Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown LagerSaranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager
256 Ratings
Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown LagerSaranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager

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

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-23-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 |  Reviews: 177
Reviews by kencarman:
Photo of kencarman
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I noticed as popping into this to review it's listed as just "New York." Wrong. Saranac, or Matt Brewing, is Utica, NY: closing in on 300 miles away. And they don't vend out. In fact they even brew some of Sam's product for them.

A bit low on the body, but pleasant. The lager sense: to me usually a bit sulfuric/acidic, is low. Plenty of carbonation and head that's pleasing to the mouthfeel with melanoidins filling up the mouth despite lower gravity. Nose is malt: caramel/Belgian-ish (as in brown, not any of the funk.), no hops and a hint of hops.

Taste: a nice nutty brown malt with slight bitter way in the background.

Could qualify as Northern Brown light, except the lager yeast. But Matt's has made a serious attempt to brew not just many style, but unique one. While each one is not perfect, I applaud that fact, rather than weak, at best, attempts of Yuegling, or the pathetic attempts by AB/Inbev, Miller or, on a very slight less scale, Coors/Blue Moon. (Yes, I do know they've been bought out, just making a distinction here.)

The point is more good beer, and to find unique new styles: not to go anywhere near the sameness of style that was American brew for too %$#@! long.

This beer qualifies as all that, so I probably scored it a bit higher. (Unlike Matt's White IPA.) I prefer to reward effort too.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of blitz134
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark caramel color with only a little almost white head on top. Crystal clear besides that with no signs of carbonation. Smell is light but characterized mainly by a sweet malt smell with some nutty nuances intermingled with the malt. Who would have guessed that? In the background there is a typical lager aroma as well, most likely from a lager-like hop blend. Taste is light as well, not overly impressive. Nothing bad really, just nothing really there. Basically like drinking a lager with a touch of nutty malt flavors. There is a strange finish to this, which I picked up in their Chocolate Amber Lager as well, that is hard to put words to. I think it comes from the lager background to this beer (yeast maybe?) which I’m not totally accustomed to. Mouthfeel is bordering thin to medium. Drinkability is decent although the strange finish which this one has would deter me from wanting too many.

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Photo of generallee
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body had a nice deep brownish amber color with good clarity. Its head was light tan in color, big and think with very good retention. It also made lots of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its aroma has big, sweet and malty body with some light nutty and fruity notes.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor has a solid toasted malty character with a mellow buttery/nutty presence. Hop flavor is modest, slightly floral, and adds just enough bitterness for some balance. The hops comes out more towards the finish which is fairly clean and somewhat dryer. The texture is wet and easy drinking with average carbonation and a medium body.

Notes: Overall this is a solid ale and works well as one of Saranac's Winter Seasonal beers.

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

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Deep amberish brown, very clear with two fingers of head … good head retention.

Smell: Bit of nutty dextrin with a faint malt sweetness

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium body with a thin crispness off of a moderate carbonation. Lots of highly toasted malt on the palate right from the beginning, with a lingering burnt caramel and husk flavor. Touch of soft hop oil shows enough bitterness to balance. Clean with a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Well balanced, lots of malt character for a filtered beer. One of the better beers I have had from this brewery.

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Photo of merlin48
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the best, so far, out of the 12 bottle holiday sampler box. Pours a beautiful dark copper/cherry amber but the minimal head quickly collapsed. Minimal lacing. More of a nose than most of the Saranacs I've sampled, sweet malt rules here over a slight hop presence with a hint of spice. Mouthfeel is very carbonated and somewhat bitter. Taste is mostly caramel malt, but has a decent hops presence. A little bit of sweet nuttiness in the aftertaste.

Hard to figure out why they call this a special "season's best", and it really doesn't taste like a lager or a nut brown ale. Still, I find it a tasty well balanced ale, far better in terms of drinkability than most of the other Saranacs I've tried. Not a bad effort.

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Photo of Kraken
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Jever pilsner glass. Firm pour yields a one finger head that holds up much better then the other varieties in the winter sampler. Decent lace. Pours a very dark amber.

Nose- Piney hops, peat, and hints of coffee.

Palate- Light piney hops, coffee, peat and roasted malts, burnt caramel and toffee. Finishes slightly dry

Mouthfeel- Creamy and dry.

Drinkability- Good. This is best of the winter sampler.

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Photo of dogfishandi
2.66/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. pours a very clear dark amber brown color. looks almost ruby reddish brown when held up to the light. has a small caramel colored head that faded immediately to a ring of foam around the glass. minimal lacing. hardly any noticeable aromas in the smell. just a little bit of nutty malts. nothing going on in the taste either. slightly metalic tasting, some nuttiness, and a little on the watery side. rather light body to this one and a little to much carbonation. almost reminds me of a newcastle brown ale, only i would prefer newcastle over this. there really nothing going on in this at all, its got a little bit of a nutty taste to it, and then thats it. definately would not seek this out again, and i recommend everyone do the same. saranac has yet to show me a really great beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

That mix of burgandy mahogany pour, little beige head, lots of clarity. Really nothing but a slight nuttiness in the aroma.

Newcastlesque taste, mild bland brown ale, with some barely distinguishable bottom fermented yeast stuff. A very minimal caramel and toffee presence, could be all in my mind based on the color, but I think I picked that up. Way more bitter aftertaste than Newcastle. More woodiness to it.

Better than average for Saranac, but I'm pretty harsh to these guys, but only based on the 'quality' of the beers.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby copper red with a nice fluffy cream colored head leaves little lacing not too impressive. Aroma: Full on toasted nuts this one is very similar to the Erie Railbender in my opinion not bad at all they do a nice job, I'm not sure what they are talking about the bottle as far as Belgian malts in a nut brown lager but whatever floats their boat. Taste: Nice rolling toasted nut tones not overly sweet nice earthy hop bitterness in the finish, simple but nice. Mouthfeel: A bit overcarbonated is the only thing bad about the texture, other than that a lighter to medium bodied amber colored lager not bad. Drinkability: Pretty tasty I could picture myself enjoying a couple of these very nice toned down compared to beers I have had as of late.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Season's Best Nut Brown Lager is #2 of the 12 Saranac's I'm currently drinking.

Nut Brown Lager poured an amazing red/ cherrywood red with a thick white foamy head that lasted almost to the end of the beer!

The aroma was pleasant. Woodsy with a hint of roasted chestnuts!?!
The taste is very nice- slighty bitter with a little roasted nut flavor.

Nut Brown Lager is a nice relaxing winter brew that you should enjoy at least once!

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Photo of tastybeer
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color ranges from auburn, orange-brown to warm garnet tones with lager clarity. The orange-cream, tan colored head is of decent size and leaves some straggly lace. Nice 1/4 inch retention. Aroma is fruity, nutty, malty, and lightly hopped. Still more hops than I expected with this beer. A variety of malts are apparent and amounts are adequate for a lager. I smell Belgian subtleties and German malts flavors combined. There is also some festive, seasonal spice aromas. Taste is alike but more malts would be welcome. Light nuts + fruit are complimentary. Hop amount is about right for this. Not a lot but enough to stir it up a little, especially through the finish. Easy to drink and and an interesting spin on a 'vienna style lager'.

One of the better Saranac brews, but it doesn't have quite as much depth as I'd like (even as a lager).

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Matt's seasonal lager displays a clear chestnut body with a reddish cast and golden-orange highlights beneath a short but long-lasting head of creamy ivory froth. Some minor lacing about the glass adds nicely to its appearance as well. The nose is typically restrained for a dark lager, with only some mild malt coming through. The body is medium and it's fine-bubbled carbonation bristles gently on the tongue. The flavor is well-balanced and straightforward throughout with a bit of rich, caramel-kissed maltiness backed by a solid bitterness and some delicately spicy and floral hops. It finishes dry with some of its nutty maltiness and floral/spicy hops lingering amidst a dull bitterness. It's not complex, but it satisfies, and this is a well-crafted holiday seasonal that doesn't need to depend on any fruits, spices, or gimmicks to warrant attention and a place on your holiday table. Well done!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hm, a nut brown lager? Decided it would be worth a try. Pours deep copper with a medium-sized head that dissipates rather quickly. Rich, malty nose. Quite enjoyable on the palate - malty, nutty, a hint of brown sugar or molasses. Gives a slight warming feeling down the throat, too. It's a bit like Newcastle, only slightly darker and a bit fizzier. I have to say I like it.

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Photo of socon67
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SidewinderX
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, but still transparent, pour, with a slightly tan head. Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Distinctly sweet nutty scent.

Bitter, nutty taste... warming from the inside out. A very nice winter brew.

A pretty good brew. A nice addition to to the winter brew pack... definitely a beer to drink with snow on the ground.

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Photo of Damian74
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of tempest
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked open a bottle to wash down some korean takeout. It poured a clear brown with a short, white head. The aroma is a mix of toasty malt and honey. The flavor has a slightly nutty character with the caramel malts, but it also tastes like a there's a little adjunct (corn, I think) mixed in. Overall, this kind of tastes like a slightly darker Yuengling lager. Saranac makes better beer. I'd stick to with the Black Forest.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Southernbrew
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dark brown with little head, no lacing at all.

Nose is composed of nutty malts with some roasted aromas and a very weak sweetness.

Taste is fairly one dimensional. Roasted nutty malts make up the majority of the flavor that seems more hazelnutty but tastes slightly like peanuts in the middle. Finishes up with a weak roasted flavor.

Average beer, give me a Rogue Hazelnut over this anyday.

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Photo of jgubernick
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Backer2004
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Excited to see in Saranac's 12 Beers of Christmas the Season's Best Nut Brown Lager. An amber-reddish hue, not the brown or "Euro Dark" as expected. Not bad head rentention and lacing.
Smell sof floral hops-still nothing yet to remind me of a nut brown (my personal favorite style). Nice winter warmer that reminds be of Avery's brewery but again, not of a nut brown. A bit too hoppy for me and my palate expectations.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shoe leather brown, thick and well retaining head; a definitive nutty and hoppy aroma. Nutty and malty body, thick and warming; some chestnuts noted as it warms. Very rich, creamy, not overly powerful, but an incredible welcome to the winter season session beer, quite enjoyable!

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Photo of Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber brown color with a tight cream colored head that left some nice lacing on the glass as it settled. As with most Saranac offerings, I have a hard time picking much up on the nose. There seems to be a light caramel/buttery malt with a subtle spicy hop kick. The taste is sweet from the caramel malt, there is also a spicy sweetness to it as well. The sweetness is balanced by a spicy tea like hop. The brew has a moderate body with plenty of carbonation that leads to a crispness. Finishes bitter and astringent. A servicable lager, fairly crisp and some nice flavors.

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Photo of Samp01
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber with a nice offwhite head. Aroma of toasted caramel malts, some light fruituness. Tastes is toasted caramel malt, breadiness with some nice sweet nuttiness and some bitterness. Palate is nice med body with good carbonation. Finish toasted caramel malt with some nice hops bitterness followed by nice sweet bitter nutty aftertaste. Overall an average and easy drinkable brew.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on Super Bowl Sunday 2009 from 12 fl. oz. bottle no. 2678-I157. Part of the Saranac Winter 12-pack.

Appearance - Gorgeous dark brown with a good amount of foamy off-white head that stays together for a few minutes. Good lacing on the pint glass.

Aroma - Malts, hops, and nuts or raisins. Quite inviting.

Mouthfeel - Medium to bold. Remains in tact for a decent amount of time after swishing on the tongue.

Taste - Great balance of malts and hops. Mildly bitter with a slightly dry finish. No aftertaste to speak of. Easy to drink.

No ifs, ands, or buts, I thought this one was a nice brew.

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Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 256 ratings