Saranac Rauchbier | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac RauchbierSaranac Rauchbier
69 Ratings
Saranac RauchbierSaranac Rauchbier

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: 69 |  Reviews: 59
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 sabrills70
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a crystal clear medium light amber with a poor head and lace. Rather weak smelling. Caramel malts are present mixed with a slight hop floralness and an even slighter smokiness. Upon tasting, caramel notes are up front mixed with a decent hop flavor but very little smokiness. As a rauchbier it is poor but as a traditional lager its not bad. I'll give it average on taste because its a decent lager but poor as a smoked lager. Its is a very drinkable beer though. It tastes like they took their typical lager and added just a tiny bit of smoke.

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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 beerphan
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle -> imperial pint
12 beers of winter 2006

Pours a clear light copper almost golden, with a small white head that settles to a film of suds. No real lace to speak of, just a few dots. Carbonation appears on the light side.

Nose: Malty nose with a hint of smoked meat.

Taste: Malts dominate but are weak, there is a little smoked flavor in there but not much.

Mouthfeel is typical macro lager mouth, crisp and full.

I've never had a Rauchbier before, but this seems kind of like a Rauchbiers little brother, the potential is there but it hasn't reached adulthood yet. Thanks to Saranac for putting out such diverse styles in a single package at a cheap price.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Body of this beer was a crystal clear medium colored body. Half inch pure white head vanished in about a minute. Carbination is average in both size and amount. Small bits of lacing are rare.

A light roasted malt aroma. There is a faint hint of smoke aroma, but it doesn't have much strength. To weak in the nose to pick up anything in the way of other aromas.

Surprisingly sweet malt flavor. A gritty smoked quality develops in the middle of the mouthful before fading back behind a dough flavor. Interesting blend of tastes.

A gritty, but watered feeling. Average carbonation feeling plays on the tongue without being to dominating.

An average beer. Good to eat with a grilled sausage sandwich. Defintly not a style for everyone. This one is just an average offering to the style. Drink it if oyu got it in the mixed pack, but otherwise pass.

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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 PBRstreetgang
3.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extra clear golden copper hue. A dense vanilla-colored head of three fingers shows good retention and produces some spotty lacing. Pale lager malt and light German floral hop nose, no noticable smoke aroma. Biscuity malt flavor upfront, followed by rich Munich and toasty Victory malt. Clean but malty marzen yeast character. Dry aftertaste with faint noble hop bitterness but not much flavor and the slightest hint of peat/wood notes. The light medium-body and mild carbonation add a crispness that accentuates the vauguely earthy mouthfeel. Finishes clean and dry with weak traces of charred wood and a humble malt residue. As far as German amber lagers go, this is highly drinkable and unique; but it's really lacking the true smoke taste and aroma of a traditional rauchbier.

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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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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 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 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 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 NEhophead
2.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a nonic.

Pours a pale copper with golden highlights. Thin, white head that fades to a pasty sheet rather quickly. Noticeably active carbonation. No lacing that sticks.

Mild, toasted malt character with hints of diacetyl and yeast. Light oak and just a trace of peat. Too subtle in aroma for such a robust style.

Stiff, malted wheat with just a touch of sweetness; very grainy with flavors of adjunctory ingredients: rice and corn. Notes of peat following a smooth finish, and a light bitterness. Caramel, diacetyl, and very mild smoke in the aftertaste.

Light, medium in body; smooth and rounded. A decent balance on the palate between graininess and creaminess.

A weak flavored Rauchbier. Not unpleasant, but not a good take on the style whatsoever. Not a lager to be proud of.

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

Saranac rauchbier is a clear amber beer with a shallow white head. The aroma is full of soft, melanoidin-laden malt. There’s a very modest hint of smokiness behind the malts. It’s a mild and simple smoke sensation, one that seems like more of an afterthought than a centerpiece. The taste is similar, with lightly-roasted (and a bit smoky) malt flavors. The finish is moderately dry, with a slight bitterness. Soft and round mouthfeel, with lower than average carbonation. This is a pretty good beer, but I’d like a Rauchbier to have a lot more smoke character. This one is far too restrained.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 Hibernator
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Rauchbier
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink # on the side of the bottle - 2696 10:22
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a light golden orange. Wispy white colored thin lace for a head. Limited patterns of sticky lacings.

Clean nose. Very lager-esqe. Whiffs of light caramel malts and apple juice.

Sweet and juicy caramel malt. Clean and refreshing, yet full with a very soft mouthfeel. Hints of stale apple juice, toast and fresh rye bread. Choppy hop snap on the finish.

The obvious - this beer lacks that authentic smokey presence that any true German Rauchbier would flaunt. Reminds me more of an Oktoberfest with its juicy caramel malts and clean, drinkable quality.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliant orange-red color with massive chunky white head. Good retention and lacing.
Smell is lightly of malt with no smokiness detected.
Taste is pleasantly malty and has a bit too strong hop bitterness also present.
Finishes very dry and bitter.
A nice drinking beer, but I think they forgot to put any smokiness in my bottle.

 342 characters

Photo of scarletfire79
2.57/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

horrible representation of the style. very little if any smoke prescence, seems like a decent amber beer but rauchbier? i'm not sure. definitly the most dispointing in the 12 pack sampler. would never think about picking this up again and would advise the same.

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Saranac Rauchbier from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 69 ratings
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