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

Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown LagerSaranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager
BA SCORE
28.9%
Liked This Beer
3.46 w/ 256 ratings
Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown LagerSaranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#40,440
Reviews:
177
Ratings:
256
Liked:
74
Avg:
3.46/5
pDev:
13.87%
Alströms:
3.58
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
17
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 256 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of philbe311
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - One fingers worth fluffy yet fizzy tan head... Fast paced, small bubbled carbonation rises along the inside of the glass... Highly translucent brown tea color with the slightest red highlights visible under the right light... Very solid lacing throughout is present throughout the session...

S - Very mild scent... Nutty scent is first and foremost... Also present are malt, caramel and perhaps a hint of cinnamon...

T - A hoppy spicy grassy bitterness overpowers... Not at all what I expected and far from pleasant... There's also hints of nuttiness and maltiness...

M - Full bodied... Coats mouth well... Surprisingly bitter... Slightly creamy and lush...

D - Not impressed... Not bad, but far from memorable... I'll take the Winter Wassail back in this mixed pack any day...

 786 characters

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a bottle into a pint glass.Pours a dark brown color.Good off white heading with ok lacing.Smells of a roasty source but not to hoppy.Lightly carbonated and easy to drink.A very nutty aftertaste.I do enjoy this one but it just seems to miss something from hihg end lager.

 282 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Season's Best pours a transparent amber color with a large off-white head. Crags of lacing all the way down the glass. Great retention.

Weak scent. Smells of hickory and general nuttyness.

Cake/nutty malt up front with a huge, thick spiced tea hop flavor headbutt with the swallow. Startling if you're not expecting it.

Not just Season's Best, but Saranac's best. I usually find them to be just an average brewery but this stuff is nice.

 449 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear dark amber/brown with a thick off-white head. Aroma of sweet fruits (raspberry jam) and malt. Flavor is of super sweet malt with some nuttiness. A little too sweet for me. Not something I would revisit.
Aroma: 6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20
3.2/5

 298 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a nice mahogany brown with a layer of fine bubbles covering the top

S - strong nutty flavor with a bit of sweetness

T - toasted malt flavor with some sugary sweetness

M/D - very drinkable, but nothing special about this one.
The taste is ok and very mild. Maybe I was expecting something different so that might be what made me not like it that much.

 363 characters

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.

 586 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, garnet color with a foamy, bubbly, tan, one-finger head. It left some good trails of lace.

S - It smelled very nutty with a sweet sugary aroma (like baking sugar cookies).

T - It tasted of toasty malt, nut, caramel and sweet toffee. It had a slight bitter kick of grassiness.

M - It was crisp, smooth and still somewhat soft. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Very drinkable. I'm looking forward to having the other one I have.

 456 characters

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.

 805 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seasons best. Saranac take on a holiday beer.
I like the deviation from all the spiced up beers that the others seem compelled to produce for this time of year.
Polished copper in appearance. Nice thick white head and thick lacing to boot.
Smells of toffee, caramel and lollypop like sweetness.
Nice malt up front in the taste. Caramel malts, sweet brown sugar kissed with a slight botterness from the hops in the end.
I fine beer by my account.

 445 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.86/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. I got a wicked nice tan head sitting atop a beautiful crystal clear deep auburn colored beer. Call it a Euro-dark lager if you must, but this beer looks much nicer. The head fades slow and leaves rocky valleys and rises that would make any mountain-climber antsy. If this head were sitting on a bowl of french vanilla ice cream it would not look out of place. Lacing covers the glass where the head used to be, and I mean covers it.

A nice full aroma of roasted malts, caramel, and hops. Taste is nutty and sweet, caramel malt, a nice hop profile that turns mildly bitter but then finishes clean. There is a flowery hop character in the middle that is fantastic, wildflowers as the wind blows lazily through a mountain lea.

This beer has a nice medium body, and medium to low carbonation in spite of the monster head. I see lots of bubbles but there is no burn or tickle in the back of the throat.

Interesting and drinkable. I'm glad to get the chance to try it!

 1,011 characters

Photo of thespaceman
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark brown in color, had a minimal size head that dissapated quicly, sparatic lacing on the glass.

Smell: Caramel, nuts, figs, a bit of nutmeg and chocolate with some minimal yeast tone.

Taste: Dissapointing for a dark lager, it's not dark, a weak peanut taste blends through maltiness that can't hold it's ground. Has an okay feel on the forefront and dies once the spicy aftertaste takes over, taste metallic and too generic for something like a Euro Dark.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, light bodied chemistry was disapointing for such a beer.

Drinkability: Considering the Saranac Winter Pack was good, this one needs work. A mediocre beer that needs a facelift in the indentity department.

 710 characters

Photo of theBubba
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Color: okay

Head: so so, and quick to vanish

Smell: a little caramel, a little steel

Taste: average for a non-import nut brown, with less malt and more hops. Leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth that could have been smoothed over with a bit more malt.

My real beef is the "Seasons Best" nomenclature (name on the label). I expected something special for the holidays from Saranac...maybe a little spice...a little fruit, something more than a run of the mill nut brown. For the season, better to go with their Black Forest. Better yet, a Brooklyn chocolate stout.

 570 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, yet clear mahogany-hued body with a large, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Toasty, nutty Munich malt nose with a drizzle of dark caramel and a scent of spicy hops.

Taste: Mixture of toasted breadcrusts and toasted, earthy nuts with a caramel sweetness. Medium hop bitterness, but you really get a big zip of spiciness. Finishes dry with a lingering earthy nut husk flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Far from complex, though it's fairly tasty and quite drinkable, deserving of a sturdy pat on the back.

 573 characters

Photo of drseamus
3.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice rich red color topped with a nice off white head.

S: Typical saranac smell.

T: Nice sweetness up front with a touch of bitterness mid palate. Ends with a nice brown ale sweetness.

M: Medium bodied. Fairly neutral.

D: Not great, not bad. Somewhere in the middle really just like most saranac.

 304 characters

Photo of sliverX
3.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poored a brown leaning copper, transparent. big light tan head that fell fast left just a film of bubbles but left much lacing
smell is nothing but big malts with a hint of chocolate
taste is again mostly malts a bit bready but with a slight chocolate and slight hop bitterness in the finish
not a bad body light leaning on medium gives you a little bit of saliva thickening effect
not bad to drink may search out some other Vienna lagers to better feel the style

 463 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a medium brown color with a fair sized head that broke down somewhat quickly but did leave some lace down the side. Brew has a nice roasted malty, nutty and caramel scents. The flavors are quite nice as well, roasted malts give a sweet taste with a hop flavor that is noticeable then breaks quite quickly. Some coffee and chocolate flavors are mixed in and seem to make an appearance and then quickly disappear. Good carbonation. While this brew does not have any real outstanding aspects it is very easy drinking and a nice addition to the Christmas 12 pack.

 576 characters

Photo of HomebrewPgh
3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice easy to drink, if not average beer. Pour was decent. Strong deep amber with red hues. No bubbles and no head. Aroma was weak. Could pick up a hint of caramel malt but very faint. Taste was very malty with strong carbonation that pricks your tongue. Very easy to drink but kind of bland.

 293 characters

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this in the holiday sampler.

Poured a clear red-brown with a finger of eggnog colored head. Good lacing and head retention.

Smells of sweet malt and light hop, a little bit of spice.

Taste is good. Light biscuity sweet malt up front, mellows into a mildly bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel is very fresh and crisp. Light bodied and very smooth. Carbonation is good.

Drinkability here is good. Not the best Vienna but a darn good one.

 438 characters

Photo of nasty15108
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured a deep amber/copper color. Nice thick head of slightly off-white foam with plenty of stick lacing.

S - Malty and slightly herbal/medicinal. Hints of caramel with a tiny bit of pine.

T - Malty up front with some sweetness. Finishes off with a slightly bitter hop flavor. Not much nut taste detected at all.

MF&D - Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Not a bad offering, and a nice addition to the Saranac winter sampler.

 482 characters

Photo of wiseguy142
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Nut Brown Lager." Wtf. Ok I guess I'm excited, sounds pretty tasty and unusual. Just noticed the nice artwork on the label which I don't think I've been appreciating when it comes to the rest of Saranac's beers. Pours a nice amber brown.. maybe a little too similar to their ESB if they're trying to differentiate the two based on color. But good head and good lacing. Aroma is great, very perfume-y and piney, but it's either how it mixes with the rest of the malt or something else that makes it unique. Taste is a huge kick in the malt bone, if there was one. Astringency is very noticeable though, which seems to be a problem for Saranac's beers. The complex roasted malt flavors retain their integrity in the face of the lagering process, which was what I was worried about. I was worried it was going to be like the Indian Brown Ale and taste nothing like a brown anything, but it definitely pulls through. Unfortunately, the astringency is a huge flaw and affects my score significantly. Mouthfeel benefits form the overall malt character- medium to full body and really pleasant to drink. Probably a tie with the ESB for my favorite in the mix pack. Just fix that astringency, apply it to the other beers in the pack and I'd be really happy.

 1,250 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of the '08 Saranac winter sampler

A nice solid beer here. Pours a mahogany color and taste wise is akin to a SA Boston Lager. Has a touch of a brown ale to it but is a little hoppier than the usual brown ale. Smells and looks great, taste and mouthfeel can be improved for sure, but I definitely enjoyed the 2 bottles in this 12 pack.

 350 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear and glassy reddish brown. Puffy styrofoam head. Takes on a ruby/mahogany color in the light.

Slightly bitter, nutty malt. Some sweetish toffee. Really well-crafted. Bitter, very nutty but biscuity. This smell is the definition of the term "nutty" in a beer. Real real good.

Malt is dark and roasted. Very nutty. Not the brown sugary taste many browns have, not at all. Dark and roasted, like amber malts bitterly mingling with darkly sweetish toffee and caramel. Bitterness of a red, sweetness of a brown.

Light-bodied. A bit ashy; feels like an amber/red. A solid beer, bitter in the amberish malt, sweet in the caramel malts. A good offering.

 653 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear reddish copper with a 2 finger white head. Retention is moderate, but a thick cap remains. Minimal lacing.

S - Very fruity aroma, something like overripe apples and berries. A slight toastiness and caramel is present as well.

T - Somewhat bland in this department. Vague toastiness with a minimal sweetness and some butterscotch hints. Late palate has the overripe fruit from the nose, but it takes on an unpleasant, almost rotten vegetable type of flavor. Finish has some lingering compost-like flavor and a touch of grain.

M - Light to medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. The body works well the flavors but I'm thinking the carbonation gets in the way.

D - Overall this is a fairly bland beer, but not too hard to drink. I don't care for the funky rotten flavor but thankfully it doesn't overwhelm the other stuff going on. Not terrible, but probably not something I'll remember.

 960 characters

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown color with a nice off white head that thins and laces the glass until the end. Smells of good hops and malts, nothing special. Taste the same, a nice background of crisp hops with a good sweet malt taste upfront. Its a good portion of hops, they give it just enough spice for flavor but no bite. I didn't pick up any Nut Brown Lager characteristics at all.. Period, nothing about this beer is nut brown.

Not this "Season's Best".. but good.

 466 characters

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

This beer poured a dark brown with two-finger yellowing beige head. The smell is mostly of malt with a little bit of hops and nuttiness. The taste starts off with some sweet caramel maltiness that is intermingled with some slightly piney hops. The mouthfeel is thin and slightly oily with a decent amount of carbonation. Not a difficult beer to drink, but I think it might sit a little heavy.

 392 characters

Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 28.9% out of 100 with 256 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.