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

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

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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 256
Photo of Jacobob10
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a light brown/reddish color with a slight head. Lots of carbonation with a very nutty smell to it. Not a bad taste, but too much carbonation. Leaves your mouth feeling a bit dry afterwards. I am a fan of nut brown flavor beers, but this is not my favorite.

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Photo of ark57
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has a crytal clear copper color. It leaves decent lace on the glass even though I was not impressed with the head. It has a toasted nut aroma with some hop character that comes off as grassy/hay like. It is medium bodied with toatsed nut flavors and a dry, bitter finish. My major quibble is that Saranac's best beers are not year round.

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Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color (but still very clear) with an egg shell white head that poured two fingers thick. Pretty lasting lace.

Rich, chocolate malty aroma with a subtle but noteable flowery hop balance. Very inviting.

Rich, thick body with dark malt flavor (crystal and chocolate?). The bittering hops show up immediately and powerfully during the tasting. The hops used are obviously meant for bittering and flavor rather than aroma. The aftertaste starts with a caramel/buttery feel that quickly moves toward the bitter.

The mouthfeel is almost a hybrid. It has the fullness and "roundness" of an ale, yet it is crisp like a lager. Carbonation is as expected.

A very good beer that is much more hoppy than most dunkels. I lean toward hops. If I was grading against style, I'd probably dock this one. But with my preferences, I like this more than the usually dark lagers because it is so much more flavorful (to me).

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Photo of Suds
2.86/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, deep amber-brown color with a respectably solid head. Small tufts of foam cling to the sides of the glass. Aroma is toasty, nutty, and slightly malty with a distant backbone of alcohol. Nice aroma hop profile for the style. Taste is caramel and a little vegetal. It has medium body and is a bit grainy and rough. Moderate carbonation. Finishes with a lingering, and not particularly pleasant bitterness….something of a burnt graininess. I can’t say that it impressed me.

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Photo of Maestro
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin, tan head atop a dark reddish brown pour. There is a hefty lacing that coats the glass. Definitely a nutty brew. This is my first Nut Brown Lager. The mouthfeel is very dry. The taste is strong with alcohol. The hops don't stick out too much. Seems like there is a ton of malt. Drinkability is good and it seems like a good session ale. Not sure about the ABV. A good holiday ale!

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Photo of masterbruewer
2.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber with about 1/3 inch of off-white head.

Smelled malty and grainy, no real hint of nut in this bottle so far.

The taste was a tad bitter, and rather bland with a little bit of a spicy aftertaste. This one's not impressing me too much although it gets a little better as the beer warms a little at room temperature.

The mouthfeel was average, decent carbonation and a "solid" feel.

Drinkability is about average. I wouldn't mind another, but I won't be searching for one either. It goes down easy.

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Photo of WesWes
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick white head. The aroma is of lager and victory malts. There is a slight scent of nuts. The taste is malty with the addition of victory malts to add the nutty flavor. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good seasonal beer; a fine drinker.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew arrived a clear medium copper, almost tea like in presence.
The tan head was short leaving behind an above average ring and glass cling.
Carbonation at first sight was a burst of large bubbles and thick, then limited.
Nose had a middle of the road pleasent nuttiness with a minor of assorted spices.
An exellent taste that starts to a light malt presence that balances very well to a nut hoppiness with a dark chocolate back.
Very impressive.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
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 clvand0
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light brown/red color with a small head that sticks around. The aroma is just as the name states - roasted nuts and malts with some sweetness. The flavor is very smooth with the taste coming from the roasted nuts and malts and it has a bit of hops to the taste as well. Very good nut brown ale.

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Photo of mschofield
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper-brown with a 2 finger tan head.
Almond and floral hop aroma, a little bit of spice.
Citrus and nut flavor, nutty and buttery, with minor chocolate and caramel.
Smooth with a medium body, nice smaller winter seasonal, one of the best Saranac's I've had. Not quite a brown, and not quite the dunkel as billed, but good.

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Photo of UnionMade
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a middle brown, touched with brass. A rather thick head develops with an agressive pour, dying down slowly to a thin misty coating. Great clarity, with a couple slowly rising bubbles floating to the top.
The aroma is simple, but good. Definite corny DMA aroma, with plenty of base pale malt, a bit of caramel and maybe a touch of chocolate. Very mild floral hop aroma. Not particularly clean, but certainly not ale-like.
The flavor starts out moderately malty, with a faint corn flavor. Light caramel towards the middle, changing into an odd metallic sourness. Some sort of contamination? A touch of estery fruitiness, with a bit of burnt chocolate flavor towards the end. Some harsh grainy flavor. Rather agressive hopping comes through at the very ass end of the finish, providing a sourish herbal bitterness, rather than flavor. Some lingering metallic bitterness in the aftertaste, with a bit of hop sourness. Some vague lager qualities, but drinks more like an ale. Medium bodied, with fairly high carbonation.
It's definitely "full flavored", but the flavors that are full aren't particularly pleasant. The hops are more bitter than flavorful, the malt sourish, and the beer overall seems overburdened with flaws. It sure beats a bottle of Molson, but I'll pass this up next time i go shopping.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This was a crystal clear, brown beer with an eggshell head that was fizzy and rose up to about two fingers. The bulk of it disappeared quickly, but a thin, dense layer of foam lingered over the top of the brew for quite some time. There was no lace left on the glass.

Smell: Right after the pour, my nose was assaulted but a strong corn smell that just about made me pour this beer down the sink. However, after waiting a few minutes, the corn did subside (thought it didn't actually go away). It was joined by the very distinct aroma of roasted malt, a nice nuttiness, and biscuit. Later, as the beer warmed up considerably, the corn smell came back with a vengence.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied, but not watery. There was a bit of a chewy grain feel to it. Pretty smooth for a lager, with just a lively tingle on the tongue.

Taste: There was just the lightest hint of malty sweetness on the very tip of the tongue. This was quickly overcome by a nutty, grain flavor that was soon joined by a suprisingly large hop profile. The hops were spicy and herbal and lingered into the aftertaste. Overall, rather dry and crisp.

An interesting brew from Saranac. Defintely different than your typical dark lager.

 1,222 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear reddish brown topped by a head the color of aged newspaper, nice and frothy. Retains a smallish film of bubbles throughout consumption and some nice lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Intriguing, if faint, hop aroma. It's slightly peppery and grassy, definitely showing a German influence. There's a toasted biscuit malt presence, too.

Taste: Toasty malts with some nice peppy German-style hopping. Cereal grain notes all throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and kind of bready.

Drinkability: Certainly a much better example of this style than my last encounter with it. I'm thinking I'm personally not much of a fan of the blend of hops used, but I can say that this is a pretty decent beer. Nothing to go to great lengths to acquire, I should think.

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Photo of merlin48
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
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 jed
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, amber with a good sized head. Good head retention, fades with a small amount of lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, with obvious malt and roasted chestnuts. Hints of spice too, perhaps nutmeg or cinnamon.

Taste: Fairly sweet upfront with lots of malt and faint nutty flavor. As this beer warms, hints of herbal hoppiness. Finishes bitter with a more pronounced hop presence. Some sort of alcohol/vegetable flavor which is barely noticeable. Near the end of the pint, toffee flavors develop along with more bitterness, and nut flavor recedes. Average carbonation and mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Interesting flavor and relatively low alcohol combine for good drinkability.

I picked this one up as part of the Saranac holiday 12 pack. An above average nut brown beer. As with other Saranac offerings, I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but still very pleasant and so far the best of the 12.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
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 +6.1%
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 marc77
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear garnet, with a distinct bister tinge. One fingered, persistent off white head leaves frothy, sparse lace. Sweet biscuit, along with a nutty, sugary marzipan like impression dominates the aroma. Bitter chocolate and woody hop tones timidly arise as the brew warms. Akin to a dunkel / English nut brown ale hybrid in aroma. Gentle dark toffee sweetness initially in flavor is ensued by mild toasted grain notes. Hop flavor is more herbal than expected from the aroma, with definite green, Hersbrucker hints. Hop bitterness is above the norm for a dunkel, but remains gentle and pleasantly drying. Once tepid cocoa eeks in mid palate, the flavor remains static, with little change other than trace salty cracker notes that emerge in the finish. Well attenuated, but sufficiently dextrinous and smooth in mouthfeel once the initial carbonic bite subsides. A relatively tasty dunkel, with an innocuous, one dimensional overall character. Impressively clean, well brewed and drinkable, though.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
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 Gavage
3.01/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear bronze color with a small head that quickly dissolved. There was only a slight earthy aroma, but overall undetectable. Since this was a nut brown lager, I expected more nuttiness. This was not the case. The malt was mellow in the tongue and the hops were barely detectable. There was a hint of spiciness and nut that showed up on the tongue. The nut and malt lingers shortly in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, drinkable, but less than exciting for a winter seasonal lager.

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Photo of shippos
4.42/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

excellent appearence with a brown amber color and tan-off white head. has a floral hoppy aroma with a rich malty hint. chocolaty chewy taste very nicely balanced. has a spicy hoppy aftertaste. wouldn't know this is a lager if it didn't say so on the bottle. very nice and very drinkable.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foamy pale tan head had decent staying power, and left some nice lacing. The beer is clear, and dark chestnut in color. The aroma is all malt, maybe a bit much for a nut brown, but since this is a lager and not an ale it makes a little more sense. The flavor is a lot more balanced, nice nutty maltiness is replaced a dry hop bitterness in the finnish. I haven't had too many nut brown lagers, but this is a decent beer.

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Photo of shirfan
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent lacing sits atop a clear brown/garnet liquid, with a clean, malty aroma.

Caramel malt predominates, I suppose there's a nut type of flavor as well as the finish dries a bit. A touch of bitterness is present at all times, but never enough to move this out of the "big malt" camp.

A little syrupy even, I'm not sure what to make of this. The sugars are felt rather than tasted; I wouldn't want to tackle more than one of these in a sitting. However, it's a nice departure from the usual Saranac method of throwing hops at an average brew until it's passable.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A copper brown pour topped in a nice fluffy off-white head that will sit for a bit and then leave lace all over the place. Aroma is a bit subtle, but it has nice sweet malts as well as a nice hoppy balance. A little citrusy.

Wow, this Saranac has a little balance to it. Last year I was very disappointed by the 12 Beers pack, but this is the first one this year, and it is doing pretty well. Nice backround of sweet malts, and the hoppiness is there as well. A touch of caramel at the start, and then it drops out of the way for a bit of bitterness. A nice flavorful brew. It is not a world class brew, but it is very drinkable and tasty. Well done on this one.

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Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 256 ratings.
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