Saranac Rauchbier | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

69 Ratings
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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of sethmeister
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug at cellar temp. This bottle came in the saranac winter 12 pack.

Pours clear golden amber with 2+ fingers of fluffy offwhite head and ascending bubble streams. Some lacing evident.

There's a very (and I mean very) slight smoky scent on top of typical malty lager scent.

Malty flavor with a bit of smokiness. A little sweet with a hint of caramel. I actually do get a slight impression of bacon towards the finish and this lingers. Drank half the glass before I noticed it.

Medium to light bodied mouthfeel. A little watery.

My first Rauchbier and I guess I would have expected a bolder smoked flavor and scent. This is very drinkable, and I enjoyed it but I wouldn't search it out on purpose.

Kudos to Saranac for trying some less common styles and giving them to us in a 12 pack with one beer per style so we can sample.

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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 buzzy
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Slatetank
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of dgherm
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

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 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 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 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.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is decent, a nice amber color with a decent head.

The smell is not very strong nor smokey but isnt bad.

The taste is a toss up, i actually really liek this beer, but looking at the style, i had to go back to the guidelines to be sure i wasnt crazy. there is no smoke in this beer. im a fan of scotch many of which have a smokey flavor in them....none here. that said i think it does taste really good with a malty character with a more full feel.

medium in body a nice full feeling to it, pretty pleasant.

i really enjoyed this beer. if they had just called it a malty beer or a "beer" its got some good flavor and is good

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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.

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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 garcia2a
3.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For the style, I like the rauchbiers to have that smokey sausage tase, this beer, while nice, did not have that smokey body that I like. I wouls consider this more of a leichtrauchbier.

This poured amber and clear with a bit of head. The nose had a faint tinge of smoke and spice. The tase was thin with a thin aftertase.

A good primer for those wanting to try this style

 377 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.34/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brilliant tangerine with almost Champagne-like carbonation zipping up to a whipped creamy, taupe colored head. Most rauchbiers are some variety of orange it seems. Delicate, attractive squiggles of lace are beginning to decorate the top few inches of the glass, making this one of the better looking MBC beers that I can remember.

Smoked beer should smell smoky, should it not? I can appreciate no more than a faint whiff of smoked malt. If it doesn't deliver much more rauchiness on the palate, Saranac Rauchbier will be no more successful than any other beer from this brewery. Although it doesn't smell bad per se, I can't see giving an average score to a nose that is so far removed from what it ought to be.

Perhaps the brewery doesn't have enough respect for its clientele to provide them with an honest to goodness rauchbier. This is, by far, the least smoky version that has ever entered my glass. I think it most resembles a sweeter than usual English pale ale, despite the fact that German hops (Hallertau) are is use. It's only on the finish that one tastes a glimmer of smoked malt.

Maybe it's the fact that it's a surprisingly hefty lager, but I think the base beer is one of MBC's best (of a fairly lackluster lineup). That's why I've decided to grant an above average flavor score to such a wimpy rauchbier. A few more tendrils of smoke appear on the horizon as it warms. Triple the amount would give it a chance to be the brewery's best beer.

As alluded to, there's nothing at all wrong with the mouthfeel. It's on the full side for a lager and has that characteristic polished gem smoothness that I love. They've even gotten the carbonation right: spunky, yet far from buzzy.

Saranac Rauchbier is oh so close to good beer. If I could send a smoke signal message to the brewers, it would go something like this: *add* *more* *smoke* *to* *Rauchbier* *please*. It's too bad more American craft brewers don't take a shot at this style.

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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 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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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 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 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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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.

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