Saranac Lake Effect Lager
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Lake Effect LagerSaranac Lake Effect Lager
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Munich Dunkel Lager
Ranked #176
Ranked #44,289
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
Reviews by cgise22:
Photo of cgise22
3/5  rDev -13.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.21/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle no freshness date though it was part of their winter 12-pack 10'-11'.

The two fingered head does a lot of sticking to the glass, clear and tawny with lively bubbles. Taffy-like sweetness, bread crust and herbal hop in the nose. Maltiness has a bit of depth but does not really open up, dried bread crust meets an herbal hop. Clean wet palate that stays pretty smooth.

Not half bad but when it comes to Dunkel Lagers I am always looking to the original stuff. Worth a try.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love the annual 12 beers of Xmas pack, it seems like as a whole they have put some well hopped beers into the mix. Only two new offerings this year, this Lake Effect Lager seems to be a nice German style dunkel lager at first glance. Appears a dark caramel amber bodied with a nice off white tan colored head forming thick fine bubbled head. Evenly strung thick chunky lacing, very nice look going on poured into my 1/2 liter Sam Adams krug style glass. Aromatics offer up dark roasted malt, slightly nutty touch of caramel. No overt sweetness, subtle bready German malts with Hallertau herbal spicy leafy toned hops coming in as well. Flavors work well together combining a semi dry roasted malt quality hints of caramel and nut with earthy/herbal/spicy hop accents a beautiful mix of true German style brewing. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied sturdily carbonated as the style typically prescribes to. Wonderful semi dry finish not a sweet or hoppy beer just a beautifully balanced dunkel lager. Drinkability overall is pretty nice no problem drinking a couple bottles of this stuff, wish I had another mixed 12 pack to top off the glass I'm drinking.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

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

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy tan head that quickly fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a sweet caramel malt scent along with a dry lager yeast aroma. It's full of fruity yeast esters which compliments the caramel malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer. It's not overly complex, but it's full of malt flavor;a solid seasonal.

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Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: A nice slightly darker copper color with lots of bubbles providing some decent retention and lacing from the off-white head.

Smell: Roasted malts, slightly burnt caramel or brown sugar, a bit of toffee, and some bread notes of crust and toast.

Taste: Another wave of roasted malts, some toast notes, and lightly roasted caramel and brown sugar. And some lingering mild fruit esters and citrus in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-bodied with good carbonation and lots of bubbles without feeling like champagne.

Drinkability: I got more than I expected with this. Enough flavor for the style and the sessionability factor to the QPR is pretty high. Seems like a good brew for winter too, an apt choice for the mix 12 this year.

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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 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 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 plaid75
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a burnt caramel, smoke and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a smooth toasted malt with accents of smoke and cocoa. Nice balancing hop. A touch thin though.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and seemingly authentic lager.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like many others, I got this in the Winter Sampler pack at a local grocer. The price was very reasonable so I had to get the twelver. No freshness dating on the bottle. Pours into a pint glass a clean and clear ruby amber color with a small, wispy head of about one finger in size. No lacing is present and the head retention isnt spectacular.

Aroma is muted but is mostly caramel grains and toasted cereals. A bit of sweetness. Just your basic "amber" ale.

Grainy, bready, with a touch of caramel/molasses hit the toungue immediately. A bit of hop bite makes its presence in the finish and leaves this one feeling clean and very dry. The maltiness and overall German feel become more noticeable as the beer warms a bit. Mouthfeel is quite thin and oddly, leaves me wanting more. Perhaps the dryness of the beer parches the ol' wagger.

I chose this as the first beer out of the gate for the New Years Eve festivities. Perhaps this one should have been second or third. The sweetness and caramel flavors are nice but everything else seems rather muted. A decent, "other than the same old lager shit" beer that I wouldnt mind having again.

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Photo of riversider76
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber gold with a fluffy tan head. Decent retention and a good amount of laceing. Aroma is of caramel malts,dark fruit and nut. Body is thinner than expected with some carbonation. Taste is of brown sugar,caramel,fig and other dark fruits.Nutty finish with a little bit of hops. Nice.

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

Mine was received in my beer of the month club, this is generally available in the "12 beers of winter" package from Saranac. Described as: "a rich, malty, old school German lager" this dark brown lager is a bit full for a Dunkel, but it's more appropriate than a Bock or Schwarzbier.

Pours a deep amber/brown with solid retention, no real lacing to speak of. This is almost dark for a Brown Ale, frankly.

Nose is a bit of light, chocolate-y roast finishing with an earthy, spicy hop note.

On the palate this is pleasingly medium to medium full in body with a clean, effective bittering finish. The malt gets a bit lost behind the roast and the hops, leaving this a bit flinty. But it's got a nice, chocolate character that backs a hint of brown bread in the backdrop that leaves this a pleasing, full bodied lager to quaff.

Better for a cold evening in the Northeast than a barely cool evening here in SoCal, and a bit short on malty complexity, but it's a clean, well-brewed, and moderately satisfying lager.

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

Not bad! Not nearly rich enough for the style though. Pours a reddish clear amber with a medium size antique white head. Head retention is fairly good and there is good lacing on the glass.

Smell is very mild, some toasted malt - thats about it.

Tastes ok, some toasted malt and finishing bitterness....not a lot going on here but refreshing and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is fairly thin, certainly not rich. Good level of carbonation, slight metallic aftertaste.

Drinkability is ok, goes down easy and pleasant enough taste. ABV a bit high for a session beer. Overall not bad, but not great either.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the Saranac winter sampler. This "winter" lager pours a handsome, clear bodied amber with a decent cream colored head that lasts longer than the usual lifespan for a lager. Nose is sweet caramel.

The flavor is likewise sweet and mellow. Round caramel and toffee tones make this an agreeable sipper and hearty for a lager. A little more carbonation than usual aids in this.

This is a decent brew at a good price.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the beers of winter 12 pack.
A dark amber color with a medium-sized tan head. Good amount of lacing.
Sweet malt aroma, some floral hops.
White bread taste, piney hops.
Medium bodied. Sweet, herbal.
Pretty good beer,easy to drink. Would drink it again.

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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 kmwilson76
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, mahogany color with a two-finger, off-white head of foam. The long lasting head left thin traces of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and biscuity sweetness.

T - Nice sweet biscuity malt with a good deal of spicy hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied lager that is easy drinking.

O - This was a really tasty dunkel lager. Nicely done.

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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 ToddT
3.66/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark garnet color topped with a khaki colored head. Head falls quickly to a cap and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S- Faint aroma of malt and caramel and little else.

T- Lots more taste that the aroma would leave you to think this one has. Roasted malt and caramel at first, toffee and a few notes of coffee at the finish.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation.

D- Very drinkable and at 5.9% ABV could be a session candidate.

Interesting lager, not that complex but decent enough.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.99/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber, quite translucent, some carbonation bubbles...head is minimal and lacing doesn't last long.

Smells like dark crystal malt, some roasted character, a bit of dark fruit. Impressive malt aromas.

Taste is a blast of robust, mildly sweet malt--some caramel, nuttiness, some fig. Don't get any of the hops the label plays up, but that's okay. This works as a good, big malty beer.

Mouthfeel is medium. Not watery, not too thick.

This is one of Saranac's best malt-forward beers I can think of. It's very robust for its ABV and has slight qualities of a bock or dopplebock. To me, its depth of flavor makes it a bit difficult to drink again and again in one sitting. But it's a good winter beer if you're looking for something with complex malt flavor.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a deep brown color... didn't expect that. One finger of foam and nice lacing. Aroma is typical malty, with a nice spicy undertone. Maybe cinnamon or chocolate?

First sip is... Full bodied, creamy, nice! Mouthfeel rocks the park on this one. great flavor as well. Nice specialty malts, more than just crystal dominate the flavor. Another nice suprise from Saranac here.

Nice suprise. I am really digging this beer.

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

12oz bottle -> american pint
2010 12 beers of winter pack

Pours a darker than usual clear amber with a small light head that settles to a small clump of dish suds. Only some sporadic dotting of lace. Carbonation appears light but varied.

Nose: Malty, caramel toffee a touch of grass

Smooth and slightly creamy. Big rich German caramel chewy malts dominate. I light herbal spiced hop bitterness keeps the brew from being a sweet one trick pony.

A good twist on the lager style, Dunkel, hells yeah!

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