Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
177 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 256
Photo of engagechad
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this beer on sale at Kroger so It may or may not have been sitting around for a while

A - kind of a light brown with a moderate head

S - Smells kind of lagery.. not much going on

T - Taste has a slight hint of nut but then not much after that. I agree with the rest in saying that there isn't much holiday in this holiday beverage

M - Mouthfeel was good, pretty smooth

D - After 1.5 of these it just kind of got alcoholy to me and wasn't pleasant

 457 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

6pk for about $7.50 @ Rte 6. 12oz into tulip.

A- Nice nut brown color. go figure. Not much in the way of head or lacing.

S- Nice sweet malts, a bit of earthy and gritty grain.

T- Mild grassy hops, low bitterness, some toasted malt. A bit bready, some lingering sweetness. Very tasty, easy drinkin'. Nothing big and bold, but the flavors are there.

M- Pretty solid body, good carbonation, no off-notes.

D- Very high. I will pick up a few more 6pks of this stuff. For the price it's very nice. A good beer to sit with for a while.

 537 characters

Photo of claspada
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is all malty with some toffee, caramel, baked bread and roasted nut notes. The tastes are very similar to the aroma with the malts dominating. There is a pleasant earthy hop and nutty malt finish. Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side, but is is a lager, so... I could drink a number of these. A good cold weather session ale to have at a party so as to not get too sloppy. One of the better Saranac offerings I have had recently.

 438 characters

Photo of lovindahops
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta have some season's best when the snow is falling in cuse!

A- a dark amber brew with a decent head of foam. Falls right into a nut brown look

S- the nuttiness is wide spread with a small amount of caramel malt. A little crisp with the scent

T- good balace with the dry nutty flavor. The caramel malt counters with some sweetness. The malt flavors really shines through at the end

M- creamy taste with fair carbonation

D- season's best is a pretty good brew. Good flavor, as always from the matt family

 511 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 399 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Nearly clear amber color. I could only get a half finger of off-white head that fell mighty quickly and left a few rogue strands of lacing.

4.0 S: Decent aroma with a pleasant biscuity nuttiness. Earthy hops and caramel.

3.0 T: Nuts in the taste too, but this time seems watered down. Caramel suffers the same fate as does other lightly toasted malts. Basically I'm getting two parts good nut brown lager mixed with one part water.

3.0 M: Lighter body. Carbonation is fine. Smooth, but not very creamy.

3.0 D: Like always, Saranac manages to make another mediocre brew that's drinkable but not particularly enjoyable.

 656 characters

Photo of dstc
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a ruby tint. Light tan head falls to just about nothing. Very thing lace.

The aroma is all sweet mild malts. Bit of nuttiness.

Taste is like the aroma, sweet malts but with a bit of tanginess and maybe slightly metallic. Slight nut flavor and a slight hop finish.

Bit thinner in the mouth than I would have imagined but than again Saranac brews seem to be.

All in all this is a decent brew. Nothing spectacular but a nice drinkable beer.

 470 characters

Photo of justincolts
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nutty spiced brown ale of a seasonal/winter beer. Nothing particularly special, but good nonetheless. Has an aroma of a typical nut brown ale, and its good. Very drinkable, good body, admiral taste, good smell, overall pretty solid. Not groundbreaking but not everything has to be. Nice stuff overall.

 303 characters

Photo of pzrhsau
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice true brown color, clear with a modest head to it.
Smell: Very sharp malt aroma and hint of hops to it. Almost like rye.
Taste: It has a very deep malt flavor with some spice to it. It finishes with a slight nutty after taste.
Drinkability and mouthfeel: Crisp with a tight carbonation. It goes down a little too easy for a winter beer. But overall its a quality beer for the category.

 402 characters

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

Pours a dark brown color with a nice ruby tint in the back for a glare effect. Fast dissipating head and some lacing noticed on the tumbler glass. The smells are slight, they're of the roasted malt kind and seems to be this brews only below average account. Taste is tolerable, little slippery for a nut brown but the flavor is right on with the aspects of the style (hops play well too). Moderately carbonated which is very nice, abv nonexistent in the wash down, little thin in texture sums it up nicely. Drinkability? Sure, why not. Cheap, local, and overall a good seasonal as rated above. It did the trick for me this year and I may just have to go back again next year, until then....

 690 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours crystal clear reddish amber with one finger of foam

S - faint hop aroma, some malty sweetness

T - malty, spiced flavor (coriander?), harsh aftertaste but mellows out as you drink it

M - low carbonation, creamy feel

D - decently drinkable, would have another

A solid offering from Saranac.

 303 characters

Photo of GoalieRon33
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- dark brown, mostly opaque. Omits a warm glow when light shines through the beer.

S- faint smell of alcohol with noticeable hoppiness. Some burnt sweetness, but subtle

T- burnt maltiness,some hoppy bitterness. Lingering burn from alcohol. Typical nut brown flavor, with an extra crisp finish

M- Medium to heavy body. Malty first note, ends with a mellow, hoppy bite.

D- A litte overwhelming at first, with a thicker bodied feel. Not easy to session with, nor should it be attempted with the higher abv.

 508 characters

Photo of Stewball
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

App- Dark red when held to the lamp in my livingroom, and a deep brown otherwise.
Pour- Poured into an Imperial Pint, flowed smoothly, was thinner than I had expected. Head was about a pencil thin..and left as soon as I had noticed it.
Smell- Various malts come through, thats it. it was expecting some holiday spices being a winter produced beer. Very light, non offensive.
Taste- Roasted malts, light maple after taste, Bitter finish with a slight alcohol draw if you look for it.
Overall, I enjoyed it - but failed in comparison to the two other Browns I had yesterday (Sam Smiths and Goose Island). However, I think its a good starting point for someone whose never had a Nut Brown.

 686 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red/brown body, good highlights, topped by two fingers of level light beige foam.

Enticing aroma of fresh bread and mocha.

Deep semi-sweet chocolate beginning. Tingly earthy hops at the finish. Not complex, but tasty.

Smooth round mouthfeel.

Very good drinkability, easy to have a couple.

A nice tasty, slightly chewy, dark lager.

 335 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light brown color with a small head, the head evaporates quickly. The taste is malty with some flavors of coffee. The smell is of roasted malts and it has a very good odor that is a good representation of the taste of the beer. A good nut brown not very complex but solid.

 280 characters

Photo of maddogruss
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this in a Saranac mix pack. Poured the contents into a shaker glass.

A: Pours a dark, amber-brown body with a small, white head with pretty good retention and lacing until the finish.

S: A sweet, juicy malt smell with some slight, earthy notes.

T: A roasted, malt taste with some slightly bitter hop notes. There were some nutty notes in the aftertaste as well. An interesting tasting beer, nonetheless.

M: A light bodied and refreshing beer overall. The mouthfeel was fairly smooth overall as well.

D: A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste made this beer pretty drinkable. The nut brown lager was an intriguing and pretty good beer overall.

 666 characters

Photo of MVotter
4.35/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Saranac Season's Best Nut Brown Lager pours into a chalice a clear ice tea-brown with a 1/2 inch tan head which quickly dissipates ... some thin lacing as you drink it down.

The nose is of roasted malts, breads.

The taste is an interesting blend of hops up front, followed by a coffee malt flavor. The finish melds the two together, with the coffee-malts prevailing.

The mouthfeel is nice and effervescent, medium gravity and ultimately, a dry experience for the palate.

I look forward to this brew each Holiday season. It is an extremely drinkable, tasty offering by the people at Saranac.

Bravo! And, uh, Happy Holidays in late June ... ha, ha, ho, ho!

 663 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown longneck poured into a pub-style glass.

Pours a deep, brilliantly clear mahogany hue with a huge three fingers of rocky light tan foam that recedes very slowly to a nice thick cap, leaving behind perfect rings of lace on the sides of the glass. Some spectacular lacing, if I do say so myself. The remnants after the beer is long gone are quite artful. The Belgians would probably be satisfied.

Aroma isn't nearly as spectacular as the lacing. A bit nutty with an herbal and spicy hop backing, and a little unwelcome buttery diacetyl rearing its ugly nose (ugly in a beer of this sort, at least).

Medium-bodied and mildly carbonated; nutty, somewhat caramel-sweet flavors appear in the front, with a toastiness and a hint of chocolate showing up closer to the middle before a pleasantly mild bitter, somewhat resinous, slighly herbaceous hop presence balances things out before heading into a long malty finish with a touch of grassy hop flavor lingering as well.

Points for drinkability, as this one is mostly pleasant and sparklingly clean, though the finish is a bit cloying. An interesting winter seasonal, with that clean lager quality that helps it fit in even in the hot Georgia summer.

 1,209 characters

Photo of Gyle41386
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber color. Small, thick white head. Retains well, leaves decent lacing.

Smells malty and grainy. The aroma is pretty weak. Seems like there's some caramel in there. Try as I might, I'm not sensing any hops, or any nuttiness.

Has kind of a toasty flavor. Toasted malt and toasted nuts. Litle bit of spice. The caramel appears again.

Medium body, nice carbonation. Pretty smooth. Dry finish. Easy drinker.

 469 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this beer at a little Irish Pub/beer bar type of place in Swansboro, North Carolina. The beer had a cloudy appearance and was a creamy brown color. The nut was apparent in the nose, but not so much in the flavor. The beer struck a nice balance between the hops and the malt. It was very pleasant and easy to drink. Just about perfect for something to pass the time.

 371 characters

Photo of jmbranum
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass out of a bottle I bought at Hannaford's Grocery store in Watertown, NY

"Euro Dark Lager" is not a style I'm too familiar with so it is hard for me to judge it, but I'll take a stab at it.

Clear amber/brown brew with slight head. When held up to the light in the glass it is quite pretty.

Aroma is slightly malty but pretty faint. The first taste is different, some malt and a little hop bite. It strangely reminds me of Shiner Bock but with more hop bitterness.

I do like the mouthfeel. It is quite smooth with a bit of heft to it and is nicely matched to the hop bite.

Not a bad beer at all, but not my favorite of the Saranac offerings.

 663 characters

Photo of matty
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is nutty.Taste is caramel,nuts and bread.I would classify this more as a brown ale. Good rich flavor and taste.I think this is something that should be tried at least once,and something I would surely buy again!!

 264 characters

Photo of clemtig76
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple six packs at Green's in Columbia, SC. I know one of the employees there and he informed me that they were getting ready to mark them down to $3.99/six so I got the "insiders" deal. The beer pours a rich reddish mahogany color with a light tan head. Decent head retention and some lacing. The aroma is mostly from the malts with toffee, caramel, baked bread and roasted nut notes with some piney hops in the background. Taste is very similar to the aroma with the malts dominating. There is a pleasant slighty bitter hoppy and nutty finish. Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side, but I could drink a number of these. One of the better Saranac offerings in my opinion.

 687 characters

Photo of SidewinderX
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 323 characters

Photo of ATPete
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Pours a mostly transparent and light bending amber brown color with a small sticky off white head. Sweet, nutty and slightly smokey malts in the nose. Brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, and a roasty nuttiness. Good flavor, light/medium body, good carbonation. Nothing id rave about but definitely one of the better offerings ive had recently from Saranac.

 366 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!