Saranac Kölsch | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac KölschSaranac Kölsch
400 Ratings
Saranac KölschSaranac Kölsch

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

Style: German Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 400 |  Reviews: 192
Reviews by RHB33:
Photo of RHB33
4/5  rDev +24.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mlasher1
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden pour with half inch head which disappears leaving some lacing.

S: Smell is grainy with hop aroma.

T: Light tast with mild-moderate bitterness.

M: Very light with little residual flavor.

D: Definately drinkable and sessionable but not my favorite by any means.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

A: Pale straw-colored gold with soapy white head of about 1/2" or so. Pretty good retention and light lacing.

S: Light malts mixed with some sort of light fruity smell, some light but sharp hops as well.

T&M: Dry light malts and sharp clean hops lace the tongue with a strong pull. The body is light with moderate carbonation. Finish is fairly clean and quick with a relatively short malty linger.

D: Light, enjoyable, clean on the palate. Nice, but not spectacular. I couldn't help but not the rather grain-like flavor of the malts in this brew, a bit heavier than I have had in this style before, but not necessarily bad.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

Pale color; clarity and hefty amount of white head walks the walk. Hint of malt, more of a grainy husk and pale leather ... soft, but there with a twang of fermentation in the nose. Crispness is there, and a dry, pulling graininess seems to want to take over right from the get-go. Modest hopping—that’s all this brew really needed, though there is no real depth of flavor from the bitterness. Grain becomes almost a bit chalky in the bone-dry finish. A decent stab at the style, but a bit more malt and a pinch of sweetness with hopping to back it would bring it to where it should be.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was part of a summer sampler 12 pack, and it was one of the less enjoyable beers in the sampler. It was an orange color with a small head. It had a faint aroma, floral/grainy. The taste was very nondescript. A little bit of hops, and that's it. I've had better kolsches. Drinkable in the sense that it will quench your thirst.

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Photo of generallee
3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac's Kolsch has a beautiful golden color and a thick white head. It has a lovely light aroma with some fruity esters that reminds me of pineapple. The flavor is well rounded with some light grains, mellow doughy yeast and fruity hops that add just a little bitterness. On the palate there is a nice carbonation with a light body and clean dry finish. I liked this refreshing offering from the summertime sampler and I could see myself looking for it by itself in a six pack over so.

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Photo of TimoP
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Jason
2.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

A- Clear with a deep golden color. Good lacing effect on the glass.

S- Grape skin, ghost like vinous character. Grainy aroma with a husk smell throughout.

T- Grape skin, watery malt husk. Bready malt, light hopping. Semi-clean palate with a clean and dry finish. Malt character is watery ... no full flavor from the malt let alone the hops.

M- Good crispness but a weird slickness forms on the tongue after each sip.

D- A decent brew to put back, but the craving for more flavor turns me to other beers.

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Photo of Prospero
3.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of Milkysunshine
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Bike2work
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into stange. Light clear golden yellow with a lively fizzy head that dissipates very raipdly, leaving no lacing. Smells very "beer-like," with pretty evenly distributed malt, yeast, and hops. The smell is clean, a little spicy with some wine-like notes. Taste is light and clean, german yeast flavors are present with some tart wine-like flavors. Mouthfeel is clean, somewhat dry and medium-bodied.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a deep straw colored golden hue with a bright vibrant white head, with thin speckled lacing left behind between each sip. Aromatics crisp mineral character with mild toasted cracker sweetness from the lightly kilned malts with just an air of herbal hops. Flavor wise is clean and straight forward with a crisp malt sweetness touch of honey and biscuit quality about it with a light touch of noble hop action balancing it out. So nonoffensive yet well made clean drinkable. Mouthfeel is light crisp bodied with a sturdy level of carbonation tickling the throat a bit. Overall I could session with this perfect for the summer time sipping sessions, quintessential part of what every beer in the twelve pack of summer should offer.

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Photo of chinchill
2.85/5  rDev -11.2%

12 oz bottle (date stamp BB 31 Oct. 2014) poured dark golden with loads of visible carbonation and excellent clarity. Durable creamy, off-white head. Great looking but all downhill from here, from the grassy but seemingly stale aroma to the disparate mix of hop flavors. Mouthfeel is light, as expected, and OK.

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Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The packaging is new; not sure if the beer is. 125th anniversary pack.

The color is somewhere between white gold and yellow gold, bright and clear with a very constant, champagne-like bubbling. The clean white head starts off at a pretty, fluffy two fingers. It falls somewhat quickly, though a consistent foam is kept up by the bubbling activity. Lacing forms mostly via spotting, slightly less than moderate.
In both aroma and flavor it's vinous, lightly lemony, grainy and almost juicy (like a mix of lemon and orange juice), as well as dusty with a lightly bitter finish. It gets fruitier while it warms. It's different, but I like that it gets the vinous character and dry malt notes down.
It has a nice body; fluffy, soft, light, creamy but crisp, and quite dry.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.88/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden yellow, generally opaque body with fluffy foamy three-finger head in a Saranac willibecker--looks refreshing... crisp pilsner malts are stongest... little else, as it should be with the style... active, thin palate that vibrates on the tongue... appealingly fresh... fresh, relaxed clean malts--the lightest feel of vanilla and acidity actually compliment the otherwise thin mouthfeel... as for saranac's summer sampler, this is the top offering, with its clean, pure approximation of the style--which I thought, again, that the appelation kolsch is not available to non-Cologne brewers... Ryan liked this one too, and I can't really find an issue with its light pilsner effects...

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Photo of tastybeer
3.22/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden orange brew topped by a small white fizzy head. Nose is dry and clear. I can pick up a slight hint of green grape peels and light grain malt. The flavor follows. There's not enough punch in any of the flavors or aromas to balance out with the prickly carbonation. Not too bad, and certainly drinkable but feels like too much of an afterthought. Seemingly raw and bland ingredients. The feel is thin and semi-watery but the dryness makes a feeble attempt to mask the fact. The Matt Brewing Co. did aim to follow the style though. Perhaps a few bonus points for that at least.

Well all in all, worth a try and perhaps desirable if you are more liquid thirsty than you are beer thirsty.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.43/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

tasting # 5 of the summer 12-pack.

AP: totally clear golden color with a few big bubbles that manage to create a 1/4" tight and foamy head that dissiptes slowly with a fine coating of lacing left behind.

Nose: A hearty sweet-bread with wheat, grains and malt scent...overall aroma is that of an herbalized hay field during a light humid rain in august.

flavor: a nice sour-bread with malted wheat flavor rides over an herbal "green" hop taste and a mild, earthy yeast finish rounds it out.

feelin': Light, crisp and clean...just as the lable states.

DA: not a horrible american version of this beloved German original.

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Photo of asabreed
3.1/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Another yellow lite-looking beer. I imagine the Kolsch style is supposed to be like this? Either way, it's dull to me, and there are too many beers, especially lite beers, that can look like this unfortunately. Head and lacing are decent, though I gave a pretty vigorous pour. But overall it doesn't do much for me at all.

Smell: Some lemon, yeast, nuttiness, bread, slight malt. Average, yes, but what's a Kolsch supposed to be doing? Anything more or no?

Taste: A summer beer for sure, the citrus zest and slight hops lingers on the back of the tongue. There's some zest up front, slight malt. OK, but nothing special, wish there was more.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, nice carbonation. Light to medium-bodied. The best thing about the beer I'd say.

Drinkability: I could swig it in summer out of the bottle and be happy I suppose, but it's nothing fantastic. Once again, I don't know the style very well, but I don't know how much that matters. I suppose I'll at least give some others a chance before I decide the style isn't for me.

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Photo of Sammy
2.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Fizzy and thin, OK coppery colour, not much in taste but certainly drinkable and better than club soda, though reminds me of it because of strong carbonation and salty aftertaste. Lemon and metallic in mid-sip, but this was very fresh.
A mediocre beer, and unlike the other kolschs I have had and liked.

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Saranac Kölsch from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.21 out of 5 with 400 ratings