Saranac Amber Wheat | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Amber WheatSaranac Amber Wheat
94 Ratings
Saranac Amber WheatSaranac Amber Wheat

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

Style: American Dark Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 75
Reviews by wiseguy142:
Photo of wiseguy142
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yup this looks like an amber wheat beer. Only it's kind of ugly amber.. like really dirty rust or a rotten orange. Maybe those are just negative adjectives but it just looks a little weird. Decent sticky head though so not totally bad.

Sort of an aggressively burnt caramel aroma with a good dose of noble hops. Bottle says it's brewed in the tradition of a DUnkelweizen which I find strange but maybe it's a better context than amber wheat.

First sip starts off really astringent but mellows out nicely and rounds out a bit with the malt. Finishes dry and cardboardy.

Mouthfeel is quite light and I like the cold bubbles down my throat towards the end of the sip. Very refreshing.

I feel like this is a pretty average beer when examined piece by piece but I enjoyed drinking it and would pick it up again. Nice alternative to some of the other wheat beers out there.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mlasher1
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light amber with a decent head. Head dissipates quickly leaving no lacing.

S- Smells grainy with only a hint of any yeast..

T- Not much there... initial taste is grainy (wheat) and not much else follows. Overall tastes a bit watered down.

M- Thin mouthfeel with medium level of carbonation

D- A very light beer with little complexity... while not a go-to by any means, it's still mildly enjoyable.

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Photo of generallee
3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a weizen glass. There appears to be no freshness date on the bottle.

Appearance: It has a hazy coppery amber body with a tall light tan head. Its head is fluffy and fades down to thin cap fairly quick. As I drink it makes a few thin lace rings at the top of the glass then the rest of the lacing just slides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma was very light and fairly clean. It had some sweet roasted gain and wheat notes with only a very slight hint of mineral like hops are noticeable.

Taste/Palate: The flavor matches the aroma. The malt flavor is mildly sweet and roasted. There is some dryness from the wheat that holds the sweeter grain in check. Hop flavor is mild adding some mineral like notes and bitterness to keep things nice and balanced. It finishes very light, clean and almost watery. On the palate it has a light to medium body that seems a bit thin for the style. The carbonation is average and matches the feel of the body.

Notes: The flavor and balance is good but it seems a bit light or dumbed down to make more of an easy drinking hot summer time beer. Still overall it is enjoyable.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.6/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well this one at least looked the part. Aroma wasn't as disturbing as other selections, small amount of grain earthiness.

Another real easy to drink (i.e., not challenging) beer, but you get bored 2 sips in and are asking, hey, where's the caramel, the wheat, the lemon, the "anything that resembles the proposed style" of this beer vibe I always get w/ Saranac. Very pedestrian, and I didn't pick up anything of note to say in the taste profile. Mouthfeel lacks the tang I want in a wheat.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.86/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a clouded light amber copper hue with a nicely formed white head creamy and thick. Aroma has some American wheat grain and yeast notes but definitely no dunkel weizen characteristics as mentioned on the label. Flavor is straight forward semi sweet with some powdered yeast notes nothing too impressive maybe a touch of fruit, green apple perhaps. Overall I would compare it to Michelob Hop Hound amber wheat. Not offensive just a bit bland and boring, mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with decent carbonation nothing much to report here. Drinkability overall, it is what it is another Saranac 12 beers of summer offering. Thirst quenching is this brews best quality.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes from a tasting of this summers 12.

A-Cloudy medium amber with a large creamy eggshell head that settles a bit then sticks around.

S-Cream wheat and malt

T-Predominantly malts but a rather thin profile overall. There is not much going on here complexity-wise. A touch of citrus.

M-Light, and a decent quencher.

D-Pretty decent overall brew to knock back in the hot summer sun, but nothing to call home about. Another, sure, why not.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The Moment: Easing into a pre-July 4th celebration, thanks to a nice party thrown by friends Jim and Maria...
Glassware: Saranac willibecker...
Appearance: slightly hazy orange body that supports a thick, frothy head...
Aroma: Malty with a bit of dough and some banana notes--not complex but appropriate for the style...
Palate: consistent, medium-bodied and fizzy...little staying power on the finish...a strange experience, as the body actually shifts weight in the sip and thins noticeably...
Taste: malts rest on the tongue as the wheat attempts to impress the throat; not much profile to this one, save the wafting caramel, and I know the style may not demand such articulation, but the watery constitution leaves the "unfiltered" claim wanting and the dunkel aspect with kid gloves...
Overall: The nerd in me asks: why does Saranac label this a "wheat ale"? Is it simply a question of brewing technique? And the "amber" part must be on color alone...after the rye pilsener I had a couple of days ago, this one doesn't deserve the slot over in the case...refreshing in its genre...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Amber Wheat

A- cloudy orange brown with a small light bubbled head. No lacing and a solid thin head.
S- Light spiced malt and wheat.
T- Spicy malt with hints of caramel and brown sugar and wheat. Thick malty finish.
M- Spicy and dry body with a creamy malt finish.

Overall- A decent offering. Light, like most of Saranac's beers but full of flavor and a good warm weather beer.

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Photo of asabreed
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A peach and copper-colored mixture, off-white head, which leaves a few drops on the side of the glass. Nice amount of bubbles floating up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Some malty sweetness from the wheat, mild caramel, and grain. Not much else.

Taste: Grain and earthiness, along with mild wheat sweetness, and a bit of caramel. Maybe some mild finishing bitterness with some hops. Not much to discern here.

Mouthfeel: For a darker beer, I expected a bit more thickness and body, but this seems pretty thin. The carbonation's also oddly spiky, if that makes sense, as if it's too overly carbonated, making it feel a bit too much like soda water in that sense.

Drinkability: It's not that I necessarily disliked this brew, but it's definitely average, at best, and doesn't really provide anything memorable.

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Photo of mempath
2.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

not a favorite style, but let's give this a fair shot.

pours rich and deep as expected. ok head and lacing. it's neither transparent nor opaque in its amberness, but i like the faux fogginess.

smell? barely anything there. a torn piece of malt?
maybe it's allergies, but i got plenty from the previous Saranacs an hour ago.

taste is fine. sour sweet wheatiness delivers. but nothing to make it special. maybe it's not supposed to...seems like a red lager. a yuengling. i prefer the latter.

it is somewhat thick and creamy, but the citrusy sharpness seems off-balance due to the mouthfeel. too too much carbonation sparkling around, keeping the quality guests from entering the fray. well, there's no fray to speak of...

this isn't boring but compared to others, relatively, it IS. sure, it beats ANYTHING from the big three macros and a host of many micros....but plenty pummels this. why settle for unabashed mediocrity?

it's still a hair above average for drinkability. nothing to session with. best with a spicey meal. interepret that at will...;)

i will say this...the remaining 3 of these from the case will be ice cold and enjoyed either with thai food or after mowing the lawn...i know they will find their niche therein!

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Photo of Damian74
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of tempest
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Took this from the summer variety pack. There's a wonderful cookie aroma with a little spice, but the flavor is pretty plain. There's just a plain, smooth wheat cracker taste. If you're splitting up the summer case, give this to someone afraid of beer.

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Photo of russpowell
2.63/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a somewhat effervescent amber with a finger of cream colored head. Average head retention

S: Wheatyness that fades fast

T: Some grainyness, mineral & grassy hops up front, faint apple flavors too. Apple peel flavors dominates as this warms, dryness is there along with some grassyness. Finishes grainy & crisp with some pear flavor once very warm

MF: Thin, grainy with an okay carbonation level

Average drinkability this is a very forgettable beer in a very mediocre summer mixed 12 pack. I'm not sure I'll buy any future ones based on this group of 6 mediocre beers

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Photo of HalfFull
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A firm pour from a 12 oz. bottle yields a hazy light amber/copper pour. Really a deep golden. A half inch of foam settles out to a light cap in short order.

Light wheat sense on the nose along with some toasted caramel. Clean and light. Earthen hop notes expand nicely with warming and exposure and soon cloak any wheat influence.

A bit nutty of hazelnut and caramel in flavor. Offers a slight chewy sweetness and drinks like a amber through and through. Wheat notes are subtle and yeast notes more so. Easy drinking nonetheless and reminiscent of an amber lager.

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

Pours a hazy chestnut brown color with a tight tan head that settled into a light cap. The aroma is of a light toasted grain and malt, some brown sugar and caramel. The taste is of mineral water, some nuttiness, toasted grains, lemon, and a tea like hop. Don't think I am picking up much from the wheat. Light to moderate feel with fizzy and airy carbonation; finishes dry and a bit sour. A decent dark wheat brew for a ho-hum style. I did pick up some nice toasted qualities but not much from the wheat.

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Photo of animalchin
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark caramel, thankfully amber color. Loose head with minimal lacing. Faint film on the surface.

S - Clove spices and fruits. Almost sensing some banana followed by strawberry faintness. These aromas are battling it out as they tend to get covered up by the roasted malts.

T - First thing that strikes me are banana and clove - similar to the smell. A slight tartness starts to sneak through which is a nice touch. Also getting the yeast but ever so slightly. Roasted malts tend to take over in the after taste.

M - Looser composition that has some body provided by the unfiltered body.

D/Notes - Fresh and light sitting. Nothing overbearing. I enjoyed the nice fruit tones that balanced with the wheat. Alcohol is nice and light which can make for a couple. Good work.

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Photo of tone77
3.21/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some wheat and spices. Taste is also mild, grains with a touch of spice, not a lot of flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 1119-1617. Sampled on Memorial Day 2009. It pours cloudy with a copper color tinged ith red and a smallish beige head that does not last very long. The smell has a sort of roasted bread and malts combination. The mouthfeel is about average. The roasted sensations are noted in the taste nut it has a heavy feeling to it. A god brew.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A glowing sunset orange yields a dome shade linen white capping atop that was respectable retention wise. A steady moderately paced showering of carbonation was observed through a fairly high rate of clarity. An amber wheat that wasn't quite amber in color, nor wheat (golden) but rather orange, so I guess they got it right. edit: i later learned this style was changed to a dark wheat ale which makes even less sense and warrants a reduction in points. A lack of lacing leaves the glass walls empty.

S: Light dried orange peels appear on the nose along with a soft wet flowery hopping. Sour dough yestiness appears after several swirls but quickly diminish as does my interest. A finishing trail of honey candy sweetness occurs.

T: Thin flavor, apples and pear juice fruitiness against a thin malt sweetness. Dried maize with a corn syrup sweetness and some honey. A bitterness of green mildewy leafy hops moves in for the finish. Not quite an amber, not quite a wheat, and certainly not a mixture of either much less a dark wheat. A fruity sweet start concludes with a faint mildewy hopping that will leave you wondering what the intention or direction of this beer was.

M: Very light mouthful offers an easy resistance, oily texture and only slight bubbly action on the tip of the tongue. Gets washy on longer holds with a bit of a tart orangey fade.

D: Not really impressed here, or would bother to spend my hard earned, or even easily earned money on this. Easy and sweet but ultimately easily forgettable with no real amber or wheat contribution. Overall hardly worth bottling or the marketing costs.

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Photo of akorsak
3.92/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle. I'm rapidly making my way through all 12 beers and it's not even summer yet.

A: The wheat beer is relatively dark, a fuller copper color that renders the ale nearly opaque. Head? What Head? Nothing to be seen here.

S: Caramel grains stand out in the nose, giving the ale a fuller aroma. Underneath the caramel is a mild wheat aroma, light with just a pinch of tartness.

T: Caramel leads the way with a fullness that is uncommon for Saranac beers. The darker malts sit atop the wheat, allowing its lighter flavors to percolate up from time to time. Especially near the end, the wheat flavors become more prevalent.

M: The wheat and dark malts work well together, alternating between sweet caramel and lightly tart wheat. No real frills but it doesn't disapooint.

D: Another low alcohol beer that goes down really easily. The fuller malts make be a little too much for a hit day so try a lukewarm one.

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle from the summer collection into my mug.

A. Chestnut colored body with about 2 fingers of off white foamy head that has fallen to a cap after about 5 minutes.

S. I can smell sweet toasted malts and some caramel and yeasty aromas.

T. Pretty straight forward clean and cold flavor. Not much in the way of depth of flavor but its got some nice earthy, malty, and some citrus flavors to it.

M. Light and clean. Definitely has lager characteristics and leaves a pleasant aftertaste on the pallate.

D. I definitely don't mind this beer but it isn't very special. I'm glad there aren't more than two to drink otherwise they might hang around for a while.

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Photo of u2carew
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Hazy amber (unfiltered). Pours with a frothy head then settles to thin lacing on top and along the edge of the glass. Overall tight, thin bubbled lacing.
S) Wheaty. Notes of sweet orange. Caramel. A pinch of hops.
T) Citrus, caramel sweet front end. Just a touch of hop bite in the finish. Lingering sweet wheaty-ness in the aftertaste.
M) Crisp. Bubbly. Slightly dry. In between light and medium bodied.
D) A tasty little bugger. I think I'd have another one.

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Photo of squirrelpirate
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saranac Amber Wheat poured a dark amber with a thick white head that quickly dissolved and left no lacing down the glass. The aroma considered of bready wheat and caramel notes, with no hop character.

The taste was very different than the aroma would suggest. At first the bread and caramel came through but they quickly gave way to citrus and a slight dry bitterness on the tongue.

A very light, smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation make this beer extraordinarily drinkable. I finished this beer much quicker than I anticipated, and it's one of the better offerings in the Saranac Summer 12 pack.

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Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
2.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

dark brown color that yielded a big head of tan that faded quickly and only moderatly coated the sides of the glass. interesting, but nothing really to go nuts over. aroma is off chocolate, wet hay, moldy grain and campfire smoke, it just did not work for me, i wish it had, as i wanted it too. the flavor was a touch better as the chocolate died down and more of the grains and a touch of dark fruit came through which served it much better.

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Saranac Amber Wheat from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 94 ratings