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: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 04-14-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 400 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of deapokid
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of BeerNoobNC
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of emmasdad
3.13/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a pale straw color, with a nice light stream of bubbles. The nose was unimpressive, but the flavor was very light, with some nice hops and a bitter finish. Overall a nice, light, refreshing beer that was perfect with ribs and corn on a sunny, spring afternoon.--TM

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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 VelvetExtract
3.26/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a not too bright amber. Closer to orange than yellow which I found surprising. Tiny frothy head lies flat and persists. The head leaves random splotches of lacing.

S-Faint aromas of apple and honey. Slightly grainy. The smell is very slight. You really have to stick your nose in there to smell much of anything.

T-Flavor is almost as mellow as the smell. Although the flavor is faint I actually kind of enjoy it. A watered down apple cider flavor. Grainy aftertaste.

M-Quite light with bunches of carbonation. Watery feel. Not much else to note.

O/D-Easy drinker with minimal taste. The available taste is actually not too bad. I would prefer more flavor, but I do not dislike the overall flavor profile here.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Tawny golden with an okay size off-white head. Clear with a few streams of bubbles. Okay retention. It leaves some lace but it mostly slides back down the glass into the brew.

S: White/green grape skin fruit note. Grainy malts in background with just a hint of sweetness.

T: Quite grapey with some vinous character. Malts are rather thin and bland – just for of grainy, not even anything like husk. Hint of sweetness blends in with grape effect. Backend sees some herbal hop character and muted bitterness that fades into an odd tannin note. After a bit the blah grains and touch of sweetness start to make you wonder about adjuncts.

M: Under medium body with over average carbonation – but in a soft & expansive manner. Mouth filling, but neither creamy nor quenching. Pretty neutral finish, maybe semi-drying at the very end.

D: A rather grape focused Kolsch. Alright drinking, but it could really use more depth, heft, & character to its grainy malts. It could also stand to be a bit more bitter. It does go down easy and highlights the grapey effect sometimes found in some versions of the style.

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Photo of cbutova
2.63/5  rDev -18.1%
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 bpw28
2.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look:Three finger bleach white soap bottle head, gold (About a 6 SRM), very nice lacing, tons and tons of carb.

Smell: Malty, earthy, floral, grassy, yeasty, slight alcohol, smells like wine (grape/alcohol/yeast combine)

Taste: Grape, yeast, grassy, floral, dry, light malty, good body, lots of carb, crisp and clean.

Final Thoughts: I'm not an expert on Kolsch. But I know they should generally be dry, wine like, and good hop bite. This seems to hit a few of those, but they are missing a big part of it which is the bitter. This has no bitter at all. It's a tasty brew, but not a example of a kolsch. They should remarket this as a different kind of brew.

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Photo of tdm168
3.17/5  rDev -1.2%
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 PhageLab
3.9/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Effervescent golden colored brew that produced a thin, bubbly head. Retention was mild and some spotted lace hung about.

S - Sweet crystal malt aroma, with a mild backing of grain and perhaps wheat. Gives an interesting contrast between the sweet scents and the earthy quality.

T - Grassy hop profile with a mild bitterness. Slightly puckering sour aftertaste, and while I am unsure if this is intentional or not, it works well.

M - Light body, with a carbonation level that is probably too sharp for the style. Grainy aftertaste.

D - Surprisingly complex, and pretty tasty. I may be the minority on this one, but for a refreshing Summer brew, this certainly does the trick.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
2.46/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

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Photo of tdexterc
2.76/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2/5  rDev -37.7%
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 sullied
2.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear straw color. Pours to a nice white head that stayed for the most part. Good amount of carbonation can be seen.

Smell: Sweet, citrusy smell. A bit of a floral aroma to it. The smell hints at a somewhat light flavored beer.

Taste: Less flavor to it than most beer that I'm used to...tastes a bit watered down. The little flavor that it does have is sweet with the slightest hint of spiciness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and light. Very easy to drink due to its water-like taste. Has a bit of a dry finish to it.

Overall: The taste leaves more to be desired. Everything else about the beer is good, but it's lacking. This is my first kölsch, so I didn't really know what to expect and I'm not sure if that is typical of this style. It's easy to drink and would be refreshing after mowing the lawn on a hot day. I'd drink it again if given to me, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of jadpsu
2.75/5  rDev -14.3%
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 JohnFatAss
3.68/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was part of the Saranac Summer 12 pack. I never had the Kolsch style of beer before, I can't compare this beer to anything else, so I will judge this on its own merits and how much I enjoyed it.
And you know what? This is one good beer.

The only thing negative you can say about it is that it is very mild and a little weak on flavor. And that is not a bad thing if you want an easy drinking, summer beer. And this is what it is supposed to be.

It is a nice golden color and formed a thick white head that stuck around a while. Left a little bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

It has a faint, mild smell.

As expected, the taste is very mild too, but it does have some flavor. It is slightly sweet, with almost no bitterness.

It has a clean, crisp mouthfeel.

Over all it is just a nice beer. Nothing about it stands out, but it just makes for one very pleasant and enjoyable drink.

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Photo of vandemonian
2.96/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Kölsch is a nice mild and drinkable beer. And I mean mild.

A: Yellow colour and a 5 mm head that fades quickly to sparse lacing. 3.5

S: Some maltiness but not much else. 2.5

T: Malty base with some faint caramel warmth. Clean, lager-like aftertaste. 2.5

M: Very nice and foamy. 4.5

O: A slightly boring, but very drinkable beer. 3.5

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Photo of Jimmys
2.02/5  rDev -37.1%
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 muttyd
3.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*reviewed from notes

Pours a crystal clear straw/yellow with a minimum frothy/soapy head. Rather still looking beer. Aroma is very mellow. Some leafy, earthy hops and pale malts. Slightly sweet aroma. Flavor is well balanced with a bready/biscuit sweetness, bitter and earthy hops, and finishes slightly astringent. Well carbonated, prickly on the tongue, and finishes dry. The finish is kind of offputting, but the overall balance of this beer really cements it as a solid, affordable session beer.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a cheater pint:

A: straw yellow, 1/4" head with good retention, lots of bubbling carbonation

S: not much nose, slightly bready, hint of spice from hop

T: well balanced, slight spice and fruit. I detect slight tannin. Nothing too memorable.

M: water like lightness. Feels oddly slick..

Overall, not bad. Better examples of the style exist.


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Photo of micmillon18
2.58/5  rDev -19.6%
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 rlee1390
3.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of Saranac's Summer Mix

A-clear straw yellow, one finger head that dissipates quickly. Highly carbonated.

S-Some wheat and grain malts.

T-Starts with the sweet grainy malts. Almost no bitterness whatsoever.

M-Light and carbonated.

O- Nothing here to offend anyone. Semi-bland but nothing bad in this beer.

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