Saranac Winter Lager
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Winter LagerSaranac Winter Lager
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Vienna Lager
Ranked #155
Ranked #44,985
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
Reviews by rab53:
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -13%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Saranac twelve beers of winter pack.Poured aclear bronze with a tight one finger bone white head that left decent lace as it settled pretty slowly.Not much in the aroma,some lingering spice and caramel bit its really light.Flavors are much of the same,lightly sweet caramel and some toasted malt, but really thats about it.Eh pretty ho hum,not a real Vienna lager in its true form by any means.

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Photo of Suds
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the winter sampler case, this beer is a brilliantly clear copper-amber color. The head is a little slim, with white wisps. Nice aroma...barley, a bit of caramel, cereal, mildly toasted malts. Not bad. The taste is quite good, with a lot of malt and sweetness. Fairly medium-full in body, this could be a great session beer. Firm hop bitterness in the finish, although malt is centric in this brew. Very enjoyable.

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

12 Beers of Xmas 2009, this one pours a deep caramel ruby color crystal clear visuals. Light beige head forms thick and dwindles slowly. Aroma has some slight caramel malt sweetness with herbal German hops in the background. Flavor has a nice rounded caramel sweetness with slight roasted nut edges. Clean mildly hopped finish with a mineral edge. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied for a lager carbonation is decent just not as soft as it should be. Overall tasty Vienna style not the best but a solid approachable beer for any of the in laws during the holidays.

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Photo of Zraly
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color of a penny - nice copper with off-white head. Decent lacing, faint scent of hops and malt.

Nice form up front: toasty, malt-forward flavors with a touch of spice. Hint of butterscotch in the nose. It is a bit soapy and sweet in the finish, and could use a touch more dryness in the finish. I think if the finish was a little less rough, indeed, I could drink more than one of these.

Considering the price point, this is not a bad option for someone wanting something with a bit more flavor compared to the usual macro lager choices. I picked this up in a 12 pack for $13.99 - hardly a bank breaker.

It would probably go alright with burger and fries.

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Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 of the 12 Beers of Winter; from a 12 oz bottle.

A: The lager is a dark amber color, a syrupy caramel that fits nicely as a Vienna lager. A finger of head, white, didn't lace.

S: The nose has a clean bready flavor that lacks the traditional aroma of many Saranac ales. Earthy hops finish off the nose.

T: Clean and grainy, this is the second Saranac lager that has really hit the spot. A vine-fruit sweetness assists the malt profile. As in the nose, hops are subtle, balancing rathering than bittering.

M: The mouthfeel is grainy sweet, lighter bread flavors and a kiss of hops.

D: The fuller malts add a great deal to the body, strengthening it up significantly. Another good lagerbier from Saranac.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Winter Lager

A- Clear amber/ copper brown with a thick head. Ringed lacing but quick head dissapation.
S- Malty, brown sugar, caramel, and spicy.
T- Thick and sugary sweet malt, brown sugar, caramel, light touch of molasses, and light woodsy spiciness.
M- Malt is dominant with a syrupy sugary sweetness. Light dry earthy finish.

Overall- My 1st from this years Winter variety pack and a decent offering. A good 1 to start off the night with.

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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 DrJay
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber hue with a one and a half finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a light caramel sweetness, some roasted malts and a strange mintiness.

The taste consisted of a slight artificial sweetness, some toasted malt and a bit of caramel.

The mouthfeel seemed to lack the body of better examples.

Overall a decent lager. The strange sweetness adversely affected the experience for me.

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Photo of russpowell
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent copper/orange with 1 finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & a touch of toasty malt

T: Toasted malt, herbal hops, dryness up front. Dryness, a bit of metallic hops & some toasty malt as this warms. Finishes chalky with a slight apricot fruittyness, & a whisper of booze, barely pulled a 3.0

MF: Thinnish with a bit too much carbonation

Drinks okay, but a bit weak & uninteresting, maybe one of the most disappointing Saranac beers I've had

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of kkosmoski
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a case version of their twelve beers of winter (double the enjoyment for the holidays, nice). Longneck was poured into a tall, slender German lager glass. A hard pour produced a couple healthy inches of cream-colored head on top of a darker than expected amber colored liquid. Very lively carbonation working its way up through. Smells of golden brown toast, some cooked vegetable, and sweet malt. Flavors include lightly toasted malt, some light caramel sweetness, cooked vegetable, and a metallic bitterness in the finish. Feel in the mouth is medium with a bright carbonation. This is a pretty easy drinking beer for the season that is dominated by heavier, stronger ales. This lager is close to being very good, but falls a little short compared to some of their others I think. A nice mix up to the winter pack.

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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 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 ZOSO2192
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a tight egg-shell colored head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of a light caramel malt, a bit bready with hints of copper. The taste is of caramel malt, a little doughy, light spice, and a touch of grassy hops. All of the flavors are rather light. The feel is light but not watery, plenty of carbonation, well balanced; finishes with an ever so slight bitter hop. This is a darn refreshing beer. Very clean flavors and very crisp. No off-putting flavors. Not the most flavorful brew but its very drinkable. Great to session.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of a seasonal 12-pack at Shaw's in Windham, NH. Pours a crystal clear amber to red body with a good inch of short-lived off-white head. Smells slightly caramel malty with a bit of a soapy quality. Tastes malty, with caramel, chocolate and a slight fruity. Medium in both body and carbonation. While the aroma was a bit discouraging, the flavor was pleasant and balanced, and as good as any other Vienna I've had.

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Photo of JohneHoodlum
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Madmax99
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer in the winter variety pack.

This beer is alright to me. I say this because lagers usually don't have the greatest amount of flavor. Also for being a winter beer I am surprised at the low amount of alcohol in this beer. Don't get me wrong, this beer isn't that bad. It does have some caramel notes that are pleasant. To be completely honest this tastes a lot like an Octoberfest style beer. If you like Octoberfest beers then you'll love this.


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Photo of billybob
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear copper color with a light tan two or three finger head depending on the pour. head holds well and leaves a nice sticky lace as you drink. smells of fresh malt and very slight spice. taste is subtle, sweet strong tea thats lightly spiced comes to mind, slight lingering after taste that not unpleasant. mouthfeel is light and a medium carbonation that fits well with this beer. easy to drink and subtle taste make it very enjoyable.

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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 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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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmm. Sam Adams Winter Lager is also a Vienna Lager. Perhaps this influenced Saranac to a degree?

Pours a mild brown color with a two-finger head into my glass. Good presentation so far. A bit dark but that's actually about right.

Aroma is full of a bit of sweet and grainy malt. A bit spicy/smoky as well. Similar to SA's Winter Lager.

Taste is a bit nutty and sweet and it's very chewy as well. Interesting mish-mash of flavors. Tasty and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is full of the same flavors as above that linger. Carbonation is just right. No harsh flavors and beer goes down very well.

Very nice! I could swear that it's a clone of the SA version. Very easy to drink and tasty. Definitely one of the better beers from Saranac.

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Photo of mltobin
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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