Saranac Kölsch | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

401 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 401 |  Reviews: 191
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 acurtis
3/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.91/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Best by 10/31/14.

Pours a hazy honey gold with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet malt, grain, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet grain, earth, and fruity flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with lots of sugary and fruity characterisitcs, but no real beer like qualities to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

as light and easy as the kolsch style goes, I think this Saranac version is especially light and easy, almost to a fault, or certainly to a point of being unexciting. it pours a nice pale golden color, clean and clear, with a short white head. the nose is german malts and yeast, very bready, but light like a pancake. hops are only in there for bittering and balance, which are both dialed in the nose and the flavor. there is a slight caramel sweetness that rounds it out, and a dry refreshing finish that begs for another gulp. very active carbonation and a thin body makes it even lighter, and this is a very sessionable summer beer from the mix pack. not the most exciting thing they are doing these days, but a worthy offering for hot weather. my dad thinks this is exceptional, I would like to see more hops.

Edit: in tweaking some of their stuff lately, I can't help but wonder if this has had a serious malt boost. The batch in this years summer box is much richer and fuller bodied than I remember it being. Still nice and crisp, but definitely more substantial. I'm neutral on the change, real or perceived...

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Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.3/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought as part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer mix pack ($11.99/12)

Your average run of the mill Kolsch here. Highly carbonated and easily drinkable but the taste and aroma are just lacking way too much for me. Basically it's like drinking a beer verson of Champagne, at least this was inexpensive.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of zeff80
3.45/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden/yellow color with a small, white head. It left minimal amounts of lacing.

S - Odd. It was sweet. Smelled a little like corn. And had an earthy/dirty aroma.

T - It had a little bittersweet kick. Tasted a little like banana. Also a good grainy quality.

M - It was a little soft and thin. A light-bodied beer.

D - Easy drinking beer. Tasted a little like a true German hefe.

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Photo of chinchill
2.85/5  rDev -11.5%

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 ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - Charlie's Beer & Wine in Marietta, Georgia.

BB September 2012 (reviewed early July).

Appearance: Pours out a fairly clear, deep gold body with a fine, white head receding at a moderate pace, though it never quite fades away completely.

Smell: A sniff of simple, basic maltiness with barely a hint of breadiness to it. Very, very little lemon and spiciness from the hops. It's present without much presence.

Taste: A lightly sweet touch of pale malts, with a slim measure of breadiness. Low, light citrus accents hinting at basic lemon. Very light spiciness from the German hops. Lightly bitter. Less than crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. It's got some slight bubbliness to it, but I would feel remiss to declare it crisp.

Overall: A humdrum Kölsch that misses the mark, but serves as a fine light beer to cool me off in the dog days of summer.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.5/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orangish amber or amberish orange, I can't decide. The sawdust-colored cap is whipped and frothy, just the sort that doesn't grace the glass with much lace. It doesn't take long to find out... scattered patches of melty foam are barely abundant enough to achieve respectability.

The aroma is simple and grain-like with a whiff of lightly spicy German hops (Perle). Kolsch noses are notoriously hard for me to get too excited about--given the dictates of the style--and this one doesn't blimp the needle on the excitement meter one iota.

Saranac Kolsch isn't quite what I'd call bland, but it's damn close. There's just enough malty sweetness and corresponding hop bitterness to give the drinker something to focus on and to keep complete boredom at bay. Like the nose, it's simple. To be kinder, I suppose I could choose words such as uncluttered, clean and balanced. All of which are true by the way.

The body/mouthfeel is right in line with the aroma and the flavor in terms of quality and basic personality. To be specific, it's light without being watery and is lacklusterly carbonated. In other words, quite a few volts short of electrifying.

Saranac Kolsch strikes me as a decent lawnmower beer in that it would probably taste best when consumed ice cold on a sorching hot day. Absent that scenario, it's average at best. The same could be said for just about all Matt Brewing Company beer.

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Photo of Jason
2.86/5  rDev -11.2%
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 mikesgroove
3.29/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So we arrive at the last of my summer brew pack from Saranac, it has been a nice little adventure, and I really look forward to next seasons mix pack because of it. They really put together a fine collection of brews for sure. So I wanted to save what I thought would be the best for last...the Kolsch...

A - Poured an absolutly crystal clear light golden amber, more of a yellow pale then anything. A very nice two inch white head formed on the top. This faded pretty quickly leaving behind only a half inch or so of lace along the top of the glass. Some decent side glass lace was prevelent. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom.

S - Aroma was very faint and light. Was actually pretty hard to pick up anything at all of of this right out of the gate. As I let it settle I started to pick up some light tones of grain and maybe even corn off the top. But again very light and hard to detect. A slight yeasty presence perhaps, but I am really reaching with that call.

T - Very very light. Almost like water. There was some ;ight hoppiness to it and maybe a touch of grape or fruit of some kind but very light. I could almost see this as a replenish drink after a long hot day. It just came off as that light in body and flavor. Really not much to it actually.

M - Smooth, nice carbonation gave it a very light feel. As I mentioned this was essentially like water going down. I could drink it forever.

D - Outstanding. I could throw this down all night and I dont know that I would ever actually feel it at all. Just a total drinker here. Really a damn good session beer. One of those you get a case for the bbq type of brews.

Overall this was fairly decent. It was not the best of the bunch, but not bad either. Could have used a little more flavor to really put the point home, however it was decent never the less. I would definatly drink one again, especially on a hot day@!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.4/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Wegmans enjoyed from a stange chilled.

The color is deep golden with good clarity and fast rising bubbles of carbonation that lead up to a thick soapsud cap of white with tight bead. The lace stickage is decent. The smell is slightly floral with a mild sweet malt odor and gentle toasted grain tinge. The feel is so-so, very light bodied with moderately high carbonation and has some sweetness with generally clean and dry finish very low in bitterness.

The flavor is pretty standard for the style. I get mostly a light toasted grain with very mild sweetness and slight herbal element from the hops, but in general the flavor is pretty tame, overall not a bad beer, best use for this is summertime when you are looking for something quenching to refresh your palate during the heat and humidity.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.68/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's latest drop-off.

From the bottle: "This golden sparkling Blonde ale was brewed to pay homage to a 1000-year brewing tradition rooted in Cologne, Germany. Clear, crisp, and easy to drink, the Kolsch of today is more pale than the "house" beer that was served in Cologne 200 years ago - the city that made Kolsch famous. We hope that you'll enjoy it!"

My pour netted better than two fingers of dense, foamy eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a deep golden yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a grainy, grassy quality, like a field of hay. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was dry, slightly biscuity and very grassy. Finish was semi-dry with the malt and hops working well in tandem to create a very quaffable beer. Lacing was quite evident as I drank through the glass. I could see this as a good beer on a hot summer's day.

 895 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.25/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of johnnnniee
3.2/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Market Basket
Brilliantly clear deep golden color with a small but long lasting bubbly white head. Graham crackery pilsner maltiness with some pomme and pitted fruits. Light floral hops. Crisp light metallic finish. Not horrible but far from a great example of the style. .

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev +12.7%
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 tdm168
3.17/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a clear gold with a quarter inch of head that quickly fades to nothing; very noticeable carbonation. Smells very much like straw and grains, but with hops coming through as well. Taste is grainy, straw-like, and sweet with a fruity flavor similar to apples coming through. The hops are very mild, but do add a little bitterness to mellow the fruity sweetness. This beer is well carbonated, crisp, clean, and smooth.

Overall, this beer is very drinkable and light bodied. It's a decent lawnmower beer, but too sweet for me, and in my opinion, too sweet for the style.

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Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -6.8%

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...

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.06/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, straw-gold coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy white surface coating of head. Aromas of floral highlights, buttery tones, and a toasty backbone. Strong and a bit unbalanced nose for the style. Flavors are bitter initially, with a sharpness from the light body and carbonation levels. Buttery tones once again, with a watery palate and feel at the end of each drink. Watery and muddled aftertaste, with a limp finish that has a kiss of hops that just can't right the ship.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased as part of Saranac summer pack.

Golden orange-ish amber color, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Doesn't smell like a whole lot, a bit of graininess, some slight spicy German hops.

The taste is similar. It's not bad, just boring. Slightly sweet malt flavor up front, some typical spicy/grassy German hop flavors. Not very strong, however.

Light bodied, crisp, mostly dry mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Like most Saranac beers, this isn't "good" per se, it's just drinkable, and about average to below average for the style. It worked well for it's use (drinking at a BBQ) but I don't think I'd ever get it again.

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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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