Saranac Helles | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac HellesSaranac Helles
112 Ratings
Saranac HellesSaranac Helles

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

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2009

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Ratings: 112 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of wiseguy142
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear yellow with a soapy, sticky head. Lots of visible carbonation.

Aroma of light, salty noble hops and soap. Not from the glass, however. More the general water quality.

Taste is pretty smooth with some nice subtleties coming from the malt. Finishes very soft and airy. Really reminds me of the picture of the creek they put on the front of the label. At first I thought this was a little too much like a macro lager labeled as a Helles, but further into the glass it's like a soft cushiony beer that's very pleasant to drink.

I think if you could make a pillow into a beer, this would be it.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the 12 Beers of Summer; picked up at the Mechanicsburg Wegmans.

A: The lagerbier is a pale yellow color that has a bright golden tinge throughout. Three fingers of billowy head sat atop the glass like meringue. It dissolved over 5 minutes and left much lace.

S: The nose is grainy, full of sweet cereal and bread. The nose also has a mild sugary sweetness, not corn, that rarely gets in the way. The aroma is rather crisp and clean otherwise.

T: The lager doesn't wow you but it delivers a solid flavor. That seems par for the course for Saranac, a comfort beer of sorts. Pale grains drive the flavor with a bready dryness that has some concentrated sweet elements. Some earthy hops add a very nice finish, just enough bite to cut through the grains.

M: The helles lager is very refreshing. The pale grains and clean hops work well together to create a pleasant sipper.

D: One of Saranac's best offerings. It's too bad that there were only two bottles in the package.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden color.. moderate head to it and a good amount of lacing. Nice crisp, hoppy smell to it.. definitely a German sort of smell. Taste has a medium body and nice mouthfeel, again Saaz like hops sort of taste to it. Quite refreshing I must say, one of the better in their mixed 12 pack. Highly drinkable and pretty solid taste along with being very smooth.. good in my book.

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Photo of yesyouam
2.97/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac Helles is a clear pale golden beer with a thin white head that leaves some lacing. It has a fruity aroma that's faint and mellow. It's light, maybe medium-light bodied and pretty smooth with a dry finish. It is mellow and well balanced; a little funky, with notes of pretzels and grass. It's pretty uneventful.

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Photo of smerkinb
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 5/11/09.

That's what a nice lager should look like--pale, clear gold with a 1.2 inch white, white head that quickly fizzes away to a loose collar.

Sweet malty goodness on the nose. Some light spicy citrus hiding in the background. There's also some applewood aroma for me mixed with more clean malt.

Malts come through first, followed by clean and not really sweet fruity hints. Then the hops clean up-dry lightly fruity--no American hops here!

The mouth on this is engaging--poppy, sparky, lively, snappy all come to mind. This fizzes and bubbles over the tongue and all the way through the swallow. Thin but not watery.

This was impressive to me--I'm not really familiar with the style, but a delicious offering here. I only wish it were 90F outside instead of 60F! Refreshing, balanced, great!

Saranac 12 beers of summer pack is at 3/3.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

Clear golden yellow color with a white head that left a few here and there spots of lacing. The aroma is strong noble hops, grassy and earthy. The taste is filled with malty sweetness leading up to a dry, bitter-sweet finish. Light/Medium bodied with a crisp, refreshing feel that is highly drinkable for those of us who love a good Barvarian-style beer.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Helles

A- Light bright clear yellow with a big frotyh head. Light lacing.
S- Sweet sugary corn syrup, lemon, and grass.
T- Sweet with a touch of lemon and grass. Light grain malt with earthy hops.
M- Starts of with a light sweet maltiness and switches over to a creamy malt and finishes off with a dry hoppiness.

Overall- Very light but easily drinkable and eventually perks up.

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Photo of confer
3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the summer brews sampler.
Yellow/gold crisp color. Small one finger head leaves quickly with out a trace,
Faint slightly sweet aroma.
The taste is classic German lager. Very clean with a slight hoppyness in the after taste.
Very refreshing and dry, nice carbonation.
This is a wonderful drinking beer. Saranac did it right

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Photo of Deus1138
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got the summer sampler pack from my parents. Can't seem to find it here in GA, ever.

Poured into a pint glass. Color is golden, straw like. Very clear. 1/2" of head. Nice looking. Good amount of carbonation rising. Smell is grainy, bready with just a hint of hops. Taste is excellent. Good amount of flavor to satisfy the palate. Bready malts dominate with a grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth.

Drinkability is very good. Light, crisp, flavorful, refreshing. A great beer for the summer! Also, a great beer to ease your friends off of macro/adjunct lagers.

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. Looks about right for this style.

Aroma is full of sweet, grainy, bready malt in the nose. Definitely fits this style. Only a touch of hops as well.

Taste is nice and hoppy upfront with sweet, grainy malt in the middle. Easy to drink. Inoffensive.

Mouthfeel is only a tad bit watery but otherwise, spot-on for the style. Hops and malt stick around.

A nice example of the style. Anyone who says that Saranac only makes crappy examples of styles is dead wrong. This is spot-on and worth a shot. If you can't enjoy a good munich helles lager, I feel sorry for you.

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Photo of bsend
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Nice crisp golden color with lots of light carbonation. A fizzy white head appeared and dissappeared quickly. Mild lacing present. Completely see through when holding it up to the light.

Smell: Light yeast scent, laced with minimal hop.

Taste: Above average tasting beer for this style. Grain flavor present with mix of light watery endings. Mild hop flavor follows. The big gain for this beer was the lack of skunky after taste that you experience with some of the European Macro counterparts.

Mouthfeel: Light body and lots of small carbonation. Nothing spectactular, however nothing to bring it down either.

Drinkability: Definitely a sessionable style brew. Light and easy to go down.

Final Thoughts - Fan of some of the larger European companies should give this one a go. Decent representation of the style. Great in a mix pack but I would not seek this one out for itself.

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Photo of Troy518
4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer:

A: Light blonde with yellow hue, brilliantly clear, moderate head.

S: Light grains, lemon, hay, fennel seed.

T: Creamy, orange-lemon fruit, malty, honey-dew melon.

M: Bubbly, smooth, dry finish.

D: Easy to drink, slightly watery but creamy at the same time.

Definitely a worthwhile beverage and something that could stand alone in a 6 pack.

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Saranac Helles from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 112 ratings