Friday, April 24, 2009

Saranac Pomegranate Wheat


3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (597) - Albany, USA - APR 15, 2010
Here’s irony for you. Yesterday I praised Saranac Hefeweizen for tasting so much like fruit juice and today I’m reviewing Saranac Pomegranate Wheat which also tastes exactly like fruit juice, but not nearly as good. It just goes to show the ingredients used in the brewing process can make or break a beer.

This is a beer that is overwhelming in its fruity taste, so much so that it’s actually more tart than sweet. Pomegranate is a fruit most people don’t encounter all that much, which gives this beer a niche but gimmicky quality. Fans for cranberry juice and its hybrids might like it, but for the average beer drinker it might be too overwhelming.

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

Since this is a wheat beer it’s no surprise it pours like your typical hefeweizen to a medium-orange color with a very cloudy body. It forms a fairly small head which dissipates rather quickly and isn’t very remarkable in taste.

Considering the name of the beer it’s also no surprise it has very sweet and fruity nose. If you didn’t know it was made with pomegranate you could easily label it as just citrusy, but to the discerning nose the pomegranate scent is potent.

TASTE

I hate beers with inconsistent flavors, but if the inconsistency leads to a better taste it could be a good thing. Upon my first swig of Saranac Pomegranate Wheat the tart pomegranate flavor was overwhelming. It tastes a lot like a cranberry juice in that, yes, it’s sweet but has quite a lot of bite for a sweet beer.

As the beer sits I notice the flavor tends to mellow out and the beer takes on a generally sweet, citrusy flavor. It reminds me of the flavor of an orange-flavored soda like Fanta that has gone flat. It’s definitely drinkable and even quite tasty, but not very impressive.

BODY

Since this beer has a tendency to taste like flat soda, it’s also goes down as smoothly. It is a very smooth drink without much bite or tingling on your palate. Those who genuinely like the pomegranate taste will be able to down a glass or bottle of this beer quite quickly.

Thankfully, the beer is fairly light in body as well even though it’s a bit darker than your average light beer. Between the sweet taste and light body, one could easily empty a few of these surprisingly quickly.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I guess I could give this beer a recommendation but with some reservations. Obviously, I find the whole concept of the brew to be a little too gimmicky. Is there really a large demand for pomegranate-flavored beers? Probably not, but at least it’s original. Its taste is a little too tart for me, but I like the smoothness in the way it drinks and its lighter body. It’s certainly a worthy inclusion to the Saranac “Beers of Summer” mix pack.

Grade: 5/10