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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 jaydoc
3/5  rDev -10.4%

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.

 624 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought as part of the 12 beers of summer mix pack,

Bottle neck claims this as a Dunkelweizen by the way.... Anywho, beer pours a cloudy light brown/orange color. Pretty nice head to it, decent amount of lacing as well. Smell is very bready, a nice subtle aroma to it. Nice mouthfeel to it, a biscuity taste to it, not too appealing but not too harsh either. A little on the lighter bodied side. Nothing too spectacular here, a nice drinkable brew with a decent amount of flavor that'd be nice on a hot day. Would never seek it out but would gladly drink one if it was handed to me.

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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 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 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 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.

 575 characters

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.

 1,356 characters

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.

 677 characters

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -10.4%

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 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.

 282 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear dark orange in color with a short one finger head. No lacing developed.

Smell:Some soft caramel and wheat tones are detectable.

Taste: caramel, wheat, pear, and green apples are soft but up front. Bitterness is light.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less so at the finish. Aftertaste is short as the flavors leave the mouth quickly.

Drinkability: decent but the flavor profile is a bit weak here.

 434 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.

 252 characters

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 WesWes
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a refreshing wheat and caramel malt scent along with a hint of yeast esters. It's dry with a light hop aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has a bone dry wheat malt flavor that goes down easy with a bit of cara/roasted character. It finishes with a slight fruity feel. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker, although I'm not crazy about the style or their interpretation.

 565 characters

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.

 733 characters

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.

 366 characters

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 Halcyondays
3.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, the first from the summer mix pack, the legendary Saranac shows up in the Southland,

A: Pours a medium amber with a light head, no lace, good retention. The epitome of translucence.

S: Caramel sweetness, with some brown sugar, altbier like.

T: Minerals with some dark malt. Light amber malt flavour, not really wheaty at all.

M: Very light-bodied, fizzy, clean and smooth.

D: A nice inoffensive wheat beer. Nothing to think about, but some good flavours. My first Saranac brew isn't impressing me too much, but I liked it well enough.

 554 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

 1,615 characters

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

Pours a hazy amber color with a fluffy cap of soapy head, diminishes quickly. Smell is rather mild... dried grain, hints of spice, yeasty bread, faint carmely sweetness and ripe apple. Taste is a little more aggressive but still a mild taste of roasted nuts, dried grain, spice, applie. Light bodied, active carbonation, semi-dry. A decent, light, refreshing beer.

 364 characters

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