Saranac Lake Effect Lager
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Lake Effect LagerSaranac Lake Effect Lager
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Munich Dunkel Lager
Ranked #178
Ranked #44,532
3.46 | pDev: 14.16%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Lake Effect LagerSaranac Lake Effect Lager
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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 157
Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.72/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I love a good dunkel. Unfortunately, this is not a good dunkel. It's just watery and lifeless, with none of the malt richness you want from this style. It's too thin, but at least it's fairly drinkable.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer briefly resided in a pint glass before being dragged kicking and screaming from its home and consumed.

A: Poured with one inch of light tan head. Not a lot of lacing, and the head dissipates over the course of a few minutes. Beer is a sort of cherrywood color with coppery highlights.

S: Pretty one note sweet caramel malt.

T: A bit of bready caramel that gives way to a bit of piney hops and onward to some toasty chocolate malt. Very well balanced between the two malts. Gives way to light hop bitterness on the end.

M: Medium-bodied and a touch, I don't know, "static-y" is the best way to describe it because I'm sick of using words like prickly and tickly.

O: Nice offering by Saranac; a solid, two-note session lager that'd make you glad to have another.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a copper like amber color with a very light cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer reminded me of most lagers. The taste of the beer was decent, I found it very easy to to drink but it didn't have more really going for it. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty good, again it's was drinkable, smooth and easy going. Overall it's a typical brew from Saranac.

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Photo of aranheaney
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Saranac taste of winter 12 pack, picked up for $5.99 at my a great local beer vendor:

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH snifter:

A-Ruby red with caramel head that laces fairly well

S-Malt, roast, some hoppiness

T-Decent, follows the nose, the malt is prevalent and it finishes well

M-Smooth, very respectable throughout

O-A decent Saranac product

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ba Review #130
Served On: 02/17/2012
Glassware: Sam Adams Perfect Pint
Labeled ABV: -
Date/ Code: March 31, 2012

This was in the 2011 '12 Beers of Winter' mixed 12 pack.

Look: Clear copper with slight yellow tinges along the edge. Carbonation bubbles were slowly drifting to the top. The head stared out as 1-finger of spongy light tan foam. It reduced down to a consistent film.

Smell: Spicy ginger with notes of fresh baked bread and some lager qualities in the background. Also some plum or raisin.

Taste: First was a spicy ginger that quickly lead into a cracker note. Middle was roasty with some hops making an appearance. Finish was a nice warm bitterness and some residual spice that lingered.

This is a great winter seasonal from Matt. I think the original name of this beer was Winter Lager but they changed it to Lake Affect Lager a couple years ago.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Occasion: senses are BACK after a bout with bronchitis....
Glassware: nondescript pilsener...
Appearance: dark orange body with strong effervescenceand a thin, off-white head--nothing out of the ordinary...
Aroma: doughy, bready scents; malts are punchy if not pungeant...
Palate: smooth, slightly bubbly finish with a thicker, warming texture on the tongue...
Taste: full-bodied malts! as the glass drains, a balance approaches comfortability with not too much uniqueness..and I have had a good amount of Saranac...
Overall: a slightly weightier Saranac for the winter--bottle's scene is snowy and sentimental, but the beer is what it is--serviceable but not outstanding...fair for the price....

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Photo of ppoitras
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of the Saranac winter mixed 12-pack at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a nonic, formed a 3/4" beige head over the pretty clear orangey copper brew. Head recedes slowly, with wow sticky lacing. Aroma is malty with a touch of tart.

Taste starts with grain husks, medium tart in the middle, and a balanced close. Mouthfeel is reasonably smooth, and drinkability is alright as well. Wish list of more malt depth and less tartness here.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.71/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pilsner glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent amber/copper color with a surprisingly creamy, off white head of two fingers. Retention is poor.

S - Poorly handled pale malt and caramel, extremely light hops, and some spice. Very mild in strength.

T - Simple Caramel and toasted malt throughout. There are some hops notes near the climax, but they're weak. The toast flavors continues in the aftertaste. It's ok for what it is, but it's way too simple.

M - It's thick, and a bit too smooth. Doesn't really drink like any lager should.

D - Meh. It's ok, and there are no glaring flaws, but it's unmemorable and I'd pass on it.

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Photo of VaterRoss
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into wineglass, best-by March 31, 2012.

Brown copper color with a white head which recedes quickly. Some carb visible through the dark liquid. Smells a roasty, biscuity malt and of lager (yeast?). Taste is some lager, with the biscuity and vaguely roasted malt that gives a hint of coffee. Quite a bit of malt actually. Some light hop spiciness. Mouthfeel is very average.

Pretty good lager that features a prominent malt and a nice coloration. Slight toastiness seperates it from the Märzen crowd.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saranac Lake Effect a bottle

Appearance-a dark copper colored liquid into the pilsner glass, two fingers of head settles and sits in layers.

Smell-malt upfront, a mix of caramel and roasted charred flavors, a touch of alcohol and the lightest fruit.

Taste/Mouthfeel-medium flavor with upfront flavors of malted bread, alcohol appears but is controlled, very smooth with a touch of fruit, fairly balanced with a finish of spicy malt.

Overall- nice flavor here, possibly now a true Dunkel but a big flavored lager that's well worth checking out and a nice part of this variety pack.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.72/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: dark copper, clear; 2-finger head; good carbonation; lacing decent
S: A whiff of malt, but not much
T: sweet, caramelly; simple, like a dark lager, but without the stench of a Euro version

overall, pretty average, but not offensive; a good party beer

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.67/5  rDev +35%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From twelve beers of winter collection drink by March 31 2012.

Pours a clear deep amber/ light brown body with two fingers of beige head. Head persists quite a while, and laces glass well. Aroma of sweet caramel malts . Tastes the same as nose with just a bit of hops to cut the sweetness. Very well balanced. The carbonation dances lightly on the tounge.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a mountain of thick, creamy, off-white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of caramel and toffee. The taste is caramel and dark fruit with lager yeast undertone. The dark fruit gets the most attention. It's a medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated beer.

This is a decent beer, but it's not overly impressive. As part of a mix pack it was a good try, but I wouldn't seek it out otherwise.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass, color is darker amber, with light tan head that laces nicely.

Smell is clean, light roasted malt flavor hint of chocolate.

Taste is very clean, but maybe a touch hoppy, flavor is lightly roasted and again with some hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is slightly sweet, sitting on the tongue but carbonation is solid to clean it up.

Overall, interesting beer, maybe a touch to much chocolate for a dunkel and not quite dark enough, but still a very good, solidly drinkable beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, from a holiday box of varied selections. No freshness info to be had.

Pours dakr honey amber, a tad murky, medium tan head, stays at the 1/3 inch level, before leaving a thick collar, some low sheeting and then ample fine and nicely developed lower lace.

Slight chocolaty nose, with some sugary malts in the rear.

Easy drinking lager, chocolte infused malts carry the freight. Rich and smmoth malty notes abound. Pleasant enough, decent cool weather quaffer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a medium amber, clear, with a medium white head, good retention.

S: Caramel malt, lots of bread and sugar.

T: Toffee like malt character with some good backing hops. Nice balance, good flavour.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy at times, substantial, big in its style.

O: Not a true to style Munich Dunkel, tastes like a big Oktoberfest or even a bock. Nevertheless, a good beer, truly winter in its scope.

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Photo of gregb13
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First of the winter seasonal pack and my first beer from Saranac. Pours a very inviting ruby redish copper; nice lacing and head retention. Smells very malty with some caramel. Taste follows the nose with a mild hop bite to finish. Overall it's pretty good lager.

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Photo of wafers
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found in the 2011 Saranac winter mix pack

A: Pours a dark, reddish, amber color with a slight, off-white head
S: Not much for the scent, maybe some notes of bready malts but very light when it comes to smell
T: Taste is much better than expected, with caramel-like malts up front that dissipate to a clean finish resembling an amber lager
M: Very clean, smooth mouthfeel
O: Up against the other choices in this year's Saranac winter pack, I'd probably take this last... That doesn't mean this is a bad beer though... it is actually very solid and can do for a lighter break from the heavier stouts and pale ales found in that particular mix

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Photo of rodney45
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish copper, with a light tan creamy head that doesnt stay around too long.

S: Slightly european style wheat or pilsner smelling. Slight hint of plum and roasted nut.

T: A tad bitter for a dunkel lager. Burnt malt and roasted walnut flavors add to the bitterness, which surprisingly does not come from the hop profile, yet emerge out of the grain profile. Hop character comes mainly as a balancing agent, and are really not discernible, save the aftertaste, being slightly dry and bitter, but not bad.

M: Medium body, with above average carbonation. Drinkable, and not too sweet.

O: Average example of the style, and I wish I had more opportunity to drink and sample some of the better german beer in the category to get a true example of the style, the only other dunkel lager that I have sampled is Paulaner Dunkel which was much better than this.

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

A: Pours a vibrant mahogany brown, one of the better colors I've seen in a beer. Faint tan head leads to quick dissipation and minimal lacing.

S: Caramel and butterscotch, slightly acidic. Multigrain bread.

T: A nice balance of sweet bread and acidic hops. Spicy hop character meets a "brittle" candy taste.

M: Nicely carbonated, low to medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

O/D: A beer with enough flavor to appreciate the subtleties, low enough ABV to drink several of. A delicate hop and malt taste executed well.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with a decent off white head that shows minimal retention and lace. Smells of caramel and butterscotch mostly. Smell is quite sweet with little to no hop presence. Taste is a little better that the aroma. Caramel and burnt sugars with a hint of earthy spicy hops. Medium body and level of carbonation with a slick sweet mouthfeel. I find it a bit of a stretch to call this a dunkel, but I guess it is a darker lager. Easy enough to drink but again nothing too special.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I get a nice floral Noble hop smell with undertones of dark sweet almost coffee like smelling malts and the doughyness from the yeast strain. It has the very pleasing and crisp Noble hop bite in the front then with the very tasty sweet dark roasted malt with subtle hints of coffee malts and then ending with the fruitiness from the yeast and hops. It also has a bit of a dry bitter finish as well.

This is a very nicely simply crafted beer. Its very smooth and easy to drink and reminds me of a Samuel Adams Boston Lager but with a different malt backing. Its almost just as good to if not as good. This is my first sampling from the Saranac winter 12 pack and its definitely off to a good start with this one.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper, almosst brown color with a 1 inch white head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, figs, grains, bread, yeast, and spices.

Taste- Sweet, yet dry malts on the front end, finishes with a medicinal herb like hoppiness. Good, but seems a little thin on the finish.

Mouthfeel is bLnced, but a little thin.

Overall pretty good! Considering this is a "mass produced" beer, this makes a good choice for a winter seasonal.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a huge billowing white head that settled down to reveal some subtle lacing that was quite nice. Smell was of caramel, grains, and breads, yeast primarily. Taste was typical brown lager. Some subtle spiceness, great all around flavor. Lots of earthy tones, with a ever so slight sweetness. Mostly malts on this one. This was a decent beer, extremely sessionable and a samn fine call

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Photo of Sensaray
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reddish copper with fluffy off white head with audible bubbles

Smell is malty with notes of yeasty

Some sense of hop leads to a much more pronounced malty flavor, kind of nutty, caramel sweet-ish, lightly roasted

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, medium light. Kinda not much to it

Decent. An OK addition to variety pack, nothing I wouldn't drink again, but nothing special

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Saranac Lake Effect Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 157 ratings