Saranac Rauchbier Smoked Lager | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Rauchbier Smoked LagerSaranac Rauchbier Smoked Lager
70 Ratings
Saranac Rauchbier Smoked LagerSaranac Rauchbier Smoked Lager

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

Style: German Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Estarrio on 10-19-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 60
Reviews by oberon:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep burnt orange/golden with a nice fluffy well formed white head that stuck around for quite awhile.A pretty clean nose with light notes of brwon sugar and subtle smoke and even a tinge of iron,what I liked about this rauchbier is that it gave off smoked flavor without tasting like a Smithfield ham.I know alot of people like that big smoke me not so much this gave off enough smoke flavor to satisfy with out being overbearing a nice brown sugar note went along with the smokiness along with a noticable herbal sharp hoppiness.I like it I like it alot I like the new offerings in the12 beers of Christmas pack this year.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 12 oz. bottle was from a 2006 "Beers of Winter" variety pack.None of the Saranac beers in this box has any freshness dating. Pours clear light orangy amber, thin off white head, and leaving minimal lacing. Malty nose with perhaps the slightest hint of smoke. Pleasant enough brew, nothing remarkable. Very minor smoke presence. Typical middle of the road, saranac offering. Craft beer? maybe, but just barely...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a light copper amber tone leaves even lace with an off white head almost a beige tone. Aroma has malts that come with upfront caramel and a touch of smoked malts just barely evident. Flavor is clean with mild smokey flavor and leafy tobacco hop tones that blend well together overall a mild mainstream rauchbier better than nothing but by no means comparable to a true rauch from Bamberg. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated not much else going on in the complexity region. Drinkability is decent but by no means is this a rauchbier and flavors don't blend that well overall I'm not impressed by this effort.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2/5  rDev -39%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Saranac- Rauchbier

Appearance- Light copper brown with no head.
Smell- Not much going on here, light ashy malt smell?! So faint.
Taste- Just a touch of malt, ash, cheap adjunct corn/ hay.
Mouthfeel- Watery with a slight dry bitterness in the end.

Overall- BOOOO!!! What a letdown. No smokiness at all! So watery and so little flavor. The dud of the 12 pack sampler!

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Photo of Metalmonk
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big head of tight, compact bubbles, on top of a rusty ruby/orange, the color of autumn leaves.

Musty aroma, peat and hops present. Smells more like an English pale ale than anything.

Veddy veddy interestink...this only brings on the smoke in the finish, and even then it's quite light. Otherwise the flavors are sweet malt and light hops, somewhere between an English pale ale and a German lager.

Mouthfeel seems wrong for the style, being light and crisp, fairly dry, and well carbonated.

This is not a bad tasting beer at all, but I have to doubt whether it can really be called a Rauchbier. Okay, they used smoked malts, but it doesn't have the gusto of other, more assertive smoked beers. Bah humbug.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A delicate smokiness enhances, and also acts as a counterpoint to, the gently caramelish maltiness of Saranac's Rauchbier. It pours a clear, glowing amber-copper body beneath a short head of creamy ivory. Beechwood smoke is found in the nose, but it doesn't leap out at you; and when some of the sweetish malt from below peeks through it takes on the mouthwatering scent of bacon! It's crisp in the mouth with a delicate, medium-light body and fine-bubbled, median carbonation. The carbonation helps to bring out the smokiness, and cut through the maltiness. The flavor is initially fairly light on smoke, but as you progress through the glass it builds on the palate, increasing its presence. It's lager-like, clean and just a touch sulphury underneath. The malt is lightly caramelish, a touch sweet, honeyish, and backed by some grassy and spicy hops. The smokiness runs the gamut from smoked meats, and ham specifically, to Scotch wiskey. It's drying, and in combination with the jagged bitterness, leaves the palate mostly scrubbed of malt. Smoke lingers, and it's kind of cigar-like, but not nearly as full or harsh. Well done! Nicely rounded with a good balance and an appropriate level of smokiness. Worth trying!

 1,220 characters

Photo of tempest
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a nice beer, its just a shame it's not actually that smokey. Yeah I can tell the smoke is there, somewhere, but up against another American smoked lager, Ft. Collins' Z's Lager, this beer just doesn't hold up. It looks like an amber beer, smells of amber malts with a hint of smoke. Tastes of burnt caramel, kind of smoke and the flavor isn't too rich. Basically like the Adirondack Amber with a little something extra. Meh.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Gmann
2.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden amber color with a small head which dissipates quickly leaving no head. The smell is of caramel malts but no real hint of any smokiness to it. The taste is of dull hops, caramel malts, again no real smoke taste. Light bodied, well carbonated, finishes easy not dry or bitter. This lager drinks well enough, though it reminds me more of an amber lager.

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Photo of Beertracker
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of bierman2000
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber, thin body Ruachbier. The smoke takes a few sips to get through the malty overtones. Rocky head but not chewy like other Rauchbiers, nose is malty and very faint smoke. Smooth, clean mouthfeel and since not real smoky or heavy quite drinkable, but not overpowering. A nice effort by a large brewing company.

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Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 2006 WInter Seasonal case.

A: The beer is a beautifully clear copper orange color with a small white ring of head. There is no lacing in the glass.

S: The beer has the standard Saranac grainy malt aroma with a faint, and I stress faint, hint of smokiness.

T: The beer is, like most all Saranac offerings, spectacularly middle of the road. The beer begins with a malty biscuit flavor and little hops. The smokiness does not show up in the beer but does pop up in the finish, adding just a hint of smokehouse.

M: The mouthfeel is decent but lacks the smokiness that you would want to see.

D: The beer is drinkable with a nice malt mouth, but don't expect a real smoked experience.

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Photo of buzzy
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of GrandpaGeorge
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am not a rauchbier fan. I likened the first I tried to beer strained through the ashes left in the bottom of my fireplace. Not a pleasant thought. So when I bought the 12 Beers of Winter from Saranac the other day, I figured I'd probably be discarding this one after tasting it. Surprise! It was really pretty good. Not that I'm a rauchbier convert, but this time the "smoke" flavor was more like the traditional "roasting" I was used to. Seemed a bit more carbonated than expected, but that helped make it taste more refreshing than it might have been. Definitely worth a try--especially in the variety pack.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I havnt had a Saranac in a while and I found this one at the beer store.It may be a bit old.

Twelve ounces of amber/orange body and no ead what so ever.Not much carbonation bubbles either.Caramel malts and thats pretty much it in the nose.I taste some malts and smoke.The smoke is at the end of the sip and its nice.Its not offensive to me,its delicate.Its a bit watery but that doesnt take any points from the overall score.This is tasty as are all of the Saranac beers Ive tried so far.They do a good job.Smooth body and carbonation is tingly.

 546 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a decent pour for the style as it settles in and gives off a nice two finger head tha slips down the sides of the glass effortlessly.aroma was smoked to high heaven, but rather one sided, some touches of a cough syrup like smell coming off it as it warmed, not sure what that was, but hints of grain buried underneath as well. The flavor was surprisingly good though. Rich notes here of peat and malted grains, nice roasted touches and a very nice and well balanced grain bill. Definitely a very nice flavor and it took me off guard, the feel was a bit thin and one sided, but still not terrible.

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Photo of ekempey
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A nice golden color with what looks like good carbonation and almost no head retention. No lacing to speak of either. A very light fruity aroma. A nice robust taste as it hits the 'buds. Not as carbonated as it looked from initial viewing, definately could be a little more carbonated, imo. Mouthfeel was good, pretty drinkable. Doesn't leave a very pleasant after taste. Pretty well drinkable, taste did start to fade as beer warmed up (might just be me), something I have never experienced before. Overall, a drinkable beer, one I would like to try with a good burger.

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Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +22%

Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a solid soft malt aroma with a smattering of noble hops.

The taste consisted of a creamy malt profile and a subtle bitter hop. There was a trace smokey flavor at the finish.

The mouthfeel was creamy.

Overall a tasty beer. However, not really a rauchbier as there was little to no smoked element.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Deep yellow color, not much head or lace that stuck around.

smell - Malts, grass, smoked smell.

taste: Not much smoke or burnt taste that I thought it would be. Malt taste to it, not sweet. On the smokey side but not overpowering.

mouthfeel - Medium body, low carbination here.

drinkability - The last of the winter pack we had. Not a bad drink at all. Don't let the word smoked on the label through you off.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter Sampler. This would be my first foray into the rauchbier style. This was an excellent tasting lager and much better than Saranac's Adirondack Lager. The smokiness was barely noticable but perhaps that's what makes this an all around good beer. Would serve this beer at bar-b-ques and with other smoked foods. I'm eager to try some true German made rauchbiers with the stronger smoke flavors after this one. Sarancac should add this to their regular lineup.

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Photo of Phatz
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance pours a clear deep gold with orange hues when backlit. The head fades fast and it leaves little to no lacing throughout the duration of the beer.

Smell: Peaty smoked malts and hint of caramel find their way in to nose if you look for them.

Taste: As Traditional American Lagers go this is a fine beer and would fair better from me in that league. A smoked lager sure. But to pass as a Rauchbier now you have stepped up the bar. Aside from the smokiness hints in the malts and light tobacco flavors, it lacks some of the robust character of Aecht Schlenkerla. Certainly, I understand why. This is an approachable friendly, gentle Rauch and as such is a bit more mild. Clean and easy to start. Still it is a commendable effort.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with a medium light weight but decent carbonation. The body tries to stand on the bubbly and does not have much of a backbone. Dry bitter finish that sloppily lingers on the palate.

Drinkability: I found one of these an interesting adventure but I don't need (or want) to do it again. Thanks for the journey Saranac. Keep coming up with new brews and continue stepping up the bar.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,180 characters

Photo of BBM
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of the new "winter sampler" beers. They have a bit of nerve calling it a rauchbier. It pours a very clear amber color with a little white head and no retention or lacing. Smell is... barely there. For something smoked, you'd expect a nice nose. Not here. Very faint maltines and even subtler smoke.

Taste is the same. Sweet up front, with a slightly smoky hoppiness / bitterness toward the end. If this were called "Saranac Amber Lager" it would've scored higher. Because the beer itself isn't terrible tasting. There's just no way it's a rauch. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. Not awful, but misleading in title. This tastes like water compared to an ACTUAL rauch.

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Photo of happygnome
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a golden-orange color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a little lacing
s: the first thing that comes to mind is sweet aroma followed by a kind of grassy aroma
t: better than the aroma, the grassy aroma does not come out in the tastebut it is sweeter than most smoked beers and the smoked flavor is really not very strong
m: medium bodied beer with adequite carbonation

overall this is an ok beer i did enjoy it but there are a lot of things that could be improved

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Saranac Rauchbier Smoked Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 70 ratings