Saranac Helles | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 |  Reviews: 78
Photo of Goldfishman
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of animal69
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of BigCheese
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of kelvarnsen
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Zeke14
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

light straw colored lager was the first thing noticed. Very clear with a nice amount of carbonation. This converged into a decent sized head of white that faded nearly immediately upon forming.

The aroma was light, very light, to be honest almost non existent at times. After warming it came around a little showing some decent grain and bread like malt tones and a touch of some light earthy hops. The flavor was more of the same, with the key word here being very light in the profile especially. Decent body on top of a mostly grain profile, with more then adequate carbonation making up the bulk of this. Easy to drink I will have to admit, though the flavor was a bit too thin for me at times, it was still more then decent overall.

Overall not a bad little lager, though the subtleties were severely lacking it was still fairly decent

 842 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Somewhat bright golden. Head disappates down to a ring. No lacing.
S- Sweet grain, and I am really picking up some apple cide type aromas. A bit spicy, noble hop type spicyness.
T- There is just a touch of tartness up front, but in a good green apple kind of way. A bit spicy in there, and finishes somewhat sweet.
M- Crisp and light, per the style.
O- A decent helles lager, and one of Saranac's better beers. Easy to drink a few in a night.

 445 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off tap at the Ugly Duckling this beer was a pale golden color with one finger of off-white foam atop it. Lots of rising carbonation but the head retention was poor. The aroma was of crystal malt, some toasted malt, caramel malt and pilsner type hops. The flavors were above average for Saranac and, I thought, really quite good. I tasted grainy malts, mostly caramel and toasted with a slight note of corn followed by the crisp Czech hops. It was the use of the hops with finesse that impressed me with this one; it was a very refreshing beer and thus much more drinkable. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body medium and the carbonation average. For an inexpensive locally produced brew in central NY, look to this gem.

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one with the summer selection box. Poured a 12 oz bottle into my mug.

A. Crystal clear golden body with very little head developing from an aggressive pour.

S. Slightly skunky bready and earthy aromas lead on this one.

T. Wow this is a pretty interesting beer. Tastes like a japanese rice lager with a very faint noble hops, saaz perhaps?

M. Light and buttery with a carbonated bite.

D. I would put a couple back in the sun on the beach but not very many at home in the winter.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Saranac Beers of Summer Box - $13.48 at Sherlock's in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a pale golden-hued body with a fine, white head that settles soon.

Smell: Lightly sweet-scented note of grainy, very faintly bready pils malt, with modest notes of lemon, dried grasses, and, yes, a bit of sulphur.

Taste: A grainy, slightly tangy taste of Pilsner malts, a fluttering of powdered sugar, and then some light sulphery hints follow. A drop of lemon provides a hint of citrus. Grassy, herbaceous Continental hop character with a slight, supporting bitterness. Drying, tangy, relatively crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability: Actually, it's one of the better brews oughta the 2010 Summer Box. Light, easy-drinking refreshment. When Saranac tends to take on somewhat bolder styles, the effort usually ends up a too-light, kinda-bland version of the style, but, when they aim for something light, they tend to hit the mark.

 979 characters

Photo of Offa
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, this is a good, solid, if simple lager, mostly a good, traditional American lager with a little hint of German helles thrown in.

Gold, it has a medium white head steadily shrinking to a thin ring and no real lace.

Aroma is a full-bodied, honeyish malty grain with some apple and a little nice herbal hop. It is a very full, US pale lager aroma with a hint of German herbally hop.

Taste is similar, nice, crisp full grain character with light apple, grass, hint of herb. It is dryish with a grain aftertaste with a hint of lemon and herb.

 549 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a light gold with a one finger white head that quickly fades, and laces decently. Looks like a stereotypical beer...not outstanding

S- getting some weak citrus...and thats all. Maybe some corn. Very mild

T- orangey lemony citrus goodness...decent bit of malt too. Its not bad

M- I think its a little overcarbonated and maybe too malty...fine aside from that, though

D- yeah, I could drink a few of these. Good for the summer. Nice and mild

 493 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Just another stop in the Leaving Falls Church uber-bender. It pours a clear pale straw topped by nearly two fingers of white froth. The nose comprises wheat, corn syrup, and flowers. The taste is similar, but sweeter and with a tinge of orange-y citrus in the background. The body is rather light, with a light carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. Wow, that was pretty short, but that's what I took away from this brew. It's good for a quick quaff, but nothing to sit and savor very much.

 520 characters

Photo of Greenlabel
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a 6-pack at the brewery after taking the tour. This product was not on draft in the tasting room at the time of my visit.

Pours an attractive golden color with a reasonable head. The aroma is definitely of malt, not hops, and the flavor backs that up. There may be a minimal undertone of hops but they don't make much of an impression on the dominant malt. I detected some hints of lemon. Good carbonation.

The finish is dry and satisfying. All in all, a crisp and refreshing Lager and one I wouldn't hesitate to purchase again if I saw it available locally.

 570 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3/4 pour with a twist at the end for a good inch head. Looked like a wonderful beer...unfortunately the head disappeared in about 1 minute flat.

appearance is a little darker than straw, more the color of an alfalfa honey with decent carbonation

smell...almost negligible, a little malt, close to any other typical lager.

taste is also typical of a lager; taste similar to that of a Coors/Budweiser...not really doing much for me.

feels good in my mouth, easily confused with seltzer (yes that overlaps with its lack of taste), however, does remain smooth and drinkable for sure, but as far as paying the "craft brew" premium for it...I don't think so.

 657 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: clear yellow, bubbly; thin head
S: sweet, malty smell; very light aroma
T: a traditional lager, which is to say that it is on the understated side of the beer family. This is rather nondescript: neither sweet nor hoppy, not unpleasant but not memorable, either
M: buzzes nicely in the mouth
D: you might reach for another, just to make sure you didn't miss it the first time.

 378 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let's close out the night with a beer style that's uncommonly made in the US; Munich-style lager. On to the beer:

A little darker than straw color as it resides in my stange glass. There's a little show of bubbles in the body, the head on top crackels slowly to form a creamy white collar. There's a little fresh grass in the aroma, a little nuttiness, and raw grain. We're looking pretty solid.

They're on to something. Tasted blind, I would have thought I was tasting a German brand. It's clean for the most part, crisp, and very refreshing. I'm getting a melon-like flavor I can't put my finger on, but I'm liking it. The flavors are very well balanced, and that's the key to this style. Light flavors of wood, hay, and more intense grapey hops dance around. Some hop bitterness sits around in the aftertaste.

I pulled a rabbit out of my hat with this surprise of a beer from my Saranac variety pack. My curiousity is instantly rewarded; can it happen again with another style?

 983 characters

Photo of bcm119
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear straw color with a small white lacing. Faint honey-like malt aroma with hints of grass. Honey undertones continue in the flavor, with doughy malt. Hops are light and lemony, and adequately clean up the finish. Creamy body, medium carbonation. Smooth, nice body, good condition. Clean enough for a helles. Actually quite authentic and tasty-- impressively so. I would drink this often if it were available here without the rest of their summer pack.

 454 characters

Photo of LuthersMug
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear and golden. A nice half-inch head, plenty of carbonation. Nice lacing throughout.

S - Grainy, but not overpowering.

T - Grainy taste with a bit of maltiness. Dry at the end.

M - Crisp and smooth. Slightly dry.

D - I enjoyed it and would have had another.

 269 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden to light amber color with a white head half inch high. It settles to a thin bubbly layer.

S: Toasted grains, husky aroma, lots of graininess. Slight honey and corn. Hops are earthy and spicy but subdued.

T: Roasted vienna malts, and toasted graininess dominate. Clean tasting and crisp dryness. Hops are bittering with some spiciness too. Finish is clean and dry.

M: Light body with crisp carbonation.

D: Easy to drink and refreshing this beer is a good representation of this classic style.

 513 characters

Saranac Helles from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 112 ratings.
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