Saranac Amber Wheat | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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.

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 94
Photo of rodbeermunch
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks like a yellow beer with 1/2" head and minimal particulate (wheat) floating around. Aroma was grainy.

Taste was a bland affair, easy enough to drink but far from enjoyable. Its just there. Everything Saranac makes is always a toned down affair, and that's fine and all. Wheat beers have always suffered from a bland descriptor, and this one is bland for even an alleged bland style.

 392 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of a Beers of the World pack from Cost Plus World Market.

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch whitish-orange head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace sink back down into the remaining beer with each sip. Smell is of wheat and toasted grains. Overall smell is pretty subdued really. Taste is of toasted grain, caramel, and some wheat flavors. A bread-like aftertaste after each sip. Carbonation level is pretty good with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer. My first of this style so I can cross this off the style list. I wouldn't get this one again.

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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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Photo of jsprain1
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper-amber. Decent head retention. No lacing. Considering they call it unfiltered it is relatively clear. Kind of odd but alas it's a decent looking beer.
S- Toasted bread, caramel and a bit of wheat aroma.
T- Malty with toast and caramel being the big flavors in this one. Enjoyable but pretty simple. I really didn't get much of definite wheat presence in this one. In this sense it was a bit disappointing.
M- Lighter than it should have been. Decent carbonation.
O- A decent beer, but nothing all that memorable. Easy drinking, but I didn't find it as wheaty as the label suggested.

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Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. Sparkling clear. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a chalky faint caramel and a slightly toasted malt.

The taste was light and rather neutral with traces of caramel and wheat.

The mouthfeel was thin for the style.

Overall an uneventful experience.

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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 TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone weizen glass.

I think this finally finishes off my 12 Beers of Summer box. I think. It pours a hazy amber-tawny topped by a finger or so of creamy ecru foam. The nose comprises wheat, grass, flowers, light walnuts, and a touch of rye bread. The taste holds notes of dull wheat, light walnuts, flowers, light greens, and some earthy hops. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly grainy feel. Overall, a nice bit o' brew, nothing fancy or special, but easily drinkable and a decent change-up for a summer beer.

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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 ChainGangGuy
3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours an ever so lightly clouded, amber-tan body with a 1½-inch head of off-white foam.

Smell: An assortment compiled of scant notes smelling of toast, chocolate, yeast, apple, and past-its-prime spice. A decent array, but nothing in there ever really reaches out and grabs you. None of it.

Taste: Malty albeit mild impressions of chocolate, powdered toast, and light caramel with sweetness a notch or two above the 'medium' setting. Hint of pear and a sparkling apple juice. Pinch of spice. Vaguely herbal hops with a minimal amount of bitterness. There's a return of the choco-toast taste before the crisp, fast finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: It's lightness and looseness keep this one bland and mediocre. Not bad, mind you, just a gulp, a yawn, and it's gone.

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

This is a decent, pleasant, very drinkable, but thin, one-dimensional beer with little more character than a basic American pale lager.

Nice amber, it has a medium pale tan head soon thinning to a ring and wisps.

Aroma is perfumy, sweet caramelly apple and grain, faint soapiness.

Taste is light toasted bread with old, fermenting apples and vague leafy-peppery bitterness that comes on in the finish. It ends smoothly but thin and overall, it is thin in character and a feel. Though pleasant enough, it has very little character or body and little to mark it out as anything but a basic, slightly darker and more caramelly, American pale lager.

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Photo of mwa423
3.51/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a crystal clear reddish amber with a finger of soapy head with great retention and lacing.

S - The smell reminds me of a light brown ale with a hint of wheat. The majority of the aroma is a sickly sweet caramel aroma.

T - The flavor is much like the aroma which is really a light amber/brown ale with a nutty flavor followed by a wheat note at the end. Little to no hop flavor. If I was going to guess without knowing what this was, I would guess it was a new "Newcastle Light".

M/D - Mouthfeel is full but the wheat leaves a watery mouthfeel. A great summer beer, very drinkable and a great substitute for a heavier beer outside heavy beer season.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a nice shade of amber with a one finger white head. Head actually sticks around for awhile

S- it smells really sweet, almost like honey or maple syrup. Smells nice

T- bland. Getting a lot of sweetness, from what tastes like the maple...really no hops whatsoever. Blah

M- its actually a little thick...weird, based on the style. Not a huge fan of wheat beers having a body...but whatever

D- nonoffensive summer beer. Par for the course for Saranac

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear amber color with a half inch tight bubbly head that settles pretty fast.

S: Toasted grains, caramel roasted malt, toffee, nutty, and bready. Hops are herbal, and spicy but pretty quiet.

T: Bready, slight caramel and roasted grains quickly give way to bitter and spicy hops and wheat astringency. Aftertaste is dry.

M: Light to medium body with a crisp prickly carbonation.

D: It is fairly easy to drink and one of the better beers in the mixed case. It has a balance a bit too much to the bitter side for me to give this a better rating though.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.81/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Part of the summer pack, on to the beer:

Bronzed orange color with a clean looking body. The head on top is a little creamy, and it leaves a little lacing on the glass. There isn't a whole lot in the nose, light toasted grains and a little dextrin. It hardly smells like a "wheat ale" of any kind.

It tastes more like a "cheap" English pale. I'm getting a little toasted malt, and also a little fruity ester flavor. The malt seems to dry, and th esters aren't the ones I'd die for. The light and airy mouthfeel with just a snap of carbonation was working for me at the time.

Well, I finally got to knock-off "American dark Wheat Ale" from styles that I've reviewed. I just hope that Saranac's version isn't typical of the style.

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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 Arithmeticus
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: orange amber, prominent head
S: sweet, unspiced bready smell
T: plain wheat, slightly sweet; this is a very inoffensive beer--neither remarkable nor bad, neither bitter nor overly sweet; tones of orange
M: watery
D: it may have improved its drinkability factor if it were slightly sweeter.

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Photo of biggred1
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Almond with blonde highlights when backlit and a creamy eggshell head. Hazy with no real yeast sediment visable..strange for an unfiltered wheat beer. Hazelnut aroma with notes of wheat & caramel malt. Mild caramel malt and a bit of the banana/clove flavor with a bitter grainy finish. On the leaner side of medium, this beer could use a little more malt. Meh..this beer is forgettable.

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Photo of stakem
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saranac "Amber Wheat." I don't even know what that is suppose to mean. It is amber, it is wheat, it's amber wheat. This is a first for the style for me.

Poured from a standard brown bottle with no indication of freshness into a weizen glass. It appears a clear amber orange color with an initial half finger of slightly yellowish stained head that receeds to a thin layering atop the brew that creeps slowly to the outer limits of the glass. Constantly rising bubbles of carbonation rise in support of this outer ring of head that remains. Minor patches of lace cling to faint spots to the glass and the head maintains relatively decent but not top quality powers of retension. The aroma of this beer smells of buttery caramel malt with a slight indication of hops on the backend. Outside of that, there isn't much else going on in the scent department. Taste is light, somewhat crisp and modestly carbonated for the wheat style. The flavors apparent in this brew consist mostly of a light caramel/bready sweetness that finishes with a taste of butter and some faint hop bitterness.

I have zero basis for comparison when it comes to this brew and other examples of the style so it is both the best and the worst amber wheat I have ever had. Drinkable? Yeah, it is easy drinking but not all that enjoyable if you are looking for decent flavor and aroma.

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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 JDH2000
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a sampler case bought in mid-May.

A- Light brown, almost a copper color.. Not really amber.

S- Subtle hints of caramel and malts.

T- Again, the caramel and malts. I'm only getting a slight wheat flavor.

M- light mouthfeel with slight carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

D- overall, an okay beer. Not my first choice, but not my last choice. Consistent with the rest of the beers in the sampler.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the summer variety case. Seems limited so maybe the only way to buy this beer.

A - Not really as amber as it should be. More of a semi light brown than amber in color. Head is nice though.

S - Caramel and roasted malt. Slight wheat backbone.

T - Caramel and roasted malts followed by a wheat bitter finish. Again not very complex but gets the job done.

M - Very light and refreshing. Seasonable.

D - Well I have three more of these and they did not offend. I don't know why some would give this a D because that's borderline BMC. I give it at least a solid B. Decent brew.

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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 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 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.

 566 characters

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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Saranac Amber Wheat from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.35 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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