Saranac Rauchbier | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac RauchbierSaranac Rauchbier

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

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

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 69
Photo of tugdriver7
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.

 611 characters

Photo of cooncat
3.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This 12 oz. bottle was from a 2006 "Beers of Winter" variety pack.

The pour produced a deep golden colored brew, with a short lived white head. After the head was gone, swirling the glass produced decent sheeting all the way to the bottom of the glass. The nose is typical of a lager (Saranac describes this as a "smoked lager") without much 'smoke', at least as far as I could detect. The taste has a very light smoke flavor behind bready malts. It is lightly hopped. Compared to other Rauchbiers I've had, this one is Very mild ... perhaps a good thing for someone first trying this style. The mouthfeel is about average .. definitely not thin. The finish is dry, with no aftertaste. Because this offering is not at all 'extreme', and a light example of the style, I could recommend it as a session beer. Enjoy with munchies or your favorite grilled foods.


 871 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.

 429 characters

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.

 413 characters

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.

 282 characters

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.

 670 characters

Photo of phisig137
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 24 karat gold color, with a one finger head with little retention. No lacing.

Aroma is quite mild. A hint of caramel malt, and a tiny bit of noble hops. Not much there.

Flavor isn't a whole lot better. Again, a little sweet malt, a hint of corn sweetness, and a tiny touch of noble hops. I don't detect any of the "hint of smoke" that the bottle describes. Decent body for a lager. Drinkability is good.

Quite a let down from Saranac. Usually thier seasonals a pretty damn good, but this just doesn't do it. No smoke present at all. I guess after you've Aecht Schlenkerla, no other Rauchbier will do.

 619 characters

Photo of shirfan
3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright and clear orange with a one-finger, fine-bubbled head.

Aroma is a bit lacking, very mild biscuity malt and not much else.

Flavor is mostly on the malt side, biscuit predominates, but smoke is absent. Some light euro-lager noble hops fade in and out. To be fair, this has a medium body and wasn't as thin as I had feared it would be.

This is one of Saranac's bizzaro creations that they seem to trot out every winter, a drinkable beer that sails vastly wide of the style printed on the label.

 507 characters

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!

 730 characters

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Saranac Rauchbier from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.28 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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