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Saranac Summer Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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195 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 306
Photo of Halcyondays
2.81/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark gold with a small white head, good retention.

S: Mild Lemon Pledge, some malt.

T: Light lemon flavour (little artificial), hint of wheat, just very bland though inoffensive, but that's nothing to brag about.

M: Crisp and clean. Light-bodied but has a nice structure.

D: Drinkable, but I'm already bored halfway through. Simply needs more flavour.

 382 characters

Photo of ericj551
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Summer Ale pours a light gold with a small but lasting head. The aroma is dominated by slightly grainy malted wheat with a hint of corriander. More crisp, kind of sweet wheat in the flavor. The crisp, grainy wheat flavor gives way to a tangy, almost slightly sour flavor that lingers in the after taste. I just noticed on the label that there is a lemon flavor added to the beer, but I probably wouldn't have picked it out. The bitterness is subdued, as is any hop flavor.

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Photo of smibroncos
3.02/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured a clear light copper. With a fluffy two finger white head. Decen t lacing on the glass.

S.Citrus, grass, lemon

T. Light taste not much here but the citrus

M. Light to medium bodied, light fizzy carbonation.

D. Overall not very special. However a decent refreshing summeer brew.

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Photo of Duhast500
2.83/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a clear gold with about a finger or foamy white head that cleared up quickly. No lacing left at all.

The smell is a little fruity with a hint of orange and other citrus fruits but is well muted.

The taste is just a bit sweet with some malty flavor at first. Some spicy hop flavor hits for a second then is washed away.

This beer is pretty easy going down and is pretty smooth. It does have some carbonation but does not hinder the drink-ability of this beer. A good summer beer but not groundbreaking.

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Photo of 160Shillings
2.36/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Light wheat malt aroma with very faint citrus.

Appearance: A modest head that dissipates quickly to a thin film of foam that covers less than half the surface of the glass. No lacing. Yellow with hints of gold (~5 SRM).

Flavor: Mild wheat malt tang and faint general citrus. A hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light body with light carbonation. Smooth and modestly dry finish. Not actually tart.

Overall Impression: A beer for the beginning wheat ale drinker. An easy drinking summertime beer.

Comments: Certainly not to style, but a decent wheat ale beginner's beer. This beer has no faults, but no highlights either.

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Photo of animalchin
3.14/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Doesn't look like much in the glass; some light copper body and nothing else at all. Knowing that this isn't the true color takes away from a true appearance. Some citrus-like tones and malts in the smell and taste. But the after-taste is a little soapy and bitter - not exactly a "summer" brew.

Mouthfeel is actually somewhat decent with minimal carbonation. Not really your best Saranac you can have. if you buy the Summer Pack, give the two Summer Ales to someone else who might want some variety from their assumable macro.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Leftover Easter beer!

Gold with a thin white head. Thin horseshoe retention. Light grain, lemon, and spice aroma. Crisp and grainy taste. The subtle lemon taste that the label suggests is definitely there but so is a copious amount of soap taste.

Comes across as kind of a Kolsch and Wit combo. Nice.

 302 characters

Photo of NNY2DC
3.17/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a Saranac summer sampler at a local U Street wine and beer store in DC in the middle of this year's snow storm... Not sure if the distributor is packing cooler's with summer ales in the middle of winter but that's another story.

This beer's orange color is fitting with the citrus smell and taste that I picked up after I poured a bottle into a pint glass. Effervescence is present as in all Saranac's I've tasted and beer is very drinkable.

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Photo of kegger22
3.7/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear orange color with a generous head that rapidly dissolved to a collar. The aroma had a soapy scent to it. The taste was lemony. The feel was light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was very good. A good beer, one that probably made the best use of lemon in a beer that I have had. That being said, I think that may be the reason a lot of the great beers don't rely on a lemon taste. Still liked it though.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.57/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the mixed 12-pack from summer. Poured into my weizen glass. Pours a dark yellow/gold with a fizzy white head on top. Doesn't stay long. No lacing. Smells like buttered bread, sweet sugary malts, and lemon zest.

The mouth is crisp and refreshing. Flavor is pretty good. A nice tame mellow bready flavor. This is definitely one of the sweeter Wheat Ales I've had, but I like it. This would be a great refresher during the warm months. I'm never expecting a lot with Saranac beers, but I am always pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of skinny0ne
3.24/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a good copper color. Unfortunately it's got coloring added to it. Odd. The aroma is nice of sweet malt and honey. Wow, it's a sweet brew. Honey. Malt. Sugar. Mid tongue the bitterness starts to kick in. A good punch of lemon and orange. And some hop bite. It really helps clean the palate. A good brew for a hot day and a barbecue. I find it to be a bit too sweet up front. But certainly a good choice.

 409 characters

Photo of Dodt
3.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

another review from the 2009 saranac summer 12 pack.
poured from the bottle in to a pint glass
Appearance : deep golden color with cream colored head.
Smell : slight malt smell with a aroma of lemon
Taste :light in body with sort of strong lemon notes.
mouthfeel light in body and crisp.
drinkability: very enjoyable beer for a hot and humid.

 344 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
2.78/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep gold with a white head and no lacing.

Lemon pledge aroma with a hint of spice and light malt. Not great.

More of the same. Artificial lemon dominant here, with light sweet grain fighting through, but the fight is feeble. A little sour in the finish.

Well carbonated and light bodied.

Overall, not as horrific as it could have been, but not something I'd want again. Too much lemon up front, and not done in a way that is a compliment to the rest of the brew. The true dud in the summer mix pack.

 513 characters

Photo of squirrelpirate
3.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Summer Ale pours a dark golden hue with a small, fizzy head that quickly disappeared. The strong lemon and spice aromas seem to taint any malt or hop aroma present. There were some flowery hop notes.

The taste mimics the aroma, with the lemon and what seeemed like coriander and orange peel permeating through the malt and hop character in the beer.

Light bodied and high carbonation makes for a drinkable beer, if you can get past the lemon and spice. I think it's a bit too overwhelming, so I will most-likely abstain from this in the future.

 554 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.38/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After a hot afternoon I was looking to the refreshing nature of a good summer themed beer. Summer Ale from my Saranac variety pack seemed to fit the bill. Alas...

The beer poured a dark golden color with a thin ring of foam around the glass. The foam quickly and completely disappeared.

The aroma is off-putting--to be blunt about it. It reminds me of some kind of lemony cleaner spiced with cardamom. The feeling on the palate was acceptable with noticeable carbonation. More soapy lemon, unfortunately, on the palate.

I am not sure what happened to this beer, but, whatever it is, a correction seems necessary, forthwith.

 627 characters

Photo of thespaceman
2.85/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: A lighly brushed gold in color, head size is very minimal here even with a generous pour, a thin line of lacing doesn't seem to trail this one down the glass.

Smell: Very much a turn off, smells exactly like Bud Light lime, yet it's lemony and very artificial in aroma. Some small malt spice is here as well but it's very minimal. I can see why you would use lemon for a summer offering but it fails huge in the nose here.

Taste: Taste is eerily similar to a SA Summer that failed to hit the mark in the malt department. Lemon zest dominates here but doesn't hit the mark as this is all you taste. A small malt backbone is not able to hold up against such a huge showing of lemon driven spiciness. Needs to be toned down alot.

Mouthfeel: Hugely carbonated, paired with such a strong showing of sour lemon it's almost sickening. No real body on this one, just very light and carbonated.

Drinkability: I'll pass on the next one, I offered this to my Bud Light Lime drinking brother and he actually enjoyed it. Good riddance, I'd hate to drain pour this cause it's not that bad but it's definetley not for me.

 1,168 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A) Pours with a frothy two finger had, then settles. Decent lacing. Visible carbonation. Bronze in color.
S) Dry. Grainy. Some fruity notes. Not much character to the aroma.
T) Mellow citrus notes. Wheaty. Some hop bitterness in the finish.
M) Crisp. Lots of carbonation. Dry. Light bodied.
D) Just average. Not much to it. It's wet and refreshing.

 348 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.72/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a slight head, maybe one finger that gives way quickly. There is very little carbonation to be seen through the glass. The smell is at first lemon but it gives way to a floral aroma almost carnation like. The taste is floral with a hint of lemon at the end. The taste is a little more complex than I thought with my first one. The mouthfeel is dry. The drinkability is a little different. The first time I had this beer I wasn't impressed with it. After having it a couple weeks later in a glass the taste doesn't seem as harsh of lemons as before and the taste seems much more balanced. After second review I would say the drinkability on this beer is high.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear light orange with a small white head. Aroma of bready malt, wheat, light fruits (cherry, raspberry), and some spices (allspice?). Flavor is sweet and malty with lots of dough notes and spices. Slightly on the sweet side but definitely an interesting wheat. Nice beer!

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Photo of Deuane
3.58/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Brilliant orange kissed amber with a medium white head that reduces to a thin ring that leaves spotty lace.

S-Light lemon zest that grows in strength with a bit of warming. A touch of honey malt sweetness resides in the background.

T-Lemon zest zing more pronounced on the palate ending with a smooth honey like finish that doesn't get too sweet.

M-Light bodies and super crisp with the finest of smoothing out in the finish. This brew must have been reformulated over the years as I do not find it to be thin or watery or a "mess". Comes off more like a crisp German lager to me.

D-Low ABV + refreshing, lemon zing + light, crisp body = a worthy summer session beer that would push any BMC offering off the table.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
2.4/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: a medium gold color with off-white head that has a larger fizzy sort of bubble which fades relatively quick.

Aroma: lemon grass and citrus, not much malt or yeast.

Flavor: fizzy medium body with lemon/citrus flavor and a tart finish. Subtle sweetness underneath but not too much. It's a lot like watered down lemon aide with some beer spilled in it.

Overall: I often wonder where beer stops and fruity chemical concoctions begin. Is there a certain percentage of malt that needs to be used in order to have a product worth being called a "beer?"When the fine print on a bottle reads "Beer brewed with natural flavors and colored with caramel" one has to wonder "What is this?" My roots as a brewer tells me that you don't need to add caramel for color when you could have added some crystal malts to get this beverage to the medium gold that it currently is. However, my business side says: "if I were trying to sell beer to the tasteless masses and go with the current trends (i.e. Bud Lime/Miller Chill) then I would make a fruity watered down beverage like this. But I like beer, and this just doesn't work for me. Saranac, from my perspective, is a company on the brink of becoming a really good brewer. When they do things like this it sets them back a few steps. I hope they can brush this one off and move forward by making real beer from this point forward.

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Photo of DannyS
3.65/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - I very clear orange amber with a nice head of foam that disappears disappointingly quickly, leaving nothing.

S - Little bit of citric hops, slight malt, and honey on the nose, but that's about it.

T - Has a perky, lemon-accented wheat malt taste with just a hint of hops and cinnamon-like spice. Finishes clean and slightly dry.

M - watery and fizzy. Little in the way of body, but not necessarily a bad thing.

D - Low ABV + good taste and mouthfeel = excellent session beer.

overall - a Good idea for a summer thirst quencher. I could easily enjoy a few cold ones on a hot day. I'd call it a lawnmower beer, but we hire landscapers. So it's an outdoor summer drinking beer. Yeah, that should do.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a straw color with a mild honey nose. Wispy head of light lacing. Thick and full mouthfeel. Very enjoyable in the mouth. A clean attack that gives a touch of lemon and some citrus notes in the flavor. The finish is a bit fruity but cleans up to not allow any lingering aftertaste from the fruit notes. I am not normally a big fan of summer ales, but I truly enjoyed this one. Definitely one of the better summer offerings that is readily available and widely distributed.

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Photo of KenC411
2.88/5  rDev -8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear orange brown with a sickly thin head. Disappears almost instantly, leaving no peaks.

Smell: A sweet citrus

Taste: Citrus, some malt notes with almost no hops. Tastes a strongly carbonated, like seltzer water.

Mouthfeel: The beer is very crisp but watery, and although it tastes gassy is not overly carbonated.

Drinkability: Its sweet but gassy, crisp but watery, strong nose but flavorless. It feels like it is missing something.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from the "12 beers of summer" 12 pack.

A-Clear amber with a puffy eggshell head. One of the better looking beers from the pack.

S-Sweet, earthy citrus and grassy.

T-Clean, crisp and refreshing, but not much going on here. Watered down malts, but not bad either.

M-Very light, as one would expect for the style. Decent, but not outstanding.

D-Very drinkable on a warm day. You are not here for taste, as much as for a quencher.

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Saranac Summer Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.13 out of 5 based on 306 ratings.
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