Saranac Summer Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Summer AleSaranac Summer Ale
307 Ratings
Saranac Summer AleSaranac Summer Ale

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

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Available in the 12 Beers of Summer sampler. Not to be confused with Saranac Summer Brew (a German Radler).

Added by WesWes on 04-14-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 307 |  Reviews: 196
Photo of DaggerEyes
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with now freshness dating

A- Small soapy head, clear golden beer with subtle hints of copper

S-Nose is of berries and perhaps sweet iced tea, with a sweet malt smell as well

T- Monochromatic bitter hops with enough malt to hold it together, crummy aftertaste

M- Decent ammount of cabonation, thin bodied, leaves an awful filmy feeling in the mouth.

D-I'd still rather have this beer than a bud but by no means would I seek it out

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Photo of barknee
2.24/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium gold color with an impressive head that rapidly diminishes to a patchy slick. Bottle states “brewed with natural flavors, colored with caramel” DAM IS THAT ANNOYING!! Saranac has many products that receive post-brewing manipulation. Obviously they were concerned about the way the finished product appeared, so lets dump some caramel in to color it and make it more appealing. “Natural” flavors and their use is another thing that the FDA needs to tighten up on; requiring specific indications and listings of the agent derivative used by the manufacturer. I would never of purchased this “best of summer” 12 pack if I had access to and read the labels on the bottles within. This type of beer and those who conceive them are in my opinion lower on the scale than some of the most ill regarded, albeit non-manipulated massive macros to grace the shelves of your local supermarket.
Oh yea the review……Yet another Saranac product with the diagnostic essence of wallpaper paste, generous carbonation, non dimensional with a slightly tannic, slightly sweet, and completely unappealing aftertaste courtesy of the unknown and non-specific additional “natural flavors added”
“The spirit of the Adirondacks?” NOT!! More like the spirit of the Hackensack River..
Yet another Saranac disappointment!

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Photo of AlexJ
3.99/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow with a nice white head that has moderate retention.

Aroma is wheaty and has signs of sweet caramel malt. The lemon and citrus note is pronounced as is the coriander spice. There's a note of peppery dryness in there as well. This actually smells good.

And tastes good...almost like a Belgian Witte. Clean wheat malt notes supported by lemon and orange citrus, white pepper, sweet coriander and spice, and a note of yeast that almost tastes Belgian. Overall, light and very refreshing with good, clean flavor.

Body is medium, well carbonated, and has a crisp texture. Excellent drinkability. For the price, this is a decent beer here.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was clear and deep yellow, with a thin head that dissipated quite quickly. About average for a wheat beer.

Aroma was more complex than expected. A little fruity, light hops, caramel malts, but a slight medicinal bite. It was just a little off.

Taste was light lemon, a bit spicy and peppery, but kind of bland. No aftertaste to speak of.

Mouthfeel was average for a wheat... not a lot of body, not too heavy.

I have to take away a little on the drinkability because of that medicinal twang. It hit me as a little too odd to be pleasant.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.58/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This would be a good summer brew to keep on hand. Poured out to a deep sunset orange color with a small white foam head. No lacing noted. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of sweet grain and citrus. Taste is crisp and refreshing; flavors of citrus (especially lemon) jump forward, with spices and fresh hops in the background. Nice. Mouthfeel was slightly zesty with a smoothness accentuated by the hops. Pretty good drinkability for the summer months. I'd have no qualm about having this in the fridge. Worth a try. Thanks to connecticutpoet for the sample.

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Photo of asabreed
2.78/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

As per the possible suggestion, this 12 oz. bottle has been poured into my Aventinus glass.

Appearance: Hazy yellow with some brown tints, decent lacing, and a decent head. Nothing special, but at the moment it works for me.

Smell: Lemon grass, some lemon sugars, OJ or citrus fruit soda, herbal cough drops. Odd, which intrigues me, but it does indeed smell like a wacky Belgian Wit with something wrong with it in the mix.

Taste: Herbal cough drops up front, and yes, not something that's gratifying. Some off balanced citrus zest, watery malts that almost aren't there, and the faintest of hops, maybe.

Mouthfeel: Slick and watery, carbonation almost not present or is very light, which is odd.

Drinkability: I give it a 3 because I could see myself grabbing one of these instead of some light macro out of a cooler with friends grilling burgers and dogs in the July heat. Otherwise, as far as sitting down and reviewing this sucker or partaking in the aforementioned activities (though I don't think any of my friends would randomly have Saranac in a cooler, though that's beside the point), the tasting's not gonna happen again...

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Photo of ski271
2.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, light amber with a small, very slightly off-white, foamy head the quickly diminishes to a light film. Very little lacing. It has a sweet smell of wheat and malt, a strong lemon scent and a little honey and something herbal (kind of like marjoram). The taste is very sweet with typical wheat flavors (including coriander), some malts and hardly any hops. The finish is very lemony, kind of like dish soap. It has a medium-light body and a dry texture. I find the lemon to be too strong and distracting, not that it’s distracting me from an otherwise decent beer. Not horrible, but sub-par beer and a disappointment.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.08/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear dark gold. About of finger and a half of creamy white head that quickly drops to a thin cap leaving weak lacing. Strong wheat nose with a distinctive scents of lemon,coriander, and a sweet aroma- probably the caramel used for coloring. Phenolic wheat and cirtus spice flavor jumps out initialy, followed by strong yeast aftertaste. Hop flavor is scarce, but the wheat and spice flavor balance out for a nice mild bitterness and clean finish. Medium body and well carbonated. An excellent session brew, with a smooth but interesting flavor, but would score higher if left unfiltered and rated as a Hefe-wiezen.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.77/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light golden color with a nice full off-white head and subtle carbonation. Light lemony aroma with hints of spice (grains of paradise?) and grain underneath. Similar flavors but disappointing considering aroma; has some "soapy" characteristics. Light bodied with a crisp spicy finish but not a great one...

Better than Sam's Summer but not a stand out...

Per Label: "Hints of lemon and spice. Brewed with Natural Flavors. Colored with Caramel" & " brewed with generous amounts of wheat malt"

'0685' lasered on neck
Tasted: 09/21/05

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Photo of quasimoto
2.16/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark yellow / orange with a large off-white head. there is slight lacing but not much.

S - Cleanser. I used to walk through the halls of my high school, after lacrosse practice and I occasionally would run into the janitor cleaning the floors with that large spinning scrubbing brush. This was the first thing that popped into my head when I smelled this beer. It has that lemony cleanser smell.

T - It is lemon ,pepper, nutmeg . There are hops in there are hops in there but they are masked by the lemon and pepper taste.

M - Slick, but tileaves a slight film of somthing on the sides of my tongue.

D - If you like lemon pepper chicken...I mean really like it then this is for you.

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Photo of packetknife
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was just overly ordinary for a Saranac but not ~bad~. Poured a bit more orange that I expected and was champagne bubbly for a moment. Thin fading bleached-white head. Sweet citrus on the nose, very light, fleeting. Citrus and some sort of spice that reminded me of that Indian spice that they glaze with sugar and snack on (I can't recall the name). No real aftertaste. OK mouthfeel.

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Photo of Jason
2.6/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

A- Thin off white lacing, pale copper hue. Clear but the head lacks a bit.

S- Iced herbal tea? Sweet maltiness in the back.

T- Soapy with a lackluster malt character, hops are minimal with some washed spice flavors from coriander and such.

M- Slick with a modest carbonation within a medium body.

D- I could barely down on bottle and I am certainly not going for a second. This is like a Belgian Wit gone wrong.

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Photo of JackStraw22
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, dark golden body with a moderate off white head. Retention was ok, no lacing.

Smell: Spicy and citrusy, almost like a Belgian pale ale, but sweeter. It's a refreshing sweetness, fitting for a summer seasonal.

Taste/Feel: Really bready and yeasty at first. A citrusy sweetness comes next (lots of lemon), and there's some slight hoppy bitterness. It's refreshing, but it tastes a little unbalanced, too bready/yeasty for a summer ale, then the lemony taste comes on a little strong. Smooth mouthfeel, almost slick.

Worth a try, interesting summer offering.

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Photo of palma
2.38/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Gold-light amber body. Decent white head.
Light fruity aroma. Clean hops.
Taste is close to awful. What the hell is with that lemon? Way too much of it. Artificial tasting as well. Not good in my book.

Will not drink this again.

Matt Brewing did not hit this one on the head.

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Photo of necoadam
2.23/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured out a clear light gold color with a decent head. Smell was mostly citrus with nothing else coming through. Very one sided on the aroma side. Taste wasn't any better either. A ton of lemon flavors with some citrus and wheat flavors also coming through. Light amount of malts underly the citrus flavors. Mouthfeel was light and finished dry and peppery. Where are they leading to with this beer? Heck, add some coriander and we'll almost have a wit. Just a complete mess with this beer. Very sloppy.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark hazy yellowish orange with a cap of bright white head. Lemon, malt, and a faint whiff of floral hops on the nose. Very malty, wheaty taste upfront followed by a surpisingly large floral bitter taste. Light lemon permeates everything. Medium bodied with a fairly low carbonation level, this is a pretty smooth drinker. Overall this is another decent beer from the Summer pack.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

part of summer sampler pack. Poured a light copper cooper color with white head. Smell is strong of lemon, and not much else. First taste is very overpowering of lemon but with susequent sips this seems to sudside. There also becomes a slight background of dryness, which adds to the quality of the beer. Beer definitely improves as the glass empties, and I start to enjoy it. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of claytri
4.03/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful amber with an eggshell head. It has a nice floral hoppy aroma. It has a really nice blended taste. It has a good malt core to it, but seems to have a wapper of hops. The hops adding a rather floral almost herbal set of tastes. The feel is medium and smooth with a clean break at the end of the draw. All in all a good solid beer.

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Photo of pentathlete
2.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Something is not quite right with this one. Appears dark gold, with little or no head. Smells like lemon-scented oil used for candles or room deodorizers. Taste like a blonde ale mixed with lemon-scented Renuzit cakes. The lemon does not come off natural and this ruins it for me. The wife unit thought it was ok, but she likes perfumey floral stuff. The mouthfeel is ok for this style of beer, but it cannot overcome the flavors. Not recommended.

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Photo of Gavage
3.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear yellow in color with a short 1/4" white head. No lacing develops. Decent carbonation levels. The aroma was of light citrus. The flavor was slightly unbalanced as lemon overpowered the malt and wheat. The bitterness was very mild. Hints of pepper and ginger were also detectable.

Mouthfeel was crisp, and finishes dry with the lemon and pepper lingering briefly on the tongue. Very average summer brew, as the lemon citrus was too overwhelming.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.64/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another offering from the summer mix. This smells great! The aroma is lemoney and sweet, really nice. awesome fluffy huge head and a dark golden hue. Why does the label tell me it is colored with caramel? Come on. That is like their Mountain ale telling me it has fruit flavors. Whatever. The taste is sorta orangey, it tastes like a belgian white but it doesn't have that cool unfilteredness. The mouthfell is bubbly yet smooth. Moderate. I could pound these. Not that I would. Or would I?

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Photo of Backer2004
3.42/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this one as part of a mix six pack of Saranac brews. Since I thoroughly did not enjoy Sam Adam's Summer Ale (a much worthier brewery), I had little expectations for this. Surprisingly much better than the former brew. Floral hops overwhelm the smell and taste and rather easy to down.Nothing exciting about the mouthfeel or appearance. i would not buy a sixer of this, but it was worth trying out for a random Wednesday night at home.

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Photo of whartontallboy
2.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear brass pour, one-finger fizzy head that quickly runs off to head heaven.

Not much of a smell to speak of, slight hints of lemon Pez, oranges, and a very faint hoppiness.

Flavor is similarly flat with candy-lemon notes. The thin mouthfeel is pretty astringent, and it makes the whole thing seem even more biting and unpleasant. There's just not much going on here other than the Pez flavor, and I don't really dig it.

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Photo of cracgor
3.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A golden amber color. Clear body and heavily carbonated. The head is thin, never pouring very tall.

Smell: This brew has a very citrus like smell. Smells like lemon, orange, and apricot. Maltiness is overshadowed by the fruity smell.

Taste: Spicy and lemony with a dry finish. No hint of banana or clove. Also, has tea-like flavors.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to thin in body.

Drinkability: This is not a bitter beer. Very sweet and easy to drink. This beer is good enough to standalone. If you like iced tea, you ought to like this brew.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery golden color with a bubbly, one finger head. Fairly active carbonation, but not overly fizzy. Aroma is of clean malt, a kind of dry grassiness, & a hint of lemon peel. Taste is clean also...malt, hay and a touch of the lemon peel again on the finish. Maybe just a hint of banana? Lightly hopped. Has a refreshing crispness to it. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, an ok beer. Would be good at a cookout or on a hot day at the beach. There’s better out there, though.

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Saranac Summer Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 307 ratings