Saranac Belgian White | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

265 Ratings
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Saranac Belgian WhiteSaranac Belgian White

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

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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Ratings: 265 |  Reviews: 199
Photo of StonedTrippin
2.77/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

me least favorite of saranac brews by far. pours a hazy wheat color with a decent white head. smells sour and fruity, citrus. taste is an overly yeasty wheat beer that is overly fruity, orange and spiced to oblivion. the balance is off, and the mouthfeel is only okay. too heavy for the style and leaves a rather unpleasant dead beer type aftertaste. get this one out of the summer mixer next year please

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Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer mix pack ($11.99/12)

This one was quite confusing. Seemed a lot more complex than other Witbeir's I've had and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Has the usual lemony flavor but there's hints of other flavors which I can't seem to conjure up similarities to. I think I would prefer a more simple Wit than this one.

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Photo of brentk56
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light amber color witha modest head, especially for a Belgian wit; the retention is not great and there is little lacing

Smell: A slight floral character but none of the spice profile I would have expected

Taste: Opens with a little citrus tang and if I really think about it I can get a hint of coriander; after the swallow, there is a bit of orange peel but it all fades quickly

Mouthfeel: A bit light bodied and watery with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Well the best I can say is that it is a thirst quenching brew on a hot summer day

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Photo of zeff80
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an orange/yellow color with a cloudy sediment circulating throughout. It had a white, foamy, one-finger head and left no lace.

S - It smelled of orange, yeast and wheat.

T - It tasted citrusy (orange & corriander). Also, a strong wheat flavor. There was a tiny hop taste.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A very light-bodied beer.

D - This is a descent wit. Nothing special but it could make a good session beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An appropriately hazy orange body displays tiny, effervescent bubbles with swirling sediment visible. The short, bright-white head dissolves shortly into an average collar, leaving behind minor spotty lace.

S: Orange peel is clear in the nose with a light note of coriander.

T: The flavor displays more coriander than the nose suggests, but it's far from spicy, and the orange is still present, although it's a bit soapy (from the yeast?). It's well-balanced by a subtle bitterness.

M: The body is light-medium, and a very fine bubbled moderate carbonation lightly caresses the tongue.

D: Easily accessible. Interesting. Refreshing.

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Photo of smcolw
3.99/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appropriately cloudy, straw yellow. Disappointing head: not very thick nor very long-lasting. some lace

Impressive aroma of wheat malt, spice (coriander, according to the bottle) and citrus (lemony, not orange peel as the bottle suggests). Very smooth, full, and round.

Lots of citrus up front in the flavor. The wheat malt comes through immediately thereafter, then it settles into a predictable sourness. Full bodied (probably from the oats) and chewy with excellent carbonation (very fine and plentiful bubbles).

Overall, I like this beer because it is refreshing, smooth, and not overly tart (as are some Belgians).

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sunset gold with nary a trace of the 'slight cloudiness' that the brewery promises. Sparse carbonation has created a two finger cap of lightly yellowed ivory that displays remarkable persistence thanks to its firm texture. A lack of tackiness assures that the glass is, and will remain, virtually lace-free.

Yep, it smells like a wit. Tangy wheat lives on equal terms with sweet orange peel, while coriander pretty much sits this one out. It's a by-the-numbers sort of nose, yet it's also a pleasant one for those of us who enjoy most witbiers. Still comfortably above average.

Unfortunately, the flavor is a mild letdown. The biggest problem is that too much of the graininess of the malt bill is evident beneath what are less than generous additions of fruit and spice. Belgian White is too much American pale wheat and not enough wit. Orange peel and coriander are barely discernable, leading to a beer that is about as uninteresting as they come.

Bitter leads sour leads sweet. Given the lack of hop flavor (Perle, Hallertauer Hersbrucker), where the bitterness is coming from is anyone's guess. I continue to be amazed that this brewery continues to sell as much beer as they do. Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. I'd like to think that Matt Brewing Company beer serves the valuable function of 'training wheel craft beer', a bridge of sorts from macros to the good stuff.

The body is light, verging on watery. There appears to be enough carbonation, but there's a lack of excitement in the mouth for some reason. As a mildly flavored rehydrator, however, one could do worse.

Saranac Belgian White isn't bad beer necessarily, it's just that I'm struggling to find much to put into the 'good' column. It's fairly innocuous and disappeared without any effort at all, but I'm glad that I've reached this wit's end.

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Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

A- Cloudy due to the sediment being stirred up and poured into the glass, good pale orangey glow. Thick two fingered head takes forever to dissipate.

S- Sweet coriander with faint spices and orange peel. Clean aroma.

T- Light coarseness from the spices, soft coriander though. Sweet malt blends with the spices well.

M- Ample crispness, light to moderate body.

D- Better than the so called original. Not soapy like many of the rest, very easy to drink.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a very pale golden yellow. Big white fluffy head that lasted for a good few minutes before finally settling down and leaving a nice layer of lace around the top. Hazy with a good amount of carbonation visible. Smell was light, lots of yeast and a touch of some peaches, or light grass. The taste was also very light, but good. Very pale in flavor, light yeast and grain. Good mouthfeel. Overall this was a decent belgian white, but nothing extraordinary. It was nice in the sampler though, would probably have one again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.53/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: A clouded golden tone with a a fluffy creamy white head, lacing is full and evenly rung aound my Hoegaarden tumbler. Aroma: Predominantly contains the orange peel funk, with some coriander doesn't leave much room for and hops or other tones infact a bit one sided toward the citrus/coriander combo. Taste: A bit tart and bitter from the orange peel, not a fan I will stick to my Wittekerke or Hoegaarden when approaching a wit, similar to the Blue Moon White but I find this one much more cloying with each sip a little harder to put down. Mouthfeel: Is light to almost medium in body with a spritzy overcarbonated mouthfeel, it makes each sip wanna turn into a coriander with orange peel burp, Drinkability: Mediocre attempt at a wit very similar to Sam Adams shot at it.

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Photo of tdm168
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellowish gold with 2 fingers of head that fade to a thin lacing. Smells a little grassy with a hint of lemon zest and yeast. Taste is also grassy and citrusy. There's no hint of the coriander promised on the bottle or expected from this style of beer. As the beer warms the orange peel becomes noticeable if only faintly. This beer is a little thin and very carbonated. The mouthfeel is light and watered down.

Not a great Belgian ale in the least. If you're trying to break out beyond BMC lagers and you thought Blue Moon was good, then this is for you.

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Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, w/o freshness dating. Pours a dull yellowy golden, somewhat cloudy, head is white and moderate lacing is left behind. Nose is very close to a creamsicle, ice cream pop with some pepper in the back ground. Notes of coriander, light pepper and more orangy ice cream sweetness. This is a pleasant enough light wheaty/yeasty brew. Middle of the road "belgian white" at best.would be fine with lunch on a hot summer day. This was going for $4.99 a sixpack, thats about what its worth and as usual you get what you pay for...

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold. I guess I poured too strong. Big chunks of white sediment are floating around. Nose is mild citrus and wheaty yeast. Flavor is crisp with obvious citric influences. At the end I get a metallic spice as a long awaited for aftertaste. The feel is fairly thin on the liquid with a decent enough carbonation. Overall I am going to say that this one is better than I had expected. There is a bit too much of a metallic edge to it, but I say it is very drinkable.

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Photo of jwc215
3.16/5  rDev -4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dirty golden whin a thin white head. Sediment floats around.

The smell is of sweet bread with grainy notes and orange peel. A touch of coriander comes through.

The taste is of sweet wheat biscuity bread. Oarnge peel and coriander are present, but not strong. Fairly weak yeast strain isn't quite enough to hold things together, making the coriander a bit coarse in the finish.

Light to medium bodied. Fizzy.

Too sweet with not enough to it in general to make it stand out in any way over plenty of others of the style. It has a certain easy drinkability to it, but falls short over all.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. This was poured into a pint glass and a mug. There wasn’t any difference. The appearance was a nice hazy light yellow to orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than thirty seconds leaving some light lacing sliding into the beer. The smell had some light coriander with a tight batch of citrus trying to make a slight emphasis on the flavoring of the beer. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and combined them pretty well. On the palate, this one sat about a light on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. The carbonation was somewhat harsh but not overbearing. Overall, I say this was a pretty good beer worthy of having again and worthy of having with its respected food.

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Photo of Gavage
3.47/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold color with a thin head that quickly disappeared. The aroma was dominated by citrus, with some hints of coriander and some other sweet tones. The taste was also dominated by citrus, making it a little more tart than other belgian whites. Other spices and some bitterness were also detected on the tongue.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp. Carbonation level was acceptable. The citrus tones continue to ride the tongue well after swallowing. Body is light and this can be considered a partially refreshing brew.

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Photo of afsdan
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of WesWes
3.47/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a cloudy light gold color with a frothy white head. The aroma is of pale malts and fruity yeast scent. There also is a slight apricot aroma here. The taste is fruity. Again, I attribute this to the yeast strand. The mouthfeel is good. There is adequate carbonation and a low body. This is a decent beer, but not the best replica of a Belgian style.

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Photo of plaid75
3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy medium straw hue with a one finger foamy head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell was yeasty with a faint hint of coriander spice and lemon zest.

The taste was a subtle biscuity spice. Again, faint citrus flavor.

The mouthfeel was good. Good carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall a nice drinkable white. Like most of Saranac's beers, this was a subtle version of the style.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours hazy light brown with some head that dissipates to almost nothing. No lacing show here.

S. Some candi sugar and sweet wheats. What a treat.

T. Wheaty and sweet. There are some almost fruity qualities to it, hard to put my finger on it.

M. Agressively carbonated and light bodied. A bit slick for which I took a half a point off. Leaves an almost sour after taste.

D. Fairly drinkable witbier here. Doesn't do quite so well as it approaches room temperature.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a somewhat cloudy orange with minimal head that died quickly but left some lace patches. A very strong citric smell (lemon peel then orange) with a good clove scent in there as well. A light-to-medium bodied beer that is not only smooth but balances a heavy citric taste with some clove and pepper, giving it a dry but easy riding backbite without being overly sharp (there is some crispness). A tad simplistic, yes, but this is a quality Witbier that I could keep drinking. I think I might be a little off it too giving it such a good grade but I like this stuff alot.

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Photo of Zorro
3.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured in the glass this is a cloudy orange colored beer with a skimpy white head. Seems way to dark for the style to me.

The smell is much better than the appearance, this is nicely aromatic. Main scents are fruity along with the expected coriander and bitter orange rinds. There seems to be some of the lighter orange oils included in this beer this has a lighter orange scent than most.

The taste begins light and malty with a slightly acidic orange flavor and a little less of the coriander. This is spicier than the usual version but there are stronger versions.

The mouthfeel is OK.

An OK beer but it is inferior to Bluemoon and no where as good as the majority of the stuff from Belgium including the style standard Hoegaarden.

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Saranac Belgian White from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.29 out of 5 based on 265 ratings.
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