Saranac Bohemian Pilsener | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

238 Ratings
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Saranac Bohemian PilsenerSaranac Bohemian Pilsener

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

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by generallee on 10-15-2008

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Ratings: 238 |  Reviews: 147
Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a whitish-yellow color with a one-finger head and mild carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with decent hop bitterness and breadiness in the nose.

Taste is bready upfront with a decent amount of hop bitterness. Smooth and not as sweet.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering breadiness and hop bitterness. Just a tad dry.

A decent pilsener that I consider to be highly drinkable. Not too sweet and the emphasis on hops is a big help. I enjoy it.

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Photo of argock
4.33/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Crystal clear, pale yellow with tall white head of tiny bubbles. Lace sheets the glass. Impressive.

S: Good-smelling pilsener with hefty pale malt breadiness, higher-than-average yeast aromas, and strong nobel hops component. This beer is off to a flying start.

T: This beer is one of the fullest flavored, classically crafted pilseners you'll have the plaeasure to drink. A huge influx of bready malt up front, a bit of sneaky yeastiness, and luxurious Saaz hops flavors provide a very clean and dry finish. I think a tad more malt would make this even better, but this is a really fine pils.

M: Just a bit thin but good nonetheless with active carbonation and a long, strong noble hops aftertaste.

D: Wow -- by far Saranac's best offering. I have sample over 15 of their beers over the last few years, and this one surpasses them all (which isn't always saying much). It presents a classic pilsener with generous malting and straightforward but bold Saaz hopping -- a really excellent pils. Saranac needs to make this available year-round. It stands up to Victory Prima Pils and Clipper City Small Craft Warning for overall quality.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Bright gold, excellent clarity, with a small 1/4 inch head. Dissipates some what quickly to a thin collar.

S - Classic spicy hot aroma, full of pepper and chive. Malt is soft and minimal.

T - Nice peppery and grassy flavor from the hops, followed by a slightly mineral flavor and a touch of bready malt. There's almost something brine-like in the taste as well. Absolutely no bitterness in this brew and the finish is very clean.

M - Well carbonated, and light bodied, what it should be.

D - Near perfect drinkability. The balance in this beer is nearly flawless. Good stuff.

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Photo of Bapplebaum
4.25/5  rDev +25%

Photo of saradad
4.25/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a 12oz "pint" glass and formed a 1/2" head that disipated quickly leaving very light lacing around the edges to the bottom of the glass. The color is straw yellow with a good amount of carbonation. The smell is very soft with flowery hops and sweet yeasty bread. The flavor is also soft, almost buttery in feel with sweet notes in front and at the side of the palate and a soft bitterness that lingers for a bit in the not-too-dry finish. There's a citrus note also in the finish that I didn't detect earlier. I think I prefer this Czech style pils over the German styles and their more aggressive hop rates so I'll have to rate this pretty high on the drinkability scale; in fact I think I'll have another right now.

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Photo of KevMo84
4.25/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Nathanhlind
4.25/5  rDev +25%

Photo of SJI
4.22/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review. And it's fitting that the beer should be Saranac, because my heart has a fondness for this brewery that cannot be surpassed. Especially when it comes to the annual winter variety pack. Each of the new offerings in the 08 edition is worthy of honorable mention - don't miss the Vanilla Stout and India Brown - but the Bohemian Pilsner warrants singular praise. This beer is exactly what I might have hoped for but not necessarily what I was expecting, and you know what I mean if you have followed Saranac through its various iterations. The appearance is pleasingly golden, more European than American. And the semi-sweet maltiness is well balanced with hops, evident in both taste and aroma. I have to say, if given the choice between this beer and a well known import version of the same, I'm choosing Saranac two out of three times. And if that isn't a glowing review of a Saranac offering...

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Photo of thespaceman
4.22/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from 12pack Seasonal

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Golden straw in color, a minimal size head that dissapated into a white wisp of lacing.

Smell: A nice smelling Pilsner, earthy/grass hops are the star of the show. Refreshing florals in the nose, not overly hoppy yet sound and in control.

Taste: A nice lemon-grass finish, again, earthy florals are huge here, a bit of carbonated water and a spice of ester. No fruit profile at all, but you can tell this is a well crafted Pilsner.

Mouthfeel: Decently carbonated, thin and watery like most Pilsners but leaves the palate with a perfect mix of dry hop finish and hop spice.

Drinkability: What can I say? I grew up loving Pilsners and this one is a perfect stab at the style. You can tell the hops in this have been carefully selected, and the refreshing, yet drinkable finish of this makes this an excellent beer. Should it be included in a Winter Seasonal Pack? NO. But this is still a good brew and a good stab at Pilsner styling from Saranac.

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Photo of Justin23060
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little nervous at first because I've been liking pilsners less and less (many brands are skunky or lean toward what I call lawn mowing beers).

However, this was really great (in my minds eye this is what an old world beer would taste like). After taste was oily at begining but quickly righted itself for a great rich bready pilsner with a bit of caraway smell. Not a fan of dry finishes, but it really works and I wouldn't want this too sweet anyway. Carbination goes from sharp to creamy. I actually think its better that Pilsen Urquel. I have a feeling this would be awesome with Brats and hope this becomes an annual offering.

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Photo of Bockrules
4.18/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A - Crystal clear straw color with a fluffy three finger head. Head stays intact all the way down the glass. Moderate lacing.

S - Floral hop smell on a malt background upon opening the bottle. Once in the glass, smell is of sweet malts with just a hint of hop smell.

T - Sweet and buttery up front followed by a sweet, buttery malt body. The Saaz hops are definitely prevalent in the body, but are subtle and make the body interesting to the drinker. Crisp and slightly sweet finish that slowly transitions into a slightly bitter aftertaste that still seems to be riding on that delicious buttery-malt background.

M - The beer is pretty thin-medium bodied and has ample carbonation to boot. Good for the style.

D - My favorite Pilsner so far! The label was right, this beer does indeed beg to have another taste and I'm quite upset that i've gone through both the Bohemian Pilseners in my winter sampler. Two for Two so far Saranac, very impressed.

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Photo of sjohansen
4.13/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pilsener poured a one finger white head that dissipated before I could take my first sip. The color is a golden yellow, and the beer gives perfect clarity to show decent carbonation. No lace through the session, and eventually all that was left of the head disappears.

Hay and grass in the nose. A slight bit of citric hop.

What a great crisp finish. That finish is definitely the first thing that jumps out at me. Bitter hops that are slightly on the grapefruit side. Leaves a slightly sour aftertaste that is quickly scrubbed away by the carbonation. That sourness becomes more crisp lemon zest as it warms.

Medium to full body, with great carbonation. The finish is on the drier side, leaving just a slight citric aftertaste. Overall, a great mouthfeel; lots of action from the carbonation, a good full coat that gets scrubbed by the finish.

As far as pilsners go, this is a great example. It might not be the best looking, but definitely something that stands up.

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Photo of meeekyh
4.12/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle into a belled glass. The beer is a very light yellow with a tiny white head. I immediately get smells of light malt. There is no lacing nor is there any lasting head.

Smells are classic and not exciting. Hops are subdued and all else is light and refreshing.

Taste is much like the smell with a very refreshing bent. Nothing steps up or jumps out.

Mouthfeel is light and clean and the carbonation is high while the finish is dry and likewise clean.

Drinkability is about as high as one can imagine. With full flavors and light body this is a great pilsener beer. I liken it to Lagunitas Pils and the Shiner 101 Pils but lighter in the grain bill.

Good stuff.


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Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear yellow-straw colored body with an internal storm of active carbonation that feeds a quickly-receding thin white head. The foam retains at a bubbly sheet and leaves fine, ragged rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is rich and grainy with lightly-toasted malt and a fine perfume of spicy hops.

The taste is crisply malty with a vivid tingle of spicy, floral hops. A bit of mellow malty fruitiness and a nutty, toasted malt note works very well with the brew's mild grassy bitterness. The finish is clean and a bit dry.

The beer is mild, crisp, medium-bodied and very refreshing. A nicely drinkable brew.

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Photo of number1bum
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a few bubbles rising lazily to the top. Head is about a finger and a half of white foam, which settles to just a thin, wispy lace but does leave some stick.

Smells of grain with a bit of malt sweetness, and some nice grassy and spicy noble hops.

Taste is also quite grainy and I can easily see some people finding this a bit skunky, but for me the abundance of grassy hops, which have just a bit of apple/pear fruitiness and some spice too, really round this out and make it quite enjoyable. Good amount of hop bitterness which lingers on the palate with some grain.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of a medium body, crisp and smooth. I really enjoy how hoppy this beer is, and I could easily drink quite a few. Very sessionable and solid beer here.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #600, let's go local.

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a crystal clear light gold hue with a egg white one finger head that falls to a thin layer of fluffy clouds. Some thin lace remains on the sides of the glass with hundreds of tiny bubbles racing to the top. Bready malt and saaz hops in the nose with a touch of toasted grains. Candy sugar and faint grassy hops in the aroma as well. Very crisp smelling pils. Crisp noble hops up front on the tongue with a sweet biscuity flavor to follow. Lightly toasted grains and a floral hops midway with a clean finish of pale malts with a dusting of pepper. Light to medium body with a creamy smooth feel. A lively carbonation to an extremely drinkable lager. Pleasant surprise from Saranac for sure, one of their better offerings I've had as of late. A unique style to put in a winter seasonal mix 12-pack, but I'm not complaining. The first out of six is a winner, hopefully the rest follow suit. Cheers to Saranac, keep up the good work!

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.08/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into an Otter Creek pint glass.

A: Poured a solid golden yellow color with good clarity and clearly a bit of body to it. A two-finger head of white froth setlles to a bit of a sticky lace.

S: Smells slightly sweet and grainy with a little bit of that Saaz hop spicy bitterness.

T: Taste is smooth and enjoyable. A semisweet and bitter bread malt base gives off slightly toasteed and buttery bviscuit flavors while Saaz and Czech hops go to work adding subtle bitterness and spices to the finish. Surprisingly good for an American version of the classic Czech pilsner.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and adequately carbonated, leaning more towards being medium bodied and quite quaffable.

D: Smooth, enjoyable, easy drinking brew with a nice blend of flavors and a satisfying, balanced finish. Usually not a Saranac fan, or even a pilsner fan for that matter, but this brew was distinct, and I'll give it its due.

Probably the most surprising and tasty brew out of the Saranac winter variety this year. Unfortunately, Matt Brewing will likely never produce it again or omit it from the variety next year.

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Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is new to the Saranac Christmas mix. The brew poured to a light yellow color with a fair sized white head that broke down quite quickly. Light grain notes come through giving that seem to give a slight toasted aroma mixed with Saaz hops. The flavors are very clean, the malts come out very nicely and give a nice toasted feel to the flavor. Also the break at the end of the hops, while very subtle is very good. Seems to have just the right amount of carbonation. I think what is nice about this Pilsner is that when compared to the imports that I have has, this seems so fresh. This would be a good brew to include in the summer pack and/or just have this one in 6/12 packs like the pale ale, etc. as I would get this brew for the summer months, very refreshing!

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Photo of bubseymour
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very unique beer from an American Craftbrewer Saranac. It as a wonderful appearance for a pilsner with a 2 finger head and nice retention. It surprisingly tastes very much like a German/Czech pilsner and if I were given a blind taste test would have not guessed it as American. With that said the taste left somewhat bland and could use some bolder flavoring.

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Photo of FatSean
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle sourced from a 'beers of winter' 12-pack. Thought it was odd that this pils was in the winter mix-pack but not in the summer mix-pack sitting just to the left.

Very nice golden color, thin head with fine bubbles that soon dissapears. Very little lacing, but nice carbonation.

Slightly toasty malts on the nose, hops don't stand out.

Tastes a bit caramely for a pils, but not bad at all. The hops appear on the finish, delicate funkiness to match the soft malts. Seems a muddled, I prefer a crisp biting pils but this beer fits the style quite well.

Mouthfeel is great, very will carbonated and love the hop coating on the tongue.

Quite drinkable to me, as any well crafted pilsener is.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

A - Golden yellow, crystal clear pour with a thin, tight white head. Decent retention with a slippery lace

S - A nice malty smell with a bit of a floral hop edge; pretty much what I expect a Pils to smell like

T&M - Very crisp with a nice hoppy bite with a spicy quality right from the get go. Flavor settles into what the nose detects; a good dose of malt with a bit of a floral touch. Just a hint of grassiness in the otherwise clean finish.

D - I wouldn't say that this is a "world class" pils, but it's pretty darn good. This is the second beer in a row from Saranac that I was pleasantly surprised by. A large amount of flavor with a reasonable ABV. If you're a pils fan, give this a go.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a mixed twelve pack this beer was a straw gold color that displayed perfect clarity. The head was two fingers thick, off-white, displayed mediocre retention and left some bands of lacing. The aroma was very dry, grainy and 'bright,' bursting with pilsner malt and floral hops to the point of being perfume-like. The first flavors that hit me were clean pilsner malt with hints of biscuit and a semi-sweetness similar to an apple. Hints of lemon and yeast. Good mouthfeel, light bodied and very dry as per the style. A great American example of a Czech Pilsener and quite refreshing.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.01/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear bright straw with a large white head that has great retention and very nice lacing.

S: Husky and grassy with a bit of lemon.

T: Grassy and Saazy with a bit of malt sweetness in the background as well as some lemony flavors.

M: Medium body but the finish is not as crisp nor as clean as it could be.

D: Easy drinker that has the taste that is very true to style just a tad to heavy to be as refreshing as others.

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Photo of Ablackbrew
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of musicforairports
4/5  rDev +17.6%

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Saranac Bohemian Pilsener from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.4 out of 5 based on 238 ratings.
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