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

256 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 256 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of Enola
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is possibly my least favorite Saranac brew. There is a bad bitterness that is very sharp and up front. The beer itself looks good. It is a nice deep brown with a small amount of lacing. The smell tips you off a bit about the bitterness. The taste is so dominated by the bitter flavor that it is hard to detect much else. The mouthfeel is also lacking. I won't buy this beer again. There is much better offerings from Saranac. This beer made my taste buds angry.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with ruby hues. Decent 1/2" head that recedes to a filmy lace.
Smells of the obvious nut. But also some caramel and chocolate covered cherries.
Has a rich malty taste with a mild fruity hoppy like finish. Has a nice roasted flavor to it.
Good fullbodied mouthfeel. Smooth and rich at the same time.
This beer suprised me. My first of this style and I had low expectations but I enjoyed this one and will look for more next holidays.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another one of Saranac's "12 beers of winter", the Nut Brown pours an attractive dark amber color and a surprising smell featuring both hops and the advertised toasted malt and honey.
This nut brown is oddly dominated by hops with the roastd malt making only a brief appearance. Thus the bitterness is high and the finish crisp. Caramel, honey, and wood are all extant flavors. Mouthfeel is a little thin but I find Saranac usually succumbs to this trend, could be the water.
Not at all what I anticipated but still very nice, well balanced and pleasing. I can see three or four of these at the ski lodge in January, oh yeah.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.62/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very nice auburn/caramel sort of a color. No aroma except to say "beer". Somewhat malty flavor-metallic and iron like. Finishes on the sweet side and fairly clean being as this is a lager vs. an ale. No real nutty or slight chocolate flavor that Im used to in a nut brown. Average body. Overall a very average beer. Ok in a variety pack but otherwise I think I would skip it.

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Photo of johnyeast
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The apperance was a dark carmel color. Not much of a head. The smell was rich and nutty. The taste was average but one thing that I did notice is that the beer got better with time. My first impression was overtaken by the initial over carbonation. After it was in the glass a little while and warmed up the taste was better and the mouthfeel improved. Overall I would say the Nut Brown Lager was slightly above average.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up as part of the 12 beers of Winter. I must say that this is a really good offering from Utica, NY. While it doesn't exhibit the strong "nut like" nose or flavor of say a Sam Smith's, it is a good quality brew, which seems to be a good session brew. I will have to seek this out on draught, next time I go thru Utica on the way to Buffalo. Pours a nice deep brown color with a nice 1 to 1.5 inch head which retains for a bit, followed by nice lacing. The flavor is malty, with some honey tones to smooth things out, with a very faint hop character at the end. All in all, one of the better brews from Matt's. Yummy.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown with a nice full creamy beige head. Light caramel and nutty aroma and flavor; very nice Dunkel type character although a bit on the light side in flavor. Medium bodied and smooth with a nice finish.

Not nearly as caramelish as most Saranac brews ... very sessionable.

Per label: "Blend of Domestic and Belgian malts"

'2723' lasered on neck (2003 Winter Seasonal sampler)
Tasted: 05/23/05

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin brown in color with only a flimsy head. Lots of lace that won't hold and runs down into the glass. Aroma is very mild; really just only slightly of malts, like earthy, bready malts. Nothing really jumps out to me in the taste. Malty goodness, but not really alanced with any hops, that are negligible in this beer. Some caramel and toffee tones. Mouthfeel is a little bit sour and very heavy. Easy enough to drink and would not tire out my taste buds.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear amber brown pour, zero carbonation bubbles and a ½” frothy tan head cap with spotty lace.

Nary a scent of beer from this lager. Just some breakfast cereal like Quaker Oats and grainy aromas.

First swigs: Rough wheat raw husky grains. Flavors of homebrew wort. Walnut nuttiness. Woody characters. Powdery dry buttery tongue coating finish and aftertaste.

Foamy medium bodied. A bit cloying in the end.

Last swigs: Nutty, buttery oatmeal oak woody lager. This just didn’t quite excite me, despite the website declaring it the 25th year with this special brew.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of stirgy
4.53/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gorgeous looking beer with it’s deep cherry amber orange color, almond cream head and intricate lacing that’s left on the glass. The aroma, although light, is like a cherry cream chocolate cordial. Very inviting. Fruity and complex with bits of caramel, fig, chestnut and oak – with even maybe a slight touch of pineapple in there. The taste is bittersweet with emphasis on the rich caramel and nutty notes. The medium light body just seems right in this one. Has some malt character and finishes clean and satisfying. Wow, the quality of this one really blindsided me. I guess I wasn’t prepared for how good this was!

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Photo of sprackops
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Dark brown with a dense beige head.

Smell: Nutty, caramel sweetness. Hint of floral hop aroma.

Taste: Intensely sweet caramel malt at the start. Chocolate, nut, and biscuit notes. Slight twang of hops near the finish, lingering on the lips.

Mouthfeel: Substantial and creamy. Medium to high carbonation.

Drinkability/comments: With everything well under control, this is a highly drinkable beer. One of the best from the winter sampler.

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Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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 blitz134
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
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 99bottles
3.22/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I almost though this was going to be a spiced beer because of the seasonal designation. From a brewery that oftentimes overuses flavorings, it was nice to see that it wasn't. This dark lager is something like a brown ale, except that it's a lager. It has a deep mahogany-brown body with a foamy head of yellowish-off white that has poor retention. It smells of toasted almonds; very nutty and very toasted. The taste is much the same. It's less sweet and seems to have less malt than most brown ales, but it retains that rich nutty flavor. There is a strong toasted flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but not bad for a lager. I could drink more than one of these, but I'm not willing to say I reccommend this beer. Another average Saranac.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Oh, how I look forward to late fall every year for Saranac's Twelve Beers pack to become available (of course, I have to be up north to even find it...)

This beer pours with moderate head that seems to dissipate fairly quickly. Hold it up to the light though and you'll see a brilliant, crystal clear copper color with an amber touch.
The smell is nutty and toasty and somewhat similar to Newcastle, in my opinion, with perhaps a deeper malt profile. The flavor starts off with an indication of toasted maltiness followed swiftly by a caramel malt flavor. This caramel sweetness is almost just as quickly chased away by a pleasant bitterness.
For having so little head (that doesn't last too long, no less), this brew has a surprising little carbonated bite, which one must endure before encountering the flavor profile.
This is a decent holiday-style offering from Saranac, but probably seems not have the makings of a flagship brew. It's nice to have it around once a year.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a tulip pint glass.

Light brown color in appearance with a fluffy, white head that rests on top. Some sticky lacings on the sides of the glass.

Whiffs of cookie dough and sweet malt. Very faint aromas are coming from this beer.

Taste has a walnut flavor with some random spices blending in. A doughy yeast flavor and malty backbone. Minimal hop presence on the finish. The body is just too thin and watered down for my enjoyment.

Not a bad Winter seasonal, but there are much better options out there.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
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 Citadel82
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Foamy off white head that quickly fades. Some thin lacing. Clear light brown/auburn in color.

Light mild malt sweetness. Also a mild doughy aroma that's a bit sweet and slightly fruity.

A very mild hoppiness that overrides any malt character. Despite the faint malt-like flavors there is really almost no real maltiness; a hoppy dry finish.

This is the blandest and weakest of the beers that I have tried from Saranac. I prefer a nut brown ale anyday.

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Photo of sideshowrob
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Seasons Best - one of 12 Christmas beers from Saranac

Brew poured about three shades of brown away from amber. Rather light in color. Very little head, and even that vanished quickly. Slightly acidic smell, with a promise of hops on the nose. Taste was a bit quirky - a tart flavor was present that was not well balanced by either hop or malt. The former was almost abscent, the latter was there but very subduded. Plenty of excitment and action on the tastebuds, though the tart flavor carried the day. A fairly easy brew to drink, but not really my cup of brew.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear mahogany with a thin tan head. no lace to speak of. Smell s of subdued nutty malt with hints of tea leaves.

Taste is spicy, nutty, sticky malt, tea leaves and a surprisingly assertive yet rounded hoppy finish. Mouth is a bit thin and also a bit sticky oddly enough. this is a solid holiday offering although something about the texture puts me off a bit.

The Fifth Beer of Christmas.

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Photo of NEhophead
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Foamy off white head that fades after a moment to a few pools of bubbles. Spotted lacing with above average strength. Clear, slightly thin light brown/auburn in color.

Light coffee, mild malt sweetness. Slight grainy, metallic component. Also a mild bready-wafer aroma that's a bit musty.

A very mild malt sweetness that overrides any hop character yet lacks flavor. Faint bread-like flavors but pretty bland tasting. Almost no bitterness; a very dry finish. A flavorless aftertaste.

Medium bodied; dry and almost airy on the palate. The dry chalky texture is not pleasant.

A very bland and flavorless beer IMO. Thank God there's only one of these in the mixed 12 pack I bought. Not something I'll be going back to.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow having had a college roommate who is a former Saranac employee, I never tried this and that's odd. My dad picked up a 12 pack of the holiday sampler when I arrived home fro Thanksgiving, so I figured post Thanksgiving dinner was a good time to give this one a go. And surprisingly, it's pretty decent.

Copper colored chestnut body with a sweet, nutty malty aroma. Flavor is certainly not complex, but it has a good flavor profile and is nonetheless enjoyable. Nutty sweetness balances a crisp, malt backbone with just the slightest twang of hop bitterness. Finishes smooth and sweet, a caramel nutty sweetness that thankfully isn't too overpowering. A holiday seasonal I'd drink again.

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Photo of wailingwench
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Eye Candy: Dark amber with clear amber on sides. Creamy white pillowy 2 finger head. As with the rest of the Holidays in 2004, superb retention and lacing.

The Nose Knows: No typical nut brown aromas. Something slightly earthy, yet sweet.

Tongueland: Typical Saranac Amber-like m/f, slightly thicker but still medium m/f. Toasted malt character that gives way to a minimal nut finish. Nothing stupendous, just there to remind you that this is indeed a nut brown. This years Holiday is sweeter than past years, there are some honey and brown sugar notes present.

Bender Factor: As always, a exc brew for the masses to put down. Satisfies its requirement, 3.0's for BA's and 5.0's for Blue drinkers.Buy your inlaws a Holiday 12er or a sixer of Seasons Best. They will actually like you for a change.

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

This was not really a brown lager... it had a distinct red tinge. Not a lot of head.

The aroma was nutty, with a generous hit of roasted malt and a hint of hops.

The taste was very complex for a lager... bitter hops, followed by roasted malt, caramel notes, a slight nuttiness, a little bit of spiciness from the hops, followed by a long roasted finish. Very nicely done.

I initially thought this would be a spiced beer... I am glad it was not. It didn't need it. It was very good.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
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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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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