Saranac Amber Wheat | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

75 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 94
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.

 551 characters

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

A-Lightly hazed amber with a thin off-white head that reduced to a thin veil and left spotty lace.

S-Lightly sweet malt aroma with some caramel and a bit of mustiness.

T-Lightly sweet caramel,a bit of spicy bitterness with a semi-dry finish. Mostly though this is rather dull and one dimensional,lacking no depth what so ever. There is nothing wrong with it per simply boring.

M-The best feature. Medium-light bodied with a good crispness and a nice lingering drying bitter finish.

D-Ho-hum. Out of all the beers in the Summer Sampler pack this one is my least favorite. Much like a slightly hoppier version of Yuengling Lager....another ho hummer. Drinkable for sure but not something I would search out again. Not a drain pour by any means but not something I want to keep filling my pint glass with.

 816 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Each Saranac "12 beers of the season pack" should be persued with caution. There is usually a good beer, a few mediocre and a stinker or 2. Instead on making a few great beers they make tons of different half assed attempts. How did this one fare?

The amber wheat poured a semi-hazy orange color with a decent off-white head that stuck around for about a minute. The aroma slightly sweet and malty.

Taste is of caramel and this doesn't resemble a wheat beer. The sweetness from the caramel flavor is a little too much. This isn't too bad though.

Feel is very tingly from the carbonation. I could drink a lot of these but i probably won't be.

 645 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a amber color with a decent head to it. The smell is of wheat with a little lemon to it. The taste is of amber with hints of lemon and other fruits. A very smooth beer with a good mouthfeel. One of saranacs better beers. The taste was smooth but no overpowering.

 268 characters

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

This one pours a deep hazy amber color with a little bit of off-white head that quickly forms a cover on the beer and doesn't really lace.

The aroma is heavy on wheat and has strong caramel undertones. Something about the wheat smell here just seems so manufactured i can't put my finger on it..

Taste is of wheat, caramel malt, lemon, some orange with a little bit of floral notes.

Relatively light-bodied brew with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is ok- but this one goes down easy, above all else. Not a bad lawnmower brew--and certainly a very well priced case.

 568 characters

Photo of AtlasBrew
4.27/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: deep cloudy amber with a light beige pillowy, tightly beaded head that lasts for some time. The head laces nicely down the glass.

Aroma: malty aroma with caramel undertones and some spicey and earthy hop aroma.

Taste: semi-sweet malt with caramel undertones and a pleasant toasty flavor. A subtle earthy and spicy hop flavor that combines well with the carbonation to deliver a very pleasant and refreshing flavor. Finishes with low alcohol flavor and a semi-dry finish.

Overall: I really like this one! I think it was a great choice for a summer variety pack. It gives the variety pack a little something for everybody and a nice entry into the world of dark beer for the person who's been bombarded with watered down, fizzy light lagers from the big guys with monster advertising budgets.

 807 characters

Photo of KenC411
3.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a very thin head. Laces a bit on the side.

Smell: Citrus, malt, and wheat

Taste: Malty with a wave of hops. A bit of a cereal taste, which is a bit off-putting, but quickly disappears behind.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, dances well on the palate.

Drinkability: Crisp and refreshing, not off putting. A good warm weather beer.

 370 characters

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.

 504 characters

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.

 372 characters

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!

 1,241 characters

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 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.

 871 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 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 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.

 920 characters

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass. Pours a cloudy amber color with a thick tiny bubbled off white heading. Slight globbage of laacing throughout.

Smell is kind of spicey, with hints of orange. A nice sweet smell as well.

Taste is pretty much the same. Slight bitterness throughout.

Mouth is a little bit heavier than I would have thought. Crisp, bubbly, light-medium bodied.

Drink is good but a little to bitter to really drink a bunch mybe on a nice sunny day.

 459 characters

Photo of smerkinb
3.97/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slim 1 finger head, fizzy and soapy looking, quickly dissipates. Hazy burnt orange color.

Malty sweet grains with citrus backdrop and yeast to round it out.

Classic American Wheat--zesty malts with sweet spicy bite. Sweet lingers behind the citrus and malts.

Zesty, alive mouthfeel with active carbonation. Prickly on the tongue with a sweetly dry finish. Not too thin.

I think this is a bit m ore than decent. It's not super complex - more a straightforward, refreshing drink. Good flavor with no "off" tastes, nothing that wasn't cohesive. It's nice on the palate, fun in the mouth. I could definitely have several of these without a problem. Solid.

Saranac 12 beers of summer is 2/2.

 693 characters

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.

 582 characters

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.

 388 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.36/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a weiss glass.

This brew is a hazy amber color with a white head that thins out but still leaves a good deal of lacing. The aroma is mostly yeasty with a hint of wheat beer spices. The taste is pleasant and the medium body and mild carbonation are enough to make this brew pretty easy to drink. Spiced flavors and slight earthiness before finishing up on the dry side.

 391 characters

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

The name is the color, it is a cloudy amber. A small head fades away quickly.

The aroma is faint ale smell, nothing special at all.

The taste gets better as you go, even though there isn't really much of one. I don't know how to explain it.

This beer is easy to drink, and would probably go good as a summer beer.

 316 characters

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.

 1,351 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.07/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium reddish color with a one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of clove and wheat in the nose. To be expected from this style.

Taste is full of clove and wheat upfront. A bit of banana. Otherwise, a solid wheat beer.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering wheat and clove but it feels a bit creamy. Not too watery either. Not bad at all.

Give it a shot. Again, it's from Saranac so it may not meet your expectations if you're a geek.

 449 characters

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.

 412 characters

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

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Pours a nice hazy amber color. A standard pour creates a one inch white head that dissapates quickly.

Smell: Not getting much out of this. Yeasty light tones followed by grain.

Taste: Light flavor (part of their summer theme I am assuming). Starts out with parts of yeast, and ends surprisingly sweet, almost passion fruit like finish.

Mouthfeel: Very watery and light. Small amounts of carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely a drinkable beer. Light, watery body helps these go down easy. Most likely the purpose as its a summer beer.

Final Thoughts - I was hoping for more from Saranac but I guess they were trying to make an easy drinking unfiltered beer. In that regard it was a success but unfortunately I was expecting more from the name. Try it in the mix pack.

 832 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Saranac Amber Wheat from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.35 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.