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 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 bpw28
2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
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 -1.6%
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 PhageLab
3.9/5  rDev +21.1%
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 -23.6%
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.

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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.

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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 sullied
2.83/5  rDev -12.1%
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 -14.6%
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 JohnFatAss
3.68/5  rDev +14.3%
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 -8.1%
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 -37.3%
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 muttyd
3.42/5  rDev +6.2%
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 -5%
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 -19.9%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
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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Photo of Ragingbull
3.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear gold in color with a light head. Zippy nose for a lighter beer. I really like the nose as a matter of fact. It has a spicy nature to it, but without spices. The wheat and grains must be working with the alpah acids/hops to give a nice smell. The attack is clean but the flavor leaves me wanting. That great nose seems to be a tease as the flavor comes through kind of dull and flat. The finish is pretty nondescript and you can't really pull anything out about this beer other than the nose. At least I can't. All this warm weather makes for a good time to drink these light and refreshing beers, but this one came out a little flat for me.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured light golden yellow, completely transparent into a pint glass. Very little foam, no lacing.

Slightly malty smell - also got hints on apple/pear, but very little. Aroma not very distinctive.

The taste is very clean - maybe a tad watery in the mouthfeel - the malt is there, the finish is slightly sweet. No evidence of hop bittering at all. Still tasty, though not very distinctive.

Easy drinking. I could have a few. Its not an A+ beer, but I enjoyed it.

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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 yesyouam
2.96/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This Koelsch is a crystal clear sparkling straw color with a small white head that has decent retention. The aroma is muted and is of fruity hops. It is smooth, with soft carbonation. It is crisp and refreshing with a clean, short aftertaste. It's not very bitter and I detect something estery. Refreshing, but not really my thing.
(rated Mar 28, 2007)

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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 ljbrisson
3.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hard pour into a pint glass yields a very thin, white head that quickly reduces to a cap over the clear amber beer. Lots of carbonation. Mouthfeel is thicker than expected, and the carbonation cuts through nicely. Aroma is barely perceptible, and of yeast and malt, with fruit and a little vanilla. Some hoppy notes? Taste is light and malty, with a sweet aftertaste before the tinge of bitter hop finish.

Overall I was not disappointed with this brew because I did not expect much of it. But I would not revisit it simply because it was fairly average in every respect.

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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 dacrza1
3.88/5  rDev +20.5%
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 changeup45
2.83/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, fortunately mine wasn't at all skunky. It however does seem to be lacking a little flavor. Pours a golden color with a pretty nice white head and also fair amount of lacing on the glass. Sweet fruity aroma. It's a very smooth beer but the flavor comes up a little short. There really isn't a whole lot there. Light-bodied and refereshing, so I can think of worse to have during a sunny day.

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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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