Saranac Belgian White | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Belgian WhiteSaranac Belgian White
Liked This Beer
3.29 w/ 265 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 |  Reviews: 200
Photo of edchicma
3.15/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK brew, but nothing special....Appearance a lemon yellow with a quickly dissipating head with som elacing. Smell is light and slightly lemonly. Taste is sweet and lacks a tart quality that would be an improvement. Mouthfeel is a bit too sweet and not crisp at all...I can drink one...but I wouldn't ask for another. At $4.99 a six pack worth a shot.

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Photo of stirgy
3.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured a pale and ultra light yellow color. Almost like sunshine. Massive head of lively white foam sealed off the top of the glass. Very hazy in appearance. The aroma is light and has a slight semi-sweetness about it, with candied malts and lemon gum drops. The taste is very light, but flavorful and refreshing. Really doesn't do that much for my taste buds, but it certainly quenches the thirst. Actually, this goes down as easy as lemonade on a hot summer day. Low amount of bitterness, or hoppiness for that matter. This could be a nice first step for any aspiring beer geek that wants to stick their toe into the waters of better beer.

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Photo of finepaws
3.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy yellow, not as much as most witbiers I've had. Head was good at first, then dissapated. It di mantain some lacing on the glass though, and a ring of head around the edges. Smells like oranges and spice. Has a sweet/tangy taste, somewhat peppery. Had lots of carbonation. A nice drink all in all. Not the best, but if you like Blue Moon, I'd suggest it. Glad I grabbed a 6 pack.

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Photo of niknar
3.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a hazy straw color with a small head. Decent retention, but very little lacing. The smell is of citrus and spices... my nose isn't tuned enough to pick out any particulars beyond that. The taste is fairly decent, though not ground-breaking. It definitely tastes better while ice-cold... so don't let this one gather sweat on you! Not bad as it warms, but I do prefer the crisp flavors it offers when straight out of the back of the refridgerator. It does taste relatively true to the style, but seems slightly more bitter than it should be. The bitterness reminds me more of fruit rind than of hops. Not unpleasant, but just a little different. The mouthfeel was a high point. Not overly carbonated, but still crisp and light. Overall this is a moderately priced alternative to the macros. It might even be a good stepping stone if you are trying to convert a macro drinker over from the "dark side." Plenty of better beers out there, but I would still drink this one again if it were offered to me!

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Photo of Mitchster
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a cloudy golden-peach, forming a modest white head with very good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma...tons of orange and coriander, somewhere between Vuuve and Blue Moon...I like! Mouthfeel is slightly spritzy with a slightly ruddy finish and medium-light body. Taste begins with some slightly spicy floral hops, pale and wheat malts, a touch of metal, moderate woody bitterness, slight ruddiness from the coriander, a touch fo alcohol with a brief wisp of drying isopropyl in the finish. Aftertaste of oranges and coriander. Overall, pretty nice.

This is a good wit. I like the emphasis on the orange and the coriander, however, the bitterness is a little much for the style, and the metal and isopropyl alcohol are out of place. It could stand to be slightly more carbonated and the ruddiness in the finish hampers it's "thirst-quenching" properties. Lacks phenolics...akin to an American wheat with orange and coriander. Gets a little harder to drink throughout the glass...probably better served ice-cold.

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Photo of Zraly
3.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-cloudy pale yellow with yeast sediment floating around. Not the "typical" cloudiness that one finds; it reminds me more of honey with suspended sediment in it. A nice, fluffy head followed, but disappeared. This ale has a soft, spicey smell.

The flavor is somewhat of a watered down version of what a belgian witbier is. It is definately much tastier than what one could typically buy for this price...especially when one is scoring a six-pack of this for $4.99. There are some minor notes of banana and citrus, and quiet undertones of spice, but nothing too exciting. The finish is fairly crisp and refreshing, which makes for a good summertime brew.

For some reason, some homemade cajun chicken fingers and fries served with bleu cheese hits the spot.

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Photo of Gasp100
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy light gold with a wispy white head that leaves little mild lacing down the glass. The smell is faint citrus, bannana, clove. The taste is very light and watery with hints of orange and lemon, corriander and clove. Overall this is an average wit at best, but surprisingly refreshing AND cheap. A step WAY above your normal summer beer thirst quencer (macro) and very similar to Sam Adams White beer, but about $2.00 less per six pack. I might be this again to share with friends when just chilling in the summer time.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.21/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - thin head of watery bubbles cover a cloudy, sunshiny yellow. A happy-looking beer on a spring or summer day I reckon, appeals to the sunny side of the street...(breaks into song)

Aroma - soft citrus and yeast nose. It's alright but that's it, that's all I'm picking up.

Taste - pretty light taste. The flavors of orange, coriander, and wheat stay hiding behind the curtains instead of rightly claiming center stage. What are they waiting for? Eh, maybe this is a Belgian for the masses, baby steps and all that. The flavors improve on the swallow and aftertaste where they don't have to compete with the moderate carbonation. That's how fragile the taste strength is, but it's an improvement which brings it up to at least average. You could do worse.

Mouthfeel - good smoothness and a crisp, lemony feel coats the mouth.

Drinkability - an okay lawn mower beer. Nothing top shelf, but the world needs a Belgian lawn mower beer. They have lawns in Belgium, right? :-)

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.24/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy yellowish-orange. Small head. The best thing about this beer is definitely the smell. Very citrusy with lots of lemon and orange accents. Unfortuantely, the taste does not pick up where the smell leaves off. It's not as smooth as I expected to be and the over-carbonation makes it a little nausiating. This also makes it a little rough on the inside of your mouth. Not my favorite Saranac, but then again, Belgian White is not my favorite style of beer. Very similiar to Blue Moon except this is a little sweeter and not as smooth.

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Photo of ark57
3.57/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is hazy golden in color, but does not seem to have the "whiteness" that a good wit should possess. It is topped off with a fluffy head and emanates a spicy, citrus aroma. It finishes dry, which is good because the body is too sweet. It is too sweet and too spicy at the same time. Not a bad beer, but there are better wits available.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.46/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a slightly hazy flaxen yellow, just slightly cloudier than chill hazed. A medium sized white head, comprised mostly of large bubbles, drops almost immediately into a thick misty coating. Some weak spots of lace cling halfheartedly to the glass, although the head keeps at least a thick collar throughout.
The aroma is mostly neutral. A handicapped wheaty malt relies on the physical assistance of timid orange peel and a vague breeze of coriander. Maybe some hops in here, which doesn't quite jive with the style. A suggestion of pear. The balance is adequate, in the vein of two blind guys trying to beat each other at archery. Equality by default.
The flavor starts with initially....nothing. A watery body carries no flavor to start with, gradually generating a fuzzy, insubstantial wheat airiness. A bit of orange peel drifts aimlessly in an ocean of featureless wheat, a whiff of pear on the stagnant fog. Coriander acts as a broken compass, guiding you nowhere, but still keeping a glimmer of hope alight. A slight powdery yeast feeds the dryish finish, leaving you wanting like an ocean of water with not a drop to drink. Not quite so glum as my description, but I'm feeling a bit of prose. Light and airy, slightly sweet, without any real substance. Completely middling.
For a witbier, this just doesn't cut it. It's an easy drinking style that seems to appeal to even non-beer nerds, so why dumb it down? I think this is slightly better than Blue Moon's version, but they're contesting the call. It's to be decided by the referee upon reviewing the play.

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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 Shiloh
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting brew but not overly impressive.
The body on arrival was a murky medium golden hue with very light carbonation. The head was short with extremly fine bubbles which disapated to a thin ring.
Slight aroma of wheat and citrus.
The taste was hollow to begin in that it left me wondering where it was; then a mild citrus came forward which left me wanting.
Not the best brew by Saranac and that's the truth!

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Photo of Onceeven
2.54/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Last beer from the 12 pack holiday sampler. My first Belgian White..

Poured a hazy gold color, with a .5" head. Not much in the way of lacing. Aroma is sweet, like smelling over-ripe fruit, which I started to dislike halfway through the glass. The carbonation was quite weak, only a couple of bubbles every now and then. (My bottle may be a bit old?) I like a beer that tickles my tongue, but this one was really flat. Mouthfeel was agreeable. Taste is ok, More fruitiness and a hint of grain. Nothing really jumps out until I get a metallic/sour note at the end. Still this one seems too sweet.

Not a good start to my Witbier adventure!

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Photo of Suds
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow color with just a little cloudy haze. It has a moderate, uneven head that produces a not of lace. I pick-up some orange and lemon in the aroma. Almost like a citrus candy aroma…and hint of yeast. Hops in the background. Middle-of-the road carbonation. Light and, moderately dry…actually it’s a little sweeter than I expected. Smooth and clean finish. Not an outstanding example of the style, it’s better than I expected. It’s refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of Maestro
3.52/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy yellow. There is a one finger head that last for most of the beer and is somewhat foamy, leaving a nice lacing. This beer is highly carbonated. The initial smell is sweet and fruity. The taste is light and refreshing. There are lemon notes at the beginning. The sweetness is not overpowering but adds a nice touch to the citrus tastes. There is a slight metallic tinge to the ale that comes through because of the rather weak body. The mouthfeel is sort of sticky and tangy. Drinkability is good. It seems to be a nice thirst quencher. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with decent white head. The head eventually faded, leaving solid lacing. Light carbonation.

The smell is grainy and oaty with a strong citrus scent.

The taste is sweet and flowery but not overpowering. No real noticeable hops at first but eventually it leaves a little bit of bitter aftertaste on the back of the throat.

The mouthfeel is very mellow. A little carbonation but no astringency whatsoever.

This is a very agreable beer. Very smooth and mellow.

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Photo of TinusTime
2.91/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light gold with a slightly fluffy snow white head. Smell is somewhat floral, but not much there. Taste-- This is supposed to be a Belgian Wit? No noticable spice or orange peel flavours. Not a bad taste, but just not what I would call a Wit style beer. Mouthfeel is Ok as is Drinkability, its an OK beer, but nothing to write home about and certainly nothing I would recommend to someone wanting to try a belgian white.

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

I went to school in Utica and my second favorite style is white beer so I was really psyched for this one, but after a night of drinking Tucher and Allagash I have to admit that this one really doesn't stand up to the competition.

Poured with a nice head. Smell was average, what one would exspect from any white beer. Upon first taste, this beer seems to stray slightly from the belgian white style, it is very spicy and sweet, but not citrusy truly. This gives the beer a taste I would liken to medicine. It is watery and leaves an unsatisfying aftertase. It is very drinkable in that it is light, but undrinkable in the sense that its just not a great beer... I hope Saranac starts to make a comeback soon.

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Photo of clvand0
3.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a golden amber color with a small white head that left no lacing on the glass. The aroma is citrus and wheat mostly. The flavor is much the same. Very typical for an American made Belgian White. Nothing too spectacular, but still a good beer.

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Photo of mschofield
1.81/5  rDev -45%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Hazy orange, the head quickly dissipated (not very Belgianesque).
The aroma is orangeade, the cheap stuff that comes with a plastic scoop in the container.
Tangy and full of citrus, but it seems so artifical. No bitterness per se but it is tangy and slightly sour.
A light feel and very smooth.
This was pretty horrible, imagine you could buy just add water Belgian white in a can like koolade. Drinkability? I couldn't finish one.

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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 ManekiNeko
2.06/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle served chilled in a Blanche de Chambly glass.

Appearance: Clear honey yellow with a mild amount of haziness to it (unlike what the label near the cap promised). Topped by an immense white head that dissipates to a layer of bubbles. No real lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Not a prominent nose at all. I had to take deep and strong inhales to get much of anything. Light lemon and coriander. There were some really horrid sulfury grass notes in my sample. Hits the right notes for the style, just not very well.

Taste: An initial light malt sweetness followed by a jarring smack of citrus and then some grassy hops. Not well put together.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp, decently bubbly. Well, at least they got one thing right.

Drinkability: Thank god there is only one bottle in this sampler. Not a terribly good interpretation of the style, in fact it's terrible. Give me a Blanche de Chamblys, Whirlwind, or Allagash White over this any day.

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Photo of merlin48
3.3/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My 2nd Saranac bottle, sampled from their Holiday 12 beer sampler box. Not familiar with what a good Belgian style white should be, but here's my review of this offering. Pours a slightly murky golden color into a goblet, the white head quickly leaving but some nice lacing left behind. Nose is orange zest, just as the label suggests, and I do smell the underlying coriander. Mouthfeel is carbonated and tart, somewhat spicy bitter. Taste is spicy bitter, and carbonated. Very little malt flavor is noticeable to my palate, but I do feel some hoppy balance. This is fairly light on the senses, and would be excellent on a hot summer day. Not that great, not too bad either. I will probably edit this review in a few weeks when I sample a better example of the style.

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Saranac Belgian White from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 14.7% out of 100 with 265 ratings
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