Monday, April 6, 2009

Saranac Adirondack Lager


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (597) - Albany, USA - APR 15, 2010
Lager is the beer for people who aren’t beer enthusiasts. They’re usually light in body and fairly simple in taste which makes them easy to drink. When brewers attempt to make a quality craft lager the result is often a mixed bag. Why? Because connoisseurs find them a bit gimmicky while the average drinker finds them a bit stronger than they were expecting.

This is the case with Saranac Adirondack Lager. It looks and tastes like an ale since it’s complex in flavor and heavier in weight, yet the payoff doesn’t quite deliver. I’m not sure who its intended audience is, but it’s a valiant effort.

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

Despite the former name of “Adirondack Amber,” this beer pours very smooth to a copper color. A perfectly proportioned head forms and lingers for a lot longer than your average lager and leaves an impressive amount of lacing on the glass.

For a craft lager this beer has a surprisingly ordinary scent not unlike Budweiser but perhaps a bit more dry.

TASTE

The best way to describe Adirondack Lager’s taste would be to call it a weaker version of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It definitely has a distinct hoppy taste, and a pleasantly sweet finish of caramel, but the intensity is rather low all around.

FINISH

This is a surprisingly smooth beer with almost no “bite,” at least compared to your typical mass-market lager. The mouthfeel is soft, but I’ve had softer. But then again, this is a lager.

BODY

Technically, Saranac Adirondack Lager is medium in body but I find it to have the sheer density of an IPA. At 5.5% ABV, it’s heavier than most American lagers, but I was full after only two bottles. Despite the fact it’s quite smooth and easy to drink, its heavy body prevents it from being a session beer.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I hate to criticize a beer that has clearly been well-crafted, and I genuinely enjoyed Saranac Adirondack Lager, but it could’ve been even better. It’s a beer with all the makings of a microbrew but is marketed as the opposite. Still, it’s better than your average American lager and I’d prefer this to most of them anyway.

Grade: 6/10