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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: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Estarrio on 10-19-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of ski271
4.1/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, Medium amber/orange with a small, creamy, off-white, slowly-diminishing head. Smell is of lightly smoky malts supported by some light citrus from the hops, some very light earthy yeast, and caramel. Taste is more of the same except with more piney hops than the citrus in the nose. It has a medium body, dry texture and soft carbonation. This is very good for a rauchbier, because it lets the smoke aroma and flavor stand out without being overpowering or fake-tasting like so many other rauchbiers I’ve tasted. Very easy drinking and enjoyable.

 553 characters

Photo of sacfly
4.07/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter seasonal pack
Pours a clear light orange color with a thin head of small bubbles. Smoke is readily apparent in the nose at first, but quickly fades. Fades to a light smoke and bread along side a rich sweet malt. Flavor follows suit with the aroma. Smoke and bread give way to the sweet malt. Malty aftertaste, no hops to speak of. Overall, light on the smokiness but very well done. Very easy to drink and a departure from a standard lager. For whatever reason, this one hit the spot.

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Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +22%

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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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.97/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the pour, this was a deep yellow, clear beer with a half finger of white head topping it off in my pint glass.

Aroma was of very slightly smoky malt, with almost a hint of sweetness. Some medium-bodied malts were evident. No hops noticeable, but were not necessary.

Taste was slightly smoky, not overpowering but making itself known. Aftertaste was a little smoky, but also had some bitterness. Nice medium malt body. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel was well rounded, good body, not thin.

Good drinkability. Too bad this isn't one of their regulars. This is one of their better ones.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.97/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Nice, orange-amber color with a small, white head. The smell of smoke is prevalent even in the smell. Tasted very smooth and it had a smoky meat aftertaste which was very delightful and made me want to go camping. Very nice mouthfeel; didn't feel like I was drinking water. I like the smoky taste, so I'd have to say that this beer is very drinkable adn will be with me next time I'm going camping or roasting something over a fire pit.

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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!

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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 Estarrio
3.84/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle sampled from this years winter brew pack.

Poured a clear, bright copper color with a small white head. Not much retention and a bit too light for the style.

Nice, smokey, campfire aroma with a caramel malt presence and some hoppy notes.

I made the mistake of drinking this too cold at first. As it warms to room temp, the toasty essence of the smokey malt really takes over. A sweet, yet roasted malt body balances the smoke presence, leading to a nice, bitter hop finish.

Well carbonated, light to medium body, an overall nice mouthfeel.

I like Saranac, though their seasonals can be somewhat hit-or-miss. I'm impressed by their willingness to tackle Rauchbier and have some moderate success in doing so!

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.74/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Looks like a macro. Mild golden color with a small head of white foam that bubbled off quickly. No lacing in the glass.

S: Weak. Hints of smoked malt and grain, but very light. Needs a good kick in the pants to distinguish itself as a true rauchbier.

T: Kind of like the old-time Wendy's commericals... "Where's the Smoke?!" Light smokiness with buttery malts dominates the palate, with hints of corn and flowery light hops. Hints of sweet brown sugar hang over the entire flavor. Not what i'd hoped for, but oddly, it's damn good.

M: Nice. Bubbly on the tongue and easy going down. Feels rich, yet not heavy or dense.

D: This is far from a true rauchbier, so much so I wanted to tear the lable off the bottle and chastise it for calling itself the holy of all holy German beers. Strangely enough, i'm drawn to it, and find it very, very drinkable.

Notes: Maybe it's the light smoke, maybe it's the fact F.X Matt brewing was daring enough to make a try at the style, I don't know. All I know is I bought this 12 beer sampler for this one, and have fallen for it, regardless of whether it is appropriate for the style or not. It's official. Matt Brewing: Here is your winner. Brew it year round, change the name to something like Campfire Smoke Lager, and put it in cans. This is my savior beer, and I am madly in love.

 1,337 characters

Photo of Abita45
3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer has a lightly copper color and no head to speak of. There's a lightly hop and yeasty aroma to it that is pleasant, though I expected it to be a bit smokier based on the style.

It is a smooth, balanced beer with a nice combination of lightly bitter hops and smokey malts. There's a nice amount of carbonation that makes gives it a crisp finish, and which compliments the eveness of the overall beer. It is a fairly straightforward beer without a tremendous amount of complexity to it, however, what it does, I think it does well. I found this to be a very good beer, that feels good on the tongue, and drinks well.

I'll definitely have another soon.

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Photo of oelergud
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transparent honey golden body, moderate carbonation and a white creamy head that has decent retention though not much lace.
Faint ryebread and grass scents. Well balanced nose and abit of licorice.
Taste is pretty good. Semisweet bread and grain. Mellow hoppy aftertaste which is fairly shortlived.
Medium body, abit acidic and a dry finish.
Decent brew and fairly drinkable.


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Photo of riversider76
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich honey color. Thin white head, not much retention,but decent lacing. Smell is sweet and smoked. Body is medium, no carbionation to speak of. Taste is of bready malts with a hint of smoke. Nice sweet honey like finish. A very enjoyable brew!!

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Photo of williamherbert
3.67/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear copper color. Alliteration aside, it's totally see-through. Very small dishsoap head, with no lace.

Heavy dark malty smell. Slightly sweet lagery scent. Defnitely a toasty malt.

Smoky-sweet flavor. Deep, dark taste and the malt is subtle. Leaves a nice smoked aftertaste. Taste suprised me given the color.

Light and watery. Smooth but without much body. Sits on the tongue a bit. Light color and feel; the dark flavor is suprising given how light it looks. A very solid beer; surprisingly good.

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Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a orange / amber color with a 1" head that falls to a thick surface foam slowly. Some nice lacing develops.

Smell: very pleasant as a mild nuttiness and a hint of smoke is detectable.

Taste: caramel, nuts, and a very mild bitterness is wrapped in a faint smokiness. I expected a bit more smoke and roasted tones here, but the overall flavor is decent.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, smoother towards the finish. Medium bodied. Very brief short aftertaste.

Drinkability: pretty decent overall and this would pair nicely with some milder BBQ since the smoke tones are weak but wouldn't overpower the food. Worth trying in the variety 12 pack.

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

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Thick, strong off-white head. Some lacing. Clear, very light amber color...a little too light for style.

Smell: Definite smoky aroma with something akin to citrus..possibly the hops? Some bready caramel present as it warms.

Taste: Nice balance between hops and smokiness. A little less smoky than I imagined. Decently smooth finish. The tart citrus seems a little present throughout.

Mouthfeel: Nice, full-bodied feel.

Drinkability: Good going down, but the citrusy smokiness probably turns off some.

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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 treehugger02010
3.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounze bottle into a Solo cup (all of my glasses were dirty). I did notice that there wasn't much head or much lace. The smell was pretty decent, bitter, but subtle. The taste was essectially the same. This was a solid beer, but not awsome. Don't drink and review.

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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.

 313 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew poured to a clear amber color with a ever so slight off white/light tan head that had no real retention and left hardly no lacing at all. The aroma is of malt mostly, maybe some smokiness but I am having a hard time picking it up. The malts seem to remind me of caramel. The taste is interesting, definite malt flavors come through at the start with a slight smoke flavor that comes bout in the middle and sticks around for a bit. Over all it is a pretty good brew, not sure how it would stack up with others within the same type category but I would suppose that it is a nice intro to this style. I feel that Saranac his hit the mark based on what I have seen them produce in these limited batches, nice addition to the 12 beers of winter while introducing people to different beers.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.54/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: reviewing from notes. Not as detailed as current reviews...I need to knock out some of these from my notebook as it's getting full.

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 50 degrees. Even though every Saranac seems to resemble one another, I seem to keep trying them all...

A - Pours a hazy darker-golden color with an off-white head. Not very much carbonation.

S - Good smokey aroma with traces of burnt malt. Smells promising...

T - *sigh*. Not bad, just not as smokey as the aroma led to believe. Toasted malt with a nice bitterness on the finish, but none of the flavors are over-the-top. All sits atop a earthy backbone.

M - Pretty thin with a dry aftertaste.

D - Not bad - a nice addition to the winterpack.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of WesWes
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a gold color with a slight reddish hue. It has a nice foamy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, malty scent that boasts of Munich and a bit of peated malt. The smoke scent is faint. The taste is decent also. It has a very average taste with a bit of Munich and very little peated malt. It's light and easy drinking, but lacking in character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average brew. It's run of the mill. I wonder why these guys even bother with making such poor examples of the styles. Hell, even AB is making better beer these days.

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