Monday, June 16, 2008

Saranac Kölsch

AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 15, 2010
A beer’s taste can be subtle, but it shouldn’t be subtle to the point of non-existence. That’s the case of Saranac Kolsch, a German-style blonde ale that’s light in color and body but equally light in taste. Sure, it’s an easy beer to drink, but that’s because there’s no flavor to it – neither good nor bad.


Saranac Kolsch was something of a welcome change to me since it is one of the few truly blonde beers I’ve come across in a while. Since I don’t drink mass-market brews, the beers I encounter tend to be darker and don’t take on the appearance of a liquid that can so easily be identified as beer. It actually looks a lot like apple juice in many ways in that it’s a pure golden color without much carbonation action and simply looks thicker than your average lager (even though this is an ale).

This beer pours smoothly from the bottle and forms a decent-sized head which lingers for quite a while and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Usually, these are good indications of a crafty, tasty brew. The same can’t be said for its scent, though, which is very generic. There’s not evidence of hops, malts, fruits or spices in the nose. It’s just plain old “beer smell.”


Have you ever drunk a beer and its taste didn’t hit you right away? With Saranac Kolsch I was in a constant state of suspense waiting for the taste to kick in. Since it’s such a light-bodied and easy-to-drink brew I thought maybe the taste would be found in the aftertaste, but it never arrived.

Put simply, this beer is virtually tasteless. It’s basically just beer-flavored beer, only a bit drier and with the most faint traces of sweetness, like an extremely watered-down Hefeweizen.


As unimpressed as I was with the taste, I have to admit Saranac Kolsch is at least easy to drink. It reminds me of Bud or Coors Light, but a bit heavier in body. I’m surprised a European-style brew could be so direct.


Considering the ethnic-sounding name, I was expecting a lot more out of Saranac Kolsch. That it’s not much better than your typical American “lite” brewski is quite disappointing. At least it will appeal to lightweights who can say they drank a craft beer that wasn’t too strong for them. Then again, it’s not strong enough for me, either.

Grade: 5/10

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