Saranac Kölsch | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

191 Reviews
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Saranac KölschSaranac Kölsch

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

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 04-14-2005

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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 401
Photo of JoeAmerican77
2/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Same color as the Summer ale. Maybe a tad darker. Orange caramel look to it. But Saranac has been known to add "caramel" coloring...

Syrupy cherries smell, cloying to the nose

I am definitely never buying Saranac again. Unless perhaps i am at their brewery, its like drinking Tommyknockers but less ingenuity.
Pale malts and a hint of faint faint faint lemon

Mouthfeel is overcarbonated and watery

Do not buy the summer mixer

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Photo of Jimmys
2.02/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

reviewed on 6/6/11 - from notes:

A: bright gold with a very large bubbly white head. very clear with large carbonation bubbles easily seen.

S: very mild earthy hop aromas. light pilsner malt aroma. lacking in bright fruit notes present in good kolsch examples.

T: slightly bitter. not as bready/malty as it should be and definitely not fruity. perhaps a bit metallic?

M: vivid carbonation is good on this lackluster body.

D: not an example worth seeking. just falls very flat on aroma as well as taste. I don’t think this is a mainstay from Saranac seeing as it was part of a summer mixer pack, but something they should considering subbing out entirely.

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Photo of yourunclewalt
2.05/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Reddish gold, clear, light body. Little to no head, minimal lacing.

S - Not too many distinct notes in the aroma, minimal hoppy / malty balance.

T - Like the aroma, not much here. A little hoppy, but not too aggressive. Tastes like a light american macrolager.

M - Light bodied, watery, medium carbonation with a sticky, wheat cracker aftertaste.

D - I'm continually disappointed with this year's 12 Beers of Summer. The Kolsch was the last of my reviews, and I honestly dont know if I could pick it out of a lineup between the rest, save maybe the Summer and Pomegranate for obvious reasons. To me, this beer tastes like a slightly more professional Bud Light.

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Photo of corby112
2.11/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear golden orange color with a half finger white foam head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Bland, slightly earthy aroma with faint grassy hops and light fruit notes. Really not much going on and lacking in almost every characteristic that makes kolschs interesting. Subtle grass and straw notes with very faint fruit and pale malt.

On the lighter end of medium bodied with a stronger hop presence than the aroma hinted at. Crisp, slightly spicy hops that provides some subtle earthy and dry bitterness that lingers over the sweeter notes and pale malt. More floral than bitter with a slight earthy/soily character that is countered by an odd adjunct like sweetness. There hints of apple and pear but also a strange corn flavor that is pretty unpleasant. It starts off alright but the lingering aftertaste is pretty bad.

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Photo of Brad007
2.3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a light color with minimal carbonation. The aroma is somewhat weak and nearly non-existent. Some fruitiness shows through but barely. Taste is more of a grainy taste with a weird aftertaste. I believe a Kolsch should be more flavorful than this. Correct me if I'm wrong but this beer just isn't impressive by much.

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Photo of KajII
2.3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

[Suggested Glassware: Kölsch Glass]

The pour was a clear light amber with a large (2-3 finger) white frothy head that hung around for only a short while, reducing to a thin cap and had fair streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a straw malt, herbal hops and a musty yeast with hint of citrus and a dusty cardboard odor.

The taste was very lightly sweet and a tad malty with a touch of citrus throughout, with the finish being a rather minerally with a light bitterness and had a dusty bland ending. The flavor lasted only a short time which turned out not to be a bad thing in case, with the lightly bitter bland citrus taste disappearing quickly off the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a carbonation that was just above soft.

Overall this was a weak tasting brew, with the only thing standing out was a mildly bitter cardboard taste. Most definitely not worth having another...

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Photo of Vendetta
2.32/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
July 5, 2008

I could do without this one... Stale-ish aroma, pours very light with little head. Taste is watery with an unremarkable flavor. Wouldn't drink this one again, didn't even really do much to quench summer thirst...

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.32/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

Light golden yellow color with heavy carbonation and not too much head. Very hoppy, yeasty, hay-like aroma. A bitter, hoppy, hay-like taste with earthy notes. Can't taste too much alcohol. It tastes similar to the aroma. Finishes sweeter than it starts. Overall, kind of bland.

 277 characters

Photo of necoadam
2.38/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured out a deep golden color with a big foamy head which stayed for a little bit. Smell was a bit odd. Some malts and wheat but also some lemon twang which then went to this sweetish aroma which was quite strange. Taste wasn't all that great. It was mostly a sweet and sour flavors, but rather weak. Finished slightly peppery and dry. Mouthfeel was light and slightly watery. Not impressed by this one at all.

 411 characters

Photo of auxiliary
2.39/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

appearance - Clear golden color, nice fluffy white head, and lacy. That all didn't stay around when I took 10 minutes to start drinking it.

smell - Has a grainy smell to it.

taste - Light, reminds of an american macro. You can sense the malt taste, but also a slight bitterness of hops at then end.

mouthfeel - Light body, not much carbonation here.

drinkability - Too light and an easy drinking beer. Like I said reminds me an american macro, and UPGRADED macro i should note.

 492 characters

Photo of Beerdrinking
2.44/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Color: Hangover pissed yellow
Smell: I don't smell anything
Taste: Not Bad might be good.
Feel: feels like I should have another
Overall: I like Saranac alot big fan but this is not the one I would brag about. Bottom of the set list for Saranac. That I'm between song to calm people down and wonder what's going on before a cloud splitter or clouded dream

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Photo of DmanGTR
2.45/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - poured a clear golden yellow with a quick 1/2" head that left a thin film in a stein

S - light sulfur, hops and pale malts with a waft of light citrus

T - bitter and dry, orange peel bitterness in an unfavorable way, watery

M - light bodied, heavy carbonation

D - drinkable if you get past the skunky taste. Otherwise not very...

Overall - All the aromas and tastes are very weak except for the bitterness. Not much else detected. I would not recommend this. Reviewed from notes.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
2.46/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a clear, light amber color with one finger of off-white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Smell is a somewhat pungent fruit, rather odd.

T: Leads with strong, cooked vegetable flavors. Not good. The strength of the off-flavors fades after a while, but never disappears.

M: Light mouthfeel, nothing remarkable but okay.

O: Flavor really ruins it for me. Would not want to have this again.

 451 characters

Photo of OldSock
2.48/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 12 oz’er from a Saranac summer variety pack. Light yellow with a white head that quickly falls.

Smell – Not much, mostly vaguely hoppy lots of grass.

Taste – Sort of like an American Lager but with a small amount of extra hop flavor, really disappointing.

Mouthfeel – Watery, thin, unimpressive.

Drinkability – Its drinkable, but it isn’t too impressive. It goes down pretty easy due to the lack of taste and mouth presence.

Notes – This is my first Kolsch, I assume there are better examples out there, but it isn’t a style I see very often.

 581 characters

Photo of micmillon18
2.58/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottle reads "best before Sept 30, 2011."

A - Pours a very clear straw yellow with little to no head after an aggressive pour. It looks less the average and its baffling how little foam was created.

S - Some sweet malts and a bit of hop spiciness but overall very faint on the nose. You might as well be sniffing water.

T - Its got a very straight forward flavor of light sweet malt and noble hops, the bitterness lasting throughout. There's something just not quite right with this beer. I don't think its the balance because the hops are nice. It has a weird soapy taste on the end that is off putting and leaves you with a really watery impression. Aside from the bitterness, this beer has little appeal.

M - Its crisp and refreshing but rather light and watery so those kinds of qualities are easy to come by when the beer offers no flavor.

O - I don't have a ton of experience with kolsch's, Reissdorf being the only memorable one. However I know enough to say that this isn't a kolsch. It just feels watered down and has few redeeming qualities.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Sammy
2.63/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

 305 characters

Photo of cbutova
2.63/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not exactly a Kolsch master but I will give this one a shot, part of the affordable mixed summer pack.

A- Pours a golden-orange hue into my glass with a white head. Cap forms to about a finger in size and has a nice creamy texture. Retains decently leaving a pillow and ring atop the ale.

S- Certainly reminds me of the bread I was just making in the aroma. Fades pretty quickly leaving me trying hard to find more. Very faint fruit and hops.

T- Lighter end flavor profile. Mostly citrus zest hops, bread and light malt, an overall watery feel. Faint hints of grape, fruit and herbal hops.

MF- Highly carbonated, creamy light beer body. Slightly bitter and sweet finish.

Not really much going on here, it isn't terrible but it doesn't show much effort. A lighter beer that is refreshing but flavor is just eh.

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Photo of matsputis
2.67/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear straw-orange color with a fizzy short head.

Smells like... canned beer, High Life perhaps. It consisted of musty malts. My girlfriend said it smells like socks - I could smell that too.

The taste was a bit better. It was slightly spicy and bitter upfront. I could also taste the mustiness a little. Overall it was very dry.

Mouthfeel was fizzy and very light.

The smell took away from the drinkability. Everytime I went to take a sip it pricked my nose. The overall taste didn't wow me either.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.71/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear golden yellow with a sizzling white head. Looks very much macro in the glass.

Aroma is beer. Nothing else really detectable in the nose, just beer.

Flavor is clean and crisp, mild malt balanced by a light grassy and floral hop nip. Very mild and almost flavorless. Doesn't taste bad, it just doesn't taste like much.

Body is light, watery, and over carbonated. My least favorite from the summer mix pack.

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Photo of jwc215
2.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours bright straw yellow with plenty of clarity. A thin head soon becomes a vanishing patch.

The smell is of sweet grain. Some vague fruitiness in mixed in.

The taste is of sweet grain. Plenty of water. A tart fruitiness follows that doesn't fit in very well here. A bit soapy, to boot.

Light-bodied, the oxidation gives it a bit of an unwanted "wet-cardboard" aftertaste - otherwise not far from a typical macro-lager feel.

Not much going on here. Not the summer refresher that it should be. Weak and uninteresting. Not undrinkable, but "why bother" comes to mind...

 580 characters

Photo of jadpsu
2.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear light gold with a thin white head that quickly fizzes, leaving some side laceing.
Aroma: Corn husk and a tinge of hoppiness but mostly just husk.
Taste: About the same, thin and blah, rather watery. Trying to find flavor but it escapes me.
This beer has little character and little going for it.

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Photo of Zorro
2.76/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is an ultra clear gold colored beer with a short-lived white head. It is quite apparent that this beer has been filtered.

The scent is malt neutral and slightly herbal, other than that there really isn't much smell at all.

The flavor begins slightly sweet with a trace of oxidized malt in the taste. Slight roasted malt flavor and a fair bitter aftertaste round out the taste. Not all that much flavor here it is just average.

The mouthfeel is macro lager thin, like I said this has been filtered.

Not that great a beer and one that I have no reason too ever sample again.

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Photo of tdexterc
2.76/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a Saranac variety 12 pack my father picked up.

A- A stern pour left a quick fading 2 finger white head topping a crystal clear straw body. Decent lacing

S- Grainy and slightly sweet. The smell does not leave me expecting much…

T- Slightly fruity and still pretty grainy. Perhaps something odd in there too… pineapple maybe?

M- Smooth, little to no bitterness, watery mouthfeel.

An ok beer for a hot summer day, but nothing too special here.

 455 characters

Photo of Procrastinator
2.76/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle from "Beers of Summer" 12-pack I purchased while on vacation. Number 0736 10:48 stamped on bottle neck is almost unreadable. Poured into pilsner glass.

Appearance: nice dark golden colored body with a fluffy off-white head. Endless upheaval of carbonation bubbles from glass bottom.
Looks very refreshing and inviting.

Smell: very light cereal grains and slightly sweet honey.

Taste: definite grain huskiness with slightly sour finish. Muddled corn and off-flavors.

Mouthfeel: upfront dryness and slight sourness keep the tongue guessing. Medium bodied with fairly aggressive carbonation.

Drinkability: the lingering sourness made this hard to enjoy. Was expecting a bit more balance.

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Photo of Gmann
2.78/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with an average white head that dissipated fairly quick. The smell is hard to find, grainy, slightly metallic. The taste is also grainy, has a slight dry hoppiness to it. Has very similar characteristics of a macro. The feel is light and watery, finishes a tad dry. Overall an easy drinker that you can throw a few back if you are motivated to do so. Nothing outstanding and not much to it that would distinguish it from a macro.

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Saranac Kölsch from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.22 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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