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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

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 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.

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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 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.

 499 characters

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 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.

 583 characters

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 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.

 633 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.

 492 characters

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

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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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