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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 256
Photo of dogfishandi
2.66/5  rDev -23.3%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, some spice and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is spicy and bready up front with flavors of caramel, maple and nuts. The malt character is hearty and there's a decent hops presence to provide some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, exactly what you expect out of style, it's not a bad beer but there really isn't too much about this beer that would make it stand out enough that I'd want to drink it again.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A rich, deep copper color with an orange tint. A very large, creamy off-white head bubbles up with good retention and very nice lacing.

S: Bland malt sweetness accompanied by some earthy hop aromas. Considerable nutty and yeasty scents as well. Appealing, but not especially complex.

T: Not a ton of complexity in the malt department - just a vaguely caramel sweetness. Some bready touches as well, now that I think about it. A nice nutty flavor is undercut by some steely, earthy and herbal hops that come across as a tad unrefined. A slight dose of sugar in the aftertaste.

M: Somewhat full-bodied with lightish carbonation. A fading, somewhat dry finish.

D: This is pretty nice - it certainly looks great. Not especially complex, but it's got a strong flavor and it's definitely not one of the cloying, cinnamon and nutmeg infused winter seasonals from many breweries.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - pours a dark amber with a tinge of orange. A moderate amount of bubbles stream to a two-finger tan head. Good head retention, leaves behind decent lacing

S - Nice balanced sell between biscuity malt and earthy hops upon opening the bottle. Upon warming up, I'm getting more nut smells in the mix and something that reminds me of ammonia....

T - Roasted malt flavor up front followed by nutty body with hints of hop flavor. A lot of flavor on the finish with good balance between nutty malt and earthy hops. Bitter, Nutty aftertaste. Really needs to have more flavor in the body.

M - Medium Bodied with ample carbonation. Suits the style well.

D - This would be a great dark lager if it weren't for the ammonia smell that seems to develop as the beer warms. I didn't notice it the first time I drank the beer, but then again it was cold and I had a few beers before it. Unfortunately, the smell ruins a otherwise decent beer for me and reminds me off my high school chemistry days of synthesizing Nitrogen Tri-Iodide.

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

Out of a standard, brown bottle this brew was a wood-stain brown color with some mahogany highlights. The head was two fingers thick, tan and left streaks of lacing off the skim. The aroma was mostly of roasted malt and caramel malt with little hop profile. The flavors were at first semi-sweet, starting on the caramel malt note it then became more nutty before heading to a dry, bitter finish. It was not unlike an E.S.B. in a lot of ways, complete with hints of sourness. The body was medium, the mouthfeel watery and the carbonation moderate.

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Photo of JamesS
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice semi-deep brown with a bit of head and a tiny bit of lacing. Nice deep and malty scent, hints of nuts, but mostly malt. Good deep taste, nice malty brown ale (ent draught) with a perceptible nutty flavor. Goes down very well. An excellent beer, much like a standard nut brown ale, but evidently with a lager yeast, making it nice and smooth.

 354 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of winter variety pack (6 beers - 2 each):

Pours brown amber with a foamy tan head that stays. SOme lacing sticks.

The smell is nutty with caramel (some orange?) floral and husky.

The taste is herbal/floral with a nutty, toffeeish maltiness. Light, but nice. Somewhat husky. It has a pretty crisp, sweet-ish finish.

It has a light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation.

Not a bad brew. A bit husky and nothing particularly noteworthy, but a decent lager with a nice nut brown character.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
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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Photo of tmoneyba
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured medium brown color with a rocky white head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

Aroma was combination of hops and roasted malt.

Medium flavor of nut and sweet malt with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration.

Drinkable seasonal beer and very good for style.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a decent beer. It may be a bit of my usual, realm of more distinguished stuff, but these Saranac samplers have been good for a few years now. They always have 6 ambitious styles - nothing like the Black and Tan I first tasted from them 20 years ago. But these things tend to be drinkable.

It is a pretty complex taste. It tastes like the malts were well roasted. I don't think that I would grab a 6 of these. No, I wouldn't.

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Photo of kennyo
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A nut brown lager

Pours a mahogany brown, clear, with 1" white head, Belgian lace throughout.

Aroma - nutty, some malt, a little spicy

Taste - some malt, sme chocolate malt

Thin body, nicely carbonated

Definitely not the Season's Best beer that i drank but not bad. Kind of a session beer.

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Photo of ShaneBertou
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice rich deep amber color with a modest head. It had a decent smell, the hops and malts were both prevalent.

At first is was really nice tasting beer. Hints of caramel and brown sugar, just a hint of hops on the backside of the flavor. But the flavor did wear on me the more I had, which affected it's overall drinkability as well.

Of the beers that came in the "12 Beers of Winter" sample pack, this one is by far my favorite.

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Photo of yelterdow
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature in a tasting tulip. From this year's seasonal pack, the freshness code "2958" is clearly lasered on the neck.

Appearance- Euro Dark Lager? Interesting out of the gate. This beer pours somewhere between a chestnut and mahogany color, supporting a creamy off-white three finger head. Crystal clarity, lacing is absent.

Smell- Some roasted malt and hazelnut aromas waft from my glass, along with a tinge of fleeting hops with a signature English character... well balanced and very subtle.

Taste- Although the initial flavors, which echo the nose I observed, come through early on... they fade quickly to a more bland, pedestrian display of weak flavors that go nowhere. A very mild bitterness comes through in the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Thankfully better with regard to texture than the last few Saranac offerings. Mildly prickly in the mouth, never going over the top and not going flat either. Drinkable, no doubt... just unmemorable and a bit flabby.

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Photo of kkosmoski
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Longneck poured into a large Ayinger glass. Very deep amber to light red color with a heaping of offwhite head. Very clear with just a bit of carbonation rising. Aroma of toffee, chocolate chip cookie dough, and caramel. Flavors include dark toast, caramel, hint of chocolate, toasted nuts, and a bit of a spicy bitterness in the finish to balance everything out. Feel of the beer is medium, and the carbonation is not overdone. Drinkability is good on this lager, though it is geared toward the malty side, there is some dry bitterness that comes in and keeps it in check. A pretty solid beer year to year from Saranac and a winner in the winter 12-pack.

 655 characters

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

Poured this into a 12oz glass and formed about a 1" head over a nut brown body (so far, so good) Taking a sniff gave me a slight nutty malt smell with earthy and citrusy hops aromas. The taste at first is also nutty up front with citrusy hops in the back, slowly it fades to a citrusy finish and afertaste. The feel is light (not lite!!) and refreshing. Overall it's a decent beer with nothing wrong with it but it is just solidly average. A decent addition to a mixed pack but not something to run out to stock up the fridge with.

Edit...01072009...after retrying this beer it reminds me of SA Boston Lager, a little less aggresively hopped perhaps and since I ain't no hophead that's not a problem and this stuff is starting to grow on me. I just might run out to get a case for the fridge.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, part of Saranac's "12 Beers of Winter" sampler. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear brownish/red color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. The aroma is piney hops, nuts, toffee and caramel. It tastes like toasted and bready malt, nuts, toffee, and piney hops. There's a slight bitter hoppy and nutty finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it has good carbonation which works well with this beer. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy and would be a decent choice as an occasional session beer. Overall I think this is a good beer, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of sjohansen
3.79/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Season's Best poured a red tipped shade of mahogany. The clarity is pretty brilliant, with tons of tiny bubbles racing to the top. They form a slightly off white, thick and rocky two finger head. Head sticks around through almost the entire session. Lace goes ring for sip for the full twelve rounds. This winter lager looks fantastic.

Earthy malt in the nose. Spicy/piney hops. Something in the smell puts me off a little. Can't put my finger on it.

Taste is overly spicy throughout, even as it warms. Great bite in the finish. I found the balance leaning a little more to the hops side. Malts are overpowered, but deliver some sweet smoothness in the front of the palate. Before I can really get a handle on them, whether they're chocolate or coffee hinted, maybe caramel noted, the hops clear everything out, and the beer is gone.

Medium bodied with great carbonation.

Well, it was certainly refreshing for the little amount of time it occupied my glass. This is a really decent lager, but season's best it's not. There are quite a bit of other selections around the winter months that are more intriguing.

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Photo of Kraken
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
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 Vendetta
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Large, foamy head that leaves a soapy lacing.

Smells mildly malty with a faint hop background.

Tastes superbly malty, sweet, some balancing hop bitterness in there. Strong semi-toasted caramel presence.

Mouth feel is very, very good. Creamy with slightly tingling carbonation. Finish is a bit bitter.

This is a pretty good brew from Saranac, definitely one of their better ones that I've had.

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

This is a rust-colored lager with a dissipating thin white head. The aroma is of caramel malt and... a bit grassy. It is thin and watery-- a light body that's very clean. The flavor is tight and pretty bitter. The caramel malt is present and it's a touch sour. Good stuff.
(rated May 15, 2007)

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Photo of tburkhart
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of raznug.

Pours a very nice ruby color with a layer of head .25 inches thick.

Smells of malts and nuts.

Tastes of caramel with slight nuts. No noticeable hops in this one.

Pretty solid brew from Saranac, nice beer to drink on a cold winter night.

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Photo of philbe311
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
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...

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
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

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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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