Saranac Helles
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac HellesSaranac Helles
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German Helles
Ranked #239
Ranked #42,629
3.54 | pDev: 12.15%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac HellesSaranac Helles
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 112
Photo of thespaceman
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a yellowish/gold hue, minimal head size head with nice lacing and retention around the glass.

Smell: A light fruit floral accompanies some spicy malt aromas. Similar aromas to the Rye Pils, yet this has more fruit up front compared the malt. I can get some orange, some citrus and a bit of hop oil, with a small, yet prominent malt spice in the backdrop.

Taste: A bit metallic up front kind of threw me off, even though a generous amount of malt made things a bit better, but it still haunted me until last sip. I've noticed alot of Matt Brewing beers have some metallic tinge that kill the beer which is pretty unfortunate, but otherwise it's got traditional lager properties of some wheat, earth like zest and some lemon grass. Very light and fruity yet features small amounts of malts to keep things balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, a bit slick in the mouth and gets a bit wet when sitting.

Drinkability: Overall a decent Helles offering, not one of the best I've tried but still a good offering from Saranac. That metal taste still hurts this one overall, it's like drinking out of the high school water fountain. But it's decent for what it is.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear golden color with a thick fluffy head that gives way to some okay lacing. You can see a great amount of carbonation activity through the glass. The smell is very weak with a hint of hops in it. The taste is the same it is slight hops but it is slightly watery. The mouthfeel is very harsh, it is totally overcarbonated. The drinkability is okay, the beer is watery and it has a harsh mouthfeel. You wouldn't drink alot of these.

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Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A) Pours with a two finger head. Settles nicely with sticky medium bubble lacing. Golden color. Visible carbonation.
S) Dry grainy aroma. Just a touch of malt sweetness, but not very prominent. A bit of citrus.
T) Dry and grainy. A bit of black pepper. Some earthiness. Hop bite lingering in the finish.
M) Fizzy. Crisp. Light bodied. Slight bit of tannin feel.
D) Not a standout. Decent beer. Good for a summer day.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Nice fluffy head when poured but settled with blotches. Left some lace on the glass as i was drinking it. Color is clear golden color with a lot of bubbles.

smell - Sweet smells of grains, crisp and clean.

taste - Has a bready taste mixed ith grains, but then some earthy hops set in as it goes down.

mouthfeel - Medium-light.

drinkability - Easy drinking beer, worth a try, came in the 12 days of Summer pack.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale clear golden yellow with a vibrant white head, forms tight with nice lacing following suit, sporadic chunky bits stuck to my glass. Aroma has herbal lemon peel mild citrus efforts with pale biscuit malt sweetness. Flavor is crisp assertive American brewed helles way better than your average corn and rice ridden macro any day. Flavor has some nice balanced hop bitterness and flavor to go with the moderate malt sweetness. Mouthfeel light bodied classic light beer, carbonation is spritzy and the finish is dry. Drinkability is quality a sipping beer I could quaff on after mowing the grass and never look back and drink through a sixer without blinking my eyes.

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Photo of originalsin
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a totally transparent straw color with a full inch of frothy white head that retains well and laces a bit.

S: Light grains and floral hops as well as a heavy corn husk aroma.

T: Crisp, clean sweet malt followed by some floral notes.

M: Somewhat watery, too heavily carbonated. Drinkabilty struggles because of this.

For the price, I'll likely pick up the variety pack again. Can you blame me?

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Photo of DannyS
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - clean, clear orange amber, thin head that dissipates into a thin foam collar, decent lacing.

S - very little, maybe some grain and hops, with a slight spice character.

T - Kinda bitter on the hops and carrying lots of grainy taste. Slightly peppery on the finish.

M - Light and fizzy. Decent, but nothing substantial.

D - definitely drinkable, albeit bland and fairly uninteresting.

overall - Quaffable, but hardly great. probably the disappointment of the saranac summer pack.

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Photo of Gmann
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear toasted straw color with a wispy white head that quickly settled into a light ring. The aroma is very faint, all I pick up is some slight sweet bready malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, just some slight bready malt. I can taste some of the munich malt but it is lost in the watery, grainy flavor. There is a slight grassy hop in the end. The feel is light and water with fizzy carbonation. This is merely a below average Helles lager. There is barely any munich malt presence and very little noble hops. The feel is too light as well.

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Photo of KenC411
2.76/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a straw colored beverage with a two finger head, which remains for five minutes leaving minor peaks and some lacing along the side of the glass.

Smell: Fresh and crisp aroma of grain and corn, though not off putting. Also smells a bit floral.

Taste: Light, crisp sweetness, with a kiss of hops at the end. It seems to be missing body though.

Mouthfeel: A bit watery and overcarbonated.

Drinkability: Enjoyable upfront but missing on the full picture. To watery to look for another one.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a small white head and lively carbonation. Aroma of sweet fruits and pale lager malts. Flavor of lots of bready/wheaty malt with some light sweetness in the finish. Again, a decent offering from Saranac although certainly on the boring side.

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Photo of mempath
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my second favorite of the new variety pack.

nice golden color with a thin white head. little lacing. smell is not revealing much for me at the moment. maybe it's my allergies. taste takes off from the average beginning with a sour dough biscuit sense with malty sweetness held at bay by the crisp, high carbonation. which is good in that sense, but not great due to some hidden flavors the effervescence masks...makes this nonetheless very drinakable. fine alone, but would be a great beer with spicy foods.

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Photo of beerphan
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> pint
2009 Summer pack

Pours a bright golden yellow with a dainty thin white head, that does not hang around. Robust carbonation is a tad less than normal from Saranac. No lacing.

Nose: earthy hops, grains

Clean crisp brew. Sweet grains, and some sharp bitterness. Not alot of flavors going on, some mild earthiness and spice before the bitterness take over.

Easy to drink lager. Good representation of the style.

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Photo of therica
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= light golden with fair white head, and plenty of lacing down the sides.

S= nice gentle sweet malts, very traditional German hops scents and florals evident but not overwhelming (Noble hops were used, says the bottle).

T= very very clean, crisp, slightly dry; the sweet malts leave a slight slippery smoothness on the tongue; very pleasant and well-balanced hops. No negative problem with swishing it around in my mouth, which sometimes produces the more negative tastes of a beer.

M= clean, slightly sweet, pleasant, and lingering pleasantness.

D= very, and for most occasions or meals

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. Poured a crystal clear yellow with a thick tiny bubbled white heading that seems to never settle. Lacing ring's all throughout the session.

Smell is sweet,kind of yeasty, slight aroma of hops,honey and some earthy aroma's

Taste has little bit of every thing not as sweet as the nose indicated. Some bitterness from the hops on the backend.

Mouth is crisp and bubbly, Decent carbonation-light bodied.

Drink is very good for a session maybe a tad on the sweeter side for some.

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Photo of WesWes
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a dry pilsner malt scent with low hops and just a touch of Munich malt. The taste is decent. It has a smooth, pilsner/Munich malt flavor along with a nice selection of hops. It has a bolder taste than the Czech variety. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average brew, but nothing I'd have again.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle 1129-1217. Sampled on May 21, 2009 when it was 90-degrees Farenheit in my back yard.

A - A golden yellow with excellent clarity and steady carbonation lifting up to a thin but consistent white head.

S - The aroma lends iteslf to something like grass with a feint background of malts. Maybe a tad of that mass-produced metallic thing you get with macros. But not quite as obnoxious.

T/M - I thought the texture of the beer was pretty good. About medium with a sort of honey-like consistency. The taste was sharp and dry and pounded on the back of my throat in an exhilarating fashion. This doesn't mean it was a tasty beer. It just had this stimulating effect on my tonsils. That in itself helped give a bit of a boost to the rating I planned. Or maybe it was the 90-degree weather.

A decent enough brew.

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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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Saranac Helles from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 112 ratings