Saranac Rye Pilsener

12 oz single, thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this. Rye beers (of any description) are not really my thing so I approach this with a degree of trepidation. the beer pours as a totally clear, golden straw color with a small, white head. Carbonation is decent and leaves a touch of lace. With the combo of pale malts and, hops and rye, the beer does deliver a clean-cut edge with a degree of bitterness up front. However, this beer is not really deep. Finish is short and dry (good), but lacks...

Saranac Amber Wheat

12 oz bottle as a single from Kevin. Thanks mate. The beer pours with a lovely, dark golden color with a decent white head that leaves a little lace. There is a touch of haze to the beer which seems appropriate for the style. Nose offers very little outside of some weak malts and a little grain. Tastes are quite dry with a short finish. Plenty of pale malts with the faintest kiss of hop bitterness in the final flourish. More dryness in the aftertaste. The malts have a little biscuit nature...

Saranac Helles

12 oz single courtesy of Kevin. A good clean, bright (appropriate) pour with a head head that is not especially well retained or leads to much lace. Carbonation is good amidst the golden, clear body. Some light, peppery spice on the aroma and tastes that also lend a degree of bitterness. Sharp and clean, the beer gives away its sharp roots with a combination of dry, stinging bitterness. This is by no means the harshest of the style I have had, not does it deliver the real sting of solid Saaz...

Saranac Pomegranate Wheat

12 oz single, many thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Pour gives a peach colored body with some light, wispy head. Lace is minimal but nevertheless it is present. Nose offers some light, acidic fruit but little else, even on warming. Tastes are surprisingly neutral. I was expecting EITHER a blast of fruit, or a blast of wheat and in the end got neither! There is a little, light fruit acidity that the nose promises but it never gets significant and the wheat never manifests itself...

Saranac Scotch Ale

12oz single from Mac's Midtown, Atlanta, GA, USA. Part of the $7.99 mixed sixer. I learned to enjoy Saranac beers as a simple, easy to drink and decent value brews with some good variety. As such, I was looking forward to this. Unfortunately it turned out to be one of their weakest offerings IMO. Pour is a standard amber look. Head is gone quiclkly without much lace - looks a little lifeless. Strange smokey smell and taste. This was all a little odd. The smoke taste (with its associated...

Saranac Pumpkin Ale

12oz single from Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA, USA. Typical Saranac/Matt brew - OK, but ultimately rather ordinary. Light amber/orange pour with a nice initial head but this fades quickly with no lace. Lack of carbonation makes this look a little lifeless. Pumpkin and spice does manifest itself in the taste and the aroma at the beginning, BUT this drops off very swiftly. It becomes a rather bland (but inoffensive) slightly spiced brew. All in all, pretty much exactly what I had expected.

Saranac Brown Ale

12 oz single. Delighted to find this at Mac's, Atlanta, GA, USA as a single (mixed sixer $6.99), I presume from a broken down mixed Winter 12 pack. I've had quite a number of the Saranac beers, and although generally serviceable, I was not expecting much. This was a nice surprise. I may be a little biased since this (Brown Ale) is one of my favorite styles. Nice pour with classic color and a really impressive head and lacing. Very good looking. Quite citrusy in the nose. A surpise to start...

Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager

Not bad, pretty decent chocolate color with some lacing and a a thin, small head. Good malt base, some roasted and dark fruit with a hint of smoke and a hint of chocolate. Easy drinking with a very light bitterness. Nothing to write home about, but nonetheless a decent crack at the stle that I would not avoid. Part of the winter mixed 12 pack.

Saranac Lager

Average all around, with the aroma being the weakness. Real golden yellow pour with some decent head and some lacing. Despite the All-Malt status, lots of corn and vegetables are apparent in the nose, some skunk too, not very good at all. Tastes are bland but refreshing. Decent balance with some hops in finish against the malt backbone. Very slight lingerig bitterness in the aftertaste, but wholly uninspired. Absolutely middle of the road if somewhat watery and light on taste. Lawnmower...

Saranac Black Forest

Not surprisingly, a very average experience to say the least. Fairly weak offering from Matt. Lots of mild acidic notes and a distinct lack of body make up this beer. Thin mouthfeel with a mildly odd plastic taste. Pours decent, but it is ruby red rather than black, and there is a definite lack of body. No point in going here, don't bother.

Saranac Caramel Porter

Pours with a very nice color, with a really deep red brown body and a decent head with good lacing. Actually rather attractive. To me this lacks many characteristics of a Porter, but IS a decent, malt based brown ale. There are some really nice caramel overtones both in the aroma and the taste and there is a malt bitter balance which is quite pleasing. Body is lacking but it doesn’t detract too much. It is thin. A bit unusual to say the least, but I sort of like it! As I say, there are no...

Saranac Belgian Ale

Way too brown/orange a pour for the style, this looks more like a pale ale than a Belgian pale. Small head, no retention and no lacing - not a promising start. Aroma is by far the strongest element here. Good, apparently authentic Belgian yeast smell, but it is quickly let down by the watery and weak taste. Mouthfeel follows along the same lines with an insipid effort and the drinkability is below average. Has potential, and the possibility of being really something, but ultimately it fails....

Saranac Oatmeal Stout

Dark brown body with some attractive ruby red highlights at the bottom of the glass. Decent if somewhat small tan head, and a little lacing but not very significant. Very thin body and a weak mouthfeel. Aroma is farily non-descript with a little bit of chocolate. Taste has some chocolate notes, but it is dry like cocoa powder rather than silky like a creamy chocolate. Dry finish. Lack of roasted flavors is distinct. Not at all what I am looking for in a stout. Lack of body, lack of smoothness...

Saranac Nut Brown Ale

Not a great beer but a decent effort. Color was much too light for my liking in terms of the style but on the upside it did come with a nice spotty head and some decent lacing. Yeasty type aroma, average mouthfeel. Bitterness is upfront and lasting and there is a lack of noticeable malts which serve to give the beer a metallic and sharp edge. I like a maltier base to my Brown Ales, and a little more sweetness. I miss the nuttiness that others speak of. Drinkable despite the slightly odd...

Saranac Winter Wassail

Part of the mixed 12 pack from Saranac. Nice looking pour, a red body that is very, very clear and is topped by a bone white head, but it doesn't last long and as a result there is not much lacing. Aroma is a diluted cinnamon. Taste is a little strange and seems artificial. Definite spice notes, but this coupled with some metallic notes as well. Finishes fast with a puckering, spiced dry feel. I've had much, much worse, but much, much better too, so it's very middle-of-the-pack. $9.99 for the...

Saranac Hefeweizen

Slightly odd looking, in as much as it appears to be semi-filtered. Not as cloudy as we might otherwise anticipate for the style, but also not showing much clarity. Not much head and not much lacing, certainly no evidence of a big pillowy head that one might hope for. Banana and clove aroma is strong, and the inital tastes reflect that. Unfortunately it's all a little weak and watery, and somewhat artificial. A little sharp citric acidity in the finish which finally terminates with a little...

Saranac Kölsch

Nice looker, clear golden color and a small head and a little lacing. Light peppery flavor is the over-riding experience here. Dryish finish with some mild hop flavor. Not much balance of malt apparent, but becasue the hop flavor is reserved and mild, it doesn't really matter. Crisp in the mouth with a refreshing bite that makes this a drinkable, if somewhat average brew. Good value, simple, drinkable beer. This will not surprise or thrill you, but you might enjoy sucking a few back.

Saranac Mountain Ale

OK, not your everyday kind of beer, and it does have a somewhat artificial flavor about it, but despite that it remains drinkable. Good looking beer on all fronts. Nice burned gold coloring, decent head and some definitely better than average lacing. Aroma is not great. A sort of acidic vinegar smell pervades the "beer" smell. Its weakest point. Tastes. Definitely infused berry taste that is tart, and it blocks out most of the other potential flavors. Despite this, it finishes clean and crisp...

Saranac Summer Ale

Actually rather good. Nice dark gold color, with plenty of good carbonation, a decent head and a some, but not a lot of lacing. A nice, mild spice and lemon aroma and taste. The lemon is not as subtle as the label suggests, but it just about pulls it off. Mouthfeel is light, but that is in touch with the style. Very refreshing and tasty. This is not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but very drinkable. Nice hot weather beer, and with temperatures still in the low 80's in Atlanta in...

Saranac Belgian White

OK, this is not a classic Belgian Wit, but it is drinkable and it is leaning toward the style, even if it is not typical. A very pale, thin looking orange hazy appearance, with a small fluffly head and some mild lacing. Aromas and taste are "Wit-like", but somewhat watered down for the style. Drinkable, but way too lightweight for the whole wit concept for any truth in the whole wit nomenclature. Mouthfeel is watery and poor. One of the poorer efforts from this crossover brewer. Maybe this is...

Saranac Golden Pilsener

Very pale golden, with pretty much absolute clarity. Small head, not much lacing. Decent looking. Some sweet, malty wheat aroma, with a very, very small amount of hops in there too. Flavors are very mild, quite clean and refreshing. A little, typical Pilsener hop bitterness, but not a lot, and it fades pretty quickly. Essentially this is a lightweight Pilsener at best, and probably slips out of the style because of its lack of hoppy character. Not especially good in terms of being a Pilsener,...

Saranac Adirondack Lager

Average in the extreme!? Does that make sense? Anyway. Half-decent beer that takes you above horrid macro to the start of a very long journey to wonderful micro, but not very far along that path. Pour is nicely balanced with good, deep orange color and a nice head with some retention. A very small amout of lacing adds to the visiual impact. Mild caramel and sugar in the nose and taste, but also with some hop bitterness to even things out. Unusually dry finish brings the beer to a somehat...

Saranac Black & Tan

Good looking beer with a nice balance of malt and hop bitterness that makes it very drinkable. There's a warm, bread like feeling in the mouth which is very full and satisfying in a way that I was not expecting. Some burned malts in the aroma. Stout like appearance, with a tan head sitting on the black/reddish body. Some lively carbonation out of the bottle, but this fades quickly to reveal a more average looking dark beer. A mild finish with neither the malt nor the hops dominating. A little...

Saranac India Pale Ale

Here's my best guess. If this beer was around 15, 10 or even 5 years ago (I don't know if it was), it would have enjoyed a much higher profile and status than it now does. It's a very servicible IPA as it stands in 2005, but it's really lost in what seems to be the ever increasing micro American IPA market. What might have been cutting edge in the past seems mundane now. Decent orange based pour with some definite hop aromas coming through strong. This initial promise is soon tempered by a...

Saranac Pale Ale

Pale orange, small rocky head, with some lacing. Some lively bubbles continue to rise in the glass. This means the head retention is quite good and the lacing is pretty good. Some up front bitterness, with each mouthful ending with a sharp citrus or grapefruit bitterness. Clear copper body. Neither the initial bitterness nor the secondary citrus lasts for long. In fact the beer fades quite quickly to another also ran. Obviously superior to the macro brigade, but otherwise a somewhat...