Monday, April 27, 2009

Saranac Amber Wheat


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 15, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2012 There are a lot of niche styles of beers many American drinkers are often intimated by or frankly have never even heard of. The dunkelweizen, is a good example of this as the name alone sounds almost ridiculously ethnic. However, beers of this style are actually some of the most drinker-friendly on the planet and while Saranac Amber Wheat may not be an authentic example of the type, it’s works as an introductory beer.

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

This beer pours very smoothly to a hazy, dark amber body. This isn’t surprising considering the name or the style of the beer. It forms a generous layer of white foamy head which lingers throughout the life of the beer and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of the German beers of the style, only way more mild. There are elements of spice in the nose, but otherwise it’s a lightly sweet scent.

TASTE

Much like the aroma, the flavor here has some spiciness to it, but it’s extremely mild. The label advised the drinker to look for a “sweet addition of Cara and roast malts,” although I found it to be lightly toasted rather than any kind of robust, deeply roasted taste. In my experience, wheat beers do not have a strong hop bite like an IPA and this beer is no exception.

Toffee, caramel and the faintest hint of clove are the most prominent flavors to Saranac Amber Wheat. Upon the initial mouthfeel I get a mostly mild, sweet palate and the true flavors don’t kick in until the finish. Still, the beer is quite tasty even though it is quite mild overall.

FINISH

With a mouthfeel that is soft and delicate, but without a distinctly watery composition, Amber Wheat is an extremely smooth beer. It’s quite refreshing and maybe even thirst-quenching making it an ideal summer brew.

BODY

I’m actually surprised this beer is as heavy as 4.8% ABV, as I was able to drink two bottles almost back-to-back and felt only a mild buzz. They certainly didn’t overwhelm or fill me up and I’ll bet most other drinkers would have a similar experience.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Usually, I prefer a stronger-tasting beer, but Saranac Amber Wheat definitely satisfies. It’s much more sweet than it is spicy and with its high drinkability and low weight it’s likely to satisfy the average American beer drinker this summer. 
Grade: 7/10