Saranac Dunkel Lager
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Dunkel LagerSaranac Dunkel Lager
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Munich Dunkel Lager
not listed
3.41 | pDev: 10.56%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Saranac Dunkel LagerSaranac Dunkel Lager
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 32
Photo of woodychandler
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ah, the joys of the Bottle Backlog! I have some in the basement's Beerfrigerator that I brought with me in the move from my parents' house over to Chez Woody that I have not looked at in a while. I was recently inspired to make today a New Saranac Beer Sunday (or New Beer Saraunacday (Week 661), if you will) & so this is a continuation thereof.

From the bottle: "When our great grandfather started brewing beer in 1875 in Germany, dark Lagers were the most popular style in Munich. The rich malt aroma and glowing reddish-brown color of Saranac Dunkel comes from German Two-Row and Munich Malt that is melded with Hersbrucker and Saaz hops. You'll love the interaction between the malty sweet taste and the imported hops. Enjoy!"; "Limited Release".

I prised off the cap & began another very slow, very gentle pour into the eagerly awaiting glass. None of us could withhold our enthusiasm at finally getting to drink and review this beer. An in-glass swirl resulted in a brief finger of foamy, light-tan head, proving that the carbonation was still there, but not enough to be sustaining. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a milk chocolaty biscuitiness to it & now, my mouth was watering at the prospect. Mouthfeel was medium, but full for a Lager. The taste was chocolaty, but not as sweet as that description might lead you to believe. I am sure that the hops have faded over time, but they still imparted a light bitterness that helped to hold the malty sweetness in check. Finish was in that limboland between semi-sweet and semi-dry. Take your pick. I'd pick this again.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not very "Dunkel" looking, pours a lmedium brown color. Smells of roasted malt, and a chemical smell that has been included in most of the other Saranac from the 12 pack. Taste is full of that roasted malt flavor. A pretty good beer, much better than many of the other Saranac's.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Saranac "12 Beers" sampler, 2002 edition)

I would not have guessed this to be a dunkel just from looking at it. If based on appearance alone, this would probably share the same company as Killian's Irish Red. As pointed out by someone else (I forget who) this is a company who calls their wheat beer a Pilsener, so you can't really judge a Saranac beer too harshly based on style. Their dunkel is a pretty average all around amber type of beer.

Saranac Dunkel pours a clear, reddish amber color with a one finger foam head that lasts for about 30 seconds and disappears, leaving some splotchy lace. The smell was a little strange as it smelled almost like iced tea to me: sweet and lemony. The mouthfeel was thin and lightly carbonated. In the flavor, I can swear that for the first few sips, this tasted like iced tea to me. Tea-like sweetness mixed with lemony notes. Some caramel malt and some roasted note flavors came through with a decent hop bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste is pretty clean with just some continuing dryness. This finishes off with only a little alcoholic warmth.

I stand by the "iced tea" comments I've made about this beer. One of the stranger dunkels I've had, since I think that this beer has somewhat of an identity crisis. Judged on what's here, this is a reasonably drinkable brew.

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Photo of fattyre
2.85/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear medium dark brownish orange with a moderate slightly creamyt light tan rocky head. The aroma was a relatively strong cookielike maltiness. The taste/mouthfeel is of a mild somehow odd malty flavor with an astringent hoppiness. I wish this beer could have tasted as good as it looks/smells. It isn't that bad but has an odd "plasticy" flavor.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with pretty nice head,the aroma is pretty sweet and malty with some nutty tones.The taste is chocolaty and rich but not overly sweet.Like alot of saranac beer it seems to be a little thin in the body.My fiancees dad had this in his garage in the variety pack in buffalo and brought it down to me.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, dark amber hue, with a good-sized cap of creamy, off-whitish foam.
Aroma: soft, subtle, creamy, toffeeish, with small hints of fruit.
Rich, sweet taste, with fruit unfolding more and more as we go. Mild, but still flavorful. Coppery feel accompanies the sweet fruity notes, and makes for a satisfying drink: big malt, no hops, smooth, tasty, very drinkable.
Doesn't rock the world, nor does it rock the boat, merely swims happily in the mouth and urges you to have another.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma has a sweet mix of darker malt, sweet water and little caramel. Also a light flowery hops, but all was light overall. Dark amber color, clear, with a medium sized head that was steady. An attractive beer with some lacing too. Flavor begins with a darker malt taste and finishes mildly dry and a bit bitter. Middle varies with bitterness notable at times (and doesn't seem appropriate). Well carbonated, somewhat soft accented by the carbonation. Overall has a lack of complexity. Too much of a bitter taste from malt. Seems somewhat burnt as warms.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brownish-amber with a nice but low tan head that leaves sporadic lace. Nice malt aroma - lightly sweet with chocolate and toffee notes and some caramel. Tastes much like it smells - very nice. Caramel flavor is noticeable which is not a suprise for Saranac and high compared to other Dunkels. Light-medium bodied.

Not nearly as good as the Saranac Chocolate Amber

Label States: "German 2-row and Munich malt" & "Hersbrucker and Saaz hops"

Saranac Holiday Pack: 2002

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Photo of Scoats
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

There isn't much to say as this beer is neither dumbed down nor over the top; it is very true to what I perceive as the Dunkel style, which is one of my favorites. It's a darkish, malty lager. Very quaffable. I'd take this before Negro Modelo anyday.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From the 12 Beers of Christmas.

Copper-red body, topped by an at first two-finger foamy off-white head, which eventually devolves into an oil slick. Aroma is of caramel and biscuits, but I'm practically inhaling the head in order to really read the scent. Taste is caramel malt and some earthy tones. There is a little depth, but it basically comes across as an average amber lager. Mouthfeel is a well rounded. Definitely easy to drink, but a bit boring. The Black Forest would probably be more interesting. Alright as as part of the variety pack, I wouldn't search this out as a sixer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear, deep amber/copper body is capped by a short head of creamy off-white foam that holds fairly well before dropping, and keeps a generous collar throughout the glass. Lacing, however, is minor. The aroma expresses a soft maltiness with clear notes of gently toasted Munich malt and some mild, spicy hops in the background. A gently crisp, and then creamy, mouthfeel enhances its light/medium body. As might be anticipated based on the aroma, the balance is clearly towards maltiness with some thin, floral and spicy hop flavors appearing as it crosses the palate. The bitterness is restrained, but comes through enough to dry out the finish. Well balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells a lot like the Single Malt from them. A shade darker than the single malt though and the head seems to last longer. The taste is a bit more complex. Sweet, crisp and refreshing. The hops even show up a bit in the end. Very smooth but lacks something that I can't put my finger on. The finish is nice. Check out the label, interesting picture from this "limited release".

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Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours with a nice deep copper color and foamy head. The aroma is clean with a bread character that flows into the first taste. Fairly dry aside from the bready malt, the brew has a nice smooth body and feel and a lagery light smoky finish. Very drinkable and quite a nice break when consuming high gravity brews in succession.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Copper/bronze in color with an off-white head that leaves nice lacing down the glass. The nose is of caramel malts. The caramel malt flavors are rich and sweet. The bitterness is light. It is relatively light in body, sweet and smooth. Overall it is a tasty brew, just a little too sweet.

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Photo of jtw5877
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark garnet color with a white head. Not a bad beer, a nice malty flavor, not a malt overdose yet a solid beer. A little bit of Double Bock sort of flavor. Beer # 2 for me in the 12 beer sampler. Which is still a bargain.

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Photo of shirfan
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper-brown and clear, with a moderate head...

Sweet, malty aroma.

Taste was a bit odd... very sweet, hints of chocolate, lightly roasted malt, and something that distinctly reminded me of marshmallow. Hops were detectable but reserved.

This could make a great rocky road beerfloat... other than that, it was overly sweet for my taste. Different, but a little *too* different.

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Photo of frank4sail
2.93/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Old sneaker malt nose. Amber clean look with a touch of brown and lots of tiny bubbles. 1/4 inch off white head (slight brown tint). Malty plain taste. Not complex at all... boring to the tongue. Light taste and feeling. I would not seek out this one...

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer...extreme similarities to their Single Malt IMO. Tastes just like it but less malty.

Golden color with an orange hue looks pretty nice, and the aroma has sweet, malty, and earthy tones. Hop flavor is present but does not balance well with the other flavors going on. Smooth and carbonated on the tongue. Not Saranac's best, but not their worst either.

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Photo of Kwak
2.6/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not a great dunkle a little to week.
The head was small and tasteless gone in a second.

The body: Light and thin body not to much their.

The taste: It's a little week not much of a dunkle this would be more accurately labeled an amber. Nothing going on here don't waste your time on this one it does not have much character or taste!

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a light brown, maybe a little copper. head is decent, but it died on me pretty quickly.

smell is of malts with some hops coming in. i did not catch any roasty aroma.

the taste is much of a normal lager without any real roastiness of a dunkel. i found it to be thin and lacking in body. it had definite metallic qualities to it which did not make it very enjoyable.

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Photo of John
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light-medium brown/copper color. Light toasted grain and faint hop aroma. Flavors are subtley blended and trade off between toasted malt, multi grain bread and subdued hops. A slight metallic flavor is noted. Not like any Dunkeler I've had before, more like a cross between a Oktoberfest and a MaiBock.

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Photo of Suds
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a deep copper-amber color. It's very clear, with a thin white head. Aroma is distinctly malty, and the characteristic is somewhat carried through to the taste. Finish seems a little hollow. No real flaws, but nothing outstanding either. The bottom line is that this is a basic middle of the road beer.
It's hard to judge this brewery....they've surprised me with some great beers, but there are times that they come across as something of a sub-par macro wanna-be.

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Photo of aaronh
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A reddish-brown lager with amber hightlights, this beer pours with a moderate off-white head. As the initial head fades, it leaves behind a creamy looking layer of foam that usually indicates a malty beer. The aroma is very strong on the malts, with a hint of wood, possibly cedar. The taste is very malty, perhaps a little stronger than a vienna style lager, while hops appear as a slight citrus note on the finish. The beer has a crisp, clean mouthfeel, but has a strong artificial carbonation that detracts from the overall enjoyment of this beer. The flavors are not balanced weel, and seem at odds with each other, thus lowering the overall drinkability and taste. Not bad for the price, and worth experiencing at least once.

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Photo of Jason
2.86/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Reddish tawny hue, clarity is brilliant though the head lacks a bit and dissipates into a thin off white lace.

Smell: Mild astringent husk and steely malt give off a metallic aroma, a bit off in my book.

Taste: Smooth and creamy with a well textured carbonation and medium body. Malt flavours are monotonous showing a simple steely husky sweet note from the toasted malts. Hops are quite mild in the mix with slight herbal and spicy bitterness. Clean and grainy in the finish with a spicy hop back.

Notes: This brew could use some work as I was unimpressed by the weak malt character, the hops show off more even flavours though do not create a balance. Not that bad but not something I&#8217;d pick off the shelf if it was packaged in 6-packs.

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Photo of sponberg
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The dunkel is lighter in color than their Chocolate Amber. Hmm...

Aroma promises a nice combo of German-style malty sweetness and hops. The flavor doesn't QUITE live up to the aroma, but is still pretty true to style (dunkel, NOT a dunkelweiss) with a deep caramel malty sweetness balanced with a decent hop bitterness & flavor. Rather thin in body, but pretty drinkable for it. Sort of like a Saranac Black Forest Light, in a good way.

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Saranac Dunkel Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 32 ratings