Nice smelling beer, just a little on the weaker side.

T - Suprised this beer isn't rated higher. A very flavorful pilsener. Notice a lot of hops after the swallow, and some breadiness up front. Also a flowery bitterness from the hops, but a unique one. The flavor doesn't really bite as this is a lager, but it tastes pretty darn good. Still tasted great even when warmish.

F - Excellent, perfectly sessionable. Drank a number of these in a row easily. Still tasted and refreshed well once warmed a tad. An excellent thirst quencher.

O - As I said, I'm suprised this beer isn't rated higher. Has an excellent, crisp flavor and is extremely refreshing. Could be one of new go-to session beers. Recommended for people who appreciate a lighter yes still flavorful session beer, or any lager/pilsener fan.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 11:46:56 | More by stella77artois
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Happy 125th anniversary Saranac.

A: Pours a clear light golden straw with an ample white head. Can see some fairly large bubbles raising to the surface. The head remains dense as it dissolves leaving some lacing on the sides.

S: Light malting with a mild hopping. Breadiness in there too. Isnt overly strong.

T: Mild flavor of pale malts with a gentle touch of hop bitterness. There is some carmel malts in there to give it some sweetness.

M: Crisp and refreshing mouthfeel that makes the beer sessionable.

Overall it remains true to the basics of the style but doesnt provide any specific flavors that make it stand out.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 01:07:49 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of digitalflood

New York

3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Saranac Adirondack Lager (2013) - The first beer I ever drank was this brew. It was my introduction to the brewing world. I've come a long way, but I remember just how great I thought this was especially when I tried Coors or Bud or Millers (etc...) in subsequent sessions. Good fluffy head reduces to strong lacing. Reddish amber body. Good carbonation. Very active. Hoppy bitter smell. Sour apples and grapes. Smooth mouth feel. Lemon grass nose. Wheat grass and mild hops middle palate. Skunks a bit in the end to let you know it's a lager. But finishes clean. A little sour. A little bitter. Then grass and lemons on the back palate. The taste of a warm summer's day. Very refreshing. Crisp. After taste is crisp but good generic lager taste. Bitter hops and light malt. Lemon bread if you will. A great hot day brew. Good with BBQ or heavy meals that need a light side. Great alternative to a mainstream lager like Bud or Miller. Far smoother. More refined. Third Shift though changes and game putting this brew down a notch some 13 years from our first meeting. My tastes have matured. So what was once the standard and a 4 in 1999 has become a 3.25 in 2013. This is a good brew, but average. That isn't a put down. It still holds the standard and I would go back to it any time. A solid meal beer or a great end of the day kick back watching a ball game beer. Good.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 02:51:08 | More by digitalflood
Photo of BWED


3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle into a pils glass.

A- Exact amber, with lighter highlights sparkling through the corners od the glass. A dense light tan 1/2" head rest atop.

S- Sweet malt foreground, with a slightly fruity hop character. A sweet bread, with fruit aroma.

T- Straw flavor with a spicy, yet mellow hop bite.

M- Light with a medium amount of carbonation. Clean finish.

O- This is decent. Nothing stands out too much, which is how the style should be. Its an easy drinker, but there are more appealing lagers in my area.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 12:42:53 | More by BWED
Photo of JG-90

New Jersey

3.16/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Beer is golden amber in color with a small/average sized head that has decent retention. Has a small amount of lacing. Smells mostly of toasted and caramel malts. Has a doughy/yeasty/bready smell with a touch of a hoppiness in the aroma as well, maybe orange but hard to tell.

Taste is dominated by malts, nutty, caramel, toasted. Yeast and bread are present throughout with a bit of orange peel in the finish. Also has a metallic note to it, not pleasant, but not a deal-breaker, either. Has a creamy, medium/heavy body with average carbonation. A beer that is too malt dominant to be a favorite of mine, also nothing really stands out here, besides the slight metallic taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 18:49:08 | More by JG-90
Photo of HabiMendes

Rhode Island

3.76/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance is OK, with a clear amber and white neck (that should retain more, since it is a German Lager). The aroma reminisces graham crackers, with a controlled diacetyl taste. The malt profile is strong, and the hop profile has both the Hallertauer nobleness and the Cascade exuberance. In the taste, the cascade becomes even more discrete. I don't think there is an harmony between malt and hops, but it does not compromise the quality of this beer. The mineral taste in the water is welcome, and the finish leaves us with a very pleasant hoppy taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 18:17:37 | More by HabiMendes
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsener glass. Crystal clear gold with a fizzy head that dissipated relatively quickly, but with some nice lacing. Smell was a lot of malt, a bit more yeasty than I expected. Hops not really present in smell. Tasted followed the nose; malty as expected, surprisingly yeasty, although only in flavor; the body was not affected. Mouthfeel was clean and crisp despite the yeast, with hops sneaking in at the end to pinch off the taste. In my opinion there are much better pilsener styles, but this lager is many steps above its mass-produced contemporaries.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 22:56:28 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of MoreThanWine


3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a half inch offwhite head of average lifespan. The body is a clear slightly burnt orange and exhausts all effervescence into the small head. It smells mildly of malt. The taste is mainstream lager with the slightest hint of bitter hops. It's OK, but just an average mainstream lager.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2012 08:57:47 | More by MoreThanWine
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Saranac Adirondack Lager from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 760 ratings.