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
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 skiit13
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

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 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 Damian74
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of bundy462
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%

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 PatrickJR
2.77/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into weizen glass.

Doing an all out re-review (a whole day later!) since this brew's reclassification.

A - Light amber with a very minimal haze. Still mostly transparent. About 2 fingers of very light tan head rise. Retention is fairly short leaving a thin cap. No lacing.

S - Expected "dirty" American wheat beer aroma. A little more interesting than expected with subdued notes of caramel and sweet/sour fruit.

T - Standard APWA "dirty" tastes hits first mixed with mild and indistinct fruit flavors, maybe something distant approaching the banana flavors present in it's foreign cousins. A fair bit of wheaty sourness takes over mid palate, but there's little accompanying flavor aside from more dirty wheat. Caramel tries to creep in on the corners but never fully manifests. Bizarre bitterness begins late palate and persists well into the aftertaste.

M - Spritzy almost. Fairly thin body, many sips seem quite watery. Carbonation is higher than my previous go at this beer with a moderate-high level. Crisp overall.

D - Well, it is what it is. Nothing outstanding about this beer but perhaps a decent tamed down version of a dunkelweizen for American audiences. Absolute lack of banana/dark bread flavors and creamy mouthfeel. It isn't bad, but it is pretty uninteresting. Sadly, yet another forgettable Saranac.

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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 donkeyrunner
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Post long run porch beer #2.

Copper color with a 1 finger white head. Pretty clear for a purported unfiltered ale. Thick horseshoe retention leaves a few laces tracks. Nice color.

My first impression of the aroma was a toe jam, wheaty, yeast funk...but that dissipated as the head did and left a subtler, delicate caramel in its wake. Some grassy hop in there as well.

Well, it's not offensive. Yep, I am definitely not offended by this beer. Nor am impressed. Very light caramel notes like a raw, non-cold conditioned altbier. Light yeast snap in back.

Overall, dumbed down but drinkable.

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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.

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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 yesyouam
2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Saranac Amber Wheat is a cloudy amber beer with a thin white film of a head that leaves some good lacing. There are notes of banana, resin and bread in the nose. It's thin in the mouth; a little watery and a little metallic. It's lightly flavored. The grassy bitterness is light. It's a little resiny and it tastes like wheat. It's not really my thing, but it's chuggable.

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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 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 jwc215
2.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From summer variety pack:

Pours hazy amber with a thin off-white head taht descends to a wispy cover. Thin lines of lacing stick.

The smell is of a light caramelish sweetness, some light must (wood?). Didn't get much "wheat" character. Odd all-around, but not bad - caramel hint helps it, a bit.

The taste is of sweet caramel with (peach-like) fruitiness. Sweetness, while not cloying, does linger a bit.

The feel is pretty watery. It has an effervescence that borders fizzy.

Rather bland. A mediocre brew with a light hint of caramel sweetness.

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Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of Goldfishman
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of Durandal_777
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of TheRuss9585
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of kelvarnsen
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -10.4%

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