Saranac Summer Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

307 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 307 |  Reviews: 195
Photo of vfgccp
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of antique
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of AMCimpi
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of yesyouam
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saranac Summer Ale is a clear and sparkling golden ale with a thin white head that mostly dissipates. It has an aroma of lemon cleanser or lemon Starburst with a little coriander. A light cereal note-- almost oatmeal-- is present. It is very light and crisp all the way down. It's pretty watery and a little flat. It has a light flavor of lemon dish soap and a hint of Pine-sol hops. It seemed like a good idea, but it tastes very artificial.
(rated May 8, 2007)

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Photo of TheFightfan1
2.51/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy orange color with a white heading. No lacing present.

Smell is kind of spicey,a little coriander,but a funky yeasty smell overrun's the aroma.

Taste and mouth is a bit over carbonated light to medium bodied. Very sweet malty beverage that leaves a funky taste in the mouth not far from the smell.

Drink is unenjoyable I almost had a drainpour but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
2.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear, golden color with one finger of nearly white head. Little retention or lace.

S: Sweet wheat malt, not bad. A bit of hay.

T: Weak. No off-flavors, but barely any flavor at all. Faint wheat malt, nothing else.

M: Okay mouthfeel, light enough but nothing special.

O: No joy here. Just really bland. Have yet to meet a Saranac that really does anything for me. Maybe next time.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a clear golden honey hue with a large amount of white head that dwindles quickly, lacing is scant and thin. Aroma tart lemon peel with spiciness and thick grainy edges. Flavor is a bit rough on the back of the throat with that cereal graininess and lemon zest flow, thick spices left on the palate in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied carbonation is heavy to point of it gives you trouble when going to swallow. Drinkability is not so great I'd much rather have a nice golden ale rather than lemon flavor and strong spices added. Those two aspects take away from the drinkability factor.

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Photo of jwc215
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours golden yellow with a thin white head that stays around. Minimal trailing lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is of wheat with underlying hints of lemon.

The taste is of wheat and lemon juice. Very slight hints of a flat spiciness that doesn't mesh very well. A bit soapy. Fairly crisp/dry finish.

It's light, a bit too slick. Something of a body for the style. Lemony wet cardboard lingers.

Don't know what they are trying to do here - goes towards a wit a some point, but the spice is too muted and yeast strain too weak. It just seems off - there are much better summer refreshers out there.

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Photo of pentathlete
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
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 aranheaney
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got in a sampler, poured into a DFH snifter:

A-light straw with a finger of head that is quickly gone and no lacing

S-non-offensive, fruity with some lemon

T-meh, lemon, weak, not so great

M-there's not alot going on here

O-wouldn't recommend, there's just not much positive, it's lightish, has a funky aftertaste and I don't think I'll revisit it again

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
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 whartontallboy
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
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 ski271
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
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 Jason
2.6/5  rDev -16.9%
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 TheManiacalOne
2.63/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lemon, spices, wheat, light malts and a little bit of hops.

T: Flavors of lemon and caramelized malt start out with light flavors of wheat, spice and hops in the background. However, this one seems a little watered down and lacks the hearty wheat flavor that you typically get in this style. After-taste is fruity and a little sweet.

M: Crisp with a little smoothness, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: It goes down easily and isn’t very filling, a little tasty but I would consider it a stretch to call this beer mediocre. There are many others I would choose first in the style.

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Photo of guinnessfan
2.63/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from akorsak

A: Pours a golden copper color, with a 1 finger head. Retention and lacing are non-existant.

S: Grain, burnt caramelized malt. Some coriander and lemon.

T: Reminds me of a malty pilsner, not really a wheat taste at all. Not really flavorful. The hops seem to be replaced with lemon zest.

M: Thin and watery. Somewhat crisp and clean, though. Annoyingly sweet aftertaste.

D: It's okay, gets the job done, but I would not choose it if it wasn't in a variety pack.

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Photo of Offa
2.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a decent, light but thin, rather sharp, bland beer and overall seems a but crude.

Deep gold, it has a medium off-white head soon thinning and leaving no real lace.

Aroma is light, vaguely caramelly toasty barley apple, hints of metal. It is rather like a lighter American dark lager-type.

Taste is grain, simple but pleasant enough, very faintly caramelly with faint leafy hop and light but sharp pepperiness and light mineral. I note an odd, fleeting hint of cherry right at the finish. Light sweetness is up front before light, brief peppery-bitter finish and then a long, faint, vague caramelly-sweet aftertaste with nothing else.

This is ok, but thin of character, simple, and crude. It offers so little that it quickly becomes tiresome.

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Photo of Gmann
2.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with a sub-par head, dissipated quickly, no lacing. This offering does actually have a smell to it. It has a kind of funk corriander, orange peel smell, I'm not a big fan of this smell but some may like it. It has a weird corriander lemon flavor that doesn't fit well together. It tastes like funk. Again some may like this but it doesn't sit well with me. Seems to be a cross between a witbier and a traditional summer ale. The feel is fizzy and crisp. This would be a refreshing brew if you like the taste.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
2.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams draft glass.

A: Pours a clear, rich golden amber body with a fizzy white head about 1.5 fingers thick that swiftly dissipates. Leaves thin rings of white lacing.

S: First note was a sweet burst of apricot or peach; then I start to get some husky, musty grain notes. Other than that, I really don't detect a lot going on in the nose.

T: A bit of hoppy bitterness peaks up front, followed by a flash of fruit - apricot, orange rinds, a hint of lemon. Mid sip, the malt background appears with a grainy, wheat-like note followed by the slightest touch of peppery spiciness. In the finish, the malt washes out the citrus notes and ride out the finish. Reminds me of a toned-down Sam Adams Summer Ale - the flavors are there, they just aren't as vibrant and they disappear all too quickly.

M: Light body with alot of carbonation - quite fizzy.

D: 4.70% ABV means you could easily drink a couple of these in a night without any problem. However, I think there are better examples of the style with more "pop" on the palate

Alright, but nothing special. Really, I would probably play it safe and just stick to a Sam Adams Summer Ale if I were presented with the choice between the two.

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Photo of mnj21655
2.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale golden color with about a half finger of head that quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing. Aroma is predominantly of lemons but more than pine sol than actual lemons with some yeast and other fruity esters. Taste is like the aroma. First there is a nice wheat flavor with lemons in the background. Then the pine sol like lemon flavor rears its head and builds into the finish reaching its zenith at the very end of the finish. Mouthfeel is decent, low-medium body with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is average at best. The somewhat harsh lemon flavor does nothing to make me want another one of these. Aside from that flaw this is a decent beer that I'd be willing to revisit.

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Photo of sleazo
2.69/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Saranac summer ale

A-a dark golden colour with a decent sized head leading to a nice ammount of lace. A steady stream of bubbles replenishes the head. 4

S-very strong wheat aroma. A good deal of citrus and coriander. Too strong with the coriander 2.5

T-coriander, coriander and some more. This one at least tastes a little different from the rest of their offerings. 3

M-light bodied and aggressively carbonated. 3.5

D-too much coriander and citrus. At least they went bold here. 3

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.7/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well, its Saranac, so expectations are low. Pours a decent enough yellow with a degree of haze. Smells like lemon. More than anything.

Tastes like lemon more than anything. I guess relatively speaking, its a decent Saranac brew, it tastes like something that isn't offensive for once, and its actually assertive. Don't necessarily know that I want the flavor they decide to get assertive with be lemon, but its a start. There really isn't much else to talk about, lemon dominates. Too expensive to be drinkable, too sour and sweet one dimensional lemony as well.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Yellow with some wheat haze to it. Lemon aroma and not much else.

Once again, lemon dominates, enough water to cut it from being brutal or anything. Although that might be more welcome. I just want to feel something!!!

Perhaps they actually used lemon rind in this one. One trick pony, and not even good at that one thing. Pass.

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Photo of DaggerEyes
2.73/5  rDev -12.8%
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 sabrills70
2.74/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a very slightly hazy medium light copper wit a 2 finger head, OK longevity and just OK lace. Decent wheat malt aroma mixed with some citrus and yeast notes. Not as much malt flavor as the smell would lead you to believe. OK hop flavor mixed with some bitterness although too much for a wheat ale IMHO. Leaves a funny sort of aftertaste - part hop part wheat malt but mixed in a weird unpleasant way. Initially its not a bad beer but then the aftertaste kicks in and ruins it.

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Saranac Summer Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.13 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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