Saranac Winter Lager | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Winter LagerSaranac Winter Lager

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 120
Photo of spoonhawk
1.3/5  rDev -62.6%
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 LilBeerDoctor
1.98/5  rDev -43.1%
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 dsa7783
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copped as part of a twelve-pack Winter sampler... One of the better brews in the bunch but still, nothing to write home about... Pretty bland and nondescript in terms of overall flavor profile... Not enough substance in the mix... Hints of bread, butter, and caramel struggle to be noticed... not recommended...

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Photo of mikereaser
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
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 yesyouam
3.01/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saranac Winter Lager is a clear, amber beer with a fluffy, off white head that has decent retention. It smells slightly sweet, malty and peppery. It's medium-light bodied and the finish is a little gritty. It has a peppery twang that's balanced well with a green, botanical bitterness that lasts through the finish. There's nothing really stand-out here.

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Photo of russpowell
3.02/5  rDev -13.2%
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 jwc215
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
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 capps24
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 2nd beer from the Saranac 12 pack sampler (Big Moose Ale was 1st) My original thought was this taste more like a beer I would have during an Octoberfest. Not like some other winter lagers, but it is good.

Nice appearance, clear, with nice white foamy head. Goes down smooth. Not much of an aroma to it. Overall it is an average beer when put up against other Winters.

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Photo of oberon
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
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 Zraly
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
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 smibroncos
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Poured a clear light carmel. with a small off white diminishing head. Decent lacing on the glass.

S. Malt, hay, spice

T. Carmel, sweet malt, pepper

M. Light to medium bodied lightly carbonated, thin

D. Alright not my favorite from the 12 beers of winter pack. A little thin and not as flavorful as it could be.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
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 oriolesfan4
3.26/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the newest Saranac winter sampler pack... pours a nice semi see through brown color, little wisp of head.. some lacing. For a winter lager, this is definitely on the light bodied side.. not the typical hearty/heavy winter seasonal. Still pretty drinkable though, not too much there flavor wise. If this is a vienna lager I'd much rather have Boston Lager.. that one has a lot more pronounced flavors than this one. Not bad, but I've had a lot better ones from this brewery.. rest of their winter mixed pack is better.

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Photo of Madmax99
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
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 biggred1
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
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 mtnbikerpa
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
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 stakem
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
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 mnrider
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle.

A: This brew pours a dark amber looking color. After the pour the small head turns to nothing, with no lacing.

S: Very little aroma. A bit syrupy.

T/M: Easy and smooth. Fairly crisp. The small use of hops are overtaken by the sweeter malts. However their is still a nice balance.

D: A good beer. Nothing great. Middle of the road. Taste could be stronger.


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Photo of TheTrevor
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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 Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
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 puboflyons
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle (2009 batch) marked 2649-0834. Sampled on Nov 11, 2009. The pour is a darker amber color with a lot of bubbly carbonation flowing upward to a thin off-white head. The lacing is limited. In the aroma I note some muted malts and hops with something a bit fruity and grassy. The mouthfeel is thin. The taste has a bit more to offer than the aroma with a hint of caramel bitterness with a slightly bolder hoppy finish. But overall it is quite average, although easy to drink, but with the character of a cheaper winter lager for a slightly larger dollar.

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Photo of CHickman
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear copper amber color with a 1/2 inch off white head; smells of malt and light spices.

Tastes of roasted malt, hops, spices, caramel, nut and grains or bread; the brew warms as you sip it, which I assume is due to the alcohol as an intentional "winter warmer".

Nice (good) beer with an overall malty taste that releases more malt flavor and taste as it warms up and goes down easy. Not exceptional flavor, but quite drinkable.

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Photo of kegger22
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
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 NJpadreFan
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
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 Mardukk
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red brown color with some head and lacing.

Smells of hops and lightly roasted malt.

The taste begins with some malty sweetness and finishes with oily hop excess that lingers a bit too long. Alcohol warms on the finish.

Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall a fairly nice winter lager that definitely warms you. However the odd bitterness and lack of balance seems to detract from my desire to seek this out.

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Saranac Winter Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.48 out of 5 based on 120 ratings.
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