Saranac Winter Lager
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Winter LagerSaranac Winter Lager
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Vienna Lager
Ranked #152
Ranked #44,562
3.45 | pDev: 15.65%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Winter LagerSaranac Winter Lager
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 122 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DrDemento456
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well this isn't a good sign not only are there only one review for this in 2015 but it's around 6 months old and herbal. Ow well into a mason jar glass.

A - Wow it held up rather well no sediment just a 1/4 inch of frothy head atop a bright amber brown beer.
S - Herbal with Munich like malts and a bit of hops to the nose.
T - Not bad it has a smooth almost nutty malt body mixed with some herbal hops and a slight dry finish. Like Oktoberfest brewed for Winter enjoyed in spring!
M - Smooth light to medium body.

Overall it's definitely not as bad as some have reviewed I would drink it again if offered.

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Photo of spoonhawk
1.3/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The color splits the difference a more reddish amber and copper. There is ample light carbonation that makes the body light and thin on the pallet.

The smell is not strong, but it evinces a light brown sugar, some herbal qualities, and a hint of malt.

The flavor, all in, is balanced but lacking any assertive qualities, mixing some light malt, bread, and sugar. Earthier hops come through at the finish and leaves an astringent herbal flavor in the mouth.

This beer is largely unimpressive and lacking in focus, but is not wholly off putting. I would not recommend seeking this out.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Rich, semi-opaque brown beer with a small, but long lasting tan head. Lots of lacing left behind.

Aroma of caramel and other sweet malts. The sweet malt flavors are right up front. Not much bitter or hop flavor, but they're not necessary here. The mouth feel is substantial and not watery at all. This is a really good lager. I could drink several of these tasty beers with no problem.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.98/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 2/13/2010. Bottle. Pours a clear mahogany with a thick light tan head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt and residual sugars. Flavor is sweet malt and cardboard with a weak palate and some sweet grains. Not very tasty at all. This is just bad...

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A. Chestnut brown body with about one finger of off-white bubbly head that drops after a few moments. Light amount of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

S. Roasted malts and lager yeast aromas dominate this one.

T. Sweet roasted malts and earthy bready texture.

M. Light and creamy with a sweet aftertaste.

D. I wouldn't mind picking this up every once in a while.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A-Clear copper with a thin whisp of an eggshell head

S-Bready malts predominate

T-Sweet malts, bread, caramel, toffee with very little hop presence. This is pretty refreshing, but not particularly wintery.

M-Decent mouthfeel, if slighly overcarbonated.

D-Pretty drinkable, if slightly unremarkable brew.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Another entry in the winter sampler from the post-DLD death march. The pour results in a clear tawny amber with a half-finger of cream-colored foam that lingers for quite a while. Moreover, a thick bit o' lacing is formed as the head glacially recedes. The nose is toffee, walnut, and a light mixture of wheat and tallgrass. The taste shows a similar profile, with notes of toffee, caramel, butter, walnut, and sweetgrass. Though I prefer the smell, the taste ain't all that bad in its own right. The body is light, with moderate carbonation and a feel that is smooth, crisp, and slightly watery. Not the best of the box, but pretty good nonetheless.

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Photo of biggred1
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear copper with a creamy tan head that leaves filmy lace on the glass. The nose is faintly caramel with a whiff of noble hops. Ths flavor is mostly sweetish caramel with an earthy hop bitterness but not really well balanced or particularly flavorful. Medium bodied with gassy carbonation. Not the best tasting example of the style.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a copper/bronze color with good retention of the one-finger beige head. The aroma was of bready/biscuity malt and a little sweetness from some caramel malt with a touch of herbal hobs and vanilla. The flavors were similar with the caramel malt sweetness coming forth clearly with the herbal hops remaining in the background. A little butter, hints of nuts and brown sugar but overall rather bland. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation right on. Ok, but forgettable.

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Photo of generallee
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. This bottle was part of the 2009 Saranac Winter 12 pack.

Appearance: The body has a garnet color with good clarity. On top sits a thin half inch thick head which is beige in color and fades quickly. Lacing is very minimal and slick leaving a mostly clean glass behind.

Smell: It is light overall in the nose with some malty sweetness and hints of leafy, almost herbal/metallic hops.

Taste/Palate: There is a rich bready sweetness up front with some light roasted grain notes as well. This maltiness meats some hop flavor in the middle it and adds a nice moderate balance of hop spice and bitterness with just a very slight metallic edge. It seems to finish quickly and fairly clean. It is dryer than it started but there is still a thin residual sweetness mixed with thin hop bitterness. The body is light to medium with average carbonation.

Notes: For the style it seems just a little on the light side but everything is in good balance for the style. Once again Saranac has brewed another decent easy drinking beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The fourth in the lineup for the day for me. Not really sure what to make of this one at first, but I will admit it did grow on me after a while. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 2/21/2010.

The pour was nice, garnet in color and clear without much in the way of haze or cloudiness at all. Really nice and light head of white that sat on top for all but a few moments before settling down with some nice side lacing and a rich, even layering. Aroma of caramel, smoked nuts, hints of toffee and sweet brown sugar came off a little much for me at first, but again it tended to start to grow on me after a while. Nice smooth, coating feel here really seemed to do the trick for me though as it rounded its way through the palate. Caramel and nuts were the big the players here. Rich brown sugar and caramel all seem to come together nicely, evenly and smoothly. Light abv and a nice carbonation all lended themselves to being able to pull it all together quite nicely.

Overall a nice little lager, nothing really earth shattering, but nice and clean.

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Photo of kegger22
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Winter Lager was a clear brown color with a half inch, beige head that reduced to a collar.

The aroma was just a little bit of sweet malt, somewhat nondescript.

The taste was smoky caramel, not overly sweet malt, with a little hop bitter kick at the end.

The mouth feel was fairly light bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability was good due to acceptable flavor and relatively low ABV.

As Vienna lagers go, this one was only fair, nowhere near as flavorful as other some of the other Viennas I've had.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pilsner glass. Poured vigorously for a nice thick tan head. It thinned to a film and laced nicely.

Aroma is mostly hop bitterness and some malt, fairly weak. The flavor is really great though, despite the aroma. Alomost exactly what I would expect from the Vienna Lager description: "Subtle hops, crisp, with residual sweetness." Fits this perfectly.

Lingers in the mouth perhaps a bit too long, but otherwise a great and easy to drink beer.

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Photo of mikereaser
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 12/15/09.

A - pours a clear chestnut brown with a layer of fine bubbles

S - light malt, hints of brown sugar, not alot going on

T - light malt, a bit of brown sugary sweetness, overall a bit weak

M - smooth, creamy, good carbonation

D - easy to drink, nicely balanced but for the most part kind of bland, nothing earth shattering

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Photo of jwc215
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a thin head that becomes wispy. A little lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel and slight bread. Very slight noble hop presence (perhaps noticeable at all only because I was really "looking" for it).

The taste is overly caramelish - sweet. That's not to say it is rich in maltyness, but a steely caramel dominates with just a nod of noble hop spicing. I would expect a winter lager to be malt-leaning, but the steely malt just doesn't do anything spectacular to the palate, and it could use more "balance". Not to say it's "bad" - it's not - just lacking all around enough to push it above mediocre.

Quite a bit of fizz, though it's not tingly, and the body holds together...

Throughout, this one manages to cling on to "mediocre". Steely caramel dominates, and has a certain fizzy thinness.

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

Pours a clear amber color with an offwhite head. Decent retension and a nice amount of lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, bit of grain, little bit of hops and sulfur in the end of the nose. Taste follows suit with much the same characteristics . Picking up on a bit of caramel sweetness but balanced well with the hop bitterness. Very crisp finish. Light feel and moderate carb. Nothing super exciting but overall not bad.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a two-finger head. The smell is a mix of sweet biscuity malt with a smattering of spices. The taste is a pretty good reflection of the smell, I should have paid more attention to the label on the bottle to figure out exactly what kind of spices they used but it was a nice addition without turning the beer into something that's like drinking potpourri. A nice solid beer that's probably one of the better ones in the Winter holiday pack.

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Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first out of the Saranac Winter Sampler I picked up a couple of days ago...

Pours a deep mahogany brown with a thick head...looks good so far..

Very rich and malty aromas with a tinge of spices.. Wow, this is really smelling pretty good here...

And I'm liking this... Its rich and malty and has a good amount of spice to it... The hops finish with a small kick as well... A very nice brew here... A good winter session brew..

I liked this brew a lot and could see myself drinking several of these...

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Photo of irishking1977
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber with no head and almost no lacing. Looks like a simple amber lager.

S: I get roasted malt and some cinnamon in the nose. Smells exactly what I've come to expect from a typical winter lager.

T: Saranac really stuck with what is known as a traditional winter lager; this is exactly how other winter lagers have tasted; malty with a slight cinnamon and caramel background. Although, this sticks to that mold, it's somewhat muted and watered down. Still, probably a good brew for a beginner craft beer enthusiast.

M: Pretty balanced carbonation with a slightly malty finish.

D: A light winter lager? Yeah, that's what this one feels like to me. Good interpretation of one, but watered down. Even so it could certainly be a session brew, and even beer rookies might enjoy this one.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Winter Lager. Found in 12 beers of winter mixpack.

Presentation: 12oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pouring straight down the middle yields a fluffy 3 finger head. It dissipates at a moderate pace into a soapy and rocky lacing. Color is reddish Amber.

Smell: Clean and malty. Hints of roasted malt, caramel, dark fruit and very slight chocolate.

Taste: This seems like this could be a very clean and malty lager, but there are roasted malts in this that give it a more earthy taste. There are notes of roasted malt. No evidence of hops.

Mouthfeel: Standard carbonation with a pretty thin mouthfeel. For a Vienna lager. Hardly any hop bitterness.

Drinkability: A very easy drinking Vienna lager. I do prefer this to some of the more commercial ones out there. However I do find the roasted malts a bit distracting and not true to style. It maybe kinda suited as a "winter lager". If they bottled this year round it might make a good addition to Saranac's line up. Overall not a great brew, but worth trying and worth drinking if its around. However this is only available in the 12 beers of winter.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My pour resulted in two fingers' worth of eggnog-colored head with decent, if not great, retention. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a rich, malty sweetness - somewhat caramel-like in its intensity. Mouthfeel was medium with a light caramel taste in the mouth. Finish had a light hoppy bite. Score another one for the Saranac variety pack!

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Photo of buschbeer
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to a couple inches of head. It is amber in color and clear. It smells of sweet toffee. The taste is pretty much the same. This is a pretty simple beer. It goes down easy because there is not much to it. A little too sweet for me, but otherwise clean and drinkable.


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Photo of Veedubb22
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as part of the winter mixer. I've found all the beers in this mix to be quite tastey and easy drinking. In fact, I think it's the best mixer value for the money.

You get 2 tries at 6 beers. Are there any other reasonably priced mixers that allow that? Plus it's NY brew, so I'm automatically giving it style points. Cool labels as well.

The Rye IPA is unique, but not what I'd go after as an IPA fan. I'll always look for the Saranac mixers though. Great value.

The Winter Lager is a great addition to a very well-rounded wheel.


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Photo of mempath
4.45/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an amber-red that laces very nicely and delicately in my DFH pint...bready smells rise out with a hint of muscadine? interesting. maybe it's the spices. this tastes (from memory...) similar to the sam adams winter brew. this seems less thick and luscious in mouthfeel, but really has a nicely balanced flavor profile of malts, spices, and some subdued hops keeping the sweetness at bay. a good session winter brew i'd find easy to drink on cool, early spring days.

another swallow as it warms it and it only gets better, more rich, more sourdoughy...

another one of Saranac's standouts.


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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle part of the winter variety pack. Deep copper, amber color. About an inch of head, with lots of carbonation. Sweet malts aroma, mild yeasty smell along with sweet spices. Carmel, some wheat and yeast flavors, almost like a biscuit. For a winter lager I would expect more of a robust flavor. Mouthfeel is okay, and drinkablility is high.

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Saranac Winter Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 122 ratings