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Saranac Adirondack Lager | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

471 Reviews
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Saranac Adirondack LagerSaranac Adirondack Lager

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States | website

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
German Amber Lager

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 471 | Ratings: 895
Photo of JTBacon
4.35/5  rDev +28.7%
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.

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Photo of Bowersm
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very drinkable beer and, depending on the occasion, I could see myself drinking several of them. I've read other reviewers state that this is the sort of beer that they could drink all night and I tend to agree with that assessment. Many have said that it is an average beer and I think that is underselling it a bit. Saranac continues to offer low-cost quality beer that, although certainly not the best beer on the market, provides great bank for the buck.

I found the appearance of this beer to be a bit better than the actual taste, but the taste is a significant upgrade to other beers priced about the same.

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Photo of ICantBelieveItsBeer
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had never heard of this beer and I figured I would give it a try and got a six pack of 4 different kinds of Saranac.

A - Crystal amber color with a nice head.

S - Bold. Somewhat hoppy scent for a lager.

T - Very different from any standard lager I've ever had. Almost a citrus/tangy taste to it without being overpowering.

M - Light in carbonation and very drinkable for a beer that is 5.5%. I feel like I could drink this all night.

O - For never trying this beer before, I am very surprised. Not even 8 dollars for a six pack and I got more than I bargained for. Saranac makes a very interesting yet refreshing beer. Would definitely buy again

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into NB globe. Pours a copper color with about one finger of head. Very malty german style aromas. A bit over malty flavors, but its mild so its not overpowering. Slightly bitter mouthfeel and slightly dry. Also, its not really a pilsner.
There is no real wow factor here...its a run of the mill beer, only slightly above average for me. Meh

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not a bad lager. smells rather pedestrian with some more toasty malts than usual as the only real remarkable note. the flavor is quite good. nutty malt profile, almost more of a vienna lager with the smooth sweeter malt. very sturdy with lots of body for a lager. a longtime staple of the trail mix variety pack these always go fast at my house. if you like your light beer with some girth still, give this one a shot, a true upstate ny classic.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pilsener:

A: pale amber colored body and gave a one finger white head that appeared for a minute, fizzled and died. A fair amount of rapidly rising carbonation was seen all around. No lacing was left.

S: light graininess with some background hops. Some malts came out.

T: grainy yet had a slight citrus going on - kinda weird, but that was what I noticed.

M: light and slightly creamy, somewhat sessionable

O: this was an average German pilsener. I'd have probably have it again depending upon what else was served.

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Photo of Beejay
2.69/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pale amber in color, crystal clear. The head is large and fluffy, two fingers worth of light cream foam.

S: Light and grainy. There is a little more hop aroma in there, but is seems a little harsh and a touch grassy.

T: A little tangy. There is a grainy taste that is nice, there is a citrus thing going on in the back. This beer is weird.

M: Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. Almost has a bit of a bite to the finish.

O: Overall I'm not really impressed.. Seems like the tartness is a little out of whack in this beer, doesn't meld.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - 1-1/2" off-white fluffy head with nice retention; Clear, bright, caramel color with a slight orange hue; Good lacing left behind

S - Nice balance of caramel and earthy and slightly spicy hops; Also present is a touch of toasty, lemon-like citrus, and floral notes

T - Much like the nose - lots of caramel, earthy/leafy and lightly spicy hops; Light lemon-like citrus flavor is present as well; The end of the taste is very wet and leafy and lingers with just a kiss of caramel

M - Moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Leaves a slick, oily mouthfeel

O - This beer is pretty refreshing and one I'd consider to be above average for the style. I'm not one to drink too many lagers, but with the nice presence of caramel and leafy hops, I would like to come back to this one again.

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Photo of CHickman
3.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy amber orange color with a 2 finger foamy light tan head that faded about average time, leaving decent spotty foam lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of grains, tea leaf, floral hops, light caramel, lightly roasted malts and a whiff of citrus; nothing exciting in the nose, it’s pretty much dull.

Tastes of grains, tea leaf, floral hops, herbs, caramel, roasted malts, citrus like lemon or coriander, mild spices, toast and other earthy tones that kind of mesh together and fade out in the aftertaste, is on the dry side and crisp.

Mouthfeel is smooth and oddly crisp at the same time, with average/medium carbonation, a medium body and an overall grainy flavor that has just enough herbal notes and hops to make it decent. While easy to drink, it’s just very average and one of the more boring beers from the Saranac lineup.

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Photo of gabestein
3.11/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Rich copper appearance, slightly hazy but became nicely clear as the temperature decreased. Forms a nice head, but it doesn't last more than a few minutes and doesn't lace.

Unfortunately, other reviewers are correct: the smell is just off. It has some nice sweet malt notes and a little coriander, but those positives are overwhelmed by a strange metallic alcohol smell.

Taste is quite nice, but not like most Pilsners I've had. It's very drinkable, starting with a typical lager crispness, continuing to a pleasant malty sweetness and ending in a very nice quick, light punch of bitter. Some lemon and coriander flavor in there, but not a ton of depth.

Mouthfeel is also good. It's a tiny bit chewy and mostly smooth, not as coarse as you'd expect.

Overall, a good, consistent lager that's light and drinkable but has enough flavor to keep fans of more flavorful styles happy. I like to keep it around for its versatility.

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Photo of rangerred
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is a slightly hazy dark gold with plenty of carbonation leading to a thick two finger head. Retention is pretty good.

Smell is some caramel malt along with a metallic note that is not too pleasant. Also some grassy hops buried in there.

The taste is much better than the smell with a pleasant caramel maltiness dominating. There are also some bready flavors in there along with some grassy hops. A nice soft bitterness comes in at the finish.

First off, I think this more a vienna lager than a german pilsener. It actually reminds me somewhat of SA Boston Lager but not as good. This is a solid but unspectacular brew.

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Photo of Johnnyfacelift
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been enjoying Saranac's brew's this winter season and this beer is no exception. Although not my favorite it is a solid beer and a basic go-to beer.

A: Copper color is clear and high carbonation is evident. Thin head that settles quickly.

S: Ok smell. You pick up the lager characteristic but there is also a strong metallic smell that seems to dominate. This is the beers weakest point.

T: Luckily the metal does not really come through in the taste. Again the lager flavor is in the front followed by a good malt backbone. Just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness.

M: Nice... and that's it.

O: A good beer that has no tricks up it's sleeves but it doesn't lead you on that it does.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a clear coppery shade with full frothy white head. Head unfortunately falls flat within fifteen seconds, leaving a thin film that spots but does not lace, the glass. Aroma was of moist hay and sweet. Taste is a bit muddled, starting slightly sweet and of grain, then changing to a mildly bitey hop. Mouthfeel: I can only say is stale, that is not the crispness I expect from a Pils.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was gas colored or copper I guess you could say. The beer had a nice head and pretty good lacing. The smell was nice kinda caramelly smelling. I liked the beer and would most
certainly buy it again.

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Photo of k1001001
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got this from a sampler pack, along with the IPA, Pale Ale, and Black Forest. I drank this beer out of the bottle first, then served into a pint glass. Bottle is definitely preferable. Smell is not complementing to the beer, which I think kills the flavor in a glass.

This is a good lager otherwise! It goes down smooth. It is easy to drink many of these.

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Photo of rodney45
3.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Honey pot yellow. Lingering foamy milk colored head

S: Not offensive, but not necessarily pleasant. It has notes of wheat and hop, but also notes of after rain smell... i cant put it any better than that. The smell after a thunderstorm in nyc.

T: Apple, pear, prune corriander. Slight malt hints mostly barley. A tad sour. hops are in short supply

M: Drinkable, a little sour for my taste. Of the beers ive been tasting, this one went down the fastest, ussually not a good sign.

O: Its a low to mid level lager. Not really craft in my opinion. Saranac has much better options out there. Its not nearly as well put together as say, a sam adams lager, or brooklyn lager. I dont know how it won anything in the great american beer fest, but it did.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.21/5  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.

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Photo of Ezone024
3.79/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a very clear amber color lots of traveling bubbles and a nice 2 finger head. smell is bready and sweet. fairly average for the style.

taste is wonderful, refreshing and crisp. a nice biscuity flavor with a little of the "apple" taste found in light bodied amber lagers.

mouthfeel has a nice hop bite with a clean finish.
overall definitely a beer i would like to session with often.

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

Poured into a small tumbler....

This has a nice medium-colored amber with a very small amount of lacing.

The maltiness is decent but that's about it

The taste also shows the maltiness and a better bitterness than
expected for a lager (a good thing, IMO).

Mouthfeel is good with a nice clean finish.

Very drinkable but not very memorable.

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Photo of Chaney
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just felt in a ticking kinda mood tonight, so I thought I would grab a Saranac snack pack.

German Pilsener.... here we go:

A: Golden, with ever the slightest hint of amber. Extremely cloudy and with a beautiful sawdust-like, off-white froth that retained itself for a good bit.

S: Not too strong, but I did get a mild puff of baked dough and maybe a hint of caramel.

T: I think I could have used a pinch more sweetness on this one, but otherwise, this was good. Medium-bodied, bready, and somewhat bitter on the back end.

M: The carbonation was prickly and the lacing was slightly more than just merely splotchy.

O: Definitely not a bad way to spend a drinking session. Since I have another in the fridge, I'll probably tackle that at some other point this week.

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Photo of horshack7
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into a Pilsner glass is a little bit clear but amber colored beer. On top is about two fingers worth of white frothy head.

Aroma: To begin is a decent amount of floral hop with notes of spice. Malts let a little bit of grain and bread with a touch of caramel.

Taste: A fair amount of carbonation gives it a crisp yet buttery mouthfeel. Floral hops are front and center with a good bit of dryness. Citurs hops make an appearance somewhat as well. In the malt side of it all is caramel with bits of breadiness finish it off.

Notes: Not too bad of a German Pilsner and definatley drinkable. Cheers.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden brown color semi clear, with 1 finger head that was sort of fizzy. Head retention is moderate and within 1 minute the head was down to a cm.

Smell - malty, crackers and a little spice in the smell. Not bad for a lager.

Taste - Not much flavor going on here and a tad crisp/dry in the finish. Kinda bitter without any flavor. .

Mouthfeel - ok

Overall - Considering I loved the Lake Effect Lager this variation from Saranca was good but not great.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. About ½-inch of head. Color was dark golden. Slight lacing on the top of the beer and slight film on the sides.

Malt leads the way in the smell, but caramel and pine comes in there as well.

Malts once again lead the way in the taste. Very, very small taste of caramel. Bitterness reigns supreme on the end.

Moderate carbonation. Fairly refreshing, clean and crisp.

A pretty good beer overall. This wasn’t good as I remember it, which means I should probably stop tasting for the night (my fifth so far of a 10-pack variety pack).

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed a mix pack of six different types of Saranac. I drank Saranac regularly when going to school in Southern New Hampshire about three years ago but haven't had it since. Took the top off with lighter and it shot across the room. Golden color with a lot of bubbles running up the side of the grass and almost no head. Nose is grainy sweetness and buttery bread. Flavor is subdued compared to the nose. Biscuity but extremely light. The end has a subtle fruity hit but it disappears quickly. That little fruity kick intrigued me to drink faster to try and find it, more defined, again. However it never really stuck out. Finishes crisp and tingly without a lot of dryness. A typical lager that was on the verge of making itself distinct.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am down in DC for about a week, following a foray into Balto for several days and I bought the summer mixed six-pack to sustain me while away from home.

From the bottle: "Saranac Adironndack Lager is craft brewed with pure Adirondack water, bottom fermented and fully lagered to carefully balance the sweetness two-row malt with the delicate bitterness of American Cascade and German Hallertauer hops. Look for a golden amber color and medium body. You'll discover a distinctive, flavorful beer that is deliciously drinkable."

My aggressive pour resulted in a foamy finger of dense, eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose had a biscuit malt sweetness along with a wheaty cereal quality. Mouthfeel was medium with a slightly bitter, grassy tang to offset the wheatish sweetness. Nice lacing began to form throughout. Finish was semi-sweet with the grassy, wheaty taste lingering well after the swallow. A very pleasant beer.

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Saranac Adirondack Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.